Modernist, Contemporary and Feminist Conceptual Pieces Lead Spring 2018 Exhibitions

Spring has sprung which means the art world is gearing up for another busy season. From an exciting retrospective of conceptual artist Adrian Piper opening this month at MoMA,  to Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil, and an exciting solo show of contemporary artist Jacob Satterwhite at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise,  there is an array of art to view as a part of spring 2018 exhibitions.

Whether you’re looking to see modernist art, cutting edge contemporary work, or feminist conceptual pieces, there is something for everyone’s taste this season. Here’s a short guide to some of the hottest shows that are on currently up.

Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell’s Homage to Juan Gris, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Joseph Cornell is most well-known for his assemblage sculptures. Cornell’s work is now back at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the latest exhibition Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell’s Homage to Juan Gri. The show features roughly 12 shadow boxes Cornell completed over a 15 year period largely in tribute to the Modernist artist Juan Gris. This whimsical and unexpected exhibit from the Met is one that is worth seeing before it closes.

Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell’s Homage to Juan Gris will be on view until April 15, 2018 at the Met.

Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965-2016, Museum of Modern Art 

Spring 2018 Exhibitions - 1975
Source: MoMa, Adrian Piper. The Mythic Being: I Embody Everything You Most Hate and Fear. 1975.

Adrian Piper has continued to remain one of the most enigmatic and interesting artists working within the contemporary art world today. A Synthesis of Intuitions, brings together over 290 works which Piper created over the last five decades. Piper has worked in many mediums including performance, drawings, installations, videos, and more.

Straddling the line between conceptual art making practices and intellectual pursuits, Piper also holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard University; she would also go on to be the first women of color to hold a tenure-track position in this field.

This exhibition will also feature iconic works such as Mythic Being, My Calling (Card) #1 and My Calling (Card) #2 (1986) in which Piper created calling cards to confront people’s assumptions surrounding racism and sexism. A Synthesis of Intuitions is not only helping to put Piper on the map but is also introducing her to the next generation of artists in the most comprehensive exhibition of her work to date.

The retrospective will be on view from March 31-July 22, 2018 at MoMA.

Jacolby Satterwhite, Blessed Avenue, Gavin Brown Enterprises

Jacolby Satterwhite returns this fall with his first solo exhibit in the Lower East Side gallery Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. This latest body of work is some of Satterwhite’s most ambitious to date. “Blessed Avenue” consists of an installation with prints, as well as a 30-minute video, and concept album featuring a wide range of collaborations. “Blessed Avenue” features an intense virtual world that explores elements of human sexuality, dance, memory while also commenting on his larger personal history.

Spring 2018 Exhibitions
Source: MoMa, Tarsila do Amaral. A Cuca, 1924

This show is on view until May 6, 2018 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise.

Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil at the Museum of Modern Art.


Tarsila do Amaral is a painter who played a vital role in the development of the Modernist movement in South America. Born in São Paulo in 1886, she would go onto travel to Paris in 1920, where she would study art. In the 15 years that followed, she would create some of her most prolific work.

The show explores do Amaral’s prolific painting career focusing specifically on pieces she produced during the 1920s and 30s. The exhibition features close to 120 paintings, drawings, sketchbooks, photographs, and other items. This is one of the first exhibits of Brazilian modernism in the US, and specifically of do Amaral’s work and should not be missed.

Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil is on view until June 3, 2016, at MoMA.

Zoe Leonard Survey at the Whitney Museum

Spring 2018 Exhibitions - Zoe Leonard Mirror no. 2
Source: Whitney Museum, Zoe Leonard¬, Mirror no. 2 (Metropolitan Museum), 1990.

Zoe Leonard is one of the premiere artists of her generation. Working primarily with photography and sculpture, much of Leonard’s work has been inspired by her interest in activism and urban and natural spaces. In this hallmark survey of Leonard, which is also the first of its kind, there are over three decades of photographs and several installations on view.

Zeo Leonard Survey is on view at the Whitney Museum until June 10, 2018.

The five hand-picked exhibitions are only a few highlights of some of the exciting spring 2018 exhibitions. These shows represent some of the most innovative, trailblazing artists who have created work in the last two centuries. Make it a point to see these exhibits so you can be in the know about the NYC contemporary art scene this spring.

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About the Author:

Anni Irish has been a contributing writer to several online publications including Boston based publication, The Dig, New York Arts Magazine, and ArteFuse among others. She holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University, an MA in Gender and Cultural Studies from Simmons College, and an MA in Performance Studies from New York University.