David Frankel

  • GEGO

    Curated by Pablo León de la Barra, Julieta González, and Tanya Barson

    Born in Germany in 1912, Gego (née Gertrud Goldschmidt) was forced into exile in 1939 and lived in Venezuela until her death, in 1994. Though she explored many media—installations, drawings, weavings, prints, sculptures, and more—she is best known for her intricate networks of metal rods and wires, simultaneously delicate and strong and ranging in scale from modest to room-size. This retrospective of more than 150 pieces sets out to cover her output of the 1940s to the ’90s in all its variety. I would expect the curators to

  • Josh Smith, Scholes Street, 2019, oil on linen, 84 × 72 1⁄8".

    Josh Smith

    Philosophers addressing the problem of infinite regress—the impossibility of finding a first cause, since every cause must itself have a cause, which in turn must have a cause, and so on ad infinitum—make a turtle joke: If the world is supported on the back of a giant turtle, as posited in Hindu mythology, what in turn supports the turtle? The answer: It’s turtles all the way down. To think Josh Smith had that joke in mind while working on his exhibition “Emo Jungle” is tempting, not just because of the show’s surfeit of turtles—one part of the exhibition contained fifty-five paintings of them—but

  • Carol Rama, Appassionata (Marta e i marchettoni) (Passionate [Marta and the Rent Boys]), 1939, mixed media on paper, 13 × 11".

    Carol Rama

    Born in 1918 in Turin, Carol Rama stayed there for close to a century, until her death in 2015. Accounts of her life insist on her engagement with artists and writers in her hometown and on the Italian scene more generally, yet she comes across as something of a recluse. Whatever her social life was, her career was quiet until relatively late: In the catalogue for this exhibition, “Eye of Eyes,” Robert Lumley writes that her work reached wide visibility only in 1980, with a show called “L’altra metà dell’avanguardia, 1910–40” (The Other Half of the Vanguard, 1910–40) in Milan and Stockholm. Rama

  • Vivian Maier, Chicago, 1959, C-print, 10 × 15".

    Vivian Maier

    The photographer Vivian Maier is well known by now, at least in the storybook outlines of her career: Seen during her lifetime mostly as an eccentric live-in Chicago nanny who for some reason always carried a camera, she was revealed after her death—in 2009, at the age of eighty-three—as a photographer of grand authority. Though she is already the subject of two biographies and two movies, much about her life remains obscure, but her tale is best told by her images—more than 150,000 of them—discovered posthumously and now working their way into the public eye. Ignored in life, cherished in death,

  • Lyle Ashton Harris, Afropunk Odalisque, 2018, dye sublimation print, 18 × 24".

    Lyle Ashton Harris

    On the gallery counter at Lyle Ashton Harris’s show were two books for the public to leaf through, Robert Farris Thompson’s Flash of the Spirit (1983) and Amber Musser’s Sensual Excess: Queer Femininity and Brown Jouissance (2018). Harris named his new project after the first of these, an influential, even inspiring attempt to describe aesthetic and cultural continuities between Africa and the African diaspora, but his work in general seems closer in temper to the second—a more theoretically informed book than Thompson’s, and addressing complexities of queer identity that were not Thompson’s

  • Aneta Grzeszykowska, Beauty Mask #10, 2017, pigment ink on cotton paper, 237⁄8 × 19 1⁄4". From the series “Beauty Masks,” 2017.

    Aneta Grzeszykowska

    The doll is a long-standing device in modern art, from Hans Bellmer to Laurie Simmons and Greer Lankton. You could call it a shortcut to the uncanny and surreal, but that wouldn’t do justice to its lasting power to unsettle—and if you doubted that power, the Polish artist Aneta Grzeszykowska’s show would have given you the lie. Other artists kept coming to mind as I walked through this exhibition—Claude Cahun, Sally Mann, Grzeszykowska’s compatriot Alina Szapocznikow, Arthur Tress, Francesca Woodman—along with movies: Charles Laughton’s poetic frightener The Night of the Hunter

  • Jeff Perrone, Kill Your Landlord, 2016, mud cloth, buttons, and thread on canvas, 16 × 12".

    Jeff Perrone

    A visitor to this show might understandably have come away thinking Jeff Perrone is an angry guy. All of the sixty-odd works exhibited, made over a ten-year span, are based on words, and a lot of those words are in your face—HATE, VILE, FUCK. The earliest pieces here, from 2008, featured one four-letter word each. By the following year, Perrone had broadened both his vocabulary and his syntax, but he’d kept his politics blunt: OVERTHROW NOT OCCUPY, ALL PROPERTY IS THEFT, WITHOUT BOSSES. A work from 2010 is just one word, but that word has six syllables: RADICALIZATION. By 2017, Perrone

  • Ranjani Shettar, Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017, stainless steel, muslin, tamarind, natural dyes. Installation view, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2018.

    Ranjani Shettar

    THE INDIAN ARTIST Ranjani Shettar first exhibited in the United States in 2003, just three years after getting her MFA in Bangalore, and has shown here steadily ever since. Among her New York appearances was a spectacular installation in the exhibition “On Line,” curated by Cornelia Butler and Catherine de Zegher at the Museum of Modern Art in 2010. I use the word spectacular, but what was most striking about the piece was its delicacy: A hanging net of small beads of pigmented wax strung on threads dyed in tea, it formed a voluminous but ethereal constellation in the show’s opening space. This

  • Kynaston McShine

    I AM STANDING in Galerie Lelong, looking at a show of the art Hélio Oiticica made during his years in New York in the 1970s. On the front desk is a book that I pick up and skim, finding an interview with a fellow Brazilian who was close to Oiticica in those years of shared exile. He is asked whom the two men spent time with—who was their social world. Well, he says, we were pretty much alone, we didn’t really know anyone . . . except, of course, Kynaston McShine at the Museum of Modern Art.

    This memory from a good few years back, which I now can’t completely reconstruct—was Oiticica’s

  • Kay Rosen, White House v. America, 2018, acrylic on wall, dimensions variable. © Kay Rosen/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    Kay Rosen

    That politics should have been on Kay Rosen’s mind in preparing this show, “Stirring Wirds,” is in tune with the tenor of her work for some decades past—politics are a habit of mind for her. But the times of Donald Trump have given her special urgency. Of course, I thought the same thing a dozen years ago about the times of George W. Bush, when Rosen produced acute responses to the fate of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. When something bad happens, we sometimes console ourselves by saying, “Could be worse.” Given recent trajectories, though, this may not be such a reassuring idea.


  • LaToya Ruby Frazier, Shea’s Aunt Denise and Uncle Rodney in their home on Foster Street watching President Barack Obama take a sip of Flint water, 2016–17, gelatin silver print, 20 x 24".

    LaToya Ruby Frazier

    This recent exhibition of LaToya Ruby Frazier’s, which filled three floors of Gavin Brown’s new building in Harlem, included photographs from one much-acclaimed body of work—“The Notion of Family,” a thirteen-year project that Frazier began in 2001, when she was not yet twenty, and that eventually became a prize-winning book—and two more-recent groups, “Flint is Family” and “A Pilgrimage to Noah Purifoy’s Desert Art Museum” (both 2016–17). “This will be Frazier’s first solo gallery exhibition in New York City, her first solo commercial gallery debut in the United States, and her largest

  • Mark Sink, Untitled, 2017, Polaroids, C-prints, dimensions variable.

    “Love Among the Ruins: 56 Bleecker Gallery and Late 80s New York”

    Look up “NoHo” on Airbnb and you will find a neighborhood tagged “trendy” and “touristy,” a place “filled with eclectic cafés, spacious studios, and sublime shopping.” Gentrification works fast: Such a description of this part of downtown Manhattan would not long ago have been unimaginable, as “Love Among the Ruins: 56 Bleecker Gallery and Late 80s New York” virtually made a fetish of establishing. Dedicated to the 56 Bleecker Gallery, which flourished from 1986 to 1989, the show documented an art space that at that early date had fled a previous location, a derelict theater on Second Avenue