This year, US museums are bringing their A-game when it comes to diversity and innovation, exploring artist movements, less-celebrated creators and forms of expression. Here’s a look at a number of standout exhibitions that get away from the tried and true masters to instead offer museum-goers something closer to the true breadth of creativity that makes art such a vital and necessary part of our world.
Harold Cohen: AARON
With the sudden emergence of ChatGPT in 2023, AI-assisted creation very quickly became a hot – and extremely divisive – topic. The Whitney’s Harold Cohen: AARON is a timely exhibition of how we’ve used, and continue to use, machines to fuel our art. Centered around AARON, AI art software that’s been used since the 1960s, the exhibit showcases AARON-assisted art and delves into how the software works. The show promises to offer fresh perspectives on a debate that is likely to persist for quite a while.
Zanele Muholi: Eye Me
Since the early 2000s, the South African “visual activist” Zanele Muholi has used their camera to document the marginalization and ongoing quest for representation of LGBTQ+ individuals throughout their home country. Opening in January at SF MoMA, this “first major exhibition of Muholi’s work on the west coast” gives audiences the chance to immerse themselves in Muholi’s beautiful and challenging looks into Blackness and queer identities, as they both confront oppression and find paths of resilience.
Lee Mingwei: Rituals of Care
The Taiwanese-American artist Lee Mingwei has built his artistic practice via installations that invite audiences in, asking them to participate in aesthetic experiences that offer space to contemplate relationships and build connections with strangers. Starting in February, San Francisco’s deYoung Museum will host an exhibition of Mingwei’s installations. They include The Letter Writing Project, where museum-goers