NEW YORK The Met Breuer The work of Mrinalini Mukherjee (1949–2015) is astounding, melding craft, high concept, and humor with the consequences of pressing Modernism through the sieve of traditional Indian cultural forms. Her sculptures are overtly sensual, referencing aspects of human sexuality and the fecundity of nature. Both simple and complex, they play at the boundaries between abstract and figurative, artificial and natural.
SEATTLE Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington The eight artists featured in “Between Bodies” take us from the air down to minerals deep in the earth, to untamed rivers, to smoking forests, and finally to the sounds and micro-organisms of the deep sea. They explore metaphors of sexual transformation, intraspecies and trans-species communication, future avatars and present voices.
NEW YORK The Met Breuer The exhibition included a striking display of models from the “Dictionary for Building” series (1974–75). Occupying much of a large gallery, a lengthy counter displayed 150 small-scale maquettes depicting the architectural elements of a house combined into different permutations, complete with odd furniture.
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art APT9 delighted with its pageantry, featuring more than 400 pieces across mediums. Attendees of all ages and cultural backgrounds appeared appreciative, perhaps unaware of criticisms of the neo-colonial gaze presiding over such shows, as omnipresent curators crown the next “art world darlings.”
NEW DELHI Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre Curator Ashna Singh, director of Studio Art Gallery in New Delhi, made a brilliant selection of 12 artists whose work differs in terms of material, medium, and vision. Yet his choices sat comfortably together, showcasing inner conflict in all its dimensions.
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICHIGAN Cranbrook Art Museum “Landlord Colors,” which had a slippery relationship with art history, drew from historical movements, such as Arte Povera and Dansaekhwa, but then encouraged viewers to overlay those works with a framework of materiality and the historical conditions of crisis.
MILAN Pirelli HangarBicocca HangarBicocca does things with an incredible monumentality, and under the stewardship of Vicente Todolí, the scale appears to have gone through the roof. Last year, the aircraft-hangar-size space hosted works by Mario Merz, which still appear as alien as they do innovative.
LOS ANGELES Hauser & Wirth The enigmatic press release for Hammons’s recent exhibition contains only the words “This exhibition is dedicated to / Ornette / Coleman / Harmolodic Thinker / David Hammons,” superimposed over a freeform drawing of squiggled, wavering horizontal and vertical lines. The press release not only set the tone for this sprawling, theatrical show, it also manifested Hammons’s total control over the display and public presentation of his work within the context of one of the world’s most powerful galleries.
THE HAGUE Museum Beelden aan Zee The survey demonstrated that Visser (1928–2015), one of the Netherlands’ most important 20th-century sculptors, was guided by a deep-seated need to make things, that he employed a remarkably diverse range of themes, materials, and techniques to actualize his ideas and observations, and that he rarely—if ever—acquiesced to artistic trends.
BROOKLYN Undercurrent Gallery “Myoptic,” a sculptural video installation by Carl Lee, contemplated the intricate twining of spectatorship, memory, and technology. The title, a play on the word “myopic,” strongly underscores this notion: “myopic” means nearsighted, not being able to see the wider view without some sort of corrective lens; “myoptic” seems to indicate a more personal spectatorship, the nostalgic lens through which we each, individually, experience the past.