David Rimanelli

  • David Rimanelli

    SO WHY OP NOW? Some forty years after the Museum of Modern Art, New York, introduced Op art to the American public with its landmark 1965 exhibition “The Responsive Eye,” two museums have mounted historical shows looking back: “Optic Nerve: Perceptual Art of the 1960s” at the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio (through June 17); and “Op Art” at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (through May 20). Both are ambitious curatorial efforts, distinct in certain relative emphases, and for that very reason providing in tandem an unusually rich perspective on a movement consigned by pretty much everyone

  • Philip-Lorca diCorcia

    Despite being one of the leading lights of the so-called Boston School, Philip-Lorca diCorcia has not been the subject of a museum exhibition in the United States since his star-making appearance at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1994. Finally, the ICA is mounting a midcareer survey—the largest selection of his pictures assembled to date—including 125 works from 1978 through the present. For many, diCorcia’s early ’90s “Hustlers” series remains the cynosure of his oeuvre. Portraying male prostitutes in Los Angeles, the photographs leak pathos, corruption,

  • diary January 15, 2007

    Earning His Stripes

    New York

    Congratulazione, mia cara collega,” Emi Fontana exclaimed to Stefania Bortolami at the opening of Daniel Buren’s exhibition “Variable/Invariable” at Bortolami Dayan. Indeed, the mood at the opening and at the following dinner was ebullient: Bortolami and partner, Amalia Dayan, had pulled off a coup of sorts, with a two-part exhibition of the eminent French Conceptualist, who had for years been a fixture of uptown powerhouse Marian Goodman’s roster. Buren’s departure from Goodman and his decision to show with the plush but quite new Bortolami Dayan, which so far has shown mostly younger artists,

  • “Optic Nerve: Perceptual Art of the 1960s”

    Op art has never enjoyed a particularly high standing among postwar movements. For one, it never fit into Clement Greenberg’s ideas regarding “opticality” and the inevitable trajectory of modernism, and so he consigned it—along with Pop and Minimalism—to the graveyard of “novelty” art.

    Op art has never enjoyed a particularly high standing among postwar movements. For one, it never fit into Clement Greenberg’s ideas regarding “opticality” and the inevitable trajectory of modernism, and so he consigned it—along with Pop and Minimalism—to the graveyard of “novelty” art. But the flash of sensory overload that Op promised never quite died a quiet death. In the early 1980s, painters like Ross Bleckner and Philip Taaffe played fast and loose with the conventions of this “degraded” movement, and it has continued to exert a pull on subsequent generations. Accompanied

  • Odilon Redon

    Odilon Redon (1840–1916) occupies a curious, rather vague, but nevertheless undisputedly eminent position in the history of late-nineteenth-century vanguardism.

    Odilon Redon (1840–1916) occupies a curious, rather vague, but nevertheless undisputedly eminent position in the history of late-nineteenth-century vanguardism. Associated with French Symbolism, Redon seems to have taken cues from both the visual arts and literature. J.-K. Huysmans, in his 1884 novel, À rebours (Against Nature)—the book that launched Decadence as a literary fad throughout Western Europe for at least a quarter century—devotes several paragraphs to Redon as an exemplary artist for the nascent movement; only Gustave Moreau receives comparable play. But

  • David Rimanelli

    1 Matthew Barney (Museum of Modern Art, New York; Gladstone Gallery, New York) With Drawing Restraint 9, which made its New York debut at MoMA last March, the artist tendered yet another astonishing film, proving he wasn’t about to relax after the Cremaster-cycle shebang; the Gladstone exhibition was his best “object-art” show in New York in years. But even in the absence of such stellar accomplishments, I would crown Barney with yet another diadem simply because I am sick to death of listening to know-nothing creeps trash him, their “critiques” rank with the fetor of invidium and sour grapes.

  • diary October 30, 2006

    Marden Party

    New York

    On Tuesday, I attended the opening of the Brice Marden retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, followed by dinner. Even at the big first night’s celebration, one can usually ferret out the odd voice of dissent or complaint, but the tone here was strikingly warm, even buoyant. The only criticism I heard (if you can call this criticism): Why were the drawings (most of which were installed on the third floor, apart from the paintings on the sixth) hung so low? To my eye, the hang was uniformly handsome and made good heuristic sense—for instance, the first gallery is given over almost entirely

  • diary September 26, 2006

    A Night at the Opera

    New York

    On Thursday, I attended a cocktail party and dinner inaugurating a new contemporary-art gallery within the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center. The gallery is the felicitous brainchild of Peter Gelb, the new general manager of the Met. Gelb asked Dodie Kazanjian, editor at large for Vogue, to act as the Met’s curator at large for the gallery. She invited ten artists—Cecily Brown, George Condo, John Currin, Verne Dawson, Barnaby Furnas, Makiko Kudo, Wangechi Mutu, Richard Prince, David Salle, and Sophie von Hellermann—to submit artworks inspired by heroines from the six new productions

  • Pierre Klossowski

    The museum presents some forty large-scale drawings and sculptures from 1952 to 1990 as well as films and related materials, complicating our perception of an already slippery figure.

    Pierre Klossowski (1905–2001) remains best known for his literary and philosophical activities. The founder, with Marie Bonaparte and Dr. René Laforgue, of the Paris Psychoanalytic Society, Klossowski was an active collaborator in the Collège de Sociologie (with Georges Bataille, Roger Caillois, et al.), and his 1947 theological study, Sade mon prochaine, is a classic, while his many novels enjoy a devoted coterie. Nevertheless, Klossowski’s delicate and perverse drawings remain marginalia in the history of Surrealism, in part because his allegorical, erotic art has been

  • diary June 09, 2006

    Hanna and Her Sisters

    New York

    I meet Carol Greene, Hanna Liden, and Charline von Heyl at Hertz. We’re on our way to Williamstown, Massachusetts, for the opening of an exhibition of paintings by Jacqueline Humphries at the Williams College Art Museum. It starts pouring almost immediately, so it takes us two hours just to get out of the city. Someone remarks that the woods in the vicinity of the Cloisters are a haven for crackheads. “Does crack make you want to have sex?” Carol inquires. “No, it just drives you into a bottomless black pit and makes you want to kill yourself,” Hanna answers. Several hours later, and still a

  • Hostel

    LATE ONE NIGHT, bored and unsleepy, we dropped in at our favorite local twenty-four-hour video store—you know, the kind that primarily trades in skin flicks but also stocks a large selection of normal Hollywood product, not to mention the occasional Bergman or Fellini film. Scanning the new releases, we fixed on a splatter film intriguingly (and no doubt punningly) titled Hostel, and eagerly opted for its promise of creepiness and low thrills, and the quality assurance of the tagline “Quentin Tarantino Presents.” Brokeback Mountain would just have to wait—again.

    Hostel is a shocking and relentless

  • Weegee

    Guest curator Cynthia Young has drawn upon the International Center of Photography’s unique archive of nearly twenty thousand prints by this echt–New York tabloid-news shutterbug to present some one hundred images that have never been shown.

    The exhibition title “Unknown Weegee” certainly sounds promising, since Weegee (aka Usher “Arthur” Fellig, 1899–1968) is about as unknown as Diane Arbus. Even twelve-year-old photography enthusiasts are familiar with his images of pullulating masses at Coney Island; rich, freaky old bags at the opera; and vicious crime scenes. But guest curator Cynthia Young has drawn upon the International Center of Photography’s unique archive of nearly twenty thousand prints by this echt–New York tabloid-news shutterbug to present some one hundred images that have never been shown.

  • Hanna Liden

    The photography of Swedish-born, New York–based artist Hanna Liden delivers a cunning referential amalgam that comprises Northern European Romantic painting and art cinema, heavy metal and Hollywood horror. In her work, folkloric antiquity, modern life, and the shimmer of postapocalyptic fantasy exist in a state of delicately sustained equipoise. Her images evoke a mythic past, but one that has been disinterred from the graveyard of timelessness; the figures populating her desolate and gorgeous landscapes belong, finally, to the present. In Death Gate, 2003, two denim-clad men wearing skull

  • Edvard Munch

    MoMA is hosting a retrospective of Munch's work—surprisingly, the first exhibition in the US to be devoted to the Norwegian painter in almost three decades.

    Although his best-known painting, The Scream, 1893, may be lost forever, Edvard Munch remains one of Scandinavia's greatest cultural exports, right up there with ABBA, IKEA, and H&M. Monographs and critical studies on the artist continue to proliferate, and now MoMA is hosting a retrospective of Munch's work—surprisingly, the first exhibition in the US to be devoted to the Norwegian painter in almost three decades. The show features some ninety paintings and fifty prints and drawings, and surveys the artist's corpus in its entirety, from 1880 to 1944. The catalogue

  • 4th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

    The show features only sixty artists and will unravel both in museums and along a street in Berlin’s historic Mitte district.

    It’s tough explaining just what exactly the Wrong Gallery is (Cattelan, Gioni, and Subotnick started it in a shallow doorway in New York), much less how it’s curating the 4th Berlin Biennale, inexplicably titled “Of Mice and Men.” Several months prior to the biennale’s opening, the Wrong Gallery made its presence strongly felt with Gagosian Gallery, Berlin: In typically cheeky fashion, the miscreant curators appropriated the international behemoth’s name and logotype for an impostor gallery of their own. Add to that the magazines

  • David Rimanelli

    I KNOW SOMETHING MUST HAVE HAPPENED this year besides Paris Hilton. I was recently in a video store scanning the new-releases board. A video clerk had penned an amusing one-line summation of House of Wax: “Paris Hilton dies in this remake of the horror classic.” Diderot, too, had a flair for deflating concision, describing in his Salon of 1767 Jean-Baptiste Leprince’s Portrait of a Young Girl Abandoning her Toys in Favor of Study as a “mediocre picture, but an excellent lesson for a child.” Too bad contemporary critical etiquette prohibits such terse judgments; but why, I wonder, should oneliner

  • diary November 16, 2005

    Night of 1,000 Dealers

    New York

    “If you're coming to the opening, plan on bringing a machete,” Gagosian director Ealan Wingate told a curator friend of mine who had come by the gallery earlier in the day for an informal preview of the much-anticipated Mike Kelley show, “Day Is Done.” He wasn't kidding. When I arrive on Thursday night, there is a queue stretching down 24th Street, with a long velvet rope and several hefty bouncers on hand to keep the throng in check. This sight is unnerving, but luckily I spy a Gagosian operative hovering near the door and she graciously lets me in immediately. I couldn't help but recall my

  • diary October 21, 2005

    The More the Scarier

    New York

    I arrive at the Saturday night opening of Jonathan Horowitz’s show “The New Communism” to find a sign at the front desk that reads, “Under the New Communism, phone calls to Gavin Brown’s enterprise will be answered by Gavin Brown himself.” (I discover a few days later when I call the gallery to ask a question that this isn’t entirely true; an assistant picks up, as the proprietor is, of course, in London for the Frieze Art Fair.) For some time now, Horowitz has explored ways to reinvest Pop iconography and conceptual strategies with contemporary social and political content, for instance in “Go

  • Robert Gober

    “The Meat Wagon,” the creepy title of the Menil Collection’s Robert Gober exhibition, is perhaps more immediately evocative of an artist like Paul McCarthy, but then there’s no shortage of “meat” in Gober’s oeuvre—like a man’s hairy leg protruding from a hairless vagina. Organized by Menil curator Matthew Drutt in collaboration with the artist, the exhibition includes twenty familiar and seldom-seen works by Gober from the past two decades. These will be installed with about fifty items from the museum’s collections—Surrealist, Spanish Colonial, and black Americana, for

  • “Situation Comedy: Humor in Recent Art”

    Though sitcoms are a staple of American culture, will “Situation Comedy” be able to draw connections between Cary Leibowitz, Michael Smith, and Dave Muller and The Honeymooners, Golden Girls, and Friends? I hope so. The exhibition includes more than sixty works in traditional media (and video, of course) by nearly thirty artists, some of whom seem like naturals (John Waters, Richard Prince) and others (Dana Schutz, Rodney Graham) who may provide oblique insight into the pleasures of self-deprecation, pranks, and laugh tracks. An excerpt from David