Jordan Kantor

  • Gerhard Richter, Betty, 1977, oil on wood, 11 3⁄4 × 15 3⁄4".

    “Gerhard Richter: Painting After All”

    Curated by Sheena Wagstaff and Benjamin H. D. Buchloh with Brinda Kumar

    This sprawling survey, Richter’s first in the US in seventeen years, will provide an opportunity for an uninitiated generation of American viewers to take stock of the work of the eighty-seven-year-old artist, whose status as a master of conceptually driven painting is, at this point, undeniable. Featuring more than one hundred pieces in a panoply of media (with, as the title indicates, an emphasis on paintings), the exhibition will display work never before seen on this side of the Atlantic, including the series “Cage,”


    CAN’T WE JUST START OVER? Make a new beginning and do it all again, only better? This sentiment, echoed in some form in so many conversations today, is—as most students of art history will know—as much one of modernism’s motivating myths as it is a refrain of contemporary malaise. The fantasy of a fresh start is fundamental to how innumerable artists have imagined what it means to make art at all, and, by extension, how it might promise to make the world more like one they would wish to inhabit. The powerful image of the blank slate is so persistent in part because it is adaptable to almost any

  • Jordan Kantor

    Not many people can craft a snappy sentence, and hardly any more can make a memorable painting. David Salle is one of the rare few who can do both. How welcome, then, is the arrival of his collection of (mainly recent) writings, which offers immensely readable thought pieces on art as seen through a painter’s eyes. The texts assembled in How to See: Looking, Talking, and Thinking About Art (W. W. Norton & Company, 2016) explore subjects as diverse as Piero della Francesca and Karole Armitage, with ruminations on André Derain, Jack Goldstein, and Amy Sillman in between; all evidence Salle’s

  • Ted Purves, 2017. Photo: Jim Norrena
    passages September 25, 2017

    Ted Purves (1964–2017)

    IN THE CONTEXT OF ART HISTORY AND THEORY, Ted Purves will likely be best remembered for the anthology of texts he edited on relational art practices: What We Want Is Free: Generosity and Exchange in Recent Art. It is an important tome (first published in 2005 and recently revised and expanded), which grew out of a conference the artist, scholar, and professor organized at California College of the Arts, where he founded the first graduate program in social practice in North America and later served as chair of the MFA program in fine arts. For those who were lucky enough to work with or study

  • R. H. Quaytman, Morning, 4.545%, Chapter 30, 2016, twenty-two paintings in oil, gouache, varnish, silk-screen ink, lacquer, and gesso on wood. Installation view. Photo: Brian Forrest.

    R. H. Quaytman

    OVER THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS, R.H. Quaytman has developed a formidable art practice predicated on a dynamic interchange between her paintings and the specific contexts in which they are exhibited. In a gesture that undermines painting’s customary status as a portable, autonomous object—and therefore any assumption of self-contained and stable meaning—the artist conceives of each exhibition as a starting point for generating a new body of work, rather than as a destination for already finished pieces. Anyone familiar with this foundational tenet of her practice would thus have expected

  • Jackson Pollock, Echo: Number 25, 1951, enamel on canvas, 91 7/8 × 86". © The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


    ONE HALLMARK OF GREAT ART is its ability to simultaneously command attention and confound interpretation. Work like this draws us in but ultimately frustrates our attempt to reduce the experience to anything like a definitive reading. We might call it Zeno’s paradox of meaning: The closer we get, the more numerous and splintered our frames of reference become. Jackson Pollock’s art is great, and, unsurprisingly, its interpretative terrain is marked with multiple (sometimes diametrically opposed) arguments. His work epitomizes critic Harold Rosenberg’s “action painting” thesis as much as it

  • Kerry James Marshall, Black Artist (Studio View), 2002, ink-jet print, 50 1/2 × 63".

    “Kerry James Marshall: Mastry”

    Kerry James Marshall’s art has long been read against the backdrop of the civil rights struggles of African Americans. Working within a self-imposed program of never painting a white figure, the sixty-year-old artist has spent decades offering a much-needed corrective to blind spots in Western pictorial traditions, while simultaneously representing histories too often left untold. The current climate of Black Lives Matter activism provides a devastating new lens through which to survey the Chicago-based artist’s work. Encompassing

  • “Albert Oehlen: Home and Garden”

    F. Scott Fitzgerald famously quipped that a first-rate intelligence is marked by the ability to hold two opposed ideas simultaneously and still function. By this measure, Albert Oehlen clearly ranks among the most intelligent artists working today. Over the course of more than thirty years, Oehlen has assaulted traditional ideas of painterly subjectivity and taste while producing works of almost classical formal balance and (dare it be said) beauty. “Home and Garden” (to be accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays by Gioni, Mark Godfrey,

  • “Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots”

    How to proceed after the drip was the question that occupied Jackson Pollock when he completed the core group of his iconic abstractions at the end of 1950. One of his first answers was to render figurative imagery via a novel technique that transformed his signature means into a more delicate pour. While these “black pourings” were initially well received, they fell into near obscurity after Pollock died in 1956, when critical consensus hardened around the priority of his dripped abstractions. “Blind Spots” will bring together more than sixty

  • Martha Jungwirth, Untitled, 1987, oil on cardboard mounted on canvas, 42 1/2 x 28".

    Martha Jungwirth

    Although Martha Jungwirth received considerable notice early in her artistic career, cofounding the Viennese collective Wirklichkeiten (Realities) in 1968, teaching at the Hochschule für angewandte Kunst, Vienna, from 1967 to ’77, and participating in Documenta 6 in 1977, the seventy-three-year-old painter is a lesser-known figure in the contemporary-art landscape. Over the past thirty years, Jungwirth has shown infrequently, and rarely outside her native Austria. Recently this has started to change. Nevertheless, her practice of refined gestural painting no doubt comes as a discovery for many

  • Kerry James Marshall, Nude (Spotlight), 2009, acrylic on PVC, 61 1/8 x 72 3/4 x 2 3/4".

    “Kerry James Marshall: Painting and Other Stuff . . .”

    Best known for his complex, large-scale canvases foregrounding figures traditionally marginalized in Western art, Kerry James Marshall is widely acclaimed as one of the leading painters of his generation. Yet the American artist has always worked in a panoply of media. In this expansive show, Marshall will present paintings alongside his lesser-known work—the titular other stuff referring not only to his installations, sculptures, photographs, videos, and works on paper, but to a survey of reference material as well. The task of sorting out relations between inspirational

  • View of “Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos,” 2012–13. Left, suspended: Günter Weseler, Objekt für Atemtraining (Object for Breathing Exercises), 1969. On table: Nine untitled and undated works by James Castle. Photo: Benoit Pailley.

    Rosemarie Trockel

    IN AN ESPECIALLY COMPELLING SIGHT LINE offered by “Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos,” one can simultaneously take in a humongous preserved lobster, a sleek, jet-engine-like aluminum sculpture by the somewhat-forgotten Parisian artist Ruth Francken, and three modest gestural abstractions painted by an orangutan named Tilda. While ostensibly conjoined under the rubric of “natural history”—one of the four thematic orders of things that Trockel and curator Lynne Cooke used to organize the exhibition—this heterogeneous group buzzes with an innate feeling of kinship so convincing it makes rational