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Destinations

Guston to graphics to geometry

By Mark Feeney
Globe Staff / February 20, 2011

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THROUGH MAY 15

WASHINGTON

“Philip Guston, Roma’’: It’s fair to say that no painter had more impact in the 1970s than Guston. A leading Abstract Expressionist, his embrace of representational painting, starting in the late ’60s, signaled a seismic shift in the art world. That his return to representation should produce canvases that could so be shaggy, loose-limbed, and cartoonish made his work all the more controversial — and influential. This Phillips Collection show looks at how much inspiration Guston drew from Italian art — everything from Roman ruins to Renaissance frescoes to Federico Fellini’s films. More specifically, it examines the pivotal months during 1970-71 Guston spent as an artist in residence at the American Academy in Rome. 1600 21st St. NW, 202-387-2151, www.phillipscollection.org

THROUGH MAY 22

ZURICH

“Type in Motion’’: As a graphic element in everything from advertising to music videos, words moving on a screen are ubiquitous. This Museum for Design exhibition looks at looking itself, as well as how the presence of dynamic lettering has affected various media and viewers’ perceptions of them. Ausstellungsstrasse 60, 011-41-43-446-44-67, www.museum-gestaltung.ch

FEB. 23-APRIL 30

CAPE TOWN

“Ernest Cole, Photographer’’: This South African photojournalist’s documentation of the apartheid era was so unflinching and revelatory he was forced to leave in 1966 and live the rest of his life abroad (he died in 1990). Organized by the Hasselblad Foundation, this exhibition at the South African National Gallery offers a powerful overview of Cole’s career. Government Avenue, Company’s Garden, 011-27-21-467-4660, www.iziko.org.za/sang.

MARCH 4-JUNE 4

LONDON

“Flare Path’’: This Theatre Royal Haymarket revival of Terrence Rattigan’s 1942 drama about a romantic triangle involving an RAF pilot, his actress wife, and her former lover stars Sienna Miller, James Purefoy, and Sheridan Smith. Directed by Trevor Nunn, it has added significance as his debut as artistic director of the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company. 18 Suffolk St., 011-44-207-930-8800, www.trh.co.uk

MARCH 24-AUG. 14

STOCKHOLM

“Lust & Vice’’: Will any art exhibition title this year (or even this decade) grab more attention? This Swedish National Museum show, which offers more than 200 works drawn from the museum’s holdings, looks at how artistic renderings of sexuality have changed from the 16th century to the present. Södra Blasieholmshamnen, 011-46-8-5195-4410, www.nationalmuseum.se

APRIL 3-JULY 24

LOS ANGELES

“David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy’’: With “David Smith Invents’’ currently at the Phillips Collection, this Los Angeles County Museum of Art show makes it a bicoastal season for the great abstract sculptor. The focus is on the role of geometry in Smith’s art. Besides sculpture, the exhibition includes drawings, paintings, and photographs from the entire span of the artist’s career. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., 323-857-6000, www.lacma.org.

PLAN AHEAD

MAY 21-SEPT. 6

SAN FRANCISCO

“The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde’’: Gertrude Stein may have had more lasting impact as an art collector than writer. And her brother Leo had no less a discerning eye. This San Francisco Museum of Modern Art show includes some 200 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints by artists in their circle. 151 Third St., 415-357-4000, www.sfmoma.org.

MARK FEENEY

Events are sometimes canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; check online. Mark Feeney can be reached at mfeeney@globe.com.