Frances Richard

  • Lisa Yuskavage

    If Jan Vermeer shopped at Kmart, or if Pierre Bonnard were interested in what it might feel like to be pregnant, then their paintings might resemble Lisa Yuskavage’s new work. As it is, no one makes pictures like hers. Showing in New York for the first time since 2003, Yuskavage proved several things. First, that she is her generation’s best colorist, and that her toxic-sunset palette serves to highlight rather than obscure her expertise with heaving, tendril-like line. Second, that the narcissistic nymphets and tit-goddesses for which she has been both celebrated and reviled have matured into

  • Dario Robleto

    Dario Robleto’s sculptures are reliquaries, totems whose power derives from the authenticity of the stuff of which they are made. He has, for example, cast a male rib from female-rib dust, and presented a pair of interlocking pelvises formed from melted-down rock-’n’-roll albums that belonged to his father and mother. His recent show “Fear and Tenderness in Men” was the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York. Coming as a coda to an ongoing project begun in 2003, it dealt with soldiers’ relics and survivors’ mourning rituals. Installed against walls the color of dried blood, the seventeen

  • Richard Serra

    There was a period, beginning with the removal of Tilted Arc, 1981, from Manhattan’s Federal Plaza in 1989, during which critics routinely castigated Richard Serra’s sculptures for being megalomaniacal. Weighing many tons and dominating human bodies with brutal solids of cast or hot-rolled steel, the work seemed to many to be interested only in its own enormity—and, implicitly, in the money, will, and firepower that allowed it to be forged, transported, and installed.

    But over the past five years or so, the worm has turned. In 2005, Serra unveiled a permanent installation of eight sculptures,

  • Douglas Gordon

    In 1993, twenty-six-year-old Douglas Gordon had the bright idea of assembling a quartet of components: an ordinary, commercially recorded VHS tape; a double-sided translucent screen; time; and a collective cultural memory of noir pleasure/terror. The result was 24 Hour Psycho, still his most famous work. Given pride of place in a midcareer retrospective at MoMA, the daylong video—which plays Hitchcock’s film in extreme slow motion—establishes a suite of themes pursued with precise, if not obsessive, regularity in the other twelve works on show. In a sense, if you’ve seen (a part of) Gordon’s

  • Betty Woodman

    This exhibition, her first retrospective in the United States, spans Woodman’s fifty-year career by way of some seventy drawings, paintings, wall reliefs, and ceramics—like usable (albeit fantastical) teacups, “Pillow Pitchers” (two fused cylinders with pinched ends), and five large urns commissioned for the Metropolitan’s Great Hall.

    Ancient as culture itself, the clay vessel is a simple but endlessly mutable form, which New York– and Italy-based painter and sculptor Betty Woodman has explored in ways that fuse its various historical incarnations—from the utilitarian to the art-historical—referencing Tang Dynasty objects, Sèvres porcelains, Greek sculpture, Japanese kimono patterns, and paintings by Matisse and Picasso. This exhibition, her first retrospective in the United States, spans Woodman’s fifty-year career by way of some seventy drawings, paintings, wall reliefs, and ceramics—like

  • “Transmission: The Art of Matta and Gordon Matta-Clark”

    Bringing together eighty-one works by both artists, as well as archival material, the exhibition will, surprisingly, be the first to compare their careers.

    A Chilean expat in Paris and the US, Roberto Matta Echaurren was a painter, an architect, and, as a friend of Breton and Duchamp, an inner-circle Surrealist. He was not, apparently, a very good father. But his son (and Duchamp’s godson) Gordon Matta-Clark, who was born and bred in New York and also trained as an architect, became a pathbreaking artist anyway, by introducing Land art principles to urban settings. Bringing together eighty-one works by both artists, as well as archival material, the exhibition will, surprisingly, be the first to compare their careers. In

  • Jon Kessler

    In the twilight of empire, in the spider hole where the masters of the universe have gone to ground with their simulacral weapons, reality gives way to violent phantasmagoria. This is not news. But it was the scenario described by Jon Kessler’s multiroom installation at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, The Palace at 4 A.M., 2005, and it packed a wallop, its physically overwhelming formal properties synced tightly with the simple, lonely rage that was its subject.

    Kessler’s first solo museum show in New York was also his largest show to date, filling a high-ceilinged hall and its side galleries.

  • Seydou Keïta

    Seydou Keïta, “the Bresson of Bamako,” died in 2001, leaving a body of work specific to the postcolonial, urban Mali of the 1950s and ’60s. But Keïta’s story—from his experience as a self-taught photographer catering to a regional clientele, to the nonpareil portraits that constitute his legacy, to the bitter struggle now raging for control of his estate—also frames discussion of his oeuvre as a parable about photography itself.

    The prints exhibited recently are posthumous and had not been seen before. But while their exhibition may have been a political move in the estate battle (of which more

  • Joseph Grigely

    A typical work by Joseph Grigely comprises bits of paper pinned to a wall, each one scribbled with a snatch of conversation. These scraps—napkins, envelopes, notebook pages—are presented in formal, snowflake-like arrangements, but their motley shapes and finishes suggest that they are incidental as objects; they simply came to hand while Grigely, who lost his hearing as a child, was scrawl-chatting with a friend. What counts is the sense of just-missed implication: the casual “tone” expressed by loopy or cramped handwriting; the cryptic phrases whose in-jokey resonance is kept though their sense

  • Nancy Spero

    Few contemporary artists could call an exhibition “Cri du Coeur” (Cry of the Heart) and expect the phrase to be read unironically. But Nancy Spero has no compunction about agonized honesty, and her command of compositional and emotional synergies now appears quite effortless. As a caption for her new project’s central image, an acknowledgement of previously private motives, and an open letter to her audience in wartime, Spero’s outcry was wrathful, lyrical, heartbroken. Paradoxically, however, her mastery of the work of mourning made the work of art uplifting.

    Cri du Coeur, 2005, an unframed

  • “Inner Worlds Outside”

    Curators Thompson and Kinley (the latter is director of the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection) organize their selection of 150 works thematically rather than according to the backgrounds of the artists.

    Jean Dubuffet’s coinage “art brut” has an antiquated ring, and “outsider art” was a suspect term even before the oeuvre of Chicago janitor and Vivian Girls visionary Henry Darger became a posthumous blockbuster. Eschewing either designation, curators Thompson and Kinley (the latter is director of the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection) organize their selection of 150 works thematically rather than according to the backgrounds of the artists. Dream-weavers Ensor, Guston, Klee, and Pollock share space with Darger, Michael the Cartographer, farm laborer

  • Stephen Shore

    In 1972, aged twenty-four, Stephen Shore got into his car with a 35 mm Rollei camera and began a nearly two-year drive around the country taking pictures of an American culture at an impasse between abundance and ugliness. Back in New York, he had the film processed by a Kodak camera shop and showed the resulting color shots taped to the wall. They were apparently not much appreciated. Reprinted as slightly more precious five-by-seven-and-one-half-inch C-prints, uniformly matted and framed in white, 243 of these images were shown recently at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center. Collectively titled