David Frankel

  • Nayland Blake

    The Nayland Blake piece that almost always comes to mind first when I think of him is a video from 2000, Starting Over, in which he struggles to perform a kind of disco scenario while wearing a bulky, heavy white bunny suit. (Blake is a big man; the bunny suit is bigger.) That, and Feeder 2, a walk-in-scale cabin from 1998, made of steel and gingerbread. Both are works of unbalanced heft and mass, dealing with size, appetite, and desire. But there’s another side to Blake’s art, delicate and miniature, and this show of drawings and wall- and floor-based sculptures fell firmly into that second

  • Wade Guyton

    Smart and smart-looking, Wade Guyton’s new prints/paintings, all from 2007, evoke a lot of history while appearing bracingly current—in fact they could only have been made today, with today’s technology. A virtuoso of the ink-jet the way Pollock was a virtuoso of the pour, Guyton made these works on canvas with an Epson printer. A number of contemporary artists have experimented with using computers to make traditional-painting-like objects; essentially giving up the images and image traces that informed earlier work made by the same method, Guyton’s present solution is elementally simple and

  • Isaac Julien

    Isaac Julien’s multiscreen film installation WESTERN UNION: Small Boats, 2007, advances his already refined fusion of politics, history, and stunningly lush aesthetics. Julien is utterly sensual in his approach to imagemaking; his films take physical pleasure in both the human body and its natural and created environment. At the same time, this Londoner of Caribbean descent has both shaped and been shaped by the postcolonial thought of recent decades—the exploration of culture and identity, migration and diaspora, that has become so important a legacy of an intellectual generation. Those who

  • Barbara Bloom

    Though organized by ICP exhibitions director Brian Wallis, “The Collections of Barbara Bloom” sounds less like an exhibition than like an artwork sui generis—an artist's reimagining of her own history.

    Though organized by ICP exhibitions director Brian Wallis, “The Collections of Barbara Bloom” sounds less like an exhibition than like an artwork sui generis—an artist's reimagining of her own history. Or, to put it as Bloom does, “It's in between a midcareer retrospective and an estate sale.” Some years back Bloom had a near-fatal accident that caused her to closely reexamine her stuff—the objects, both made and found, that make up her faintly eerie fusion of Conceptual art and informed connoisseurship. She is now readdressing those objects, reconfiguring a comprehensive

  • Ryan Trecartin

    In Mary Jordan’s documentary on the movie director Jack Smith, Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis, 2006, the filmmaker and musician Tony Conrad has a wonderful memory of seeing Flaming Creatures (1963) for the first time: “The screen lit up with this lam- bent, wonderful, surging, frolicking, exquisitely happy moment.” I recalled that line while watching I-Be Area, the 1-hour-48-minute video work that was the heart of Ryan Trecartin’s recent show. I’m not sure I-Be Area is exquisitely happy; its content is too elusive to be sure. But Trecartin follows on from Smith in a number of

  • T.J. Wilcox

    The films in T. J. Wilcox’s recent show proposed an unlikely trio of heroines: Elisabeth, Empress of Austria, assassinated in 1898; Jackie O, widow of both John F. Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis; and Jerry Hall, supermodel and ex of Mick Jagger. The three may meet in glamour, but their respective sorts of glamour vary wildly, and my shorthand ID’s above—“assassinated,” “widow,” “ex of Mick Jagger”—suggest the women suffered differently too. Yet Wilcox manages to find in the biography of each of them some sympathetic strain that makes them parallel. A man who loves women, he has invented a cinematic

  • William Anastasi

    For perhaps four decades, William Anastasi has been a sort of New York art-world secret: a conceptual artist who in the early 1960s began to generate extremely original ideas that seemed to predict a range of later works by other artists but at the same time to have been only tangentially influential, for while those later works made it into the journals, textbooks, and museums, Anastasi’s own did to a far lesser degree. Yet artists and critics who saw his shows back then tend to remember them well. For others who came to New York later, but who have met Anastasi and talked with him about his

  • Robert Irwin

    Although selected mainly from the museum’s own holdings, this showing of more than forty works by Robert Irwin is remarkably retrospective in quality, running from his early paintings of the late 1950s through the shadow disks of the late ’60s, and on to more recent drawings and models

    Although selected mainly from the museum’s own holdings, this showing of more than forty works by Robert Irwin is remarkably retrospective in quality, running from his early paintings of the late 1950s through the shadow disks of the late ’60s, and on to more recent drawings and models. The main attraction, though, will be five site-specific installations: a larger version of Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue³, 2006, shown at PaceWildenstein in New York earlier this year; a related work with wall-mounted panels of black, white, and secondary colors, as well as the

  • Thomas Struth

    Thomas Struth’s ongoing sequence of photographs of museum galleries and the audiences within them reaches a fortissimo in this recent group, taken in the Prado, Madrid, and the Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Struth uses the mural-scale prints that have become a trope in contemporary art, not least in Germany—he is a peer of Thomas Ruff and Andreas Gursky, having graduated from the same Kunstakademie Düsseldorf program taught by Bernd and Hilla Becher—and the size and deep color of his images are crucial to their effect: In the museum work in particular (Struth also makes streetscapes and portraits),

  • Claudette Schreuders

    Deceptively simple, Claudette Schreuders’s painted wooden sculptures have the gravity of a serious child. But their plainness is chosen and careful, arising not out of innocence or ignorance but out of an effort, apt for the reductive process of wood carving, to pare down the complexities of experience to undeniable forms, solid and condensed. Born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1973, Schreuders grew up under apartheid but was surely protected from its true brutalities by being white. (She is of Dutch and Afrikaner descent.) She has lived through its overthrow and through the creation of the new

  • Pia Fries

    Pia Fries’s Loschaug suite, 2005–2007—eight paintings, on eleven wood panels in all, that together the artist considers a single work—was inspired by the naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian, a German/Dutch woman who at the turn of the eighteenth century made a two-year stay in Suriname, then a Dutch colony, today an independent nation on the northern Atlantic coast of South America. Merian went with a plan in mind: to conduct a study of the insects of the region, eventually published in 1705 under the title Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, full of her meticulous engravings of butterflies and

  • Yun-Fei Ji

    Earlier this season, reviewing Sze Tsung Leong’s photographs of today’s China, I speculated that the title of his recent series “History Images,” 2002–2005, referred to the old academic genre of history painting. I was making the point that Leong’s apparently documentary records are deeply informed in aesthetic terms, but the argument could as easily have run the other way: The title could equally imply that ambitious art should address far-reaching events, whether past or present—and Leong’s concern is clearly with the present. Modern art has an ambivalent, off-again-on-again relationship with

  • Samuel Beckett

    The show is part history—with manuscripts, letters, photographs, and so on—and part art, by artists ranging from Jack B. Yeats (W. B.’s brother) and the eminently Beckettian Alberto Giacometti to Bruce Nauman, Jasper Johns, and Giuseppe Penone.

    This exhibition, curated by Marianne Alphant and Nathalie Léger and co-organized by the Pompidou and the Institut Mémoires de l’Édition Contemporaine, comes a year after the Beckett centennial, but perhaps it is proper that the author of Waiting for Godot should be celebrated a little late. In any case, the master of concision is getting an event of extravagant scale. The show is part history—with manuscripts, letters, photographs, and so on—and part art, by artists ranging from Jack B. Yeats (W. B.’s brother) and the eminently Beckettian Alberto

  • Kay Rosen

    In a career going back to the late 1970s, Kay Rosen has made a medium out of language the way, say, Rachel Lachowicz has made a medium out of lipstick: Words are for her a found material with embedded meanings she can mine and play on, not just changing their context (the basic Duchampian maneuver) but boldly if slyly reshaping them. She has a keen ear—and, importantly, an eye—for puns and homonyms, rhymes and resemblances: a writer’s business. But she works on the wall and on canvas and paper, phrasing her essays as installations, paintings, and drawings, and she has the visual artist’s absorption

  • Jeff Perrone

    Jeff Perrone’s recent works, while not actually paintings, have been in painting format: striped abstractions on canvas, evoking formalist traditions but made eccentrically, in a mix of colored sands and sewn-on found buttons. Earlier on, though, Perrone worked for years in ceramics, to which he has now returned. Once an art critic, he has also returned to the use of language. It would be too much to say that in words he has found his voice—the stripe works were totally articulate—but he has certainly found a way to address political, social, and art-world issues that have clearly been weighing

  • “Freeing the Line”

    The freeing of the line to which the title of this elegant show refers is “the departure of the line from the paper surface and its venture into space.” The word paper signals that Catherine de Zegher, former director of New York’s Drawing Center, was thinking, indeed, about drawing in this show of largely three-dimensional art, and the linearity of the work she chose was unmistakable. The first piece viewers came to was Richard Tuttle’s Untitled, 1972, in which lengths of wire stretched between nails in the wall form an obliquely oriented cross. Next came Gego’s hanging column and sphere, from

  • “The ’80s: A Topology”

    Although Europeans predominate in this exhibition of some eighty artists and one hundred works, the inclusion of outlanders like Frédéric Bruly Bouabré from Ivory Coast and Doris Salcedo from Colombia, James Coleman from Ireland and Ilya Kabakov from Russia signals the wider, larger art world then being born.

    The art of the ’80s has been a subject in the New York air for some time now, but in Europe, apparently, it is relatively unbroached. Curator Ulrich Loock’s look at the decade seems less local than recent shows here. Although Europeans predominate in this exhibition of some eighty artists and one hundred works, the inclusion of outlanders like Frédéric Bruly Bouabré from Ivory Coast and Doris Salcedo from Colombia, James Coleman from Ireland and Ilya Kabakov from Russia signals the wider, larger art world then being born. Loock also cares about smart art over the more

  • Sze Tsung Leong

    Sze Tsung Leong’s extraordinary “History Images” series, 2002–2005, documents the human habitats of the new China. Taken mostly from elevated viewpoints, the photographs command large vistas; basic to all of them is a sense of great space, which they need every inch of to encompass the gargantuan construction projects and freshly built housing developments that they describe. This framing of distance is one device through which Leong’s work develops its visual power. Another is the frequent repetition of geometric forms, in the columns and rows of identical windows and terraces, vertical tower

  • Marco Neri

    Marco Neri’s cityscapes and architectures are simultaneously spare and lush. Rendered in tempera, the pictures’ matte black surfaces look plain but act rich—the paint is thin and flat but profoundly light-absorbent, dark with an unshowy completeness that makes the pâte of oil seem grandiose by comparison. Arranged in largely rectilinear systems across these opaque expanses are white markings geometric enough to remain bars and rectangles, stripes and circles, even while they coalesce into nighttime views of the modern city. For the most part regular, hard-edged, and dense, these whites can also

  • Gerhard Richter

    Despite Robert Storr’s brilliant effort to reclaim Gerhard Richter for human emotion in the artist’s 2002 MoMA retrospective, the glassy chill of his work reasserted itself in his recent show at Marian Goodman Gallery. The exhibition fell roughly into three parts, of which the first presented a familiar mystery: How do Richter’s squeegeed abstractions, utterly strange in their fusion of Expressionism and impersonality, manage both to seduce through their color and detail and to put ravishment out of reach through what Arthur Danto has called their “protective cool”?

    Cool is subjective, of course,