Jordan Kantor

  • Luc Tuymans

    FEW LIVING ARTISTS OCCUPY as central a position in the critical discourse of their medium as Luc Tuymans, whose painting practice has set important conceptual and material parameters for a generation. As much through his examination of our fragmentary, contingent experience of history as through his novel painting style (which accounts for photographic media without recourse to rendering), Tuymans has developed a distinctive artistic strategy that, at its best, creates compelling fusions of concept and form. Now midcareer, the fifty-one-year-old Belgian has recently been the subject of several

  • Le grand geste! Informel and Abstract Expressionism, 1946–1964

    With the ascent of American action painting and its subsequent ideologically charged promotion through international exhibitions, large-scale gestural abstraction became the lingua franca of the postwar vanguard.

    With the ascent of American action painting and its subsequent ideologically charged promotion through international exhibitions, large-scale gestural abstraction became the lingua franca of the postwar vanguard. Although European manifestations of this tendency—art autre, tachism, and art informel, e.g.— remain underexamined relative to their American counterpart, several recent shows have sought to redress this imbalance. With some 120 works by fifty artists, “Le grande geste!” extends the endeavor, emphasizing the years 1946 to 1964, when European artists were digging

  • Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective

    No less a deft draftsman than a dazzling colorist, Arshile Gorky had addressed advanced painting’s imperative at the time head-on.

    When he took his own life in 1948 at age forty-four, Arshile Gorky was not only in the prime of his career but also in a sweet spot in the history of American art. No less a deft draftsman than a dazzling colorist, the artist had addressed advanced painting’s imperative at the time head-on: to work through the legacies of Picasso and Surrealism and arrive at a personal, abstract vernacular. The results, as they say, are history. Gorky’s large canvases, which remain emblematic of the New York School, will join sculptures, drawings, and prints in this 180-work retrospective,

  • Luc Tuymans

    After almost twenty-five years of mature production, Luc Tuymans’s reputation precedes him, and the contours of his artistic accomplishment are finally coming into focus.

    After almost twenty-five years of mature production, Luc Tuymans’s reputation precedes him, and the contours of his artistic accomplishment are finally coming into focus. With his muted palette and pared-down painterly vocabulary, the Belgian artist has developed a personal yet remarkably resonant practice that embraces the limits of perception and communication while arguing vehemently for his medium as a vital, critical art form. As large as Tuymans looms in contemporary painting conversations, however, this seventy-work retrospective, which

  • Wilhelm Sasnal

    Focusing on the medium for which he is best known, this exhibition of eighty paintings from the past decade—the artist’s largest survey outside Poland to date—enables an unprecedented overview of their compelling formal variety.

    Perhaps the most internationally renowned artist to have emerged from post-Communist Poland, Wilhelm Sasnal shuttles restlessly among styles and between painting and film, driven by a skepticism toward master narratives and singular modes of representation that lends his work an implicitly critical politics. Focusing on the medium for which he is best known, this exhibition of eighty paintings from the past decade—the artist’s largest survey outside Poland to date—enables an unprecedented overview of their compelling formal variety. The fully illustrated catalogue features

  • “Kutlug Ataman: Mesopotamian Tales”

    Over the past decade, Kutlug Ataman has produced a remarkable corpus of video installations simply by asking his subjects to speak into his camera about their interests, hopes, and dreams.

    Over the past decade, Kutlug Ataman has produced a remarkable corpus of video installations simply by asking his subjects to speak into his camera about their interests, hopes, and dreams. Without judging or editorializing, Ataman’s films celebrate eccentricities and explore how the stories we tell shape our ever-shifting sense of self and place in the world. The artist’s latest venture, “Mesopotamian Tales,” comprises seven new works—documentary-style interviews with various Turkish constituencies—conceived and organized by Ataman as a singular installation, investigating

  • Marlene Dumas

    WHILE MARLENE DUMAS enjoys international renown, opportunities to see her oeuvre in its full breadth and depth in the United States have been scarce. Over the course of her thirty-year career, the South Africa–born, Amsterdam-based artist has had a number of solo exhibitions here, but her work has never been presented comprehensively. This large midcareer survey, organized by Cornelia Butler and on view this past summer at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, was thus both welcome and arguably overdue. Titled “Measuring Your Own Grave,” the exhibition assembled more than one hundred of

  • Enrique Chagoya

    LINGUISTICALLY, SUBJECTIVELY, and territorially, borders are where identities are formed and differences policed, and the current midcareer survey of Enrique Chagoya titled “Borderlandia” reflects the Mexican-born, California-based artist’s ongoing exploration of concepts of identity and difference. The exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum, which was organized by Patricia Hickson of the Des Moines Art Center in Iowa and will travel to the Palm Springs Art Museum in California this fall, demonstrates that in all the various media in which Chagoya has worked over the past twenty-five years—from

  • Marlene Dumas

    Midcareer surveys often pull even the most recalcitrant art into focus, and this exhibition of sixty paintings and twenty-five drawings of South African–born, Amsterdam-based artist Marlene Dumas should either consolidate existing interpretations or open onto new ones.

    By the artist's own design, Marlene Dumas's paintings and drawings flirt with ambiguous meaning and slippery narrative. Such open-endedness has been reflected in the critical reception of her work, which has been understood alternately as confessional, expressive, process-based, and demonstrative of theories of feminism, race, and global dislocation. Midcareer surveys often pull even the most recalcitrant art into focus, and this exhibition of sixty paintings and twenty-five drawings of the South African–born, Amsterdam-based artist should either consolidate existing

  • “Action Painting”

    This exhibition brings together some fifty canvases by artists such as Jean Fautrier, Wols, and Asger Jorn with a comparable number of works by their counterparts from across the Atlantic, and so should provide ample opportunity to reflect on whether the term action painting is elastic enough to describe work made in radically different cultural contexts.

    In his influential 1952 article “American Action Painters,” Harold Rosenberg codified the characteristics of a burgeoning generation of painters, noting, most famously, that they approached the canvas as “an arena in which to act.” While the label Abstract Expressionism ultimately had more staying power than Rosenberg's “action painting,” his argument popularized the idea that gestural abstraction—as practiced by artists such as Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock—embodied spontaneity, individual expression, and freedom. Many postwar European painters worked

  • “Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today”

    For centuries, if not longer, painters have typically deployed color either as a vehicle for optical pleasure or as a marker of expressive subjectivity (and sometimes both). Marcel Duchamp offered an alternative view by assaulting these traditional retinal and expressive functions in favor of treating color itself as ready-made. A testament to this decidedly unromantic approach, Duchamp’s last painting, Tu m’, 1918, will hold court here, inaugurating a wide-ranging survey of postwar painting that explores the role of color as an index of industrial production rather than of

  • California Video

    In 2006, the Getty Research Institute acquired the important Long Beach Museum of Art Video Archive, suddenly (and quietly) incorporating one of the largest institutional collections of video art into its own holdings. Bringing selections from the newly combined collection together with special loans, this exhibition, which spans nearly the past four decades, will be the first major survey of video art produced in the Golden State. More than seventy single-channel videos and installations will be contributed by Eleanor Antin, Chris Burden, Paul McCarthy, Diana Thater,

  • Olafur Eliasson

    Olafur Eliasson's 2003 Weather Project illuminated nearly two million visitors at Tate Modern with a spectacular artificial sun, but US museumgoers have had precious few opportunities to experience firsthand the viewer involvement so central to the artist's practice.

    Few artists produce work as conceptually rigorous and simultaneously crowd-pleasing as Olafur Eliasson, who makes art in which capital-P Phenomenology traffics freely in fun-house aesthetics. His 2003 Weather Project illuminated nearly two million visitors at Tate Modern with a spectacular artificial sun, but US museumgoers have had precious few opportunities to experience firsthand the viewer involvement so central to Eliasson’s practice. Now, this midcareer retrospective—twenty-two of the artist’s sculptures, photographs, and installations made since 1993—promises

  • Mirosław Bałka

    This exhibition comprises twenty-six works from the past two decades, including eight large installations and two new sculptures, one of which is a site-specific piece.

    Absence is a central motif in Mirosław Bałka’s art. Like Doris Salcedo, Luc Tuymans, and Rachel Whiteread—peers with whom the forty-nine-year-old Polish sculptor is often associated—Bałka uses formal gaps to index psychic lacunae and to probe lapses in individual and collective memory. Though he generally employs such impersonal materials as steel, concrete, ashes, and salt, Bałka keys his sculptures to his own bodily measurements, ensuring that the artist remains resolutely present even in an aesthetics of absence. This exhibition comprises twenty-six works from the

  • curatorial returns to the academy

    TAKEN BY ITSELF, last November’s announcement by Russell Ferguson, chief curator and deputy director of the Hammer Museum of the University of California, Los Angeles, that he was leaving his position after some five years at the institution to take the reins at UCLA’s Department of Art may seem not to warrant much comment. While the studio art program, one of the nation’s best, has traditionally been chaired by practicing artists, the transition promises by all accounts to be both smooth and organic, not signaling any immediate change in the overall program of either the museum or the school.

  • Andreas Gursky

    Among the exceptional group of students who cut their teeth during the 1980s in Bernd and Hilla Becher’s master class at the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie, Andreas Gursky made it biggest, literally.

    Among the exceptional group of students who cut their teeth during the 1980s in Bernd and Hilla Becher’s master class at the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie, Andreas Gursky made it biggest, literally. His oversize, digitally manipulated images of postmodern spectacle update his mentors’ program of dispassionately archiving sites of modernist production, and argue, in both form and content, that global capitalism not only generates industrial objects but images, representations, and subjectivities as well. Given how his works address the circulation of images in a global economy,

  • “Black Square: Homage to Malevich”

    In 1915 Kazimir Malevich painted a black square on a white ground in an effort to relieve the medium of its traditional task of depicting objects. This radical gesture proved remarkably complicated, and the art of the century since has shown that abstraction came with some baggage of its own.

    In 1915 Kazimir Malevich painted a black square on a white ground in an effort to relieve the medium of its traditional task of depicting objects. This radical gesture proved remarkably complicated, and the art of the century since has shown that abstraction came with some baggage of its own. Pairing canvases by Malevich and his fellow Suprematists with those of later artists inspired by his Black Square and its aesthetic implications, this exhibition of approximately 120 works—curated by Hubertus Gaßner—will trace the multifarious, often contradictory, ways in which

  • Jackson Pollock’s late work

    SOMETIMES THE SMALLEST things create the most arresting aesthetic experiences—an observation resoundingly reconfirmed for me at “No Limits, Just Edges,” the Jackson Pollock works-on-paper exhibition recently on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (and before that at the Guggenheim Foundation’s outposts in Berlin and Venice). As I walked through the show’s expansive last room, my eyes gravitated, almost magnetically, to the lower right-hand corner of an untitled 1951 drawing, where, beneath the slashing arrows and scrawled numerals soaked into the fibers of the absorbent Japanese

  • “Picasso and American Art”

    Guest curator and Picasso scholar Michael FitzGerald has assembled nearly forty of the Spaniard’s works and some 120 objects by Americans—including Stuart Davis, Jackson Pollock, and David Smith—who used his oeuvre as a point of departure.

    No artist was as important to the development of twentieth-century American art as Pablo Picasso—though he never even visited the United States. Whether as a figure to emulate or a yoke to buck, Picasso cast a shadow across the Atlantic that permeated even the remotest recesses of the country’s artistic psyche. Guest curator and Picasso scholar Michael FitzGerald assembles nearly forty of the Spaniard’s works and some 120 objects by Americans—including Stuart Davis, Jackson Pollock, and David Smith—who used his oeuvre as a point of departure. The show presents this

  • Neo Rauch

    Gathering nearly eighty paintings from 1993 to today, this midcareer retrospective should provide an important opportunity to disengage Neo Rauch from the interpretative grip of his followers and to take a wider view of his own still-developing art.

    Forty-six-year-old German painter Neo Rauch occupies a unique space on the contemporary-art horizon. In a post-medium, post-ism art world, Rauch has been heralded in certain circles for spawning an entirely new branch of painting. While the burgeoning success of the New Leipzig School (named after the painter’s hometown and his epigones’ base of operations) has helped underscore some of the more salient characteristics of the artist’s production—namely, its surrealistic collision of disjoined imagery executed in a faux social realism—it has arguably, if ironically,