previews

  • East Village USA

    New Museum
    235 Bowery
    December 2 - March 19

    The East Village scene of the early ’80s—a roiling stew pot of artistic endeavors and a cesspool of degradation, intentional or otherwise—still exerts a powerful hold on the imagination of those who lived through its glories and excesses and those born circa 1985, the year Carlo McCormick declared the whole shebang dead in the East Village Eye. Opening at the New Museum’s temporary Chelsea location, this survey outlines counterculture antecedents and attempts to encompass the full spectrum of Alphabet City with more than eighty artists, from avatars of graffiti art and punk expressionism to pencil-sharpening practitioners of the neo-geo and “Pictures” typology. Will Fun Gallery proprietor and underground-film star Patti Astor attend the opening? I sure hope so.

  • Katharina Sieverding, Die Sonnne um Mitternacht Schauen, 2003, c-prints, total size: 125 x 190 in.

    Katharina Sieverding

    MoMA PS1
    22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Avenue
    October 17 - January 31

    While inundated with photography by students of the Bechers, we are less familiar with those, like Katharina Sieverding, who studied with Joseph Beuys. Sieverding, born in Prague in 1944, worked in Düsseldorf from 1967 until 1972. Known chiefly for large-scale photography that pushes its subjectivist dimensions, she often focuses on her own body, submitting her visage to various forms of photographic dissolution. This survey of roughly a dozen works—multimedia installations, photographic series, and film and slide projections—is accompanied by a catalogue with essays by, among others, Brian O’Doherty and Norman Bryson and provides American audiences with their first museum show of Sieverding’s work.

  • Design ≠ Art

    Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
    2 East 91st Street
    September 10 - February 20

    It has become almost rote to pronounce a blurring of the line between art and design. Artists who have dabbled in both disciplines have, however, felt the need to delineate boundaries. “The intent of art is different from that of [design], which must be functional,” Donald Judd said. “A work of art exists as itself, a chair exists as a chair itself.” The washroom sink that Judd designed for his home is on view here among sixty-nine functional objects by eighteen other luminaries of minimalist aesthetics, from John Chamberlain’s table made of car parts to Rachel Whiteread’s daybed formed from the casts of negative space around a bed. It’s form following function, albeit not without a detour or two.

  • Dayanita Singh, First Communion, Saligao, 2000, 2001, c-print, 100 x 100 cm

    Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India

    Queens Museum
    New York City Building Flushing Meadows
    July 24 - May 29

    Art Gallery of Western Australia
    Perth Cultural Centre James Sreet Mall
    September 25 - January 16

    This show of more than eighty works by thirty-two artists and collectives hopes to do for contemporary Indian art what “Inside Out: New Chinese Art” did in 1998 for art from China. That is, to provide both regional and global contexts that challenge preconceptions of recent art from India—whose presence in Western pop culture is often limited to Bollywood, yoga, and outsourcing. The show presents work by urban, nondiasporic artists like documentary photographer Dayanita Singh yet also takes a curatorial risk by offering pieces by rural folk artists such as painter Swarna Chitrakar, who reinterprets in a traditional style scenes from the Hollywood film Titanic.

  • Isamu Noguchi

    Whitney Museum of American Art
    99 Gansevoort Street
    October 28 - January 16

    Curated by Valerie Fletcher

    Focusing on Isamu Noguchi’s series of wood and stone totems that evoke the nearly sentient quality particular to his work, this retrospective covering mainly the early ’30s to the early ’60s celebrates the centenary of the Japanese artist’s birth. Also featured are sixty-five sculptures and twenty drawings, all highlighting Noguchi’s mix of European modernism with Japanese tradition and his extraordinary sense of material and form. Organized jointly by the Whitney and the Hirshhorn and curated by the latter’s Valerie Fletcher, the show is accompanied by a catalogue that features essays by Fletcher, Bonnie Rychlak, and Dana Miller. Travels to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, Feb. 10, 2005–May 8, 2005.