Critics’ Picks

Matthew Barney, Cremaster 2: Deseret, 1999.

New York

Uniform: Order and Disorder

22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Avenue
May 20–September 3

The memory of P.S. 1’s summer line of technical, formal, and military wear should linger long into the fall. Installed with suitable style by Italian architects Gruppo A12, “Uniform: Order and Disorder” takes in punk rock and Star Trek, Prada and Mao, Joseph Beuys and Sarah Lucas. Surveying the utilitarian/totalitarian look and its persistent reappearance in postwar art, design, and popular culture, curators Francesco Bonami, Maria Luisa Frisa, and Stefano Tonchi find it hard to resist the conclusion that evil is more elegant than good—and that boots and epaulettes are as sexy as they are forbidding. From Vanessa Beecroft’s images of choreographed marines to Doh-Ho Suh’s ranks of conjoined school blazers, the theme proves deeply pervasive, and surprisingly rich. Art and fashion can be awkward cellmates, but here they look, for once, harmonious.