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Sculpture from the scrapyard and Simone Leigh’s first museum survey – contemporary art highlights in 2023

30 December 2022

The Louisiana Museum kicks off its 2023 programme with a major survey of the American artist Dana Schutz. Known for her chaotic, heavily populated scenes that draw on elements of the comedic and grotesque to reflect on social dynamics and rituals, ‘Between Us’ will offer a rare opportunity to see Schutz’ paintings alongside drawings, graphics and sculpture, with works spanning the entirety of her career (9 February–11 June). Meanwhile in London, the Hayward Gallery presents the first major survey of work by Mike Nelson (22 February–7 May). Nelson’s large-scale installations, constructed from everyday detritus scavenged from scrapyards, junk shops and flea markets, will transform the gallery spaces into unsettling environments that contemplate lost histories and cultures in an increasingly homogenised world.

Mike Nelson

Installation view of Studio Apparatus for Camden Arts Centre – An Introductory Structure: Introduction; A Lexicon of Phenomena & Information Association; Futurobjectics (In Three Sections); Mysterious Island* / *See Introduction / or TEMPORARY MONUMENT (1998), Mike Nelson. Photo: Mike Nelson; courtesy the artist and 303 Gallery, New York; Galleria Franco Noero, Turin; Matt’s Gallery, London; and neugerriemschneider, Berlin.

In the spring, Simone Leigh will bring her tender and evocative sculptures to the ICA in Boston (6 April–4 September). Audiences who missed the chance to see Leigh’s presentation for the United States pavilion at the Venice Biennale or to feel the awesome presence of Brick Housea five-metre-high bronze bust of a Black woman with a clay house for a skirt that opened the Arsenale exhibition – will welcome the chance to see many of the works on show here. Also on the East Coast, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, more than 200 of Judith Joy Ross’s penetrating portraits of Americans will go on show (24 April–6 August) while in Stockholm Laurie Anderson brings her interdisciplinary practice to the Moderna Museet in her most comprehensive show in Europe to date. The exhibition will include early works as well as new productions in what’s billed as ‘a reflection on time and being, silence and clamour’. Also in April, a show of works by the French-Algerian artist Zineb Sedira will travel from the De La Warr Pavilion to Dundee Contemporary Arts (29 April–06 August), also in the wake of success at the Venice Biennale, with a particular focus on maritime narratives, migration and trade.

Sarah Lucas Pauline Bunny

Pauline Bunny (1997), Sarah Lucas. Courtesy Tate; © Sarah Lucas

Back in London, the Barbican shines a light on the vital work of Carrie Mae Weems (21 June–3 September) who has spent the past three decades challenging (and changing) the representation of Black people. Here, audiences will be able to take in the full breadth of her interests through a large-scale presentation of photographs, films, objects and installations. Marina Abramovic’s much anticipated (and much delayed) exhibition will finally open at the Royal Academy in September (23 September–10 December) alongside a major survey of work by one of the more exciting YBAs, Sarah Lucas, at Tate Britain (28 September–14 January). Then in Oslo, Laure Prouvost’s imaginative and uncanny installations will make a long enough appearance at the National Museum (5 November–12 February 2024) to see us through the winter months and into the new year.