The New Year is the perfect time for fresh starts and new beginnings; it’s the ideal moment to plan ahead and discover what’s new in 2016. In the world of art and culture, an inspiring array of shows are igniting the way, from the first major UK presentation of work by nomadic sculptor Not Vital to a stirring retrospective of images by American photographer Stephen Shore at C/O Berlin. The National Portrait Gallery joins British Vogue in its centenary celebrations and abstract minimalist Daniel Buren provides audiences with a site specific intervention at BOZAR, Brussels.
1. Vogue 100, A Century of Style, 11 February – 22 May, National Portrait Gallery, London
The National Portrait Gallery marks British Vogue’s centenary celebrations with a showcase of the innovative range of photography that has been commissioned by the magazine since it was founded in 1916. Displaying over 280 prints from the Condé Nast archive and international collections by key photographers such as Cecil Beaton, Tim Walker and Mario Testino, this exhibition will tell the remarkable story of one of the most influential fashion magazines in the world, and highlight its central role on the cultural stage.
2. Daniel Buren, A Fresco, 19 February – 22 May, BOZAR, Brussels
Since the 1960s, French artist Daniel Buren has been developing an oeuvre characterised by the motif of 8,7 cm wide vertical white and coloured stripes in private homes, museums and public space. Buren’s latest show at BOZAR is comprised of a site specific intervention that enters into dialogue with works by artists, such as Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Brancusi, Jackson Pollock and Sol Lewitt, who have inspired him. In combination with the exhibited works, a new filmic piece summarises the essence of Buren’s quest for beauty.
3. Not Vital, 21 May – 2 January 2017, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield
Internationally renowned sculptor Not Vital’s nomadic and diverse practice is reflected in the artist’s first major exhibition in the UK. Opening at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in late May, this solo presentation will showcase an extraordinary group of paintings and works on paper, indoor pieces made from plaster, silver, gold, marble, glass and coal, and outdoor sculptures in stainless steel and bronze. Working with craftsmen around the world, in locations as diverse as Beijing, Murano, Agadez and Bhutan, the artist does not have a distinctive ‘style’; instead his works illustrate a relationship to home and to travel, whilst referencing themes concerning nature and anthropomorphism.
4. Stephen Shore, Retrospective, 6 February – 22 May, C/O Berlin
Born in New York City in 1947, Stephen Shore developed an interest in photography at a young age. His images record, preserve, and reflect on those traces of human life that are normally passed over, considered unworthy of representation. A chronicler of the unspectacular, Shore uncovers the structures and subtle inner workings of our Western culture. This year C/O Berlin presents over 300 photographic works in chronological order alongside important interpretations that his work has inspired in this, the first retrospective of Shore’s work.
5. Bruce Conner, It’s All True, 3 July – 2 October, MoMA, New York
In 2016, MoMA unveils Bruce Conner’s first monographic museum exhibition in New York, the first large survey of his work in 16 years, and the first complete retrospective of his 50-year career. It’s All True brings together over 250 objects, from film and video to painting, assemblage, drawing, prints, photography, photograms, and performance. Emerging from the California art scene, in which he worked for half a century, Conner’s work touches on various themes of postwar American society, from a rising consumer culture to the dread of nuclear apocalypse.
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1. Daniel Buren, Beaufort 03, De Haan, 2009, collection ville de Nieuport. Détail. © DB-ADAGP Paris.