The 5 Most Anticipated DFW Museum Exhibitions of 2014

From Impressionism to Relational Aesthetics, here are the five exhibitions we're most looking forward to in 2014.

David Bates, a Retrospective Exhibition

Nasher Sculpture Center / Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

February 9-May 11

David Bates occupies a curious place in the world of contemporary art. He is the rare interpreter of flowers, sculptor of busts, and etcher of majestic birds that the art world hasn’t actually shunned. He has led a curious career as an artist who lives outside the pressure cooker of the art world, but who has racked up nearly every accolade it can bestow upon an artist. He’s been exhibited by major biennials, collected by the biggest museums, and purchased by important collectors. In February, the Dallas dwelling Bates will receive an unprecedented simultaneous joint-venue retrospective by two major art institutions: the Fort Worth Modern will show the Dallas artist’s paintings, and the Nasher will give the artist’s often overlooked sculptural practice its due.


FOCUS: Rirkrit Tiravanija

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

March 9-May 18

From community square dances to pop-up markets, Dallas has hosted its fair share of art projects in recent years that rethink the nature and role of art by breaking down the distance between the art and the viewer. Often lumped under the terms “relational aesthetics” or “social engaged art,” artist Rirkrit Tiravanija is a key protagonist in this new approach to making. Tiravanija has turned gallery exhibition openings into home cooked Thai dinners and ping pong tournaments. He’ll be let loose at the Fort Worth Modern when the museum gives him a FOCUS show this March.


Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World

Dallas Museum of Art

March 30-June 29

When the Dallas Museum of Art added its first senior adviser for Islamic art, Sabiha Al Khemir, in 2012, it promised to broaden the museum’s reach into a locally-neglected cultural region. This exhibition is one of the first concrete fruits of the hire. Featuring more than 150 works of Islamic art chosen to explore the theme of light in both Islamic art and science, the DMA will be the only U.S. venue for the exhibition that was organized by the Focus-Abengoa Foundation in Seville, Spain.


Isa Genzken: Retrospective

Dallas Museum of Art

September 14-January 4, 2015

One of the most influential artists of the last few decades, Isa Genzken’s importance to art has become increasingly clear as younger artists continue to take up similar approaches to material, assemblage, and appropriation. This is the first retrospective exhibition dedicated to Genzken, and it travels to Dallas after opening at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.


Faces of Impressionism: Portraits from the Musée D’Orsay

Kimbell Art Museum

October 19 – January 25, 2015

Last year’s Kimbell coup was its loan of masterworks from the Art Institute of Chicago; this year the newly-expanded Fort Worth museum will welcome art from Paris’ Musée d’Orsay. Impressionism nearly always proves a popular draw, even if overexposure can sometimes make the work feel more tedious than it should. The appeal of this exhibition is its sharp focus, examining portraiture in both painting and sculpture, as well as the allure of seeing French impressionism in the new light and against the concrete walls of Renzo Piano’s new pavilion.


Image: Rirkrit Tiravanija untitled 2012 (who if not we should at least try to imagine the future, again) (remember Julius Koller), 2012.