Saturday, February 25
Cecil Beaton’s photographs of patrician models in Bendel dresses posing before Jackson Pollocks in the March 1951 issue of Vogue must’ve made a deep impression on David Reed. The works on view in “Painting Paintings (David Reed) 1975” at Gagosian’s Madison Avenue space—vertical canvases with splashy stripes in crimson and jet—call to mind early Dior, parties in Capri, Grace Kelly at midnight. Artist Christopher Wool and curator Katy Siegel, who organized the show, pair the artist’s older works with pieces from Joyce Pensato, Barry Le Va, Andy Warhol, and more, creating a cocktail atmosphere you’ll be sorry to leave.
Painting Paintings (David Reed) 1975
New York has always been a haven for individuals and appetites more
recherché than anywhere else in the United States, so it’s no surprise that some of our most acclaimed queer imaginations—James Baldwin, Merce Cunningham, Djuna Barnes, and Andy Warhol, to name just a handful—were forged and nurtured by this great metropolis. “Gay Gotham,” organized by the MCNY’s Donald Albrecht, Stephen Vider, and Whitney Donhauser, brings together a vast array of paintings, photographs, letters, and assorted ephemera from the likes of Greer Lankton, Leonard Bernstein, Bill T. Jones, Lincoln Kirstein, Harmony Hammond, and more to celebrate this city’s incandescent yet still too hidden queer history.
This year, the ADAA’s showcase of works from some of this country’s most preeminent art dealers gives us seventy-two galleries creating intimate, mostly one-person exhibitions from artists such as Joyce Pensato (Petzel), Huma Bhabha (Salon 94), Thomas Nozkowski (Pace), Zilia Sánchez (Galerie Lelong), Billy Childish (Lehmann Maupin), Sarah Crowner (Casey Kaplan), and Rodney Graham (303 Gallery).
The ADAA Art Show 2017
Piers Ninety-Two and Ninety-Four will hold 210 national and international galleries for the 2017 edition of the Armory Show. This year the fair launches Platform, a curated exhibitor section that will feature large-scale and site-specific artworks installed throughout the premises by artists such as Patricia Cronin, Dorian Gaudin, Per Kirkeby, Yayoi Kusama, Lawrence Weiner, and Ai Weiwei. Also, the 2017 Armory Live program will offer up panels and lectures from a vast range of art-world doers and makers, including Marilyn Minter, Charles Atlas, Barbara London, Jeffrey Deitch, Renzo Martens, and Shiva Ahmadi.
The Armory Show 2017
More than fifty galleries and nonprofit institutions from around the world will take over Fifty Varick Street from March 2 to March 5 for this year’s iteration of the Independent fair. Expect plenty of unabashed beauty and intellectual rigor from the likes of White Columns, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Triple Canopy, David Lewis, and JTT in New York; Christophe Gaillard in Paris; François Ghebaly in Los Angeles; Glasgow’s Modern Institute; Maureen Paley in London; and Meyer Kainer in Vienna, among many others.
Independent New York
Kader Attia is a poet, critic, anthropologist, and unrepentant fabulist. For the artist’s second solo exhibition at Lehmann Maupin, he brings us Reason’s Oxymorons, 2015, a multichannel video installation—which made its debut at the Thirteenth Biennale de Lyon—that features “European and African ethnographers, psychiatric and philosophical practitioners, and theorists discussing topics grouped under titles including ‘Genocide,’ ‘Totem and Fetish,’ ‘Reason and Politics,’ and ‘Trance.’”
Kader Attia Reason's Oxymorons
Pleasure and death, sex and terror—Mark Leckey’s subversive forays into the collective hangover that is modern-day, world-suffocating Pop have been making audiences gasp and laugh for nearly twenty years. The British artist’s survey at MoMA PS1—his first major retrospective in the United States, cocurated by the museum’s Peter Eleey, Jocelyn Miller, and Oliver Shultz, along with MoMA’s Stuart Comer—will make me and you and everyone we know more and more hardcore.
Mark Leckey: Containers and Their Drivers
There’s a Beverly Buchanan oil pastel drawing, Georgia Shack with Datura Blooms, 2003, that shows the titular structure, an oddly sentient thing, nearly engulfed by an orange sky and monstrous plants—a landscape informed by Edvard Munch, the horrors of the American South, and the artist’s extraordinary personal history. “Beverly Buchanan—Ruins and Rituals,” part of the Brooklyn Museum’s yearlong programming called “Year of Yes,” celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, will shed a necessary spotlight on this extraordinary and overlooked artist.
Beverly Buchanan Beverly Buchanan: Ruins and Rituals, 1976-2013
MacArthur “genius” Tara Donovan makes spectacular mountains from molehill-like objects. Things such as tar paper, coffee filters, and buttons get multiplied into infinity and transformed into landscape-like sculptures. The artist’s newest body of framed, wall-mounted works turn delicate accretions of styrene cards into gorgeous Op-style abstractions.
Take a gander at Francis Picabia’s Portrait d’un couple (Portrait of a Couple), 1942–43: A pair of doofus, dead-eyed lovers gaze out onto nothingness, while in the background a man holds a woman aloft—à la Fragonard, but waaaaay sicker—beneath a particularly bad rendering of a magnolia tree. Sex machines, hookers, race cars, nihilism—Picabia’s art is the kind that, despite the dazzling march of progress, reflects the merciless imbecility of history and humanity. He was a brilliant thinker, maker, snob, and slut who played art’s endgame faster and harder than perhaps anyone else. “Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction,” the first survey in the United States to chart the entirety of this fabulously demented artist’s career, will feature more than two hundred works: paintings, drawings, periodicals, a vast array of assorted ephemera, and one film.
Francis Picabia Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction
Mary Beth Edelson’s Kali Bobbit, 1994—a statue of an s/m goddess wearing a belt of knives and posing on a tiered plinth like a Busby Berkeley ingénue—holds court in “The Devil Giving Birth to the Patriarchy,” the octogenarian feminist’s first exhibition with David Lewis. Edelson’s raven-haired seductress is surrounded by hundreds of the artist’s creepy-creature collages as well as “Woman Rising,” her series of painted silver gelatin prints from 1973.
Mary Beth Edelson The Devil Giving Birth to the Patriarchy
The oscillating cosmic shard that General Zod and his cronies were imprisoned by in Superman II (1980) feels a lot like the shiny, supernatural objects John McCracken produced for almost fifty years. The artist left this dimension in 2011, but his inimitable brand of Martian Minimalism continues to seduce.
John McCracken Planks
ZERO group founders Heinz Mack and Otto Piene helped set the stage for a number of artistic movements—Minimalism, Arte Povera, Op—that needed to stray from the id of American Abstract Expressionism as filtered through European tachisme/art informel. At Sperone Westwater, Mack presents ink drawings, paintings, and Tele-Mack, 1968, a performance/intervention filmed in the Sahara Desert.
“Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965,” scrupulously curated by NYU Steinhardt’s Melissa Rachleff, is a historiographic survey of thinking, making, showing, and collaborating during a pivotal moment in the history of this city’s avant-garde. The exhibition, which starts at Fifty-One East Fourth Street (Tanager Gallery) and travels all the way up to Fifteen West Fifty-Seventh Street (Green Gallery), introduces us to the nascent, crackerjack goings-on from some of New York’s finest, such as Richard Bellamy, Lee Lozano, Lois Dodd, Lucas Samaras, Dan Flavin, Fay Lansner, Red Grooms, Stan VanDerBeek, Phyllis Yampolsky, Mark di Suvero, and Yoko Ono, among countless others.
Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965
Oh but to be a Royal Meissen porcelain, handled with the most tender of care and on lofty display, in Henry Clay Frick’s magnificently appointed mansion. We are invited to inhabit the interior lives of these stately objects in “Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection,” which commingles twelve of Shechet’s perverse Meissen-inspired works (pieces the artist made during residencies at the house’s factory in Germany a few years ago) with approximately 140 originals, selected and organized by the artist herself. This is the most appropriate way to enter the summer—in splendor.
Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection
Painter Jack Whitten is a scrupulous, stealthy abstractionist who understood, very early on, that paint had sculptural properties as well. The artist’s first exhibition with Hauser & Wirth at its West Twenty-Second Street space pulls together works from his “Portals” and “Quantum Walls” series—images that feel as vast and uneasy as a starless night—created between 2015 and 2017. Also on view is Quantum Man (The Sixth Portal), 2016, a dramatically conceived sculpture made of acrylic, Cretan walnut, lead, Serbian oak, and marble.
Jesus, Charles Manson, the Apocalypse, Gumby—Raymond Pettibon has spilled a lot of black ink rendering all the fetid, funny, and fantastic realms of the postwar American imagination. “A Pen of All Work,” organized by the New Museum’s Gary Carrion-Murayari and Massimiliano Gioni, is the largest survey of Pettibon’s art to date, with more than eight hundred drawings spanning nearly fifty years of perverse peregrinations.
Raymond Pettibon A Pen of All Work
Funereal, funny, disorienting, and emphatically queer—A. K. Burns has the kind of touch that transforms the most quotidian materials and situations into numinous, beautiful experiences. For “Shabby but Thriving,” Burns presents a new two-channel video, Living Room, 2017–, which reconfigures parts of the New Museum’s architecture—its stairwell and basement—as sentient spaces within a living body. The video serves as the connective tissue for the artist’s installation in the museum’s fifth-floor galleries.
A.K. Burns Shabby but Thriving
Merging film, anthropology, and performance, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz’s “A Universe of Fragile Mirrors” focuses on the repercussions of colonialism in Puerto Rico and Haiti with a style that is part documentary, part fever dream. This exhibition, organized by curator María Elena Ortiz and the Pérez Art Museum Miami, will also feature works from El Museo del Barrio’s collection of eight thousand–plus objects, selected by Santiago Muñoz, to augment and complicate her vision.
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz A Universe of Fragile Mirrors
Sarah Charlesworth understood the numinousness of pictures like few others. “Natural Magic,” the artist’s 1992–93 series of oval-shaped Cibachromes that depict images from the realms of hocus-pocus—a levitating woman, for instance, or a smoking genie’s lamp—comes out of the shadows for the first time since it was last exhibited, twenty-four years ago.
Sarah Charlesworth Natural Magic
Marisa Merz—one of Arte Povera’s most profound figureheads—has spent much of her life gazing heavenward. We see it in her levitating aluminum “Living Sculptures” of the 1960s and in more recent paintings of female spirits, coruscating and resplendent. Merz’s retrospective at the Met Breuer, “The Sky Is a Great Space”—her first in the US—covers five decades of this wide-ranging intellect’s enigmatic production via sculpture, installation, drawing, and painting.
Marisa Merz The Sky Is a Great Space
Giorgio de Chirico was Surrealism’s grand architect, a designer of eerie buildings and empty piazzas culled directly from the collective subconscious. Giulio Paolini, a rigorous Conceptualist who’s more than a little Surrealism-adjacent—and a longtime admirer of de Chirico—often dives into the artist’s haunted cityscapes, creating works that feel like revelations discovered in dreams, which always seem to exist only in traces upon waking. The artists’ exhibition at CIMA is a dialogue in code, metaphysical and gorgeous.
Giorgio de Chirico and Giulio Paolini The Center for Italian Modern Art presents de Chirico and Paolini
In a text on Hanne Darboven’s Kulturgeschichte 1880–1983 (Cultural History 1880–1983), 1980–83, from the February 2017 issue of Artforum, Bruce Hainley discusses the artist’s inveterate smoking. Indeed, a habit so simultaneously glamorous, malodorous, and cancerous makes perfect sense when thinking about this glossolalic and image-drunk roman à clef that conflates Darboven’s dark personal history with that of Germany’s. Her immersive, 1,609-piece installation from Dia’s permanent collection has not been on view in the US for more than ten years—see it now.
Hanne Darboven Kulturgeschichte 1880–1983 (Cultural History 1880–1983)
Kishio Suga, one of the Japanese Mono-ha movement’s founding figureheads, is a poet of form. His sculptures and assemblages, utilizing workaday materials such as wood, wire, stone, and steel, summon a presence that is immanently cosmic. The artist’s presentation at Dia: Chelsea—his first solo museum exhibition in the United States, curated by Alexis Lowry and Jessica Morgan––will feature a re-creation of Placement of Condition, 1973, an installation made from cut stones, among other of Suga’s numinous objects.