Where form meets function

Continuing our analysis of the contemporary art world, we take a look at 5 U.S. art exhibitions worth visiting during April.

The month of April hosts a few noteworthy exhibitions in Europe, including the previously covered exhibitions of Ai Weiwei’s “Evidence” at Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin and Wes Lang’s “The Studio” at the Aros Museum in Denmark. It goes without saying though, that there are dozens of great exhibitions worth visiting around the world at any given time.

Should you find yourself in the following U.S. cities during the month of April, we’ve handpicked five exhibitions worth both your time and money. Ranging from gallery shows to comprehensive retrospectives, our picks run the gamut and reflect recent developments and ongoing trends in the contemporary art world. Multiple disciplines are represented as well, including painting, sculpture and photography, while some museums even have multiple exhibitions worth visiting. So without further ado, check out our five picks below, but be quick as some close before the end of the month!

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art Miami
What: Wangechi Mutu “A Fantastic Journey,” Virginia Overton “Flat Rock”
On View: Both exhibitions run from April 18 to July 6

In April, MOCA Miami will be hosting both Wangechi Mutu’s “A Fantastic Journey” and Virginia Overton’s “Flat Rock” exhibitions. MOCA Miami, a museum dedicated to identifying new directions in contemporary art by presenting a major institutional platform to emerging artists, offers both artists their first U.S. museum survey.

Mutu, a Kenyan-born artist based in Brooklyn, offers us a view into fantastical worlds that explore ideas of race, religion, identity, gender and power. Sourcing images from diverse material such as fashion and pornographic magazines, medical journals and traditional African imagery, Mutu examines the female form through the lens of both contemporary and traditional stereotypes. The comprehensive survey is organized by Trevor Schoonman, Curator at the Nasher Museum at Duke University, and includes Mutu’s film collaboration The End of Eating Everything, 2013, with Santigold.

Overton, a Tennessee native, will present her characteristic site-responsive installations using materials sourced from MOCA’s building and surrounding areas. These installations critically investigate ideas of gravity, space and atmosphere and consequently force the viewer to reconsider the role of the museum environment. MOCA Miami Interim Director and Chief Curator Alex Gartenfeld has curated the exhibition.

The burgeoning reputation of both artists combined with MOCA Miami’s focus on the development of emerging artists, means this show may very well prove to be a pivotal moment in both artists’ institutional careers.

Where: Lehmann Maupin New York
What: Erwin Wurm “Synthesa”
On View: February 28 to April 19

April sees the closing of Erwin Wurm’s show “Synthesa” at Lehmann Maupin New York. The exhibition brings together three new bodies of sculptural work by Wurm. Through the distortion and abstraction of the classical figure, these sculptures investigate the manifestation of psychological conditions in the human form.

Wurm, a multidisciplinary artist, is most well known for his performance works titled, One Minute Sculptures. This body of work, best described as actions performed by the public for a short duration, saw Wurm gain mainstream notoriety after these works featured in the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ music video “Can’t Stop.” Alongside the sculptures, the exhibition sees the artist revisiting these performances, manifesting them into physical objects. Having received a favorable review from Wallpaper magazine, and considering the reputation Wurm has for bewilderment; this show is worthy of your time.

Where: The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
What: Mike Kelley Retrospective
On View: March 31 to July 28

The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art presents a retrospective of the late Mike Kelley. Widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of his generation, the show brings together over 250 works from Kelley, spanning 38 years from ’74 right up to 2012. Kelley, a multidisciplinary artist. developed a reputation for his work’s critical self and social reflections. Through his interest in repurposing materials and examining popular American culture, Kelley addresses themes of sexuality, American class relations, repressed memories, transcendence and post-punk politics. Considering the stunning array of work on display and Kelley’s importance to both American and global contemporary art, this is an exhibition you need to visit.

The retrospective is organized by LA MOCA Curator Bennett Simpson.

Where: Gagosian Gallery New York
What: Rudolf Stingel
On View: March 4 to April 19

Following up from his jaw-dropping exhibition for the Whitney Biennale, Rudolf Stingel returns to New York to present five large, highly theatrical paintings of the Tyrolean Alps. The paintings, measuring 15-feet wide, recreate black-and-white photographs of snow-covered mountain tops in Stingel’s hometown of Merano, Italy. The paintings possess a striking ambiguity, representing both the mountains and the nostalgic photographs. The Gagosian show marks the first U.S. survey highlighting Stingel’s approach to depicting landscapes.

Where: The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago
What: Christina Mackie “Colour drop”
On View: April 27 to June 29

In April, The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago will present the first U.S. museum exhibition of Canadian artist Christina Mackie. Mackie, whose practice is heavily reliant on personal experience, will present an exhibition driven by the production/assumption of color and its relationship to action. Empirically influenced, she is a multidisciplinary artist operating in a vast array of mediums, from video to sculpture and drawing to installation.

Although not yet as well known as Stingel, Mackie already won the Beck’s Futures Art Prize back in 2005 and with this exhibition – her first institutional presentation – she finds herself in a similar position to Overton and Mutu at MOCA Miami. If you interested in being a part of a milestone moment in an artist’s career, stop by and check it out.


Houghton Kinsman for

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