Courtesy of Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Courtesy of Wendy Red Star
Native American artist Wendy Red Star uses her biting humor to confront romanticized visions of indigenous people in her winter show at the Newark Museum.
The weather may be cooling down, but the art world is just heating up, with a slate of exciting exhibitions scheduled to debut across the United States
This winter, U.S. museums are revving up for an especially rich assortment of solo shows, ranging from modern art greats like Jasper Johns and Robert Mapplethorpe to innovative contemporary creators such as Wendy Red Star and Elizabeth Price. Other notable exhibitions will explore topics like the artistic history of Sri Lanka and the legacy of a lost 1950s mural, while the opening of a luminous new gallery space in West Palm Beach is worth marking your calendar for, too. Here are 10 U.S. art exhibitions and events to get out and about for this winter:
November 3, 2018–January 27, 2019; Menil Drawing Institute, Houston
To display, study, and conserve modern and contemporary drawings in an optimal environment, Houston’s The Menil Collection art museum is opening a new stand-alone Menil Drawing Institute building on its campus on November 3, 2018. Inaugurating the elegant space is an exhibition on the career of Jasper Johns that will span 50 years of his drawings. The Condition of Being Here investigates the ways motifs like targets and flags have reappeared and transformed in Johns’s work, and how his use of drawing has allowed for a fluid experimentation in the evolution of these iconic themes.
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December 8, 2018–June 30, 2019; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
In her first commission at a U.S. museum, the London-based, Turner Prize–winning artist Elizabeth Price is creating site-specific moving image work for the Walker Art Center’s Perlman Gallery. As with Price’s previous works, seemingly simple objects and ideas unravel into threads that take viewers on unexpected journeys through archival footage, animation, and photography. One piece, entitled FELT TIP, will tower over 15 feet in the gallery, turning patterns from 1970s and ’80s neckties into digital systems, while considering gender in the workplace. The other of the exhibit’s two featured works, KOHL, explores various unsung uses for coal, from writing tools to cosmetics, through the voices of fictional characters.
December 9, 2018–June 23, 2019; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
The permanent Sri Lankan art collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is rarely showcased, with much of it relegated to storage. Now in an exhibition of around 250 objects—representing the first major survey on Sri Lankan art by a U.S. museum—the institution is displaying these exquisite holdings that span 2,000 years of history. Ranging from textiles and decorative pieces to ivory and photography, the works of The Jeweled Isle explore how sacred practices of Buddhism, the impact of European colonization, and cross-cultural exchange in south Asia influenced the eclectic art of Sri Lanka.
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January 19–May 12, 2019; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Following a significant acquisition of her work, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is devoting an exhibition to Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide. Some 125 photographs spanning five decades of her career, going back to the 1970s, are vivid with the cultural collisions and juxtapositions of contemporary life in Mexico. Her La Mixteca series captures the complex goat-slaughtering rituals of Oaxaca; El baño de Frida reveals the bathroom of Frida Kahlo’s La Casa Azul home in Mexico City, which was kept locked for 50 years after Kahlo’s death (initially under orders from her husband Diego Rivera). In one of her most recent photo series, Iturbide visited the Oaxaca Ethnobotanical Gardens and documented its cacti in “intensive care,” with the plants’ plight reflecting the fragility of the botanical heritage in her home country.
January 25–July 10, 2019, July 24, 2019–January 5, 2020; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City
Thirty years since his death in 1989, the Guggenheim Museum is dedicating a yearlong exhibition to U.S. artist Robert Mapplethorpe, with much of it drawn from a major 1993 gift from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Organized in two viewing phases, the first show concentrates on the museum’s holdings, with an emphasis on his photography. Whether of flowers, male nudes, or portraits from the New York City S&M scene, Mapplethorpe’s images share a thorny allure. The second phase will examine his influence on contemporary art, especially in depictions of the body and self-portraiture.
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