Gretchen Bender – Conversation: Gretchen Bender, The Perversion of the Visual

Gretchen Bender, The Perversion of the Visual, installation view, Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles, 2024
Photo: Robert Wedemeyer




Gretchen Bender
The Perversion of the Visual
Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles
Thursday, August 8, 2024

Join artist Martine Syms; Johanna Burton, director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Solveig Nelson, writer and curator of photography and new media, Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College, for a conversation around The Perversion of the Visual, Gretchen Bender’s current exhibition at Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles, on view through August 10. Each participant has engaged with Bender’s work in their past projects and will discuss her legacy in the twenty-first century.

Please RSVP here to attend the conversation.


Anne Imhof
Wish You Were Gay
Kunsthaus Bregenz
Through September 22, 2024

Anne Imhof is one of the most important contemporary artists of our time. Her signature artistic expression is rooted in performance pieces, where casts of androgynous figures navigate the space with a captivating blend of impassive poise and elaborate choreography within an immersive audio-visual experience. This dynamic interplay, underscored by the inclusion of ubiquitous and iconic elements of fashion, photography, and an amalgamation of subculture and popular culture, creates an atmosphere reminiscent of post-apocalyptic isolation.

Within the austere confines of Kunsthaus Bregenz, Anne Imhof ushers in a compelling transformation. In this enigmatic creation, a paradox unfolds, taking the shape of both a barricade and a proscenium. For the KUB exhibition, Imhof will focus on painting and sculpture, which form the crux of her artistic practice, mirroring the fluid evolution of her performative works. The human figure now assumes an allegorical presence, offering a heightened sense of Imhof’s trademark exploration of the human condition.


Jenny Holzer
Light Line
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York
Through September 29, 2024

This exhibition will present a reimagination of Jenny Holzer’s landmark 1989 installation at the Guggenheim. Climbing all six ramps of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed rotunda to the building’s apex, the new manifestation of Holzer’s electronic sign extends and builds upon the artist’s vision from thirty-five years earlier. The site-specific work will transform the building with a display of scrolling texts from her earliest series of truisms and aphorisms to more recent experiments with language generated by artificial intelligence. Holzer’s iconic use of the written word throughout her career has long captivated audiences around the world and this solo exhibition will feature little known examples of Holzer’s work spanning her career from the 1980s through today.


Cao Fei
Cao Fei: At the Edge of Superhumanity
SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah
Through July 29, 2024

Since the early 2000s, SCAD deFINE ART honoree Cao Fei has produced forward-thinking work that acutely responds to and reflects on – in real time – shifts in our perception and experience of reality during periods of rapid globalization, urban development, and technological advancement. A pioneer of creating digital worlds, Cao Fei transforms two galleries at the SCAD Museum of Art into an immersive multimedia installation featuring live-action films, as well as virtual, augmented, and mixed-reality environments for visitors to explore. Blurring distinctions between the terrestrial and the cyber, the familiar and the futuristic, Cao Fei reveals how the spaces we inhabit shape our identities and social interactions, and ultimately redirect our search for meaning and purpose in life.


Cao Fei
Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
Through September 8, 2024

In her films, photographs, and walk-in multimedia installations, Cao Fei addresses the economic and social changes of our time. Digitalization, globalization, the transformation of urban and suburban structures and thus our living spaces are at the heart of her art. Her questions focus on the way we humans live and react to the developments around us and adapt to them or actively incorporate them into our lives. For her works, Cao Fei herself sometimes spends time in the virtual community using her avatars China Tracy and Oz and documents her perception of digital realities in individual imagery and distinctive artistic spaces. Invention and reality, the fantastic and the documented, the digital and the human combine to create surreal, dystopian images and individual aesthetics that can be experienced by the public. Cao Fei’s exhibition at the Lenbachhaus will also focus on how rapid social change is being accelerated by digital technologies, affecting and changing human experience and the self-image of human existence at their core.


Cao Fei
Tidal Flux
Museum of Art Pudong, Shanghai
Through November 17, 2024

Museum of Art Pudong proudly announces its third major exhibition of the year, Cao Fei: Tidal Flux, opening to the public from June 22 to November 17, 2024. This exhibition marks MAP’s first solo show dedicated to a female artist and its first major exhibition of moving images and media art since the museum’s inception. For artist Cao Fei, this marks her inaugural large-scale mid-career retrospective in Shanghai, and one of her largest solo exhibitions ever staged globally. This exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of Cao Fei’s nearly 30-year artistic journey. The exhibition delves into themes of time, the body, and technology, encompassing several of Cao Fei’s significant long-term projects. Highlights include her early works during the “Pearl River Delta” period, the exploration of digital and virtual realms in the “metaverse” originating from the RMB City body of work, and her research project HX. Furthermore, the exhibition features seven pieces making their global debut, and thirteen works/series being shown in China for the first time.


Thomas Demand
The Stutter of History
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Through September 15, 2024

At first, the images Thomas Demand creates seem to depict the real world. A closer look, however, reveals that they are actually photographs of temporary sculptural re-creations. Demand often selects his source imagery from the news media, and he re-creates those images as life-size models using colored paper and cardboard. Then he photographs the images and prints them at a monumental scale. Afterward, Demand destroys his models, leaving behind only their ghostly photographic doubles. The “stutter of history” evoked by the exhibition’s title lies in that strange gap between the real world and the re-created world of paper and cardboard that the artist conjures in his studio.

The internationally touring exhibition Thomas Demand: The Stutter of History is a landmark retrospective of the artist’s work, and the MFAH is the only U.S. venue.


Sylvie Fleury
Yes to All
Kunsthal Rotterdam
Through September 8, 2024

In the spring of 2024, Kunsthal Rotterdam is presenting a large-scale exhibition of the work of the Swiss artist Sylvie Fleury. For the very first time her provocative installations, sculptures, ready-mades, and paintings will be shown in the Netherlands. In a playful way, Fleury challenges the cultural constructs of gender stereotypes. She uses modern advertising strategies such as attention-seeking slogans, brightly colored neon lights, and seductive presentations to explore the boundaries between contemporary art and consumerism. Incorporating elements from the worlds of fashion and film, pop culture, and art history, Fleury consistently succeeds in creating unexpected new stories, always infused with a generous dose of humor and individuality.


Gilbert & George
Pink Elephants
Herbert Foundation, Loods
Through July 28, 2024

Gilbert and George have been working as an artist duo since the early 1960s. For Gilbert & George there is no distinction between the artist and the artwork. “The life of Gilbert & George is art.” Their versatile oeuvre is both current and provocative and is equally romantic and humorous. Although they always place themselves and their lives at the center of their art, they transcend the personal and their work touches upon universal themes such as identity, sexuality, religion, and politics. The presentation Gilbert & George – Pink Elephants emphasizes Gilbert & George’s early work and shows the radical position they took from the outset. 


Gilbert & George
The Gilbert & George Centre, London

Celebrating a year since opening, Gilbert & George are thrilled to announce the second exhibition to take place at the Gilbert & George Centre – the ‘LONDON PICTURES’. The largest group of pictures created by Gilbert & George, they offer both a directory of urban human behaviour and a moral portrait of our times. Over a number of years, Gilbert & George stole newspaper posters found across London, filtering and sorting the stories they conveyed by subject matter. More than a decade since they were first unveiled on a global tour, the Centre will present 28 of the 292 pictures from the ‘LONDON PICTURES’ series, many of which have not been seen in the UK previously. Viewing these ‘LONDON PICTURES’ in 2024 will prompt viewers to consider how society has changed and what has remained central to our shared experience.


Nancy Holt
Circles of Light
Gropius Bau, Berlin
Through July 21, 2024

Over the course of five decades, Nancy Holt explored how we perceive our environment and how we attempt to understand our place on the surface of this planet. From March 2024, the Gropius Bau presents Circles of Light, the artist’s most comprehensive survey exhibition in Germany to date. It includes film, video, photography, sound works, concrete poetry, sculptures and expansive installations as well as drawings and documentation from over 25 years.

In her artistic practice, Nancy Holt reimagined site-specific installations and ways of working with natural and artificial light. She began focusing on ecological aspects at an early stage and incorporated the earth’s rotation, astronomy, time and space into her sculptures, constantly challenging us to look beyond what we think we know. Holt’s working process will have a particularly tangible presence in the exhibition at the Gropius Bau through texts and recordings by the artist.


Nancy Holt
Sun Tunnels
Tate Liverpool
Through July 22, 2024

Experience her 26-minute film Sun Tunnels, 1978 at Tate Liverpool + RIBA North, which documents the making of her large-scale sculptural installation in the Utah desert. The film shows the construction of four huge concrete tunnels that are positioned to align with the sunrise and sunset of the summer and winter solstices. It features footage of these sculptures as they frame the sun and capture and cast the sunlight into different patterns. The work brings together themes of art, architecture and ecology.


Jenny Holzer
Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm
Through August 31, 2024
Each day from 11am–8pm

Since the 1970s, Jenny Holzer has used language as her primary means of expression to explore new avenues for art in public space. In the past, the world has been able to experience her art through everything from large-scale installations, projections, signs, posters, stone benches and plaques to condom packaging. Text is always central, whether it's flickering from an electronic sign or engraved in granite. Now three of her iconic works, Truisms (1977–79), Survival (1983–85) and Arno (1996) are becoming part of the Stockholm cityscape on LED screens.

The activations are direct in their approach, yet often contradictory, challenging the viewer to take a stand on political as well as moral issues. Truisms is activated at Stureplan, Survival at Katarinahissen at Slussen and Arno at Hötorget, the intersection of Sveavägen/Kungsgatan.


Take a Breath
Group Exhibition
IMMA – Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
Through March 17, 2025

Take a Breath is a major new exhibition that provides an historical, social, political, and personal examination of breathing – why we breathe, how we breathe and what we breathe – exploring themes of decolonisation, environmental racism, indigenous language, the impact of war on the environment and breath as meditation.

Taking as its starting point the nature of breath and its vital role in our very existence, the exhibition reflects on the social, political, environmental, and spiritual aspect of breathing, tracking this vital act from the impact of post-industrial air pollution to modern-day wars and the effect on environment, health and how we live; to the suppression of protests of voices from different communities, where breath is a symbol of community and resistance; and the use of breath as personal meditation.


Anthony McCall
Solid Light
Tate Modern, London
Through April 27, 2025

In Summer 2024, Tate Modern will present a focused exhibition of immersive works by Anthony McCall. Occupying a space between sculpture, cinema and drawing, McCall is known for his ‘solid-light’ installations that began in 1973 with the seminal work Line Describing a Cone, a key work in Tate’s collection.


Anthony McCall
Split Second
Museo Guggenheim Bilbao
Through November 10, 2024

Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the Museum’s program devoted to artistic practices of the moving image, the Film & Video Gallery will host the radically abstract, film-based work of Anthony McCall. In clear dialogue with the works of Richard Serra and Lucio Fontana in the Museum Collection, this exhibition will feature the premiere of a single new work, Split Second (Mirror) IV (2024), alongside the historic projection piece Miniature in Black and White (1972) and a series of photographic prints.


Senga Nengudi
Dia Beacon, New York
Through early 2025

Dia Art Foundation will present a long-term exhibition of work by Senga Nengudi, which will open at Dia Beacon on February 17, 2023. Sculptures and room-sized installations made between 1969 and 2020, including recent acquisitions for Dia’s permanent collection, will be on display. This long-term exhibition of Nengudi’s work will be accompanied by a performance program and publication, revealing the multiplicity of her practice.


Jon Rafman
Breaking the Void
Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei
Through September 15, 2024

Breaking the Void presents Jon Rafman’s video work Punctured Sky (2021), and S.S Lacuna: Prologue (2024), an interactive video commissioned by TFAM Net.Open. The two pieces raise questions and probes into the virtual and real dimensions of cyberspace. As the narrative exploration unfolds, the intangible web constructed by the internet gradually reveals fissures and holes piercing through the virtual towards reality. Yet, the world it leads to, is it indeed reality, or another boundless void?


Pamela Rosenkranz
Old Tree
High Line, New York
Through September 2024

Sprüth Magers congratulates Pamela Rosenkranz whose monumental sculpture Old Tree was selected for the third High Line Plinth commission in New York, to be unveiled in spring of 2023. The bright red and pink imaginary tree animates a myriad of historical archetypes wherein the tree of life connects heaven and earth while also closely resembling the complex networks of the human circulatory system. Located on the High Line—an urban park built on a relic of industry—and selected from among over 80 international proposals by artists from 40 countries, Old Tree raises questions about the real while simultaneously highlighting a breakdown of the boundary between nature and artifice.


Ed Ruscha
Los Angeles County Museum of Art – LACMA
Through October 6, 2024

Ed Ruscha has consistently held up a mirror to American society by transforming some of its defining attributes – from consumer culture and popular entertainment to the ever-changing urban landscape – into the very subject of his art. In 1956, Ruscha left Oklahoma City to study commercial art in Los Angeles, where he drew inspiration from the city’s architectural landscape – parking lots, urban streets, and apartment buildings – and colloquial language.

As his first comprehensive, cross-media retrospective in over 20 years, ED RUSCHA / NOW THEN traces Ruscha’s methods and familiar subjects throughout his career and underscores the many remarkable contributions he has made well beyond the boundaries of the art world. The exhibition includes his early works produced while traveling through Europe, his installations – such as the Chocolate Room and the Course of Empire presented at the Venice Biennale in 1970 and 2005, respectively – and his ceaseless photographic documentation of the streets of Los Angeles beginning in 1965.


Stephen Shore
Vehicular & Vernacular
Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris
Through September 15, 2024

With over a hundred images shot between 1969 and 2021 across the United States, Vehicular & Vernacular is the first retrospective of Stephen Shore’s work in Paris in nineteen years. On view at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, the exhibition shows the photographer’s renowned series—Uncommon Places and American Surfaces—alongside lesser-known projects never shown in France. A fragment of the Signs of Life exhibition in which Shore participated in 1976 is exceptionally recreated for the occasion. Finally, the photographer’s most recent series, shot using drones, is exhibited for the first time in Europe.


Marcel van Eeden
Art Today – Drawings and Animations
Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen
Through October 6, 2024

Like hardly anyone else in contemporary art, Marcel van Eeden gives the medium of drawing cinematic qualities, opening a window into a very vividly portrayed past. Based on photographs from magazines, newspapers, books and catalogues, all printed before his birth in 1965, he explores a time that took place without him, but into which he puts himself and literally “draws”. In several groups of drawings, Marcel van Eeden takes us into the past of his adopted home of Zurich, which we explore as if on a city walk – from the modern Bellevue tram stop past the Polybähnli, across Lake Zurich to Picabia and Miró in the Kronenhalle. In the style of pulp fiction, he develops a highly exciting story about cultural loot and Eduard von der Heydt's world art collection, which was to form the basis of the Zurich Rietberg Museum.


Kara Walker
Fortuna and the Immortality Garden (Machine)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – SFMoMA
Through May 2026

Fortuna and the Immortality Garden (Machine)
A Respite for the Weary Time-Traveler.
Featuring a Rite of Ancient Intelligence Carried out by The Gardeners
Toward the Continued Improvement of the Human Specious
Kara E-Walker.

Kara Walker has long been recognized for her incisive examinations of the dynamics of power and the exploitation of race and sexuality. Her work leverages expressions of fantasy and humor to confront troubling histories and dominant narratives, repossessing control in the process. Inspired by a wide range of sources, from antique dolls to Octavia Butler’s novel Parable of the Sower, Walker’s new commission, Fortuna and the Immortality Garden (Machine), considers the memorialization of trauma, the objectives of technology, and the possibilities of transforming the negative energies that plague contemporary society. The presentation marks the first time that SFMOMA has commissioned an artist to create a site-specific installation for the Roberts Family Gallery.


John Waters
John Waters: Pope of Trash
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles
Through August 4, 2024

John Waters: Pope of Trash is the first comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the artist’s contributions to cinema. The exhibition delves into his filmmaking process, key themes, and unmatched style. Works on view include costumes, props, handwritten scripts, correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, film clips, and more, revealing the nuances of independent filmmaking and the ways in which Waters’s movies have redefined the possibilities of independent cinema.


John Baldessari
John Baldessari. The End of the Line
Craig Robins Collection
Fundación Malba – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires
July 17–November 18, 2024

First South American survey devoted to John Baldessari, the great pioneer of conceptual art. The exhibition features a selection of 45 works, spanning paintings, photographs and installations drawn from the collection of Craig Robins – a friend, promoter, close interlocutor and one of the most important collectors of Baldessari’s work. John Baldessari: The End of the Line reviews 50 years of the artist’s work organized in four thematic groupings. The exhibition highlights Baldessari’s foundational works from the 1960s and 70s; the radical incineration of his own work; his serial approach to photography; and his ongoing exploration of the interplay between imagery and language, between the world of text and that of ideas.


Thea Djordjadze, Rosemarie Trockel
limitation of life
Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
November 12, 2024–April 27, 2025

The Lenbachhaus will present a collaborative work by the artists Rosemarie Trockel and Thea Djordjadze. Djordjadze was Trockel’s student at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1998 to 2001 and the two have maintained a close artistic relationship ever since, realizing numerous joint projects and exhibitions. In their exhibition at Lenbachhaus, the artists want to delve into the conception of beauty and challenge established aesthetic conventions, taking inspiration from reflections by the poet Arthur Rimbaud. Rimbaud’s opening lines from “Une saison en enfer” (1873) provide a leitmotif for the artists’ approach: “One evening I sat Beauty on my knees. And I found her bitter and I reviled her.”


Mire Lee
Hyundai Commission: Mire Lee
Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London
October 8, 2024–March 16, 2025

Tate Modern and Hyundai Motor announce that Mire Lee will create the next annual Hyundai Commission. Mire Lee is known for her visceral sculptures which use kinetic, mechanised elements to invoke the tension between soft forms and rigid systems. Her new site-specific work for the Turbine Hall will be open to the public from 8 October 2024 to 16 March 2025. This will be the first major presentation of Lee’s work in the UK.

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