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Turning the Tables: Doris Salcedo at the Guggenheim

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The Guggenheim’s iconic rotunda has housed many a provocative contemporary exhibition—but it won’t house Doris Salcedo’s when the museum unveils her full-scale retrospective on June 26. The Colombian sculptor chose instead the museum’s tower galleries, because her work requires discrete spaces and limited distractions. Plegaria Muda (2008–10), above, features a series of overturned coffin-size tables that are planted with grass, creating an eerie effect out of common furniture. The shimmering garments of Disremembered (2014) turn out to be made of raw silk and 12,000 needles. Salcedo, 56, tackles loss and pain head-on, addressing the political “disappearances” of Colombians as well as contemporary gang violence. “Her work speaks to social injustice in a way that’s visceral and never didactic,” says Guggenheim curator Katherine Brinson, who is picking up the show from the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. “The quiet power of her work stays with you for a long time.” From June 26 to October 12; 1071 Fifth Ave.; guggenheim.org.

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