The new season brings major shows for under-seen figures like Ree Morton, Siah Armajani, Rubem Valentim, and Ruth Asawa, as well as diverse, toothsome-sounding surveys like the Carnegie International and a show of contemporary Zimbabwean painting in Cape Town. The most intriguing show of the season? It seems like it will be hard to beat “The Moon: From Inner Worlds to Outer Space,” a survey of centuries of objects related to that celestial wonder organized by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, but that is just one of the ambitious affairs on deck. Below, a look at this season’s most promising shows.
Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis
September 7–December 30
At this survey, works from Biggers’s series “BAM” will be on display alongside several paintings of his paintings. To craft the “BAM” works, Biggers used his collection of wooden African sculptures, which he says possess a “talismanic power.” These figures were then dipped in wax before being shot at—sculpted, in a way—using firearms, a tactic the artist calls “ballistic” sculpting. The paintings likewise make use of found objects—antique quilts, in an allusion to the coded language of the Underground Railroad. —Annie Armstrong
“Siah Armajani: Follow This Line”
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
September 9–December 30
For far too long, Armajani’s sculptures, many of which resemble surreally fused midwestern bridges and buildings, have gone unsung by critics. But now, just as Armajani is about to turn 80, the Walker Art Center will rectify that. Set to travel to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Iranian-born artist’s first-ever U.S. retrospective will bring together more than 100 works, from early experiments with abstraction, made via dense clusters of calligraphic text, to more recent sculptural works that draw on the aesthetics of vernacular architecture in the Twin Cities (which Armajani has long called home) and modernist avant-gardes. —Alex Greenberger
“Ree Morton: The Plant That Heals May Also Poison”
Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia
September 14–Decmeber 23
One wonders what kind of art-historical status Morton would’ve occupied had she not died in a car accident at age 40, in 1977. Perhaps she would’ve been considered a feminist-art pioneer for her installations that combine sewn materials, in an attempt to raise what her male colleagues may have labeled “decorative” to the status of high art. Or maybe she would’ve been thought of as an important figure in the Post-Minimalist movement for the way she reinserted what often seemed to be a personal narrative into mass-produced her objects. With more than 40 works on view, this exhibition will stake a claim for Morton, who still remains an under-recognized figure in the United States. —A.G.
“Mickalene Thomas: I Can’t See You Without Me”
Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio
September 14–December 30
This exhibition surveys Thomas’s output, with over 50 works—spanning painting, collage, sculpture, and installations—attesting to the artist’s interest in what constitutes the black femme experience. Alongside some of her more famous pieces, photographs that typically take the form of collaged-looking portraits, will be a new work: a multi-channel video piece titled Je t’aime trois, which was funded through the Wexner Center Artist Residency Award. The video piece is scored by composer Terry Lyne Carrington; on October 4, the collaborators will come to the museum to perform entrepe, a live piece inspired by their project. —A.A.
“Ruth Asawa: Life’s Work”
Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis
September 14, 2018–February 16, 2019
Here’s another it’s-about-time exhibition. Recently reappraised as a pioneer in her field, Asawa will finally get a major museum show beyond the West Coast with this survey, which brings together 80 artworks, including nearly 60 of her abstract sculptures, many of them resembling pulsating organic forms. Also featured will be drawings from her days as a student of Josef Albers at Black Mountain College. Tracing the late artist’s practice over the course of her life, this exhibition spotlights Asawa’s influence on modern and contemporary sculpture. —Claire Selvin
In 1963 Jill Johnston wrote in the Village Voice that the Judson Dance Theater—a New York–based crew of artists, choreographers, and musicians who worked together between 1962 and 1964—made “the present of modern dance more exciting than it’s been for twenty years.” Johnston’s sentiment was shared among her colleagues—Allan Kaprow, George Brecht, and Claes Oldenburg among them—who realized, almost immediately, that the Judson Dance Theater’s experiments with movement defined by chance were truly something new. To show just how influential the collective has been in the intervening years, this 300-object exhibition will bring together documentation and ephemera related to the group’s performances, which featured such artists as Trisha Brown, Anna Halprin, Yvonne Rainer, and Meredith Monk, and place those pieces alongside performances by contemporary artists. —A.G.
“Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy”
Met Breuer, New York
September 18, 2018–January 6, 2019
We’re in an era of fake news and alternative facts, and this season, the Met Breuer is appropriately taking on the perennial topic of distrust between a government and its people, and how that tension surfaces in art. The exhibition proposes that there are two forms of art that emerge through conspiracy: the kind that relays hard information from public record, uncovering deceit that’s right underneath our noses, and then the kind that looks into the effects of living in a state of constant suspicion. About 70 works by 30 artists will be displayed. —A.A.
“Being Here With You/Estando Aquí Contigo: 42 Artists from San Diego and Tijuana”
Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
September 20, 2018–February 3, 2019
The artistic communities of these border towns have distinct identities, though the artists working there in recent decades have shown some overlapping thematic concerns, like fantasies and realities surrounding the border, colonialism, the body, public space, and the nature of memory. This exhibition will chart artistic exchanges along the U.S.-Mexico border by presenting work of 42 artists and collectives based in the San Diego and Tijuana region, among them Chantal Peñalosa, Cog•nate Collective, and the late James Luna. —Maximilíano Durón
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
September 22, 2018–January 13, 2019
Delving into more than 14 centuries worth of Armenian artistic and cultural production, this exhibition has remarkable breadth, which may explain the unusual punctuation of its title. “Armenia!” brings together 148 objects—gilded reliquaries, illuminated manuscripts, textiles, church models, and more—and traces the development of Armenian Christian identity. Pulled from prominent collections like the National History Museum in the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian Museum of America in Boston, nearly all of these works are coming to the United States for the first time. —C.S.
“Hairy Who? 1966–1969”
Art Institute of Chicago
September 26, 2018–January 6, 2019
In the mid-1960s, a group of alumni of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago—Jim Falconer, Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Suellen Rocca, and Karl Wirsum—began staging vibrant exhibitions under the name Hairy Who at the Hyde Park Art Center in the city’s South Side neighborhood. The Hairy Who’s work, which is imbued with humor and radical political and social messages, often incorporated unorthodox, everyday materials, like advertisements, catalogues, posters, and comics. Opening on the 50th anniversary of the group’s final show in the Windy City, “Hairy Who? 1966–1969” is the first major survey of their work. Among the roughly 225 works on view, drawn from the collection of the Art Institute as well as those of public and private collections, are large-scale paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and historical ephemera. —C.S.
Lucas is well-known for her plaster-cast sculptures of various body parts, in particular those below the belt, which she’s been making since her rise to fame as a member of the Young British Artists movement in the 1990s. This show will be her largest survey to date on American turf, and it will include more than just her sculptures—it will also feature her photography and installations. Expect flagrant disregard for the male gaze—and enough repurposed pantyhose to fill an outlet store. —A.A.
Organized by Leslie Umberger, this 155-work show is the first retrospective of Traylor, the indefatigably inventive artist, who was born into slavery in Alabama and lived until 1949. Working mostly with pencil and watercolor, his spare yet powerful drawings, which are often loaded with madcap humor, are key documents of life in the Jim Crow South. —A.A.
“Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now”
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas
October 6, 2018–January 7, 2019
“There is no one way to be a Native artist,” remarked Kathleen Ash-Milby, an associate curator at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York, last year in Art in America. This deliberately broad exhibition, which is being billed as the first major survey of contemporary Native art, operates with the same guiding philosophy. Bringing together work by 80 artists, among them Kay WalkingStick, Athena LaTocha, and Shan Goshorn, and encompassing a vast array of mediums and approaches, the show aims to turn the spotlight on a slice of recent art history—a distinctly Indigenous perspective—that’s too long been omitted by museums. —A.G.
“John Waters: Indecent Exposure”
Baltimore Museum of Art
October 7, 2018–January 6, 2019
Perhaps most famous for his transgressive films of the 1970s starring the iconic drag queen Divine, Waters has more recently become a fixture in the contemporary-art world. This retrospective will be Waters’s first, and it’s a homecoming of sorts, as the filmmaker and artist was born and raised in Baltimore, and created a love letter to the city with his 1988 cult film Hairspray. The exhibition will track his artistic output from 1992 until today, and it will include 160 objects, all of them touching on his recurrent themes of using humor to explore, subvert, and mock mainstream culture while also uplifting that which is outside of it. —M.D.
In 1906 af Klint began making her first major body of work, “The Paintings for the Temple,” abstract compositions featuring corkscrewing abstract forms. She intended these works to be housed in a spiral-shaped temple that never came to be, but they will be shown in a different, grander spiraling building this season—the Guggenheim Museum, which will give the occult-loving Swedish modernist her first major American museum show. Her abstractions have haunted a crop of young artists similarly fascinated by the supernatural, and you can be sure that this hotly anticipated retrospective will be by turns spooky, perplexing, and alluring. —A.G.
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
October 13, 2018–March 25, 2019
The longest-running biennial-style show in North America often tends toward artists based in the United States. The 57th edition, under the direction of Ingrid Schaffner, aims to live up to its name and include talent from around the world: Kenyan photographer Mimi Cherono Ng’ok and the Vietnam-based collective Art Labor, to name just two examples. The subject is the concept of the “international” itself, Schaffner has said, but don’t worry, there will also be pioneering American artists, too, like Mel Bochner, Zoe Leonard, and Carnegie International veteran Kerry James Marshall. —A.G.
“Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera”
Modern Art Museum Fort Worth, Texas
October 14, 2018–January 27, 2019
Simmons’s pictures consider how what’s fake can come to seem real through photography, and how women get treated like objects in mass media. Her influence is so great, a major show such as this one is needed in order to take stock of her work. Titled “Big Camera/Little Camera,” in reference to both a 1975 work of hers and perhaps also to Simmons’s large-looming influence, this survey will bring together photographs, sculptures, and videos from the past four decades, from early experiments to works from her 2015 series “How We See,” in which she took pictures of female models with eyes painted onto their eyelids. —A.G.
“One Day at a Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art”
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
October 14, 2018–March 11, 2019
In 1962, writing in the magazine Film Culture, Farber theorized what he called “termite art,” which “goes always forward eating its own boundaries, and, like as not, leaves nothing in its path other than the signs of eager, industrious, unkempt activity.” His genuine appreciation for déclassé work—what was often considered by many to simply not be art, or to not be good art, in any case—has proven influential, and this show aims to prove that we couldn’t have today’s art were it not for Farber’s writing. Curated by Helen Molesworth, the exhibition includes more than 100 works by 30 artists, including Kahlil Joseph, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Rachel Rose, Lorna Simpson, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, and many more. —A.G.
“Contesting Modernity: Informalism in Venezuela, 1955–1975”
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
October 28, 2018–January 21, 2019
The last few years have seen a resurgent interest in art from across Latin America, with mountains of scholarship looking to complicate and decentralize the traditional Western art-historical canon. This exhibition, curated by the ever-reliable Mari Carmen Ramírez and organized with the Colección Mercantil Arte y Cultura in Caracas, will look to add to modern and contemporary art history with a presentation of over 100 works related to the Informalist movement in Venezuela. The little-studied movement, like many contemporaneous ones around the world, was partly a response to the seismic political and social changes faced during the Cold War, including a shift to democracy and exploding wealth and socioeconomic inequality. The artists, many of them still relatively unknown in the United States, looked to reject the conventional forms of artistic production, instead opting for new forms of experimentation reliant upon geometric abstraction. —M.D.
“William Forsythe: Choreographic Objects”
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
October 31, 2018–February 24, 2019
The first comprehensive U.S. exhibition of artwork by the famed choreographer, this show features interactive installations, sculptures, and environments with which viewers are meant to interact. The show’s title, “Choreographic Objects,” is the artist’s term for his kinetic creations, which encourage visitors to invent their own routines through improvised performances. Some works were made specifically for the ICA’s spaces, and this presentation of Forsythe’s large-scale artworks coincides with his five-year residency at the Boston Ballet. —C.S.
In her 1975 video Semiotics of the Kitchen, Rosler, playing a housewife, assigns a letter to each object in her kitchen—a sly, ironic nod to the patriarchal system that structures the lives of women. It is one of Rosler’s best ways of visualizing the invisible racist, sexist, and xenophobic power systems that guide our daily lives, but it is hardly her only great one. This survey will include Semiotics of the Kitchen, as well as examples of Rosler’s installations, photographs, and videos, all of which smartly allude to the many ways mass media often carries hidden—and insidious—political images. —A.G.
“Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950”
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
November 4, 2018–February 18, 2019
Unquestionably one of the great photographers of the 20th century, Parks cultivated a signature aesthetic that, often through dramatic compositional elements, portrayed the political conditions facing black Americans. His images of civil-rights movement–era America are some of the most widely known pictures of the time, but what of his early work? The National Gallery of Art will bring together 150 pictures Parks took between 1940 and 1950 for this show, which includes books, magazines, family pictures, and more, illustrating the self-taught photographer’s work with the Farm Security Administration, Ralph Ellison, and the Office of War Information, among other people and organizations. —A.G.
Can you ever have too much Warhol? We could easily spend another century meditating on the impact Warhol has had on American art—his 15-minute rule about fame not applying to himself in the least, if this mega-retrospective, his first in America in three decades, is any proof. Whitney curator Donna De Salvo attempts to comprehend the whole of Warhol’s immense oeuvre by starting at the very beginning of his career, during the 1950s, when he was a commercial illustrator, and then moving through his famous Pop paintings in the ’60s and his less widely recognized later work made shortly before his death, in 1987. If nothing else, the 350 pieces displayed will help us continue reckoning with his influence. —A.A.
“Ida O’Keeffe: Escaping Georgia’s Shadow”
Dallas Museum of Art
November 18, 2018–February 24, 2019
Focusing on the artistic output of a lesser-known O’Keeffe, this show spotlights approximately 50 works—including paintings, watercolors, prints, and drawings—by Georgia’s younger sister, Ida. “Escaping Georgia’s Shadow” boasts a special showcase of six of Ida’s lighthouse paintings, which reduce her subject’s form until it’s a series of metallic-looking shapes. Photographs by Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia’s husband, will also be on display. —C.S.
“Grupo Mira: Una contrahistoria de los setenta en México”
Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City
Through January 6
This exhibition—one of many this season dedicated to the legacy of activist movements led by students in 1968—will focus on Grupo Mira, an artist collective that included Arnulfo Aquino, Melecio Galván, Eduardo Garduño, Rebeca Hidalgo, Silvia Paz Paredes, and Jorge Pérez Vega. The group met at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Mexico City in 1965, and worked together under various names in the United States and throughout Mexico. Together, they founded Grupo Mira in 1977, and remained active as a collective until 1982. The MUAC exhibition will present a counter-history of the 1970s in artistic production in Mexico by looking at the ways in which Grupo Mira merged muralism and the graphic arts with the techniques and theories of the neo-avant-garde, Conceptualism, and institutional critique. —M.D.
Various venues, Gwangju, South Korea
September 7–November 11
This year’s Gwangju Biennale is titled “Imagined Borders,” and its focus will be the physical and emotional boundaries we humans set down between each other. Accordingly, there is not just one curator but many: the biennial takes the form of a series of mini-exhibitions organized by 11 curators. Included alongside them will be a site-specific presentation that offers a look at the 1980 Gwangju Uprising, a large-scale demonstration against South Korea’s former militarized government that ultimately led to the creation of a democratic government in the country. Among the 150-plus artists set to participate are Dinh Q. Lê, Shezad Dawood, Shilpa Gupta, and Adrián Villar Rojas. —John Chiaverina
Bienal de São Paulo
Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo, São Paulo
September 7–December 9
The 33rd Bienal de São Paulo has also gone the multi-curator route. Its title, “Affective Affinities,” refers not just to its artist participants, who share much in common, but also to the show’s curatorial structure: the biennial’s main organizer, Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, has ceded most of his control to seven artists, who will each curate a show within a show. Those curators—Mamma Andersson, Antonio Ballester Moreno, Sofia Borges, Waltercio Caldas, Alejandro Cesarco, Claudia Fontes, and Wura-Natasha Ogunji—will organize group exhibitions intended to explore the many connections between artists around the world. And there’s more. Alongside all this, Pérez-Barreiro has organized 12 solo projects by such artists as Aníbal López, Alejandro Corujeira, Vânia Mignone, and Nelson Felix. —C.S.
This retrospective of the late Austrian sculptor and collage artist, who died in 2012 at the age of 85, will highlight his drawings, papier-mâché sculptures, and other work produced between 1972 and the year of his death. West was influenced by the Viennese performance art of the 1960s and 1970s, a style that placed an emphasis on the viewer’s interaction with everyday objects. His most famous pieces often take the form of bulbous papier-mâché structures that loosely resemble furniture; some will be on view here. After its run in Paris, the exhibition will travel to London’s Tate Modern starting in 2019. —Shirley Nwangwa
“Five Bhobh—Painting at the End of an Era”
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art, Cape Town, South Africa
September 12, 2018–March 31, 2019
“Five Bhobh” will feature 29 artists from Zimbabwe who are working to usher in a new style of contemporary painting. Each work will dispense a double commentary, one that focuses both on the restricting definitions of painting and the greater day-to-day issues currently facing Zimbabweans. The medium has proved an influential one for citizens of the country—writing earlier this year in Frieze, Sean O’Toole noted that “painting, especially of the human figure, has emerged as a preferred form” for artists in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital. This exhibition will likely offer some reasons why. —S.N.
“The Moon: From Inner Worlds to Outer Space”
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humblebaek, Denmark
September 13, 2018–January 20, 2019
How best to explore the role that the moon has played in the history of art, and the role it continues to play in visual culture today? To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art has boldly taken on the task of surveying all things lunar, from work by famous artists to objects related to scientific studies. Here are just a few things that will be included: Galileo’s moon map, George Méliès’s silent-film classic A Trip to the Moon (1902), Norman Foster’s plans for 3D-printed structures to exist on the moon, and works by Darren Almond, Camille Henrot, Hito Steyerl, Robert Rauschenberg, and many more. —S.N.
“Jörg Immendorff: For all Beloved in the World”
Haus der Kunst, Munich
September 14, 2018–January 27, 2019
There’s a confrontational streak running through the work of the late German artist Jörg Immendorff. From his early history as a left-wing political agitator to his involvement in the radical late-1970s New Wilde movement, which also included the painter Martin Kippenberger, Immendorff never backed away from controversy. This retrospective will include close to 200 works, including selections from his famous “Café Deutschland” series, a group of 16 large paintings inspired by Renato Guttuso’s Caffè Greco that in part attempt to articulate the rift between East and West Germany. The show will follow a loose chronology that tries to outline, in chapter form, pivotal moments in the German Neo-Expressionist’s output. —J.C.
One of the most highly regarded Belgian painters of the past half-century, the late artist Raoul De Keyser traded in works that balanced abstraction with more figurative tendencies. An air of ambivalence about his medium of choice itself often pervaded his work—his canvases, minimalist in their means, often appear to be anti-paintings that deny viewers easy visual pleasure. This survey is in part a look at De Keyser’s life and process. The Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst show, which spans De Keyser’s full career, will feature 100 paintings and 50 watercolors and drawings. —J.C.
“Dorothea Tanning: Behind the Door, Another Invisible Door”
Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid
October 3, 2018–January 7, 2019
Crawling creatures, disembodied torsos, unnaturally large flowers, and animal-like women were frequent subjects for Tanning, who “wanted to lead the eye toward spaces that hid, revealed, transformed all at once,” as she said of her dreamy paintings, drawings, and installations. Though considered one of the most important female artists associated with the Surrealist movement, Tanning’s work has never been given an all-encompassing museum show—something that will be remedied with this full-career survey. —S.N.
“Catastrophe and the Power of Art”
Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
October 6, 2018–January 20, 2019
This exhibition explores artists’ responses to various catastrophes—both natural and manmade—over the past few decades. Central to the show is an earthquake that shook Japan in 2011, killing nearly 16,000 people, as well as the 2008 financial crisis. The exhibition is split into two sections: one about how artists document catastrophe, the other focusing on the ways artists create meaning in their work in the wake of such tragedies. Work by some 40 international artists will be included, among them Thomas Hirschhorn, Hatakeyama Naoya, and Miyamoto Ryuji. —J.C.
“Carte Blanche to Tomás Saraceno”
Palais de Tokyo, Paris
October 17, 2018–January 6, 2019
The Palais de Tokyo has given carte blanche to Philippe Parreno, Camille Henrot, and Tino Sehgal to present shows in recent years; Saraceno is the artist chosen this time around to fill the entirety of the museum’s vast, cavernous spaces. No stranger to grandiose gestures and best known for his installations involving spiders and webs, the artist will once again return to arachnology, combining it here in his largest project to date with an interest in dust particles and what he’s called “cloud cities,” or utopian models for airy-looking metropolises. Bearing the subtitle “On Air,” the show will meditate on life forms from the smallest to the grandest in our world, as well as humanity’s place in the universe. —C.S.
“Fuseli: Drama and Theater”
Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland
October 20, 2018–February 10, 2019
This is the first major exhibition dedicated to Fuseli, one of the masters of Romanticism, in 13 years. The artist, who was based in Zurich, was a prominent voice during the late 18th century, creating work that blurred the line between the conservatism of Enlightenment-era classicism and the wild nightmares more often associated with the Romantics. The selection of his work in “Drama and Theater” draws upon the artist’s inspiration from stage works and literature, and features works on loan from the Kunsthaus in Zürich as well as private collections. —A.A.
Various venues, Zacatecas, Mexico
October 26, 2018–February 17, 2019
The 13th edition of the FEMSA Biennial will be the first curated edition of this affair in the Mexican state of Zacatecas. Bearing the title “We Have Never Been Contemporary”—a reference to the 1991 book We Have Never Been Modern by the French philosopher Bruno Latour—the exhibition is part of an 18-month curatorial project that looks at the ways in which the city and state of Zacatecas are the result of a mingling of baroque, colonial, and modern influences, as well as an inquiry into the region’s distinctions between fine and popular arts. The program will culminate with the opening in October of what the organizers have termed “museological collaborations and public interventions” from 23 artists based in the city, Latin America, and beyond. —M.D.
“Lily van der Stokker: Friendly Good”
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
October 27, 2018–February 24, 2019
Van der Stokker’s first museum retrospective will present a selection of her wall paintings and drawings, dating from the 1980s to the present. The artist’s practice has often focused on feminist ideas—what van der Stokker has called “non-shouting feminism”—and domestic life, and she explores those subjects by way of her colorful, biomorphic, sometimes floral forms. Many of the works in “Friendly Good” have never before been exhibited in the Netherlands. —C.S.
“Amal Kenawy: Frozen Memory”
Sharjah Art Foundation, United Arab Emirates
November 3, 2018–January 30, 2019
The first-ever Kenawy retrospective will take a panoramic view of the artist’s full output, which grapples with social, political, and feminist issues, primarily from her home base in Egypt. (Kenawy died in 2012 before she even turned 40, though she was considered a force in her region’s art scene.) The show will include animations and paintings alongside video works, installations, performance documentation, and archival material. Notably included will be the video Silence of the Sheep (2009), one of Kenawy’s most critically acclaimed works, which documents a public performance that sees the artist herding a group of citizens through a Cairo street on their hands and knees. —J.C.
Various venues, Shanghai
November 10, 2018–March 10, 2019
Organized by a team led by Cuauhtémoc Medina, this year’s Shanghai Biennale is called “Proregress: Art in an Age of Historical Ambivalence,” an exploration of “art in the present as a poetic attempt to explore the combination of progress and regression in the global arena.” The always-ambitious Medina is taking on a range of large-scale ideas, including misogyny, political shifts in the face of various diasporas, and the fusion of technology and science. No artist list had been released as of press time, but the scope of the show is intriguing enough. —J.C.
Museu de Arte de São Paulo
November 13, 2018–March 10
This solo exhibition will showcase close to 100 of the Brazilian artist’s paintings, sculptures, and engravings. The self-taught artist’s work examined the political consciousness of modern-day Brazil, with an eye toward Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous religious history and symbolism, specifically as it existed in comparison to Valentim’s Christian, Westernized upbringing. Curated by Adriano Pedrosa and Fernando Oliva, the exhibition will offer a rare look at a central figure in the history of Brazilian modern art. —S.N.
“Qiu Zhijie: Mappa Mundi”
Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing
November 24, 2018–March 3, 2019
“Nowadays we get internet, and all this information is fragmented, so we need to have the whole sense to understand where we are,” Qiu once said in an interview. But even before the digital age, the Chinese artist was attempting to get a sense of his home country’s place in the world today with his map works, drawn in ink and often featuring hyper-globalized versions of Asia. (“Whitney Biennial 1993” and “Anticolonial Theory” are just two examples of the fictional Chinese provinces he’s depicted.) Perhaps this full survey of his work will help us figure out where we really are. —S.N.
A version of this story originally appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of ARTnews on page 20 under the title “Editors’ Picks.”