Are you ready for a year of new art exhibitions? Whether you’re itching to revisit old favorites or ready to embrace brave new frontiers, we’ve got a selection of exciting art shows that love to break the rules. From cutting-edge new media exhibits to shows celebrating an avant-garde departure from mainstream culture in a decade past, get ready to be inspired. Is the New Aesthetic the new Surrealism? Take a peek at 2013 and mark your calendars!
MoMA: Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938 September 22, 2013 – January 12, 2014, New York
Fans of Surrealism, rejoice! This is the first Magritte exhibit focused solely on his Surrealist period, from 1926 — when he first decided to “challenge the real world” with his work — until 1938, just before the outbreak of WWI put a damper on things. The exhibit will feature 80 paintings, collages, objects, and supplementary materials exploring the themes of “displacement, transformation, metamorphosis” and “misnaming.” Are you ready to enter the half-dream?
MAD Museum: Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital November 12, 2013 – March 30, 2014, New York
This group exhibit of 80 artists, architects, and fashion designers will showcase the ways modern-day creative practice has adopted, transformed, and run away with digital fabrication. With the invention of opulent technical shortcuts, expression, production, and scale of art has been granted unprecedented possibilities. The show will feature upgrades in everything “from sculptural fantasy to functional beauty,” with artists Roxy Paine, Anish Kapoor, Marc Newson, and many more. Welcome to the future.
Art Institute of Chicago: The Artist and the Poet February 1 – June 2, 2013, Chicago
In conjunction with the museum’s Picasso and Chicago exhibit, The Artist and the Poet presents a fascinating body of early joint work from Pablo Picasso and his poet friends like Max Jacob, André Breton, and Paul Éluard. The exhibit will explore the rich, reflexive 20th century artist-poet relationships of collaboration and influence, featuring this piece by Lesley Dill viscerally presenting the words of Emily Dickinson in A Word Made Flesh (1994) and much more.
Eyebeam Art+Technology Center: F.A.T. Gold April 2013, New York
This isn’t just a retrospective of the innovative new media art collective F.A.T. — it’s an event five years in the making. Surveying the work of F.A.T. members like Kyle McDonald (of tampered Apple store computers infamy), Aram Bartholl ( Dead Drops , museum hacking) and Evan Roth (Eyewriter), F.A.T. Gold will also bring together 25 artists, graffiti writers, hackers, engineers, and musicians to collaborate for a week-long residency at the Eyebeam Art+Technology Center in Chelsea. Originally planned for November 2012 but delayed by Hurricane Sandy, the exciting exhibit is curated by Lindsay Howard, one of our culture maker picks to watch in 2013.
Guggenheim Museum: Gutai: Splendid Playground February 15 – May 8, 2013, New York
One of the world’s most important avant-garde movements finally gets a US retrospective. The postwar Japanese artist collective of the ’50s and ’60s pioneered concepts of kinetic, sound, installation, and visual art. These aren’t just paintings; they’re paintings created by jumping through canvases, swinging from ropes with paint-slathered feet, and otherwise practicing Gutai’s concept of “Embodiment.” Witness how decay and destruction represents life. Play. We can’t wait to see this group’s work incorporated thematically and chronologically into the Guggenheim’s unique, spiraling architecture.
LACMA: James Turrell: A Retrospective May 26, 2013 – April 6, 2014, Los Angeles
James Turrell’s grand retrospective at the LACMA will encompass 50 years of the California artist’s work with the light and space. It will be comprehensive, from the most delicate, ephemeral, subtle light sculptures created by precise lighting and shadowing of a room, to documentation and visual exploration of Turrell’s famous, ongoing Roden Crater installation — a massive naked-eye observatory culled from a volcanic crater in the Arizona desert.
Smithsonian American Art Museum: Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art October 25, 2013 – March 2, 2014, Washington D.C.
Exploring the work Latino artists created in the United States, the Smithsonian hopes to showcase that the US is “a nation of immigrants,” and then some. On view, more than 100 works of varying media from the mid-20th century to now like the “recycled films” of Raphael Montañez Ortiz and the feminist, provocative, and dangerous work of Ana Mendieta. The exhibit will explore the Latino-American artists’ unique qualities of hybrid culture and “humor, irony, and valor.”
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Plain or Fancy? Restraint and Exuberance in the Decorative Arts February 26 – August 18, 2013, New York
Design lovers will go crazy for this one: Thematically curated, the Met’s exhibit will contrast pre-Modernist and Modernist sculpture and decorative art, from the Renaissance to the early 20th century. Pairing the ornate pieces with the austere works, the show will contrast exuberance with simple eloquence. Translation: things with beautiful doodads and flourishes, and things beautifully without.
Hammer Museum: Llyn Foulkes February 3, 2013 – May 19, 2013, Los Angeles
The Hammer Museum celebrates one of the most under-appreciated yet important visual artists of the 20th century whose mixed media, macabre, disturbing work speaks to a certain very potent zeitgeist, a zeitgeist with a distaste for corporate America, especially Disney. See more than 140 surrealistic, horror-attuned work by the artist from the late 1970s through the present.
New Museum: NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star February 13 – May 26, 2013, New York
Named after Sonic Youth’s eighth album released in 1993, this all-museum exhibit will attempt to represent New York’s crucial art, and the forces that moved it, circa the year 1993. Like a time capsule, the exhibit will respond to early ’90s themes such as gay rights, Waco, the Middle East crisis, new technology and the “complex exchange between mainstream and underground culture across disciplines.” With work, authentic recreations and updated responses from Nan Goldin, Paul McCarthy, Matthew Barney, Hannah Wilke, and many more, this will be one charged, nostalgic trip.