David Frankel

  • William Kentridge

    William Kentridge’s More Sweetly Play the Dance, 2015, looks both unlike anything you’ve seen and something like a lot of things you’ve seen—both new and hauntingly familiar, it expertly mines both current and ancient forms of art and community as well as both novel and established devices within Kentridge’s practice, producing both wonder and recognition. Recent headlines may come to mind, but so, for me, did Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 film The Seventh Seal, though I wasn’t sure why until, reading the artist’s notes in a catalogue published by Amsterdam’s Eye Film Museum, which co-commissioned

  • Carroll Dunham

    Eight or nine years ago Carroll Dunham ended a period of focusing on male figures—figures comically, formulaically masculine, wearing suits and sporting cigarette-butt heads and penis noses, their hands sometimes wielding things that could have been pipes or guns or penises again—and went to the other side, developing an imagery of naked women gamboling in gardens. The women were large and big-boned and ungraceful, their sexual signifiers were as distinct and determining as the men’s had been, and there were those who found them grotesque, but I thought their exuberant physicality was

  • Valerie Jaudon

    “Today it is almost impossible,” Valerie Jaudon told an interviewer in 2001, “for anyone to understand the intolerant conformity of the early ’70s institutional art world, its museums, galleries, and critics. Not only was the ‘mainstream’ narrow, but there were no models, art historical or otherwise, to guide one out of the modernist box.” By those lights Pattern and Decoration—or P&D, the movement through which Jaudon emerged in the period she describes—was a reactive push back against a deadening history, and as such fell into the subversive tradition of earlier avant-gardes. Yet by

  • Ron Nagle

    Ron Nagle is something of a legend—a sculptor working in clay, an alumnus of the celebrated “pot shop” of Peter Voulkos, and as such a significant figure in the development of modern art in California. He is also a rock musician who has moved in the world of Jefferson Airplane, Jack Nitzsche, Ry Cooder, and others, and if you ever wondered who created the sound effects for William Friedkin’s 1973 film The Exorcist, now you know. Strange that he’s had enough time to make art, and to make it so well.

    This show included mostly work from the last year or so, with drawings relating to it or from

  • “James Casebere: Fugitive”

    The status of the photograph as an artwork, and the status of the artwork as a photograph, are today widely recognized issues—but when James Casebere began making stage-set-like maquettes as the subjects for photographs in the mid-1970s, he was producing a new kind of fusion and a new kind of fiction. And if the related work of his contemporary Cindy Sherman opened onto yet another arena of aesthetics, in her case performance, Casebere’s pulled in architecture. Enwezor’s retrospective will include fifty works from all periods of the artist’s career, notebooks and

  • Stanley Whitney

    In a career going back to the early 1970s, Stanley Whitney is having a moment, with simultaneous uptown and downtown shows that drew excited responses in the press. This for abstract paintings that are structurally easy to describe as blocks of color set in stacks and rows, a grid format that Whitney has lately brought to a pitch of refinement but that has been present or foreshadowed in his work for a long time. You might think, What’s the fuss? There are many precedents for this kind of painting, and indeed it’s essentially familiar—which, though, doesn’t mean its position is comfortable.

  • Beverly Buchanan

    Beverly Buchanan’s tabletop cabins and shacks evoke rural life, and a passing glance at these seemingly cobbled-together structures might typecast them as some interesting kind of folk art. But Buchanan studied in New York with the Abstract Expressionist Norman Lewis and was close to Romare Bearden, and she arrived at these sculptures after a period, begun in the 1970s, of working with blocks of cast concrete, which she piled and leaned in ways relating to post-Minimalism and Land art. Eventually, though, as she wrote in an artist’s statement, her “vision and interest shifted to the reality of

  • Lucy Mackenzie

    Not only does Lucy Mackenzie’s work fall into an age-old genre, the still life, but it is old-style in being resolutely and exactingly realistic, sometimes to the point of trompe l’oeil. These paintings and drawings are small—most of those in this show had dimensions roughly in the three-to-seven-inch range, with the unusual largest scraping up to a bit over ten—and the paintings were made not on canvas but on board, giving them a subtle solidity. Small, subtly solid, and treated with clear and precise color by an extremely careful hand: These are jewel-like little objects, instantly

  • Anton van Dalen

    A local artist and proud of it, Anton van Dalen has lived in the East Village since 1972, and his years there have generated his subject matter. This show largely focused on the neighborhood, and included not only recent and a few older paintings but also a one-evening enactment of Avenue A Cut-Out Theatre, a performance he first aired in 1995 and has developed steadily in the years since. In the past, Van Dalen has enjoyed flights of fancy—scenes of interplanetary travel, and spatial fantasies recalling M. C. Escher, and the like—and this show too had its Magrittean moments of rabbits

  • Robert Kushner

    Robert Kushner’s last exhibition at this gallery, in the winter of 2012–13, was austere by his standards, leaning heavily on a grisaille palette said to have been inspired by the spare black-and-white paintings of Willem de Kooning, so powerfully grouped in the retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York the previous year. Between finishing those works and conceiving the recent show, Kushner visited a painter friend, respected and senior, who told him, “You’ve been doing the same thing too long. . . . Go more Baroque.” (He tells the story in a talk posted on the gallery’s website.)

  • Albert York

    When Calvin Tomkins profiled Albert York for the New Yorker in 1995, the artist had shown regularly since 1963 and had acquired a quite glamorous collector base. But he was a private man and his work is private, too, even while instantly entrancing (one of its many paradoxes), and he was also a painter of apparently calm figurative scenes, landscapes, and floral still lifes mostly around a foot or so tall and wide—this in the period of Pop, Minimalism, and Conceptual art. Despite York’s relative success, then, he was obscure—hence Tomkins’s neat and again paradoxical description of

  • Steve Gianakos

    The cartoonlike paintings that Steve Gianakos has been making since the early 1970s have long been perverse, and this particular group seems to me no more or less so than earlier ones. But it ranks with the best of his work in its formal intelligence, and in the friction that quality creates with its decidedly sordid content. Like those Hitchcock films so artfully constructed that you find yourself rooting for the criminal, the paintings are utterly involving, but the viewer who enjoys them may end up feeling queasy about himself. The issues Gianakos is raising, though, are never far from the

  • Greer Lankton

    Greer Lankton created a world that she wanted to live in. The often life-size dolls that peopled this exhibition, which was high on many people’s favorites lists for 2014, have a psychic charge that speaks of needs and ambitions not only aesthetic but immediate and personal, as if in making these sculptures she’d been making beings to give herself company and support. Should the thought arise that this turns them into something other than art—therapy, perhaps—I would quickly dismiss it: The feeling of entering a previously unimagined dimension that its maker has realized and worked

  • Jacob Hashimoto

    To say that Jacob Hashimoto makes kites, then strings them together in the air, will do as a description of his process but gives no sense at all of the visual quality of Skyfarm Fortress, 2014, the installation that made up this show. To get a sense of the work’s presence, you have to understand that it contained thousands of kites, each a small square or circle of mulberry paper, from four to eight inches across, stretched on a bamboo frame; that the kites were multicolored, some intricately patterned, some monochrome, though even the monochromes kept a sense of pattern and texture through

  • Stephen Shore

    With William Eggleston, Joel Sternfeld, and others, Stephen Shore was one of those who established color photography as an important aesthetic medium in the 1970s. (Before then, in sympathy with a famous dictum of Walker Evans’s—“Color photography is vulgar”—serious photographers had worked mainly in black-and-white.) Beyond the applause he won for this formal shift, Shore is equally acclaimed as a documenter of the American scene. Although he has occasionally worked abroad, he took his best-known photos in the United States, many of them on cross-country drives; he relishes motel

  • Dan Graham

    Dan Graham is famously wide-ranging, working in film, performance, print, photography, and more, but his best-known pieces remain the pavilions that he began to develop in the late 1970s, steel-and-glass structures that shift in the viewer’s mind between sculpture to be looked at and architecture to be entered and moved through. These works are usually designed for specific places, and this year, working with the Swiss landscape architect Günther Vogt, Graham made one for the roof of the Met. Having hosted memorable shows—Doug and Mike Starn and Jeff Koons come to mind—this high outdoor

  • Duane Michals

    Around 1964, Duane Michals had the habit of leaving home in the early morning to take photographs in New York. Michals was already beginning a celebrated career, both in the glossies and in galleries and museums, where his contributions to photographic discourse would come to include the staging of pictures to be viewed in short narrative sequences, fictive and symbolic, and the addition of text, usually in an apparently handwritten or hand-printed script, to guide our reading of them. The New York photos of around 1964, though, remain relatively unknown, and, in fact, this exhibition marked

  • Robert Longo

    Conjuring some of the best-known images in American art through a method both meticulous and transformative, Robert Longo’s Metro Pictures show this past spring comprised a dozen charcoal drawings of classic works of Abstract Expressionism. Copied not exactly 1:1 but in sizes evoking the grand canvases of Jackson Pollock and the rest, the pictures seem instantly and deliciously familiar but at the same time strange, for while they minutely duplicate every detail of their originals, they of course lose all of those works’ color. That’s not so disorienting in the case of Franz Kline’s black-and-white

  • “Judith Scott: Bound and Unbound”

    What’s called “outsider art” has informed modern art for over a century; Judith Scott’s story shows that its example remains powerful. Born with Down syndrome and then left deaf by a childhood illness, Scott spent most of her first forty years in institutions until she was rescued from them by her twin sister, Joyce, in 1986. Within a couple of years, Scott began to make art—works often taking the form of irregular multicolored bundles and poles, intricately constructed of yarn and found mixed materials and with surfaces recalling the wrapping

  • Brian O’Doherty

    Artist, writer, editor, arts administrator, and more, Brian O’Doherty has been well known in the New York art world since coming to the city, in the late 1950s, from his native Ireland. His book Inside the White Cube, first published in 1976 as a series of essays in this magazine, is a foundational critical text, an analysis not so much of art as of its physical environment—the white-walled modern gallery—and of the sociological and ideological networks invisibly embedded there. This was a context designed to sanctify its content by itself receding from the eye, by going unseen, but