At some point early in the past pandemic year and a half, with the art calendar tanking - museums shuttered, galleries closed - I felt myself switch into optimist mode. I'm looking forward to one delayed from last season, "Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror," a career retrospective of the studiously mystifying artist that will stretch over two institutions, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, this fall.
"Yolanda López: Portrait of the Artist" at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is another long-overdue career tribute. From California, which gave us the benchmark 2007 "WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution," come two: "New Time: Art and Feminisms in the 21st Century" at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and "Witch Hunt" at the Hammer Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. So does "Mixpantli: Space, Time, and the Indigenous Origins of Mexico" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which proposes to illustrate how the Spanish Conquest inspired native populations in Mexico to invent a New World of their own. In 2018, the telling of that history took a big leap with the inauguration of the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, created by the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala. A larger version of the museum - four times the size of the original and with a significantly expanded contemporary art presence - is set to debut on Oct. 1.
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