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Posted inArt

History’s Puppeteer: Wael Shawky at the Serpentine Gallery

LONDON — There’s been quite a buzz around Wael Shawky lately. Since graduating with his MFA in 2001, the Egyptian artist has gone on to rack up an impressive number of accolades. Riding on this surge of enthusiasm, London’s Serpentine Gallery has deemed it time that Shawky receive his first major presentation in the capital, and the resulting exhibition is Wael Shawky: Al-Qurban (‘The Offering’).

Posted inArt

Inside the Mind of Hans Ulrich Obrist

The celebrity curator may be a phenomenon on the rise, but before Klaus Biesenbach and Paola Antonelli, there was Hans Ulrich Obrist. Obrist, who’s currently the co-director of exhibitions and programs and director of international programs at London’s Serpentine Gallery, has a list of curatorial accomplishments so long, it’s daunting. And it turns out he’s been taking notes the whole time.

Posted inArt

Major New Multifaceted Exhibition Focuses on Ecology and Environmental Issues

The word “expo” conjures big visions: grand pavilions, ferris wheels, exotic exhibitions, a world’s fair. But last Sunday, a different kind of expo opened at MoMA PS1, in Long Island City, Queens — Expo 1: New York, the latest curatorial effort of the institution’s director, Klaus Biesenbach. It’s not quite a world’s fair, but Expo 1, which is the result of a ongoing partnership between MoMA and Volkswagen, riffs on the idea by comprising many pieces that fit loosely together as a whole. It might best be described as an exhibition of exhibitions, or an extremely multifaceted exhibition, or an exhibition that’s “not only an exhibition,” as Biesenbach said at a press preview last week. He also talked about it in terms of wrapping “an envelope around the building [MoMA PS1],” while curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, a co-organizer of the show, called it “almost like a Russian babushka.” This was shortly after Obrist posed the essential question from which Expo 1 sprang: “What is a large-scale exhibition for the 21st century?”

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