From a bona fide rock star of Japanese art to an acclaimed conceptualist who mines the less savory nooks of our new online lives (yes, sex chatrooms), these are the names you'll want to know about this month.
“Uh-Oh” at the Hammer Museum, Oct. 11 - Jan.24
When Jerry Saltz recently devoted a column to the apparent dearth of “great women bad-boy artists,” he would have done well to rope in Frances Stark to refute the notion. She is hard core. An high-order intellectual whose artistic den (her studio is her living room) is marked by piles of German philosophy and buzzing LED screens, Stark has made her outsize appetites—for ideas, for sex, for endlessly provocative insinuation—into the source material for an ever-morphing exegesis on longing. (Many remember her from her videos My Best Thing and Osservate, Leggete Con Me, both of which detail her erotic virtual affairs with men met online; in real life, she surrounds herself with attractive young street toughs with sweet dispositions and artistic souls.) This month, Stark, who won this year’s Absolut Art Award, will receive a retrospective at the Hammer Museum curated by Ali Subotnick. Expect the greatness of this woman bad-boy artist to be the talk of the art world.
“Prints” at the Judd Foundation, Oct. 2 - Dec. 19
Sculptor. Critic. Furniture-maker. Real-estate genius. The great artist Donald Judd wore many hats, all of them rectilinear and clinically proportioned, and another of them was master printmaker. Beginning this week, the Judd Foundation will be presenting an extraordinary wealth of this work in a survey of 40 years worth of prints curated by his famously named son, Flavin Judd. (Dan Flavin was the artist’s best friend.) An extra treat? The show will also feature a selection of Judd’s metal furniture, which visitors will be allowed—no, “encouraged”!—to sit in. Wear your smartest pants.
“STAGES” at the Graham Foundation, Oct. 1 - Jan. 9
Now nearing 80, Barbara Kasten is not only a paragon of the constructed photograph—she’s also a key link between the aesthetic of high European Modernist rigor and American post-Pictures metaphotography. This month, the first U.S. survey of the artist—whose later style Frieze has labeled “hallucinogenic neo-baroque”—is going to be touring from UPenn’s Institute of Contemporary Art to the Graham Foundation in her hometown of Chicago.
“A Public Character” at ICA Miami, Oct. 8-Jan. 17
Since 2012, the New Jersey-born artist Shannon Ebner has been placing—and displacing—the letter ‘A’ in different odd corners of the American industrial landscape and photographing it for her “Black Box Collision A” series. Now, the text-besotted artist, whose cracker-crisp images perfectly balance the conceptual and the stylish, is receiving her first museum survey with a selection of her work at the hectic ICA Miami (the show will bounce from its current location to its new building in the Design District before its run is over).
Blum & Poe, Oct. 2 - Nov. 14
What is it that makes the little emo waifs of Yoshitomo Nara’s so immensely popular both in his native Japan and internationally? One might ask the same question of Mark Ryden’s porcelain-skinned Gothic nymphets—or the big-eyed urchins of Margaret Keane. It’s somewhat perplexing, but when it comes to Nara, the context he overlays on his characters—a kind of supercool, punk-rock nihilism with roots in street art—gives them a strangely convincing hipster vibe. And then, thank the heavens, he’s also a terrifically gifted painter. With a show of his new work, a series of thin paintings embedded in bowls called “Shallow Puddles,” coming to Japan this month, look less at his emotive iconography and more at the feats of virtuoso craftsmanship they occasion.
New Museum, Oct. 7 - Jan. 10
Jim Shaw’s work mines the visual culture of his childhood in 1950s suburban Michigan and the conceptual energy of his adopted city of Los Angeles, revealing the repressed impulses just under the surface of comic books, religious tracts, and amateur art. His show at the New Museum is the first major survey of the artist’s work in New York—a must-see for lovers of Americana’s darker underbelly. (And who isn't?)
47 Canal, Sept. 25 - Oct. 25
When he’s not busy running his successful Greenpoint gallery Real Fine Arts, Tyler Dobson makes multimedia works evoking a kind of smirking nostalgia for suburban visions of adolescence; alternative rock, summer (or winter) houses, and New Yorker cartoons have all worked their way into recent installations. His new show at 47 Canal is called “A World Without Tears,” an apt description of the mystical land his work references.
Ballroom Marfa, Sept. 25 - Feb. 14 and Istanbul Biennial, through Nov. 1
Part of the up-and-coming generation of artists exploring the applications of 3D technology, Ed Atkins is known for his hyperreal yet decidedly non-narrative digital videos featuring superslick animated avatars created using motion-capture technology. Look out for his piece Even Pricks (2013) on view as a part of Ballroom Marfa’s new show “Äppärät,” as well as Hisser (2015), commissioned for the Istanbul Biennial.
MoMA, Oct. 12 - Jan. 31
Walid Raad has made a name for himself with his probing, 15-year exploration of the contemporary history of his native Lebanon, created under the auspices of the (fictional) artist collective the Atlas Group and extending into video, photography, archival research, sculpture, and writing. MoMA will host the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s work in the U.S. this month, includiding selections from his ongoing new project Scratching on things I could disavow, focusing on the arts in the Middle East.
The Morgan Library & Museum, Oct. 9 - Jan. 10
While he’s best known for his large-scale sculptures employing traditional craft techniques coupled with a certain Minimalist smoothness, the American artist Martin Puryear has also produced a large body of drawings over the course of his decorated career. The Morgan Library & Museum shines light on this overlooked facet of his process in its new show “Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions,” featuring a selection of these drawings alongside prints and a handful of sculptures.