Chloe Wyma

  • Aubrey Beardsley, The Toilet of Salome, 1893/1906, photomechanical engraving from a drawing, 5 1⁄8 × 4".

    Aubrey Beardsley

    Drawn from the holdings of the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection at the University of Delaware and hosted by the oldest bibliophilic society in North America, “Aubrey Beardsley, 150 Years Young” was a bookish yet buoyant romp worthy of its subject. The curators of the sesquicentennial exhibition, Mark Samuels Lasner and Margaret D. Stetz, stuffed the second floor of the venue’s neo-Georgian town house with amusing bagatelles and ephemera—from a teenage self-caricature as Whistler’s mother to a letter recounting flirtations with the occult (specifically, an “unpleasant experience with a Planchette”

  • Elsa Schiaparelli, September 1, 1937. Photo: Horst P. Horst.

    POETRY IN NOTIONS

    “HER ESTABLISHMENT in the Place Vendôme is a devil’s laboratory,” Jean Cocteau wrote in 1937, when Elsa Schiaparelli, ensconced in her Paris salon with a view of Napoleon’s priapic column, was the foremost couturier in Paris. “Women who go there fall into a trap, and come out masked, disguised, deformed, or reformed, according to Schiaparelli’s whim.” Her patrician brand of Surrealism—which married outré maximalism with minatory elegance, “the richest laces” with “the most austere cassocks”—was the dernier cri. Her so-called wooden-soldier silhouette, with its irreproachable shoulders and

  • Tiffany & Co., Design Drawing, 1875–76, watercolor, ink, and graphite on wove paper, 18 5⁄8 × 15 1⁄2". From “The Clamor of Ornament: Exchange, Power, and Joy from the Fifteenth Century to the Present.”

    “The Clamor of Ornament: Exchange, Power, and Joy from the Fifteenth Century to the Present”

    From Christoph Jamnitzer’s buxom amoretti to Wolfgang Hieronymus Von Bömmel’s scrollwork beasts, from François Boucher’s conchiferous Rococo to Robert Adam’s gentrified classicism, from Louis H. Sullivan’s Midwestern mandalas to Prophet Isaiah Robertson’s millenarian millwork, from Wendy Red Star’s critical interpolations in the photographic archive of Apsáalooke costume to Tom Hovey’s faithful renderings of cakes from The Great British Bake Off (2010–), “The Clamor of Ornament”—billed as “the most ambitious omnibus exhibition The Drawing Center has undertaken in a decade”—embraced its topic

  • Simone Leigh, Brick House, 2019, bronze. Installation view, Arsenale, Venice, 2022. From “The Milk of Dreams.” Photo: Roberto Marossi.

    CHIMERICAL ROMANCE

    Humbert was the most beautiful boy in the town.
    He had blue eyes and golden curls.
    He was very beautiful, but he was nasty.
    He liked putting rats in the beds of his sisters.
    The little girls cried.
    One day, Rose, his sister, put a crocodile in his bed.
    “AI” yelled Humbert, “I’m afraid there’s a crocodile in my bed!”
    But Humbert was so beautiful the crocodile gave him an agreeable smile. Humbert and the crocodile had become friends.
    The child was even nastier than he was before because he could go everywhere with the crocodile.

    —Leonora Carrington

    PAINTED IN THE 1950S on the walls of her sons’ bedroom and








  • Dorothea Tanning, Pour Gustave l’adoré (For the Adored Gustave), 1974, oil on canvas, 45 5⁄8 × 35".

    Dorothea Tanning

    The show here by Dorothea Tanning (1910–2012), “Doesn’t the Paint Say It All?,” was being billed by Kasmin as “the most comprehensive solo presentation of her work for US audiences in decades.” It was, however, by no means a retrospective. Absent were the romantic costume and set designs Tanning confected for George Balanchine’s ballets between 1945 and 1953; her underknown, fantastically perverse biomorphic soft sculptures from the mid- to late 1960s; and, perhaps most conspicuously, her tightly worked mythopoeic paintings of the 1940s, the most famous examples of which—including the preternatural

  • Martín Ramírez, Untitled (trains and tunnels) A, B, ca. 1958–61, gouache, colored pencil, and graphite on pieced paper, 20 × 89".

    Martín Ramírez

    Two locomotives billowing black smoke dart in and out of mountain tunnels, snaking through a psychedelic topography of strobing parabolas hatched with delicate traces of yellow pencil. The drawing, Untitled (trains and tunnels) A, B (all works cited, ca. 1958–61), was perhaps the most electrifying piece in “Memory Portals,” an exhibition of Martín Ramírez’s art at Ricco/Maresca. The train as motif, inset here with dark windows that echoed the punctured building facades appearing throughout the show, is a recurring feature of Ramírez’s work, an emblem resonant with the themes of itinerancy and

  • Genieve Figgis, Queens, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 61 × 76 1⁄4".

    Genieve Figgis

    Flanked by attendants bearing platters of grapes in a grand tepidarium, a naked baigneuse voluptuates on a velvet ottoman, proffering for our delectation her stippled pubes, spiraling breasts, and tight sphincter of a mouth. The setting—Matisse’s Morocco by way of Caesar’s Palace—is superintended by two porcine, friezelike visages placed into decorative roundels. In Roman lady with two servants (all works cited, 2021), Genieve Figgis serves up the Caligulan extravagance of the ancient baths with her signature painterly finesse and deflationary humor, right on time for our own age of imperial

  • Inventing Anna, 2022, production still from a TV show on Netflix. Episode 2, “The Devil Wore Anna.” Anna Delvey (Julia Garner). Photo: Aaron Epstein.

    FALSE PROFIT

    “THE ONLY THING worth a dime in here is her,” Anna Delvey says as she gestures, champagne flute in hand, toward a black-and-white photograph of a young babushka-clad woman—somewhere between gamine on the go and Hitchcock heroine—floating past a brick apartment tower, a look of cool determination fixed in her liquid-lined eyes. It’s the second episode of Shonda Rhimes’s Netflix caper Inventing Anna, and our protagonist, inhabited with steely grace by Julia Garner, is at a benefit auction with fictitious lifestyle mogul Talia Mallay (Jennifer Esposito), persuading her to buy Cindy Sherman’s Untitled

  • Shannon Cartier Lucy, Dinnertime (Self-Portrait), 2018, oil on canvas, 20 × 31".

    Shannon Cartier Lucy

    A pet Dalmatian cut open on a dissection table, six blackberries strung together with a needle and thread, four pairs of large white panties neatly aligned on an Anatolian rug: The paintings of Shannon Cartier Lucy present a magic realism of precise displacements, suffused with soft kink and macabre sentimentality. The exhibition here, “The Loo Table,” was a follow-up to her 2020 breakthrough debut at Lubov. It was titled after a type of eighteenth-century card table with a foldable top, but the press release encouraged a slippery associative logic: “Loo is the loser, the runaway, a lullaby.”

  • Paul Thek, Untitled (Meat Piece with Chair), 1966, wax, bronze, Formica, Plexiglas, 16 1⁄2 × 21 1⁄2 × 9 1⁄2". From the series “Technological Reliquaries,” 1964–67.

    Paul Thek

    A moldering loin of carrion glistened within a Plexiglas case like a precious geode in “Relativity Clock,” a small Paul Thek survey at Alexander and Bonin. Butchered to reveal an interior cavity of incarnadine entrails and pearlescent fat, Untitled (Meat Piece with Chair), 1966, is from the artist’s well-known 1964–67 series “Technological Reliquaries”—waxworks of severed body parts and chunks of flesh enclosed in sleek vitrines. This piece in particular had a unique feature: a top compartment that housed a miniature bronze chair—a premonition, perhaps, of Thek’s 1968 series of “Chair” sculptures,

  • Marcia Schvartz, Erinia (el misterio del arte) (Erinyes [The Mystery of Art]), 2003, mixed media on canvas, 59 × 78 3⁄4".

    Marcia Schvartz

    “Mom was an academic, but I had an irresistible attraction to the old Peronists,” Marcia Schvartz told an interviewer in 2012, “tough old ladies, very strong, with painted pearly nails and rollers.” One perhaps encountered such a figure—the pink, plump, peroxide-blonde materfamilias of Alegría, Alegría, 1976, for instance—in “Marcia Schvartz: Works, 1976–2018.” This vital show was the first US survey devoted to the Buenos Aires–based artist, who is best known for her unflinching paintings of individuals, subcultures, and classes in the time of Argentina’s Dirty War and its aftermath. The exhibition

  • View outside of “Ariana Papademetropoulos: The Emerald Tablet.” Photo: Chloe Wyma.
    diary September 12, 2021

    Planet Hollywood

    A BLUE 1969 CADILLAC COUPE DEVILLE is parked on North Orange Drive across the street from Jeffrey Deitch’s LA gallery, a flying saucer affixed to the roof. License plate: UNARIUS. The sidewalk is swarming for the opening of “The Emerald Tablet,” a group show organized by and starring local painter Ariana Papademetropoulos. The crowd stews in the hot sun, phones waiting to be deployed as two men slowly toil around the car; what exactly everyone is waiting for remains enigmatic, at least to me. Eventually it becomes clear we are watching thirty-three white doves being laboriously stuffed into the