New York

“Danh Vo: Take my breath away”

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New York
1071 Fifth Avenue
February 9–May 9

Curated by Katherine Brinson with Susan Thompson

In the Christian tradition, the “laying on of hands” is a way of transporting a spirit from one body to another. Danh Vo made a similar technique integral to his art. Starting with an array of scavenged objects, ranging from grand chandeliers to presidential pens, Vo alters them—in ways that are undetectable to the human eye—by imbuing them with an affective charge. At times, he cuts these items into pieces, as he did with Roman sculptures and, more metaphorically, the Statue of Liberty. And then there are the cardboard boxes that he emblazons with corporate logos. All of this has made Vo central to contemporary art and a mystical figure in a de-skilled world. If Vo’s practice often focuses on the displacement and migration caused by colonial regimes, this survey of the forty-two-year-old’s career promises to address America’s present state of decay.