Traveling This Summer? Here Are the Shows You Can’t Miss in 5 Cities Across the United States

From New York to Los Angeles, here are the must-see museum shows to hit while you're on the road this summer.

Francis Alÿs in collaboration with Julien Devaux, Felix Blume, Ivan Boccara, Abbas Benheim, Fundación Montenmedio Arte, and children of Tangier and Tarifa, Don’t Cross the Bridge Before You Get to the River (Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco-Spain) 2008. Photo courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, ©Francis Alÿs.
Francis Alÿs in collaboration with Julien Devaux, Felix Blume, Ivan Boccara, Abbas Benheim, Fundación Montenmedio Arte, and children of Tangier and Tarifa, Don’t Cross the Bridge Before You Get to the River (Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco-Spain) 2008. Photo courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, ©Francis Alÿs.

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting a new city this summer but don’t want to check every museum website to figure out what to see, never fear—we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ve selected the must-see shows in five major cities across the United States. Enjoy the shows, and the air conditioning.

 

NEW YORK

Lubaina Himid: Work from Underneath” at the New Museum
Through October 6, 2019

Lubaina Himid, Naming the Money (2004) [detail]. Photo: Stuart Whipps, courtesy the artist, Hollybush Gardens and National Museums Liverpool, International Slavery Museum. Navigation Charts installation view, 2017 © Spike Island, Bristol.

Lubaina Himid, the Turner Prize-winning British artist, is having her first US solo show, which will double as a debut for her latest body of work. The artist, one of the earliest practitioners of the British Black Arts Movement, is wily: She draws you in with bright, saturated colors and graphic, easy-on-the-eyes forms that reflect her training in theater design. But take a closer look—that’s when she twists the knife, revealing uncomfortable truths and biases in art history, politics, and visual culture.

On view at the New Museum, 235 Bowery, New York, through October 6, 2019

 

Elective Affinities: Edmund de Waal” at the Frick Collection
Through November 17, 2019

Edmund de Waal,on living in an old country (-II (2019).© Edmund de Waal. Courtesy the artist and The Frick Collection. Photo: Christopher Burke.

The Frick isn’t normally a destination for contemporary art. But sculptor and author Edmund de Waal has created a series of site-specific porcelain, gold, marble, steel, and glass objects in response to the permanent collection and gallery spaces in the jewel-box museum. The monochromatic vitrines are positioned next to lavish paintings and gilded furniture, and the unlikely juxtapositions are discussed by the artist himself in a series of audio clips available for download online, along with clips of music that inspired each work.

On view at The Frick Collection, 1 East 70th Street, New York, through November 17, 2019

 

The Whitney Biennial” at the Whitney Museum of American Art
Through September 22, 2019

Installation view of works by Simone Leigh [foreground] and Janiva Ellis at the Whitney Biennial. Photo courtesy Ben Davis.

Installation view of works by Simone Leigh [foreground] and Janiva Ellis at the Whitney Biennial. Photo courtesy Ben Davis.

If you haven’t gotten a chance to see the 2019 Whitney Biennial yet, now is the perfect time, as the city empties out for the summer. This edition of the always-controversial show offers a contemplative take that is heavy on figurative painting. As our critic Ben Davis put it: “Compared to the brash declamations of, say, the now-legendary (and now-quarter-century-old) biennial of 1993—sometimes derisively remembered as the ‘identity politics’ biennial—or even the atmosphere of despair and righteousness in this year’s just-opened Venice Biennale, the 2019 Whitney Biennial seems relatively tender and deliberately reserved.”

On view at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, New York, through September 22, 2019

BOSTON

Less Is a Bore: Maximalist Art & Design” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
Through September 22, 2019

Joyce Kozloff's <i>If I Were an Astronomer: Boston</i> (2015). Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery and ICA Boston.

Joyce Kozloff’s If I Were an Astronomer: Boston (2015). Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery and ICA Boston.

The title of this exhibition is taken from architect Robert Venturi’s catty retort to Mies van der Rohe’s Modernist maxim “less is more.” The exhibition explores how artists, including those affiliated with the Pattern and Decoration movement of the 1970s, sought to push back against the dominance of Minimalism. No one could argue that the works on display here—an exuberant range of architecture, ceramics, design and painting—are boring.

On view at ICA Boston, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, Massachusetts, through September 22, 2019

 

Mural: Jackson Pollock | Katharine Grosse” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Through February 23, 2020

Left, Jackson Pollack’s Mural (1943); Right, process shot of Katharina Grosse’s mural. Photo courtesy of the artist and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The MFA pairs Jackson Pollock’s largest and perhaps most important work, the 20-foot-long Mural (1943) commissioned by legendary arts patron Peggy Guggenheim, with a newly commissioned work by German artist Katharina Grosse, who creates large-scale installations with an industrial spray-painter. Pollock’s Mural belongs to the University of Iowa Museum of Art (last year renamed the Stanley Museum of Art), which has been closed since a devastating 2008 flood destroyed its main building.

On view at MFA Boston, Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, July 1, 2019–February 23, 2020 

 

Renoir: The Body, the Senses” at the Clark Art Institute
Through September 22, 2019

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Seated Bather (1885). Collection of Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, bequest from the collection of Maurice Wertheim, class of 1906.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Seated Bather (1885), detail. Collection of Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, bequest from the collection of Maurice Wertheim, class of 1906.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the death of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the Clark has staged the first exhibition dedicated exclusively to the great Impressionist’s nudes. Renoir is better known for painting innocent-looking children and quaint party scenes, but he once said that “in all honesty what I love to paint the most is the nude woman.”

On view at the Clark Art Institute, 224 South Street, Williamstown, Massachusetts, through September 22, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC

Ursula von Rydingsvard” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts
Through July 28, 2019

A sculpture by Ursula von Rydingsvard in Madison Square Park. Photo courtesy of Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Ursula von Rydinsvard’s monumental wooden sculptures are imbued with a larger-than-life presence, their abstract forms often seemingly poised to spring into motion. Her first show in Washington, DC, includes large-scale cedar works as well as works in paper pulp, linen, and leather.

On view at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC, through July 28, 2019

 

The Warmth of Other Suns: Stories of Global Displacement” at the Phillips Collection
Through September 22, 2019

Aliza Nisenbaum, MOIA's NYC Women's Cabinet (2016). Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, gift of Jackson Tang in honor of Christopher Y. Lew.

Aliza Nisenbaum, MOIA’s NYC Women’s Cabinet (2016). Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, gift of Jackson Tang in honor of Christopher Y. Lew.

The exhibition, which takes its title from a line from author Richard Wright as well as Isabel Wilkerson’s landmark book about the Great Migration, explores the refugee crisis through the work of 75 artists from around the world. The show juxtaposes Jacob Lawrence’s seminal “Migration Series” (1940–41)—a gem of the Phillips Collection—with contemporary works from such far-flung countries as Algeria, Belgium, and Brazil. The show has been organized in partnership with the New Museum and is curated by New Museum assistant director Massimiliano Gioni and Natalie Bell.

On view at the Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC, through September 22, 2019. 

 

CHICAGO

Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Through September 22, 2019

Fashion on display in "Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech" at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Photo by Nathan Keay, ©MCA Chicago.

Fashion on display in “Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Photo by Nathan Keay, ©MCA Chicago.

Louis Vuitton menswear artistic director, Off-White CEO, and frequent Kanye West collaborator Virgil Abloh returns to his hometown for his first solo museum exhibition. A tireless creative whose output includes fashion, furniture, graphic design, architecture, painting, sculpture, and photography, Abloh is something of a modern-day Renaissance man, as evidenced by the multidisciplinary nature of his genre-bending retrospective.

On view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, through September 22, 2019

 

Manet and Modern Beauty” at the Art Institute of Chicago
Through September 8, 2019

Eduoard Manet, Le Printemps or Jeanne (Spring), 1881). Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

Eduoard Manet, Le Printemps or Jeanne (Spring), 1881). Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

The Art Institute of Chicago’s first Eduoard Manet exhibition in over 50 years is also the first to look extensively at the late career of the great artist, known as the father of the Impressionists. The show, which features his paintings of fashionable women, includes Le Printemps (1881), also known as Jeanne (Spring), which set an auction record for the artist when it was purchased for $65.1 million by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles—the exhibition’s co-organizer and second venue—in 2014.

On view at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan Avenue
, Chicago, Illinois, through September 8, 2019

 

Justin Duerr: Surrender to Survival” at Intuit: The Center for Outsider and Intuitive Art
Through January 12, 2020

Justin Duerr, Surrender to Survival (2018). Courtesy of the artist.

Justin Duerr, Surrender to Survival (2018). Courtesy of the artist.

Philadelphia punk rocker and outsider artist Justin Duerr began drawing hyper-detailed scrolls in pen and marker in 1999. Since 2008, Duerr has been connecting these large-scale narrative works with the goal of creating a massive cycloramic mural that reconnects to the initial scroll. So far, he’s up to 26 scrolls that collectively measure over 80 feet in length, with plans to continue for the rest of his life.

On view at Intuit: The Center for Outsider and Intuitive Art, 756 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, through January 12, 2020

 

LOS ANGELES

Sarah Lucas: Au Naturelat the Hammer Museum
Through September 1, 2019

Sarah Lucas’s Self Portrait with Fried Eggs (1996). Courtesy of Tate Museum.

West Coast denizens will get to check out British artist Sarah Lucas’s egg-cellent survey this summer following its well-reviewed run at New York City’s New Museum. Lucas’s body of work spanning the last three decades touches on themes of sexuality, gender, and identity with a distinctly surreal, punk-rock flavor. Her confrontational tableaux made from cigarettes, vegetables, and stockings are an antidote to friendly, candy-colored Instagram art.

On view at the Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, California, through September 1, 2019

 

Donna Huanca: Obsidian Ladder” at the Marciano Art Foundation
Through December 1, 2019

Installation view of “Donna Huanca: CELL ECHO”, at Yuz Museum, Shanghai. Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Bolivian-American artist Donna Huanca is getting her first large-scale museum show in the US at LA’s Marciano Art Foundation, where she will debut a new site-specific installation that features her skin paintings and a series of carved steel sculptures, for which she is best known. These static objects plus sensory-engaging performances will take on the “aura” of the Marciano’s building, which was once a former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple.

On view at the Marciano Art Foundation, 4357 Wilshire Blvd, through December 1, 2019

 

Open House: Elliott Hundley” at the Museum of Contemporary Art
Through September 19, 2019

Installation view of "Open House: Elliott Hundley," at MOCA Grand Avenue. Courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo by Zak Kelley.

Installation view of “Open House: Elliott Hundley,” at MOCA Grand Avenue. Courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo by Zak Kelley.

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, MOCA invited several LA-based artists to organize a series of exhibitions drawn from its top-notch permanent collection. The first in line is master of collage Elliott Hundley, who has managed to whittle down the thousands of objects in storage to just 39. Fittingly, his exhibition reflects on the history of collage and assemblage art through works by artists including Bruce Conner, Sister Corita Kent, and Martin Kippenberger.

On view at MOCA, 250 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, through September 16, 2019


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