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U.S. Museum Exhibitions

The following guide to museum shows currently on view is compiled from Artforum’s three-times-yearly exhibition preview. Subscribe now to begin a year of Artforum—the world’s leading magazine of contemporary art. You’ll get all three big preview issues, featuring Artforum’s comprehensive advance roundups of the shows to see each season around the globe.

Stephen Shore, Breakfast, Trail’s End Restaurant, Kanab, Utah, 2012, C-print, 16 7/8 × 21 1/4".

STEPHEN SHORE

MOMA - THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
NEW YORK
Through May 28
Curated by Quentin Bajac with Kristen Gaylord

Shore has long been revered for his glorious large-format color photographs from “Uncommon Places,” a record of his cross-country road trips of the 1970s and ’80s. Despite the photos’ lush Pop nostalgia for the American strip, what underlies the series and accounts for the continued influence of Shore’s work is his uncanny conceptual observation, utterly lacking sentimentality or irony. Taking the deadpan, saturation-enhanced look of the vernacular postcard as a point of departure, Shore has employed everything from plastic toy cameras to tripod-based view cameras to Instagram. All will be on display in MoMA's massive retrospective, which features more than seven hundred photographs, books (some of which are self-published), and archival materials and will be accompanied by an encyclopedic catalogue with contributions from the curators, David Campany, and Martino Stierli. Reared in Warhol’s Factory, Shore has always sought the strangeness and beauty of the banal: the everyday epiphany of a stack of diner pancakes.

Brian Wallis

François Morellet, Répartition aléatoire de 40.000 carrés suivant les chiffres pairs et impairs et d’un annuaire de téléphone (50% bleu nuit, 50% noir) (Random Distribution of 40,000 Squares Using the Odd and Even Numbers of a Telephone Directory [50% Night Blue, 50% Black]), 1961, silk screen on wood, 31 1/2 × 31 1/2". © Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.

FRANÇOIS MORELLET

DIA ART FOUNDATION
NEW YORK
Through June 2
Curated by Béatrice Gross with Megan Holly Witko

Consigned in the 1960s to that most damning of dustbins—the seemingly exhausted history of “European painting”—the expansive, endlessly experimental oeuvre of François Morellet (who died last year at the age of ninety) has received relatively little attention in the US. This focused presentation, the French artist’s first full-career survey on American shores, could prove a game changer. Bringing together nearly fifty works spanning seven decades, the show places a particular emphasis on Morellet’s abstract geometric paintings of the ’50s and early ’60s, when he developed his earliest rule-based systems and helped to found the legendary Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV). Installed at Dia’s spaces in both Chelsea and Beacon, the show also selectively tracks the artist’s later series and installations incorporating neon tubes, adhesive tape, and other nontraditional materials. A full-color volume of scholarship accompanies the exhibition.

Molly Warnock

“Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016”

MOMA - THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
NEW YORK
March 31 - July 22
Curated by Christophe Cherix, David Platzker, and Connie Butler

She’s the greatest dancer. For more than five decades, Adrian Piper has advanced and everted that great whirl of thinking and form we too neatly call Conceptual art. Piper shows us how to do it right, perhaps most generously through her signature performance and video works. From Funk Lessons, 1983–84, and The Big Four-Oh, 1988, to her more recent Adrian Moves to Berlin, 2007/2017, in which she grooves to postmillennial Berlin house music in sunny Alexanderplatz, Piper kicks open your mind as she steps to the rhythm. It’s been over a decade since her last solo American museum show, and this retrospective is a big deal: More than 280 works will take over the entirety of MoMA's sixth floor—a first for a living artist. The exhibition will arrive with a new catalogue and a reader, both published by the museum, as well as an auto-biographical text produced by her research foundation in Berlin. Keep up if you can.  

David Velasco

Terry Winters, Addendum/4, 2014, graphite on paper, 11 × 8 1/2".

“Terry Winters: Facts and Fictions”

DRAWING CENTER
NEW YORK
April 6 - July 29
Curated by Claire Gilman

Terry Winters has said that, as a young man mesmerized by Minimalism, he was led by the desire to draw “away from that blankness and toward developing an imagery that could play a role in my work.” This effort precipitated the atmospheric paintings inspired by scientific illustrations of organic specimens for which he first became known in the early 1980s. The seventy—eight works in this retrospective will follow Winters’s development from that time through the more fully abstract approach that has occupied him since the ’90s, with dense weaves of swirling, crisscrossing lines and scattered blips, and will include more recent drawings that reclaim shapes reminiscent of his earliest phase within the more complex spatial context he’s since developed—what he’s called a “vitalized geometry.” 

Barry Schwabsky

Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Bespoke Coat Hanger for Decorated Items, 2011, wood, paper, fabric, paint. Installation view, Indipendenza, Rome, 2016.

“Marc Camille Chaimowicz: Your Place or Mine . . .”

THE JEWISH MUSEUM
NEW YORK
March 16 - August 5
Curated by Kelly Taxter

In 1972, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, sharing a space with Gustav Metzger and Stuart Brisley, laid out an array of tinsel, tourist kitsch, and other tailings of human life lived on the floor, calling the piece Celebration? Real Life Revisited. The work’s title, along with its self—supported lighting scheme—the glow of devotional candles and gelled stage spots refracted by decommissioned disco balls—stands, now, as a prescient nod to the post-Fordist Thatcherism that was to come. Before the 1980s, however, the British artist, who was born in 1947 to a Polish Jewish father and a French Catholic mother, had traded his more public life for a deeper engagement with the domestic sphere, focusing on the affective, memory—storing properties of private interiors (literally: wallpaper, furniture, etc.). This exhibition, opening in March, will be Chaimowicz’s first large-scale US solo show. Expect numerous installations from 1978 through the present, as well as works created expressly for this occasion, with many exploring the (now certainly no less fraught) public/private divide.

Caroline Busta

Camille Henrot, Grosse Fatigue, 2013, video, color, sound, 13 minutes. From “Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today.”

“Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today”

ICA - INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART, BOSTON
BOSTON
February 7 - May 20
Curated by Eva Respini with Jeffrey De Blois

If contemporary art is increasingly defined as art made since 1989, it is partly because that is the year the World Wide Web was born, triggering seismic shifts in how art is produced, distributed, and consumed—or so this exhibition will argue. By no means a survey of “net art” (only three of the roughly seventy-five works are web based), it aims to assess the impact of digital technologies on works by the likes of Hito Steyerl and Trevor Paglen, suggesting both a framework and a canon. The challenges here, as always with this topic, are numerous: inventing taxonomies that productively articulate an anarchic field of works; successfully displaying digital art in a white-cube context (sometimes against its will); and addressing the relationship between technology, capital, and ideology. With a hefty catalogue featuring scholars and curators such as Caroline A. Jones and Lauren Cornell, the show promises to be deliberate in working through these issues. On the merit of this alone, it’s already #winning.

Tina Rivers Ryan