David Frankel

  • Robert Kushner, Midnight in the Huntington Library Cactus Garden, 2014, oil, acrylic, and gold leaf on canvas, 9 × 11'.

    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, Landscape with Two Pink Carnations in a Glass Goblet, 1983, oil on wood, 12 7/8 × 12".

    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, It Was Hard to Tell What She Was Thinking, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 48 × 36".

    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

  • View of “Greer Lankton,” 2014.

    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, Skyfarm Fortress, 2014, acrylic, paper, wood, dimensions variable.

    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, Isaak Bakmayev’s Medals, Berdichev, Ukraine, July 29, 2012, C-print, 16 × 20".

    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, Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout, 2014, steel, two-way mirrored glass, ivy. Installation view.

    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, Empty New York, ca. 1964, gelatin silver print, 5 1/4 × 7 1/8".

    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, After de Kooning (Woman and Bicycle, 1952–1953), 2014, charcoal on mounted paper, 90 × 57 5/8".

    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, Untitled, 2004, fiber and found objects, 28 × 15 × 27".

    “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, Structural Play: Vowel Grid, 1970, video, color, sound, 15 minutes 43 seconds.

    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

  • Kathy Butterly, Wanderer, 2013, clay, glaze, 6 1/8 x 6 1/8 x 6 1/4".

    Kathy Butterly

    As an artist whose medium is clay, Kathy Butterly works between two histories: the tradition of pots—of objects that may well be refined but as vessels must also be useful—and the tradition of art, of useless objects that are nevertheless valuable to us because of the meanings embedded in them by the complexities of their appearance. This basic binary seems to have led Butterly to other ones. As a student, she majored in painting, but she was pushed into ceramics, she has said, by an encounter with the California sculptor Viola Frey: “She took twenty-five pounds of clay, whomped it