David Rimanelli

  • 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

  • Nobuyoshi Araki

    Nobuyoshi Araki is Japan’s most prolific photographer, and so much more: a purveyor of kimono-clad Japanese girls trussed up and hanging from the ceiling (with perhaps a curious kitten looking on?) and a master of desiccated lizards resting atop sunflower blooms. Perversity, aestheticism, and melancholia reign in his oeuvre. This exhibition includes roughly four thousand of his photographs from the ’60s to the present as well as rare handmade albums from his early career and “Xerox Shashin-Cho,” photocopied photographs elegantly bound in

  • Franz Gertsch

    Also on view at Museum Franz Gertsch, Burgdorf

    The Swiss Photorealist painter Franz Gertsch has recently enjoyed a much-deserved reconsideration, and on the occasion of his seventy-fifth birthday, the Kunstmuseum Bern and the Museum Franz Gertsch have assembled a retrospective. Coinciding with a renewal of interest in Photorealism and the recent currency of this painterly mode among younger artists, Gertsch’s revival becomes all the more relevant. The shows include some sixty canvases: from early favorites like At Luciano’s House, 1973, and his “Patti

  • diary July 19, 2005

    Helter Shelter

    Los Angeles

    On Thursday night, Los Super Elegantes’ new musical, The Technical Vocabulary of an Interior Decorator, premieres at Daniel Hug Gallery in L.A.’s Chinatown, itself a Disneyfied fantasy neighborhood, at least by comparison to New York’s. Fans of Milena Muzquiz and Martiniano Lopez-Crozet’s theatrical mayhem have turned out in force, among them a passel of New York dealers—Jeffrey Deitch and his lovely assistant, Nikki Vassall, and Amalia Dayan and Stefania Bortolami—as well as Chinatown gallerist Javier Peres (LSE’s last play in L.A., The Falling Leaves of St. Pierre, was staged at

  • diary June 16, 2005

    My Hustler


    On Thursday night, the Fondazione Prada is exhibiting Francesco Vezzoli’s 2004 film Le Comizi di Non Amore at the Fondazione Cini on Darsena, the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore; a cocktail party follows for Vezzoli and Rem Koolhaas, Carsten Höller, and Mariko Mori, all beneficiaries of Prada’s largesse (in one way or another) who are exhibiting in the Biennale. I’ve always been a fan of Vezzoli. Though he has had his share of notable admirers, for years now I’ve also noticed a remarkable knee jerk hostility toward him. Too smooth an operater? Too attentive to his career? Too smart for his own

  • diary June 12, 2005

    Stone of Venice


    It’s a dismal truism that a writer’s life is hell, but it has its moments—like this one, as I begin my Venetian epistle on the terrace of my hotel overlooking the Grand Canal and the gleaming white domes of Santa Maria della Salute. John Ruskin had a no less splendid view of the comparatively austere but even more distinguished San Giorgio Maggiore from his window at the Danieli, where he habitually stayed when visiting the city he described in such loving detail in The Stones of Venice. But by just cocking my head thirty degrees to the left I have a fine vista of that grandest of Palladian

  • diary May 07, 2005

    Remaking Haye

    New York

    I accompanied Michele Maccarone to the Julie Mehretu drawings show at. . . what’s no longer the Project, on West 57th Street. One consequence of the ugly legal battle between Swiss businessman and mega-collector Jean-Pierre Lehmann and dealer Christian Haye—an internecine quarrel over some Mehretu paintings that Lehmann had wanted but didn’t get—was that the young dealer had to relinquish the name of the maverick gallery he founded in Harlem in 1998, and thereafter expanded with a Los Angeles branch in 2001. So he’s dubbed the “new” enterprise Projectile; a prominent “X” partially

  • “Greater New York 2005”

    Once upon a time in the West, circa 1992, Paul Schimmel organized an ambitious group show, “Helter Skelter: L.A. Art in the 1990s,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibition did more than trace the lineages of post-’60s LA art as a wellspring for a new generation of artists who would soon establish the city as a mecca for all in pursuit of the hot, hip, and fresh. “Helter Skelter,” in its juxtapositions of artists (and writers) of different generations, like Raymond Pettibon, Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley, Dennis Cooper, Chris Burden, Charles Bukowski, Charles Ray, Jim Shaw, and Liz Larner,

  • “The Art of Richard Tuttle”

    Born in Rahway, New Jersey, in 1941, Richard Tuttle is among the first generation of artists who took as a given the revolutionary transformations of the art object proposed by Minimalism. Extending those earlier concepts in new, unorthodox directions, through improvisational working procedures and nontraditional materials, Tuttle, along with such fellow practitioners as Richard Serra, Eva Hesse, and Bruce Nauman, engendered the loosely defined but enduringly influential “movement” known variously as post-Minimalism (the term coined by Robert Pincus-Witten, writing

  • “Getting Emotional”

    “Getting emotional? Oh, please don’t tell me about it. See a shrink.” But in this expansive show, ICA chief curator Nicholas Baume insists on talking about it, presenting over fifty works by a diverse group of thirty-two artists who similarly shirk tight-lipped politesse, favoring unmitigated gut spillage. But the roster seems, hmm, schizophrenic? Sure, Elizabeth Peyton, Jack Pierson, and Nan Goldin are all famed for their expression of “feeling”—either tender or histrionic—but what about more conceptual practices, like those of Ed Ruscha, Christian Jankowski, and Darren

  • Cecily Brown

    London-born, New York–based Cecily Brown has gone far—indeed too far, her detractors often complain. The artist’s popularity in the glamour press may blind certain viewers to her work’s virtues: To paint in a brash, gestural, figurative style may look retrograde, but this is among the qualities that makes Brown’s work . . . radical? That she does so without the bang-bang-you’re-dead “ironies” of so many European painters of the Kippenbergian claque is refreshing, too. With some fifteen large-scale paintings made in the past five years and a selection of works on paper,

  • diary April 28, 2005

    Cat's Meow

    New York

    Catholic No. 1: Cats—a charming volume put out by Evil Twin Publications and D.A.P. (“with assistance from: VICE”) that celebrates feline grace, beauty, and naughtiness—arrives in the mail. “This is actually Catholic v1.5,” editors Jesse Pearson and Glynnis McDaris explain. “This sounds nerdy but it’s true. The first Catholic was published in an edition of 1,000 handmade zines to accompany a group show we curated in November, 2003, at Guild and Greyshkul in New York.” The book contains contributions from over 100 artists and writers, including Roe Etheridge, Richard Kern, Steve and

  • diary April 16, 2005

    Crumb's Bums

    New York

    “You want me to cover a T-shirt launch?” I said incredulously to my editor. Indeed. So I hauled my art-critic carcass over to the Stella McCartney boutique on far West Fourteenth Street to attend a party celebrating underground-comics legend R. Crumb’s collaboration with the designer: His-and-hers T-shirts adorned with pictures that express his befuddlement over the passions ignited by high fashion. McCartney has been a fan for some time and has already hosted a glam party in London for the scrawny, bespectacled poet of lovely buxom ladies with meaty thighs and big butts. My friend Hanna Liden

  • diary March 27, 2005

    Action Française

    New York

    Daniel Buren’s exhibition “Eye of the Storm: Works in Situ” opened Thursday night at the Guggenheim, with a three-tiered scale of exclusivity: ultra-privée at 6:00, when director Thomas Krens made his opening remarks, hailing this as a “great night for France;” 7:30 (my ticket); and 9:00 for la foule. It seemed that the entire French art world—or at least that of a certain generation—had turned out for the US apotheosis of un trésor national. The charming Lucien Terras served as my chaperone through Frogville, introducing me to Pompidou director Alfred Pacquement and Buren himself,

  • diary March 13, 2005

    Furry Friends

    New York

    At 4 pm on Thursday, a mere hour before the doors of the 2005 Armory Show opened for the preview gala for which ticket-holders had paid as much as $1,000 a head, the floor was still buzzing with non-paying “professionals”—a pre-preview group that, in something of a gaffe on the part of the fair’s organizers, included not only the press and museum dignitaries but a number of “discretionary” guests (read: collectors) invited by dealers who, for the first time, were permitted a pass or two for favorite clients unprepared to pay to shop. By 4:15, fair administrators had taken to the floor with

  • diary February 11, 2005

    Glass House

    New York

    The Imitation of Christ show at Lever House on Park Avenue last Sunday was a very chic fashion-week ticket. Tara Subkoff, the mind behind the madness, is notorious for her unconventional approach to the runway—in this case, she’d dispensed with it altogether. The seats fanned out in three directions to face the glass curtain walls of Lever House’s lobby; models stalked around the perimeter while the passersby and paparazzi outside looked on. There were also a number of planted gawkers, young but conspicuously unstylish women holding up copies of Marie Claire, Nylon, Vogue, etc. Perhaps they had

  • diary January 26, 2005

    Blonde Ambition

    New York

    “Pam: American Icon,” a series of photographs by Sante D’Orazio of sexy-deluxe former Baywatch star and preeminent pop icon Pamela Anderson, opens at Stellan Holm Gallery in Chelsea. Crowded, but slightly mystifying. Velvet ropes. I stand tentatively at the door until some guy in black waves me in, hearing inwardly a not-altogether-agreeable echo of my club-going days. Paparazzi galore, but, with Ms. Anderson a no-show, who are they planning to take pictures of? Cologne art dealer Raphael Jablonka? It’s almost impossible to see the photographs given the unseemly hordes. I did admire Pamela