Gary Baseman's first major museum exhibition, on view through August 18 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, is a fun house full of paintings, photographs, toys, sketchbooks, and videos. More than 300 artworks and objects are installed in thematic "rooms" of a gallery designed to evoke Baseman's childhood home, complete with family photos, home movies, and vintage furnishings. The creative exuberance of "Gary Baseman: The Door Is Always Open" reflects his boundary-dissolving approach. Says Baseman, "I see myself as an artist who likes to do everything -- all the time."
Follow the history of color photography from the 1907 introduction of the first commercially available color photographic process (the autochrome) through 1981, when a published survey signified the widespread acceptance of contemporary art photography in color, in "Color Rush," a Stieglitz-to-Sherman exhibition on view through May 19 at the Milwaukee Art Museum. "Lisa Hostetler and I set out to rectify the problematic -- if prevailing -- notion that color photography prior to the 1970s was either amateur or commercial and only recognized as such," says co-curator Katherine Bussard. "The historical reality was never that simple, never so definitive.” Can't make it to Milwaukee? Pick up the stunning catalogue, out this month from Aperture.
Ready to get your work into New York's Museum of Modern Art? Forget the figurative. In conjunction with the current exhibitions "Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925" and "Abstract Generation: Now in Print," MoMA's PopRally committee has put out the call for one-minute videos that explore abstract forms of any kind. Upload yours to the PopRally Vimeo group by Monday, April 1, and it will be played on various screens and projections in the museum lobby and on walls of the atrium during a special party set for the following Sunday.
Turn that frown upside down at "The Happy Show," an exhibition of designer Stefan Sagmeister's work that opens March 20 at the Pacific Design Center at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. "I am usually rather bored with definitions," says Sagmeister. "Happiness, however, is just such a big subject that it might be worth a try to pin it down." And today in New York City, the Jewish Museum opens "Six Things," the first exhibition of Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh's newly founded design firm, Sagmeister & Walsh. Both shows offer up experiments with potential happiness inducers ranging from meditation and cognitive therapy to playing with water balloons and spelling out maxims in jaw-dropping flights of typographic fancy.
Just in time for Easter comes "Eggs-hibition: Unscrambling Their History," a sure-to-be eggs-traordinary show opening March 23 at the Bruce Museum of Arts and Science in Greenwich, Connecticut. Visitors can attempt to settle the chicken-or-egg question by examining bird eggs, ugly eggs and fancier specimens, including eggs and artworks borrowed from the Ukrainian Museum and the Museum of Russian Icons. The exhibition will span Fabergé to pharmacology (and, we hope, Cadbury), exploring the evolution of the egg, its prominent inclusion in creation myths worldwide, and how it has inspired artists.
Whether you're fresh from a great 2012 project on paper or wrapping up one now, consider entering it in Neenah Paper's UnShow, a competition that celebrates all form of expression on any uncoated paper (it need not be from Neenah). Unlike many awards programs seeking your attention at this time of year, UnShow is free to enter, so go for it with one or multiple projects. Online public voting will determine the top 25 entries in each of the eight categories -- which include identity, posters, packaging, and student work -- and then a jury of design judges will have the final say on who gets the cash and prizes. The deadline for entries is March 29.