Mary Anne Staniszewski

  • An Expressionist in Paris: Chaim Soutine

    Chaim Soutine’s work has been understood in different ways over the course of the century, and in his first museum retrospective in thirty years, cocurators Norman Kleeblatt and NYU art historian Kenneth Silver highlight the divergent readings in three sections. The paintings of this Lithuanian-born artist are introduced from a ’20s Parisian perspective, when they were celebrated for their romantic, ethnic, and eccentric qualities. Next, a ’30s French viewpoint, which interpreted the work as preserving traditional European painting, is reconstructed. Finally, Soutine’s postwar reception in the

  • Susan Hiller: Wild Talent

    Susan Hiller, who was born in the US and has lived for almost thirty years in England, has described her videos and installations as “letters home.” As the artist's work is better known abroad, this exhibition covering her output from 1980 to the present is a particularly welcome missive. Curated by Institute of Contemporary Art director Patrick Murphy, the show includes From India to the Planet Mars, a piece created especially for the exhibition. Representative of Hiller's interest in the mysterious, often overlooked aspects of everyday life, this newest project is composed of texts that purport

  • The Body and the Object: Ann Hamilton 1984–1996

    Visitors to Ann Hamilton’s exhibitions have come to expect her signature, surreal, site-specific environments that are often composed of dreamlike accumulations (3,000 ears of corn, or 14,000 pounds of clothes). “The Body and the Object,” organized by Sarah Rogers of the Wexner (where the show premiered), also promises video and sound projects and a series of photographs of the artist holding various objects—a shoe, a boot, a door—in addition to a 4,000- to 5,000-square-foot installation being created especially for the Miami Art Museum. A CD-ROM display between the galleries provides virtual

  • Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, 1949–1979

    One of an increasing number of shows dealing with happenings, installations, and performances, “Out of Actions” brings together an unusually diverse range of work, including that of the New York School, the Gutai, Fluxus, Viennese Actionism, and arte povera. Organized by chief curator Paul Schimmel and an international team of Guy Brett, Kellie Jones, Hubert Klocker, Schinichiro Osaki, and Kristine Stiles, the exhibition presents photo and film documentation of varied “actions,” as well as related paintings, sculptures, and installations by more than one hundred artists, including Allan Kaprow,

  • the Kwangju and Johannesburg Biennales

    GIVEN THE CURRENT popularity of “globalism,” it’s no surprise that the Johannesburg and Kwangju Biennales are uncannily similar. Both were inaugurated in 1995 and both attempt to map the emergence of hybrid cultures and identities as national boundaries crumble or are redrawn. The Johannesburg exhibition, “Trade Routes: History and Geography,” sets out to explore cultural exchange and is divided into six sections, while Kwangju’s “Unmapping the Earth,” a reference to the five elements of Eastern alchemy, is split into five shows. Each Biennale is holding conferences and producing both a publication

  • Lygia Clark

    The sudden interest in Lygia Clark’s work should come as no surprise. After all, the Brazilian artist was a pioneer in such areas of contemporary focus as viewer interactivity and the body, exploring these topics in mixed-media “experiments” as early as 1959. This first retrospective joins the many strands of the artist’s career, from her abstract paintings in the ’50s to the psychoanalytic sessions begun in 1985, where Clark gave patients a sequence of objects for therapeutic fantasy. Included in the show is the landmark mid-’60s series “Nostalgia do corpo,” in which spectators interact with

  • Fifth International Istanbul Biennale

    Completing the triad of biennials this fall, the fifth Istanbul Biennale takes advantage of the city’s identity as a gateway between the East and West in site-specific works staged at the metropolitan airport, train stations, and bridges. In what director Rosa Martinez sees as an exploration of the “relations between art and life,” “On Life, Beauty, Translations and Other Difficulties” summons a “return to beauty” (at press time, some eighty-five artists from forty-five countries were being considered). In addition to “environmental works,” artists chosen will exhibit at four very different

  • Venice Biennale: “Future, Present, Past”

    WHATEVER ELSE IS SAID about this year’s Venice Biennale, the international thematic exhibition that is traditionally its centerpiece will be remembered for having been curated with lightning speed. It was only in January that Germano Celant, the Guggenheim Museum’s peripatetic curator of contemporary art, assumed his duties as the Biennale’s general director. The reasons for the delay were numerous: according to Celant, there were originally plans to postpone the Biennale until next year in order to put the show on schedule for the millennium; there were also “complications” surrounding the

  • Objects of Desire: The Modern Still Life

    Isn’t “still life” pretty much a dead issue for art by the final decade of this century? Not so, according to Margit Rowell, who has curated what is being touted as “the first extensive survey” of the genre as it has made its way through the twentieth century. Bringing together work by those typically associated with the genre, such as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, and some whose concerns seem alien to the category, like Cindy Sherman and Kiki Smith, the exhibition showcases some seventy major Modern artists while expanding the boundaries of this most conventional of genres. May 25-Aug. 26;

  • Laurie Simmons: The Music of Regret

    For some twenty years, Laurie Simmons has, with rare exception, photographed dolls, dummies, puppets, toys—inanimate objects—in such a way that they somehow gave off signs of artificial life. This first survey of Simmons’ work includes the dollhouse, ballerina, and “tourism” series that helped define the postmodern discourse of the early ’80s, as well as her most recent images and an installation of ventriloquist dummies created especially for the show. A catalogue of Simmons’ work, which is saturated with a sense of make-believe and the television memories of the baby-boom generation, is written

  • Mark Dion: Cabinet of Curiosities

    Borrowing from Ohio State’s vast and varied university collections, Mark Dion gathers images, objects, books, and specimens to concoct a postmodern “curiosity cabinet.” His installation, curated by the Wexner’s Bill Horrigan, incorporates premodern classification systems within the categories “nature,” “humanity,” and “culture” to create a commentary on the organization of knowledge and that particularly modern institution, the museum, for which the curiosity cabinet is a precursor. Among the hundreds of wonders in Dion’s displays are stuffed birds, rare stones, James Thurber drawings, petrified

  • Mona Hatoum

    In this first American survey of Mona Hatoum’s work, evidence of the much publicized facts that the artist is of Palestinian descent, was born in Lebanon and exiled from Beirut, and now lives in England can be found in Measure of Distance, a 1988 video of her family with a voice-over of Hatoum reading from her mother’s letters. Corps Estranger, a 1994 video of her body—both inside and out—that is projected onto the walls and floor of a large circular booth, is perhaps more typical of Hatoum’s evocative, surreal creations. A full-color catalogue, written by in-house curator Jessica Morgan,