Rebecca Morgan: "Town and Country" shows the extent of Morgan's achievement in painting, with forays into printmaking and brass sculpture, new endeavors for the artist. With archly symbolic portraits and complex scenes, Morgan weaves a grand narrative of gendered subversion buttressed by broader societal scale. Morgan's characters straddle both the timelessness of morality tales, and the specific moment that we find ourselves in - redefining gender relations and reviewing historical representations in works from John Hughes movies, to stylized exemplars like Rubens and Fragonard, to Norman Rockwell's foundational Americana lore. While always emanating from a contemporary socio-political yet diaristic lens, Morgan's works now chart a wider continuum of referents. Archetypal characters strain against their roles, undermine fabricated notions of romance, and confront the hollowness and fear behind current masculinity, with both levity and tension. Town and Country is on view though November 2 at Asya Geisberg Gallery 537b West 23rd Street, New York. photographs courtesy of the gallery
A snake made of bottle caps wraps around itself on the floor. Trees grow, overgrow, burn, and grow again. And some kind of mouse created a hole in our newly-built drywall (this may or may not be related to the snake).
It’s hard to tell if the sun is rising or setting. You might come to a conclusion based on the time of day, the temperature outside, your political views, or something else. Whatever the case, you’re looking at some paintings and not the sun itself. This is probably a good thing.
The Sun Hung Low or A Question Loomed is on view through September 1 @ Everybody 1722 N Western Avenue, Chicago. photographs courtesy of the gallery
At the gallery entrance, Takuro Tamayama’s monochrome yellow new video “Dance”, 2019 is played on a small monitor. A red curtain leads to Tamayama’s transformation of the gallery’s largest space into a colored light saturated immersive experience, entitled “Eclipse Dance”, 2019. A cluster of tables forms a new plateau and divides the atmosphere’s light, red above and blue below. A rotating marble form, evocative of a human, is positioned in relation to another form, evocative of a celestial body. In the adjacent spaces, visitors encounter Tamayama’s Eclipse, a new large-scale video projection, with sound composed by the artist. In a third space, Tamayama’s spinning sculpture and clustered confronts Tateishi’s Rotating Fuji (1991), and a fourth room, painted yellow, displays Tateishi’s prints dating from 1973-1981.
The exhibition is on view through August 31 720 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles. photographs courtesy of Nonaka-Hill
“Vessel Orchestra” is the first sound-based installation commissioned by The Met. The exhibition includes a musical instrument, a series of live performances, and an installation composed of thirty-two sculptures, utilitarian vessels, and decorative objects selected by Beer from the museum’s collection. Chosen for their natural pitches, which range from low C to high G on the chromatic musical scale, the vessels form an arresting and unexpectedly versatile instrument, comparable to an organ with multiple pipes. During museum hours, a pre-programmed audio interface will play a new composition written by Beer, activating the vessels to play in real time. On Friday evenings, the exhibition features a diverse group of guest artists who perform new compositions and improvisations on this radical musical instrument.
“Vessel Orchestra” is on view through August 11 at The Met Breuer 945 Madison Ave, New York, NY. photographs courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Over the course of her career, Simone Leigh (b. 1967, Chicago) has continuously and insistently centered the black female experience. In Loophole of Retreat, an exhibition presented on the occasion of Leigh winning the 2018 Hugo Boss Prize, she layers form, sound, and text to fashion narratives of resilience and resistance. The project’s title is drawn from the writings of Harriet Jacobs, a formerly enslaved abolitionist who in 1861 published an account of her struggle to achieve freedom, including the seven years she spent hiding from her master in a tiny crawl space beneath the rafters of her grandmother’s home. This act of defiant fortitude, which forged a “loophole of retreat” from an unjust reality, serves as a touchstone for Leigh’s long-standing commitment to honoring the agency of black women and their power to inhabit worlds of their own creation.
The Hugo Boss Prize 2018: Simone Leigh, Loophole of Retreat is on view through October 27 at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128. photographs courtesy of the artist and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Using a wide range of media, Berlin-based artist Alicja Kwade creates elegant, experiential sculptures and installations that reflect on time, perception, and scientific inquiry. With equal parts poetry and critical insight, she calls into question the systems designed to make sense of an otherwise unfathomable universe. Kwade has created ParaPivot I and II for The Met’s Roof Garden Commission, an annual site-specific installation by a living artist. These towering sculptures consist of powder-coated steel frames that intersect at oblique angles with massive spheres that float in apparent weightlessness in between. Although static, ParaPivot I and II are charged with the possibility of movement: their steel appendages, which fan outward around multiple axes, seem to trace the orbital pathways of the globes evoking an astrolabe or even a miniature solar system. Confronted with the artist’s abstract cosmos, our experience of scale, both human and galactic, is unsettled. Overall, Kwade seeks to recover the mystery and absurdity of the human condition, heightening our powers of self-awareness.
ParaPivot is on view through October 27 at The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY. photographs courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Organized by the Queens Museum, New York, The Wandering Lake, 2009-2017 is Chang’s most ambitious work to date: an eight-year project that redefines the role of artist, image, object and performance in the construction of narratives through an exhibition that integrates video projection, photography, sculpture, publication, and performance as one expansive body of work. The exhibition allows viewers to navigate through Chang’s personal, associative, and narrative meditation on mourning, caregiving, geopolitics, and landscape. The exhibition has been structured to replicate the complex way in which stories develop through geography, history, cultural mythology, fiction, and personal experience. While Chang’s multi-year project was in part inspired by turn-of-the-century colonial explorer Sven Hedin’s book The Wandering Lake (1938)—which tells the story of a migrating body of water in the Chinese desert—the project also chronicles the loss of Chang’s father as well as her pregnancy and the birth of her son.
The Wandering Lake, 2009-2017 is on view through August 4 at Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 1717 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021. photographs courtesy of Elon Schoenholz/ICA LA
Anat Ebgi presents Tempest, a solo exhibition of painting, sculpture, and video by Los Angeles based artist Michael John Kelly. Across media, Kelly's work strikes at the fourth dimension, exploring emotional, instinctual, and capricious realities. With this new body of work, the artist seeks to reveal theoretical, spiritual, and conceptual planes. His wild sense of color and gesture defies demands of concrete ideas and compositional logic, freeing viewers to experience a renewed sense of the world.
Tempest is on view through August 24 at Anat Ebgi 2660 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034. photographs courtesy of the artist and Anat Ebgi
Takis has created some of the most innovative art of the 20th century over his 70-year career. His work seeks out the essential poetry and beauty of the electromagnetic universe. Takis has created antennae-like sculptures he calls “Signals,” and musical devices using magnets, electricity, and viewer participation to generate resonant and random sounds. This exhibition brings together over 70 of the artist’s pieces, making this the largest exhibition of his work ever held in the UK. Takis was one of the most original artistic voices in Europe from the 1960s and remains a pioneering figure in contemporary art today.
Takis is on view through October 27 at Tate Modern Bankside, London SE1 9TG. photographs courtesy of Tate Modern
Olafur Eliasson: In real life marks the most comprehensive solo presentation of the artist’s work, and his first major survey in the UK. Eliasson consistently seeks to make his art relevant to society, engaging the public in memorable ways both inside and outside the gallery. Driven by his interests in perception, movement, and the interaction of people and their environments, he creates artworks which offer experiences that can be shared by all visitors. The exhibition also examines Eliasson’s engagement with issues of climate change, sustainable energy, migration, as well as architecture. Olafur Eliasson: In real life offers a timely opportunity to experience the immersive world of the endlessly inquisitive artist.
Olafur Eliasson: In real life is on view through January 5, 2020 at Tate Modern Bankside, London SE1 9TG. photographs courtesy of Tate Modern
Liz Johnson Artur’s first solo show in the UK presents new sculptural works incorporating photographs selected from her substantial archive of images documenting the lives of people from the African diaspora. While Artur has taken photographs across Europe, America, Africa, and the Caribbean for more than three decades, this exhibition focuses on images that capture the richness and complexity of Black British life in London.
Liz Johnson Artur: If you know the beginning, the end is no trouble is on view through September 1 at the South London Gallery 65-67 Peckham Road, London. photographs courtesy of the South London Gallery
Big Pictures Los Angeles presents I Dedicate This Song to You, an exhibition of new paintings and sculptures from Los Angeles based artist Lauren Spencer King. King weaves together personal experiences, in past work around death and grief but more recently an exploration of partnership and relationship, together with historical sites and practices rooted in relatively unknown ceremonial rites of passage. A constellation is created between the works in disparate mediums to create a new narrative woven from threads of personal and collective history.
I Dedicate This Song to You is on view through August 3 at Big Pictures Los Angeles 2424 W Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90018. photographs courtesy of Big Pictures Los Angeles
Inspired by Cuban Modernism, The Decorator’s Home, curated by Neville Wakefield, personifies the vision of a fictional interior designer, tracing their style evolution from the commercial, North American-influenced Modernist design of the 1950s to the revolutionary, Soviet-influenced style of the 1960s and 1970s. Through sculptural installations, watercolors, drawings and a video, The Decorator’s Home is an attempt to capture the work of a generation that was cut short. Click here to read our interview with the artist.
The Decorator’s Home is on view through July 13 at UTA Artist Space 403 Foothill Rd. Beverly Hills, CA 90210.
Relax Into the Invisible is an exhibition by Barbara Stauffacher Solomon comprising works on paper, artist books, a new body of sculpture, and site-specific Supergraphics. These works build upon the artist's signature design sensibility while cleverly playing with language, feminism, symbolism, technology, mass media, politics, and personal narrative. Relax Into the Invisible is on view through August 10 at LAXART 7000 Santa Monica Blvd Los Angeles. photographs courtesy of the gallery
Eleanor Antin (b. 1935) is one of the most important artists of her generation and a pioneer of performance and conceptual art in Southern California. In 1972, she challenged definitions of sculpture, self-portraiture, photographic documentation, and performance with CARVING: A Traditional Sculpture. Consisting of 148 black-and-white photographs, CARVING shows the transformation of Antin’s body as she lost 10 pounds over 37 days. Eleanor Antin: Time's Arrow brings together both CARVING series, a new self-portrait, and a related serial work from the 1970s, provoking reflection on discipline, vulnerability, and the passage of time. Time's Arrow is on view through July 28 at Los Angeles County Museum of Art 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. photographs courtesy of the gallery
In recent years Ruby Neri has become increasingly recognized for her ceramic sculptures featuring figurative female forms. Almost always based on the centralizing idea of the vessel, these works are notable for the physicality of their construction and the intensity of their glazes, which are often applied using an airbrush. This exhibition will feature a group of some of the largest and most complex objects of this kind that Neri has made to date. The show will be on view through June 15 at David Kordansky Gallery 5130 W. Edgewood Pl. Los Angeles. photographs courtesy of the gallery
Kacie Lees is an interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, NY who uses video, neon, sculpture & installation as tools to explore theories of the void and source pathways to underdeveloped senses. Her practice builds on the experimental legacy of new media with an expansion towards fluid notions of space. Necessary Phenomenon will be on view through April 14 at O’ Project Space 2618 Pasadena Avenue, Los Angeles. photographs by Lani Trock
Eccentric Reflexivity 1988–1994 is a solo show of works by artist, sculptor and architect Jorge Pardo. In essence, Eccentric Reflexivity 1988–1994 is a non-nostalgic remembrance, appreciation, and documentation of the process of becoming an artist, featuring works imagined, created and produced during a specific period in Jorge Pardo’s life while and just after he was a student at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. The exhibition explores and investigates Pardo’s playful aesthetic, while offering sly anti-Duchampean commentary on what can transform everyday objects, or ready-mades—many imbued with symbolic, art historical and autobiographical references—into art. Eccentric Reflexivity 1988-1994 is on view through April 20, 2019 at Petzel 35 East 67th Street, New York. photographs courtesy of the gallery
The form known as Iast common ancestor is the most recent population of organisms from which all organisms now living on Earth have a common descendant. Born 3.5 billion years ago in a primordial soup or a deep sea vent, this tentative existence bore life to us all. 355 of your very own genes projected over the enormity of a billion years. How simple or complex could this life have been, how many iterations, dead ends and spectacular transformations has this tiny candle of life undergone to lead us to our current body?
Occupying a liminal space between the real and the imaginary Mountford’s latest body of work explores evolutionary theories of origins, creation, and mortality through photography, time sensitive sculpture, video and live performance.
Last Common Ancestor is on view through March 17 at NOH/WAVE 420 East Third Street, Los Angeles. photographs by Summer Bowie
Kayne Griffin Corcoran presents the gallery’s second solo exhibition of work by, 96 year-old American born, Italy based sculptor, Beverly Pepper. The presentation will highlight the work this great artist created early on in her career between 1958–1967. During this period, Pepper carved out a niche in her own signature sculptural language. In addition to early works, the exhibition will include works from later years: 1970–1980. The show title, New Particles From The Sun is culled from a poem written by Frank O’Hara. The exhibition focuses on this timeline of works both for their rarity and their significance to the narrative of American sculpture. Beverly Pepper’s work in metal, especially steel, places her in the rightful legacy of the pioneering and revolutionary sculptors celebrated throughout art history."New Particles From The Sun" will be on view @ Kayne Griffin Cocoran 1201 S. La Brea Ave until March 9. photographs by Oliver Kupper.