Summer Guide: Art


James Turrell

June 21–September 25, 2013

From the Museum of the Hard to Believe: Light and earth art pioneer James Turrell has not had an important survey exhibition in the U.S. since 1984. That glaring omission will be remedied this summer when three of the country’s biggest institutions—the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and New York’s Guggenheim Museum—join forces to give Turrell a one-of-a-kind cross-country retrospective. In presenting an artist whose best-known work is a 3-mile-wide Arizona crater carved using heavy machinery, wise museum heads thought it best to forgo a traveling show. While not the most comprehensive of the three exhibitions, the Guggenheim’s will still be amazing: The plan is to transform the Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda into an experience of shifting air, space, and artificial and natural light. The soaring elevations and familiar contours of the museum’s central void will take on the characteristics of one of Turrell’s signature Skyspaces. An architectural installation designed to heighten the viewer’s awareness of perception itself, the museum will essentially become its own artwork—a humongous chamber made, in Turrell’s own words, for “seeing yourself seeing.” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue,

Llyn Foulkes

June 12–September 1

Some artists’ careers go from emerging to submerging in a flash. That’s what happened to Llyn Foulkes, an influential and under-known ’60s-era painter who is finally getting a well-deserved career retrospective at the New Museum. Featuring nearly 100 objects from 50 years of work, this collection of Foulkes’s raw, immediate, and visceral paintings and assemblages bears witness to a constancy of vision and plain cussedness—perhaps the best traits an artist can have. Who says there are no second acts in American lives? The New Museum, 235 Bowery,

El Museo’s Bienal 2013: ‘Here Is Where We Jump’

June 12–January 4, 2014

The seventh edition of El Museo’s biennial, this one comes at a time of roiling strife at the uptown institution, with directors and curators playing musical chairs. As on previous outings, la Bienal features work by Latin American and Latino artists from in and around New York City. Featuring both newly minted and mid-career artists of every persuasion, this year’s exhibition includes a first: Brazil will be the special guest country. Come to see talents old and new, among them Matias Cuevas, Ernesto Burgos, Pablo Jansana, Renata Lucas, and Kenny Rivero. El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue,

Ellen Gallagher: ‘Don’t Axe Me’

June 19–September 15

“Don’t Axe Me” is a rare opportunity to evaluate the career of Ellen Gallagher, one of the most compelling and frustrating artists of the late 1990s. Sheltered under Gagosian’s platinum wing since 1998, Gallagher’s artistic development at times appears to have inched rather than leapt forward. The New Museum’s comprehensive survey will present paintings, drawings, prints, film installations, and what the institution calls an “immersive environment” by this gifted African-American artist. The New Museum, 235 Bowery,

Paul McCarthy and Damon McCarthy: ‘Rebel Dabble Babble’

June 20–July 26

The last of four recent exhibitions-as-outbursts by L.A. artist Paul McCarthy designed to get New York’s attention, this show promises to outdo even his defecating, fornicating dolls at the uptown Armory (opening June 19). A hardcore retelling of Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause set inside a fake Chateau Marmont bungalow, McCarthy’s film stars (predictably) James Franco, a McCarthy double, porn star James Deen and actress Elyse Poppers. The effect—as with most adult tantrums—is likely to be both infantile and sexless. Someone please give this 68-year-old a hug. Hauser & Wirth, 511 West 18th Street,

‘The Bruce High Quality Foundation: Ode to Joy, 2001–2013’

June 28–September 22

A first solo museum exhibition for The Bruce High Quality Foundation, the anonymous artist collective created in 2004 “to foster an alternative to everything.” Billed as a retrospective of “less than 17,000 works,” the show consists largely of scale pieces fashioned to mimic all the objects inside the Metropolitan Museum. Did we mention the replica African masks, Greek kouroi, and 18th-century landscapes are made of Play-Doh? Puckish yet serious, the Bruces poke fun but always toward eye-opening, subversive ends. Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn,

‘American Modern: Hopper to O’Keeffe’

August 17–January 26, 2014

Every re-hanging of MOMA’s collection is noteworthy, and this time is no different. A fresh look at the museum’s American holdings made between 1915 and 1950, “American Modern” reconsiders Yankee culture as it took visual form throughout the first half of the 20th century. Including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, and sculptures by artists like George Bellows, Stuart Davis, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Alfred Stieglitz, the show combines masterpieces with lesser-known objects for a display that promises significant surprises. Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street,