City Guides - Art in America Guide
City Guide


“Kambel Smith”

through January 13, 2019

Large-scale foam core and paper models of City Hall, the Merchants Exchange building, Benjamin Franklin Bridge, and Betsy Ross’s house, among other Philadelphia landmarks, crowd this exhibition space, once the studio of Elaine de Kooning. Built by Germantown resident Kambel Smith, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of eight, the hefty structures are given vibrant life by Smith’s skills as a painter, evident in his interpretations of the storefronts at the base of the Art Deco PSFS bank building and the decorated pediments of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Image: “Kambel Smith,” installation view, Elaine de Kooning House, East Hampton, New York, November 22, 2018 – January 13, 2019.

“Cameron Rowland: D37”

through March 11, 2019

Cameron Rowland creates installations of existing objects and documents that expose America’s inequities, particularly those deriving from the poisonous legacy of slavery. The artist’s 2016 show at New York’s Artists Space, for example, consisted of examples of commercial goods, including office desks and firefighting suits, made by inmates—a disproportionate number of whom are African American men incarcerated for petty crimes—working for less than minimum wage in state prisons; these were accompanied by a brochure tracing the roots of what has been called the re-enslavement of black Americans. Rowland’s commissioned project for The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles brings together items such as an antebellum tax record; a MOCA donor plaque acknowledging the patronage of the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles; and objects seized by police through the process of civil asset forfeiture to examine the racist dimensions of state and market forces’ property “accumulation by dispossession.”

Image: Cameron Rowland, D37. Courtesy of the artist.

“Tania Bruguera”

through February 24, 2019

Part political art and part political action, Cuban artist Tania Bruguera’s work has taken myriad forms, among them a 2014 public performance in which she invited everyday Cubans to step up to a podium in Havana’s Revolution Square and speak their minds (the event was canceled by Cuban authorities, who also arrested several would-be participants) as well as a storefront community center in New York City offering services to recent immigrants. In 2008, Bruguera had policemen on horseback storm Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall and corral surprised visitors into the center of the gallery—transforming audience members into state-controlled citizens, according to the artist. This season, Bruguera returns to Tate Modern with a new commissioned piece, involving a heat-sensitive floor,  expanding on her concept of Arte Útil (art as a social tool).

Image: Installation view of “Tania Bruguera, Hyundai Commission,” Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, 2018. Photo copyright © Tate photography (Andrew Dunkley).

“Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing”

through January 27, 2019

Dorothea Lange’s celebrated photographs of rural life during the Great Depression, commissioned by the Farm Security Administration, are animated by her concern for the impoverished farmers she depicts. Conveying a similar empathy are the rarely seen pictures she took of Japanese-American “evacuees” at the Manzanar internment camp during World War II. Featured in this retrospective, the series serves as a timely reminder of the US government’s history of aiming harsh policies at perceived foreigners. The exhibition—which was organized by the Oakland Museum of California, where it premiered—encompasses over 240 vintage prints and archival materials, such as a letter to Lange from John Steinbeck.

Image: Dorothea Lange, Sacramento, California. College students of Japanese ancestry who have been evacuated from Sacramento to the Assembly Center, 1942. Courtesy National Archives.


Art in America talks to artists, curators, and other leading figures about their favorite current exhibitions.

What to see in New York: Curator Phillip March Jones on shows up now [posted 12/10/18]

“You know it when you see it.”

Image: Hilma af Klint, Group IV, The Ten Largest, No. 7, Adulthood (Grupp IV, De tio största, nr 7, Mannaåldern), 1907, tempera on paper mounted on canvas, 124 x 92 ½ inches. The Hilma af Klint Foundation, Stockholm. Photo: Albin Dahlström, the Moderna Museet, Stockholm.
New York

What to see in Los Angeles: Artist Anna Betbeze on shows up now [posted 10/26/18]

“The works I’m most attracted to, that make the most sense to me at this moment, are by artists who are looking deeply at our broken world and trying to reconfigure it.”

Image: Installation view of “B. Wurtz: This Has No Name,” Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angles, September 30, 2018–January 27, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York. Photo: Jonathan Velardi.
Los Angeles

What to see in Los Angeles: Vincent Price Art Museum director Pilar Tompkins Rivas on shows up now [posted 1/8/19]

“I’m always one for opening up the narrative around art history and questioning how the canon is defined.”

Image: Alan Shields, Shape-Up, 1976–77, acrylic, thread, and beads on canvas belting, 75 × 72 inches. Courtesy of the Drawing Room, East Hampton, New York. Copyright © Alan Shields Estate. Photo: Gary Mamay. In “Outliers,” Los Angeles County Museum of Art, November 18, 2018–March 17, 2019.

What to see in New York: Photographer Dawoud Bey on shows up now [published 08/09/2018]

“I get back to my New York City hometown periodically, and more often than not I’m drawn there by exhibitions that I know will haunt me if I miss them.”

Image: Maren Hassinger, Monuments, 2018, eight site-specific sculptures in Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Susan Inglett Gallery. Photo: Adam Reich.


Scenes from the Collection (650 works from antiquities to contemporary art highlighting the collection)


New York


March 19-May 14, 2017
by Ciara Moloney

Jacqueline de Jong is perhaps best known for her affiliation with the leftist Situationist International, for which she edited the Situationist Times between 1962 and ’67, giving particular attention to the wildly spontaneous work of CoBrA.

Los Angeles
February 9-May 29, 2017
by Gabriel Coxhead

David Hockney is one of the most popular and widely-recognized artists of our time,” states the introductory wall text in Tate Britain’s retrospective––though actually that’s putting it mildly.

March 2-August 5, 2017
by Federico Florian

A quiet, placid atmosphere filled the rooms of the group show “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.” The sculptures, installations, and video projections on view evoked a present tense where technology has imbued every aspect of human life, and therefore reshaped the mechanisms of our affections.