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    Don’t Miss These 10 Museum Shows Opening in Europe in 2021, From a Hito Steyerl Retrospective to a Star Turn for Helen Frankenthaler

    After 2020’s crush of postponements and cancellations, we are hopeful that 2021 will be different.
    While a lot still remains to be confirmed, we have plucked out the most highly anticipated exhibitions to see in Europe in 2021.

    “Helen Frankenthaler: Radical Beauty”Dulwich Picture Gallery, LondonMay 27–November 28
    Helen Frankenthaler, Madame Butterfly (2000). One-hundred-two color woodcut. ©2021 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / DACS / Tyler Graphic Ltd., Mount Kisco, NY.

    This major print retrospective of Helen Frankenthaler includes 30 works on loan from the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, spanning from her first-ever woodcut, in 1973, to her final work, published in 2009. The show will examine the artist’s innovative approach to printmaking, defying the woodcut medium’s supposed limitations to create new dimensions of beauty.

    “Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Green Coconuts and Other Inadmissible Evidence“Vienna Secession, ViennaThrough February 7
    Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Once Removed (2019). Exhibition view Secession 2020, Photo: Iris Ranzinger.

    This exhibition of the Turner Prize-winning artist’s work investigates sound, speech, memory, and their role in the quest for truth. A key tenet of the artist’s practice is his analysis of acoustic clues and earwitness testimony, and the exhibition will include four works from two series that investigate this, as well as other forms of witnessing. Included will be Abu Hamdan’s audiovisual inquiry into the Syrian torture prison Saydnaya, After SFX (2018), as well as a new series of prints titled For the Otherwise Unaccounted, which is inspired by birthmarks.

    “Untitled: Art on the Conditions of Our Time“Kettle’s Yard, CambridgeFebruary 6–April 5
    Larry Achiampong & David Blandy, Finding Fanon Part One,(2015), courtesy of Copperfield Gallery & Seventeen Gallery, London. Image: Claire Barrett.

    This group show will bring together 10 British artists who are part of the African diaspora whose work probes key cultural and political questions of our time. It will include new commissions and recent works by by Barby Asante, Phoebe Boswell, Kimathi Donkor, and others. Curator Paul Goodwin says the exhibition will center the works, instead of focusing on Blackness itself. “Questions of Blackness, race, and identity are shown to be entangled in the multitude of concerns—aesthetic, material, and political—that viewers can encounter without the curatorial voice obscuring the works,” he says.

    “Ad Minoliti“BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, GatesheadApril 1–March 13
    Ad Minoliti, Cubes (2019). Image courtesy Ben Davis.

    This is the Argentinian artist’s biggest exhibition, and first institutional UK show, to date. The artist, whose work was included in the 2019 Venice Biennale, is known for making colorful paintings and installations that grapple with queer theory and feminism. The show is conceived as space of respite away from the constaints of gender binary, human-centered art and life, in what the artist calls an “alien lounge.” It will host bi-weekly workshops as part of Minoliti’s Feminist School of Painting, which will tackle traditional painting genres in an effort to reimagine historical narratives from feminist, intersectional, and queer perspectives.

    “A Fire in My Belly”Julia Stoschek Collection, BerlinFebruary 6–December 12
    Laure Prouvost They Parlaient Idéale (2019). Courtesy of the artist und carlier | gebauer, Berlin/Madrid.

    Curator Lisa Long is planning a major exhibition drawing on Stoschek’s collection, which includes challenging and cathartic pieces by artists including Barbara Hammer, Anne Imhof, Adrian Piper, and Arthur Jafa. The viewer will be positioned as a witness to acts of violence in a brave look at how it is represented, distributed, and circulated. Rarely seen pieces and several new works that were recently purchased will be on view. The show’s title, “A Fire in My Belly,” is an homage to the seminal work of the same name by American artist and activist David Wojnarowicz, which will also be on view.

    “Hito Steyerl”Centre Pompidou, Paris, FranceFebruary 3–June 7
    How Not to Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic EducationalHito Steyerl (2013). Image courtesy of the artist, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York and Esther Schipper, Berlin .

    The acclaimed German artist’s largest-ever show in France was pushed back from its original date last summer. The exhibition, which was first presented last fall at K21 in Düsseldorf, includes a best-of of Steyerl’s major works, including her break-out 2013 piece, How not to be seen, and Factory of the Sun from the 2015 Venice Biennale, as well a new production. Part of the show will incorporate the unique architecture of the Centre Pompidou as a point of departure.

    “Beuys: 2021”Various Venues in EuropeThroughout 2021
    Joseph Beuys Photo: Behr/ullstein bild via Getty Images.

    The conceptual artists is the subject of a major blockbuster program next year that will take place in 12 German cities, as well as in Warsaw, Poland, Vienna, Austria, and Manresa, Spain. We are particularly looking forward to the exhibition at K20 in Düsseldorf, called “Everyone Is an Artist: Cosmopolitan Exercises With Joseph Beuys,” which opens on March 27. The show will presents many contemporary artists in dialogue with Beuys, questioning or expanding on the practice of this most enigmatic artist. In October 2021, the Krefeld Museum will offer the first exhibition ever to juxtaposition Beuys with Marcel Duchamp.

    “Slavery”The Rijksmuseum, AmsterdamFebruary 12–May 30
    Unknown, Multiple leg cuffs for chaining enslaved people, with 6 loose shackles, ca. 1600-1800. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, schenking van de heer J.W. de Keijzer, Gouda.

    The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is planning a major show that looks at the history of slavery across the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. The show will look at the Dutch involvement in the slave trade, taking up 10 true stories of individuals who were either victims or profiteers of the trade. More than 100 objects and artworks will be on view from the Rijksmuseum collection and elsewhere. “This past has long been insufficiently examined,” museum director Taco Dibbits said.

    “Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective”Gropius Bau, BerlinMarch 19–August 1

    Yayoi Kusama, Aggregation: One Thousand Boats Show (1963). Courtesy: Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

    This major survey show will focus on the early development of Yayoi Kusama’s work, including the early paintings and sculptures that eventually led to her immersive environments, which will also be on view. The show is curated by the museum’s director, Stephanie Rosenthal, in collaboration with Kusama’s studio, and charts the Japanese artist’s often overlooked activities in Europe and Germany from the 1960s onward. The show will travel to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in late 2021.

    “Sonsbeek”Various Venues, ArnemApril 10–June 21
    Sonsbeek’s curatorial team. Courtesy sonsbeek. Photo: Julius Thissen

    Taking place about every four years, “Sonsbeek” brings international artists to the small town of Arnem in the Netherlands. This edition is helmed by the Berlin-based curator Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, who has turned the concept for the exhibition on its head: it will now open in 2021 and will unfold over the next four years. Topics including race, gender, and the state of the working class will be central to the show, which includes artists Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Laure Prouvost, Oscar Murillo, and Willem de Rooij, among others.
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    10 Critically Acclaimed Art Exhibitions We Wish We Saw in 2020 But Weren’t Able to Because… You Know

    Need we say more? And so, without further ado…

    “Steve McQueen”Tate, London
    Steve McQueen, Film Still of Charlotte (2004) © Steve McQueen. Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery.

    It’s been thrilling to watch Steve McQueen break out of the art world to create stunning films like the Academy Award-winning 12 Years a Slave and the new quintet (quintet!) of feature films, Small Axe, that he’s created for Amazon Prime, which I’m working my way through now.
    But he got his start as, and remains, a visual artist. I’ve gotten to see a few of these works, like the brutal 7th Nov. (2001), in which the artist’s cousin, Marcus, tells the grim story of accidentally shooting and killing his own brother; End Credits (2012–ongoing), which scrolls through thousands of pages of redacted documents from the FBI file of African American actor and Civil Rights activist Paul Robeson; and Charlotte (2004), in which the artist’s finger, in extreme close-up, pokes at the eye of actress Charlotte Rampling in an exploration of sight and looking.
    It stings, though, to miss a show Time Out and the Guardian both gave five stars.  I’m stuck in New York, in this same damn studio apartment I’ve been in alone for nine months, so I didn’t get to see this retrospective of three decades.
    Oh well, back to Small Axe!
    —Brian Boucher

    “Frank Walter: A Retrospective”MMK Frankfurt
    Frank Walter, installation view at Museum MMK, Frankfurt am Main. Photo: Axel Schneider.

    I sadly missed a major retrospective on Frank Walter at MMK in Frankfurt am Main—an fascinating subject in any year, but a show that felt even more urgent during this summer of resurgent Black Lives Matter protests.
    The Antiguan and Barbudan artist is difficult to categorize—”there is no typical Frank Walter,” wrote the museum’s director, Susanne Pfeffer, in an accompanying show text. His varied work ranges from abstract pieces on cardboard to figurative paintings to sound recordings.
    His incredible life and oeuvre is charted through the show. Born a descendant of slaves and plantation owners, Walter went on to become Antigua’s first plantation manager of color in the sugar industry. He traveled to Europe to learn about agriculture in hopes of improving working conditions back home, while also seeking out his German ancestry, though he encountered racism almost everywhere he went. He returned to the Caribbean and exiled himself to a self-built studio until his death in 2009.
    Despite the enormity of his practice (he made over 5,000 paintings and wrote 50,000 pages of prose), Walter never had a major exhibition in his lifetime. His work at MMK was shown in dialogue with artists whose works touched on colonial and post-colonial subjects: There are Marcel Broodthaers’s enigmatic palm trees installed at the entrance; Kader Attia’s broken and restitched mirror; and Howardina Pindell’s accounts of racist violence throughout her youth in the 1980 film work Free, White and 21.
    –Kate Brown

    “Bisa Butler: Portraits”Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago
    Bisa Butler, The Safety Patrol (2018). Photo courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago, Cavigga Family Trust Fund.

    I first discovered Bisa Butler in 2018 at the Pulse art fair in Miami. I was invited to stop by the day before the show’s opening for a one-on-one tour with then-director Katelijne De Backer. When I asked her about the fair’s highlights, she led me straight to the booth of New York’s Claire Oliver Gallery, which had pre-sold four of Butler’s figurative quilted works to museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago.
    The works were stunning. Figurative compositions in boldly unconventional color combinations, made entirely of quilted fabrics, they were a powerful argument for the worth of a traditionally marginalized medium. Butler uses thousands of tiny pieces of vibrantly patterned African fabrics to create striking portraits based on historical photographs of Black men, women, and children, celebrating both African American quilting traditions and Black identity.
    It was the best thing I saw at any of Art Basel’s satellite fairs that year. Two years later, I was so excited to learn that a whole show of her work was coming to the Katonah Museum of Art that I highlighted it as an exhibition to watch in a story we published on March 9—the second-to-last day I went into the office, shortly before our worlds were turned upside down.
    The show’s opening was delayed until July, but by the time I felt safe enough to venture out, there were no tickets available in a time slot that worked for me. After closing in early October, it traveled to the Art Institute of Chicago, where it is on view until April 19. So there’s still a glimmer of hope for me—but I’m not holding my breath.
    —Sarah Cascone

    “Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist“The Whitney Museum of American Art
    Agnes Pelton, The Ray Serene (1925). Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

    The strain of late-19th to early-20th-century spiritualist art that has recently captivated museum-goers hardly seemed imaginable before the Guggenheim’s surprise hit exhibition, “Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future,” which last year became the museum’s most-visited show ever.
    But then, on the heels of that exhibition, came the Phoenix Art Museum’s critically acclaimed retrospective of the paintings of Agnes Pelton, another “rediscovered,” tacitly feminist pioneer of Modernist abstraction who worked with occult traditions.
    That show traveled to the Whitney Museum in New York, opening on the inopportune date of March 13, 2020, the day the White House declared a national emergency.
    Pelton, who was born in 1881 (just two decades after Klint), pursued her interests in theosophy, astrology, and yoga before retiring to the desert landscape in California, where she completed the paintings that made up the heart of the Whitney show. I have never gotten to see Pelton’s work in person, but many of her most salient themes—solitude, a return to nature, and the collision of cosmic forces—seem like they would have felt especially pertinent this year.
    —Rachel Corbett

    “Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle“Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
    Jacob Lawrence, Massacre in Boston (1954). Photo courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Compared to the earlier “Migration” series (1940–41), Jacob Lawrence’s “Struggle: From the History of the American People” series (1954–56) is much, much less well known. Strangely, this might be because its overall subject matter is more well-trodden territory, embracing the overall history of the United States rather than honing in on the specific drama of Black life. “I think the general public didn’t know what to do with it,” curator Lydia Gordon has said. “He’d gone beyond the boundary of how he was defined and understood, as a Black artist depicting Black history.”
    “Struggle” has a patriotic though unsettled tone, in some ways making it even more an essay in the contradictions of what W.E.B. DuBois called “double consciousness“, the sense of being torn between Black and American identities. So, on the one hand, Lawrence’s multifaceted, expressionistic retelling of the story of the United States put his stamp on familiar civics beats like the Founders at the Constitutional Convention, Hamilton’s duel, or Madison going to war with the British in 1812. But it also lingers pointedly on images like a fallen Crispus Attucks, the Black Native American worker who was the first to die in the Boston Massacre. One panel even enigmatically dramatizes a slave uprising that never happened.
    In this Hamilton: The Musical era, when liberal hunger to re-narrate the past through a more inclusive lens sit in sometimes uneasy tension with demands to look unsparingly at just how brutal and oppressive that past really was, I think there’s something illustrative about how unresolved Lawrence’s overview is, zigging and zagging through US history in this Cold War-era series, cutting a path as restless as his own lines. And aside from being interesting as a document, this series is also, of course, a chance to see Lawrence at work as a great painter—all the more reason I wish I’d had the chance to see it in person.
    —Ben Davis

    “Companion Pieces: New Photography 2020”Museum of Modern Art, New York
    Dionne Lee, True North (2019). Courtesy of the artist. © Dionne Lee.

    Agree with it or not, MoMA’s long-running “New Photography” series has earned a reputation as a bellwether for emergent trends in the medium, christening many an “artist to watch” in its 35 years. This year’s iteration, pushed online by the pandemic, arrived rather quietly in late September on MoMA’s online Magazine platform. You can still view it there, but it’s hard not to imagine the virtual show as a shell of what it would have been in any other year.
    It’s not just the detachment that comes with viewing art online, or the screen fatigue; it’s that “Companion Pieces,” as the show is called, concerns itself with the physicality of photographs and their context. Many of the artworks—from quant still lifes in wallet-sized frames to canvas colleges that run the length of a wall—demand to be viewed in person. 
    “Rather than thinking of them as discrete images or art objects,” the exhibition’s curator, Lucy Gallun, told me last month, “I was thinking about how images don’t live in isolation and how artists have recognized that. I felt like I was seeing many artists take up this idea of one image being dependent on another, or looking back to an older picture to say something new about today.”
    Gallun’s show is unlike any other in the “New Photography” canon, and it’s a shame it didn’t get the rollout it deserves. Still, much of the work transcends the limits of its presentation—particularly a pair of contemplative, dialogic series by Indian artist Sohrab Hura and the politically-inclined photomontages of Dionne Lee. It’s all well worth the (free) price of admission.
    —Taylor Dafoe

    “Artemisia”National Gallery, London
    Installation view, “Artemisia” at the National Gallery.

    There are shows that people say are once-in-a-lifetime that actually get revisited, in one form or another, 10 years later—and then there are shows that really, truly probably won’t come around again. I hope the National Gallery’s show of work by Artemisia Gentileschi is the former. The institution’s first-ever exhibition dedicated to a historical female artist brings together 29 luminous works by the Old Master, who rose to fame in the 17th century by painting women in ecstasy, exacting revenge, and making art.
    Until recently, Gentileschi was known largely for her dramatic life story; specifically, the trial of her art teacher for her rape (the court records are included in the show). But this show—at least as far as I can tell from the photos and catalogue—complicates that narrative. We can revel in her craft, her ability to render emotion, action, and light—and even grasp her true savvy. Embracing her notoriety from the trial, she seemed to brand herself as a painter of vengeful women.
    A show with that kind of complex, ambitious, talented protagonist is one I hope will be renewed in another season.
    –Julia Halperin

    “Gerhard Richter: Painting After All”Met Breuer, New York
    Installation view of ‘Gerhard Richter, Painting After All’ at The Met Breuer, 2020. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo by Chris Heins

    It was only about week or so into the citywide New York shutdown that I spoke with Sheena Wagstaff, the head of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Modern art department and the organizer of “Gerhard Richter: Painting After All.” The 60-year survey of more than 100 works was his first major New York show in nearly 20 years, and one of the most highly anticipated of the spring 2020 season. It had just opened at the Met’s Breuer outpost, and now it was already shut, along with the rest of the city.
    “At least it’s up until July,” Wagstaff told me, which seemed a reason to be optimistic at the time. But in the background hung a lingering problem: because of the planned handover of the Breuer building to the Frick Collection, the Met had no option to extend the exhibition.
    A focal point of the Breuer show was the artist’s “Birkenau” series, painted in 2014, for which he took, as his source, smuggled photos by prisoners from inside the notorious Nazi concentration camp in Poland. The artist’s continued experimentation and reworking of the canvases eventually rendered the imagery unrecognizable, but the work is no less dark for it.
    To the extent that there is a silver lining here, as a kind of “coda,” the Birkenau paintings got their own miniature spotlight at the Met’s main building upon its reopening this summer. “I feel that we have recovered some trace of the exhibition and [it’s] relevant to this new audience that we have now, which is a totally local audience,” Wagstaff told Artnet News. “We don’t have tourists anymore.”
    —Eileen Kinsella

    “Judd”Museum of Modern Art, New York
    Donald Judd, Untitled (1991) Courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2019 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: John Wronn.

    In the Park Slope Barnes & Noble, where I spent a lot of time as a teenager, the art book section was quite small. I think most of the books were about Monet, and I hated Monet and his stupid frivolity. But I did like Donald Judd, who I learned about one day after coming upon the art historian James Meyer’s book on Minimalism. His artworks were simple, clean, elegant, and bold. And they were built from ideas that were completely incomprehensible to me.
    I’ve written about Judd a lot since then (on his writings, his place in the Minimalist canon, etc., etc.), so I was enormously excited, several years ago, when MoMA announced a retrospective on the artist. The show was long delayed: first scheduled to take place in 2017, it took another three years to come together. And then—what good fortune!—it finally opened just days before New York went into a full shutdown.
    I could go see it now. The museum, as of this writing, is open to the public with safety measures in place. But my priorities have changed, and nothing seems more frivolous now than going to a museum in a pandemic.
    –Pac Pobric

    “Awol Erizku: Mystic Parallax”FLAG Art Foundation, New York
    Awol Erizku, Black Fire (Mouzone Brothas) (2020). Courtesy the artist and Ben Brown Fine Art.

    In a year defined by the twin forces of the pandemic and the struggle for racial justice, I thought a lot about how a society can’t evolve its policies without first evolving the language and imagery it uses to discuss the underlying issues.
    Awol Erizku’s “Mystic Parallax” dovetailed with this line of thinking by using a multiple-media tour de force to channel viewpoints on African and African diasporic culture that disrupt the Eurocentric terms that have dominated the discourse in the West for too long—and caused far too much tangible harm in the process.
    Leveraging formats ranging from short films and photo-based works, to sculptures and a soundtrack by Christian Scott, Erizku aimed to advance arguably the most important conversation of my generation in arresting fashion. Energized by influences as diverse as Islam and Trap music, the exhibition animated the fundamental truth of Africa as a vibrant collection of 54 distinct countries, each formed by its own dynamic history and intra-national diversity of peoples now spread around the globe. While it undoubtedly would have made an even stronger impression on me in the flesh, the virtual tour of the show still acts as a sensory treasure and a visceral motivator to bridge the sociocultural divides separating our broken present from a just future.
    —Tim Schneider
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    Before She Died, Artist Anne Truitt Completed a Series of ‘Sound’ Paintings. Now, They’re Seeing the Light of Day for the First Time

    “Something strange is happening to me.” 
    So explained Anne Truitt in a letter to her daughter in the fall of 2003, one year before her death at age 83. “Certain ways in which I have made my work ever since 1961 have simply—very simply, silently and without saying goodbye—departed from me.”
    Truitt was talking about making “Sound,” a new body of work that would go down as one of the last in her decades-long career. 
    Each of the 14 entries in the series comes in the form of a square piece of paper covered edge to edge in thick, monochromatic swaths of paint—a pensive study in color, abstraction, and, yes, sound. They went on public view for the first time last week at Matthew Marks Gallery in New York (through December 19).
    Anne Truitt, Sound Eleven (2003). © Estate of Anne Truitt, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

    “It’s as if a person had decisively walked quietly out of a room I am used to living in and in which I were thoroughly accustomed to a powerful presence,” the artist continued in the letter. “I am surprised. What is left is ‘sound,’ some kind of energy without name. More force, no name.”
    “Yesterday while walking around,” Truitt went on, “it occurred to me that the ‘name’ of the things I am making out of the beautiful delicate strong paper…is SOUND.”
    For those familiar with the artist’s greatest hits—her totemic sculptures or expansive Color Field paintings—the “Sound” series might come as a surprise. The profound interest in color that imbues much of Truitt’s work is there, but the finish is different. Whereas older efforts evinced clean—if imperfect—surfaces, these works on paper are expressive and aggressive and rough.
    And yet, as Matthew Marks director Cory Nomura explains, what distinguishes the “Sound” series within the artist’s catalogue is also what makes it unmistakably Truitt. 
    “She continued to innovate within a particular language throughout her entire practice,” Nomura tells Artnet News. “It never became a rote operation. Everything was made deliberately and with intense meaning and thought behind it.” 
    Anne Truitt, Sound Seven (2003). © Estate of Anne Truitt, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

    “Anne Truitt: Sound” is the seventh solo presentation of the artist’s work at Marks. (The show is also featured on the dealer’s virtual exhibition platform.) 
    Since the gallery began working with Truitt’s estate 12 years ago, Nomura notes, it has been making its way through the bodies of work she left behind. During that time, the market for her art has also grown significantly. Truitt’s 15 priciest auction sales—which comprise sculptures, paintings, and works on paper—have all come since 2012, according to the Artnet Price Database. The top five, including a 1983 sculpture that sold for a record $325,000 at Sotheby’s, have taken place since 2018.
    The artist has also received growing institutional attention as art historians seek to expand the story of Minimalism. In 2017, Dia:Beacon unveiled a long-term exhibition of Truitt’s work dating from the 1960s to the 1980s.
    “Anne Truitt: Sound” will be on view at Matthew Marks Gallery November 12–December 19, 2020.
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    Lithuania’s Award-Winning Venice Biennale Pavilion Is Coming to an Abandoned Swimming Pool Just Outside Berlin

    Lithuania’s Golden Lion-winning pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale, Sun & Sea, is heading to Germany, where it will be staged in out-of-service 1928 Bauhaus swimming pool. A melancholy opera set on a sandy beach, the performance presents a future where the effects of climate change have reached catastrophic levels, but still do little to disturb carefree sunbathers.
    Theater director Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, playwright Vaiva Grainytė, and composer Lina Lapelytė debuted the piece at Vilnius’s National Gallery of Art in 2017. In Venice, the production, translated into English, attracted long lines and immediate critical buzz for its pressing ecological themes and unique staging. Audiences watched from a balcony up above as singers in bathing suits lay on their beach towels, paging through magazines and snacking on strawberries, singing mournfully about the end of the world.
    In Germany, Sun and Sea will go on view May 1, 2021, at E-Werk Luckenwalde, a former East German coal plant less than hour outside of Berlin that was reborn last year as an art center. The swimming pool next door, E-WERK artistic director Helen Turner told Artnet News in an email, was “first built to make use of the power station’s excess heat energy and as a leisure activity for the station’s workers.”
    In keeping with the venue’s efforts to remain carbon neutral, the production will be powered entirely by Kunststrom—which translates to “art current,” or “art stream”—a type of 100 percent renewable electricity produced by German artist Pablo Wendel’s nonprofit art project and energy provider, Performance Electrics gGmbH.
    Co-artistic directors, Helen Turner and Pablo Wendel with their dog Coal in the Bauhaus Stadtbad, 2019. Photo by Lukas Korschan for the FACE.

    “After a challenging year, in which we have been intensely confronted with our own mortality, it is important to continue championing change and remember that our greatest long-term threat to humanity still remains climate change,” Turner said. “Sun & Sea exists as a stark reminder why we must continue to fight for change, to our industry and society as a whole.”
    As in Venice, the project will be crowdfunded, with a campaign due to launch in January to raise the €40,000 to pay for sand, beach chairs, and salaries for 28 performers. (In the meantime, E-Werk is inviting potential donors to reach out via email.)
    Rugile Barzdziukaite, Vaiva Grainyte, Lina Lapelyte, Sun & Sea (Marina) at Lithuania Biennale Arte 2019, Venice. Photo ©Andrej Vasilenko.

    To ensure the safety of both performers and viewers, tickets, which will be free, are limited. Audiences will watch from the pool’s upper balconies.
    Returning as curator for the German presentation is Lucia Pietroiusti, curator of general ecology at London’s Serpentine Galleries. She’s the guest curator for E-Werk’s annual Power Night program, which will also include new commissions from artists Isabel Lewis, Himali Singh Soin, and Tabita Rezaire.
    “[Sun and Sea] will be essentially the same work as Venice, except for the qualities that the venue brings to the piece when experiencing it,” Pietroiusti told the Art Newspaper. “An empty swimming pool comes with a whole different kind of underlying catastrophe, at least for me.”
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    Martin Whatson “Free” Solo Exhibition @ Dubai’s RexRomae Gallery – December 3rd

    Rom Levy

    Rom Levy
    Rom is the founder & editor in chief of StreetArtNews. In 2009, he launched the ‘StreetArtNews’ website to promote underground art, which widened his scope to work with a larger roster of street artists on events and exhibitions. He is noted as one of the latest figures to help popularize street art and as an authority on the latest trends in urban contemporary art. More

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    All of Your Favorite Memes Are About to Be Recognized as the Works of Art They Truly Are in the First-Ever Memennial

    Add another exhibition to your ever-expanding list of biennials and triennials to see in 2021.
    Now you can tack onto your itinerary Memennial 2020: a Biennial 4 Memes, which will debut in three cities worldwide in December and pay tribute to the phenomenon that has given us doge, ceiling cat, and overly attached girlfriend.
    But the show isn’t just about LOL memes, per the press release’s ambitious opening lines: “Memes move elections / Memes move revolutions / Memes move consciousness / Memes move laughter out of our dark cavernous guts.” And not only that. According to the release, memes “create society.”
    Mirroring their near-instantaneous global spread, the show will take place simultaneously in Seattle, Dallas, and Sydney in the form of meme screenings-cum-dance parties paired with shows of physical artworks, as well as, of course, online exhibits.
    The show was conceived by Dallas artist Anam Bahlam and will be curated by Soomi Han, who earned a BFA at Dallas’s Southern Methodist University this year. Bahlam invited Han to participate after seeing her “Me² Meme Art Exhibition” at SMU.
    “A meme makes you laugh and gives you breath and gives you life,” Bahlam told Artnet News by phone. “Memes are free and authorless and make me think about society a little differently. So I wanted to honor these aesthetic creators.”
    Confirmed artist participants so far include Sylv Martinez, Hannah Epstein, Rowen Foster, and Culture Hole TV. Some of the memesters include Joelle Bouchard (aka, Jónó Mí ló, and Sad African Queen.
    What’s more, through November 22, you can submit your own memes to the show. And, if you’re an analyst of the phenomenon, you can also submit your insightful commentary.
    For those not up on these things, English evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins coined the term meme in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene to introduce evolutionary principles to the analysis of the dissemination of cultural phenomena.
    The term is a shortened version of the ancient Greek “mimeme,” or imitated thing, and rhymes with cream. (It is not pronounced may-may or any other way.) It has become widely used to refer to catchy, ironic text-and-image combinations that spread virally online (to Dawkins’s dismay).
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    Two Landmark US Museum Shows Will Spotlight the Long Overlooked History of Modern and Avant-Garde Korean Art

    The story of 20th-century Korean art is woefully underrepresented to many students of Western art history. But in the coming years, a pair of shows at institutions on either side of the US will aim to correct that. 
    Coming to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2022 is an ambitious survey of modern Korean painting, photography, and sculpture from 1897 to 1965. 
    The show, organized by LACMA’s associate curator of Korean art, Virginia Moon, spans two eras of Korean history—the last gasp of the Joseon dynasty, which lasted over 500 years, until the birth of the independent Korean nation in 1910; and the contemporary era, which includes the period in which Korea split into two sovereign states. 
    “This ‘space between’ the traditional and contemporary is one of the most revealing time periods in Korean history given the historic events… as the country ‘reluctantly’ modernized during this time,” Moon tells Artnet News. 
    Some 140 works of art are expected to be in the show, a selection that includes examples of early 20th-century sculpture and photography that have rarely been shown outside of the country. 
    “It was important to show how the two periods—modern and contemporary—connected, how these different media first appeared in Korea, and how, over time, the modern led to the now,” Moon adds. “The modern art period in Korea, unknown in the US until now, is evidence that contemporary art in Korea did not suddenly appear out of a void.”
    Installation view of “Lee Seung-taek,” 2017, at the Palazzo Caboto in Venice, Italy. Courtesy of Lévy Gorvy.

    The exhibition is the second of three shows planned in conjunction with a 10-year-long partnership with Hyundai. (Through the program—the largest corporate partnership in the museum’s history—the South Korean automobile company has committed to fund both the exhibition efforts and a series of acquisitions and publications in the field of Korean art.) The first of the bunch, a historical presentation of Korean writing and calligraphy practices, took place at the museum last year.
    The third exhibition will take place in 2022. 
    Meanwhile, in the spring of 2022, the Guggenheim in New York will present “The Avant-Garde: Experimental Art in South Korea, in 1960s-1970s.” The museum calls it the first exhibition in North America to explore the wave of experimentalist artists that rose to prominence in the decades following the Korean War of the early 1950s, such as Lee Kang-so, Lee Kun-yong, and Lee Seung-taek.
    “Spanning the 1960s and the 1970s, this upcoming presentation examines a group of loosely affiliated artists whose artistic production reflected and responded to the rapidly changing and globalizing socio-political and material conditions that shaped South Korea,” a representative from the museum says of the show. “It reveals the innovative approach to art-making by a remarkable generation of Korean artists and features seminal works in painting, sculpture, installation, performance, photography, and film.” 
    The exhibition was co-organized by Kyung An, an assistant curator of Asian Art at the Guggenheim, and Soojung Kang, a senior curator at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea. It will be presented in tandem at both institutions.
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    Here Are the 28 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Artists Participating in a Citywide Show in Chicago Celebrating the Grant’s 40th Anniversary

    Twenty-eight artists who have MacArthur “Genius” grants will come together for a single exhibition, spread across nearly 20 venues in Chicago.
    Opening in summer 2021, “Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change, and the MacArthur Fellows Program at 40” will include grantees such as Nicole Eisenman, LaToya Ruby Frazier, David Hammons, and Kerry James Marshall.
    Organized by the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, the exhibition will take place across multiple venues, including the DuSable Museum of African American History, the National Museum of Mexican Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as community organizations such as BBF Family Services and municipal organizations including the Chicago Housing Authority.
    “Particularly these days and in these troubled times, it is an absolute privilege to work with these artists,” the exhibition’s curator, Abigail Winograd, said in a phone interview. “It keeps one from falling into despair when I can spend so much, at least, virtual time with people who remind me every day that things can get better, since they have track records of being able to use their work to make the world better. It’s a dream to be in this position.”
    Rick Lowe, Black Wall Street Journey (2020). Photo illustration. Courtesy of the artist.

    The show revolves around the concept of “the commons,” defined by MacArthur-winning author Lewis Hyde as “a social regime for managing a common resource.” Common resources like air, water, and art and culture, Winograd says, are not equally available, and access to them has, if anything, been increasingly curtailed.
    The exhibition will include community-based projects, some of which are already underway, as well as solo and group shows at the various venues.
    A piece by Mel Chin, installed at the Sweet Water Foundation, brings to Chicago a community artwork he did in New Orleans related to lead remediation. Meanwhile, pieces by the Nigerian artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby will be installed in buildings run by the Chicago Housing Authority, and photographer Wendy Ewald will collaborate with teenagers through Centro Romero, which supports immigrants, on a photographic project.
    “We started three years ago out of a sense of social urgency, which has grown more and more pressing,” Winograd said. “We were talking about a set of issues that remain relevant and in some ways have become even more painfully relevant.”
    See a full list of the participating artists below.
    Njideka Akunyili CrosbyIda ApplebroogDawoud BeyMark BradfordMel ChinNicole EisenmanWendy EwaldLaToya Ruby FrazierJeffrey GibsonGuillermo Gómez-PeñaGary HillDavid HammonsAlfredo JaarToba KhedooriAn-My LêWhitfield LovellRick LoweIñigo Manglano-OvalleKerry James MarshallJulie MehretuAmalia Mesa-BainsTrevor PaglenFazal SheikhShahzia SikandeKara WalkerCarrie Mae WeemsFred WilsonXu Bing
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