Exhibitions and Fairs

Last Chance: 10 Must-See Museum Exhibitions in the USA in Early 2020

Betye Saar
Installation View, Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl’s Window, MoMA.

By Shira Wolfe

Last week, we had a look at the best European museum exhibitions running until the beginning of 2020. Now, we offer you an overview of 10 must-see museum exhibitions in the USA, on view for just a few more months, until the start of 2020. Last chance to catch them!

1. Betye Saar – The Legends of Black Girl’s Window at MoMA (till 4 January 2020)

Betye Saar
Betye Saar, Black Girl’s Window, 1969. Courtesy MoMA

This exhibition explores the relationship between Betye Saar’s experimental print practice and the new artistic language she developed in her famous work from 1969, Black Girl’s Window. Themes of mysticism, family, and history are at the core of Saar’s work. The MoMA recently acquired 42 early works on paper, and this exhibition is the first dedicated examination of Saar’s work as a printmaker.

2. Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now at Guggenheim New York (till 5 January 2020)

Exhibition View, Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now. Courtesy Guggenheim New York

Robert Mapplethorpe’s daring photographs transformed him into a symbol of the culture wars in the late ’80s and early ’90s. The yearlong exhibition Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now at Guggenheim New York, which is split into two parts, explores the full range of Mapplethorpe’s practice and his legacy in the field of contemporary art. The first half of the exhibition has already ended, so it’s your last chance to catch the second half, on view until 5 January 2020. Alongside Mapplethorpe’s work, this exhibition showcases the work of Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Lyle Ashton Harris, Glenn Ligon, Zanele Muholi, Catherine Opie, and Paul Mpagi Sepuya.

3. Manet and Modern Beauty at Getty Center (till 12 January 2020)

Édouard Manet, Jeanne (Spring) (detail), 1881. Courtesy The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Washington Post called Manet and Modern Beauty “an exhibition for our time.” The exhibition traces the last years of Manet’s life and career, revealing intimate aspects of the artist’s work – portraits, still lifes, café and garden scenes together reveal the world of Manet.

4. Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection (till 12 January 2020)

Artistic License.
Installation View, Artistic License. Courtesy Guggenheim

In this first-ever artist-curated exhibition at the Guggenheim, the museum celebrates its extensive collection of modern and contemporary art. Cai Guo-Qiang, Paul Chan, Jenny Holzer, Julie Mehretu, Richard Prince, and Carrie Mae Weems were each invited to select well-known and rarely seen works from the museum’s collection, from the turn of the century till the 1980’s. Each selection is presented on one of the 6 levels of the Guggenheim rotunda.

5. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner at Neue Galerie New York (till 13 January 2020)

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Panama Dancers, 1910-11. Courtesy Neue Galerie

This exhibition at New York’s Neue Galerie pays tribute to the great Expressionist artist, who was a founding member of the Brücke artist’s group. The exhibition offers a chronological overview of his different phases: Dresden, Berlin, the Swiss mountainside resort Davos, and the war years. Furthermore, Kirchner’s achievements as a printmaker are also explored.

6. Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art at the Baltimore Museum of Art (till 19 January 2020)

Installation View Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art. Courtesy Baltimore Museum of Art

The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection presents Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The show offers a perspective on the great contributions black artists have made to abstraction in art from the 1940’s up to the present day. Artists included are pioneers of postwar abstraction Alma Thomas, Norman Lewis, Jack Whitten, and younger generation artists including Kevin Beasley, Mark Bradford, Martin Puryear, and Lorna Simpson.

7. Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet at Metropolitan Museum of Art (till 26 January 2020)

Félix Vallotton
Félix Vallotton, The Visit, 1899. Courtesy Met

Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet presents the distinctive visual identity of Félix Vallotton, a Swiss-born, French-educated artist who was associated with the artist group Les Nabis. He was an important figure in the development of the modern woodcut, and his woodcuts also formed a vehicle for his left-wing political messages. A highlight of the exhibition is the Vallotton’s portrait of Gertrude Stein, displayed alongside Picasso’s portrait of Stein.

8. Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again at The Broad (till 16 February 2020)

Shirin Neshat
Shirin Neshat, Land of Dreams Video Still, 2019. Courtesy The Broad

Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again at The Broad covers the 30-year career of the internationally acclaimed artist. The exhibition presents over 230 photographs and eight immersive video installation works. From Neshat’s early, personal work to works that have never been seen before in the United States, including portraits she made in Iran and has never shown publicly, this exhibition promises to be a rare and unforgettable journey.

9. Richard Mosse: Incoming at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (till 17 February 2020)

Richard Mosse
Richard Mosse, Incoming (still), 2017. Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery

Between 2014 and 2016, Richard Mosse documented mass migrations and displacement of people across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. He filmed these with a military-grade camera that detects and images body heat across great distances. In the exhibition Richard Mosse: Incoming, the immersive video installation “Incoming”, which shows migrants from Africa and the Middle East flowing to emergency shelters in Europe, will be accompanied by panoramic photographs from The Castle, a series of heat maps or digital composites of refugee camps.

10. Edward Hopper and the American Hotel at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (till 23 February 2020)

Edward Hopper
Edward Hopper, Western Motel, 1957. Courtesy Yale University Art Gallery

Edward Hopper and the American Hotel at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts presents the first in-depth study of the hospitality settings so beloved in the art of Hopper. Hotels, motels, boarding houses, and tourist homes feature in many of Hopper’s works. An avid traveller, he explored many parts of the States and Mexico with his wife, fellow artist Jo Nivison. Jo’s diaries describing the trips in detail are also included in the exhibition.