• Eugenio Dittborn: Remota Airmail Paintings

    New Museum
    235 Bowery
    February 12–April 20, 1997

    Curated by Dan Cameron

    “Traveling show” takes on a whole new meaning in the first major exhibition of Chilean artist Eugenio Dittborn’s “Airmail Paintings.” In the mid ’80s Dittborn began folding his work, packing it in envelopes, and sending it abroad as a means of circumventing the censorship of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship and the resulting international cultural boycott. Continuing the series, after the fall of the Pinochet regime, the artist sees this parcel-post process as richly evocative and as a metaphor for South American cultural isolation. This exhibition of five politically and poetically suggestive, large-scale paintings from the past five years is co-organized with Santiago’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and is the third major venture of curator Dan Cameron, whose interest in South American art will no doubt influence future New Museum offerings. 2/12–4/20; travels to Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago.

  • “Rrose is a Rrose is a Prose: Gender Performance”

    Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New York
    1071 Fifth Avenue
    January 17–April 16, 1997

    Curated by Jennifer Blessing

    Over the past decade or so, few issues have been as hotly contested as that of identity. In this show, GUGGENHEIM assistant curator Jennifer Blessing assembles eighty photographic works—portraits, self-portraits, and photomontages—by twenty-four artists to focus on the construction of gender identity in photography. Divided into two sections, the show focuses on works from between the two world wars and after 1968; highlights include Cecil Beaton, Brassai, Hannah Höch, Matthew Barney, Janine Antoni, Cindy Sherman, and Yasumasa Morimura.

  • “The Whitney Biennial”

    Whitney Museum of American Art
    99 Gansevoort Street
    March 12–June 15, 1997

    Curated by Lisa Phillips and Louise Neri

    Mum’s the world when it comes to this year’s WHITNEY Biennial. Faced with the still—vivid memory of Klaus Kertess’ prehyped/postsniped ’95 version, it’s understandable that the current curators—longtime Whitney curator Lisa Phillips chose to share her appointment with Louise Neri, US senior editor of the Swiss journal Parkett—are playing their cards closer to the chest. Here’s what they will tell us: for abstract painting look elsewhere (narrative rules in this biennial); fashion—meets—art doesn’t rate; LA, a city whose artistic vitality the curators see as ascendant, does; slipshod facture’s out; the real world’s not, just unwelcome in unmediated, text—based versions; performance figures in the planning; and film and video will “be selected from the point of view of two curators of contemporary art.” General good news: fewer artists and more work from those represented, as well as discoveries the curators promise will surprise even art—world veterans. Phillips and Neri are sophisticated insiders, and from the sound of it, they’ve been doing their homework in getting out to see what’s there. While our own sources reveal that Matthew Barney and Charles Ray will be back, inclusions as diverse as Vija Celmins and DJ Spooky or Philip—Lorca diCorcia and Martin Kersels suggest the mix is eclectic. Others we’ve heard about include Jennifer Pastor, Zoe Leonard, Brian Crockett, Paul McCarthy, Richard Phillips, Matt Mullican, Sue Williams, Katy Schimert, and John Schabel.

  • Arakawa/Gins: The Mechanism of Meaning in Reversible Destiny Architecture

    Guggenheim Museum Soho
    New York
    April 14–June 15

    Curated by Michael Govan

    Back in the ’80s, when Magritte and Merleau—Ponty collided on their canvases, Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins called themselves artists. Nowadays, they call themselves architects but refer to their “reversible destiny architecture” as “landing sites” for bodies weary of laws of perspective and gravity. Nine such projects—improbable spaces, imaginary gardens, self—interrogating constructions—are on display at the GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM SOHO. Curated by Michael Govan, director of the Dia Center for the Arts, this first extensive presentation of Arakawa/Gins’ architectural side follows the recent completion of two Japanese projects: Site of Reversible Destiny in Gifu’s Yoro Park and Ubiquitous Site at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Nagi.