Frances Richard

  • Zhang Huan

    Few serious artists today could call their work “a metaphor for the human condition.” Zhang Huan does—and with a straight face. He also states, “The body is my most basic language,” and claims, “I wanted to measure myself against insurmountable limits.” His recent retrospective, “Altered States”—the Asia Society’s first for a living artist—examined three career periods. In the early nineties, in the art enclave of post-Tiananmen Beijing (dubbed the “East Village” after another once-risky hot spot), Zhang specialized in simple, grueling performances, confronting absurd situations

  • “Midnight’s Daydream: Titus Kaphar, Wardell Milan II, Demetrius Oliver”

    The Studio Museum Harlem hosts three artists in residence every year, and gives them a summer show at the completion of their tenure. Alums of the program include David Hammons, Kerry James Marshall, and Wangechi Mutu. This year’s residents were Titus Kaphar, Wardell Milan II, and Demetrius Oliver, and each presented works in “Midnight’s Daydream,” a day-for-night fantasia investigating familial, political, and art-historical inheritance; the challenges of representing African-American desire; and compositional strategies of assemblage, deconstruction, and the juxtaposition of opposites.


  • “Circa 70: Lynda Benglis and Louise Bourgeois”

    A museumworthy show presented as a gallery two-hander, “Circa 70: Lynda Benglis and Louise Bourgeois” joined recent exhibitions like “High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967–1975” and “Wack! Art and the Feminist Revolution” in inviting audiences to reconsider— or to consider at all—what happened thirty or forty years ago, when the legacies of Dada, Surrealism, and Abstract Expressionism met Minimalism, Process, Pop, and performance in the minds and studios of women artists who were in love with art history but mad as hell; ambitious but self-reflexive; funny and subversive, yet dedicated

  • Keith Edmier, Jill Peters, 1997, polyvinyl, wax, cotton, rayon, polyester, leather, silicone, and human hair, 65 x 39 1/2 x 46".

    Keith Edmier

    As if to mark Keith Edmier’s transition to midcareer status, CCS Bard executive director Tom Eccles has commissioned a major new project, a life-size reconstruction of the artist’s childhood home in the subdivision of Bremen Towne.

    Expect Farrah Fawcett in white marble and a pregnant, translucent-plastic-bellied Mrs. Edmier in a Jackie Kennedy–style pink suit, alongside renderings of Evel Knievel and John Lennon, giant lily pads, plants cast in molten basalt, and roughly thirty other objects, all made since 1991, in the largest retrospective yet mounted of the work of Keith Edmier, the fabulist of natural phenomena as filtered through a suburban Chicago boyhood in the 1970s and ’80s. As if to mark Edmier’s transition to midcareer status, CCS Bard executive director Tom Eccles has also commissioned a

  • David Shrigley, Untitled (Civic Sculpture), 2007, ink on paper, 16 1/2 x 11 11/16".

    David Shrigley

    This exhibition promises good fun, presenting the largest gathering to date of Shrigley’s meditations on things like the “drunken wolfman” and “drawing done whilst on the phone to an idiot.”

    Daft, de-skilled, and definitely tuned to the market, Scottish artist David Shrigley’s wordy doodles slide with protean ease between genres and across media. Since the mid-’90s he has produced drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures, books, album covers, T-shirts, posters, postcards, animated films, and music videos, in addition to regularly contributing cartoons to Britain’s Guardian newspaper. Jacob Fabricius, a curator who has known and worked with the artist for more than a decade, has a similarly long-standing interest in Pop pranks. This exhibition thus

  • Teresita Fernández

    Ever since Narcissus glimpsed his likeness in a pool, Western culture has worried about the mirror’s deathly power of enchantment. The pool, as described in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, is unnatural, untouched by falling leaves, and never visited by animals. It exists only to captivate the boy whose name is etymologically related to “narcotic.” Lacan had some of this in mind when he spoke about the “captation” of the infant by the imago in the mirror stage. Then there is the Claude glass, the convex black mirror that pensive Romantics carried on their excursions toward the picturesque. Movie, television,

  • Peter Young

    In 1969, Peter Young was a New York painter with a Whitney Annual and a Guggenheim Theodoran Award to his credit. But he took off for Costa Rica, blowing off his opening at Leo Castelli, and he later moved to Arizona, where he still lives. What goes around, however, has come around. Young participated in “High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967–1975,” the traveling survey of overlooked post-Minimal abstraction organized by Independent Curators International, which closed last month at New York’s National Academy Museum, and P.S. 1 now presents this

  • “High Times, Hard Times”

    “I LOOKED ASKANCE at the culture of painting,” admits artist Mary Heilmann in the catalogue accompanying “High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967–1975.” “I chose it as a practice in order to have arguments with people like Robert Smithson.” Heilmann’s feisty, equivocal endorsement of her medium—specifically, of advanced anti-Greenbergian abstraction—epitomizes the era considered in curator Katy Siegel’s show, organized for Independent Curators International with David Reed as adviser. (The exhibition opened at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina, and then traveled to

  • Michael Rakowitz

    Michael Rakowitz is a Duchampian activist and an artist of détournement. In simple but dizzying interventions, he seduces viewers into contemplating global networks, while making space for reverie, rage, and humor. His readymades are often tangible things. But he also reframes received ideas and mistranslations. The work takes longer to explain than it does to absorb in the flesh. Nevertheless, while it does not stint on handmade visual richness, Rakowitz’s art is fundamentally discursive. His recent exhibition, which centered on replicas of vanished Iraqi antiquities and was titled “The invisible

  • Dike Blair

    Dike Blair’s recent show was a mini survey of gouache still lifes made between 1988 and 1997. Presented in D’Amelio Terras’s front room by arrangement with Blair’s regular gallery, Feature, Inc., these works had not all been shown together before. The artist began last year to incorporate similar hyperrealist paintings on paper into his post-Minimal sculptures, which typically also involve light boxes, power cords, and industrial carpeting. But when not constituting conceptual devices within larger works, Blair’s early stand-alone scenes from the life of mundane objects occupy an oddly indeterminate

  • Cheyney Thompson

    Cheyney Thompson’s recent exhibition looked, and was, quite simple—the way an algorithm used to generate a complex system can be simple. Here, the system was “art” or “representation,” and Thompson managed, via slyly restricted means, to involve not only painting, sculpture, printing, photography, and installation, but also a comment on the layout of galleries as showrooms flanked by storage closets. The point of the project was (a) a double entendre on “representation” as both the function of images in relation to the world and the function of galleries in relation to the artist. Or (b) a

  • Kara Walker, Darkytown Rebellion, 2001, projection, cut paper and adhesive on wall, 14 x 37".

    Kara Walker

    Kara Walker won a MacArthur Award in 1997, and her art—for all its consistent comedy and fury—has seen radical formal experiment since then.

    Kara Walker won a MacArthur Award in 1997, and her art—for all its consistent comedy and fury—has seen radical formal experiment since then. Despite her epic history, this show will be the first attempt in the United States to mount a full-scale survey of her work. Arcing a loose narrative from antebellum antics to Hollywood nightmares, the exhibition—curated by Yasmil Raymond and Philippe Vergne—promises some one hundred installations, murals, videos, and works on paper made between 1993 and 2005. The catalogue brims with essays by Vergne and art