Peer deeper into these must-see visual arts exhibits on display this fall.
1. The South End’s A R E A Gallery debuts a second space in Cambridge with inaugural exhibit Please interrupt if you don’t understand. On view through Oct. 14, it’s the first solo show from Boston University- and Tufts-bred artist Gabriel Sosa, who taps into his background as a court interpreter with drawings and videos that incorporate legal text and recordings of a deportation warning delivered at the opening of trials, plus a floor-to-ceiling installation of correspondence between defendants and their loved ones.
2. Through Oct. 27, UMass Boston presents Richard Yarde: Portraits, the first solo exhibition to look at the longtime professor’s work in five years. Filling University Hall Gallery, the watercolorist’s large-scale paintings include images of African-American cultural icons such as Josephine Baker and also look at everyday people, including 1996 diptych Back with Dots for which the Roxbury native examined his own X-rays taken after experiencing kidney failure.
3. The oldest photography gallery in the city sails into a new chapter with At Sea, Panopticon’s first show under a new director and owner since temporarily closing its Hotel Commonwealth doors in April. On display through Oct. 31, the maritime-themed exhibit highlights nine artists, many bringing elements such as painting and historical techniques into their images, including Andrew Seguin. The poet and photographer combines a 19th-century blueprint process with modern-day Photoshop to create digital negatives incorporating texts and illustrations from Moby-Dick.
4. After her 2013 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum residency, Bharti Kher covered the Anne H. Fitzpatrick Façade in 2015 with her bindi-speckled installation Not All Who Wander Are Lost, tracing migration routes using a Jean Chardonnet historical atlas. Now Kher returns for a third time from Sept. 20 to Sept. 6, 2018, in the Fenway Gallery, as the serial diarist debuts notebooks and a series of drawings inspired by her time living among the collection that meditate on gender, anatomy, pregnancy and motherhood.
5. Photojournalist Karim Ben Khelifa spent 18 years documenting war frontlines. Beginning on Oct. 5, the Belgian-Tunisian artist brings MIT Museum visitors to the same combat zones with his virtual-reality installation The Enemy. Donning headsets and backpacks, civilians come face-to-face with real individuals involved in conflicts in El Salvador, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Israel and Palestine, as they reveal their personal decisions to bear arms and wax on what freedom means to them—confessions Khelifa and a team of producers unearthed during trips to four continents. And this North American premiere (running through Dec. 31) comes with a new twist: Guests answer a questionnaire, developed during a residency at MIT’s Center for Art, Science & Technology alongside professor D. Fox Harrell, that determines a personalized experience.
Museum of Fine Arts: Night Attack on the Sanjō Palace, From the Illustrated Scrolls of the Events of the Heiji Era / Mfa’s Fenollosa-weld Collection
6. The Museum of Fine Arts houses one of the world’s largest collections of Japanese art, and on Oct. 18-April 1, it’ll add more than a dozen pieces with Takashi Murakami: Lineage of Eccentrics. The acclaimed artist has mounted a retrospective in Versailles, designed album cover art for one of the Palace’s modern-day frequenters, Kanye West, and now, with art professor Nobuo Tsuji, Murakami will pair his designs alongside work from the MFA’s archive, like 18th-century painter Soga Shohaku’s 35-foot-long Dragon and Clouds and his own take on the masterpiece from 2010.
THE IMPROPER’S 2017 FALL ARTS PREVIEW: DANCE | BOOKS | COMEDY | MUSIC | PERFORMING ARTS | VISUAL ART