Exhibition calendars have been in flux due to the ongoing pandemic, but museums around the US and beyond are continuing to bring in audiences with new programming. Here’s a guide to some of the most exciting shows opening in the coming months—from historical surveys to solo exhibitions of dynamic young artists. They were selected for the print edition of the Art in America Guide, our annual directory of US galleries, museums, art schools, and art services. This digital version of the Guide’s Museum Previews section incorporates updated information about exhibition schedules.
For more listings and information, visit the A.i.A. Guide online.
Over the past decade, Ed Atkins has emerged as one of the foremost artist-theorists of digitally mediated life, creating CGI-based video installations that feature uncannily hyperreal renderings of surreal scenarios. The first in a series of artist projects commissioned through a partnership between the New Museum and Nokia Bell Labs, “Ed Atkins: Get Life/ Love’s Work” presents a new body of work that reflects on the capacity of technology to preserve and simulate life, including a series of computer-generated animations based on interviews the artist conducted with socially isolated individuals, recorded using motion-capture technology, displayed within an installation incorporating bread that has been scientifically-engineered to be nonperishable.
New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, June 30–Oct. 3, 2021.
The spectacular patterns and colors that feature in Firelei Báez’s paintings, prints, and sculptures evoke the fundamentally hybrid visual culture of the African Diaspora. For a major commission at the ICA Boston’s Watershed outpost, the Dominican-born artist envisions the process of exploring cultural history as a literal excavation. A site-specific monumental sculpture evokes the ruins of the Sans-Souci palace—the residence of post-revolution Haiti’s first and only monarch—while textile patterns and various insignias on the structure and throughout the installation allude to Boston’s historical role as a trade center, immigration hub, and site of international exchange.
Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, ICA Watershed, July 3–Sept. 6, 2021.
The key to Candice Lin’s ideas can be found in her lists of materials: teas, herbs, dyes, and other plant-based materials that have traveled routes established in the latter part of the last millennium by colonization and imperialist trade. Her installations have taken the form of a head shop, a shrine, and a science lab—spaces where smells and substances collide, intensifying one’s awareness of purity and toxicity, a response that, Lin would argue, is always bound up in cultural stereotypes and perceptions of otherness. Her exhibition at the Walker Art Center is conceived as a site-specific response to the gallery, and when it travels to the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts it will be reconfigured and remade—another commentary, perhaps, on the transformations that accompany movement.
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Aug. 5– Jan. 2, 2022; Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Cambridge, Mass., Feb. 4–Apr. 10, 2022.
A cucumber flanked by two oranges, suggesting male body parts; an expansive gallery wall covered in yellow egg yolks: these are a few signature works by Sarah Lucas, who emerged as part of the Young British Artists generation of the 1990s. Her sculptures often incorporate visual puns or grotesque forms that allude to the female body and/or sexuality. Presented singly or in rambling installations, the pieces are always disgusting and hilarious, outrageous and mundane. Sometimes, they’re accompanied by live performances, or documentation thereof. This show focuses on Lucas’s recent works: her pivot from assemblages made out of food (vegetables, eggs, raw chicken) to equally abject sculptures made from plaster and pantyhose.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, August 7, 2021–Feb. 13, 2022.
Though Judy Chicago’s installation The Dinner Party (1971–79) established her as an icon of postwar feminist art, it has often overshadowed the rest of her oeuvre. This retrospective, her largest to date, includes around 150 works spanning the artist’s career, from her early engagement with the Minimalist and Light and Space movements in the 1960s to her exploration of feminine “central core” imagery in the 1970s and ’80s to her most recent series, “The End: Meditation on Death and Extinction” (2015– 19), a cycle of paintings on glass, ceramic, and bronze in which Chicago considers her own mortality alongside the fate of other species threatened with extinction.
De Young Museum, San Francisco, Aug. 28, 2021– Jan. 9, 2022.