I’m not alone being a germaphobe anymore, and I’m sure I’m not alone in not having been inside a museum or gallery since leaving New York City in March 2020. So I’m hungrier than ever to see what’s coming up this fall, and I’m especially eager to see the fifth edition of MoMA PS1’s “Greater New York” survey of New York artists (47 of them this time, plus collectives; October 7–April 18, 2022). It’s a fine way to take the temperature of what’s going on right now. I’m also excited about Independent (September 9–12 at Cipriani South Street), the scrappy, free-spirited art fair that tears down walls between blue-chip and emerging galleries, and, as the New York Times’s Roberta Smith called it, “the one where you stand to learn the most about promising new art.” I’ll keep my eye on Spring Break (this year themed “Hearsay:Heresy,” September 10–13 at 625 Madison Avenue), a newer and even more atypical challenger to the art fair model, offering free space to independent curators to give emerging and midcareer artists (more than 100 of them) shows in unoccupied New York City landmark buildings. The Armory Show is back at the Javits Center (September 9–12), and in mid-October there’s Frieze London, Frieze Masters, and even Frieze Sculpture (at Regent’s Park)—and then there’s TEFAF, which has decided to stay online this season. And for something entirely new, there’s Art House, a kind of new wave community, born out of the pandemic, to help galleries recover. It’s in the old Barneys New York department store building, opening on November 4. I can’t wait to see how artists activate all those big, street-level windows on Madison Avenue.
More than ever, I understand the desire of legendary curator and artist guru Walter Hopps, who told me 30 years ago that his taste in art was catholic—at any given moment there were more than 200 artists whose work interested him deeply.
My roundup this fall is definitely catholic, brimming with shows I must see, hope to see, or wish I could see. Without wasting any time, let’s go straight to Paris, where Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (September 18–October 3) is just what its name says. The famous monument will be swathed in 25,000 square meters of recyclable silvery blue polypropylene fabric and 3,000 meters of also-recyclable red rope. It’s the project Christo was working on when he died in May 2020—he had drawn every artistic detail and wanted the project to be realized posthumously—and one of the first that he and his French wife, Jeanne-Claude (who died in 2009), dreamed up almost 60 years ago, in 1962, when they lived in a small room near the Paris landmark.
And don’t leave Paris without seeing “The Morozov Collection: Icons of Modern Art” at Fondation Louis Vuitton (September 22–February 22, 2022). These masterpieces of French and Russian modern art from the collection of the brothers Mikhail and Ivan Abramovitch Morozov echo the unforgettable 2016–17 show at the foundation of their friend and rival Sergei Shchukin’s collection.
Before crossing the Atlantic, you should also catch Kara Walker’s “A Black Hole Is Everything a Star Longs to Be” at the Kunstmuseum Basel (through September 26). More than 600 drawings that she has made over the past 28 years and kept for herself in a personal archive are on view, along with new works. Then it’s just a hop, skip, and jump to the Hall Foundation’s Schloss Derneburg in Holle, Germany, where you can see 20-plus paintings by one of my all-time favorite artists, the late Susan Rothenberg, who died in 2020. Her highly charged, brushy, and expressive style is on full display (September 17–August 21, 2022), from the horse paintings that put her on the global art map in the mid-1970s right up to the most recent paintings she made in the last years of her life. It’s a special treat to see Algarve, one of the three monumental horse paintings (just shy of 10 feet tall and almost as wide) that she showed in 1975, her first solo appearance in New York City. It was also included in the famous 1982 “Zeitgeist” exhibition in Berlin. You can see even more Rothenbergs—prime examples of the horse paintings—at Gray Chicago, September 10–October 9. This is a celebratory exhibition of Rothenberg’s life and work. From Chicago, it travels to Gray New York, running October 29–December 10.
I can’t think of any artist except Jasper Johns whose retrospective could appear simultaneously in two museums, in two separate towns. Johns, 91, has been making mysterious and challenging work for nearly 70 years, and what’s truly amazing is that he’s still doing it. “Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror,” the 30,000-square-foot doubleheader, premieres at the Whitney Museum of American Art (curated by Scott Rothkopf) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (curated by Carlos Basualdo) on September 29, and you can be sure that le tout art world will be to-ing and fro-ing between Philadelphia and New York until it closes on February 13, 2022.
A fascinating show called “Richard Benson: The World Is Smarter Than You Are” will be on view concurrently with the Johns retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum. A master printer, Benson (1943–2017) produced many of the greatest photography books of our time. He was also a polymath and a MacArthur fellow who became dean of Yale’s storied School of Art after teaching there for almost 20 years. This first in-depth survey of his own photographs does away with his stubbornly modest insistence that he was not an artist. His quest to understand how the world worked—how things were made—was fired by his lifelong experimental curiosity.
Another indefatigable experimenter, Jacqueline Humphries, adds sparkle and surprise to the ever-evolving conversation about abstract painting in a survey of her work over the past seven years, at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio (September 18–January 2, 2022). Her highly imaginative paintings plug right into the way the young’uns communicate electronically these days, incorporating emoji, CAPTCHA, emoticons, and ASCII codes. The show also features her recent work with corporate logos and her spooky black-light paintings. Humphries pioneers a brave new world in abstraction.
Ian Cheng brings artificial intelligence to the Shed (Manhattan’s new culture hub in Hudson Yards) with his Life After BOB, an episodic series of narrative animations that constantly reinvent themselves. In the first episode, “The Chalice Study,” a father endows his daughter with an AI presence named BOB (“Bag of Beliefs”), which threatens to lead her life for her. Viewers can participate in this struggle and effect the outcome(s).
The Museum of Modern Art’s problematic atrium space, five stories high, will get the Gesamtkunstwerk treatment with Adam Pendleton’s “Who Is Queen?” The monumental installation mixes text, image, and sound to plunge the viewer into a vortex of abstraction, Blackness, politics, recent history, and future enigma. (September 18–January 30, 2022)
Also of interest:
“Pipiplotti Rist: Big Heartedeness, Be My Neighbor,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, is the first West Coast survey of Rist’s immersive installations and wildly colorful and exuberant videos. (Through June 6)
JOHN CURRIN’s new painting show, “Memorial,” at Gagosian on 24th Street in Manhattan, is his first solo exhibition at the gallery in 11 years. Surprise: His artist wife, RACHEL FEINSTEIN, makes a comeback as his muse.
(September 14–October 30)
LISA YUSKAVAGE’s bravura works are five blocks south at David Zwirner. Currin’s Yale classmate and sparring partner in figurative painting, Yuskavage continues her exploration of what constitutes a model. (September 9–October 23)
GEORGE CONDO goes to China. “The Picture Gallery,” curated by Massimiliano Gioni, occupies Shanghai’s mega Long Museum (September 25–November 28). More than 150 works, it’s a gallery of imaginary portraits—fictional ancestors and fallen members of made-up aristocracies, plus a new series of large paintings made for this occasion. And in London, he opens his first show at Hauser & Wirth with “Ideals of the Unfound Truth.” (October 14–December 23)
NATHALIE DJURBERG and HANS BERG’s “The Soft Spot” at Gió Marconi in Milan. (September 15–December 18)
BARBARA KRUGER’s “anti-retrospective,” as she calls it, You.MeYou.MeYou.MeYou.MeYou.MeThinking of
You. I Mean Me. I Mean You,” at the Art Institute of Chicago, through January 24. It comes to MoMA in July 2022.
RYAN JOHNSON’s first bronze sculpture, Dog Chasing His Tail, from Marinaro Gallery in the Armory Show. (September 9–12)
MICHAEL WILLIAMS’s “Make Plans God Applauds,” six large new paintings, at Kunstmuseum St. Gallen. (Through November 7)
“My Name Is Maryan” at MoCA in North Miami, curated by Alison Gingeras, shows the fascinating and previously unknown works by Maryan, a Polish artist who survived Auschwitz and Birkenau as a child. A tribute to perseverance and the power of art. (November 17–March 28)
GIO SWABY, the young Bahamian artist, in “Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories” at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. (October 10–January 17)
ALVARO BARRINGTON’s “Garvey 1: Birth-The Quiet Storm,” a four-part ode to Marcus Garvey, at Nicola Vassell Gallery. (Through October 23)
MARTINE GUTIERREZ’s 10 photographic self-portraits as legendary historical figures (think Cleopatra, Lady Godiva, Helen of Troy) in citywide bus shelters across New York City, Chicago, and Boston, organized by the Public Art Fund. (Through November 21)
In collaboration with High Line Art, the Whitney will also debut Gutierrez’s Supremacy (2021) as a billboard on the facade of 95 Horatio Street. (September 20–March 2022)
“Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art” at Albright Knox. Seventeen artists and collectives reimagine the digital tools that form our lives, transforming the museum into a lab for reflecting and experimenting, aiming for a more equitable future. (October 16–January 16, 2022)
FLORIAN KREWER’s collection of new paintings, “Ride or Fly,” at Michael Werner Gallery, London. His urban fantasies strip away all details, revealing the tension and vulnerability of city life. (September 10–November 13)
SARAH CAIN’s first solo show at Broadway, 373 Broadway. (September 10– October 16)
RASHID JOHNSON’s “Black and Blue” at David Kordansky Gallery in L.A. All new work, it includes what he calls “bruise paintings” as well as totemic bronze sculptures and a 35mm film starring himself. (September 18–October 30)
ZANELE MUHOLI’s “Awe Maaah!” at Yancy Richardson . Along with new photographic self-portraits, as powerful and disturbing as ever, you can see her seven new large-scale works in acrylic (also self-portraits, and the first big presentation of her paintings). (September 10–October 16)
KATJA SEIB in “Page (NYC),” a group show at Petzel’s Uptown Gallery, 35 East 67th Street. (September 8–October 30)
“Betty Blayton: In Search of Grace” at Mnuchin Gallery, the largest exhibition to date of Blayton’s work. (September 8–October 16)
ANTOINE WAGNER’s “Silva Improbabilis” (Latin for “impossible forest”), a monumental immersive triptych video and sound installation, premieres October 2 in the courtyard of the French National Archive in the Marais. Tree visuals from more than 50 countries are performers, with music by Jonathan Crayford and a performance directed and recorded by Wagner—part of Paris’s “Nuit Blanche,” art for all.
TACITA DEAN at Marian Goodman (New York), LORNA SIMPSON at Hauser & Wirth (Los Angeles), MARY REID KELLEY and PATRICK KELLEY at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston), ALMA THOMAS and DAVID DRISKELL, both at the Phillips Collection (Washington, D.C.), ANIKA YI at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.
Clay Pop, a ceramic extravaganza, at Jeffrey Deitch in New York City, curated by Alia Williams (September 10–October 30), and “The Emerald Tablet,” billed as “a solo exhibition and curated project by ARIANA PAPADEMETROPOULOS at Jeffrey Deitch in L.A. (September 4–October 23)
ARTHUR JAFA’s video akingdoncomethas at Glenstone, the splendid private museum of modern and contemporary art in Potomac, Maryland. It’s Jafa’s first solo exhibition in the Washington, D.C., area.
TYLER MITCHELL’s debut solo shows at Jack Shainman’s two Chelsea locations. (Through October 30)
JULIAN SCHNABEL’s “Self-Portraits of Others” (by Schnabel, of course) at the Brant Foundation. (Through end of 2021)
Originally Appeared on Vogue