Prudence Peiffer

  • Carmen Herrera, Sunday, 1978, acrylic on canvas, 64 × 42". From the series “Days of the Week,” 1972–78.

    “Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight”

    Born in Cuba just a few years after the emergence of abstraction, Carmen Herrera has built a more than seven-decade career that is a testament to patient discipline: She sold her first painting at the age of eighty-nine, and the last time a New York institution hosted her works was in 1998, at El Museo del Barrio. If the lore of Herrera’s sudden prominence threatens to outshine the work itself, the Whitney will bring us back to the heart of her sustained exploration of color and form, focusing on the postwar years between 1948 and 1978, during which she honed her prismatic,

  • Beauford Delaney, Untitled (Trees), ca.1945, oil on canvas, 29 x 23''.
    picks July 15, 2016

    “It’s Not Your Nature”

    Summer shows can feel like that other seasonal occurrence, the stoop or yard sale. “It’s Not Your Nature” is a hodgepodge of art under a vague sign. But when you’re dealing with Lee Krasner, Harry Bertoia, and Norman Lewis—and when your view is Fairfield Porter’s, across the barrier islands in Maine—it’s compelling stuff to sift through. It’s also a rare chance outside of a museum to see so many modern American masters up close and personal.

    The show’s title is a confusing pun, as the pieces seem very much in the nature of the twenty-two artists on display and incorporate an expansive conception—whether

  • Luigi Ghirri, Modena, 1972, C-print, 5 1/8 × 7 1/8". From the series “Kodachrome,” 1970–78.

    Luigi Ghirri

    Luigi Ghirri’s photographs of Italy feel like they’ve been developed by the sun. Beautiful women peel off stone walls; the Coca-Cola tomato red that seems to embody an era shows up in signs on a beach and in a shopwindow; a deeply tan man lies on the sand next to a pair of loafers the same color; a bleached-out olive tree grows amid crumbling walls. The sun adds a languid filter; these scenes linger in what Ghirri called photography’s “slowness of vision”—not because they are static (even his still lifes feel transient, part of a road trip), but because they are themselves in the process

  • Marcia Hafif, 43., (Far), 1964, acrylic on canvas, 66 7/8 × 78 3/4".

    Marcia Hafif

    American abstract women painters were out in full force in New York this spring, from the bold engagement with Minimalism by the young artist Nathlie Provosty in a knockout show at Nathalie Karg Gallery to the impressive five-decade mini-survey of Lee Krasner at Robert Miller Gallery. Patient amid this bounty is a painter’s painter, Marcia Hafif, in an exhibition dedicated to a group of works she made during an eight-year sabbatical in Rome in the 1960s, where she lived off a monthly stipend of $150 from her recent divorce and created a distinctive brand of “Pop Minimal” abstraction. Her art

  •   Taryn Simon, Memorandum of Understanding Between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Government of Australia Relating to the Settlement of Refugees in Cambodia. Ministry of Interior, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, September 26, 2014, 2015, ink-jet print and text on paper in mahogany frame, 85 × 73 1/4 × 2 3/4". From the series “Paperwork and the Will of Capital,” 2015.

    Taryn Simon

    Taryn Simon’s work deals in disorientation. Culled from intense research, her perfectly ordered photographs walk the data line between bureaucracy and conspiracy. Though intellectual, her work isn’t insular. It engages with other images and esoterica; it suggests that archives are all we have to figure out what the hell is happening on this spinning planet, while acknowledging that photography has at times been complicit in its worst injustices. Whether in “The Innocents,” 2002, her incredible first series for which she photographed wrongfully convicted men at the sites of their alleged crimes,

  • “The Keeper”

    What would Walter Benjamin do with our Storage Wars and Spark Joy moment? “Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector’s passion borders on the chaos of memories,” he famously wrote. The things we choose to hold on to signal intimate and emotional links to history in an ever more virtual (and uprooted) world. At the heart of “The Keeper” is the power and preservation of such objects and images. The curators will transform the New Museum into a multimedia high-low Wunderkammer of the global

  • Shara Hughes, We Windy, 2015, oil, acrylic, Flashe paint, and enamel on canvas, 68 × 60".

    Shara Hughes

    Art, drugs, dreams: The trifecta for seeing new things without going anywhere came together in Shara Hughes’s terrific show “Trips I’ve Never Been On.” Juggling various meanings of trip, the eight roughly five-foot-tall psychedelic landscapes on view (one was even called Mushroom Hunt) were crammed with color and textured vibrations, brought into high relief by various mixes and handlings of oil, acrylic, spray, enamel, caulk, and Flashe vinyl paint on canvas. I found it nearly impossible to fully describe any one painting: Objects became space and sensation mid-scene.

    Along with Mushroom Hunt,

  • Rosemarie Castoro, Face Cracking, 1969, Polaroid, 3 × 4". From the series “Cracking,” 1969.

    PORTFOLIO

    I am in dirt continually. The closer I am to myself the dirtier I become. My studio is covered with graphite. I am Diogenes sitting in a pile of dust. My ocean is made of graphite in front of which I tumble, chase, flop over.

    ROSEMARIE CASTORO wasn’t precious about her work. As a dancer, painter, sculptor, and writer, she reveled in art’s material activation on the staging ground of the city street, the journal page, or her SoHo studio, where she lived for more than fifty years. Nor was she afraid to get her hands dirty. She was a member of the Art Workers’ Coalition and among the handful of

  • Miranda Lichtenstein, Thank You (orange), 2015, ink-jet print, 40 × 26 1/2".

    Miranda Lichtenstein

    Plastic bags have fallen on hard times since they stole the show in American Beauty (1999), in a scene reminiscent of Nathaniel Dorsky’s film Variations from a year earlier. No longer the mesmerizing Isadora Duncan of refuse, reminding us of the surprising elegance stirring in the corners of parking lots and our lives, plastic is now understood to represent a growing crisis, leaching toxins and forming garbage continents in the ocean. In New York City, it’s one more index of class—Whole Foods no longer uses plastic bags, but your corner bodega does.

    Into this mix come Miranda Lichtenstein’s

  • Maria Louisa Catherine Cecilia Cosway, Music Has Charms, ca. 1785, crayon manner, 5 1/2 x 6 1/2''.
    picks February 19, 2016

    “Printing Women: Three Centuries of Female Printmakers 1570–1900”

    Of the many delights in this survey, my favorite is Der Raupen wunderbare Verwunderlung (The Wonderful Transformation of Caterpillars) from 1679 by Maria Sibylla Merian—an ambitious volume as lovely to see as it is fun to say. Open to a single spread of text and illustration, the book contains fifty such copperplates depicting the life cycle of caterpillars in great scientific detail, along with, according to the work’s caption, “the fruits and flowers on which they feasted.”

    The exhibition, curated by Madeleine Viljoen, is a wunderbar feast, celebrating the extraordinary efforts of generations

  • Rosalyn Drexler, F.B.I., 1964, acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 30 x 40". © 2016 Rosalyn Drexler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.
    interviews February 08, 2016

    Rosalyn Drexler

    Rosalyn Drexler’s life and work appear allergic to the word dull. Over more than five decades, she has made paintings (politically electric Pop compositions incorporating collaged figures from movie poster and newspaper images isolated in bold, graphic space) and penned multiple plays, novels, and articles. She also has several Obies and a book adaptation of the film Rocky under her belt—not to mention a stint wrestling as Rosa Carlo, the Mexican Spitfire. Here, on the occasion of her retrospective at the Rose Art Museum in Waltham, Massachusetts, she discusses her exuberant love of art. The

  • Peggy Guggenheim with Constantin Brancusi’s Maiastra, Paris, ca. 1940. Photo: André Rogi.

    Francine Prose’s Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern

    Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern, by Francine Prose. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015. 224 pages.

    WHO WAS PEGGY GUGGENHEIM? This new biography may not provide a complete answer, but it does give a whirlwind tour in a compact, peppy car through the tumultuous life of the most famous patron of modern art. Chapters flash by like cinematic scenes: “Her Money” (she was born into a great deal of it, though not as much as many imagined, and, by one friend’s account, she eventually gave away three-quarters of her wealth), “Paris Before the War” (where she was drawn to a bohemian lifestyle