Katy Siegel

  • 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.

  • “Jonathan Lasker: Selective Identity”

    How is this abstract painter different from all other abstract painters? In a show of twenty-one canvases from the ’90s, curator David Moos of the Birmingham Museum of Art argues that Jonathan Lasker separates himself from the likes of, say, Mary Heilmann and Davids Row and Reed by virtue of his extreme “self-consciousness.” Lasker premeditates his large-scale oils using small studies, a tactic that Moos believes pushes the artist toward Peter Halley’s camp. Theoretical apparatus aside, the real test comes, as always, when one stands in a room full of the paintings.


    As Matthew Barney completed the final cut of Cremaster 2, the second film in his epic quintent—episodes 1, 4, and 5 are behind him; no. 3 is still to come—art historian and critic Katy Siegel met with the artist in his New York studio for an early peek. Her preview anticipates the film’s July debut at Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center.

    IT’S MILDLY ANNOYING that so many reviews and articles about Matthew Barney’s work begin in a confessional mode, with a ritual throwing up of hands. (Aren’t critics supposed to use their expertise to help us engage difficult work?) But it’s also understandable. The

  • Charlie White

    All photography aspires to the condition of film. Just kidding—but a lot of recent photography does nod to the look and convention of its more glamorous cousin. Why not just make a movie? Ask Robert Longo or David Salle. Someday Charlie White might end up with a deal at Paramount, but for now he’s content to reference a fictitious movie with nine large-format, color photographs that project the stagy aura of film stills.

    Like many young writers and artists, White (a recent graduate of LA’s Art Center College of Design) prefers the genres of mass culture to those of the avant-garde. Two

  • Catherine de Zegher

    Catherine de Zegher, co-founder and director of Belgium’s Kanaal Art Foundation, has been named director of the Drawing Center in New York, replacing Ann Philbin, who has run the SoHo kunsthalle-slash-salon for the past eight and a half years. De Zegher was responsible for an impressive series of contemporary exhibitions at the Kanaal over the past decade, including shows devoted to the works of Tony Oursler and Brazilian artist Cildo Meireles, as well as many high-profile independent projects, such as the twentieth-century section of “Bride of the Sun,” a survey of Latin American art, and “

  • “Surrealism: Two Private Eyes”

    In showcasing the collections of Neshui Ertegun and Daniel Filipacchi, old friends and tandem fans of Surrealism, one imagines the Guggenheim hopes it does not love in vain—nevertheless, the show looks to be a serious effort rather than a vanity affair. The catalogue boasts essays by Rosalind Krauss and David Sylvester, and curator Carmen Jimenez marshals Filipacchi's accumulation of Surrealist ephemera to provide context for this two-collector trove of work by major and lesser-known figures alike. Considering the uncanny sway Surrealism continues to hold over current art, not to mention

  • “The Time of Our Lives”

    As the boomers saddle up to ride off into the sunset, “ageism” is generating everything from menopause manuals to highbrow academic harangues—and now, Marcia Tucker's “Auld Lang Syne” swan song at the New Museum. In this exhibition, the outgoing founding director takes apart the tired notion of aging as decline. Including “older” artists (Yvonne Rainer, Annette Messager) and younger ones who subvert traditional images of aging (Lisa Yuskavage, Cho Duck Hyun), as well as samplings of ageist propaganda from TV, movies, and books, the show asks: Will the vanguard art world outgrow its

  • Rodney Graham

    The Doktor is in. Canadian conceptualist Rodney Graham may invoke any number of nineteenth-century big shots (Wagner, Flaubert) but Freud reigns over this retrospective of Graham's work in the '90s. Upgrading the psychopathology of everyday life, the multimedia artist reveals the ways in which dreams, omission, and repetition shape high-modern art and culture. Graham's sense of humor matches his Romantic heart and analytic mind; he represents the unconscious as a castaway knocked out by a coconut. Fellow Canadian curator Loretta Yarlow has assembled film, videos, music, and postcards for this

  • Cady Noland/Olivier Mosset

    The odd-couple concept: He's a highly refined Swiss abstract painter, she's a trashy American installation artist. What will happen when they get together? Curator Rein Wolfs hopes we see formal rhyming between Mosset's monochromatic circle paintings and Noland's holes, cut through freestanding silhouettes of American heroes (Elvis) and zeroes (Oswald). He expects we will also discover deeper affinities between the two longtime friends. That Mosset's work has changed of late—it's gotten up off the wall and moved into space with freestanding paintings, cardboard bunkers, and even a speed

  • Malcolm Morley

    Like a rock icon who neglected to die young or burn out, Malcolm Morley has to put up with critics interested in nothing but his “early stuff,” whether it’s his ’60s-era superrealist hits or his expressionist work from the ’70s. His exhibition of recent paintings reveals the artist glancing over his shoulder as well, but in unanticipated ways.

    Good digestion is the key to successful borrowing, and in these paintings, Morley mixes the peculiarly British genre of maritime painting with quotations from artistsas far-ranging as Malevich, Rousseau, and Picasso, washing it all down with imagery from

  • Lewis Hine

    Artists in this culture have always had a rocky relationship with work. Their own often goes unrecognized as such, and they tend to idealize or ignore the kind of work other people do. So for pictures of labor, we rely largely on photographers who may or may not consider themselves artists; among them, Lewis Hine stands out. Curator Barbara Head Millstein has assembled an important exhibition of photographs from the last decade of his career (the vast majority are dated circa 1930s). We all know Hine’s powerful critique of child labor; these images picture adults with much greater ambivalence.

  • Gabriel Orozco

    Gabriel Orozco makes art about things (and people and moments) and the spaces between them. We need both to make sense of the world: Trying to see everything, you get only a blur, but look at every other thing, and a pattern emerges. The question becomes, Which things do you choose, and which does your eye (or hand) skip over?

    In Orozco’s first solo show in New York, he displayed a single piece, Yogurt Caps, 1994. One blue-rimmed clear plastic lid, complete with expiration date, hung on each of the four walls of the main gallery, highlighting the emptiness between the barely-there readymades.