VANCOUVER Catriona Jeffries Liz Magor’s dramatic installations encapsulate the chaos of our times, piecing together puzzles in which everyday objects enact confounding and disturbing narratives. Born in Winnipeg, Magor has resided in Vancouver most of her life. She speaks fondly of her Vancouver childhood, recalling its seaside harbor as a “wild, cranky, beautiful type of place,” which might also describe the bewitching mix of the beauteous and the abject in her work.
VENICE Fondaco Marcello There is a commentary on the interconnectedness of community, but also on our internalized fragmentations, our duplicitous natures. We might know of Janus, the two-faced god, but these deities have multiple faces, features that slip and merge unrelentingly into one another.
NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT New Britain Museum of American Art Viewers first absorb Jennifer Wen Ma’s An Inward Sea (on view through October 24, 2021) as a lyrical, room-filling composition of waves set under a full moon. But that initial response quickly shifts, as synchronized sound and mechanized elements intensify with charged momentum.
VANCOUVER Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia I don’t always find the switch between “anthropological” and “art” objects dissonant, but “Playing with Fire” cast a raking light on those problematic distinctions.
ARBROATH, SCOTLAND Hospitalfield A small cartoon boy stands on a sketchy sculpture of a reclining figure, while a girl reaches out to touch the figure’s head. A man, presumably dad, looks on—not at his actively curious children but at the flattened approximation of a Henry Moore.
WEST BRETTON, WAKEFIELD, U.K. Yorkshire Sculpture Park “Breaking the Mould” features the work of 50 postwar female sculptors—from early examples by Elisabeth Frink, Barbara Hepworth, Karin Jonzen, and Rosemary Young to recent pieces by Phyllida Barlow, Holly Hendry, Jessie Flood-Paddock, and Grace Schwindt—all selected from the Arts Council Collection, which holds around 250 sculptures by more than 150 women.
BRISTOL, U.K. Spike Island “Along a Spectrum,” Veronica Ryan’s most ambitious U.K. show to date (on view through September 5, 2021), features a new body of work created during a two-year residency at Spike Island. Viewers entering the light and airy gallery space encounter a beguiling array of forms, many held within sumptuously colored netting in shades of orange, yellow, and lime-green.
PITTSBURGH The Frick Art Museum The Frick Art Museum, located on the Pittsburgh estate of the late-19th-century coke and steel magnate Henry Clay Frick, was founded in 1970 by his daughter Helen to house her collection of European fine and decorative arts. This rich setting provides a perfect context for War and Pieces (on view through September 5, 2021), an installation originally created by Dutch ceramics-conservator-turned-artist Bouke de Vries for the Holburne Museum in Bath, England.
LONDON London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE For “Forest on Fire,” the sixth iteration of the project, Lucy Skaer, whose practice draws on history, art history, archaeology, and nature, drew inspiration from the Tauroctony (bull slaying) at the heart of the Mithraic cult and from walks through the surrounding district of London, redolent, as she explained in an online talk, with the history of the animal trade.
MONKTON, MARYLAND Ladew Topiary Gardens As the world screeched to a standstill last year, Laura Amussen continued working on the large-scale installations for her 2020 sculptor-in-residence exhibition at the Ladew Topiary Gardens. “Flourish” acted as a living testament to Amussen’s practice, which explores natural phenomena, human relationships, and climate change.