Jack Bankowsky

  • Cady Noland

    MORNINGS ARE FOR CEASE-AND-DESIST LETTERS, afternoons for rebuffing the advances of the great museums of the world. Conspiracy theory is Cady Noland’s lifeblood, refusal her modus operandi. Difficult, reclusive, idle and industrious, forsaken by her vocation (for how long now?), yet still ferociously committed. Noland—we mythologize art’s mad widows—would be certifiable if she were not simply right. The world today—if you’re fool enough to shed your survivalist armor, to look up from your navel and out from your bubble—is enough to drive you crazy. Unless, like the crazy in the Oval Office . .

  • Andy Warhol

    I’M PROBABLY THE WRONG PERSON TO ASK. As a forever Warhol devotee, I feel proprietary, cranky, when it comes to other people’s Andys. I will out myself up front: Half of me was ready for this show to fall flat. The other, better half was bracing to be blown away, to be overawed once more by the breadth and depth and prescience of the man who, in the years since I first began seriously consuming contemporary art, ascended from the washed-up Pop star many wrote him off as in the late 1970s to all but inarguably the most significant artist of the second half of the twentieth century. Alas, neither

  • Jack Bankowsky

    1 JUTTA KOETHER (MUSEUM BRANDHORST, MUNICH; CURATED BY ACHIM HÖCHDORFER AND TONIO KRÖNER) Corralling some 150 paintings, and accompanied by a book as brainy as it is brawny, “Jutta Koether: Tour de Madame” made a most eloquent case for a painter whose recognition is all the more satisfying for having been hard-won. Koether began her career in 1980s Cologne on the periphery of the new painting boys’ club, and her emergence as her generation’s German painter of record has required patience, cunning, and, well, Art. It has demanded that she come at her medium from both inside and outside the frame,

  • “Jutta Koether: Tour de Madame”

    Jutta Koether is an itch I’ve been scratching since 1992, when she summoned me, the then-new editor of this publication, to a room on a gold-coast block of Manhattan’s Ninth Street to announce her arrival as a painter on the New York scene. What to make of the canvas unfurled on the floor—its curiously hand-­hating facture and disagreeable neo-expressionist aftertaste? Something (begin with the fact that this “neo-expressionist” was improbably a woman) told me that the game was more evolved than said painted ciphers would admit. It involved the

  • Jack Bankowsky

    1 BENJAMIN H. D. BUCHLOH AND ANNE IMHOF (ARTFORUM) Adding to her Golden Lion and Absolut Art Award, Imhof brings home the art world’s most coveted honor: a thoroughgoing evisceration by the Marxian eminence that made the arrival of this magazine’s September issue the highlight of my autumn season. The critic’s nuanced refusal (I think of his famously ambivalent attentions to Andy before Anne) provides all the tools we need to appreciate just what made the artist’s Venice spectacular last summer’s motherlode symptom!

    2 SPF-18 (ALEX ISRAEL) I mean, this movie is totally ridiculous! I mean, I cried

  • Jack Bankowsky

    1 KAI ALTHOFF (MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK; CURATED BY LAURA HOPTMAN AND MARGARET EWING) Consult the deliberately tattered (and conspicuously incomplete) checklists at the gallery’s entrance; savor the catalogue’s contentious curator interview (“KA: I think you are blind. . . . LH: I am most certainly not blind”); and lose yourself in the vertiginous, granny’s-attic mise-en-scène that threatens to gobble up the jewel-like easel paintings which stud the chaos. If Althoff bites the hand that feeds as hard as he does—and, what’s more, performs his ingratitude for all to see—this has

  • “Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age”

    NOT SO LONG AGO, lots of perfectly intelligent folks believed that the art of painting was vanishing before our eyes, its last allegiants locked in a death dance with the specifics of the medium. Today, the art form seems very much alive. Painting remains the coin of the realm of art (this much seems inarguable), though whether this empirical truth guarantees its vitality is a separate matter. So how, then, does painting live on in the culture of the proliferating image, and what in the World Wide Web does it all mean?

    Enter “Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age.” The title refers to

  • Jack Bankowsky

    1 “PICASSO SCULPTURE” (MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK; CURATED BY ANN TEMKIN AND ANNE UMLAND WITH VIRGINIE PERDRISOT) Picasso’s sculpture may be no more than the tip of the artist’s pinky, but as this exhilarating survey makes plain, it’s a big pinky. While a good two-thirds of the works in any given room blindside with their originality, it was the late sheet-metal inventions in the final gallery that sang for me. Take the pair of whitewashed works from 1961, each a woman with child: Reprising the Simple Simon cut-and-fold means of the paper maquettes on which they were based—here a scissors

  • Jack Bankowsky

    1 WADE GUYTON AT THE CARNEGIE INTERNATIONAL (CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF ART, PITTSBURGH) Given the human taste for schadenfreude, what could be more disagreeable than to discover that a pair of installations by one of the moment’s hottest art stars all but stole the show? Commandeering two separate spaces outside the galleries proper, Guyton decorated the first, a dismantled cloakroom complete with the glue-stain traces of a deinstalled carpet, with four of his next-to-nothing abstractions—and a pair of old sofas. By contrast, the patrician luxury of the “Founder’s Room” afforded the setting for

  • Christopher Wool

    When the Whitney Museum of American Art boldly leaped a decade and honored Wade Guyton with an early, if well-deserved, survey last year, even this late-to-the-game Christopher Wool fan felt a pang of sympathy for the elder artist, widely acknowledged as a precursor to Guyton and his generation. For this reason, the Guggenheim’s timely retrospective feels that much more so. This full-rotunda roundup—the most comprehensive showing of Wool’s output to date—will bring together roughly ninety paintings, photographs, and works on paper made since the mid-1980s.

  • Haim Steinbach

    Conspicuous in his absence from the generation-defining 1986 exhibition that catapulted Ashley Bickerton, Peter Halley, Jeff Koons, and Meyer Vaisman (forever after known as the Sonnabend Four) into the blue-chip empyrean, fifth wheel Haim Steinbach went from white-hot to “underrecognized” in the hiccup of a SoHo season. Twenty-seven years on, this bolt-from-the-blue survey, tracking the artist’s career from his grid-based paintings of the 1970s to today’s large-scale installations, means to lay that epithet to rest. Surely the artist’s signature Formica

  • Jack Bankowsky

    1 Christopher Wool (Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; curated by Fabrice Hergott) I never gave Wool’s art the time of day until this survey of recent paintings roused me from my slumber. When I first encountered Wool’s word paintings in the late 1980s, they felt self-consciously of the moment and, frankly, tepid; today, from the far side of pick No. 2 (and Josh Smith and Kelley Walker), things are looking rosier. With their evacuated palette, exhausted benday facture, and automatic automatism, Wool’s abstractions are—eureka!—exactly what I want to look at now.

    2 Wade Guyton (