Welcome to Los Ángeles, capital of the Americas. The Getty and 70 other institutions open a festival of exhibitions as large as a hemisphere.
Plus: a new museum in Cape Town, architecture in Seoul, and recommendations for Amsterdam, London, Istanbul, Moscow, New York.
MALBA, Buenos Aires
One of the smartest artists of postwar Argentina wrote page after page in inscrutable scripts: sometimes a stuttering cursive, sometimes fat squiggles, concatenated arrowheads, or nearly Koranic calligraphy. But she wasn’t writing nonsense: the upstrokes and hashes, were semantic in their own way, words in a language more musical than Spanish or Sundanese.
National Art Center and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
The largest and most significant show ever of contemporary southeast Asian art, following a years-long research project that took Japanese curators to all ten ASEAN countries. (Who knew there were studios to visit in Brunei?)
Lately we feel conflicted singing the virtues of America — but if you think we have it bad, try working for the federal government. The National Museum of American History has spent years preparing a massive new wing devoted to democratic norms and practices; the delay has given its ballot boxes and protest placards the cast of a present-day crusade.