Marvin Heiferman

  • Andres Serrano

    When “A History of Andres Serrano/A History of Sex” opened earlier this year at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, the institution proposed an illustrated poster for the exhibition that would be displayed on billboards. The image selected, A History of Sex (Leo’s Fantasy), 1996, shows a woman in a hiked—up skirt, one hand on her hip, the other behind the head of a bare-chested young man, into whose open mouth she’s urinating. Church groups protested. Conservatives lobbied a Dutch court to halt distribution of the poster. Paint bombs were lobbed at the museum’s walls. So much for the

  • “New Photography 12”

    It’s back. Every October since 1985, the Museum of Modern Art has opened a “New Photography” exhibition. This annual event has always functioned more successfully as a back-to-school ritual—where the city’s photography community could regroup, air kiss, and reassess its own balance of power—than as a barometer of what was new or interesting in an ever-changing field. Initiated in the final years of John Szarkowski’s reign as director of the museum’s department of photography, the series’ early installments—with press releases trumpeting “the Museum’s tradition of commitment to the work