previews

New York

John Latham

MoMA PS1
22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Avenue
October 29–January 8

Curated by David Thorp

A decade before John Latham’s death last January at age eighty-five, I worked in his neighborhood bookshop in London, ordering the abstruse tomes on time and quantum mechanics that fed what this show calls his “unified theory of existence.” By then, he had gone from creating largely Conceptual work—like his 1966–67 action in which he literally chewed up Clement Greenberg’s Art and Culture—to making paintings, sculptures, performances, installations, and films, and his openness and iconoclasm had already influenced four decades of British artists. Touring from the UK’s John Hansard Gallery, this retrospective will be his first significant presentation in the United States. With more than thirty works (including all eleven of his hanging sculptural “clusters” of books, plaster, and wire), it should illuminate the fiercely individual thinking of one of the key British artists of the past century.