Are holograms due for a comeback? The curators of New York's New Museum for Contemporary Art seem to think so: One of the upcoming exhibitions that the Lower East Side institution announced today when it released its schedule for the rest of 2012 is a small survey of famous artists who used that retro-futurist medium, including Louise Bourgois, Bruce Nauman, and James Turrell. The exhibition, "Pictures from the Moon," will be installed in the museum's lobby gallery and run from July 5-September 30.
That focused show of holograms, which is put together by assistant curator Jenny Moore, will run concurrently with the larger thematic exhibition "Ghosts in the Machine," which is being curated by the museum's associate director and director of exhibitions Massimiliano Gioni and curator Gary Carrion-Murayari. Envisioned as a "cabinet of curiosities," it will include artworks and non-art objects that pertain to man's relationship to all things mechanical — making it a sort of sequel (or perhaps prequel?) to 2008's apocalyptic exhibition "After Nature." Works included in "Ghosts in the Machine" span over five decades, and include art by Hans Haacke, Richard Hamilton, and Otto Piene, technological artifacts by tinkerers like Jacob Mohr, Emery Blagdon, and even a reconstruction of a device imagined by dystopian author Franz Kafka. The same exhibition will also occasion a critical re-evaluation of Op-Art, incorporating works by abstract painters like Bridget Riley, Victor Vasarely, and Richard Anuskiewicz. "Ghosts in the Machine" will be on view July 18-October 7 in the museum's second, third, and fourth floor galleries.
Aside from those two thematic exhibitions investigating the effects of largely antiquated technologies on artistic thinking and production, the rest of the New Museum's program for 2012 is dominated by women artists — much like the exhibitions it had previously announced. In May, the New York-based painter Ellen Altfest will have her first solo exhibition at a museum, "Ellen Altfest: Head and Plant," which will be curated by Moore and installed in the lobby gallery. Though much of her foregoing work focused on inanimate objects like plants, rocks, and gourds, her latest series incorporate the male body, and will be the focus of this show, which will be on view May 6-June 24.
The only major solo show on the New Museum's fall schedule will be an unconventional retrospective of the German artist Rosemarie Trockel, organized by the artist and Lynne Cooke for the Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, with the collaboration of Gioni and Moore for the New York presentation. "Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos" will be on view from October 24, 2012, until February of next year. It's conceived as a sprawling self-portrait rather than a strict retrospective, with Trockel's works in ceramic, collage, sculpture, drawing, clothing, video, and installation, alongside artworks and non-art objects that have influenced her thinking. A series of her ceramic sculptures will be shown next to 19th century glass sculptures of sea monsters, for instance, while her latest works on paper are installed with 17th century floral watercolor paintings by Maria Sybilla Merian.
Trockel's first major exhibition at an American museum since a show at the Dia Art Foundation over than ten years ago rounds out a refreshingly women-centric year at the New Museum, which will open no fewer than five solo shows by female artists — Nathalie Djuberg, Phyllida Barlow, Tacita Dean, Klara Lidén, and Altfest — this spring.