Critics’ Picks

View of “She's Come Undone.”

View of “She's Come Undone.”

New York

“She's Come Undone”

Van Doren Waxter
23 East 73rd Street Second Floor
June 3–July 16, 2004

Riffing off the Guess Who song (or perhaps the Wally Lamb novel), “She’s Come Undone” devotes itself to contemporary figurative art, though not necessarily to women. Instead, curator Augusto Arbizo has put together a who’s who of painters known for giving the human figure a new spin. Glenn Brown, Lisa Yuskavage, and John Currin are among the extra-high-profile artists here (a small, sketchy ink-on-paper study for Currin’s Thanksgiving, 2003, the celebrated painting that appeared in his recent Whitney retrospective, provides an interesting glimpse of his process). Ann Craven’s eleven-by-fourteen-inch portraits of men, including one of the curator, are a departure from her usual animal and bird images. Wangechi Mutu’s collages of women best illustrate the show’s title, while works by J.P. Munro, Neal Tait, Richard Wathen, and Mika Kato offer a darker, twisted view of figuration. The combination of young blue-chip artists and the truly “emerging”—as well as the high quality of the work on view—makes for a summer show that’s a cut above many others.