In 1937, Elie and Viola Nadelman's Museum of Folk and Peasant Arts was an original in practically every way. Today, the contents are still quite delicious; every piece exceptional, acquired while practically nobody else was looking, each cousin to a common aesthetic purpose.
While new materialist philosophies are slowly tipping the scale on its side by exploring the subtle vitality inherent in matter, many artists are engaging with materials in ways that render this cultural shift concrete and experiential. Yoshiaki Mochizuki, who before coming to art worked as a buyer of loose diamonds, is one of themand one whose intimate knowledge of that formidable crystal endows his work with singular power.
Downtown around City Hall Park, where the Public Art Fund currently presents The Language of Things, an exhibition of sculptural works, the various rhythms spoken by the city include those of tourists, street performers, and office workersnot to mention that particular rhythm of summertime city heat that expresses itself in shared encounters of sound, stench, and sweat.
In 2008, the Metropolitan’s survey of the British Romantic painter JMW Turner (1775 1851) revealed him, in his exceptional blend of literature, landscape, history, morality, politics, and technical experimentation, to be the great Western artist of the first half of the 19th century. And, like Titian, or Caravaggio, or Rembrandt, or Matisse, an artist for all time, continually relevant to the changing human condition, and with an oeuvre ripe for focused explorations of various aspects of his career.
After presentations in Europe (at the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux Arts du Mans (1999) in Locarno, and at the Villa Arson de Nice (2004)), the present iteration of this exhibition, organized by Jean Louis-Raymond, coincides with the first U.S. complete retrospective of Straub and Huillet’s filmmaking, at MoMA. Comprising an original film poster, mounted photographs, writings, and video, the exhibition raises an interesting question: Does this amount to documentation?
But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise... fills the fourth and fifth tower levels of the Guggenheim with seductive works on paper, elaborate installations, large-scale sculptures, and magnifying videos.
Eisenman’s view is remarkably intimate. They are images of interiors and internal moments, even when surrounded by people. What relationship is safe enough to make it the subject of one’s work?
Masonry-like ‘pigment pictures’ rush back to my memory / Like vengeance.
The logo-type signature that Stuart Davis affixed to all of his later compositions has the feel of an exuberantly but deliberately carved and cast-off orange peel. This shaped incorporation of the author with his works, which in many instances resemble a virtual junkyard of animate cast-offs, clearly signals Davis’s lifelong intention: to sublate an older genius of the exceptional subject into the oblivious, objective meander of the modern commons.
In Carin Riley’s understated and demure pastel drawings and oil paintings, a quest for symbols takes place, mimicking the process that generates such vocabularies of signs as the Major Arcana, the constellations, or the beings of the Chinese zodiac.
Two walls, both hung with drawings, face each other. One, shorter in length, was custom-built for this exhibition. They are painted a pale green, not a found green but one mixed by the artist and then matched to a Pantone color in the paint store and applied to the walls by gallery assistants. At the far end of the gallery, a row of windows open onto buildings across the street and a tree in the full green leaf of early summer.
Gerhard Richter has always experimented with a range of production techniques, but in this current exhibition, high touch wins out over high tech.
To regenerate an inquiry into the pairing of authority and patriarchy, curators Boliang Shen and Zhanglun Dai reconsider the historical centrality of the father-son narrative, a structure that persists, with varying degrees of opacity, in various gestures of forgetting, revolt, repetition, and destruction.
The Glyndor Gallery’s exhibition (Not So) Still Life, displays the work of fourteen artists who share their interpretations of still life through the mediums of ceramics, photography, video, glass, and paint.
In Memphis, a sun-baked blues town where history oozes from ramshackle brick façades, the musician’s studio often trumps the painter’s. Perhaps it’s fitting, then, that downtown Tops Gallery is underground, in a basement behind a working stained glass factory.
The recent exhibition of Mogensen’s work at Del Deo & Barzune reunites paintings from the late 1960s and ’70s, along with one outlier from 2015.
At a time when the genetic modification of foods is a genuine threat to human well being, Brooklyn-based artist Naomi Campbell has created a hybridization of her own, merging her scientific interests with a creative investigation of genetics and technology. Her recent exhibition, Bread and Circuses, reflects her ongoing interest in engineered food staples, most especially corn, which, according to Campbell, has existed for 80,000 years.
Memorable Mad. Sq. Art projects have abounded, but none impact the environment and relate better to the formal qualities of the park than Martin Puryear’s monumental and terrific Big Bling (2016), which commands the now lush and verdant oval for the next three seasons, and is deeply resonant of life in today’s New York.
Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei are closely tied to mass media. Both are celebrities who are famous beyond the narrow bounds of the art world, and both have enormous studios with small armies of assistants. They never really met, but Warhol visited Beijing and Ai lived in Manhattan from 1983 93, and so saw Warhol in passing. And so we learn from Eric Shiner’s interview published in the exhibition catalogue, when Ai came to New York, he read The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again). “To me,” he said, “Warhol always remained the most interesting figure in American art.
In the mid-’50s, Lee Krasner walked into a studio hung floor to ceiling with drawings. In a decisive moment of self-criticism, she tore her works from the walls until the floor was covered in fragments.
The rigor of his work comes from an internal life, but the materials are never subjugated to this private world, rather they are entwined together, like a perfect marriage of differences
SURREAL ENCOUNTERS: COLLECTING THE MARVELOUS
By Mary Ann Caws
Works from the Collections of Roland Penrose, Edward James, Gabrielle Keiller and Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch
An exhibition jointly organized by SNGMA, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, and the Hamburger Kunsthalle, where it will be shown after the only United Kingdom showing in Edinburgh.
Several and specific typologies. They evoke Babylonian clay tablets / That desire to relinquish their planes’ subtle textures.