Katy Siegel

  • Collier Schorr

    My college roommate was from New York, and for the first semester at our midwestern school she was overcome by the exotic charms of the few lumbering, corn-fed lads in attendance. Being rather more homegrown myself, I thought them at best dim, at worst a little scary. Collier Schorr sees them both ways.

    In her latest show, boys will be boys, for once; this is a rare nonautobiographical exhibition for Schorr, a case where her subjects aren’t her stunt doubles. Instead, there is an anthropological cast to the wrestlers and soldiers and assorted teens photographed here, grimacing as Schorr probes


    “When I was eighteen I was asked to take pictures of a woman named Laura and her lover. She had been having an affair for ten years with a very powerful man. They had learned that I was taking an introductory photography course and suggested they come by for a visit. They drove eight hours and got a suite at the nicest hotel in the area. In hindsight, the end of this story is obvious, but at the time I was keenly unaware. I arrived at the hotel in the morning with my 4 x 5 camera that I had just received a demonstration of in class. I was ready to make pictures. They took off all their clothes

  • “Fame After Photography”

    Blame it on Di. In the wake of the princess’s death by paparazzi, curator of photography Peter Galassi gave Marvin Heiferman and Carol Kismaric—founders of the old-guard, avant-garde New York cultural programming and publishing firm Lookout—free rein to assemble a survey of celebrity photography from the second half of the nineteenth century through the end of the twentieth—from Nadar to nadir. There are no gorgeous prints here, decorously arrayed in the usual Stieglitz/Szarkowski modernist chorus line; instead, the curators give us a riot of reproduction on cheap paper—magazines, newspapers,

  • Rirkrit Tiravanija

    There’s no place like home. Well, maybe that’s not quite true. Rirkrit Tiravanija has built a replica of his East Village apartment, right down to the working toilet, inside Gavin Brown’s gallery. He presents us with a bedroom, a bathroom, a music room, and, of course, a kitchen, all built with plywood walls and filled with ragtag furniture. As always, Tiravanija invites us to hang out—not with the artist himself this time, but with a series of art students he’s installed there for the summer.

    Ben, the resident on duty when I went to see the show, studies at the Art Institute of Chicago, where


    During the exhibition’s twenty-one-week run, the 48th Venice Biennale will be viewed by tens of thousands of visitors. In the following pages, five of them—Robert Storr, Katy Siegel, David Elliott, Rachel Withers, and Daniel Birnbaum—offer focused snapshots. Steven Henry Madoff serves as tour guide.

  • “Another Girl, Another Planet”

    Girls, girls, girls! The “it” show this spring was unquestionably “Another Girl, Another Planet,” which assembled the work of thirteen young photographers from several countries, all but one of them women, taking pictures of women and girls. Enough press accumulated around the show to generate speculation as to its meaning, not to mention a bit of a backlash. Complainers smelled a fix, masterminded by cocurator Gregory Crewdson, who taught six of the artists at Yale. This is nothing new—recall the plethora of (largely male) students of John Baldessari and Mike Kelley flooding the art world

  • Fiona Rae

    Ask not for whom the bell tolls. Clement Greenberg got it right when he took extreme value contrast as a sign of anxiety about illusionistic space in painting (criticizing, Franz Kline’s black-and-whites for being retrograde, championing the even glow of Barnett Newman). British artist Fiona Rae’s new “black” paintings update the maxim, presenting a parody of depth that is the flip side of the recently returned allover, color-saturated abstraction.

    All eight of the large canvases contrast a flat black ground with brightly colored Richter-like scrapings and brushings, as well as two-tone rectangles,

  • “MoMA 2000: Modern Starts”

    “Modern Starts” is the first of three Y2K exhibitions re-presenting the history of modern art as told by MoMA’s collection. Based on a historicist premise (1880–1920), the show’s structure nonetheless deflects history’s arrow: Curator John Elderfield et al. divide the works not chronologically but thematically, into “People,” “Places,” and “Things.” Perverse, one might ask, to emphasize representational themes at a time when the medium itself was getting the upper hand? If the modernist narratives so bound up with MoMA’s history emerge from this revitalizing rearrangement more stirred than

  • “Thomas Schütte: In Media Res”

    For ignorant Americans, a loose translation: in the thick of it. Having tackled the theater and memory in two previous Dia installations, Thomas Schütte’s closing act in this tripartite retrospective addresses the body, the stuff of life (and art). To partner his familiar Michelin men, the artist here sends out female figures cast in metal, along with two large ceramic heads recalling gargoyles, free-form ceramic vessels, and lots of work on paper. Recently, Schütte has returned to traditional sculptural genres, if only to depart again from them. A real presence in Germany, his art is a little

  • “About Face: Andy Warhol Portraits”

    Warhol again? Too much is never enough. The Atheneum’s Nicholas Baume assembles the Popist’s portraiture—more than seventy paintings, prints, photographs, and films—from the ’50s (Zsa Zsa Gabor’s shoe) through the ’80s (Debbie Harry’s face). Catalogue essayists Douglas Crimp and Richard Meyer can be relied on to plumb the depths of the master of surfaces. His portraits, especially the late ones, have been rehabilitated posthumously; this exhibition should help us decide whether merit or market is responsible. Either way, Warhol’s portraits (self or otherwise) keep the promise: I’ll be your

  • Katy Siegel

    WELCOME TO THE SALON DE FIN DE SIÈCLE. Despite all the funky art (and all the bad art), the exhibition radiated glamour, an aura amplified by the beauty and sheer impracticality of Venice itself.

    The national pavilions, with their “It’s a Small World” feel, form a famously rigid, dated structure, but I almost preferred them to the Gesamtkunstwerk multinationalism of the reinstated Aperto. The antithesis of the white cube, this hodgepodge of mini-manses winsomely highlighted the peculiar Disneyland nature of the Biennale. Taking the mission of national representation seriously, only Ann Hamilton

  • Lee Krasner

    Why have there been no great women artists? Lee Krasner makes a posthumous bid with this retrospective look at sixty works, from a ca. 1930 self-portrait to the late-’70s abstractions. Her identity as Pollock’s lesser half (she got the bedroom, he got the barn) has of course been rethought by feminist scholars. But did the artist really challenge the macho model of AbEx identity or was she just one of the guys? Either way, Krasner was central to the art world of the ’40s and ’50s; her painting’s place in history is, alas, less certain.