Alison M. Gingeras

  • Henry Fuseli, The Shepherd's Dream, 1786, black chalk, brush, ink and brown ink, sanguine, white chalk and wash over pencil on paper. The Albertina Museum, Vienna.
    slant May 05, 2020

    The Real Real

    In this unprecedenteed global crisis, and in the wake of a total caesura of normal life, many of us are looking to mental health workers—or discursive systems such as psychoanalysis—for individual therapeutic guidance and collective societal answers. I sat down with Jamieson Webster, a writer and practicing psychoanalyst in New York, to discuss the limits of her profession, states of separateness, resisting normalization, Covid dreams, and how virality has broken through to the Real.


    Alison Gingeras: Years ago, you gave me Élisabeth Roudinesco’s book Why Psychoanalysis? (1999). Today, the


    Curated by Dorthe Aagesen, Mikkel Bogh, and Jonas Storsve

    The curatorial cherry-picking of underrecognized twentieth-century artists has become de rigueur—and this extensive museum show of Danish artist Sonja Ferlov Mancoba (1911–1984) is the ripe fruit of this institutional revisionism. The comprehensive survey of the artist’s sculptural practice will span her early years as a member of the Linien group of Danish prewar Surrealists and her associations with CoBrA to her death in Paris as an impoverished and unduly marginalized modernist who kept company with the likes of Giacometti and

  • Roberto Cuoghi, untitled (detail), 2014, polyol, isocyanate, concrete, epoxy paste, 47 1/4 × 19 3/4 × 23 5/8".

    “Roberto Cuoghi: Perla Pollina, 1996–2016”

    If Woody Allen were to rewrite Zelig and set the story in the art world, his inevitable first pick for the starring role would be the enigmatic Italian artist Roberto Cuoghi. Like Allen’s “human chameleon” character, Cuoghi demonstrates total fluency in any situation, deploying a range of techniques to weave a sprawling, nonhierarchical and atemporal web of drawing, painting, photography, performance, digital animation, comic-book illustration, archaeological research, and musical composition. Yet his total immersion in his subject matter is what really distinguishes

  • Page detail from Friedrich Kunath’s You Owe Me a Feeling (Blum & Poe, 2012).


    EVERYDAY LIFE IS FULL OF VOIDS: the suspended nowhere of idling in traffic, the serpentine line at the post office, the dreary waiting room at the dentist’s, 3:00 am insomnia. The creators of Instagram seem to have found a lucrative niche in these “empty” spaces throughout our circadian slog. More than just a means to fend off boredom or banality, the mobile photo feed proffers a temporary visual lifeline out of the abyss of anxiety and existential dread that can quickly overtake these vacant periods—images of voids to fill the void. “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”: Today’s popular

  • Jeff Koons

    IF JEFF KOONS IS SEARCHING for a position in art that “lies beyond both critique and affirmation,” as Dorothea von Hantelmann has recently argued, his lifelong pursuit has just come to an end. In a classic tabloid profile of the artist, published this May to coincide with Koons’s two sprawling Manhattan shows at David Zwirner gallery and Gagosian Gallery, New York magazine attempted to polemicize the artist’s status and recall Life magazine’s famous 1949 Jackson Pollock spread with the headline “Jeff Koons Is the Most Successful American Artist Since Warhol: So What’s the Art World Got Against

  • Francesco Vezzoli, Francesco by Francesco: Before & After, 2002, two gelatin silver prints, each 24 x 32 3/4". Photos: Francesco Scavullo.

    “Galleria Vezzoli”

    Chi è Francesco Vezzoli? No mere survey exhibition, “Galleria Vezzoli” intends to answer this riddle via an investigation of the artist’s identity. Staging a chronological display of some ninety works drawn from his eighteen-year, star-studded, jet-setting career, the show will place special emphasis on the self-portrait—which may prove useful for decrypting (in advance of this fall’s “Church of Vezzoli” at MoMA PS1 in New York and “Cinema Vezzoli” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles) whether Vezzoli is an enthusiastic adept of the celebrity-industrial

  • Franz West, Wegener Räume 2/6–5/6, 1988, metal, wood, papier- mâché, gauze, paint, plaster, collage. Installation view, Galerie Peter Pakesch, Vienna.

    Franz West


    AS SOMEONE WHO HAS WORKED in the field of art for a long time, and who sees art as an essential part of human identity, I have always found it a great privilege to be able to watch firsthand the gradual development of an artist. I feel especially privileged to have done so in the case of an artist as outstanding as Franz West. I knew Franz for many years, and for more than two decades I worked closely with him in a variety of roles: as a gallerist, friend, and museum curator. I was always amazed by the way he continually altered our notions of how art functions and what it means.

  • Christoph Büchel

    For his first solo show in France, Christoph Büchel will create a larger, more intricate version of Hole, his 2005 installation at the Kunsthalle Basel, transforming the Palais into a labyrinth of claustrophobic rooms that lead to a presumed crime scene: the burned-out carcass of an exploded bus.

    Since his recent appointment as director of the Palais de Tokyo, Marc-Olivier Wahler has orchestrated a quiet revolution by inviting young, ambitious artists whose work can convincingly engage the building’s cavernous exhibition spaces. With an impressive track record of monumental works, Swiss artist Christoph Büchel is perfectly placed to rise to the Palais challenge. For his first solo show in France, he will create a larger, more intricate version of Hole, his 2005 installation at the Kunsthalle Basel, transforming the Palais into a labyrinth of claustrophobic

  • Richard Prince, Graduate Nurse, 2002, ink jet print and acrylic on canvas, 89 x 52".

    Richard Prince

    Forget Spiritual America, 1983; Second House, 2001–2004; the fictional artist John Dogg; and the photos of girlfriends, cowboys, and celebrities—this monographic show promises to trace Richard Prince’s development as a “serious” painter.

    Forget Spiritual America, 1983; Second House, 2001–2004; the fictional artist John Dogg; and the photos of girlfriends, cowboys, and celebrities—this monographic show promises to trace Richard Prince’s development as a “serious” painter. Curators Gunnar B. Kvaran and Hanne Beate Ueland have selected some forty canvases, ranging from his first abstract landscapes and joke paintings of the 1980s to more recent works featuring bank checks and naughty nurses. While this curatorial angle certainly reflects speculators’ current love affair with Mr.

  • Alison M. Gingeras

    1 Charles Ray’s “A four dimensional being writes poetry on a field with sculptures” (Matthew Marks Gallery, New York) An elegant exercise in distillation, this show was proof once again that artists are often superior curators. Ray condensed his analytic vision of sculpture—attuned specifically to how the medium defines and occupies “social space”—into four formally and conceptually disparate yet equally compelling works by four different artists. Alberto Giacometti’s austere portrayal of the female form (Standing Woman, 1948), Mark di Suvero’s monumental, precariously balanced assemblage

  • Alison M. Gingeras

    1 PAUL MCCARTHY, “LALA LAND PARODY PARADISE” (HAUS DER KUNST, MUNICH) After years of intensive toil in his Pasadena studio, McCarthy delivered an epoch-making exhibition based on his two pet obsessions: pirates and cowboys. All the signature McCarthy elements were present, and then some: monumental installations-cum–film sets (the pirate ship, the houseboat), the conflation of historical trauma and kitsch Americana (US cavalry troops channeling the SS), live bacchanalian performance (a parade featuring horse-drawn covered wagons and a lederhosen-clad Bavarian oompah band), and mindboggling

  • Stealing the Show

    THE VENICE BIENNALE BOILS DOWN TO A COMPETITION for visibility. While not exactly a shocking revelation, this rather sweeping conclusion came forcefully to mind as I lay trapped inside a Disney-like metallic pod in the Arsenale, watching a light-and-music show—purportedly generated by my own sensor-affixed cranium. As Mariko Mori’s overproduced, obviously expensive, and calculatedly entertaining Wave UFO, 1999–2002, implies, the competition this year in Venice is pretty steep. Artists don’t just “compete” with each other, or for one of the juried prizes; they have to contend with the complex