1) Charles White: A Retrospective | Art Institute of Chicago The first major retrospective in 35 years for famed printmaker and muralist Charles White, this exhibition features his four decade career of representing the African American community. Integral to figurative work during a popular time for abstraction, White showcased the essential human condition as well as themes of equality and race. As a part of the black art community in Chicago in the 1930s, White was early to create art that was aimed at social change. Through his multiple moves to New York, Mexico City and finally Southern California, White honed his printmaking skills while continuing his work with civil rights and equality groups. In this rare exhibition of his work, the Institute has curated a selection of paintings, drawings and prints to fully present Charles White's lasting influence on the practice and the community he spent his life serving.
Charles White, Gideon, 1951. Courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago.
Pierre Daura, Untitled (Street PIC IIR 3), 1929. Courtesy of Boise Art Museum.
2) Cercle et Carré and the International Spirit of Abstract Art | Boise Art Museum An artistic group that consisted of some 80 members spanning the globe was established in reaction to the then popularity of figurative work. Cerle et Carré (Circle and Square in French) was based in Paris in 1929 by Belgian artist Michel Seuphor, Uruguayan-Catalan artist Joaquín Torres-García, and Catalan-American artist Pierre Daura, but the group included artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Jean Arp, Piet Mondrian, and Alexandra Exter. This collective group created art and journals based on their abstractionist ideals and represented modernism as a whole; namely Cubism, Dadism, Constructivism and others. At the time, the group was largely renounced by art critics, but now is considered the forefront of modernism itself. The exhibition includes over 50 works by 30 of the group's contributors and spans its beginnings, history and the sole exhibition that defined the short existence of the group.
3) In The Spirit of Louise Noun | Des Moines Arts Center Famed Des Moines local, Louise Noun, was an advocate of the arts, a feminist voice, and a civil and social activist. As a beloved member of her community, Noun was also an avid art collector. Upon her death in 2002, Noun gifted her entire collection of works to the Des Moines Arts Center; a 200 work selection by all female artists. Her early acquisitions included women artists who were being overlooked at the time, but have since been shown as visionaries of their time, and essential to the art historical canon. Noun's collection spanning from the 1970s - 90s included works from icons such as Eva Hesse, Agnes Martin, Kiki Smith, and Barbara Kruger. In celebration of Noun's contribution to the Center and her undying spirit, the exhibition itself presents these works juxtaposed with others from the Des Moines Arts Center collection, enlivening Noun's original acquisitions and showcasing her pioneering artistic vision.
Isabel Bishop, Nude, 1958. Courtesy of Des Moines Arts Center.
Deborah Roberts, Political Lambs in a Wolf's World, 2018. Courtesy of Stephen Friedman Gallery.
4) Talisman in the Age of Difference | Stephen Friedman Gallery Inspired by the world's continued battle with rampant racism, British artist Yinka Shonibare has curated a redefining exhibition from an outsider's perspective. A Nigerian native, Shonibare only faced true racism upon leaving his home country. Shonibare's selection is curated as a vehicle of change, showcasing artists of African origin and images that respond to the African diaspora and history. In an attempt to present not only a wide range of ideals and topics, Shonibare is also interested in opening up a dialogue about African symbolism throughout non-African art, an inspiration for art that has been readily seen and accepted. The exhibition features many heavy hitters including Kehinde Wiley, Lubainia Himid, and Marlene Dumas, and functions as both a contemporary exhibition, but also a call to action to further African representation.
5) The World's Game: Fútbol and Contemporary Art | Pérez Art Museum Miami In celebration of one of the world's most beloved sports and largest tournament, the FIFA World Cup, this exhibition features a crossing between contemporary art and soccer, better known as fútbol. Utilizing 40 some artists, The World's Game shares an international viewpoint in which each artist discusses the political and social environment surrounding the sport and its role within a greater society. Whether that be just as spectacle or a platform for change, this sport provides a well known arena for the entire world. With a multitude of mediums, the exhibition commemorates the international language of soccer and its various and vast diversities.
Chris Beas, The Kidd's Alright, 2008. Courtesy of Perez Art Museum Miami.