1) Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera | Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth In this major survey presentation, Laurie Simmons' showcases her definitive work from the 1970's to present, and in doing so, highlights their prevailing nature of today. Simmons' photographs utilize scale and props to discern scenes of "domestic bliss", or rather observe the settings in which this would occur. These orchestrated scenes subtly describe observations about life, the American Dream, and especially that of archetypal gender roles. This decades-long exploration has allowed Simmons to expand her fictional narratives and numerous themes. The survey also presents a selection of newer projects including The Love Doll (2009 - 2011), which features life-size Japanese dolls in various scenarios. With her distinct style and world-renowned addition to the feminist ideal, Simmons continues to redefine the genre.
Laurie Simmons, Woman Opening Refrigerator/Milk to the Right, 1979. Courtesy of Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
Ruth Smith, Self Portrait, 1955. Courtesy of The Phillips Collection.
2) Nordic Impressions: Art from Aland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, 1821 - 2018 | The Phillips Collection Spanning nearly 200 years and featuring over 50 artists, the Phillips Collection successfully attempts to describe what distinguishes Nordic art. Covering a vast landscape of incredibly diverse nations, Nordic artists have centered on themes such as light vs. dark, nature and folklore, and liberalism. Within these various themes, the exhibition aims to highlight the native pioneers such as Helene Schjerfbeck, who championed the Golden and Romantic era, and Franciska Clausen, who discussed French influence and nationalism. The show also presents contemporary giants who are inspired by these past greats, and are honoring the cultural traditions of their predecessors. This exhibition presents an opportunity to view art that is rarely shown from these numerous nations that are rich in history and singular in style.
3) Charline Von Heyl: Snake Eyes | Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden A multinational exhibition in conjunction with the Deichtorhallen Hamburg in Germany, presents the largest museum survey on Charline Von Heyl's work. Featuring thirty large-scale paintings, this exhibition showcases the contemporary painter and her redefining of abstract painting. Her rethinking of the genre offers a different perspective on composition, color and narrative. Famous for her colorful, stream of consciousness painting, Von Heyl is first and foremost interested in the act of painting itself and consequently flirts with the line between abstraction and figuration. The resulting product is inspired by many real-world sources such as her personal life, pop culture and literature, however the paintings themselves do not offer a path in reaching those signals. Her evolving practice creates a visual language for the viewer, one that relates to the overarching human condition in general, but also offers an individual standpoint nonetheless.
Charline Von Heyl, Bluntschli, 2005. Courtesy of Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Jim Nutt, Front Cover of Hairy Who (cat-a-log), 1969. Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.
4) Hairy Who? 1966 - 1969 | Art Institute of Chicago Six graduates of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago transformed the Chicago art landscape over a period of four years. The Hairy Who was neither a movement nor a style, but merely a group effort to display bright graphic work inspired by advertisements, comics, posters and catalogs. Although the group had some similarities, each artist presented a personal viewpoint on the figurative work. The Hairy Who included Jim Falconer, Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Suellen Rocca and Karl Wirsum, all of whom grew up during a period of national turmoil; the Vietnam war, political leader assassinations, student protests, civil rights movements, and chiefly the expansion of a consumer-based economy. Progressive and unique, Hairy Who was well known for their visual spontaneity, sense of humor, puns and inside jokes that presented ideas through a strategic game. This exhibition is presented on the 50th anniversary of the final Hairy Who Chicago show and features 225 works accrued from both public and private collections, in the very first major survey on the group.
5) Enrico David: Gradations of Slow Release | Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Through introspection and observation of the human form, Enrico David has spent the last decades exploring the endless imagery of the body. Within various medium including sculpture, painting and installation, David explores and categorizes this vast theme. His representations of the body can be seen as tortuous, fragile, grotesque and vulnerable, and is ultimately presented as unstylized and singular. Although a contemporary artist, David successfully creates images that sometimes appear archaic or archival, something ancient that presents a timeless narrative. Within his work, David aims to establish an empathetic relationship between his beings and the viewer, creating a connection that is familiar and relative, but also revealing. His focus on themes such as introspection and disembodiment demonstrate the real human condition that actively makes the viewer relate, and in turn, wonder.
Enrico David, Tools and Toys III, 2014. Courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.