AN rounds up our favorite coast-to-coast fall exhibitions of 2019

Fall for art

AN rounds up our favorite coast-to-coast fall exhibitions of 2019

Agnes Denes within her land art work Wheatfield - A Confrontation (Photo by Maika Pollack)

With summer finally falling behind us, the fall exhibition circuit is just heating up. Here, we’ve rounded up the season’s must-see art and architecture exhibitions from coast to coast.

Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates

A wheat field in lower manhattan
Agnes Denes within her land artwork Wheatfield – A Confrontation (Photo by Maika Pollack)

The Shed
545 W. 30th Street, New York, NY
October 9, 2019 – January 19, 2020

The second and fourth floors Hudson Yards’ The Shed will display 150 of the Hungarian artist’s seminal works confronting truths about society, our environment, and introspection. Working since the 1960s, Denes’s 50-year career is explored and presented in a hopeful way as the echoes of the Climate March recede and Climate Week NYC begins. 

The two floors dedicated to Denes address two separate arcs present in her oeuvre: her exploration of technology in relation to control over her artistic process is espoused on the second floor, with displays of her two series, Philosophical Drawings and Map Projections, while the fourth floor is completely dedicated to her meditation on the pyramid, simply titled Pyramid Series.  

By utilizing the intersection of the environment around her and technology available, Denes envisions a future plan for our society that hit home during the beginning of the ecological movement in the ’60s, and rings even truer today. 


A man holding up a polaroid photo
Through Positive Eyes exhibits personal photo essays of people affected by HIV/AIDS worldwide (Courtesy UCLA Newsroom)

The Fowler
308 Charles E. Young Drive North, Los Angeles, CA
September 15, 2019 – February 16, 2020

The Fowler Museum at UCLA is bringing together the stories, photography, and performances of more than 130 people living with HIV/AIDS in the upcoming exhibition Through Positive Eyes. Artist and activists from 10 cities around the globe have come together to exhibit original photos and video of these individuals, bringing unique stories to life as well as revealing a more collective, global-scaled narrative of this epidemic. There will also be a sculpture installation by L.A.-based multimedia artist Alison Saar. 

The title is taken from the Los Angeles-based Through Positive Eyes Collective, a group of seven HIV-positive residents who will be performing twice a week throughout the exhibition. Yet while there are so many voices, and so much artistic production going into this single exhibition, it has all been envisioned and curated around one core belief: that challenging stigma against people living with HIV/AIDS is the most effective method for combating the epidemic. 


Photo of a construction site
With Each Incentive installation by Postcommodity at the AIC (Courtesy Art Institute of Chicago)

The Art Institute of Chicago
159 E. Monroe Street, Chicago, IL
July 25, 2019 – April 26, 2020

The indigenous collective Postcommodity, currently comprised of artists Cristóbal Martinez and Kade L. Twist, have “completed” their purposefully incomplete With Each Incentive at the Bluhm Family Pavilion at the Art Institute of Chicago. Free and open to the public, the pavilion splashes a colloquial building form of the Global South—vertical concrete blocks columns topped out with exposed rebar—against the skyline of downtown Chicago. 

By placing these built forms in a place where they are seen as foreign, the Postcommodity duo comments on the ongoing phenomenon of migration of Central and South Americans to the midwestern city. The installation is also accompanied by a custom made codex that brings in images of relevant people, places, art, and graphics that the artists believe join in this site-specific theme, as well as Postcommodity’s perennial stance towards issues of borders, indigeneity, and the pan-American experience.

The Los Angeles Schools

A sign that reads "The Los Angeles Schools"
The Los Angeles Schools is an exhibition at the A+D Museum highlighting architecture student work (Courtesy A+D)

The A+D Museum
900 E. 4th Street, Los Angeles, CA
September 21, 2019 – November 24, 2019 

The Architecture and Design Museum in L.A. is putting on an exhibition of student work from the leading architecture and design schools in the city, from SCI-Arc to Cal Poly LA Metro. The show is curated to express the methods and thinking propagated at these institutions, working to position L.A. even more prominently as “a center for architectural production, investigation, and research charged with producing tomorrow’s leaders in the world of architecture and design,” according to a press release.

In addition to the curated show, the museum is also hosting a number of events and lectures that are all open to the public throughout the exhibition’s run. Individual school voices and narratives will be highlighted in what is a showcase of talent-to-come from some of the world’s leading academic institutions shaping the next generation of the profession. 

Tigerman Rides Again

A wavy black and white checkerboard
Untitled (1952) ink drawing by the late architect Stanley Tigerman (Courtesy Volume Gallery)

Volume Gallery
1709 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL
September 15, 2019 – November 2, 2019

This Chicago gallery chose to honor the final works of architect Stanley Tigerman in this exhibition of his black and white, undulating geometries. In the final months of his life, the 88-year-old architect resumed his life-long practice of daily drawings that had briefly been put on hiatus, and produced what harkened back to some of his boldest paintings and drawings of the late ’50s and early ’60s. 

The mind of the man behind a large portion of Chicago’s postmodernist architectural aesthetic, his commitment to and passion for architecture history, Mies van der Rohe, and his favorite contemporary artists, are all evident in this showcase of final works. The exhibition shows how Tigerman was able to bring in diverse influences from all over the art world and synthesize them into clear, poignant visions both on the street and on the page. 

Fringe Cities: Legacies of Renewal in the Small American City

A sign that reads Fringe Cities
Fringe Cities curated by MASS Design Group at the Center for Architecture (Courtesy Center for Architecture)

The Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY
October 2, 2019 – January 18, 2020

Designed and curated by MASS Design Group, this exhibition explores the specifics of the “fringe city;” a smaller city on the outskirts of a larger metropolis. These cities were hit disproportionately hard by the effects of United States government investment in urban planning schemes centered around demolition, superblocks and slum clearance in the years between 1949 and 1974, collectively known as Urban Renewal. 

From traffic congestion to increased neighborhood segregation, the effects of this era of urban planning are still being felt today in cities all over the country. But this exhibition takes a deep dive into MASS’s exploration of the fringe city condition, and understand the challenges faced by residents and local organizations in order to find new solutions towards human-scaled change.