Art This Week in Culture

This Week in Culture: December 18 - 24

John Chamberlain, The Hot Lady from Bristol, 1979. Photography by Bill Jacobson Studio. Image courtesy of the artist, Artists Rights Society, the Aspen Art Museum, and the Dia Art Foundation. 

Welcome to This Week in Culture, a weekly agenda of show openings and events in major cities across the globe. From galleries to institutions to one-of-a-kind happenings, our ongoing survey highlights the best of contemporary culture, for those willing to make the journey.


Aspen Art Museum
When: December 15, 2023 - April 7, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: Curated by Swiss artist Urs Fischer, the Aspen Art Museum's extensive exhibition of the late American sculptor John Chamberlain spans his six-decade career. From monumental pieces made from automobile parts and air ducts to miniature forms made with foam, foil, and resin, the sculptures capture Chamberlain's relentless experimentation and curiosity. Also on view are photographs that document the artist’s vivid experiences on the road.
Know Before You Go: Fischer’s newest artist book, John Chamberlain Against the World, will be available on site, offering a thorough examination of Chamberlain’s legacy, including his possible inspirations and artistic descendants.


Pradasphere II
The Start Museum 111 Ruining Road
When: December 7, 2023 - January 21, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: The storied history of Prada has now been put on display in a sprawling exhibition at Shanghai's Start Museum. Told through the lens of co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, more than 400 artifacts from the brand's archives, as well as items tracing the house's collaborations across artistic fields, are featured in this exhibition, which builds upon a first iteration in 2014.
Know Before You Go: Towering warehouse shelving, created in partnership with 2x4 design studio, gives the show a rougher edge, as manequins showing more than 200 looks lounge amongst the rafters. Each outfit was selected by Simons, and a workshop built into the exhibition gives further insight into their creation.

Hou Zichao, 驰骋智慧尽头 Gallop wisdom end, 2023. Image courtesy of the artist and Tara Downs.

New York

Fallen lush racing share” by Hou Zichao
Tara Downs
When: December 14, 2023 - January 27, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: Each canvas in the Beijing-based artist Hou Zichao's show takes the date palm tree as its subject. The motif is surrounded citrus, jagged lines, and abstract brushstrokes, offering a fresh take on Chinese landscape painting and a very subjective travelogue. 
Know Before You Go: The artist embeds various art-historical references in the series, including to IKB, or International Klein Blue, the ultramarine shade registered as a trademark color by French artist Yves Klein in 1957. 

Loïc Raguénès: Only a Grain of Sand
When: December 16, 2023 - January 20, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: The show presents more than a decade's worth of work by the late French artist Loïc Raguénès, who died in 2022. Described by the gallery as a "painter of poetics and quietude," Raguénès created moody seascapes, precise dot paintings, and colored-over found images with paint, ink, and pencil. 
Know Before You Go: In his later works, Raguénès took inspiration from the sentimental and repetitive nature of music by Johann Sebastian Bach and Erik Satie. The title of the exhibition, “Only a Grain of Sand,” refers to the latter’s Trois Poémes D’Amour (Three Love Poems), which begins, “Ne suis que grain de sable” (“I am only a grain of sand”).

Sadie Barnette, Photo Bar, 2022. Photography by Phillip Maisel. Image courtesy of the artist and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Don’t Forget to Call Your Mother
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
When: Through Sept. 15, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: A timely show about family that opens just in time for the holidays, “Don’t Forget to Call Your Mother” brings together work inspired by the memories, talismans, and histories of our tribes. The works, all drawn from the museum's collection, were created from the 1970s to the present by artists including Sadie Barnette, Sophie Calle, Larry Sultan, Taryn Simon, and Hank Willis Thomas.
Know Before You Go: The exhibition is named after a photograph by artist Maurizio Cattelan of a red neon sign in a club: Don’t Forget to Call Your Mother, 2000.

Waking Life
When: December 14, 2023 - January 25, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: This dynamic, intergenerational group show is organized around the theme of dreaming as a tool for transformation. Look out for Hungarian experimental artist Eva Beresin’s blended figures, Italian artist Francesco Cima’s vast landscapes, and Jamaican American artist Mosie Romney’s abstractions, among other works.
Know Before You Go: The show will serve as a sampler for the gallery's forthcoming program: Participating artists Francesco Cima, Mercedes Llanos, and Adrian Schachter are all due to have solo shows at Amanita in 2024.

Tao Hui, "We, Entertainment" (Exhibition View), 2023. Photography by Andrea Rossetti. Image courtesy of the artist and Esther Schipper.⁠


We, Entertainment” by Tao Hui
Esther Schipper
When: December 15, 2023 - January 27, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: Tao Hui’s “We, Entertainment” takes the viewer through a funhouse interpretation of the modern media landscape. The exhibition is divided into four parts including Night of Peacemaking, a talk show-style portrayal of traumatic moments turned into entertainment, and Hardworking, which captures an infomercial host contending with persistent loneliness.
Know Before You Go: A snake motif appears throughout the exhibition. In the first section, a giant python tail sticks out from the floor surrounded by bloody chunks of the animal’s body. The tableau is inspired by Hui’s childhood memories of folktales from rural China as well as the '90s TV series New Legend of Madam White Snake

Hong Kong

Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names 3” by Korakrit Arunanondchai
K11 Musea
When: December 17, 2023 - January 14, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: The museum presents fourth installment of the Thai artist Korakrit Arunanondchai's celebrated immersive video series, which he began in 2012. The project—which incorporates sculpture, film, performance, and painting—explores the relationships among humans, machines, and traditional spiritual entities in Bangkok. It has long been a favorite of international curators.
Know Before You Go: Fictional characters in the video installation include Chantri, an invisible protagonist voiced by Arunanondchai's mother, and the Denim Painter, a fictionalized portrayal of the artist.