artnet: 13 must-see exhibitions at American art museums in 2022, from Philip Guston’s long-awaited survey to Faith Ringgold’s Big New York Moment



So here we are. It’s 2022 and you’re looking for a list of the most important must-see art museum exhibitions of the year. You are in the right place! Here’s a roundup of the shows you’ll want to watch through June.


“Noah Davis” at the Underground Museum in Los Angeles
Opens January 12, 2022

Noah Davis, The Last BBQ (2008). © The Estate of Noah Davis. Courtesy of the Underground Museum.

The late Noah Davis (1983-2015), who co-founded the Underground Museum in Los Angeles with his wife, sculptor Karon Davis, before his untimely death at age 32, is the focus of this exhibit as the museum reopens to the public after being closed for almost two years. The exhibition, curated by Helen Molesworth and Justen Leroy, examines the seemingly calm everyday scenes that Davis painted, as well as other images the museum describes as exercises in “magical realism.”

“Charles Ray: Figure Ground” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
January 31, 2022 – June 5, 2022

Charles Ray, Huck and Jim. Photo: Josh White. Courtesy of Charles Ray and Matthew Marks Gallery.

For more than 50 years, Charles Ray, one of the greatest living Old Masters, has been playing with our perceptions, biases and ideas about abstraction, even though in the latter part of his career he seems to have focused on an infallible and sometimes disconcerting realism. The exhibition, which will include 19 works made throughout his career, as well as photographs by the artist, is his first exhibition in a New York museum in 25 years and the first to bring together sculptures from each decade of his life. professional. Crucially, this one may also generate some controversy: the show marks the New York debut of Ray’s sculpture Huck and Jim, which the Whitney Museum commissioned for its place and then rejected, apparently out of concern that its racist and sexually charged images would offend viewers.


“Ulysses Jenkins: Without Your Interpretation” at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
February 6, 2022 – May 15, 2022

Ulysses Jenkins, Two-zone transfer (1979), video again. Courtesy of the artist and Electronic Arts Intermix.

Pioneering video artist Ulysses Jenkins is getting a major retrospective resulting from three years of research, during which curators digitized his massive 50-year-old archive and conducted interviews with the artist and his many collaborators. Among his many friends, teachers and acquaintances were Charles White, Chris Burden, Betye Saar and Kerry James Marshall, who starred in Jenkins’ video. Two-zone transfer (1979). This is one you won’t want to miss.

“Faith Ringgold: American People” at the New Museum, New York
February 17, 2022 – June 5, 2022

Faith Ringgold, American People Series #18: The Flag Bleeds (1967). © Faith Ringgold / ARS, NY and DACS, London, courtesy ACA Galleries, New York 2021.

Speaking of masters, Faith Ringgold, whose breathtaking and sometimes startling visions of life in America have passed under the mainstream radar for too long, gets the retrospective treatment at the New Museum in February. The exhibit will include his fabric works, paintings and soft sculptures to mark his place in the long line leading from the “Harlem Renaissance to the political art of young black artists working today,” according to the museum.

“Supernatural America: The Paranormal in American Art” at the Minneapolis Institute of Art
February 19, 2022 – May 15, 2022

Agatha Wojciechowsky, Untitled (detail), (1963). Courtesy of The Steven Day Collection, New York, NY.

The ghosts that haunt America are the focus of this traveling group exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, which will explore how paranormal interests have guided more than 100 artists, including Betye Saar and Grant Wood, from the 18th century to today. “You might expect to see images of ghosts in an exhibit exploring the supernatural — and you will,” curator Robert Cozzolino wrote of the exhibit. “But the common thread that connects these diverse artists across generations is contact.”


“Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe” at the National Museum of the American Indian, New York
March 11, 2022 – September 11, 2022

Oscar Howe, Umine Dance (1958). Courtesy of Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.

Oscar Howe (1915-1983) spent the early years of his career exploring how modernism could coexist with the aesthetics of his native Yanktonai Dakota culture, creating vibrant works that challenged both the mainstream contemporary art world of his time and the Sioux traditions in which he developed his art. The exhibition will trace his first works, made in the 1930s, when he was still a high school student, until the 1950s and 1960s, when he realized that there was no contradiction between tradition and innovation. .

“Frédéric Bruly Bouabré: World Unbound” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York
March 13, 2022 – August 13, 2022

Frederic Bruly Bouabre, GBRE=GBRE Number 118 of the Alphabet Bété. 1991. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Jean Pigozzi collection of African art.

The Ivorian artist Frédéric Bruly Bouabré (1923-2014), according to the MoMA, “had a single objective: to record and transmit information about the known universe”. The artist, who began his professional life as a clerk for the French colonial administrators of Senegal, had a prophetic experience in 1948, after which he began to document and record the world around him. And not only: he also invented a writing system for the Bété people of West Africa, a group to which he belonged. This show is the first glimpse of his prodigious output.


“Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy” at the Legion of Honor, San Francisco
April 16, 2022 – September 5, 2022

Guo Pei, Paris Fashion Week, 2018. Photo courtesy of FAMSF.

Considered by the Legion of Honor to be “the first Chinese couturier”, Guo Pei is perhaps best known in the United States as the designer of Rihanna’s 2015 Met Gala dress. This show, which includes approximately 80 works from the past 20 years, includes examples from parades in Beijing and Paris, and illustrates how the designer mixes ideas drawn from European architecture, Chinese imperial arts and the botanical world to create grand new designs. “Through his extraordinary fashions,” says the museum, “the exhibition reveals the career trajectory of Guo Pei, as remarkable as it is emblematic of China’s emergence as a leader in the fashion world in the early of the 21st century.

“Lee Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
April 24, 2022 – October 9, 2022

Left: Alexander McQueen, Women’s Set (Dress and Leggings), (spring/summer 2010). Right: Manuel Cipriano Gomes Mafra, Urn, (circa 1865-1887). Both images © Museum Associates/LACMA.

In Southern California, the short but hugely influential career of English fashion designer Alexander McQueen (1969-2010) will be the subject of the first exhibition of his work on the West Coast. The exhibit, which is inspired by Regina J. Drucker’s fashion collection and LACMA’s permanent collections, will look at McQueen’s craftsmanship and ability to inject whimsical ideas into couture looks, her imagination overflowing and its audacious references to the outside world.


“Philip Guston Now” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
May 1, 2022-September 1, 2022

Phillip Guston, Painting, Smoking, Eating (1973). Courtesy of Stedelijk Museum/ © Estate of Philip Guston.

This long-awaited (and already controversial) exhibition of the work of Philip Guston, delayed by the directors of the museums supposed to host it, finally opens at the MFA in Boston. Covering more than 50 years of the artist’s career, it includes approximately 90 paintings and 30 drawings. But the big question is how will it be received, and how has it been recontextualized by its curators to account for the turmoil that forced its delay in the first place?

“Cézanne” at the Art Institute of Chicago
May 15, 2022 – September 5, 2022

Paul Cézanne, Madame Cézanne in the yellow armchair, (1888-90). Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Few artists continue to fascinate museum-goers and scholars alike as Paul Cézanne (1839-1906). This large-scale retrospective, the first to look at the artist in the United States in more than 25 years, is also the first of his work at the Art Institute in more than 70 years. Through 90 paintings and 40 watercolors and drawings, the curators hope to reintroduce the artist to a new generation of art lovers and present new perspectives on his work from technical analyzes made possible in recent years.

“The Double: Identity and Difference in Art since 1900” at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
May 15, 2022 – September 5, 2022

Rachid Johnson, The New Negro Escapist Social and Athletic Club (Emmett), (2008). Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Image: © Rashid Johnson, courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

This major exhibition of 120 works of art, curated by longtime NGA curator James Meyer, is the first to offer a broad study of repetition, difference and identity in the art of the century. last and more. With works by 90 artists, including Glenn Ligon, Roni Horn, Yinka Shonibare, Nam June Paik, Howardena Pindell, Adrian Piper and Robert Rauschenberg, the exhibition explores how formal repetitions reflect – or even create – feelings of identity that are multiple instead of singular. .


“Canova: Sketching in Clay” at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
June 11, 2022 – October 9, 2023

Antonio Canova, Adam and Eve mourning the death of Abel (circa 1818-1822). Museo Gypsotheca Antonio Canova, Possagno, Italy. Photography © Tony Sigel.

The NGA marks the 200th anniversary of the death of neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova (1757-1822) with an exhibition featuring 40 of his extant sketches in clay, revealing how the artist modeled his works before executing them in marble. Perhaps most impressively, Canova executed many of his sketches in minutes and used them as marketing tools to find new clients.

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