CLEVELAND Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland “Invisible Cities,” Liu Wei’s ambitious two-part exhibition, took its name from Italo Calvino’s poetic novel recounting an imaginary conversation between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan, who asks the explorer to describe the cities he has seen on his travels.
BUFFALO, NEW YORK Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center A revised reality, a rebirth, a second act—whatever you call the new existence that Katie Bell creates for the multitude of discarded building materials that she uses in her site-specific installations, one thing is certain: these materials, manufactured for a specific purpose, have broken free from their original identities and uses, taking on entirely new reasons for being.
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.