For all its promise of liberation from the gilded structures of exaltation surrounding the objet d'art, the readymade has become deflated by its own pressure. Found objects, assemblage and appropriation have been cunningly adopted and integrated into the mechanisms of taste, robbed of their subversive function and aestheticized into a polite paradigm. In a series of nine new collages upending these platitudes, Valentin Carron locates within his own psychology the entry points for the subconscious material of identity and freezes them, allowing for unexpected and arbitrary recombination that short-circuits accepted modes of explication. Sing Loud And Walk Fast will be on view through July 12 at 303 Gallery 555 W 21 Street New York. photographs courtesy of the gallery
The Whitney Biennial is an unmissable event for anyone interested in finding out what’s happening in art today. Curators Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley have been visiting artists over the past year in search of the most important and relevant work. Featuring seventy-five artists and collectives working in painting, sculpture, installation, film and video, photography, performance, and sound, the 2019 Biennial takes the pulse of the contemporary artistic moment. Introduced by the Museum’s founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932, the Biennial is the longest-running exhibition in the country to chart the latest developments in American art. The 2019 Whitney Biennial will be on view from May 17 to September 22 at The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. photographs by Adam Lehrer
Ranging from the monumental to the intimately-scaled, the featured sculptures capture Frank Stella’s ongoing exploration of the spatial relationships between abstract and geometric forms and the ways in which they behave in and engage with physical space. In these newest works, Stella combines interlocking grids with more fluid and organic lines, creating a dynamic interplay between minimalist and gestural visual vocabularies. Frank Stella: Recent Work will be on view from April 25 through June 22 across both of the gallery’s Chelsea locations at 509 and 507 W. 24th Street. photographs courtesy of the gallery
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
The Outsider Art Fair features over forty visionary artists from around the world, including works by Noviadi Angkasapura (b. 1979, Indonesia), Frédéric Bruly Bouabré (1923–2014, Ivory Coast), Henry Darger (1892-1973, USA), Janko Domsic (1915-1983, Croatia/France), Minnie Evans (1892-1987, USA), Guo Fengyi (1942–2010, China), Martín Ramírez (1895-1963, Mexico/USA), Judith Scott (1943-2005, USA), Melvin Way (b. 1954, USA), George Widener (b. 1962, USA), Adolf Wölfli (1864–1930, Switzerland), Anna Zemánkova (1908–1986, Czech Republic), and Unica Zürn (1916-1970, Germany) among many others.
The Doors of Perception focuses on the visionary nature of art commonly known as outsider art, art brut, or self-taught art. The exhibition presents a large constellation of works made by exceptionally gifted artists from five continents, offering a panorama of art created on the margins of society. Whether psychiatric patients, self-taught visionaries, or mediums, each of the artists in the exhibition felt at some point in their life the need to create an artistic language of their own in order to reveal what they understood to be the true nature of things. Often disenfranchised because of their mental condition or social status and without any previous artistic training, many of the artists exhibited here dedicated their lives obsessively to the creation of complex visual representations, often after experiencing a life-changing epiphany. A meeting with a supernatural power—whether an encounter with the divine, spirits of the dead, or extraterrestrial beings—might have triggered this impulse to create. These remarkable events produced strong centrifugal forces that drove the artists from chaos to order, opening for them “doors of perception” to a transcendental reality that, in many cases, helped them survive their otherwise unstable life. The Doors of Perception is on view through May 5 at Frieze, Metropolitan Pavillion 125 W. 18th Street, New York. photographs courtesy of The Outsider Fair
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprisings, Art after Stonewall, 1969–1989 is a long-awaited and groundbreaking survey that features over 200 works of art and related visual materials exploring the impact of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) liberation movement on visual culture. Presented in two parts—at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art—the exhibition features artworks by openly LGBTQ artists such as Vaginal Davis, Louise Fishman, Nan Goldin, Lyle Ashton Harris, Barbara Hammer, Holly Hughes, Greer Lankton, Robert Mapplethorpe, Catherine Opie, Joan Snyder, and Andy Warhol. On view at the Grey Art Gallery from April 24 through July 20, 2019 and at the Leslie-Lohman Museum from April 24 through July 21, 2019, the exhibition is organized by the Columbus Museum of Art. Art after Stonewall, 1969–1989 is on view through July 20 at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. photographs
Through formally painted portraits, Patrick Martinez sheds light on past and current civil rights leaders who would historically be left in the shadows. These portraits are found atop realistically depicted three-dimensional cakes, embodying the celebratory tone that Martinez wishes to portray. Through a study of the lack of diverse representation in historical portrait painting, a medium traditionally used to celebrate ones successes and wealth, Martinez was led to the portrait cake paintings. The cake acts as a globally and socio-economically understood medium of celebration, now featuring the faces of not only white historical figures but the faces of freedom fighters of all races. This series was first inspired by a video of Tupac’s last birthday, which included a cake frosted with his portrait that did not resemble him in the slightest. The cake paintings feature the likes of Angela Davis, James Baldwin, and Malcolm X, and include even lesser known freedom fighters such as Larry Itliong of the Philippines paying respect to Martinez’s mother’s birthplace. Martinez also works with the insignias of civil rights activist groups, such as the Black Panther Party in his piece titled Chocolate Cake for the Black Panther Party. That Which We Do Not See will be on view through April 20 at Fort Gansevoort 5 Ninth Avenue, New York. photographs courtesy of the artist and Fort Gansevoort, New York.
”The works were re-created in oil paint on canvas from images I constructed on my iPhone. I usually took these photographs around my home in Florida, and then painted over them with different characters. These light creatures hang out with the dogs, or dance on the abandoned boat dock. I would sit outside alone by the water and create alien-like friends on a low-key cosmic tropical playground.” —Harmony Korine. Young Twitchy is on view through April 20 at Gagosian 980 Madison Avenue, New York. photographs courtesy of Gagosian
Pussykrew is a nomadic duo of Polish new media artists Ewelina Alexandrowicz and Andrzej Wojtas. The centerpiece of the show is the artists’ most recent project, the bliss of metamorphing collapse, presented as multiscreen video installation and virtual reality experience. Using real-time animation and VR sculpting tools, Pussykrew create new supernatural scenery as they re-imagine the future post-human landscape, new living beings, and their ecosystem. This multidimensional work is designed to explore speculative life forms that exist within a networked consciousness, beyond synthetic/organic conditions: the fluid entities that transcend traditional hierarchical binary systems. The audience is summoned into the artist-created universe where newly evolved, gender-free organisms become the augmented hybrids of a body, technology, and nature, and the sentient sense of the past. The Bliss Of Metamorphing Collapse is on view through April 13 at Postmasters 54 Franklin Street, New York. photographs courtesy of the gallery
Bad Lucky Indian is Natalie Ball's first solo exhibition in New York. Her art engages proposals of refusal, complicating easily affirmed and consumable narratives and identities without absolutes. The exhibition will be on view through April 13 at Half Gallery 43 East 78th Street, New York. photographs courtesy of Half Gallery
Robert Duran: 1968–1970 presents a selection of Duran’s earliest paintings, which were born from a time when the then young artist concurrently experimented in minimalist sculpture. Closely examining Duran’s practice within these years, one can recognize the forms and structures of his sculptures loosely illustrating the paintings surfaces, as if tracing the evolution from his sculptural pursuits to the lyrical style of painting that he became known for. Robert Duran: 1968–1970 will be on view through March 31 at Karma 188 E 2nd Street New York
Eccentric Reflexivity 1988–1994 is a solo show of works by artist, sculptor and architect Jorge Pardo. In essence, Eccentric Reflexivity 1988–1994 is a non-nostalgic remembrance, appreciation, and documentation of the process of becoming an artist, featuring works imagined, created and produced during a specific period in Jorge Pardo’s life while and just after he was a student at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. The exhibition explores and investigates Pardo’s playful aesthetic, while offering sly anti-Duchampean commentary on what can transform everyday objects, or ready-mades—many imbued with symbolic, art historical and autobiographical references—into art. Eccentric Reflexivity 1988-1994 is on view through April 20, 2019 at Petzel 35 East 67th Street, New York. photographs courtesy of the gallery
Carol Rama: Eye of Eyes celebrates the symbolic language developed by this luminary of the Italian avant-garde. Presenting works made over a nearly six decade span, the exhibition encompasses watercolors, paintings, and works from the highly-charged Bricolage series, in which Rama incorporated personally significant objects and materials into her paintings. Carol Rama: Eye of Eyes is on view through March 23 at Lévy Gorvy in New York. photographs courtesy of the gallery
Tender presents a segment of contemporary Czech photography with deliberately wide range of photographic strategies – from snapshot-like images that have appeared in the context of fashion editorials to post-conceptual works by artists skeptical of the very photographic medium. Curated by Michal Nanoru. Tender is on view through March 28 at The Czech Center 321 East 73rd Street, New York. photographs courtesy of Czech Center
Soft Violence is an exhibition of sculptural paintings by Leah Guadagnoli. With a sparer touch than her prior work, the artist has presented a sort of exaggerated logo, a calling card of absurd proportions, with textured panels, upholstered shapes, and painted canvas uniting to form a streamlined rectangular result. Whereas her recent work incorporated digitally-printed patterns on fabric and eclectic juxtapositions, this series has a reined-in seriousness that belies gaudy Miami sunsets and remaining hints of "Saved by the Bell", and its heightened simplicity acts as a cohesive statement on abstraction's potential as graphic power. The images seem familiar, but they are a design for a non-existent entity - fully empty, thwarting connection. Soft Violence is on view through February 16 at Asya Geisberg Gallery 537b West 23rd Street, New York. photographs courtesy of Asya Geisberg Gallery
"I can't talk about art or ideas or the creative act. I dream, day and night. Most of the time I dream about something that didn't happen to me and is not going to happen to me. It is called thinking, and that is a riddle wrapped inside a mystery and inside, is a mystery of me. My thinking is like watching TV. Nothing happens. I want to be lobotomized by boredom. I dream as if it were happening, both past and present, day and night. People talk about ideas and inspiration. I don't think I have that kind of body or mind. I don’t know where dreams come from and I don’t know where you go to find ideas; you either have a helium connection to feelings or you don’t. I can't talk about dreams or what things mean. I have silence in my brain and it sits on my tongue. Hiding in my head is the dream and I pick up a brush or a pencil and let it out. I can't put it into words, I can only paint or draw it. If you find a dream, work with it, if you don’t have dreams get a job (I worked at CVI making stretchers for 25 years). If you read a book or a newspaper or travel to another country, that is good for your life, but don’t take that stuff into your studio. I don’t know what influences me, or who; but I am guilty of looking at art. I do not feel like I missed anything by not painting or drawing for 26 years. If you stop breathing you die, if you stop making art, nothing happens, you just find something else to do. Now, I feel like painting and here I am: a painter.” - Fred Escher
Killer Diorama is on view through December 9 @ Catbox Contemporary in Ridgewood, NY. photographs courtesy of Catbox Contemporary
Fire Island, Edmund White writes, is a place of rituals, where dinners, tea-dances and sex parties rhyme in the ‘imagination with the rituals of medieval Japan or Versailles’. This composite sensibility, of the past rhyming with the present, of anarchy blended with grandeur, is manifest in Matthew Leifheit’s photo series Fire Island Night. In the Belvedere Guest House in Cherry Grove, a male-only and clothes-optional hotel, intimate scenes play out amidst the faded glamour of gaudy interiors. A nude model, classical and twink-like, reclines on a bed beneath a chandelier; elsewhere, a nude with his back to the camera uncannily meets our gaze in the reflection of a mirror. Out on the balcony older guests congregate like gatekeepers standing amidst the ornate matter of their culture. In a different Cherry Grove palace, fire meets its symbolic opposite, Leifheit’s dispatches from the dance-floor of The Ice Palace Nightclub.
Although no single area of Fire Island can account for its multiplicity, the beach offers a distinct reflective space for taking stock of this infernal paradise. It is there that the narrator of Andrew Holleran’s iconic 1978 novel “Dancer from the Dance” sat to recall the blur of faces and parties, past denizens of a place where ‘death and desire’ are inextricably linked, in a passage eerily prescient of the HIV/AIDS epidemic that began to ravage the island community just a few years later.
Leifheit captures this funereal quality, photographing the death site of Margaret Fuller, one of a number of notable fatalities, but also, in another image, the attendant notes of hope and solidarity. In Wave (Hudson and MeHow), (2018), two figures embrace in the surf of a wave, like the ‘two boys together clinging’ in Walt Whitman’s utopian vision of America’s queer future. Captured amongst the waters and sands of a place that has long provided refuge from the oppressive, it is an image of intimacy that feels true to the island’s word; an image, simply, of fighting fire with fire.
— Jack Parlett, 2018
Matthew Leifheit's "Fire Island Night" will be on view at the Deli Gallery 10 Waterbury Street Brooklyn, NY 11206 through December 2, 2018. photos courtesy of Deli Gallery
Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again positions Warhol's career as a continuum, demonstrating that he didn't slow down after surviving the assassination attempt that nearly took his life in 1968, but entered into a period of intense experimentation. The show illuminates the breadth, depth, and interconnectedness of the artist’s production: from his beginnings as a commercial illustrator in the 1950s, to his iconic Pop masterpieces of the early 1960s, to the experimental work in film and other mediums from the 1960s and 70s, to his innovative use of readymade abstraction and the painterly sublime in the 1980s. His repetitions, distortions, camouflaging, incongruous color, and recycling of his own imagery challenge our faith in images and the value of cultural icons, anticipating the profound effects and issues of the current digital age. From A To B And Back Again is on view through March 31, 2019 at Whitney Museum Of American Art 99 Gansevoort Street New York. photographs courtesy of Whitney Museum Of American Art
Co-organized by The Museum of Modern Art and Laurenz Foundation, Schaulager Basel, Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts draws upon the rich holdings of both institutions and nearly 70 lenders. Encompassing Nauman’s full career and featuring a total of 165 works, the exhibition occupies the Museum’s entire sixth floor and the whole of MoMA PS1. This joint presentation provides an opportunity to experience Nauman’s command of a wide range of mediums, from drawing, printmaking, photography, and sculpture to neon, performance, film and video, and architecturally scaled environments.
Disappearing Acts traces strategies of withdrawal in Nauman’s art—both literal and figurative incidents of removal, deflection, and concealment. Close relatives of disappearance also appear in many forms. They are seen, for example, in holes the size of a body part, in the space under a chair, in the self vanishing around a corner, and in the mental blocks that empty creative possibility. “For Nauman,” said Halbreich, “disappearance is both a real phenomenon and a magnificently ample metaphor for grappling with the anxieties of both the creative process and of navigating the everyday world.”
Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts is on view through February 18 @ The Museum of Modern Art, and through February 25 @ MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, New York. photographs courtesy of MoMA
Never Remember—the exhibition title a biting reversal of the slogan “Never forget”—takes place in the very gallery where Jasper Johns’s map paintings were shown thirty years before. Lowman’s Maps expand on his own shaped canvases begun in the early 2000s, depicting doodled hearts, trompe l’oeil decals of bullet holes, and air freshener trees.
Lowman’s Maps infuse the geometries of the United States with a gritty, gestural tactility, combining chance and intention in the generative possibilities of a single form. With sharp political skepticism, Lowman employs abstraction to point to the arbitrariness of borders and the limitations of jingoism, thus expounding on the complexities and contradictions of the American way. Never Remember is on view through December 15 at Gagosian 980 Madison Avenue, New York. photographs courtesy Gagosian