One of the virtues of this little show at the Met is that it reminds us of the extent to which the problem with Golub’s work, in terms of institutional support, was not only political, but also aesthetic. From the beginning of his mature work, Golub was trying to find a new way to paint, and that pursuit put him in constant conflict with reigning orthodoxies.
You could say / the painters canvas is a third degree burn / but really / Its a peculiar apparatus / portraits made of cut razor inscriptions / in the folds of chalk skin / paint the color of dried blood
I first met Leon Golub when the samizdat literary magazine I was co-editing, Ferro-Botanica (1980 – 1986) solicited an interview. Both he and his wife, the artist Nancy Spero, were quite generous with access to their studios, accommodating myself and my friends who at the time were just beginning to inscribe our mark in the New York art world.
It is a thrill to see Leon Golub’s in-your-face paintings on the brutalist walls of the Met Breuer. During his lifetime, American painter Leon Golub received little institutional recognition—particularly from museums in the US.
We need this work now! We need to live with it, to see it more fully, and to understand more deeply what Golub discovered and never lost sight of: the power of representation to arrest the uninterrupted flow of the present, to interrogate the human condition, and to produce art as a lifelong act of resistance.
Of course, in 1966 it would seem to require a necessary immensity to portray, in any possible way, the alliance of myth and antiquity: the battle of Greek gods and human giants against the background noise of Vietnam, so iconic and gigantic as they appear in Naples and Berlin, where I well remember gasping in front of the Pergamon frieze in the Pergamon Museum.
Times are queer in Carrie Moyer’s twin exhibitions at DC Moore and Mary Boone Galleries, where the New York-based painter introduces exceptional, unabashedly jubilant new paintings of acrylic and glitter on canvas.
The present exhibition has arrived amidst a contentious national mood, with a divisive President attempting to define not only what makes America great but who constitutes America.
This dynamic between a grand vision and its subtle undercutting appears throughout Martin’s show. Even though he is working as large as ever—both literally and metaphorically—Martin’s work remains playful and personable.
At Gladstone Gallery the viewer dons 3D glasses and is transported to a strangely suspenseful and quasi-psychedelic experience evoking cataclysm and unease. While the experience of the film is deeply sensual and devoid of people, Gaillard conducts his viewers into a subtle, multivalent conceptual web of ideas that asks them to consider the human history of destruction and social unrest.
Provosty’s paintings contain within them a kind of totality. You want to reach into them but hesitate—not because it’s forbidden, but for the same reason you pause before a door you knew to be closed but now stands before you open.
The framing device Gober offers for his quiet new exhibition at Matthew Marks, his first since the MoMA show, is time, which is a recognition of the long gestation period of many of these thirty-nine objects.
For A Life of Wandering, Daniel Cooney sifted through the artist’s storage unit selecting photographs. Arlene Gottfried died of cancer complications in August of last year.
Rodriguez recognizes strategies of appropriating, representing, and reproducing pictures as necessary for a contemporary, feminist, critique of teleology and historiographical time.
Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil is the first North American solo exhibition of the eponymous artist who, as the show suggests, “gave rise to Brazil’s modern movement.
Scheduled to coincide with what would have been Cy Twombly’s ninetieth birthday, Gagosian’s vast two-venue exhibition is an asymmetrical two-headed monster.
In 1981, when Milton Resnick was 64, he bought 140, 40” by 30” impregnated, wax, corrugated boards. He had recently completed the large-scale Planets, Elephants and Straws in the Wind series. Each painting took as much as several months to finish and was up to seventeen feet in length.
The six new paintings in Allison Miller’s compact exhibition at Susan Inglett make a convincing case for a capacious abstraction that is exacting yet playful, rich in smart art references yet firmly colloquial.
“All nature here is new to art, no Tivolis, Ternis, Mont Blancs, Plinlimmons, hackneyed and worn by the daily pencils of hundreds; but primeval forests, virgin lakes and waterfalls.” So rhapsodized British-born painter Thomas Cole (1801–1848) on the appeal of the American landscape.
It is affirming to see an exhibition like Stations of the Cross, based on a Catholic pilgrimage and devotional practice, in a world plagued by attacks on both Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism.
The relationship between “take” and “make” is essential to Zoe Leonard’s deeply personal, associative, nostalgic, and generous art.
Today, as a rising tide of isolationist nationalism challenges globalism’s utopian promise, Lifelines, a concise retrospective of greatest hits at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and Free Threads, a quixotic excavation of more obscure works, at Mexico’s Museo Amparo, surveyed Sheila Hicks’s cross-cultural ambitions.
But in its best moments, Art in the Age of the Internet makes palpable the transformative power that constantly awaits at our fingertips. That feeling is much more real than virtual.
Co-natural’s focus on Romania’s cultural apparatus is especially apparent in Farid’s holographic presence. Responding to the geopolitical reality of her post-Soviet upbringing, Pirici resists bored ideas of dance-as-entertainment in favor of the corporeal activities of her actors.
Though more closely identified with the San Francisco Beat artists and poets of the late 1950s and early 1960s, DeFeo also looked to the Surrealists a generation older than she, and drew from artists such as Yves Tanguy, Marcel Duchamp, and Man Ray, whom she once called her “north star.
Eyes are at once revealing and removing. They can draw us into others or help us see ourselves as an other. But when suspended in multicolored, dimensionless fabric, as Anspach has discovered, they have the power to do both.
Unlike typical grid painters, Zapkus has no use for reduction. To the contrary, his work strives for a comprehensive grasp of the world around him as each gestural phrase adds up to some kind of occluded sign: a whisper of a flag, the hint of a traffic sign, or a miniature El Lissitzky.
Averys reductionist approach is seductive; he is not a believer in the imponderableness of infinity and instead chooses a localized vision of the world.
The petrified cat’s would-be shadow, outlined in the carpet with a dark blue fabric that is both black and purple, echoes a crime scene. Da Corte leaves few clues as to what chthonic monster killed the cat.
The poster image for Howardena Pindell’s first major museum retrospective, Howardena Pindell: What Remains to Be Seen, shows a blurred figure diving into a pool overlaid with marker-drawn numbers and arrows that seem to describe a hidden kinetic order.
If a late Kandinsky and a Fauve-era Matisse had had a love child, and fed it growth hormones, it might look something like Mildred Thompson’s (1936 – 2003) pulsating abstractions from the 1990s.
In his first exhibition with Bodega, Carlos Reyes showcases a series of sculptures constructed from wood salvaged from the sauna of the West Side Club. Described on the club’s website as a “premier social relaxation club for gay and bisexual men,” the West Side Club has been at its Chelsea location since 1995.
Rockenschaub’s work cannot be easily categorized. Playful and engaged with the world and its technologies as it is, it also has a formal exactitude that deploys abstraction’s constructivist history as much as the potential of architectural intervention.
The artist’s meditation on his bygone mother’s legacy infuses benevolence and longing into a universe poised between a sassy ’90s house music video and a purgatory scene à la Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights.
All of this contrasts sharply in tone and substance with a new wave of Expressionist painting and sculpture found elsewhere on the gallery circuit in Lower Manhattan, which tends to emphasize eccentric pictorial modes and the idiosyncrasies of individual creativity at the expense of critical examination of art and its social function.
MATERIAL WITNESS WITNESS MATERIAL opened at the Knockdown Center on the twenty-seven-year anniversary of the beating of Rodney King.
Anyone who has been unnerved and delighted by the effects of a face swap app will recognize the energies of dismemberment and reconfiguration in Kari Cholnoky’s new work.
Despite the humming palettes of pink, orange, violet, and indigo, it feels chilly in these paintings. Maybe it’s because now, in late March, we enter the gallery from the frosty street with ever-more impatience for the turn of season that these images predict.
Greg Lindquist constructs an image cycle of social inequity in the face of environmental desecration, playing a requiem above a baseline of spoilt nature caused by corporate self-interest.
In Star Death and The Pain Body, Rachel Mason tunes both visual and aural experience to create a sacral space where we perceive, for a moment, the unknown outside and within us.
There is lots of empty space in Isa Genzken’s art, which is odd given her propensity to create visual mayhem and to coax an overflow of detritus into messy collages that describe all manner of ruination.
Violated Bodies: New Languages for Justice and Humanity, curated by Kyunghee Pyun and Deborah Saleeby-Mulligan, features four artists and one artist collective, all focusing on the body as the site where violence plays out.
The first thing I notice is the light. The covering of the Guggenheim oculus has been removed and natural light floods the rotunda, buoyant and bright.
Painting is but one option among many for Richard Aldrich, his abstract paintings being just the most familiar, as can be seen in this latest exhibition at Bortolami, his fourth at the gallery.
Johan Wahlsrom’s recent show, Life Is Good, is smaller than last year’s Distorted Happiness.
To see in artifice a natural yet invisible gesture is to be open to more than what is most obviously present.
Coates’s paintings share a transhistorical affinity with Caspar David Friedrich’s scenes of ruined Gothic architecture set amidst scraggly oaks, yet are much less explicitly allegorical or connected to any specific theology.
An elongated, “keystoned” vertical projection, updated daily and made from ash adhered to a slide, fills the gallery’s first wall.
Conceptual artist Jesse Chun plays with the social attributes and political implications of the English language.
Jeffrey Perkins’s George is an important new addition to the twin canons of art and anti-art.