Jeff Weinstein

  • Milk and Honey (detail), 1994–96.

    Charles LeDray

    Recontextualization, replication, and multiplication are postmodern strategies used to drag quotidian objects into the resistant realm of art. Charles LeDray has reversed directions by making the familiar unique. By way of painstaking handwork techniques, he weaves and sews dream-scale clothing; grinds human bone into disconcerting buttons; fashions abused toy bears from tar and velvet; and fires two thousand tiny porcelain vessels, talismanic offerings to masters of clay like Betty Woodman and George Ohr. Organized by ICA director Claudia Gould, the exhibition is

  • Yinka Shonibare

    A perceptive New York dealer I needn’t name once called a prolific artist I shouldn’t name “too smart to be an artist.” Words, like pictures, can lie, but indications are that Yinka Shonibare and his art are equally and exceedingly smart. Shonibare is that rarity whose stated intentions and lucid analyses actually correspond to and enrich the work on view. All that’s left, it appears, for his increasingly numerous commentators to do is recount the artist’s dual background—he was born and educated in London, where he is based, but raised in Lagos and describe the painting suites, installations,

  • Carrie Mae Weems, 
Untitled from Kitchen Table Series, 1990.

    Parallels and Intersections: Art/Women/California 1950–2000

    An extensive state university system, a panoply of international cultures, a network of art-smart feminists, and a performance-obsessed industry town—LA, natch—that was postmodern before the term was coined: All of it has helped overcome a deficit of gallery and museum support and make California a smelting pot for women artists. Recognizing this, guest curator Diana Fuller decided to risk the pitfalls of gender specificity and “who’s missing?” group shows to mount “Parallels and Intersections.” The ninety-plus artist list is ripe with names familiar (Vija Celmins, Martha

  • Oskar Kokoschka, Martha Hirsch, ca. 1909, oil on canvas, 34 5/8 x 27 1/2".

    the Neue Galerie

    Countries come in and out of fashion, and this seems to be prime time, in New York at least, for Austria. David Bouley's Danube, with neo-Viennese food on the menu and faux Klimts on the walls, is doing bang-up business. And now there is Café Sabarsky, serving Trześniewski-style sandwiches, Sacher torte, and . . .

    But here the Klimts are real. Before the schlag overtakes us: This very proper café, named after Serge Sabarsky, the late gallerist, collector, and champion of Austrian and German Expressionism, occupies the parlor of the Carrere & Hastings beaux-arts manse on the corner of Fifth Avenue

  • Joe Brainard

    Anyone lucky enough to happen upon a copy of Ted Berrigan’s C, a journal of Poety from February 1964 will find, along with poems by Frank O’Hara and Edwin Denby, five hand-printed black-and-white “covers” designed by Joe Brainard. In his collages and assemblages, Brainard used familiar images the way poets of his time used words, playing their meanings against their sounds. His ephemeral Pop collages incorporate Wonder Woman, Demuth-like tumbling numbers, and a hockey player with an arrow on his sleeve instead of a heart. Brainard’s synthetic work now looks like an essential spoor of the ’60s.

  • the Kaleidoscope House

    Dolls and their houses have agendas. As any child lucky enough to be given a dollhouse can tell you, once the treasure is set on its playroom plot, her (or his) favorite dollies must fit comfortably through the door or face exile in a neglected kid’s room corner with the rest of the toyland homeless. Many children have learned, to their sorrow, that squeezing Barbie’s head through a narrow Colonial casement wrecks home and hairdo both.

    Of course, this is the architect’s agenda as well: The inhabitant must fit the house. Peter Wheelwright, chair of the architecture department at New York’s Parsons

  • Anni Albers

    POOR ANNELISE ELSE FRIEDA FLEISCHMANN. Born a century ago into a mercantile German-Jewish home, she, like so many before and after, thought she could detour from the well-trodden path of mother and homemaker and become an artist. So the gaunt Berlin teenager took a portrait of her mother to Oskar Kokoschka, who asked dismissively: “Why do you paint?” Undaunted, she responded to a leaflet for a new art school, was rejected, and then applied again, successfully, to Weimar's socially idealistic Bauhaus.

    But ideals rarely free themselves entirely from the pervasive ignorance of their moment, and so

  • Alice Neel

    THUS THE WHITNEY, which can usually be counted on to do the wrong thing, devoted a solo exhibition to Alice Neel whose paintings (we can be reasonably certain) would never have been accorded that honor had they been produced by a man.”

    Shall we play name that critic? Hint: His vehicle—surprise! it's a he—was the New York Times, which published this assessment in. . .1977, three years after a single-floor show of Neel's work opened at the Whitney. By contrast, Lawrence Alloway, writing in The Nation in 1974, took the Whitney to task for its belatedness: Neel, who was born outside


    GOOD ART MAKES THE WHOLE WORLD, and everything in it, into art. When you leave a gallery and can’t tell whether the piles of traffic cones outside are a streetwork or not, then the show inside must have been a “good” one. However, this porosity of art boundaries can be a problem, especially for the artists. They’re urged by everyday proximity to and belief in art (at least in their own art) to artify everything within their ken. Think of thousands of Blanche Duboises encircled by a galaxy of bare bulbs. So a few have decided to make the most of this involuntary tendency and work the space around

  • Jeff Weinstein


    Many artists showed engaging, inventive, even beautiful work this year. And much of it was in a consolidating mode, moving both individual oeuvres and the “artanschauung” slowly along. In an environment as sober as this, the best must stick out like a sore thumb, and this year it hitched a ride to somewhere far from the art world: “VISIONS OF SPACE & UFOS IN ART” at American Primitive Gallery. What do the paintings, drawings, and sculptures of these, almost twenty, contemporary artists have in common? First, a representational impulse: they depict flying saucers, alien encounters,


    THE NOISE OF ALL the fashioned objects existing in the world is incessant, a racket of fabrication, location, use, reuse, repair, value, and, in the least insistent of whispers, meaning. This ambient noise explains why the silence of an art gallery is not merely conventional, but pertains to its objects themselves. How many extraneous sounds must an artwork filter so its own particular tones may be heard? Is this why contemporary art that refers to use—the most strident of material declarations—must find contemporary tactics that dampen the din of usefulness?

    Charles LeDray’s first solo New York

  • Mary Harron’s I Shot Andy Warhol

    THE SLEEK PAIR OF dark glasses sitting next to my computer keyboard has teeny portraits of mass murderers embedded in the sides of its plastic frame. Get it? They’re “dark” glasses, made in Austria, of all places, and available only at Moss, SoHo’s echt design store. These stark, degraded images are silkscreen-derived, off-register, generations away from whatever reality they could be said initially to represent.

    Hmm. I don’t see any women in this lineup. These glasses, like so much else, would not have been possible without Andy Warhol, and wearing them, or any other pair of shades, would much