Sunday, July 24
The abstractions in “Philip Guston: Painter, 1957–1967” provide a glimpse into the chthonic pool of reds, grays, pinks, and murderous blacks that eventually gave rise to the artist’s famous Klansmen, cyclopes, fleshy shoes, and tumorous lightbulbs. This historic exhibition—organized by writer, curator, vice president, and partner of Hauser & Wirth, Paul Schimmel—covers a pivotal decade of work within Guston’s career that, more than half a century later, still unsettles and seduces.
Philip Guston Painter, 1957 – 1967
Musician, filmmaker, painter, and all-around queer wunderkind Sadie Benning gives us “Green God” (an examination of the phrase “God created man in His own image,” from Genesis 1:27), one half of a two-pronged exhibition taking place at Callicoon Fine Arts and at Mary Boone’s Fifth Avenue space. For this section of the show, Benning inhabits the Goddess mantle—Being Supreme and Artist—with an iconic female crucifixion as well as several binary-breaking illustrations of the human form that screw up the range between “male [and] female, baby bump [and] butt.”
Sadie Benning Green God
Musician, filmmaker, painter, and all-around queer wunderkind Sadie Benning makes her solo debut at Mary Boone, curated by Piper Marshall, with “Green God” (an examination of the phrase “God created man in His own image” from Genesis 1:27), one half of a two-pronged exhibition taking place here and at Callicoon Fine Arts. For this section of the show, “the artist incorporates found objects and photographs into the composition[s] of [her] works,” which tweak notions of Christian monotheism with a pantheon of littler, lovelier, funnier gods, like the purple hat god, the grey god, or the worm god, among others.
Sadie Benning Green God
Richard Serra’s heavy-metal colossi destabilize mind and body in terrifying, terrific ways. This exhibition, spread across Gagosian’s two Chelsea spaces—522 West Twenty-First Street and 555 West Twenty-Fourth—will be the artist’s thirtieth solo exhibition with the gallery. Here, we get to witness NJ-1, 2015, made from six plates of Brobdingnagian, weatherproof steel. Walking between these vertiginous sheets will feel like Moses in the Red Sea.
Richard Serra’s heavy-metal colossi destabilize mind and body in terrifying, terrific ways. This exhibition, spread across Gagosian’s two Chelsea spaces—522 West Twenty-First Street and 555 West Twenty-Fourth—will be the artist’s thirtieth solo exhibition with the gallery. At this location are four new pieces—three major sculptures and a drawing installation—arranged with a cinematic precision that would make Kubrick jealous.
It’s difficult, at first, to locate the relationships between Rosalind Nashashibi’s fluid, colorful abstractions and her gorgeously produced film Electrical Gaza, 2015, (a piece commissioned by London’s Imperial War Museum, where it made its debut), which captures this Palestinian territory just before the Operation Protective Edge attacks of 2014. But beauty’s always been an excellent decoy for profound darkness.
Rosalind Nashashibi Two Tribes
This biannual exhibition, started by the Queens Museum in 2001, highlights some of the more mesmerizing thinking and making happening in that most fabulous of boroughs, named for the card-playing and dance-loving Queen Catherine of Braganza. Artists such as Alan Ruiz, Eileen Maxson, Mohammed Fayaz, Dave Hardy, and Jonah Groeneboer are featured.
Queens International 2016
Dan Burkhart’s corporeal, haunted aesthetic has many precedents—one finds them in Hans Bellmer, Paul Thek, Henry Fuseli, or Felix Labisse. But his fantastic, corrosive vision, a kind of wan humor dipped into a fat cauldron of nightmare, is entirely his own. Count on these unnervingly gorgeous paintings and sculptures to chill you thoroughly during what will likely be a long, hot summer.
Multifaceted cultural engineer Genesis Breyer P-Orridge is one body, two souls, and a thousand hearts. “Try to Altar Everything” is the name of this survey/shrine/site-specific installation, which highlights the ways Nepal and Hindu creation myths have influenced h/er thinking and making, in realms sacred and profane. The artist will be at the museum at certain times throughout the duration of the show, and visitors are encouraged to bring objects of devotion to add to this sprawling autobiographical sanctuary of—what else?—love.
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge Try to Altar Everything
Tears, falls, and an ill-fated voyage through the North Atlantic mark the legacy of Bas Jan Ader, one of the few first-generation Conceptualists who genuinely sought—and, woefully, embodied—the sublimity behind “the dematerialization of the art object.” Metro Pictures’s Helene Winer included the artist in a three-person exhibition at the Pomona College Museum of Art in 1972, the first showing of Ader’s work in the United States. And here he is, returned, fully and radiantly, for our tender delectation.
Bas Jan Ader
“Fine Young Cannibals” highlights a grand shebang of paint lovers, haters, and master-manipulators—Jacqueline Humphries, Martin Kippenberger, Heimo Zobernig, Laura Owens, Albert Oehlen, Josh Smith, Kelley Walker, and so many more—who’ve, as this exhibition’s title suggests, eaten their way out of this old medium’s tricky-tricky end game.
Fine Young Cannibals
The Judd Foundation’s numinous atmosphere is church-like, but its Protestant-seeming architecture is considerably sexier. This exhibition of five works by James Rosenquist, elegantly hung within the genteel-brut environs of Donald’s house, and expertly curated by Flavin Judd, reminds us that Pop’s prosaic loveliness often countenances the divine.
Dyke Action Machine!, Gran Fury, the Guerrilla Girls, Martha Rosler, Coco Fusco, and the Friends of William Blake, among innumerable others, show us that art can, and does, change lives. Brilliantly organized by Stephanie Weissberg, Jess Wilcox, Saisha Grayson, Catherine J. Morris, and Stephanie Weissberg from the museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, “Agitprop!” might be one of the most urgent shows up in the city right now.
Getting to the very core of it—existence, desire, personal fulfillment, love—isn’t particularly easy. Or pleasant. But Martin Creed, with a surgical wit and formal elegance, does it consistently, rarely breaking a sweat. “Martin Creed: The Back Door” is the largest retrospective of the artist’s work in the US to date, covering more than twenty years of his majestic output (along with a new commission) and filling up this historic space’s capacious first floor.
Martin Creed THE BACK DOOR
Jessica Stockholder has the uncanny ability to dive deep into the vomitorium of big-box culture and produce Brobdingnagian sculptures and installations that are hilarious, frightening, and really, really smart. Her three pieces here, made between 2006 and 2009, though modest in size, still amaze and amuse.
Jessica Stockholder Stockholder
Patricia Cronin’s exhibition “Shrine for Girls, New York” highlights brutality against women the world over, such as the 2014 kidnapping of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls by the terrorist group Boko Haram; the enslavement of “unvirtuous” women by the Magdalene Asylums and Laundries throughout Australia, North America, England, and Ireland, started in 1758 and in operation for nearly 240 years; and the recent killing of two Indian girls, aged fourteen and sixteen, who were raped and hung by a gang of brothers from their village. These works—wooden crates as coffins, piled high with female garments, like hills of shed skins—are harrowingly beautiful.
Patricia Cronin Shrine for Girls, New York
The British artist John Akomfrah—one of the founding bodies behind the Black Audio Film Collective—has a painterly vision, often realized with profound beauty via the grandeur of film. His interests—remembrance, the repercussions of colonialism, and the African diaspora of the West—come to us full force with his display at Lisson Gallery, Akomfrah’s first major exhibition within the United States.
A Polaroid 360, a body, and a preternaturally febrile imagination—that’s all Lucas Samaras needs, an artist/alchemist who’s spun endless gold from nearly nothing for sixty years. Here, Samaras’s manipulated self-portraits, almost half a century after their making, still dazzle and confuse. And, for an extra dose of freaky bliss, check out Samaras’s exquisite exhibition of pastels at the Morgan Library, up through August 21, 2016.
Lucas Samaras AutoPolaroids, 1969-71
Painter/sculptor/curiosity-shop proprietor Nancy Shaver’s first solo exhibition with Derek Eller Gallery gathers together a slew of thinkers and makers—Charles LeDray, Pamela Lins, Julia Klein, Judy Linn, Kenji Fujita, Beka Geodde, among many others—whose Catholicity in taste and intellect reflect her own. Their powers combined makes for a show that’ll blast the unsuspecting viewer high up into the stratosphere.
Nancy Shaver Dress the Form
“Blackness in Abstraction,” put together by Adrienne Edwards, curator and curator at large for Performa and the Walker Art Center, respectively, unpacks the history of blackness via race and modernism—and through the metaphorical dimensions of the black monochrome—in this exhibition that includes nearly thirty artists, such as Lorraine O’Grady, Sergio de Camargo, Robert Irwin, Glenn Ligon, Sol LeWitt, Steve McQueen, Ad Reinhardt, Louise Nevelson, Jack Whitten, Ellen Gallagher, and Wangechi Mutu.
Blackness in Abstraction
Chicago-based artist Margot Bergman’s scintillating images seem borne out of an attitude that’s chipper, strange, and mordantly funny, i.e., unequivocally Midwestern. Active since the 1950s, Bergman here—in psychedelically embellished thrift-store pictures—delights as much as she disturbs.
Lucas Samaras’s pastel drawings are eerie, queasy, midnight things, luridly colored and uncomfortably intimate. The forty-eight pieces on display, from 1958 to 1983, are a gift to the Morgan Library from Arne Glimcher, the founder of Pace Gallery. They are also hung atop a gorgeous wallpaper Samaras designed specially for this exhibition. (Also, for more Samarasian sublimity, go to Craig F. Starr Gallery to see the artist’s magisterial Polaroid self-portraits, up through August 12, 2016.)
Lucas Samaras Dreams in Dust
Cao Fei’s immersive, funny, maddening, and queasy video installations may feel Surrealist, but understand: The artist doesn’t pull from dreams. Her approach to exploring a flowering of Chinese culture in the grips of twenty-first century metastatic capitalism feels nearly documentarian. Cao’s exhibition at MoMA PS1 is her first solo outing at a museum within the United States. It surely won’t be her last.
Imagine what Marcel Breuer’s dark, imposing edifice did to New Yorkers during its first incarnation as the Whitney Museum, when it opened to the public in 1966. One can feel the white gloves quake and starched collars moisten in the presence of this seductively forbidding structure. Taken in by the Metropolitan Museum of Art when the Whitney went Meatpacking, The Met Breuer, as it’s now officially dubbed, comes at us with several brilliant exhibitions, one of which is “Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible,” a show that will explore “a subject critical to artistic practice: the question of when a work of art is finished.”
Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible
László Moholy-Nagy managed to make it through two world wars without his spirit being utterly crushed. A nearly utopian optimism pervades this designer/painter/teacher/photographer’s prodigious oeuvre, which we have the good fortune of experiencing in “Moholy-Nagy: Future Present,” the first major retrospective of this thinker and maker’s work within the United States in nearly half a century, beautifully realized by the Guggenheim’s Karole P. B. Vail, Danielle Toubrinet, and Ylinka Barotto.
László Moholy-Nagy Moholy-Nagy: Future Present
Paul Outerbridge’s darkly aristocratic style and cut-crystal eroticism has influenced legions, from Irving Penn and Guy Bourdin to Robert Mapplethorpe, Nobuyoshi Araki, and Joel-Peter Witkin. Outerbridge’s exhibition at Bruce Silverstein is the first of this depth to be staged in New York in more than thirty years.
Poetry is not merely aesthetic. It dictates, commands, perverts, altering the landscape of one’s imagination. It’s clear how poetry’s functioned as the—ahem—seedbed of Vito Acconci’s multifarious oeuvre, warping his body and the spaces it’s occupied into strange and revelatory configurations. “Vito Acconci: Where We Are Now (Who Are We Anyway?), 1976,”—organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Margaret Aldredge, Acconci, and his wife, Maria Acconci—is a major exhibition that covers the early days of this iconic artist’s thinking and making, via documentary materials, videos, and films. It is also one of the events scheduled to coincide with MoMA PS1’s fortieth anniversary.
Vito Acconci Where We Are Now (Who Are We Anyway?), 1976
Simone Leigh’s new exhibition, “The Waiting Room,” produced during her residency at the New Museum, will focus on the kind of care—emotional, intellectual, medical—that women of color rarely receive in a patriarchal, racist society. This current undertaking is an extension of the artist’s 2014 project with Creative Time, Free People’s Medical Clinic, which provided various workshops and treatments, gratis, in the former Bed-Stuy home of the first black OB/GYN in the state of New York, Dr. Josephine English.
Simone Leigh The Waiting Room
Ken Nordine’s word-jazzy “Colors” of 1966 would make the perfect sound track for this scintillating exhibition of Stuart Davis’s crackerjack, hi-fi Pop-before-Pop paintings. About a hundred of this American abstractionist’s works—from the early 1920s to Davis’s very last canvas, left on the artist’s easel when he died in 1964—are on display for your edification and electrification.
Stuart Davis In Full Swing
Bruce Conner’s uncommon touch—or, more aptly, metaphysical grace—could even make the apocalypse look ravishing. This exhibition is the first full-dress retrospective of Connor’s work—organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and cocurated by Stuart Comer, Laura Hoptman, Rudolf Frieling, Gary Garrels, and Rachel Federman—and covers fifty years of this cultural bricoleur’s glorious output via painting, drawing, film, photography, and so much more.
Bruce Conner It's All True
Cornelia Parker’s sorta/sorta not “dollhouse,” a re-creation, at two-thirds scale, of Norman Bates's house in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), is too weird for real children, but perfect for toy children—especially the dead-eyed, Victorian kids made by haute doll manufacturer Jumeau, which were favored by New York’s neurasthenic copper heiress Huguette Clark, who died, in 2011, surrounded by them. Clark’s haunted life, and so much more, comes racing to mind while witnessing Parker’s Transitional Object (PsychoBarn), 2016, on the Met’s Fifth Avenue rooftop. It also underlines, quite explicitly, that Parker is a horror auteur sans précédent.
Cornelia Parker Transitional Object (Psycho Barn)
The marvelous Antonio Lopez, with his creative partner/boyfriend Juan Ramos, knocked the pasty-white starch out of American fashion illustration, then injected it with a glittering cocktail of Puerto Rican dandyism, Warholian sex, disco sultriness, and—duh—top-tier Roman candle–style queerness. From Paris to New York and back again, arm in arm with the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Tina Chow, Grace Jones, and Gianni Versace, they created a soiree that, still, few of us are cool enough to enter.
Antonio Lopez Future Funk Fashion
The burden of viewing life the way Diane Arbus saw it seems unbearable. Getting that close to humanity—well beyond “warts-and-all”—is monstrous. “diane arbus: in the beginning” presents more than one hundred of this profound artist’s photographs—more than two-thirds of which have never been seen before—from 1956–62, a period when she was working away from her husband, actor, and commercial photographer, Allan Arbus, and clarifying her own sublime, phantasmal vision.
Diane Arbus In The Beginning
Oh but to be a Royal Meissen porcelain, handled with the most tender of care and on lofty display, in Henry Clay Frick’s magnificently appointed mansion. We are invited to inhabit the interior lives of these stately objects in “Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection,” which commingles twelve of Shechet’s perverse Meissen-inspired works (pieces the artist made during residencies at the house’s factory in Germany a few years ago) with approximately 140 originals, selected and organized by the artist herself. This is the most appropriate way to enter the summer—in splendor.
Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection
Kusama’s current exhibition takes over all three of Miro’s gallery locations with new paintings, pumpkin sculptures, and mirror installations. Three selfie-inspiring mirror rooms on Wharf Road treat viewers to a magical, if dizzying, landscape of infinite reflections.
Stingel’s “Instruction Paintings” were first exhibited in 1989 at Massimo De Carlo in Milan, along with a pamphlet that illustrated the artist’s work-a-day method and encouraged those who wanted to to follow the instructions to create a painting of their own. The “Instruction Paintings” on view here were made between 1989 and 1996—paintings about painting, as both process and product.
Rudolf Stingel 1989 - 1996 Instruction Paintings
Familiar images—brawny athletes, powerful trains, and tubular waves—form the basis for Pettibon’s installation of new drawings. Rather than clarifying the significance of their imagery, the artist pairs the works with handwritten captions (a mixture of quotations and original writing) that only raise more questions.
Raymond Pettibon Bakersfield to Barstow to Cucamonga to Hollywood
Born in Beirut to Palestinian parents, Mona Hatoum settled in England in 1975. This show, her first major survey in the UK, was organized with Paris’s Centre Pompidou (where it debuted in 2015) and includes thirty-five years’ worth of beautifully haunting work—from early radical performances and video pieces to recent post-Minimalist sculptures made from various industrial and personal materials, such as barbed wire or the artist’s own hair.
“Every piece of abstract art that I make has a backstory,” says Mary Heilmann. Highlights on view include Her Life, 2006, a slideshow juxtaposing the artist’s paintings and personal photographs, and a series of autobiographical synesthetic paintings that viewers can contemplate while sitting in candy-colored chairs.
Mary Heilmann Looking at Pictures
Mining a rich art-historical period when artists found new ways to engage with reality and make work beyond the studio setting, this survey includes, among others, Keith Arnatt, Hamish Fulton, Mary Kelly, John Latham, Richard Long, David Tremlett, and Stephen Willats. Much of the work on view is politically engaged, dealing with a wide range of contemporary issues from feminism to the conflict in Northern Ireland.
Conceptual Art in Britain: 1964–1979
This survey frames a new generation of Latin American artists (born after 1968) within the context of well-known older artists from the southern hemisphere, such as Luis Camnitzer, Alfredo Jaar, and Gabriel Orozco. Across a wide variety of media and subject matter, the young artists address interrelated issues including colonialism, corruption, ecology, and technology.
Alfredo Jaar, Amalia Pica, Mariana Castillo Deball, Wilfredo Prieto Under The Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today
The Lebanese-born artist’s first institutional show in the UK is a survey of paintings, drawings, poetry, films, and tapestries made between the 1960s and today. While her graphic works waltz between abstraction and figuration, Adnan’s writings take a firm stance on international politics and more personal struggles.
Etel Adnan The Weight of the World
Bringing his colorful creativity to the role of curator, fashion designer Duro Olowu has selected a diverse group of works that relate to his personal interest in textiles. What’s on view inhabits a vast range, from pieces by well-known artists (Alighiero Boetti, Louise Bourgeois, and Fernand Léger, to name just a few) to anonymous nineteenth-century textiles, describing a love of patterns and fashion that transcends materials, cultural references, time, and geography.
Making & Unmaking: An exhibition curated by Duro Olowu
Dealing with familiar issues of gender identity, power dynamics, and sexuality, Amer’s recent works include sculptures, paintings, and drawings. Working with ceramics for the first time (thanks to a residency at New York City’s Greenwich House Pottery) the artist has created stunning, precariously thin porcelain portraits of women kissing and undressing.
Coinciding with Bacher’s solo show at 356 S. Mission Rd. in Los Angeles, which runs through July 31, this exhibition brings together works in various media all made between 1973 and 2016. Highlights from the predominantly dark-hued selection include two kinky black leather suspensions that hang from the ceiling like chandeliers and Wham, 2016, a serpentine installation of baseball caps.
Lutz Bacher Divine Transportation
The ninth edition of the Berlin Biennale, curated by the New York–based collective DIS, will be infiltrating the city with art via unexpected venues and ventures, so if you happen to be at a juice bar in the hipper quarters of town this summer, be on your guard that it just might be Débora Delmar’s biennial project. Other sites being taken over this season are the politically loaded Pariser Platz—home to international corporations Lockheed Martin, Allianz Stiftungsforum, and DZ Bank, among others—and the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), a business school that once housed the state council of East Berlin. Consider BB9 this season’s starter pack for the international jet set.
The subjects of Thomas Struth's large-format photographs range from industrial plants and research laboratories to mundane architecture and amusement parks. Made between 2005 and 2016, the thirty-seven works on view here show how photography combines reality, memory, and experience.
Thomas Struth Thomas Struth. Nature & Politics
The second part of the Polish-born, London-based artist’s back-to-back exhibitions at the Schinkel Pavillon describes intimate connections and troubling overlaps between culture and technology. Suggesting the inevitability of a posthuman state, the show includes the android creation To the Son of the Man Who Ate the Scroll, 2016, a talking bearded robot modeled after the artist's boyfriend.
Encompassing portraits, still lifes, nudes, and his infamous X Portfolio from 1978—exhibited that same year at the legendary Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art—this exhibition comprises half of Robert Mapplethorpe’s major LA retrospective. Drawn from a major acquisition of works from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation in 2011, the show begins in the early 1970s and moves through his output from the 1990s, when he became a codefendant in the US government’s puritanical purge of so-called obscenity from publicly funded art. Where better to get reintroduced to hedonism than at the top of these hills?
Robert Mapplethorpe The Perfect Medium