Giorgio de Chirico and the Myth of Ariadne



While Renaissance artists frequently depict Ariadne bewailing her abandonment by Theseus on the island of Naxos, Giorgio de Chirico shows the princess fast asleep, just before Bacchus wings in on his chariot to rescue her. She is seen as a life-size antique marble sharply lit in Mediterranean midday sun—the personification of estrangement and melancholy. The eight haunting Ariadne paintings of 1912-13 are brought together for the first time in an exhibition selected by the PMA’S Michael Taylor; they’ll join other versions of the Ariadne myth de Chirico made long after his celebrated Metaphysical period.


Sigmar Polke



The official Great European Painter designation may be contested by another German artist, but of his generation it’s Sigmar Polke who produces just about the only work of consequence to younger painters today. He’s every bit the maverick he was in the ‘60s and ‘70s, serving up an irreverent mix of art history and pop detritus, thrilling visual distortion, and no short supply of comic/cosmic effects. This show, curated by Dallas’ John R. Lane and Charles Wylie, should satisfy the always high level of curiosity about what Polke’s been up to lately. Included are nearly fifty paintings and drawings from the past four years as well as a new series of monumental pictures based on printing mistakes. The catalogue promises a good dose of Polke source material. Expect to see it around. – BN


Herzog & de Meuron



When architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron appeared on the scene a decade ago, they were packaged as gurus of minimalism, a bracing gust of Swiss mountain air. With their touching faith in rectangles, they were beyond reproach. Students aped them; their fans multiplied. Then the overblown Tate Modern opened, and the picture got fuzzy. More recently, their failed collaboration with Rem Koolhaas on an Ian Schrager hotel put them perilously close to the fashion-art nexus from which they had at first seemed such a delightful reprieve. Is the Swiss team’s seduction now total? The answer can be found in a high- concept show mounted by guest curator Philip Ursprung. — Philip Nobel


Howard Hodgkin


Curated: Enrique Juncosa; Nicholas Serota


Howard Hodgkin once called a painting After Vuillard; the title sums up much of what some admire about his work as well as what leaves others so indifferent: the echoes of École de Paris intimism and an Epicurean redeployment of stylistic features abstracted not just from Vuillard but also from Bonnard and Matisse. Yet he offers more than an exquisite rehash: Hodgkin takes crazy chances with color, laying it down with such an unlikely mix of subtlety and bravura that he’s never boring. This survey, comprising some sixty works from 1960 through today, is accompanied by the anthology Writers on Howard Hodgkin; these literati may not know much about art, so look avidly but read with a dash of salt. — Barry Schwabsky


Markus Raetz


Curated: Francoise Cohen


Swiss artist Markus Raetz has spent the past forty years exploring the essence of seeing. With subtle materials (twigs, leaves, mirrors, and wisps of metal) and a lightness of touch, Raetz creates anamorphic objects and images that play with perception, making his viewers question what they see and how they look at the world. This retrospective of nearly two hundred works includes sculptures but highlights Raetz’s delicate works on paper (drawings, sketches, prints, watercolors, and notebooks), borrowed from public and private collections as well as from the artist’s studio. Curated by director Francoise Cohen, the exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by-Sorbonne art history professor Gilbert Lascault. — Elizabeth Janus


Tom Sachs



Curated: Germano Celant


Mock-machismo American Tom Sachs is about to hit Europe with a double- barrel survey. The first assault, curated by Gunnar B. Kvaran, Grete Årbu and Hanne Beate for Oslo’s Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, launches mid- January with a broad selection of incendiary objects parodically misappropriating high- and low-class power signs (think Chanel value meal and Prada toilet).1 The second offensive, at the Fondazione Prada, features the artist’s more megalomaniacal constructions, including a nitrous- powered police car and new works like a one-to-seven scale model of an aircraft- carrier control tower and a full-size replica of the blue whale that hangs in New York’s American Museum of Natural History. An inveterate iconoclast with a Monacelli monograph in the works, Sachs has developed a brand power that looks set to outstrip his quarry’s. — Jeff Gibson

1 We really don’t like that kind of short-hand writing. I mean, really.