From Richard Beacon at the Tate to Christopher Wool at the Art Institute of Chicago, this spring is replete with must-see retrospectives and immersive biennales.
Australia’s biggest contemporary arts festival features over 90 artists from 31 countries. Curated by Juliana Engberg, artistic director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, the festival presents work in an array of media, in five venues and is free to the public. The itinerary also includes Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s Around the City, a mobile app that invites participants to navigate the city while Cardiff describes what they’re seeing. It will also become a permanent legacy artwork for the city after the Biennale.
2 Richard Deacon at Tate Britain, in London, to April 27
This exhibition presents the awe-inspiring sinuous sculptures of the Welsh artist in both large and small scale, from throughout his career. Characterized by the combination of organic forms and engineering, the Turner Prize–winner’s works are realized in a diverse palette of materials such as laminated wood, polycarbonate, leather, cloth, and most recently in cardboard and ceramic.
3 Hito Steyerl at the Van Abbemuseum, in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, April 12 to June 22
Considered one of the most exciting artists exploring the impact of the internet and digitization on our everyday lives, Steyerl will present a lecture entitled 35 Ways To Break Through A Wall, on the opening day of this “mid-career” exhibition. Over a dozen of her filmic works and installations, including three new pieces will be featured, taking over 10 rooms of the museum’s old building. The show itself was designed in collaboration with architects at Studio Markus Miessen, who Steyerl worked with to insert precise architectural interventions that prevent a direct route through the show, creating a unique viewer experience.
4 Traces of Disappearance at Espace Louis Vuitton, Tokyo, to April 13
The fashion house’s art space is currently hosting works by Anne and Patrick Poirier (France), Kasper Kovitz (Los Angeles), Goang-Ming Yuan (Taiwan) and Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan). The four site-specific pieces were each created in the space and are intended to encourage viewers to reflect upon the fragile state of today’s world. Shown are Kovitz’s The Sheer Size of It, inspired by religious illustrations, with a pointillist-like technique achieved via the medium of gummy candies; and the Poirier’s The Soul of the World, a giant bird cage representing our endangered ecosystem.
5 Scott Conarroe’s China at Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, to May 3
A massive railway expansion serves as the inspiring backdrop for Edmonton-born Conarroe’s ongoing photo series, which has been a work-in-progress since 2012. The artist has travelled thousands of miles by rail documenting landscapes and human-scale interactions. A selection of films from the nation, chosen by the artist, will be screened in concert with the exhibit at the adjacent Camera Gallery.
6 Christopher Wool at the Art Institute of Chicago, to May 11
Christopher Wool’s works are among the most sought after by blue-chip art collectors, making this a great opportunity to see his oeuvre – made with spray paint, stencils, rags, solvents and air guns – without having to shell out millions. A retrospective of the Chicago-born, New York–based abstract artist, the show features almost 90 paintings, photographs and other works on paper and is the most comprehensive display of his work to date.