«Desert Transcendentalist» is the first solo exhibition devoted to Agnes Pelton (1881–1961), a pioneer of American abstraction, in twenty-five years. This is a rare opportunity to experience Pelton’s profoundly spiritual body of work and to confirm her place in art history. Pelton received little critical encouragement for her abstract paintings during her lifetime as a result of living away from the mainstream art world for most of her career.
Alia Farid’s work explores contemporary urban life against the backdrop of colonial histories in Kuwait and Puerto Rico, where the artist lives and works. Her exhibition at Witte de With presents a newly commissioned film installation, along with her earlier film At the Time of the Ebb (2019). In both films, Farid delves into how group rituals, social ruptures, and individual acts of resistance may admit, escape, alter or reject definition.
Ensayos is a collective research practice enacted by artists, scientists, activists, policymakers, and local community members. Sustaining their focus on the ecopolitics of archipelagos for the past decade, they have developed distinct inquiries into extinction, human geography, and coastal health. Their New Museum residency will be multifaceted, including a web series, podcasts, public programs, and an experimental performance. Initiated in Tierra del Fuego, Chile, an archipelago known for its remoteness, biodiversity, and extreme conditions, Ensayos first focused on past and present issues impacting the region at the southern tip of Patagonia.
For the Bienal, Lawson was invited to add another city to the already long list of places she has visited and photographed: Salvador, Bahia, one of the regions in Brazil where the presence of African rites, culture and music is more present. In a strongly authorial way, Lawson’s photographs, which frequently expand toward the theatrical and feature ritualistic objects or props, synthetize a historical, tragic but also fertilizing process of displacements and creolization, which in the context of the 34th Bienal is particularly significant.
Combining abstraction and representation with mystical effect, the compositions incorporate sweeping lines and curves, seemingly depicting the interaction of bodies and muscular forms. These totemic figures coupled with the pinks, blues, and greens that draw inspiration from the landscapes and tropical flora of Mexico and her native Venezuela, demonstrate Hurtado’s deeply rooted belief in the mutuality of all living organisms.
“Rumor is the 11th Berlin Biennale has already begun” is the slogan stated on this Biennale website, which has been exploring spaces and places of the fragmented German capital since 1998, addressing critical issues of the current state of art. Biennials are processes. By means of them, relationships are established, sometimes sustainable, we are told on this occasion. The curatorial team consisting of Lisette Lagnado, Renata Cervetto, María Berríos, and Agustín Pérez Rubio, who define themselves as “South American curators” and multigenerational, is inspired by a common idea: collaboration through which each individual voice can be expressed.
Times Square Arts, For Freedoms and Poster House just launched a multi-city campaign, which is on view on digital displays throughout all five boroughs of New York City and on JCDecaux screens in New York, Boston and Chicago. Artworks by major contemporary artists Alixa Garcia, Carrie Mae Weems, Christine Sun Kim, Christine Wong Yap, Duke Riley, Jenny Holzer, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, G.O.N.G. with Mel Chin, Nekisha Durrett, Paula Crown, Pedro Reyes, and Xaviera Simmons acknowledge the continued service of essential workers during the pandemic.
A visual dialog between two remarkably talented young photographers, Lange’s photographs of Woodman are both a celebration of youthful creativity and a premonition of the importance Woodman’s pictures would have in their exploration of self-portraiture, female subjectivity, and the expressive power of photography.
Activist, critic and art historian Élisabeth Lebovici’s plume transits the sinuosity of a paradox without contradiction. Silence and voice, life and death, ethics and aesthetics. Throughout her career, the fight against HIV/AIDS and other causes fought by the LGTBQIA+ community imbue a dense corporeality into her particular way of theory making. At a time of new uncertainty and viral panic, looking back at the AIDS epidemic is a sallow reminder of the indifference that medical and political powers can have for the rights of sexual minorities, but also an invitation to live once more the stridency with which artists and activists fought in order to make their voices heard.
It would be a loss if the current amount of temporary shows would be cut in order to make room for permanent exhibitions. There need to be more spaces to accommodate the rich artistic production. Given the low value the Chilean government attributes to culture, this option is probably not feasible in the near future. Private entities could jump in, with their own projects. However, even more important than practicalities is a general sense of appreciation of art from here.