Hannah Stamler

  • Diane Arbus, Woman in a rose hat, N.Y.C. 1966, gelatin silver print, 10 3⁄4 × 10 1⁄4". Courtesy of The Estate of Diane Arbus.

    Diane Arbus

    If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then late curator John Szarkowski (1925–2007) must be blushing. In 1972, he organized a major retrospective of Diane Arbus (1923–1971) at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. Fifty years later, David Zwirner New York, in collaboration with San Francisco’s Fraenkel Gallery, resurrected it picture for picture: 115 in total, including two pieces that were taken out of the original presentation. Titled “Cataclysm” in a nod to the astonishing impact of the original presentation, the reboot at Zwirner’s West Twentieth Street space attempted to recapture

  • Suzanne Valadon, Self-Portrait, 1911, oil on canvas, 28 1⁄2 × 22 5⁄8".


    A SELF-PORTRAIT from 1911 shows Suzanne Valadon at work, presumably creating the image before us. Holding a paint-streaked palette, she turns slightly to the right with lips pursed and eyes narrowed, likely scrutinizing her reflection in a mirror beyond the frame. When Valadon made the portrait, at age forty-six, she would have been quite accustomed to holding a pose. Raised by a single mother in Montmartre, heady epicenter of the Parisian avant-garde, she began working as an artist’s model at the age of fifteen, sitting for the likes of Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec, her friend and lover, who

  • Trude Viken, Midnight Theater 2, 2021, oil on canvas, 67 × 74 3⁄4".

    Trude Viken

    According to the authorities on such matters, Snow White was a girl of incomparable loveliness. As the Brothers Grimm tell it, she was as “beautiful as the day.” In the words of Walt Disney, she was nothing short of “an angel.” Indeed, so stunning were the young royal’s features—so mesmeric was the shine of her raven hair, the flush of her bloodred lips, the creaminess of her milk-white skin—that they drove her vain stepmother, egged on by an enchanted mirror, into a homicidal rage.

    It is this fairy-tale figure’s synonymousness with beauty that makes Norwegian artist Trude Viken’s twisted

  • Jules Adler, La grève au Creusot (The Strike at Creusot), 1899, oil on canvas, 91 × 118 7⁄8".

    Jules Adler

    The French painter Jules Adler was a popular artist in his lifetime, and this, ironically, is likely why you have never heard of him. Adler, the subject of the recent survey “Jules Adler: Peintre du Peuple” (Painter of the People), curated by Amélie Lavin and Claire Decomps, was not part of the Parisian avant-garde. He didn’t need to be: He had mainstream acclaim. Born in the Franche-Comté in 1865, Adler trained in Paris at the elite Académie Julian and entered the École des Beaux-Arts in 1884. In 1885, he had his first painting accepted into the Salon, which was notorious for rejecting many

  • Chulayarnnon Siriphol, Golden Spiral, 2018, painted snail shells, HD video projection (color, sound, 18 minutes). Installation view.

    “How shall we dress for the occasion?”

    Climate change poses many dangers, but perhaps the most insidious one is the erosion of our faith in the future, a belief regarded by some philosophers and scientists as essential to human nature and progress. If we act and moralize our actions around imagined consequences for coming generations, then what are we to do in the face of a dying earth and an uncertain tomorrow? This question lies at the heart of “How shall we dress for the occasion?” at 601Artspace. Curated by Ulya Soley, with help from Mari Spirito, the show brings together works by four artists who consider how to cope with the

  • Greta Gerwig, Little Women, 2019, color, sound, 135 minutes. Meg March, Jo March, Amy March, Beth March (Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen).
    film December 25, 2019

    Soul Sisters

    GRETA GERWIG’S GREAT SUBJECT is the twilight of girlhood. She has become something like the patron saint of girls on the precipice, or, as Britney Spears put it twenty years ago, not-girls-not-yet-women. Her heroines, sharp and tender, find themselves caught between their past and future selves; they are consumed by the task of reconciling youthful hope with present realities, slouching toward some kind of self-actualization and away from adolescence, real or protracted.

    In Frances Ha (2012) and Mistress America (2015), both cowritten by Gerwig, she plays an adrift twentysomething struggling to

  • René Rimbert, The Douanier Rousseau rising to glory and entering into posterity, 1926, oil on canvas, 39 3/8 x 22''.
    picks December 13, 2019

    From the Douanier Rousseau to Séraphine: The Great Naive Masters

    This is the first large-scale exhibition focused on the “Naives,” a loose coalition of self-taught painters so called because their delightfully amateurish canvases were reminiscent of those by the original “naive master,” Henri Rousseau (1844–1910). Organized by theme—with galleries dedicated to landscapes and seascapes, florals and animals, still lifes and portraits—the show provides a comprehensive introduction to the circle, active until the mid-twentieth century yet since largely forgotten to art history.

    Unlike the Realists or Impressionists who preceded them, the Naives did not distinguish

  • Bill Viola, Observance, 2002, HD video, color, silent, 10 minutes 14 seconds.

    Bill Viola

    In his eponymous museum, Albert C. Barnes (1872–1951) divided his impressive collection into small “ensembles,” juxtaposing paintings, sculptures, and decorative objects without regard for chronology or geography: a modern abstraction beside pages from a medieval Book of Hours, an African ceremonial ax suspended above a European rendering of Christ carrying the cross. As curator John G. Hanhardt writes in the catalogue for “I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like: The Art of Bill Viola,” Barnes’s eclecticism made his museum the ideal site for this Bill Viola exhibition—the first of its size in

  • Rina Banerjee, A World Lost: after the original island appears, a single land mass is fractured, after population migrated, after pollution revealed itself and as cultural locations once separated did merged, after the splitting of Adam and Eve, shiva and shakti of race black and white, of culture East and West, after animals diminished, after the seas’ corals did exterminate, after this and at last imagine water evaporated ... this after Columbus found it we lost it, imagine this., 2013, mixed media. Installation view, 2018. Photo: Barbara Katus.

    Rina Banerjee

    HERE IS A SAMPLING of the materials in one sculpture by the artist Rina Banerjee: an Anglo-Indian pedestal, a Victorian birdcage, feathers, gourds, and fractured Frozen Charlotte doll heads. The title of this work is even more intricate than its constituent parts: Her captivity was once someone’s treasure and even pleasure but she blew and flew away took root which grew, we knew this was like no other feather, a third kind of bird that perched on a vine intertwined was neither native nor her queens daughters, a peculiar other., 2011.

    Banerjee is a poet of products, a psychic medium of manufactures,

  • Yael Bartana, Mary Koszmary (Nightmares), 2007, video, color, sound, 11 minutes. Sławomir Sierakowski.

    Yael Bartana

    In February of last year, Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, made it illegal for citizens to suggest that their nation bears any responsibility for the horrors of the Holocaust. Though the Holocaust law, as it became known, was revised several months later to remove criminal penalties for infractions, its program of historical erasure was evidence of the strong resurgence of anti-Semitism in a nation once home to more than three million Jews.

    These national debates over the legacy of the Holocaust lend new interest to Israeli artist Yael Bartana’s film trio And Europe Will Be Stunned, 2007–11,

  • Lothar Zitzmann, Frauen der Welt (Women of the World), 1974, oil on board, 63 × 76 3⁄8". From “East German Painting and Sculpture 1949–1990.”

    “East German Painting and Sculpture 1949–1990”

    Little is truly permanent in a museum’s permanent collection. Holdings wax and wane; new works are purchased each year, old ones sold off to fund new accessions. Sometimes, politics intervene. Western museums face increasing pressure to return antiquities seized illegally or under colonial duress; the call for such repatriation echoes efforts to restore Nazi-looted art to descendants of its original, Jewish owners.

    Both the precarity and polemics of museological “permanence” are highlighted in an excellent showcase of East German painting and sculpture at Dresden’s Albertinum, one of the leading

  • Isabelle Andriessen, Tidal Spill (detail), 2018, ceramic, metal containers, iron(II) sulphate, potassium dichromate, potassium permanganate, silicone rubber, aluminum, refrigerant compressor, tubes, aroma, compressed air, 56 × 110 × 5". From “Le centre ne peut tenir.” Photo: Pierre Antoine.

    "Le centre ne peut tenir”

    "Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.” This line, from William Butler Yeats’s 1919 poem “The Second Coming,” is often resurrected in today’s political landscape, expressing the decline of centrism and the unraveling of established ideologies. Rather than lament the precarity of the center, however, “Le centre ne peut tenir” (The Center Cannot Hold)—curated by François Quintin with Charles Aubin, Anna Colin, and Hicham Khalidi—asked visitors to reconsider the value of centrality. The show displayed work by eleven artists that revealed how binaries fail to capture social and physical