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Guggenheim Museum to Stage Danh Vo Survey in 2018

Danh Vo, She was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene, 2009, mixed media.

JEAN-DANIEL PELLEN, PARIS/COLLECTION OF CHANTAL CROUSEL

This coming February, the Guggenheim Museum in New York will present a comprehensive survey of Danh Vo, the Vietnamese-born artist whose installations, photographs, sculptures, and actions have, over the past 15 years, focused on authorship and crisscrossing peoples and cultures. Katherine Brinson, the museum’s contemporary-art curator, is set to organize the show with Susan Thompson.

Among the 100-plus works on view will be documentation of Vo’s The Marriage Project (2003–05), in which the artist wedded and divorced people he knew and, in the process, added his surname to theirs. It’s a sly example of how Vo explores the forces that intervene when people of two different cultures meet.

Alongside that piece will be assemblages that feature objects Vo has collected over the years, which have featured everything from thank-you notes from Henry Kissinger to the nibs of pens U.S. presidents used to sign documents. The Guggenheim will also host a series of talks and newly commissioned performances in connection with the exhibition.

This is Vo’s second solo show at the Guggenheim in New York. The first show, in 2013, came about as a result of him winning the museum’s Hugo Boss Prize in 2012.

A tangentially related bonus: the New Museum’s beautiful catalogue for its Carol Rama exhibition includes a photo-essay by Vo featuring an inside look at the Italian artist’s studio. It features rare looks at the Botticelli reproductions and sculptures that Rama placed on her walls and in dark corners of her studio; none of the photographs by Vo have been published before, and they are a treat.

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