reviews

  • Andy Warhol Photography

    International Center of Photography Museum (ICP)

    Andy Warhol is to photography as Shakespeare is to words, Freud to cigars, and Lagerfeld, fans. How impressive then that one not-too-huge exhibition has taken on such a whopper so adequately. The ICP show, which originated in 1999 at the Hamburg Kunsthalle, includes photos of Warhol shot by himself and by others (Avedon, Mapplethorpe, etc.), sources for his paintings, his insider-paparazzo snaps, and photos qua photos. A blowup of the pallid Pop prince dwarfs entering viewers: Nosferatu-ish yet modern, Warhol warily clutches rosary beads, eyeing Cecil Beaton, the dapper shutterbug reflected in

    Read more
  • Jörg Immendorff

    Anton Kern Gallery / Michael Werner Gallery

    Painting must take on the function of the potato.

    —Jörg Immendorff, 1966

    Discussions of Jörg Immendorff’s artistic itinerary often begin with a painting from 1966, when he was still a student of Joseph Beuys in Düsseldorf. The words Hört auf zu malen—“Stop painting”—are smeared over an impulsively crossed-out bed, with Beuys’s signature hat hung on the bedpost. Like Brecht’s Erst kommt das Fressen (“Grub comes first”), Immendorff’s injunction analogizing paintings and potatoes signaled a determination to make art that was humanly useful in some basic way. Shaped paintings of fat-cheeked, Buddhalike

    Read more
  • Jan Dibbets

    Gladstone Gallery | West 21st St

    Overheard at the opening for Jan Dibbets’s recent exhibition of late-’60s and ’70s work: “Old? Yes, they’re old. Maybe old enough for people to actually see them.” That the speaker was Dibbets himself doesn’t make the remark any less perceptive. This museum-quality miniretrospective succeeded not just in resituating Dibbets’s photography within so-called Dutch Conceptualism but also in helping us reconsider the broader Conceptualist break from art’s reliance on the object. What the exhibition demonstrated is that Dibbets’s compositions, for all their austerity and almost exaggerated rigor, are

    Read more
  • David Salle

    Gagosian Gallery

    Twenty years ago (my God!), when painting and postmodernism met in their unlikely romance, it was David Salle who played Friar Lawrence. As painting was regaining a respectability and a prominence it had lacked for over a decade, the clear intelligence of Salle’s work, and the neatness with which it lent itself to a new theoretical vocabulary of appropriation and the simulacrum, made him stand out. Of late, though, most anyone writing about Salle begins with the waning of his reputation in the ’90s. Salle’s painting has certainly lost its early bravura nerviness; given the critical apparatus

    Read more
  • Jon Pylypchuk

    Petzel Gallery | West 18th Street

    A few works by Jon Pylypchuk in a group show at this gallery back in September brought a whisper of hope that the coming New York season might promise something a little different. While his influences are readily apparent (from Dubuffet to Mike Kelley), Pylypchuk’s work is fresh and witty, and there is certainly nothing quite so folksy and disarming around at the moment—which seems to be marked by unfailingly good taste, low risk, and certain formal refinement. (I’m thinking about everything from Jorge Pardo’s floor at Dia to Ricci Albenda’s recent installation at Andrew Kreps.)

    Of course,

    Read more
  • Warren Isensee

    Audiello Fine Art, Inc.

    Warren Isensee’s paintings draw on his memories of domesticated modernism. Evoking the interior color schemes and the bright prints of ’60s and ’70s suburban TV rooms (with Marimekko-patterned draperies and kidney-shaped coffee tables) and kitchens (with their boomerang-motif Formica countertops), Isensee’s canvases are rendered in flat decorator hues: unsaturated blues and greens, apricot, chocolate brown, powdery pink Structured on a system of reversals, in which opaque solids abut outlined open forms and mingle with loopy ribbons of color, the works are conceived with the thoughtful, almost

    Read more
  • Christian Marclay

    Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

    If one could make a diagram of the way Christian Marclay thinks, it might look something like the family tree of the royals, with crossing arrows linking cousins and in-laws: Fluxus here, Brancusi there, Duchamp, punk, John Cage, noise music, hip-hop, Vito Acconci, Structuralist film, and much, much more. Marclay is constantly sampling from all over the place to create a seamless and original combination of material that conjures up art, film, and music history, both distant and recent, as well as current events. Add a reliance on visual stimuli and an irrepressible sense of rhythm and you get

    Read more
  • Robert Longo

    Metro Pictures

    Robert Longo’s “Freud Drawings,” 2000, don’t quite have the suave elegance of his 1978–83 “Men in the Cities” series, for which he is best known. The large black-and-white format and charcoal-and-graphite medium are the same, but the stark contrasts here seem more forced. One can’t help but wonder if Longo is trying too hard to revisit the scene of an earlier success. Nevertheless, these drawings do have a certain authority, attributable partly to their reference to Freud but also to their “defeat” of the documentary photographs that are their point of departure.

    Edmund Engelman photographed in

    Read more
  • Donna Moylan

    Nicole Klagsbrun

    Living in Rome for most of the ’80s, American artist Donna Moylan could not help being influenced by the transavanguardia. What Moylan has retained from the movement, beyond a premium on painterliness, is a blithe indifference to the barriers between abstraction and representation. Delicate and blunt, intricate and slapdash, serene and lurid commingle; painstaking ornamental elaboration turns into the impatient, sweeping gesture that would wipe the slate clean; abstract forms and spontaneous effects bump up against precisely rendered images, not without surprise but certainly without antagonism.

    Read more
  • Shizuka Yokomizo

    Cohan Leslie and Browne

    “Dear Stranger”: On its own, the phrase that titles Shizuka Yokomizo’s 1998–2000 series of photographic portraits is heavy with paradox. How can someone be at once dear—precious, beloved—and yet a stranger? The sociologically minded viewer could find reams of data about the subjects in the details of their dwellings, furniture, and dress, but as familiar as the figures can seem, they remain distant, unreachable. Who are these people peering out from the kitchens, living rooms, and home offices that at once shelter and expose them? And why were they chosen?

    As it turns out, what they share is

    Read more
  • Tehching Hsieh

    Jack Tilton / Anna Kustera Gallery

    From September 30, 1978, to September 29, 1979, Tehching Hsieh lived inside a locked cage, eleven-and-a-half by nine by eight feet. He wore a white laborer’s uniform and refrained from speaking, reading, writing, watching television, and listening to music or the radio. The room was a barren environment, furnished only with a cot, mattress, pillow, blanket, sink, and wastebasket. His only human contact came when an aide brought food and disposed of his body waste, and on several scheduled occasions when the public was invited for visits in the spirit of exhibition openings.

    Hsieh was not languishing

    Read more
  • Jude Tallichet

    Sara Meltzer Gallery

    If Buckminster Fuller had got his way, midtown Manhattan today would find itself under a giant geodesic dome. The utopist engineer’s 1962 proposal for such a structure (meant to protect urban dwellers against smog and, given the cold war, perhaps even nuclear fallout) represents the kind of vision—partly idealistic, partly pragmatic—to which Jude Tallichet pays homage in her recent show “Left.” Architecture is presented here as being equally capable of accommodating forward-looking theories and pure utilitarian necessity. A wide swath of its history—from the low-lying Mongolian yurt to Ted

    Read more
  • Martin Mull

    David Beitzel Gallery

    Martin Mull would like nothing more than for us to ignore his celebrity. He has repeatedly referred to acting as his “day job,” admitting that earning respect as a visual artist is his highest priority. But Mull’s two careers are of a piece. From ’70s stand-up and roles on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and Fernwood fright to his mid-’80s cable special The History of White People in America (divided into episodes called “White Religion,” “White Politics,” “White Crime,” and “White Stress”), Mull the actor has focused on white American cultural myths and stereotypes. And Mull the painter brings to

    Read more