• “Neurotic Realism: Part One”

    Saatchi Gallery
    Duke of York's HQ King's Road
    January 14–March 28, 1999

    The catalogue (The New Neurotic Realism), published by the Saatchi Gallery in advance of the show, aimed to double-click on a particular swath of British artists stepping out in the wake of the Hirst-Hume-Lucas generation. The work of these newer talents is certainly more playful—sillier, sexier, and more obviously spontaneous. Five of the newcomers featured in the book are showing in the first part of this survey exhibition from Charles Saatchi’s collection. Included are mournful, domestic figure paintings by Martin Maloney, who took a turn in “Sensation;” the Saatchi’s 1997 YBA roundup, and work by London-based, Philadelphia-born Steven Gontarski, the Lalique of wacky sculpture. Jan. 14–Mar. 28.

  • Patrick Caulfield

    Hayward Gallery
    Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road
    February 4–April 11, 1999

    This substantial touring retrospective of the paintings of Patrick Caulfield, a contemporary of Hockney and Kitaj, is long overdue. An uncategorizable figure, Caulfield successfully escaped early Pop affiliations to become the graphic poet of private desolation as found in convivial public places such as restaurants and bars. The fifty-odd canvases in this show are imbued with wit, tarred innocence, and, at their best, a melancholy grandeur. The catalogue will include an interview with the artist and an essay by Marco Livingstone, a leading authority on the artist’s work. Feb. 4–Apr. 11; travels to Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art, Luxembourg, Apr. 23–June 13; Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, July 2–Sept. 26; Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Oct. 27, 1999–Jan. 9, 2000.

  • Steve McQueen

    fig-2 at ICA Studio in association with Outset
    The Mall
    January 29–March 27, 1999

    McQueen’s films bowl one over. It’s not just those unexpected, disorienting camera angles and giant wall-to-ceiling projections he favors, but the dizzying spectrum of cinematic languages he incorporates into his own idiosyncratic idiom (from silent comedy, via vintage Hollywood, to the most rarefied avant-garde experimentation). Drum Roll (1998) (footage shot from a barrel rolling through Manhattan), which receives its premiere, and Deadpan (1997) (a hazardous Buster Keaton gag reworked), are among the large-scale works included in McQueen’s first major solo exhibition, curated by the ICA’s Emma Dexter and Susan Copping. Jan. 29–Mar. 27; travels to Kunsthalle Zürich, June 11–Aug. I5.

  • Henri Michaux

    Whitechapel Gallery
    77 - 82 Whitechapel High Street
    February 19–April 25, 1999

    Curated by Catherine Lampert and Anthony Spira

    A “rape,” an “atrocious voltage” annihilating “the machine of the mind” is how Belgian artist and poet Henri Michaux (1899-1984) described the effects of taking mescaline. The frantic, vibrating drawings he produced under the drug’s influence make for pretty edgy viewing; here they’ll be shown alongside watercolors and extracts from the artist’s writing. Admired by André Gide, influenced by Lautréamont, Klee, Ernst, and De Chirico, Michaux is just the type of fascinating, slightly outsider-ish figure the Whitechapel is so good at restoring to view. Catherine Lampert, the gallery’s director, and in-house curator Anthony Spira organized this show, which includes over l00 works and offers a wealth of remarkable, demanding images and ideas.