B Y B A R B A R A P O L L A C K
February 2013 ARTnews
Despite an overall reluctance among contemporary artists to deal with issues of the heart, more than a few tell great stories of romance and heartbreak.
Late last year, “The Progress of Love” exhibition opened at three institutions simultaneously: the Menil Collection in Houston, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in Saint Louis, and the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos. The show pairs several American and European artists with many more from Africa, giving a cross-cultural perspective on the topic of courtship.
Another show, “This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s,” debuted at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in February 2012, placing contemporary takes on love and desire into historical context. (This show is currently at the ICA Boston until March 3.) While none of the artists in these exhibitions will soon be hired by Hallmark to churn out Valentine’s Day cards, they all offer sophisticated approaches to what is undeniably a complex and rich subject.