previews

  • “LINCOLN KIRSTEIN’S MODERN”

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
    11 West 53rd Street
    March 17–June 30, 2019

    Curated by Jodi Hauptman and Samantha Friedman

    Lincoln Kirstein was twenty-one when, in December 1928, he founded the Harvard Society for Contemporary Art, an essential blueprint for the Museum of Modern Art, which opened eleven months later in New York. He was twenty-five when he began to form, with George Balanchine, the School of American Ballet, the indispensable armature for American dance. If I didn’t love him, I’d hate him. Ambitious, well-connected, queer—a “Jewish Bolshevik with shocking bad manners,” as he once put it—Kirstein was a paragon of the prewar twentieth century’s fertile eclecticism. He filled the world with his passions. This show focuses on Kirstein’s contributions from the 1930s and ’40s, featuring more than two hundred works from the museum’s collection and archive, many of which have rarely been exhibited, as well as a catalogue with contributions by, among others, Lynn Garafola and Richard Meyer.

  • “MOVED BY THE MOTION: SUDDEN RISE”

    Whitney Museum of American Art
    99 Gansevoort Street
    April 26–April 27, 2019

    Organized by Adrienne Edwards with Greta Hartenstein

    I can see him smiling, swirling, velveteen. In Wu Tsang’s 2015 video Girl Talk, Fred Moten is verdant, shot through with sunshine. At the Whitney this spring, as the collective Moved by the Motion, Moten and Tsang—along with boychild, Patrick Belaga, Josh Johnson, and Asma Maroof—will present “Sudden Rise,” a series of performances encompassing fragments of music, text, dance, and film. Is an ensemble always already a collage? Language and references drawn from Langston Hughes, W. E. B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, Jimi Hendrix, and Hannah Arendt will feature throughout. A motley crew is perhaps just another way to describe the citational nature of personhood. One does not yet know what the performances will be, or, for that matter, what a person could be. We imagine this: Better to be prepositional than pronominal—exploring the ways of being from, being despite, being about, being with each other.

  • “ART AFTER STONEWALL”

    Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
    26 Wooster Street
    April 21–July 21, 2019

    Curated by Jonathan Weinberg, Tyler Cann, Daniel Marcus, and Drew Sawyer

    LGBTQI advocates often credit the Stonewall riots of June 1969 as a watershed moment of the gay liberation movement—three nights of radical collective response, wherein butches, queens, sex workers, homeless youth, and trans/gender-nonconforming folks fought alongside one another to protest the punitive surveillance and imprisonment that was a given for those who dared congregate openly as queers. To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of this uprising, the Leslie-Lohman Museum, in collaboration with NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, will present more than 150 pieces of art and ephemera from the LGBTQI canon, including works by Vaginal Davis, Holly Hughes, JEB, and Catherine Opie. Additionally, audiences will be asked to consider the practices of such queer-adjacent contemporaries as Lynda Benglis, Karen Finley, and Alice Neel. The show’s lineup suggests queerness as an umbrella of ever-growing dimensions, evoking the spirit of coalition that marks this moment’s latest rendition of the Stonewall story.

  • “NEO RAUCH: AUS DEM BODEN/ FROM THE FLOOR”

    The Drawing Center
    35 Wooster Street
    April 12–July 28, 2019

    Curated by Brett Littman and Jeff Fleming with Amber Harper

    Speaking about his studio, Neo Rauch has commented that “it is necessary to enter this place in a state of psychological and physical ventilation.” One might adopt the same mindset when approaching his paintings, entangled as they can be in the dank and heavy meshes of inexpressible histories. One aerated mode of entry might be through his drawings, here granted their first extensive American exhibition, in collaboration with the Des Moines Art Center. The 179 items on view, dating from 1994 to 2017, should give a clear idea of what Brett Littman calls the artist’s “somewhat adversarial and complicated relationship” to the medium of drawing, and in doing so shed fresh light (and air) on the painter from Leipzig.

  • “LUCIO FONTANA: ON THE THRESHOLD”

    The Met | Metropolitan Museum of Art
    1000 Fifth Avenue
    January 23–April 14, 2019

    The Met Breuer
    945 Madison Avenue

    Curated by Iria Candela

    The Argentinean-Italian artist Lucio Fontana was nearly sixty when he made the first of his “Tagli” (Cuts), 1958–68, the slashed monochrome canvases with which he is now indelibly associated. This sweeping New York retrospective will put those late paintings in context, reminding viewers that Fontana’s concept of “Spatialism” was fundamentally multidisciplinary. Installed at both Met locations and accompanied by an illustrated catalogue, the show will explore an artistic career that spanned four decades, two continents, six manifestos, and media as diverse as stone, metal, ceramics, television, and installation. Alongside the paintings, sculptures, and drawings on view, the Met will reconstruct three of Fontana’s late, immersive environments, providing a rare perspective on his pursuit of a spatial and technological art.