Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective
Through May 3
Curated by Michael Taylor
When he took his own life in 1948 at age forty-four, Arshile Gorky was not only in the prime of his career but also in a sweet spot in the history of American art. No less a deft draftsman than a dazzling colorist, the artist had addressed advanced painting’s imperative at the time head-on: to work through the legacies of Picasso and Surrealism and arrive at a personal, abstract vernacular. The results, as they say, are history. Gorky’s large canvases, which remain emblematic of the New York School, will join sculptures, drawings, and prints in this 180-work retrospective, introducing to a new generation a seminal figure for whom painting’s stakes were a matter of life and death.
“Van Doesburg and the International Avant-Garde”
Through May 16
Curated by Vicente Todolí, Gladys Fabre, and Doris Wintgens Hötte
A chief exponent of De Stijl, Theo van Doesburg was anything but doctrinaire. Like the elemental shapes that logically expanded from his canvases to the world itself, his activities reached out to involve such seemingly antithetical developments as the early Bauhaus and Dada. Organized in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden, the Netherlands (where the show is on view through January 3), this exhibition comprises more than three hundred pieces by van Doesburg and some eighty of the artists he affected, from Mondrian to Schwitters. The curators have gathered works of painting, sculpture, typography, poetry, music, film, furniture, interior design, and architecture—including model reconstructions of the collaboratively designed Café Aubette in Strasbourg, France—making visible the range of van Doesburg’s influential practice.
Through May 16
Curated by Judith Nesbitt
It takes guts to shed your clothes in public, but this, in effect, is what Chris Ofili has done in his paintings over the past five years. Layer by layer, he has peeled away the resin, glitter, and signature fecal excrescences that once made his canvases such dense and enthralling objects, laying bare the sinewy contours and flat fields of color that long served as hidden armatures. This shift makes all the more timely Ofili’s Tate retrospective of forty-five paintings (some never previously exhibited) and a selection of works on paper. Spanning from the mid-’90s until today, the show should illuminate the continuities and ruptures between Ofili’s recent and earlier output, as well as between media like drawing and painting, the former of which has gained new clarity and prominence in the latter’s domain.