Eight spring art shows we can’t wait to see


Jean Shin: Collections 

South Korean-born, Brooklyn-based artist Jean Shin transforms everyday objects into works of art. In her latest exhibition “Collections,” opening tomorrow at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, viewers will encounter six of her large-scale sculptural works and one video piece. Her installations—comprised of items like worn-out shoes and discarded garments—put intimate objects on display in a public space and raise questions about consumption and culture. 

Jean Shin: Collections” opens on March 24 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Institutions 1965-2016

This spring, MoMA is debuting the biggest retrospective of revolutionary conceptual artist and philosopher, Adrian Piper. This exhibition of the multimedia artist will occupy the entire sixth floor of MoMA, dedicated to special exhibitions, and will contain over 290 of Piper’s works including drawings, photographs, performances, sculptures and videos. Piper, whose work is said to be influenced by Sol LeWitt and Yvonne Rainer, often creates works that confront topics like otherness and racism through her unique artistic practice. This exhibition will prove her lasting influence on both the conceptual and post-conceptual artistic movements of the late 20th century. 

Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Institutions” opens on March 31 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York

Judy Dater: Only Human

Bay Area-based photographer Judy Dater is a pioneering figure in ‘70s feminist art and this April, the de Young Museum in San Francisco will present a retrospective of her career. Dater’s work is heavily influenced by cinema, which is unsurprising considering she spent a great deal of time in her father’s movie theater growing up. Her photographs—and particularly her portraits—seek to capture truthful images. Her models range from unidentified subjects to creatives like author Maxine Hong Kingston and each image masterfully captures all of the little details of each personality. 

Judy Dater: Only Human” opens on April 7 at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco


Julia Phillips: Failure Detection

Unlike many other sculptors, Julia Phillips often avoids figuration in her works. The German-born artist, who splits her time between Berlin and New York, primarily works with ceramics to create support structures for the body, raising questions about the role that physical bodies play in spaces of politics, both real and imaginary. Phillips brings in traces of humanity with details like handprints visible on the works, creating a duality between the real and imagined human forms.

Julia Phillips: Failure Detection” opens April 15 at MoMA PS1 in New York

Azzedine Alaïa: The Courtier

Alaïa may be gone, but he lives on through his exquisite garments (and was certainly immortalized by that line from Clueless). Before his death, he co-curated his own exhibition that will open in May at the Design Museum in London. Alaïa was known for his hand-crafted garments and never sacrificed craftsmanship to conform to an industry timeline. It was never about putting on a show, but rather on producing beautiful clothing and creating a lasting legacy. The exhibition is not a full career retrospective. Instead, it incorporates 60 personally selected garments (both popular and lesser-known) to tell the story of Alaïa’s remarkable life.

Azzedine Alaïa: The Courtier” opens May 10 at the Design Museum in London


Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color

Among the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum’s many achievements over the last few years (chief among them introducing “The Pen” for users to interact with objects in a museum like they never had before) is a commitment to exploring different ideologies of design and how they impact the aesthetic world. Their upcoming exhibition on the allure and science of color is no exception. The show will tackle how artists, designers and scientists have perceived color from antiquity to the present and will display 190 objects created by those who study color.

Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color” opens May 11 at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York

Claudia Comte: Electric Burst (Lines and Zigzags)

Claudia Comte specializes in wall painting, but make no mistake: she’s not your average muralist. Her exhibition at the St. Louis Museum of Contemporary Art will include her work “Zigzag Division,” shares many similarities to her piece “Curves and Zigzags,” which she built for last year’s Desert X, a biennial site-specific exhibition in the Coachella Valley. This work, according to the museum, is her most complex to date featuring sharper zigzags and intentional color placement.

Claudia Comte: Electric Burst (Lines and Zigzags)” opens May 11 at the St. Louis Museum of Contemporary Art

The Presence of Your Absence is Everywhere: Afruz Amighi

Afruz Amighi has turned her mixed heritage into works of art. The Iranian-born American uses light and dark as a form of storytelling, creating images out of shadows. Although she sources her materials from urban construction sites, when light hits her sculptural works, the materials transform into decadent objects such as chandeliers and jewelry.

The Presence of Your Absence is Everywhere: Afruz Amighi” opens on June 22 at the Frist Center in Nashville