NEW YORK MoMA “Surrounds: 11 Installations,” part of MoMA’s reopening schedule last year, featured a selection of works from the collection that renegotiate and reimagine architectonic boundaries of display. Visitors ascending to the sixth floor were greeted by Sheila Hicks’s Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column (2013–14), an acrylic fiber work occupying the full height of the space.
NEW YORK Whitney Museum of American Art Rachel Harrison’s sculptures possess a wild and perplexing eclecticism that makes it difficult to ascertain the exact meaning and emotional tenor of her imagery. In her assemblages—which could be called monuments since they memorialize both a series of actions and a juxtaposition of things on a large scale—ideas and processes coming out of sculpture, painting, architecture, popular culture, and the banality of everyday life are placed side by side or on top of each other, without, or at least rarely, becoming one.
REYKJAVÍK Reykjavík Art Museum Shoplifter’s complex sculptures, murals, drawings, and intimate installations numinously transform the places that contain them. Her themes vary from beauty to fashion, mythology, and more recently, the earth.
NEW ORLEANS Contemporary Arts Center “Hinge Pictures: Eight Women Artists Occupy the Third Dimension” took its starting point from a few lines in Duchamp’s La Boîte Verte (The Green Box)—the companion piece to his Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even otherwise known as The Large Glass—published in 1934: “Perhaps make / a hinge picture.
LONDON Tate Modern Kara Walker’s Fons Americanus, created for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, is a brilliantly trenchant and brutal anti-monument to Britain’s shameful, often overlooked role in the slave trade.
NEW YORK Pace Gallery The 14 large sculptures in the suggestively titled “Skirts,” Arlene Shechet’s recent exhibition, appear to have both hidden and overt agendas. The title word, as noun and verb, conveys ideas of outskirts and borders, as well as dodgy movement; it also describes an item of female clothing and can double as (disrespectful) slang for women themselves.
BEIJING 798 Art Zone “Form | Impression,” the Public Sector exhibition in Beijing’s 798 Art Zone, China’s largest contemporary cultural district, opened on May 22 in conjunction with Gallery Weekend Beijing 2020.
NEW YORK Marlborough Gallery Over the course of a prolific seven-decade-long career, Beverly Pepper, who died in February 2020, proved herself a virtuoso of three-dimensionality, regardless of material. Marlborough’s recent “concise investigation” covering 50 years’ worth of Pepper’s work (from 1968 to 2018) offered everything from Cor-ten steel to green onyx, from oxidized copper to polished chrome.
ST. LOUIS Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University “Bare Life,” which inaugurated the Kemper Museum’s newly expanded and renovated galleries, operated on several levels at once. First and foremost, this dense and multifaceted exhibition was a retrospective of Ai Weiwei’s work from the past 15 years; dozens of works in an array of media addressed themes ranging from human rights to political dissent to globalism.
Reading Unfold This Moment, the Berlin-based critic Martin Herbert’s compact history of Carol Bove’s two-decade career, it struck me that I’ve seen a lot more of Bove’s work first-hand than I’d perhaps realized.