Visitors to the Aspen Art Museum are inevitably struck by two things: the Shigeru Ban–designed building’s woven-wood facade and the timely exhibitions. Here’s what to look for this autumn.
PHOTO: MICHAEL MORAN/OTTO
RASHID JOHNSON, “THE HIKERS”
PHOTO: MARTIN PARSEKIAN
Some artists mine inspiration from a single source. Artist Rashid Johnson finds it everywhere, from music and literature to history and culture. What he does with that inspiration is equally varied. The Chicago-born artist uses sculpture, painting, drawing, collage, filmmaking, choreography and performance to explore themes from art history to individual and shared cultural identities. This solo exhibition–a joint effort with Mexico City’s Museo Tamayo–encapsulates this diversity by presenting existing and recent works, including a commissioned installation that incorporates live video and performance, featuring Johnson’s first choreographic work involving ballet and modern movement–a collaboration with New York-based choreographer Claudia Schreier.
ERIKA VERZUTTI, “VENUS YOGINI”
PHOTO: COURTESY ERIKA VERZUTTI, ANDREW KREPS GALLERY, NEW YORK, FORTES D’ALOIA & GABRIEL, SAO PAULO AND RIO DE JANEIRO, AND ALISON JACQUES GALLERY, LONDON
Give one of Erika Verzutti’s texture-rich sculptures a cursory glance, and your eye will likely pick up on some familiar forms: a pumpkin, a raspberry. But look more closely and you’ll see some similarities to the human form–even a bit of personality, perhaps. That’s intentional, of course, and what makes these works so much fun. For the museum’s Crown Commons, the Sao Paulo–based artist has created a large-scale bronze Venus, an extension of her smaller sculptures in which renditions of ripe fruits–some finished in otherworldly hues–are stacked just so to depict the goddess of love and fertility.
ETEL ADNAN, “EACH DAY IS A WHOLE WORLD”
PHOTO: COURTESY ETEL ADNAN AND GALERIE LELONG & CO
Coloradans who love their mountains will find a kindred spirit in Beirut-born Etel Adnan: In the 1970s, the artist, essayist and poet moved to San Francisco, where she was captivated by Mount Tamalpais. Since then, it has been a means of exploring how landscapes shape humans’ perceptions of their place in the world. This exhibition brings together small-format oil paintings and woven tapestries that distill landscapes into their simplest, defining forms: strong lines and abstract shapes rendered in vibrant colors.
JOHN ARMLEDER, “POUR PAINTINGS”
PHOTO: ALESSANDRO ZAMBIANCHI
The Swiss artist’s work encompasses performance, design, sculpture and painting, but this exhibition celebrates John Armleder’s “Pour Paintings” and “Puddle Paintings” series. To create the former, the artist applies a rainbow of paints and lacquers to the tops of large canvases, allowing the colors to drip down and mingle. The result: striking vertical bands of color that appear at once orderly and disorderly, intentional and experimental. For the latter, Armleder places canvases on his studio floor before applying saturated colors in more chaotic pools.