Katy Siegel

  • Come on, play it again no. 4, 2001.

    Raoul de Keyser

    For de Keyser, who explores painting’s expanse rather than cataloguing its finite categories, nothing is inevitable, and many things seem possible—a state of affairs that feels right, right now.

    Raoul de Keyser bloomed late in Belgium, beginning an astonishing forty-year career at the age of thirty-five. The curators have put together fifty paintings from the early ’70s forward, mixing older works among recent ones. The largely abstract canvases often begin with a simple, domestic image overlaid with gesture, monochrome, or a grid. For de Keyser, who explores painting’s expanse rather than cataloguing its finite categories, nothing is inevitable, and many things seem possible—a state of affairs that feels right, right now.

  • the best books of 2003

    ARTHUR C. DANTO

    Though photography was first believed to entail the death of painting, early photographs presented viewers with a dead world: Objects could be rendered with clarity only under the conditions of nature morte. Unlike paintings, which were able to depict the fact that, say, horses were in motion, the camera could capture animals only when immobile. Eadweard Muybridge’s achievement in 1872—thirty-three years after photography’s invention—was to bring the new medium abreast of painting by depicting the fact that a live horse was in motion. Muybridge had taken an important

  • 1000 WORDS: FABIAN MARCACCIO

    Born in Argentina, Fabian Marcaccio has lived and worked in New York City since the late 1980s, although many of his larger exhibitions have been in Europe, including “Multi-Site Paintant” at last year’s Documenta 11, and “Paintant Stories,” which appeared at museums in Cologne and Stuttgart in 2000. His life and career take him all over the world, and he works on a scale to match: This past spring he created a huge outdoor project on a beach in Belgium that addresses everything from abstract painting to politics.

    Some painters continue to think intently about the history and meaning of painting

  • Moth, 1996.

    Kiki Smith: Prints, Books, & Things

    The female master of icky, sticky sculpture, Kiki Smith has also made books, multiple objects, prints, and photographs over the last twenty years. Equally comfortable in tuxedo and T-shirt, she ranges from elaborate lithograph portfolios to temporary tattoos, all of which are presented here in the first museum survey of her multiples. To make sense of the different media, MoMA curator Wendy Weitman groups the work into thematic categories like fantasy and the body. Look for a catalogue that not only reproduces the art but includes original material produced by the artist for the occasion.

  • 7 a.m. Sunday Morning, 2003.

    Kerry James Marshall

    Kerry James Marshall has mastered and monumentalized the genre of everyday life, marrying it to histories of art and politics, most recently in his comic book Rythm Mastr.

    African Americans are only slightly more visible in art than on TV; still rarer are depictions of dignified ordinary people. Kerry James Marshall has mastered and monumentalized the genre of everyday life, marrying it to histories of art and politics, most recently in his comic book Rythm Mastr. Curator Elizabeth Smith brings together a new body of forty-one works that builds out of that graphic project across mediums, depicting life on Chicago’s South Side. As always, Marshall takes on and from mainstream art history (here, the Canaletto townscape); increasingly, he also examines the role of

  • CRITICAL REALIST: SIDNEY TILLIM

    Sidney Tillim began his career as an art critic by answering a “Help Wanted” ad in the back of Arts Digest. It was 1953, and at the time, he was an occasional sports reporter and a struggling painter who had recently attended Syracuse University (alma mater also to Hilton Kramer, Clement Greenberg, and college friend Sol LeWitt) on the GI Bill. Tillim started writing about art for the money, such as it was: four dollars per review. After he was fired in the mid-’50s for doing the galleries in tennis shoes, Kramer invited him back to the retitled Arts Magazine, and in 1959 he became a full-time

  • Past Things and Present: Jasper Johns since 1983

    Awkward and self-absorbed doesn’t sound like a hot date, and many people find late Johns hard to love. But expect Walker curator Joan Rothfuss—along with art historians Richard Shiff and Victor Stoichita in the catalogue—to make the best case for this opaque and reflexive work. (An exhibition of more familiar art from 1955 to 1963 will be on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s “Jasper Johns: Numbers.”) Look for never-before-exhibited work from the artist’s collection as well as new paintings—they might just win you over.

  • Takashi Murakami

    Japan’s big twenty-first-century export is cuteness, and it’s one of Takashi Murakami’s favorite modes, infusing his mushrooms, flowers, and the ubiquitous Mr. DOB. In Murakami’s latest gallery show, a panda appears in a sculpture, several paintings, and a video. This cute animal is beloved for its abject qualities: oversize head, chubby body, stubby limbs, delicate constitution, big sad eyes, and sexual problems in captivity. The great cultural critic Daniel Harris has written, “Because it aestheticizes unhappiness, helplessness and deformity, [cuteness] almost always involves an act of sadism

  • Sigmar Polke

    Not interested in politics? Well, politics is interested in you. While you go about your business, hustling to work on the train or in a car, amid the swarming crowd, politicians look down from on high, drawing lines—of national boundaries and corporate connections—making decisions about right and wrong. The artist/intellectual can sympathize with either position. He may be down here with us little guys, feeling his way through the system, bumping up against its flaws and failures, like George Grosz or, more recently, Mike Kelley. Or the artist may sit in judgment, telling us what would be best

  • The Eternal Silence of Infinite Space,1994.

    Jonathan Lasker

    One after the other, artists of the ’80s are being rescued from postmodernism by valiant revisionist critics and curators. Unlike other damsels in distress, Jonathan Lasker refuses to drop the hankie, resolutely holding on to disjunction, preexisting systems, and the impossibility of direct expression.

    One after the other, artists of the ’80s are being rescued from postmodernism by valiant revisionist critics and curators. Unlike other damsels in distress, Jonathan Lasker refuses to drop the hankie, resolutely holding on to disjunction, preexisting systems, and the impossibility of direct expression. Reina Sofía vice-director Kevin Power takes the hint, using language as the organizing conceit for his full-scale survey of Lasker’s work. If this discourse is dated, the paintings are still here, and the show gives us the opportunity to reconsider them—not to recoup them for “beauty” but to think

  • Jeff Koons

    KATY SIEGEL: Let’s begin with your move to New York from Chicago. What year did you come here?

    JEFF KOONS: I originally hitchhiked here at the end of ’76, but I didn’t officially move to New York until January ’77. In Chicago I went to the School of the Art Institute, and I enjoyed it because I was studying with people whose work and passion I really respected, like Ed Paschke and Jim Nutt. But I lost interest in my own work, which had been in kind of a personal iconography, and I realized that different things were happening in New York—different communities, the New Wave music scene. And that’s

  • Katy Siegel

    I FIRST SAW CHUCK RAMIREZ’S WORK IN A 1997 San Antonio solo show called “Coconut,” the Latino equivalent to the African American slur “Oreo,” meaning dark on the outside, white on the inside. On the walls hung crisp photographs of coconuts, both whole and cracked open—a deadpan illustration of the word and, at the same time, a portrait of the artist.

    Ramirez, who is forty, has had several shows in San Antonio, at Sala Diaz, Finesilver Gallery, and ArtPace. His photographs, of ordinary objects against white backgrounds, are large scale and sharply focused. The unforgiving style splits the