David Rimanelli

  • John Currin

    What is “normal” love? Mom and dad’s? Teen sweethearts? God? Your identification with certain characters from the soaps? From Art History 101? Is it the way you feel about your favorite underwear? This earlyish midcareer retrospective of paintings by John Currin provides ample material for the elaboration of these questions; authorities ranging from Saint Paul to Penthouse Letters provide some answers.

    The exhibition opens with the middle-aged-woman paintings that first earned Currin a particular notoriety in the early ’90s. No discussion of these works should omit Kim Levin’s admonishment

  • Larry Clark

    When I walked into “punk Picasso,” Larry Clark’s first New York gallery exhibition in several years, I thought I had entered a Conceptual-art installation. Here were many juxtapositions of photos and texts, photos and photos, texts and texts, texts and heroin wrappers (the latter artfully arrayed à la Richard Tuttle), as well as related objects, e.g., Untitled (Severed head of ‘Vincent’ from Teenage Caveman), 2001. This surfeit of information—kind of like Hans Haacke’s, or Hanne Darboven’s, or Gerhard Richter’s, but not quite—transmitted an overriding impression that here was lots of important


    CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS’S PHOTOGRAPHS, INDIVIDUALLY, IN SERIES, AND configured hyperconsciously with respect to given sites, often suggest a quasi-documentary directness, yet they are open to metonymic drift and metaphoric condensation. He plays on foreground and background, what’s evident and what requires detailed explanation, the main narrative thrust and the numerous back stories. The interpretive process is one of deferral or unraveling, as the “data” from one image seeps into another. The lengthy titles Williams gives his pictures arrest immediate understanding while providing clues for yet

  • Jeff Koons

    One of the world’s great collections of antiquities, the mann last year inaugurated a contemporary-art program with a Francesco Clemente retrospective. Jeff Koons, who has an avid following in Italy, is the museum’s second superstar.

    One of the world’s great collections of antiquities, the mann last year inaugurated a contemporary-art program with a Francesco Clemente retrospective. Jeff Koons, who has an avid following in Italy, is the museum’s second superstar. Koons does have his own Italian connections, for example the Capodimonte porcelain factory, which has fabricated some of his sculptures; then there’s Cicciolina—enough said. Curated by Mario Codognato, Elena Geuna, and Eduardo Cicelyn (the triumvirate who penned the catalogue), the exhibition of some forty works surveys twenty years of Koons’s career, beginning with

  • 1986–1990

    In this second installment of “Time Capsules,” David Rimanelli picks up where his March look at the first half of the decade left off, tracking the high (and low) points of 1986–90.


    Joseph Beuys, the artist/shaman/charlatan—take your pick—dies at age 64.


    Sturtevant’s “comeback” show opens at White Columns, New York; Eugene Schwartz, the renowned collector of contemporary art, serves as curator. An appropriationist avant la lettre, Sturtevant began making copies after Stella, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, and Warhol in the mid-’60s; Warhol even lent her his screens. She finds a devoted

  • 1980–1985


    ABC No Rio’s inaugural event, “The Real Estate Show,” takes place in an abandoned Delancey St. tenement. Organized by Collaborative Projects—aka Colab—the exhibition addresses the machinations of the Lower East Side real estate market. The show only gains in notoriety when the city repossesses the building during the show’s run.

    Benjamin Buchloh’s “Beuys: The Twilight of the Idol,” appears in Artforum. Coming in the wake of the artist’s Guggenheim retrospective, the essay seriously undermines Beuys’s felt-and-fat-in-the-Caucasus self-mythology. Strategically, Buchloh’s demystification of

  • Laura Owens

    A few years ago in these pages, Lane Relyea suggested that a new wave of Color Field painting was taking over the galleries. Substituting virtuality for Fried’s opticality, Relyea proposed that the dematerialized effulgence of the computer monitor was the impetus for yet another stab at pure painting, and he cited Los Angeles–based painter Laura Owens as the pervasive influence. But while Owens’s work certainly plays on the conventions of Color Field, she draws from a wide range of source materials, including embroidery and Asian landscape painting, frequently commingling vaporous washes of

  • “Jack Pierson, Regrets”

    “Jonathan Pierson may have been born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1960, but Jack Pierson was invented in Miami Beach in 1983.” So begins curator Bonnie Clearwater’s pamphlet text for “Regrets,” the midcareer retrospective she organized at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami. Not a bad entrée to the artist’s oeuvre, especially taken with the title. Legends, factually grounded or heavily airbrushed, figure prominently in chronicles of artistic self-invention or reinvention—Ed Ruscha in Los Angeles, Gauguin in Tahiti, Poussin in Rome, tout le monde à Paris. And personal legend vibrates

  • Marcel Odenbach

    Since the mid-’70s, Marcel Odenbach has been working in the now all too familiar vein of video installation. The Cologne-based artist typically intercuts archival footage, scenes from the movies (e.g., Hitchcock, D.W. Griffith), and material he has shot himself to create layered, ambiguous, yet always politically pointed montages. Frankfurter Kunstverein director Nicolaus Schafhausen has assembled ten video installations from all periods of the artist’s career, but the emphasis is on works from the ’70s and ’90s. In addition to the video program, work in other

  • Matisse Picasso

    Matisse-Picasso? Haven’t we been down this road before—and recently? Art historian Yve-Alain Bois’s Kimbell Art Museum exhibition a few years back examined the relations between the two grands maîtres. How will this show—a joint production of the Tate, MoMA, the Pompidou, and the Musée Picasso under the respective direction of John Golding and Elizabeth Cowling, John Elderfield and Kirk Varnedoe, Isabelle Monod-Fontaine, and Anne Baldassari—advance the discussion? Either way, given the organizing institutions, the cumulative loans in themselves represent an embarrassment of riches.

  • Francesco Vezzoli

    What’s not to like about a short film featuring Helmut Berger playing Joan Collins playing Dynasty’s Alexis Carrington? The melodramatic scenarios of Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli’s productions take place in environments of luxury and lassitude, settings somehow appropriate to aging divas who, one imagines, whatever the actual conduct of their lives, have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, or even the late afternoon. Not so Vezzoli. Evidently he not only gets out of bed but has no qualms about making doubtless numerous telephone calls in order to get the Valentino couture gowns

  • Thomas Struth

    Thomas Struth made his art-world debut with the late ’70s black-and-white street scenes he shot in such locales as Düsseldorf, New York, and Tokyo. In the ’80s, the Becher prodigy expanded to color photography, with individual and group portraits as well as large-scale images of museum-goers in situ. Most recently he has created almost unreal images of forests and jungles. As becomes apparent in work from each stage of his career—which is explored in this retrospective curated by the Dallas Museum of Art’s Charles Wylie—Struth recovers the word teeming for the vocabulary

  • “Matthew Barney: The CREMASTER Cycle,” at Museum Ludwig, Cologne

    Originally slated to open this spring at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, “Matthew Barney: The CREMASTER Cycle” begins its run at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne—not quite shabby seconds but a bit of a downer for those in the States looking forward to considering the five-film epic as a whole. After numerous postponements, the outright cancellation of the show, a victim of the Guggenheim’s present financial straits, was widely bruited in art circles and even in the New York Times. Instead, the three-venue tour will “climax” in New York—fittingly, as the final sequences of CREMASTER 3,

  • Frank Stella

    Frank Stella’s recent exhibition consisted of sixteen new works in various, purposely indistinct media. There were some paintings—we know they are paintings because they are flat surfaces covered with paint. There was one rickety collage—pieces of paper covered in colored forms and rudely stapled together. There were sculptures. This remains the trickiest category, because (1) as we know, Stella became famous in the early ’60s for his use of shaped canvases, initially attracting the approval of the Greenbergian establishment and its successive avatars as well as that of Donald “Specific Objects”

  • Gerhard Richter

    Gerhard Richter shows come and go with an anodyne regularity; each occasion is more or less gorgeous, more or less intelligent, but a certain tedium has set in. Hence, the Museum of Modern Art’s painting retrospective—organized by curator Robert Storr and comprising some 180 works from 1962 to the present—provides a welcome opportunity for reevaluation of this canonical figure in contemporary art. Richter’s achievement, when considered in full, should more than offset the cookie-cutter, by-the-yard collector’s chic that too often seems his stock-in-trade.

  • David Rimanelli


    1 Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Büsi (Times Square, New York; sponsored by Creative Time and Panasonic for “The 59th Minute: Video Art on the Times Square Astrovision”) A three-story kitten laps contentedly from a saucer high above Forty-third Street, looking up only once, as if to regard the crowds below, then returning to its milk. Greedy kitty.

    2 John Bock (Anton Kern, New York) Performance-art kookiness lives. Many important dealers and critics in attendance. It was awfully hot, so I had to leave before the promised stinky goat finally came out, but I heard the animal was

  • David Reed

    David Reed’s paintings play fast and loose with the conventions of abstraction and representation—an exercise that could be very dull—but the luxurious, even brazen appeal of his seemingly flattened-out yet liquescent brushstrokes remains irresistibly seductive. If the high-concept angle—paintings that “represent” abstraction, or paintings as part of a theatricalized, video-supplemented mise-en-scène—is less easy to swallow, it places Reed in a historical arc at once venerable (Gerhard Richter) and trendy (Douglas Gordon). Kunstmuseum curator Konrad Bitterli has assembled a retrospective of

  • Signs of the Time

    WHEN DOUGLAS CRIMP’S GROUP SHOW “PICTURES” OPENED AT ARTISTS SPACE IN SEPTEMBER 1977, I was in junior high, so I won’t presume to speak about its initial reception. What I am sure of is the shadow the show cast when I first started visiting galleries in the East Village and SoHo circa 1984. Crimp’s essay “Pictures”—taking “its point of departure from the catalogue text”—was published in October 8 (Spring 1979) and subsequently anthologized in Brian Wallis’s Art After Modernism: Rethinking Representation (1984), the Big Think bible of the ’80s art-world ingenue. Wallis’s book had an indelible

  • “Around 1984: A Look at Art in the Eighties”

    The idea of an exhibition devoted to the art of the '80s is almost irresistibly fun. A wholesale revival of the decade, represented by fashion designers like Marc Jacobs and a range of popular movies from The Wedding Singer to American Psycho, is supposedly upon us, mining the styles and attitudes of that frenetic era. Such a revival looks particularly right in New York today, where an environment of breathless expenditure and expansion, not to mention a looming sense of an inevitable “correction, evokes the era’s champagne-and-cocaine flavor no less than its menacing rise-and-fall histrionics.

  • Andreas Gursky

    Andreas Gursky distinguished himself in the ’80s with panoramic landscapes bearing the telltale signs of the postindustrial world. In the ’90s, his focus expanded to include frenetic scenes of late capitalist life, with richly colored, often digitally manipulated images of stock exchanges, hotel lobbies, and raves. “Gursky’s photographs just knock your socks off,” comments the show’s curator, Peter Galassi. “He sustains a competition with painting. His is the same art world as Gerhard Richter’s, influenced by German Romanticism, American abstraction from Pollock to Minimalism, Pop and Conceptual