Magazine article Artforum International

Christine Macel

Magazine article Artforum International

Christine Macel

Article excerpt

1 BRAZILIAN MODERNISM Two thousand fourteen was the year of the great modernist Brazilian trio of Hetio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, and Mira Schendel, each granted his or her own retrospective. The Oiticica exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (curated by Cesar Oiticica Filho and Rachael Thomas), had the advantage of being conceived with Oiticica Filho, who visibly transmitted the spirit of his uncle into a joyful exhibition design that encouraged direct access to, and manipulation of, the artist's colorful objects and environments. This interactive element was also central to the Clark exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (curated by Connie Butler and Luis Perez-Oramas with Geaninne Gutierrez-Guimaraes and Beatriz Rabelo Olivetti), which provided a long-overdue international-level homage, tracing the full arc of Clark's career as a major figure in abstraction and Neo-concretism who went on to invent relational art in Paris in the 1960s before exploding through the boundaries of art into therapeutic experience.

2 MARIA BARTUSZOVA (MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, WARSAW: CURATED BY MARTA DZIEWANSKA AND GABRIELA GARLATYOVA) The Slovak artist, who died in 1996, is finally receiving true recognition with this inaugural retrospective, which places her among the great sculptors of the second half of the twentieth century. Her sensual and vulnerable works--elegant plaster monochromes suspended and bound with string, breaking open like eggs and organically bubbling up from flat planes--take your breath away.

3 MIRA SCHENDEL (TATE MODERN. LONDON: CURATED BY TANYA BARSON) Another first international retrospective (the third of this year's Brazilian triumvirate) promoted the philosophical and intellectual sources that give life to Schendel's deeply probing and existential oeuvre of geometric abstrac-tion--whether language, the book format, or mathematical systems--and in the process displayed many astonishing works, some never before seen.

Co-organized with the Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo in association with the Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Serra/ves, Porto, Portugal.

4 "MOALLAQAT" (JEDDAH ARTS 21, 39. JEDDAH. SAUDI ARABIA: CURATED BY AYA ALIREZA AND RANEEM EARS!) This was the first significant contemporary art exhibition mounted in Saudi Arabia, and it came about thanks to the vision of Hamza Serafi and the energy of the show's enlightened curators. Alongside the work of influential artist Ahmed Mater, the show revealed ambitious pieces by promising young artists such as Nasser Al-Salem and Dana Awartani.

5 RASHEED ARAEEN (SHARJAH ART FOUNDATION: CURATED BY SHEIKHA HOOP AL-QASIMI) Tracing more than half a century of artistic adventures undertaken by Araeen, a Pakistani-born, London-based artist who's also well known as the founding editor of the journal Third Text, this exhibition presented a major oeuvre of performative Minimalism, with works that can be manipulated by the public, adding an obligatory international chapter to the history of the movement.

6 HEIDI BUCHER (SWISS INSTITUTE. NEW YORK: CURATED BY SIMON CASTETS) Initially presented in Paris, the New York iteration of this exhibition, which featured the work of the Swiss artist (1926-1993), introduced additional pieces as part of an elegant installation highlighting Bucher's impressive and at times haunting latex molds of objects and architectures. …

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