• Memory Foundations - World Trade Centre Site, New York Skyline of Lower Manhattan (computer rendering).

    Daniel Libeskind

    Barbican Art Gallery
    Barbican Centre Silk Street
    September 16, 2004–January 23, 2005

    Before Daniel Libeskind became Governor Pataki’s favorite architect, he enjoyed a distinguished (if hardly prolific) career as an academic, theorist, and designer in Europe. This survey of his architectural work provides an opportunity to evaluate Libeskind’s efforts at Ground Zero in the context of his efforts as leader of the “symbolist wing” of the deconstructionist movement that dominated avant-garde architecture in the ’90s. Designed by architect Matthias Reese, formerly of Studio Daniel Libeskind, this show includes materials and models related to sixteen realized and unrealized projects and culminates in a “specially commissioned illuminated model” of the Freedom Tower. One imagines it will be 1,776 millimeters high and sport a tiny effigy of David Childs impaled on its spire.

  • Sex, 2003, Oil on panel, 126 x 85 cm

    Glenn Brown

    Serpentine Galleries
    Kensington Gardens
    September 14–November 7, 2004

    Since the early ’90s Glenn Brown has copied reproductions of paintings by Auerbach, de Kooning, Fragonard, and Dalí, as well as sci-fi book-cover illustrations, emphasizing the flaws in his source material (overripe color, weird cropping, flattened impasto—the latter rendered by Brown in spectacular trompe l’oeil) while seemingly equating grandness and schlock. Yet he’s far from being just another frolicker at originality’s wake: The British painter’s increasingly unfaithful remakes suggest an interlaced articulation of subjectivity and deliberate misprision, while his vitrined objects smothered in thick agglutinations of paint offer a neat sideline in postheroic sculpture. This survey comprises some forty works and is accompanied by a catalogue featuring an essay by Alison Gingeras.

  • Marcel Broodthaers, The Visual Tower, 1966, Glass jars, wood and magazine illustrations, 88.7 x 49.7 x 49.7 cm

    Faces in the Crowd

    Whitechapel Gallery
    77 - 82 Whitechapel High Street
    December 3, 2004–February 5, 2005

    Like a good modernist, this show starts squarely with Manet, but like an even better deconstructionist, its roughly sixty works in various media propose alternate histories of this well-traversed terrain. Refusing a formalist privileging of abstraction and autonomy, the artists constellated here—a who’s who from Picasso to Heartfield, Warhol to Sherman—have recourse to the figure. A comprehensive catalogue-cum-anthology penned by such contributors as Ester Coen, Charles Harrison, Jill Lloyd, Robert Storr, and exhibiting artist Jeff Wall accompanies the show. An imaging of the social in many guises, this exhibition can’t help but feel resolutely avant-garde after all.

  • Dancing Canvases, 1998, Canvases, brushes, pigment, motor, 14.2 x 11 x 7.9 in (36 x 28 x 20 cm)

    Rebecca Horn

    K20 Grabbeplatz
    Grabbeplatz 5
    October 2, 2004–January 9, 2005

    Centro Cultural de Belém
    Praça do Império
    January 29–April 25, 2005

    Hayward Gallery
    Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road
    May 26–September 11, 2005

    This Rebecca Horn exhibition promises to prove that it is not mere platitude to speak of pencil and paper as an extension of the artist’s body. The show places about eighty-five drawings alongside both her early fabric appendages, which extend their wearers’ body parts, and four recent machine installations that perform repetitive bodily tasks. Though bios of Horn routinely mention the year she spent in a sanatorium recovering from lung damage after working with polyester and fiberglass, the artist’s own body has remained a refreshingly puzzling absence in her work.