Debuting a suite of new large-scale paintings, Lorna Simpson’s Darkening finds the artist returning to and building upon themes and motifs at the center of her practice: explorations focused on the nature of representation, identity, gender, race, and history. For more than 30 years, Simpson’s powerful works have entangled viewers in an equivocal web of meaning, drawing upon techniques of collage through the use of found materials, often culled from the pages of vintage Jet and Ebony magazines. In ‘Darkening,’ Simpson continues to thread dichotomies of figuration and abstraction with vast and enthralling tableaux that subsume spliced photos and fragmented text, abstracted beyond comprehension. Equally arresting and poetic, the paintings engage viewers with layers of paradox, capturing the mystifying allure of an arctic landscape in inky washes of blacks, grays, and startling blues. Darkening will be on view through 26 July at Hauser & Wirth 548 West 22nd Street, New York. photographs courtesy of Hauser & Wirth
Over the past thirty years, Lucas has created a distinctive and provocative body of work that subverts traditional notions of gender, sexuality, and identity. Since the late 1980s, she has transformed found objects and everyday materials such as cigarettes, vegetables, and stockings into disorienting, confrontational tableaux that boldly challenge social norms. The human body and anthropomorphic forms recur throughout Lucas’s works, often appearing erotic, humorous, fragmented, or reconfigured into fantastical anatomies of desire.
Initially associated with a group known as the Young British Artists (YBAs), who began exhibiting together in London in the late 1980s, Lucas is now one of the UK’s most influential artists. This presentation, which takes place across the three main floors of the New Museum, brings together more than 150 works in photography, sculpture, and installation to reveal the breadth and ingenuity of her practice. The exhibition addresses the ways in which Lucas’s works engage with crucial debates about gender and power, along with the legacy of Surrealism—from her clever transformations of everyday objects to her exploration of sexual ambiguity and the tension between the familiar and the absurd.
“Sarah Lucas: Au Naturel” features some of Lucas’s most important projects, including early sculptures from the 1990s that substitute domestic furniture for body parts and enlarged spreads from tabloid newspapers from the same period, which reflect objectified representations of the female body. Alongside the photographic self-portraits that Lucas has produced throughout her career, the exhibition features biomorphic sculptures including her stuffed-stocking Bunnies (1997–ongoing) and NUDS (2009–ongoing), the Penetralia series (2008–ongoing), and selections from her installations at the Freud Museum in London (2000) and the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2015). These works, which complicate inscribed codes of sexual and social normativity, have never before been shown together in the US. Lucas has also created new sculptural works for the exhibition, including This Jaguar’s Going to Heaven (2018), a severed 2003 Jaguar X-Type—the car’s back half burned and its front half collaged with cigarettes—and VOX POP DORIS (2018), a pair of eleven-foot-tall thigh-high platform boots cast in concrete.
Au Naturel is on view through January 20, 2019 at the New Museum 235 Bowery New York, 10002. photographs by Adam Lehrer
Adrian Piper: Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016 is the most comprehensive West Coast exhibition to date of the work of Adrian Piper (b. 1948, New York). It is also the first West Coast museum presentation of Piper’s works in more than a decade, and her first since receiving the Golden Lion Award for Best Artist at the 56th Venice Biennale of 2015 and Germany’s Käthe Kollwitz Prize in 2018. Organized by The Museum of Modern Art, this expansive retrospective features more than 270 works gathered from public and private collections from around the world, and encompasses a wide range of mediums that Piper has explored for over 50 years: drawing, photography, works on paper, video, multimedia installations, performance, painting, sculpture, and sound.
Piper’s groundbreaking, transformative work has profoundly shaped the form and content of Conceptual art since the 1960s, exerting an incalculable influence on artists working today. Her investigations into the political, social, and spiritual potential of Conceptual art frequently address gender, race, and xenophobia through incisive humor and wit, and draw on her long-standing involvement with philosophy and yoga.
For this exhibition, the Hammer is partnering with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA) to present Piper’s work What It’s Like, What It Is #3, a large-scale mixed-media installation addressing racial stereotypes. Adrian Piper: Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016 in on view through January 6 at Hammer Museum 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. photographs by Summer Bowie
On May 25, 2018 PAM hosted the debut performance of Untangling Manhood, Maceo Paisley investigates gender through embodied inquiry, juxtaposing identity and social constructs. Using movement, language, and audience interaction, Paisley guides us through a narrative that goes beyond making art, inviting audiences to confront themselves in the process. photographs by Lani Trock
We don't mean to get heavy on a Monday, but Jill Di Donato's essay is just too good and too informative not to start your week off with. Starting with Lynda Benglis' massive faux member in Artforum to the discovery that her own sex tape was previewed in public to a bunch of strangers, Donato explores female sexuality, gender, and what it means to be a woman in the 21st century. She talks to photographers like Ricky Powell and Richard Kern to find the answers. Click here to read.