Holey maps, pre-natal forms, stuffed animals, and more in today’s roundup:
- The first exhibition in the United States ever devoted exclusively to the drawings of Season 3 artist Roni Horn is on view at Hauser & Wirth, New York through June 19. The show includes six large-scale works never before shown publicly. Up to eight by ten feet in size, these pieces form a group titled Else. Horn’s pigment drawings, which she began in the 1980s, have become increasingly large and more complex. Horn begins with two drawings of similar forms, which she refers to as “plates.” The two plates are then brought together through a process of cutting and pasting to create a new form. These drawings continue Horn’s exploration of identity through “doubling, repetition, and the paired form.” The artist’s work is on view concurrently at the Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw; closes June 13.
- Season 5 artist Doris Salcedo has been awarded the 2010 Velazquez Visual Arts Prize. She is the first woman to receive this honor, which is given annually by the Spanish government. Salcedo is “one of the most important artists on the international scene,” Culture Minister Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde said in announcing the jury’s decision. “The fact that on top of that she’s a woman is even better,” said Gonzalez-Sinde. The award, accompanied by a cash gift of $161,000, acknowledges “the rigor of [Salcedo’s] work, both in the formal sense and in terms of her social and political commitment.”
- Julie Mehretu: Grey Area, previously on view at Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, opens May 14 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. This exhibition of six new and commissioned large-scale paintings by the Season 5 artist presents a suite of semiabstract works inspired by historical photographs, urban planning grids, modern art, and graffiti. Mehretu explores the intersections of power, history, dystopia, and the built environment, along with their impact on the formation of personal and communal identities. The term “gray area” speaks to a condition of indeterminacy, a liminal state in which something is not clearly defined or perhaps impossible to define. Berlin — where one still encounters the vestiges of war — played a significant role in the development of Mehretu’s Grey Area suite, which was first conceived during her residency at the American Academy in Berlin in 2007. The exhibition is on view through October 6.
- A solo exhibition of works by Season 1 artist Louise Bourgeois will open at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens on May 12. The exhibition emphasizes Bourgeois’ “Personages” sculptures. Made between 1947-1953, they were originally carved in wood and intended to be produced in bronze. These life-size sculptures were designed to be seen “like social groups of standing figures.”Avenza Revisited II (1968-1969) will also be on view. This sculpture belongs to a group of works characterized by “clustered bulges emerging from drapery” that evoke “pre-natal forms.” The works were inspired by Avenza, an area of Carrara, Italy, where Bourgeois worked briefly in the 1960s.
- Bourgeois’ work is also on view at Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco through June 12. Mother and Child presents “visceral, essential images from the cycle of human life: on birth, death, sexuality and the creative power of the mother.” Using saturated red gouache, Bourgeois’ explores shapes that mark the “transition from woman to embryo to child to girl to woman.” Central to this presentation are two bronze sculptures from Bourgeois’ Echo series. The pieces are cast from discarded clothing that has been “stretched, sewn, draped and piled into abstract, organic forms…[and] then painted white to give a ghostly aura to the textured surfaces.”
- Arenas — a series by Season 3 artist Mike Kelley that debuted at Metro Pictures in 1990 — is now on view at Skarstedt Gallery in New York. Only seven of the original eleven sculptures are shown. Found handmade and machine fabricated blankets are flanked with stuffed animals and displayed on the floor. Each sculpture contains one specific motif and focuses on the assembly of stuffed animals in an “arena” for anthropomorphic observation. ” In the Arena #7, for example, four sides of a machine made blanket are surrounded with teddy bears and monkeys. One can imagine them holding a meeting or even attending a picnic,” states the press release. A fully illustrated catalogue will be produced in conjunction with this exhibition and available this Fall 2010. Arenas closes June 25.
- Spoleto Festival USA takes place in Charleston, South Carolina each year, filling its theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with over 140 performances by world-renowned artists as well as emerging performers in opera, theater, music theater, dance, and other disciplines. The 2010 official Festival poster — created by Season 2 artist Maya Lin — has been unveiled. To create the image, Lin opened an atlas to adjacent maps of Rhode Island and South Carolina. She made an image of these pages after cutting a hole through the maps to reveal sections of the underlying pages. In previous years Festival posters have been made by Ann Hamilton (Season 1), Elizabeth Murray (Season 2), Robert Indiana, Chuck Close, Sol Lewitt, and David Hockney, among other big names. Browse Spoleto’s online poster gallery here.