Welcome to This Week in Culture, a weekly agenda of show openings and events in major cities across the globe. From galleries to institutions and one-of-a-kind happenings, our ongoing survey highlights the best of contemporary culture, for those willing to make the journey.
“READY FOR YOU WHEN YOU ARE” by Jenny Holzer
Where: Hauser & Wirth West Hollywood
When: September 1–October 21, 2023
Why It’s Worth a Look: Visitors will have the opportunity to see the latest work from this cross-disciplinary artist. On display are Holzer’s paintings, curse tablets, and three new kinetic displays.
Know Before You Go: Holzer’s previous batch of “curse tablets” were inspired by Roman vengeance tableaux and featured a litany of Donald Trump tweets.
“Graphic Design in the Middle Ages”
Where: The Getty Center Los Angeles
When: August 29, 2023–January 28, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: The exhibition, as its title suggests, recontextualizes Middle Age texts as art objects, putting their elaborate design front and center. The show is segmented into chapters, including Designing the Medieval Page, Text as Design, Visualizing Information, and Ornament and Abstraction.
Know Before You Go: The Getty is also hosting two free events in conjunction with the exhibition: “Artist-at-Work: Modern Calligraphy" and “Making Manuscripts: Family Workshop,” taking place on August 27, September 10, October 1, and October 8.
“Landscape in Red” by Rodney McMillian
Where: Vielmetter Los Angeles
When: September 2–October 21, 2023
Why It’s Worth a Look: This latest presentation of McMillian’s work highlights his newest landscape paintings, a focus of his for the past few decades. In particular, the show explores the artist’s focus on landscape as a medium defined by the absence of the body.
Know Before You Go: Throughout his career, the artist has maintained a throughline in his color palette: painting again and again in black, white, and red.
“VISAGE(S)” by Jean-Phillipe Delhomme
Where: Perrotin Tokyo
When: August 31–October 14, 2023
Why It’s Worth a Look: The show, his first solo exhibition at Perrotin Tokyo, offers a new body of works from Delhomme, all crafted in his Paris studio with the use of live models. He selected the sparse, dark backgrounds featured as an homage to 17th-century Dutch portraiture, one of his many inspirations.
Know Before You Go: Faces are of particular interest to the painter. In a statement, he explained, “The face is the place of vulnerability, fragility, and change; just as a landscape changes with the light, the face changes from one day to another, and very often during a sitting.”
“Kagetora’s dream in the time of Sakoku. (Reds and Blues). Part 1” by Umar Rashid
Where: Blum & Poe Tokyo
When: September 2–October 14, 2023
Why It’s Worth a Look: This exhibition continues Umar Rashid’s historical fiction retelling of the Frenglish Empire, 1648–1880, a project spanning 17 years of his life. Here, the artist recounts the story of the Order of the Kirin, setting his tale in Japan, and making reference to events that occurred in the country’s Sakoku period.
Know Before You Go: Rashid has described the ending of this chapter in his saga as “a hardcore Monty Python.”
“Life Cycles: The Materials of Contemporary Design”
Where: The Museum of Modern Art New York
When: September 2, 2023–July 7, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: As designers continue to innovate interior spaces, it is crucial to recognize the impact creating physical objects has on the environment. Here, MoMA exhibits works that are not only climate neutral, but actually have a net positive impact. The approach prompts conversation about design’s relationship to manufacturing and climate systems.
Know Before You Go: From cow dung to fungi to honeycomb, all manner of natural material is fair game in this unusual exhibition.
“Living With Depression” by Josh Smith
Where: David Zwirner Paris
When: September 2–October 7, 2023
Why It’s Worth a Look: Though Smith often focuses his exhibitions on one subject or form, the artist here breaks free of that modality and tackles both abstraction and representational art, at times blending the two. Earlier works reference his time spent in Covid lockdown, while later pieces dissolve into explorations of a natural world in disarray.
Know Before You Go: With this show, Smith does limit himself to a study of the color red, hoping to follow in the footsteps of greats who have tackled this particular hue. Robert Rauschenberg, as the story goes, chose to create his 1950s red paintings because one of his teachers at Black Mountain College, Josef Albers, had said it was the most difficult to work with. Smith references both painters in this show.