Light and sound are suddenly quite prominent in the visual arts. In New York, James Turrell's shifting light installation fills the Guggenheim rotunda, while Soundings: A Contemporary Score, at the Museum of Modern Art, features sound artists from a variety of disciplines.
Locally this fall, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts will include several audio-visual installations. At Space Gallery, Granular Synthesis (Sept. 27-Oct. 20), by Kurt Hentschlager and Ulf Langheinrich, will fuse sight and sound in a manner that will alter perception. Hentschlager's Hive (Sept. 27-Dec. 31), at Wood Street Galleries, is an immersive 3-D animation of motion, light and sound, and his ZEE (Sept. 27-Oct. 27), at 943 Liberty Avenue, is a dense fog that "obscures the gallery walls, floor and ceiling," accompanied by a droning soundscape.
Probably less disorienting will be the Festival's "The Rubber Duck" (Sept. 27-Oct. 20), a four-story-high ducky created by Studio Florentijn Hofman that will float on the Allegheny River.
Too much natural light? Seek out Pittsburgh's own permanent Turrell installations at The Mattress Factory, then check out three new installation-style shows there: Detroit: Artists in Residence (Sept. 13-May 25); Chiharu Shiota: Trace of Memory (Sept. 13 into next summer); and Janine Antoni (Sept. 13-May 26).
Still, no doubt the season's most anticipated group show is the Carnegie International (Oct. 5-March 16) at the Carnegie Museum of Art, a major exhibition of new international art that will include a series of large-scale commissions.
Other new or forthcoming one-person shows are: Yasumasa Morimura: Theater of the Self (Oct. 6-Jan. 12), The Andy Warhol Museum's 30-year retrospective honoring this Japanese photographer fascinated with self-portrait, celebrity, gay and transgender life and art history; Akiko Kotani: Artist of the Year and work by Emerging Artist of the Year Lenka Clayton (both through Nov. 3), at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts; the painting show Fragmentation: New Works by Seth Clark (Sept. 17-Oct. 12), at Box Heart Gallery; HOLDUP in the HOOD: Francis Crisafio (photography) at Gallery 707, and Proud To Be An American?, photographs by Rebecca Chiappelli, at Gallery 709 (both Sept. 13-Nov. 3); and Oasis (Sept. 13-Nov. 2), paintings by Leslie Ansley, at Sweetwater Center for the Arts. Continuing at the Frick Art & Historical Center is the photography exhibit Clayton Days Revisited: A Project by Vik Muniz (through Oct. 27).
Also at the Frick, to mark the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Gettysburg, is Civil War Era Drawings From the Becker Collection (Nov. 9-Jan. 12). Violence today is the topic of ENOUGH Violence: Artists Speak Out at the Society for Contemporary Craft (Sept. 27-March 22). And in response to sexist, racist and homophobic violence, there's Alien She, at Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery (Sept. 21-Feb. 16), an examination of art and cultural production influenced by the 1990s Riot Grrrl movement.
Other group shows will cover a range of topics. Green at Silver Eye Center for Photography (through Oct. 5) explores the "purposely ambiguous idea" of "green" as a noun, adjective, lifestyle and more. Master Visual Artists: Preserving the Legacy, at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts (through Nov. 3), honors artists 60 and older who have had a significant impact on our region. Continuing at Pittsburgh Glass Center is Lifeforms (through Nov. 17), an homage to and extension of Rudolf and Leopold Blaschka's glass biological models.
Work on a larger scale appears at the Carrie Furnaces National Historic Landmark, where Alloy Pittsburgh, an arts initiative co-founded by Sean Derry and Chris McGinnis, in collaboration with the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area and the Kipp Gallery at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, will present 15 temporary site-based artworks by emerging regional artists. The exhibit opens Sept. 28.