Frances Richard

  • Keith Edmier/Richard Phillips

    Both Keith Edmier and Richard Phillips are interested in popular memory of the ’60s and early ’70s and in exacting formal procedures that tweak realism toward something outlandish. Centering on Edmier’s sculptures, with a suite of drawings by Phillips in a decisive supporting role, this small show accepted nostalgia as its premise. Against this substrate, elegy morphed to cartoonish necrophilia, and the ultimate subject was a strangely conventional self-portraiture.

    Edmier’s sculptures (both 1998) are discrete works, but as installed they functioned as a diptych. Both are highly detailed, life-size

  • Anna Gaskell

    We’re postmillennial and allegedly postfeminist, but as a culture we remain ardently interested in that phenomenon of twentieth-century gender studies, the gaze. Anna Gaskell’s photographs effect a realm of scopophilia—we look, and are uncomfortably caught looking. If her work is both seductive and alienating, unique and derivative, it is because she wants to analyze voyeuristic desire while reveling in it, to participate in its omnivorous processes of objectification while commenting on them.

    Gaskell has received so much attention that it’s hard to believe her recent outing was only her second

  • Tim Gardner

    Young men at leisure in one another’s company has been a subject of art since the Greeks—and some constants tend to hold across divides of time, taste, and medium. The boy-men will be handsome, perhaps bare-chested, and will display an easy physical camaraderie, a homoerotic innocence. They will be shown accomplishing feats of physical prowess and enjoying the relaxation that follows. They will appear entirely at home in their world, unconscious masters of their environments pausing to taste luxurious youth before, presumably, entering serious masculine enfranchisement. There will usually be a

  • Jim Torok

    In a 1970 interview, Chuck Close affirmed a statement made by art historian Ernst Gombrich: “The problem of illusionist art is not that of forgetting what we know about the world. It is rather inventing compositions that work.” Close’s tightly controlled early portraits of art-world folk make for an obvious, though ultimately unsatisfying, comparison to Jim Torok’s portraits of art-world folk in his “hi tech lo tech” exhibition. But if we understand “compositions” to include problems of scale, cropping, and markmaking in the context of the realist image, Gombrich’s statement is key to Torok’s

  • Mona Hatoum

    Mona Hatoum’s New York exhibition—her first in the city since the New Museum survey in 1997—functioned as something of a primer for the artist’s concerns. Often discussed in terms of national and cultural identity (Hatoum is Palestinian and has lived in London since the mid-’70s), her tightly orchestrated installations have, in recent years, dealt with power in a more interior, abstract sense, as the ominous corollary of desire. Like Rebecca Horn and Jana Sterbak, Hatoum has roots in performance, and her sculptures retain the stamp of the absent corpus—they are appliances through which the body

  • Antoni Tàpies

    It’s been years since a major Spanish institution (other than the Tàpies Foundation, of course) has devoted a full-scale retrospective to their native Catalan son: The time has come, it seems, to pay homage again. This large-scale exhibition—some ninety-five paintings—promises to address the complete spectrum of Tàpies’s output. At nearly eighty years of age, this elder statesman of European gestural abstraction still paints daily, so one can expect to see new work on view as well. Curated by Manuel Borja-Villel, the survey will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. Mar. 7–May 8; Haus

  • Hélio Oiticica: Quasi-Cinemas

    Brazilian constructivist Hélio Oiticica’s interactive sculptures and environments get plenty of international attention, but this show should enlarge perspective on the artist’s playfully experimental form—and seriously politicized content—by highlighting his little-discussed photo-based film work. Curator Carlos Basualdo focuses on the “quasi-cinema” slide-shows Oiticica organized in the ’70s. Rarely exhibited, the Cosmococcas—projected images of pop icons superimposed with drawings done in cocaine—will be shown here alongside Oiticica’s single directorial adventure, his 1972 Agripina é Roma

  • Sophie Calle

    Sophie Calle is a storyteller who insinuates herself into the lives of her (at times unwilling, at times unwitting) subjects; the frisson derives from her intense engagement. As each of her projects contextualizes the next, her work is best seen en masse. For this reason, curator Barbara Heinrich has brought together some sixteen pieces spanning Calle’s career, in the artist’s first major German museum outing. Obsession, fantasy, and documentary process mix in the work of an artist whose technique—a sort of heightened journalistic-poetic fandom—is a curious blend of French and American sensibilities.

  • Cathy de Monchaux

    Meret Oppenheim on steroids, accoutrements one might find in a dominatrix’s dungeon as outfitted by Industrial Light + Magic: It’s easy to get flamboyant describing Cathy de Monchaux’s sculpture. An alumna of Goldsmiths College in London, she shares some of the concerns of her YBA colleagues—an interest in seriality and repetition inherited from Minimalism combined with a propensity for brash decadence that seems to be drawn from Pop. But de Monchaux’s work functions within a symbolic code that is all her own. The two-venue show, “Mordant Rapture,” the artist’s second solo outing in New York,

  • Jean-Luc Godard

    Protean filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard’s career as an avant-garde innovator has lasted more than forty years. Any video store or art-house series worth its salt will offer classics of the French New Wave such as Breathless (1960) or Alphaville (1965). But Godard repudiated many of these earlier achievements, adding rigorous Marxist politics to his pathbreaking aesthetic of simultaneity, verbal complexity, and discontinuous narrative. Restlessly experimenting with stylistic means toward theoretical ends, he explored the possibilities of marrying television’s mass distribution and video’s accessible

  • Cecilia Vicuña

    The exhibition began before one reached the gallery, in the creaky old elevator that took a long time to rise. Passive and expectant, the viewer, who had yet to see anything, heard something instead—an ethereal trilling, a woman’s voice singing what could have been a lullaby in an unidentifiable language or an improvised melody. Spatially acute, emotionally direct, but physically elusive, Cecilia Vicuña’s Canto (all works 1999) is typical of this Chilean artist—a poet, performer, and sculptor whose work has been little seen in New York outside the 1997 Whitney Biennial. Produced by Art in General,

  • Joe Scanlan

    Joe Scanlan’s exhibit “Invention” dealt with the act of consumption—not only getting and spending but their secret partners, compulsion and decay. The artist has long been interested in design and fabrication, but here he went beyond such production-end concerns to the crux of the issue: what “making” does to “wanting.” Scanlan has an admirable command of how material substance shapes immaterial sense, how matter molds essence. His “Invention” put things like flowers, snowflakes, tears—even our own faces in the mirror—up for sale in a beautifully crafted boutique of the faux ephemeral.

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