A look back and forward at the popular museum shows and art exhibits of 2017.
“Rei Kawakubo/Commes des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” Winds Down at the Met
After extending the run of the past several Costume Institute exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this year the Met decided to just let “Rei Kawakubo/Commes des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” run through the end of Labor Day from the get-go. Officially open since May 4 — following the department’s annual Met Gala fashion extravaganza — the exhibit features 140 of Kawakubo’s designs for Comme des Garçons from the early Eighties through her fall 2017 collection. On Wednesday, Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton welcomed the show’s 500,000th visitor with an autographed exhibition catalogue.
“China: Through the Looking Glass” is currently the Costume Institute’s most popular show to date, drawing 815,992 visitors in 2015, while last year’s “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” attracted 752,995 visitors. Can Commes beat out both China and Tech? Only time — specifically, the next week and a half — will tell.
And for those already looking ahead to next year’s exhibit, fashion and religion is rumored to be the focus in 2018.
— The Metropolitan Museum of Art (@metmuseum) August 23, 2017
The Infinite Lives of “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors”
Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrors” was a win for The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The D.C. museum mounted a comprehensive retrospective of the Japanese artist’s work, including six of her very Instagrammable Infinity mirrored rooms, the first time that so many of them have been shown simultaneously. During the exhibit’s residency from Feb. 23 to May 14, the museum recorded an all-time visitor high in 40 years — 475,000 — with the Kusama exhibit clocking 160,000 visitors. As for the social draw of the artist’s colorful works, the museum’s exhibit resulted in 34,000 images on Instagram, and the hashtag #InfiniteKusama has reached 91 million Twitter and Instagram accounts.
The exhibit has since gone on tour, currently at the Seattle Art Museum through Sept. 10, and will likely prove a boon for wherever it lands. It opens at The Broad in L.A. on Oct. 21; tickets for timed entrance to the Infinity rooms go on sale Sept. 1 and are expected to quickly sell out. After its West Coast trip, the exhibit will next year makes stops at the Art Gallery of Toronto, Cleveland Museum of Art, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.
This fall, the notoriously reclusive Kusama will also open a museum in Tokyo.
The Jay-Z tour has surprising fine-art appeal: pop sculptor Jeff Koons created a 40-foot balloon dog for the rapper’s 4:44 festival tour.
Dior Makes Moves at the Guggenheim
Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri designed the costumes for a two-day dance performance at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s iconic rotunda. Part of the museum’s “Works & Process” performance art series, American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Daniil Simkin will premiere his “Falls the Shadow” project on Sept. 4 and 5. Featuring choreographing by Alejandro Cerrudo, the performance will include motion-captured visuals, which will be projected in the space. And while you’re at the museum already, catch “Jackson Pollock: Exploring Alchemy,” which closes Sept. 6. It’s the first time the artist’s 1947 painting has been on view Stateside.
Ai Weiwei Plans to Build Fences in New York
Ai Weiwei and The Public Art Fund are teaming up for “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” this fall. The artist plans to build and install site-specific works around New York City’s five boroughs, including fenced sculpture and posters from visits to refugee camps. As the name suggests, the project addresses human rights issues and joins the conversation about immigration and the refugee crisis. And, driving home the public aspect, the project even has its own Kickstarter. Look for it around town starting Oct. 12.
David Hockney’s 80th Birthday Celebration
David Hockney turned 80 on July 9, and not just any ordinary birthday celebration would do. The J. Paul Getty Museum threw the British painter a veritable bash, a two-part exhibit — aptly titled “Happy Birthday, Mr. Hockney” — showcasing his self-portraits and photographs. They’re keeping the party going through Nov. 26.
Calder’s Moving Sculptures
Alexander Calder’s sculptural mobiles are on the move at the Whitney Museum. The kinetic nature of the artist’s work is highlighted in “Calder: Hypermobility,” which includes activations of rare works, including motorized pieces. On view through Oct. 23, it’s also the last Whitney show curated by Jay Sanders, who was named executive director of nonprofit Artists Space earlier this year.
Rauschenberg Retrospective at MoMA
It’s your last chance to catch The Museum of Modern Art’s retrospective exhibit on Rober Rauschenberg. “Among Friends,” which includes paintings, drawings, sculpture and audio elements, closes Sept. 17.
Art Basel Miami Beach
It’ll be here before you know it. This year’s edition of the annual art fair takes place Dec. 7 through Dec. 10.
More From WWD.com:
‘An Incomplete History of Protest’ Exhibit at the Whitney Museum
The Met’s Costume Institute Said Eyeing Fashion and Religion for Next Year’s Exhibition
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Art Production Fund and FriendsWithYou Unveil ‘Little Cloud’ Sculpture at The Street
Paul Ramírez Jonas Exhibits ‘Half-Truths’ at the New Museum