Jaleh Mansoor

  • Ursula Mayer

    Ursula Mayer’s recent exhibition “Not a curse, nor a bargain, but a hymn” offered a précis of the dominant culture, melding literary “classics,” fashion editorials, the metapolitical propaganda of the liberal press, science-fiction mise-en-scène, soap operas, and high-end commercial display. This maelstrom of hypercapitalist spectacle referenced the ascendance of corporate feminism—we might call it “New Economy Feminism”—over the course of the economic restructuring that began three decades ago and continues unchecked. Drawn from the play Ideal by Ayn Rand (a key figure in this strand

  • Lucio Fontana

    This thorough overview of the Argentinean-Italian artist’s materially and aesthetically heterogeneous oeuvre will fill the Musée d’Art Moderne this spring. Realized in collaboration with the Lucio Fontana Foundation, the exhibition will include some two hundred works, presented chronologically, beginning with the artist’s earliest output—including his 1930s sculpture and ceramics, which notably cut across the stylistic divides of primitivism, abstraction, and realist figuration. In addition, expect neon installations from the ’50s, a broad

  • Cory Arcangel

    When New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art mounted a solo show of Cory Arcangel’s work in 2011, it aimed to address the lacunae where the history of Pop and Minimalist seriality conjugates with “new media” (aka the expanded field of communications technologies, predominantly the personal computer, used to generate objects that the institutional apparatus then makes into “art,” at least nominally). Arcangel’s work near seamlessly delivers the hit strategies of postwar art practices via such popular forms as Nintendo and YouTube, Web interventions, and the use of other informatic materials so

  • Robert Orchardson

    Abstraction’s star has risen once again, if not reached a peak over the last round of biennials. However, institutional exhibition value is not tantamount to resolving the crisis of legitimation that has trailed practitioners of abstraction almost since its inception. That legacy is not lost on Robert Orchardson, who seems to thrive on the search for motivation. While many contemporary artists exploit the tension between logos and form (consider Tauba Auerbach’s Alphabet motifs) or try to press the gray area between design and abstraction into some kind of socially active site (Liam Gillick’s

  • Francesca Woodman

    Thirty years after Francesca Woodman’s suicide at the age of twenty-two, her oeuvre is being comprehensively presented in its first American exhibition in twenty years. Woodman’s photographs—with their reframing of the relationship between the body and space, and their hybridization of photography and performance—have helped to redefine parameters of feminist art history as well as lead the medium of photography into an expanded field. This retrospective will free Woodman’s work from its habitual imprisonment in agenda-driven discourse by exposing it to a broader

  • James Lee Byars

    A Lilliputian show in the Carnegie Museum of Art’s already miniature Forum Gallery, “Ordinary Madness” plucked James Lee Byars (who died in 1997 at the age of sixty-five) out of the general history of Fluxus and reframed his practice with some astonishing and wide-reaching results. On view were heretofore unexhibited letters, photographs, and films that documented Byars’s happening-like events and traced his involvement with the Carnegie between 1963 and 1966. There was also one choice “performable object”—a thousand feet of folded Chinese paper activated in a work that Byars had staged at

  • Julia Margaret Cameron

    With “For My Best Beloved Sister Mia: An Album of Photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron,” the Pittsburgh Frick organized this nineteenth-century photographer’s fecund practice around the contents of a mammoth tome containing works that the artist dedicated to her sister. The collection of seventy images includes photographs by Oscar Rejlander and Lewis Carroll and forty-seven taken by Cameron herself.

    While the actual album occupied a vitrine at the center of the main gallery, its heft and inaccessibility intimating entombment, the individual photographs, by contrast, unfolded the filaments of

  • Mark Bradford

    THE SOME OF ITS PARTS, 2004, made of billboard paper, acrylic gel medium, and strips of a material that resembles tape, exemplifies Mark Bradford’s so-called abstract paintings. Like the thirty-seven other wall pieces in this exhibition, a midcareer retrospective curated by Christopher Bedford that also includes video, three-dimensional objects, and installation, The Some of Its Parts is decorative, compositional, and made up of colors, apparently arbitrary, drawn from mid-’80s Pop—and mid-2000s pop-culture regress: Peter Halley meets neo-expressionism meets Kanye West. These hot pinks and

  • Laura Larson

    Laura Larson’s video Electric Girls and the Invisible World, 2008, skims the edge of the impossible. Its deadpan tone exaggerates that of neo-avant-garde documentary, from Martha Rosler’s Semiotics of the Kitchen, 1975, to Allan Sekula’s Fish Story, 1999. But what Larson’s film documents cannot be represented: “the Invisible World,” or the paranormal; and that ineffable species, adolescent girls. The latter have been understood as perceptually unknowable since Proust’s In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, and Larson does not pretend otherwise. The half-hour video, which ran this past spring

  • Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers

    Moving fluidly from indulgent materialism to transcendental spiritualism, from modernist painting to conceptual practices, Yves Klein has often seemed enigmatic.

    Moving fluidly from indulgent materialism to transcendental spiritualism, from modernist painting to conceptual practices, Yves Klein has often seemed enigmatic. This large retrospective—co-organized with the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis—offers another chance to ponder his seemingly contradictory practice. On view are his iconic blue monochromes and “Anthropometries,” along with many lesser-known works, including several rarely shown films. The catalogue builds on the exhibition’s argument for Klein’s work marking “the shift from modern to

  • Piero Manzoni at Gagosian

    PIERO MANZONI HAS APPEARED in only a small handful of shows in the US over the past two decades, among them the grand “Italian Metamorphosis, 1943–1968” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1994, curated by Germano Celant, and “Minimalia: An Italian Vision in 20th Century Art” at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in 1999, curated by Achille Bonito Oliva. Both positioned Manzoni’s work as an enigmatic last gasp of modernist painting, and just one example among many of a proliferation of artistic brilliance and productivity in Italy in the 1950s and ’60s. Yet “Piero Manzoni: A

  • Shirin Neshat

    In producing a body of work inspired by and named after Shahrnush Parsipur’s experimental novel about five women’s experiences in 1950s Iran, Women Without Men (1989), Shirin Neshat continues in the vein of her series of photographs “Women of Allah,” 1993–97. Using high-production-value film, video, and photography, the artist here makes visual the author’s exploration of the intersection of gender and ideology. But Neshat parts ways with an earlier generation of feminist artists that includes Barbara Kruger and Cindy Sherman in that her work does not seek to disidentify in the interest of

  • Alberto Burri

    On his release from the Texas internment camp where he was held as a prisoner of war from 1944 to 1946 (having served with the Italian army in North Africa), Alberto Burri embarked on a practice of post-painterly abstraction rooted in a commitment to scabrous materiality. From 1949 onward he employed wood, plastic, and burlap—often burning or suturing them—as well as mud and dirt to generate surfaces that mark an intersection of formalism, or rather formlessness, and a confrontation with history. Seeming on the one hand closed to interpretation by the utter opacity of filthy matter, these works

  • “On Being an Exhibition”

    “On Being an Exhibition” took artist Michael Asher’s formulation of situational aesthetics as its point of departure. In focusing on the contribution made by contextual circumstances to the meaning of an artwork, Asher helped to establish institutional critique as a recognized artistic and curatorial strategy. “On Being an Exhibition,” which included work by artists including Laurel Woodcock, BGL, Isola and Norzi Conrad Bakker, and Valerie Hegarty, featured a number of objects that pointed to the gallery itself as ultimate referent but was arguably an oversimplification or dilution of Asher’s

  • “The Geometry of Hope”

    The title of this ambitious exhibition of Latin American geometric abstract art from the 1930s to the ’70s, drawn from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros collection, is a self-conscious response to Herbert Read’s term “the geometry of fear,” which he coined in 1952 to describe cold war British abstraction. Broadly speaking, the show encouraged viewers to link abstraction to utopian politics, but its arguments remained confused. A more helpful title might have been “Cold War Constructivism Redux: The Contradictions of Postwar Abstraction.” While the show’s existing title, and its focus on art that

  • Ugo Rondinone

    Much of Ugo Rondinone’s work occupies the indeterminate space between standardized pop culture and high art (the latter category ever more difficult to locate). The Swiss artist is as well known for his Gesamkunstwerk-like engagements with cinematic spectacle and semiotic codes (for example, Roundelay, 2004, an immersive, multichannel video installation that intermixes tropes of Hollywood and of avant-garde and structuralist film in its portrayal of a man and a woman separately walking the streets of Paris as if heading for some star-crossed rendezvous) as he is for meticulous landscape drawings

  • “Declaring Space: Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein”

    Determining relationships between American and European abstraction in the latter half of the twentieth century by setting specific artists in dialogue—the ambition of this exhibition of some thirty works by Rothko, Newman, Fontana, and Klein from the late 1940s through the ’60s—is a critical prompt both necessary and long overdue.

    Determining relationships between American and European abstraction in the latter half of the twentieth century by setting specific artists in dialogue—the ambition of this exhibition of some thirty works by Rothko, Newman, Fontana, and Klein from the late 1940s through the ’60s—is a critical prompt both necessary and long overdue. Although the show focuses primarily on painting, it will also include a number of rarely seen projects in other media, including a reconstruction of Fontana’s installation from Documenta 4 in 1968—a massive white labyrinth that surrounds a

  • Blinky Palermo

    A selection of prints and multiples that Blinky Palermo made in the ’70s, on view recently at Zwirner & Wirth, demonstrated that while the artist employed heterogeneous media and processes, he consistently took as his point of departure early-twentieth-century models of abstraction. Palermo’s exploration of a range of disciplines, including sculpture and architecture, was arguably, at least as he approached it, somewhat idiosyncratic in the ’60s and ’70s, when many artists were concentrating on the refinement of highly focused practices developed within such genres and subgenres as Pop and

  • Blinky Palermo

    Given that Düsseldorf was the site of Blinky Palermo's artistic formation in the 1960s—where he not only worked with mentor Joseph Beuys and fellow student and collaborator Gerhard Richter but also lived for many productive years—it is odd that this will be the first major presentation of the artist's work in the city. Organized by two local institutions—the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen—this exhibition of some forty-five works takes the artist's relationship to the city as its premise, giving special emphasis

  • Lucio Fontana

    THE WORK OF LUCIO FONTANA was last presented monographically in the United States in 1977, when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum mounted a major retrospective of the artist; his most recent prominent appearance here was in 1999 as part of P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center’s “Minimalia: An Italian Vision in 20th-Century Art,” in New York. Thus, the staging of “Lucio Fontana: Venice/New York” at the Guggenheim (after the show opened at the institution’s Venice branch last year) represents not only a welcome rarity for American audiences but takes on something of a magnified importance for his legacy