new-york

Andres Serrano

Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

When “A History of Andres Serrano/A History of Sex” opened earlier this year at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, the institution proposed an illustrated poster for the exhibition that would be displayed on billboards. The image selected, A History of Sex (Leo’s Fantasy), 1996, shows a woman in a hiked—up skirt, one hand on her hip, the other behind the head of a bare-chested young man, into whose open mouth she’s urinating. Church groups protested. Conservatives lobbied a Dutch court to halt distribution of the poster. Paint bombs were lobbed at the museum’s walls. So much for the fantasy of a sexually sophisticated Europe. Ironically, months later in New York, the show opened to a muted response. Maybe controversy is yet to come, or maybe this time around the pictures will be left to speak for themselves.

When “A History of Sex” opened at Paula Cooper’s new space in Chelsea—a

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