International 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.

Duane Hanson, Woman with a Laundry Basket, 1974, oil paint, cardboard, resin, talc, fiberglass, fabric, plastic, approx. 65 ◊ 33 1/8 ◊ 27 1/2". From “Hyper Real.”


Through February 18
Curated by Otto Letze and Jaklyn Babington

Since the late 1960s, sculptors around the world, including John De Andrea and Duane Hanson, have been creating eerily lifelike simulacra of human bodies, first through traditional techniques of modeling, casting, and the careful application of paint, and later by learning from the film industry’s special-effects fabricators in order to generate utterly fantastic, often digitally assisted visions of alternative realities. Featuring a provocatively diverse assortment of practices, this traveling exhibition tracks developments in hyperrealism over the past forty years, spotlighting artists ranging from Hanson and De Andrea to younger prodigies, including Ron Mueck and Sam Jinks, as well as seeming outliers such as Berlinde de Bruyckere. The show has been expanded significantly for its Australian debut—a fitting development, given the easily forgotten enthusiasm with which artists in that country took to hyperrealism. Travels to Kunsthal Rotterdam Mar.–July 2018.

Charles Green

Lisa Reihana, in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015–17, 4K video, color, sound, 64 minutes.

“Lisa Reihana: Cinemania”

Through March 29
Curated by Michael Dagostino

The exhibition for New Zealand’s pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale, “Lisa Reihana: Emissaries,” consisted almost entirely of the artist’s massive video projection in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015–17, which reimagines Jean-Gabriel Charvet’s early-nineteenth-century scenic wallpaper Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique. Reihana’s digital panorama attempts to subvert the original wallpaper’s arcadian portrayal of James Cook’s voyages, deploying performers who act out the real-life events and traumas of early contact between British and Pacific peoples. This show—which also focuses on iPOVi—is a homecoming of sorts: Reihana’s work features scenes of Aboriginal dancers from Campbelltown’s Dharawal community. Cook, of course, famously “discovered” Australia. “Cinemania,” then, promises to close the circle, putting Cook’s legacy, and iPOVi’s postcolonial politics, to the test in a country still struggling to address the indigenous devastation caused by colonization.††

Anthony Byrt

“Japan in Architecture: Genealogies of Its Transformation”

April 25 - September 17
Curated by Fumio Nanjo, Naotake Maeda, Hirokazu Tokuyama, Shunsuke Kurakata, Ken Tadashi Os

Organized along nine themes, including nature, craft, and space, this ambitious exhibition examines continuities between Japan’s ancient building culture and the Japanese architectural profession today. The wide-ranging show features drawings, models, and photographs of works that span the past hundred years alongside historical models and carpentry manuals from the Edo and Meiji periods. Noteworthy are replicas of two well-known yet elusive structures that present a view of modern Japan infused with images of the past: Kenzō Tange’s house from 1953 and Taian, a teahouse associated with the sixteenth-century tea master Sen no Rikyū and championed in the twentieth century by modernists who viewed it as encapsulating a uniquely Japanese aesthetic. Providing plenty of historical background, the show seeks to explain the enduring appeal of Japanese architecture to the world and its success as a major center of international modernism.

Seng Kuan

Francis Alˇs, Knots (detail), 2005, rope, three pencil-on-paper drawings, dimensions variable.

“Francis Alˇs: Knot’n Dust”

January 31 - April 9
Curated by Marie Muracciole

Francis Alˇs came to Beirut for the first time nine years ago, in December 2008, for a workshop organized by the upstart arts organization 98Weeks. At the time, he and the curator Cuauhtťmoc Medina proposed walking the city as an artistic practice in and of itself. The Lebanese capital has changed dramatically since then, and Alˇs’s engagement with conflicts in the wider region—including major projects in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan—has grown substantially. The artist’s first solo exhibition at an institution in the Middle East ups the metaphorical ante from perambulation to tornado chasing. The show centers on three bodies of work: the 2000–10 video Tornado; Knots, a rarely shown 2005 installation of a knotted rope accompanied by three drawings; and a short, as-yet-untitled stop—motion animation, which will be shown with some eight hundred of the drawings used in its making. Travels to the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK, June 20–September 9.†

Kaelen Wilson-Goldie

Pablo Picasso, Two-Handled Vase with Faun’s Head and an Owl, 1961, painted earthenware, 23 ◊ 17 1/2 ◊ 15". © Picasso Estate/VISDA.

“Picasso: Ceramics”

February 1 - May 27
Curated by Helle Crenzien and Kirsten Degel

Although he was already sixty-six years old when he produced his first ceramic work, Picasso would go on to make some four thousand clay pieces over the next two and a half decades. Working in Vallauris in the South of France, under the tutelage of Suzanne and Georges Ramiť and the craftspeople at their Madoura studio, Picasso learned about traditional techniques and forms—and then set about reshaping them, in keeping with the plasticity of his own inventiveness. The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art will exhibit more than 150 of the artist’s original, playful ceramics, including amphora-shaped female figures and a bevy of owls, doves, goats, bulls, and other creatures. In addition to the many plates painted with bullfight scenes or the faces of satyrs and fauns, there are others that Picasso embellished with three-dimensional ceramic food and cutlery, the finished works recalling his Cubist assemblages of some forty years before. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Marilyn McCully, Harald Theil, Salvador Haro GonzŠlez, and Lynda Morris.

Lisa Florman

Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, Material Want (detail), 2016. Rendering. From “Open Codes: Living in Digital Worlds.”


Through August 5
Curated by Peter Weibel

Organized by ZKM in collaboration with multiple German research institutes, this historical survey traces the developments in math and physics that led to the invention of digital code, ushering in the many technologies that shape our culture and society today. Spanning three hundred years, the show places scientific and technological documents and artifacts in conversation with artworks, suggesting an affinity—if not a direct connection—between the ways in which these objects frame the world. The stakes of this interdisciplinarity are high: Over the past several years, many have argued for new media art’s inclusion in mainstream contemporary art discourse (for example, by pointing to new media’s fundamental interactivity as proof of its kinship with relational aesthetics). Provocatively, “Open Codes” promises to swing the pendulum back, grounding its objects as much in the history of technology as in the history of art.

Tina Rivers Ryan