Frances Richard

  • “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

  • Hanne Darboven

    If you’ve seen an installation by German artist Hanne Darboven, her signature style will likely have stayed with you: wall-to-wall grids of page-size panels, marked by wave-like rows of what appears to be crossed-out cursive script. This gnomic stand-in for legible text is punctuated by series of numbers or passages of German prose, black-and-white photographs, or stamped labels reminiscent of the return address and postmark on envelopes. The panels are often framed identically, and a bureaucratic palette of black and red ink on white, buff, or green paper maintains throughout. The result is

  • Sarah Sze

    The charm of miniature landscape is control plus infinitude, the dollhouse promise of replicating everything at an easily manageable size. Both architects and landscape painters rely on this model-maker’s skill of swallowing whole the world’s ten thousand things and enframing them in a perfect spatial fantasy, so it is unsurprising that Sarah Sze counts among her influences an architect father and a collegiate stint in the painting department. She is now, of course, an installation artist whose accumulative mechanisms work by filling a room with five-dollars-a-gross bits of mass-produced ephemera.

  • Wolfgang Laib

    The poet of milk stones and pollen squares, Wolfgang Laib is, at fifty-five, the youngest artist—and the first installation artist—to receive a solo exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler, a world-class collection of modern masterworks that became its own public museum in 1997. The Renzo Piano building, with its translucent white-glass roof, should be a beautiful setting for about thirty of Laib’s fragile, tactile installations made since the ’80s, including not only milk and pollen works but examples of his beeswax “houses” and ziggurat-shaped towers.

  • Franz Marc

    The Lenbachhaus is home to a major collection of Blaue Reiter art and is sponsor of the monumental Franz Marc catalogue raisonné. It is thus the ideal venue for what will be the largest retrospective of Marc’s work since the commemorative exhibition that followed his death in 1916. Nearly one hundred canvases and even more works on paper, sculptures, and design materials—some never before exhibited—provide an opportunity to consider Marc’s development chronologically and thematically. Special attention will be paid, of course, to his coloristic expression of spiritual

  • Emily Jacir

    Emily Jacir is a bilingual American citizen, born in Bethlehem and living between New York and Ramallah. Her work arises from her position as a young, cosmopolitan cultural worker who is active not only on behalf of Palestinian statehood but also within an international network of friends and colleagues. Jacir quotes the voices of these individuals in her text-based works and uses images of their daily lives in her photographs. Her recent show at Alexander and Bonin included forty-five hand-painted reproductions of e-mail messages she has received since 2000. She also presented drawings,

  • “Art of Tomorrow: Hilla Rebay and Solomon R. Guggenheim”

    The Museum of Non-Objective Painting was eventually renamed for its benefactor, Solomon R. Guggenheim, but its first curator and founding director (1939–52), visionary and champion, was the German artist Hilla Rebay. It was Rebay who commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build “a temple to non-objectivity” and who supervised the museum’s inaugural show, “Art of Tomorrow.” This double retrospective recreates part of that exhibition and presents Rebay’s own collages, drawings, and paintings.

    Travels in two parts to co-organizing

  • Frida Kahlo

    Some twenty years after Frida fever swept American museums and art-history departments, the British public gets its first major Kahlo retrospective. This survey comprises over seventy paintings, drawings, and photographs, drawn mainly from Mexican institutions—though rumor has it that Madonna is also lending from her collection. Portraits, still lifes, and idiosyncratic takes on retablo, or devotional painting, are augmented by watercolors and oil sketches from the mid-’20s and by syncretistic spiritual iconographies made later in the artist’s life. Standouts

  • Laylah Ali

    There are still some “greenheads” in Laylah Ali’s new gouaches. But the artist’s signature creatures—with their spindly limbs, androgynous bodies, orbicular green heads, and brutal group antics—have mostly given way to a new race whose violently pink skins and hieratic placement on the paper seem to speak less about the ghastly comedy of societal cruelty and more about the eerie isolation of individuals.

    Centered on smallish, vertically oriented sheets and pressed against opaque skies, Ali’s people—if that’s the word for them—appear volitionless. Crisp geometry and a pervasive, perhaps telltale

  • Exterior view of Pierogi 2000, Brooklyn, 1997. From left: Roxy Paine, Fred Tomaselli, Perry Hoberman, Angela Wyman, Jason Reed, Joe Amrhein, Paul Scher, and Kako Ueda. Photo: John Berens.

    Frances Richard on Pierogi gallery

    PIEROGI GALLERY in Williamsburg, Brooklyn recently celebrated its ten-year anniversary. In surviving to the decade mark, this space created by artist Joe Amrhein provides a lens through which to view an array of issues typically grouped under the heading “alternative art scene.” This kaleidoscopic picture centers on art-market vicissitudes and the perennial need for innovative ways to bring young or under-supported artists to the attention of curators and collectors. But other shifting facets include the real-estate market, cycles of media recognition, contrasting models of nonprofit and commercial

  • Martha Rosler

    Conceptual and performance art by women in the ’70s have finally entered the herstory books. Retrospectives of the careers of Joan Jonas, Ana Mendieta, Yoko Ono, Carolee Schneemann, and Martha Rosler have all been mounted in recent years. Mary Kelly was in the last Whitney Biennial, and in 2002 at White Columns, “Gloria: Another Look at Feminist Art of the 1970s” introduced the likes of Hannah Wilke, Dara Birnbaum, and VaLIE ExPORT to a generation of artists who were standing on their shoulders. Such canonical adjustment is invaluable, but it’s not the same as new work being made by the pioneers.