Thursday, September 29
Bruce Conner’s uncommon touch—or, more aptly, metaphysical grace—could even make the apocalypse look ravishing. This exhibition is the first full-dress retrospective of Connor’s work—organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and cocurated by Stuart Comer, Laura Hoptman, Rudolf Frieling, Gary Garrels, and Rachel Federman—and covers fifty years of this cultural bricoleur’s glorious output via painting, drawing, film, photography, and so much more.
BRUCE CONNER: IT'S ALL TRUE
Organized by Olivier Renaud-Clément, this two-person exhibition of Sol LeWitt’s and Liz Deschenes’s works at Paula Cooper’s 521 West Twenty-First Street location—which expands to Miguel Abreu’s Orchard Street space on the Lower East Side—unveils the subtle wit and mysteries of process embedded in these artists’ rigorously conceived works. At Paula Cooper, Deschenes’s new pieces will dialogue with a number of LeWitt’s famous photographic series, such as “Cut Maps,” 1976; “Autobiography,” 1980; and “A Sphere Lit from the Top, Four Sides, and All Their Combinations,” 2004.
Sol LeWitt / Liz Deschenes
Andrea Zittel’s inventive, pioneering spirit courses through all aspects of her making. From trailers and other sorts of unclassifiable survival stations to her residence just outside of Joshua Tree National Park (a “conceptual entity,” in Zittel’s words, that’s more think tank than commune), the artist’s optimism for a better and more beautifully designed life is endlessly buoying. For her exhibition at Andrea Rosen, Zittel has re-created four of her seminal “living units,” based on pieces from the 1990s that currently exist in and around her desert studio and home.
For nearly three decades, Zoe Leonard’s preoccupations with history, rot, light, and time—via photographs, sculptures, and installations—have unveiled much about the way we choose, and choose not, to see. The artist’s exhibition at Hauser & Wirth’s uptown space—her first with the gallery, titled “In the Wake”––is a personal and philosophical investigation of identity, war, and sovereignty through a family archive of pictures that go back to the period just after World War II, when her mother’s family fled Soviet-occupied Poland and, for more than ten years, remained unmoored and stateless until coming to the US.
Lynda Benglis, bell-bottomed, spilling latex loads in acidy pinks, oranges, and blues on the pages of Life magazine in 1970; Benglis again, with California tan lines and cat-eyed shades, dildoed and dangerous in the November 1974 issue of Artforum—this is an artist whose intelligence is armed and whose glamour is glitteringly eternal. For her sixth solo exhibition at Cheim & Read, the artist gives us sculptures of handmade paper that call to mind the landscape of Santa Fe; “serene and windblown” things, the critic Nancy Princenthal calls them, in an essay for a catalogue that accompanies this show.
Lynda Benglis New Work
Historian, philosopher, curator, and activist Douglas Crimp spelled out what all those mediations, recalibrations, and imitations of life—via television, magazines, newspapers, and the silver screen—did to our sense of “the real” in the aftermath of Pop through the (in)famous “Pictures” exhibition he organized at Artists Space in 1977. Crimp’s “Before Pictures New York City 1967–1977,” at Galerie Buchholz in New York, featuring works from Zoe Leonard, Antonio Lopez, the Cockettes, Joseph Cornell, Jack Tworkov, and so many more, coincides with the publication of his new book, Before Pictures, a memoir about art and gay life in New York City during the late 1960s through the ’70s. Screenings, readings, talks, and a book launch are scheduled throughout the month of September to celebrate Crimp, our heavyweight thinker and peerless heart.
Douglas Crimp Before Pictures New York City 1967-1977
Peter Cain’s hypnotic portraits of cars are gelded, cyclopean things, often depicted as one wheel mechanically embraced by fenders and lights—both tail and head—against tightly cropped backdrops of airbrushed-looking, advertorial nothingness. Cain, who died unexpectedly of a cerebral hemorrhage at age thirty-seven nearly twenty years ago, left behind a strange and beautiful body of work that still seduces and disorients. Cain’s exhibition at Matthew Marks’s 522 West Twenty-Second Street space will feature a variety of his automobile works, such as the zooming blue EP 110, 1993, and the oddly Lucasfilm-like Glider, 1995. The show also celebrates the publication of the artist’s monograph—his first—with essays from Richard Meyer, Collier Schorr, and Beau Rutland.
Peter Cain Peter Cain
Peter Cain’s hypnotic portraits of cars are gelded, cyclopean things, often depicted as one wheel mechanically embraced by fenders and lights—both tail and head—against tightly cropped backdrops of airbrushed-looking, advertorial nothingness. Cain, who died unexpectedly of a cerebral hemorrhage at age thirty-seven nearly twenty years ago, left behind a strange and beautiful body of work that still seduces and disorients. His exhibition at Matthew Marks’s 526 West Twenty-Second Street space will showcase many of the artist’s preparatory works—drawings, collages, photographs—and various sorts of personal ephemera, like a jewel-size notebook with the phrase “Los Angeles Loves Love.” The exhibition also celebrates the publication of the artist’s monograph—his first—with essays from Richard Meyer, Collier Schorr, and Beau Rutland.
Peter Cain Peter Cain
Fred Sandback was that rare artist—magician, really—whose sublime vision, paired with the simplest of means, could turn vast expanses of nothingness into spaces of extraordinary depth, color, and complexity. For this presentation of the artist’s works at David Zwirner’s 537 West Twentieth Street location, Sandback’s 1987 midcareer solo exhibition for the Westfälischer Kunstverein in Münster will be re-created, featuring works such as the crimson-yarned Untitled (Right-Angled Construction), 1987, and the seldom seen Untitled, 1967, made from purple cord. A catalogue will be published for the occasion, featuring a reprint of an essay by Marianne Stockebrand for the Westfälischer show, with new texts from art historians Lisa Le Feuvre and Yve-Alain Bois.
Fred Sandback Vertical Constructions
Muscular, crepuscular, testicular—Matthew Barney’s empire of the interior, featuring, among other things, lugubrious satyrs, greasy sex, Norman Mailer, and Ursula Andress, has left its indelible mark on the popular imagination for generations to come. Barney’s exhibition at Gladstone Gallery’s Twenty-Fourth Street space, “Facility of DECLINE,” will feature early works from the artist’s inaugural show with the gallery back in 1991 and will coincide with the release of Matthew Barney: OTTO Trilogy, a major publication from Yale University Press that investigates three of the artist’s early projects: Facility of INCLINE and Facility of DECLINE, both 1991, and OTTOshaft, 1995.
Matthew Barney Facility of DECLINE
Thomas Schütte’s sculptures—anorexic Michelin men, misshapen odalisques, and eerily sleek architectural structures, among other things—are unmistakably German in their careful execution, surrealism, and poisonous humor. Here, the artist upends sculpture’s classical roots with a group of twisted, colorful etchings and a number of anxiety-inducing, three-dimensional nudes done in steel and bronze.
Thomas Schütte Frauen
Organized by Olivier Renaud-Clément, this two-person exhibition of Sol LeWitt’s and Liz Deschenes’s works at Miguel Abreu’s Orchard Street space on the Lower East Side—which expands to Paula Cooper’s 521 West Twenty-First Street location—unveils the subtle wit and mysteries of process embedded in these artists’ rigorously conceived works. At Miguel Abreu, Deschenes’s 2016 “Stereograph” pieces, along with a suite of nine triangular photograms, will unfold into LeWitt’s “On the Walls of the Lower East Side,” 1979, and images from the artist’s “Black Over Map of Manhattan” series from 1992.
Liz Deschenes / Sol LeWitt
At the end of the rainbow sits Alan Shields, whose gently psychedelic, upbeat objets feel pulled from a parallel universe dipped in candy-colored meringues. Van Doren Waxter presents paintings from the artist, made during the 1970s, that take on sacred forms, such as mandalas, pyramids, and spirals, on surfaces like linen, handmade paper, and patterned paper towels.
Alan Shields Space Sisters: Work from the 1970's
Alma Allen’s elegantly wrought sculptures—made from varieties of wood, metal, and stone—feel as though they were tenderly shaped by time and the elements. The Joshua Tree–based artist, whose sense of materiality seems inextricably linked to the earth beneath us, will be presenting an outdoor sculpture that owes a small debt to Brancusi, as do the pieces within the gallery.
Hans-Peter Feldman’s taxonomies—catalogues of stiletto heels, bread slices, or one hundred thousand US one-dollar bills (his 2010 Hugo Boss Prize honorarium, pinned to the walls of the Guggenheim in 2011)—upend the more self-serious aspects of Conceptualist thinking and facture. For the artist’s seventh solo exhibition with 303 Gallery, Feldmann comically reconfigures found paintings, tweaking the medium’s history and precious-precious objectness.
Painter, performer, writer, and activist Rosemarie Castoro, who died in 2015, left behind a searching and sophisticated body of work that deserved far more recognition while she was alive. Death, unfairly, can rectify these oversights, as the resurgence of interest in her art over the last year has shown. Castoro’s exhibition, “Iterference/Infinity,” at 1602 Broadway’s new Harlem space, will feature, among other items, the artist’s mural-size painting Blue Red Gold Pink Green Yellow Y Bar, 1965, and her “Inventory” pieces, 1968–69, a series of paintings and drawings that, according to Castoro, “emerged from the split vision experienced in taking inventory of my surroundings.”
Rosemarie Castoro Solo show
Nihilistic neons, crying clowns, pervy fingers, and pissing fish—Bruce Nauman’s one-in-a-million mind has forever altered the way we perceive bodies, objects, words, and images in art. His new exhibition at Sperone Westwater, “Contrapposto Studies, I Through VII”—a video installation featuring Nauman walking in contrapposto—takes off from the artist’s seminal Walk with Contrapposto video from 1968 and coincides with his exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, “Contrapposto Studies, I Through VII,” which opens September 18 and runs through January 8, 2017.
Bruce Nauman Contrapposto Studies, i through vii, 2015/2016
Julie Mehretu’s colossal abstract paintings are deceptively beautiful. Her sweeping geometric patterns and mark-making secretly chart the vicissitudes of human “progress,” from the histories of urban housing projects and the African slave trade to the bloody and relentless architecture of war. For “Hoodnyx, Voodoo and Stelae,” her second solo exhibition with Marian Goodman Gallery, the artist delves further back in time, fusing the symbols of ancient Egypt and classical mythology with, among other things, contemporary graffiti and poetry.
Sally Mann’s early photographs—unremittingly tender portraits of her family—are not for the weak of heart. Her loving eye was also startlingly ruthless, as it unveiled the complicatedness of parental bonds and the disquieting sexuality of children. For her exhibition here, “Remembered Light,” Mann pays tribute to the late painter Cy Twombly, fellow Virginian and friend, with a suite of enigmatic, black-and-white pictures of the artist’s studio, taken between 1999 and 2012.
Sally Mann Remembered Light: Cy Twombly in Lexington
Cornelia Parker’s sorta/sorta not “dollhouse,” a re-creation, at two-thirds scale, of Norman Bates's house in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), is too weird for real children, but perfect for toy children—especially the dead-eyed, Victorian kids made by haute doll manufacturer Jumeau, which were favored by New York’s neurasthenic copper heiress Huguette Clark, who died, in 2011, surrounded by them. Clark’s haunted life, and so much more, comes racing to mind while witnessing Parker’s Transitional Object (PsychoBarn), 2016, on the Met’s Fifth Avenue rooftop. It also underlines, quite explicitly, that Parker is a horror auteur sans précédent.
Cornelia Parker Transitional Object (Psycho Barn)
The marvelous Antonio Lopez, with his creative partner/boyfriend Juan Ramos, knocked the pasty-white starch out of American fashion illustration, then injected it with a glittering cocktail of Puerto Rican dandyism, Warholian sex, disco sultriness, and—duh—top-tier Roman candle–style queerness. From Paris to New York and back again, arm in arm with the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Tina Chow, Grace Jones, and Gianni Versace, they created a soiree that, still, few of us are cool enough to enter.
Antonio Lopez Future Funk Fashion
The burden of viewing life the way Diane Arbus saw it seems unbearable. Getting that close to humanity—well beyond “warts-and-all”—is monstrous. “diane arbus: in the beginning” presents more than one hundred of this profound artist’s photographs—more than two-thirds of which have never been seen before—from 1956–62, a period when she was working away from her husband, actor, and commercial photographer, Allan Arbus, and clarifying her own sublime, phantasmal vision.
Diane Arbus In The Beginning
Charlotte Moorman’s sharp, stylish, and generous approach to music and performance cracked open all manner of new frontier within the vanguard of mid-twentieth-century New York. Despite her inimitable doing and thinking, however, she died a pauper in 1991 after a long and arduous bout with cancer. “A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s–1980s,” a long overdue retrospective of this Julliard-trained radical’s vision, with documents, objects, and so much more—which opened at the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University and draws on materials from the school’s Charlotte Moorman Archive—will only aid in cementing this major artist’s contributions to history.
Charlotte Moorman A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s–1
Carmen Herrera’s geometric abstractions—jewels of modernist facture that feel like love letters to iconic color maestros Johannes Itten and Josef Albers—will be on display at the Whitney for the artist’s first New York solo museum exhibition in nearly twenty years. More than fifty of Herrera’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures—from 1948 to 1978—will be on display, such as formative postwar works and pieces from her seminal “Blanco y Verde” (White and Green) series from 1959–71. Herrera, at 101, is still raising the bar. Can you keep up?
Cosima von Bonin—whose patterned, plush, and eerily Prada-esque works seem to use kitsch as a camouflage for cosmic sensations and exceptionally dark pensées—is having her first solo museum exhibition in New York City at SculptureCenter. Titled “Who’s Exploiting Who in the Deep Sea?,” this body of work—cocurated by the center’s Ruba Katrib and Sarah McCrory, director of the Glasgow International—will focus on underwater life in all its majestic, horrifying glory.
Cosima von Bonin Who's Exploiting Who in the Deep Sea?
Kai Altoff’s paintings, drawings, sculptures, and installations, queer amalgamations of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972), Christa Päffgen, and East German children’s television are the products of a steadfastly Teutonic imagination: fatalistic, nostalgic, and terrified of love. Althoff’s MoMA exhibition, “and then leave me to the common swifts (Und dann überlasst mich den Mauerseglern),” curated by the museum’s Laura Hoptman and Margaret Ewing, will give us a peek into this artist’s multifaceted oeuvre and longing, labyrinthine heart.
Kai Althoff and then leave me to the common swifts
Mierle Laderman Ukeles, quite literally, dove into the shit for her art—as a self-proclaimed “maintenance artist,” Ukeles immersed herself into the politics surrounding “care” by becoming, in 1978, the New York Department of Sanitation’s inaugural, and only, artist in residence (her office there, almost forty years later, still exists). Feminist, philosopher, rigorous Conceptualist, Samaritan—Ukeles’s first-ever retrospective at the Queens Museum, covering fifty years of sculptures, photographs, texts, performances, and more, cements her place in history as one of art’s most preeminent, and generous, thinkers and doers.
Mierle Laderman Ukeles Maintenance Art
Oh but to be a Royal Meissen porcelain, handled with the most tender of care and on lofty display, in Henry Clay Frick’s magnificently appointed mansion. We are invited to inhabit the interior lives of these stately objects in “Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection,” which commingles twelve of Shechet’s perverse Meissen-inspired works (pieces the artist made during residencies at the house’s factory in Germany a few years ago) with approximately 140 originals, selected and organized by the artist herself. This is the most appropriate way to enter the summer—in splendor.
Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection
Dorothea Tanning’s final paintings—made in a last burst of creative energy between 1997 and 1998, when the artist was eighty-six—depict imaginary floral specimens. Originally published as illustrations in the poetry anthology Another Language of Flowers (1998), these alluringly erotic blooms feature human as well as botanical parts.
Dorothea Tanning Flower Paintings
Heinzmann’s latest expressionist paintings feature bright splashes of pigment on epoxy-covered aluminum whose hard surfaces have been punctured with Fontanaesque cuts. Rhythmic, vibrant, and textural, these paintings evoke the perverse beauty of detonations, eruptions, and gashes.
Thilo Heinzmann To Be And To Be
This comprehensive presentation of Eggleston’s portraits spans fifty years of the artist’s output. In addition to portraits of blues musician Fred McDowell in his casket and actor/director Dennis Hopper driving in the outback, the exhibition includes never-before-seen black-and-white prints from the 1960s that show the artist’s unromanticized view of daily life in America.
William Eggleston Portraits
Featuring clouds and vapor trails, Tacita Dean’s hand-drawn color lithographs depict the LA skies the artist marveled at during her residency at the Getty Research Institute in 2014–15, made locally at Los Angeles’s famous print studio, Gemini G.E.L. Also made in LA is Portraits, 2016, a poignant 16-mm film of David Hockney smoking.
Tacita Dean LA Exuberance
Featuring works spanning the 1930s–1970s—a period during which Wifredo Lam worked in Cuba, France, America, and Spain—this retrospective confirms the Cuban artist’s place at the center of global modernism. Often compared to avant-gardists like Picasso and Fontana, Lam addresses the social injustices of his day using a signature style of hybrid figures.
The title of this show, which is borrowed from a painting by Caspar David Friedrich, is a testament to Rondinone’s affinity for German Romanticism’s blurred boundaries between reality and illusion and borderline worship of nature. Very much in this spirit, the Swiss artist’s latest sculptures featuring aluminum casts of weathered window frames are installed in front of the gallery’s actual windows. These ghostly and reflective silver blockades upend the cloistering aim of the exhibition space and turn the viewer’s perspective inside out.
Ugo Rondinone Two Men Contemplating The Moon 1830
Casting herself in the role of the “Bad Dad” painter—a title she used to assess Sigmar Polke’s legacy in 2014—Jutta Koether challenges the troubling male gaze that lurks in the controversial paintings of artists such as Lucian Freud and Balthus. Her response to Freud’s nude portrait of his daughter, Naked Portrait on a Red Sofa, 1988–91, for example, shows a similarly recumbent figure (here male) who is naked but also faceless and transparent—completely vulnerable, penetrable, see-through, and powerless.
Jutta Koether Zodiac Nudes
The Welsh Conceptualist’s latest neon sculptures stem from his ongoing inquiry into nuanced relationships between language and perception. Written in ghostly, glowing white letters, Evans’s overlapping and interrupted words are intentionally difficult to parseat once legible and unreadable.
Cerith Wyn Evans
Consisting entirely of mobile sculptures from Ruby’s ongoing “Scales” series, which he began in 2013, this exhibition hangs precariously from the gallery’s ceiling. The dense installation of brightly colored monochrome cutouts made of painted wood, steel, and bronze joined with ephemera from the artist’s studioincluding chains, steel fragments, buckets, and pipessuggests a weightless cloud of space trash.
Sterling Ruby The Jungle
The New York–based artist’s latest portraits are humorously disturbing, mundane, and remarkable. In her characteristic blend of abstraction and figuration, Schutz depicts benign scenes like a schoolboy entranced by bubbles (Boy with Bubble, 2015), as well as more anxiety-inducing ones. Included in the latter array is a home birth, a shooting captured on live TV, and, at her most fantastical in Crawling, 2016, a desert landscape in which two figures are attacked by monstrous insects.
Dana Schutz Waiting for The Barbarians
Exploring femininity in terms of personal identification and as a social construction, Birgit Jürgenssen, Cindy Sherman, Katharina Sieverding, and Francesca Woodman helped define a new wave of photography in the 1970s. Focusing on groundbreaking works from that decade, the selection of portraits and self-portraits shown here is an empowering dialogue between various selves.
Jürgenssen, Sherman, Sieverding, Woodmann Die zu sein scheint, die bin ich
Michael Smith’s atmospheric multimedia installation comes with a video projection and is further accessorized by a disco ball, a fog machine, and colored lights. Tracing back to 1951—the year the artist was born—Smith creates a moody, personal timeline that blurs the boundaries between himself and performative alter egos such as “Baby Ikki” and “Mike.”
Michael Smith Timeline (1951 – 2016)
While their name today sounds more like a support group for a certain US Presidential candidate, the Rat Bastard Protective Association was actually an artist collective created in 1957 and led by self-elected president Bruce Conner. Among his colleagues and cohorts were Bay Area glitterati Jay DeFeo, Wallace Berman, Joan Brown, Wally Hedrick, George Herms, and Carlos Villa, all of whom worked together in a building dubbed “Painterland” in San Francisco. Curated by Anastasia Aukeman, the show brings together nearly fifty works for a rare retrospective.
Wallace Berman, Joan Brown, Bruce Conner, Jay DeFeo, Wally Hedrick &more Rat Bastard Protective Association
It’s shocking that Cindy Sherman’s 2012 retrospective didn’t make a stop in Los Angeles. Is there another place with as great a tradition of unhinged role-playing/bleeding across signifiers while making sure your lipstick’s just so? Let’s give a warm welcome to the first major LA museum presentation of her slippery disguises in nearly twenty years.
Cindy Sherman Imitation of Life
Does the world become simpler when we organize it? Or does its chaos still gleam from between ordered margins? Darboven’s work fixes you with a steady gaze: Does it calm all those riots in you? In the first solo show of her work on the West Coast since 2010, three installations—Geography I, II, III, 1986; Fin de Siècle – Book of Pictures, 1992–93; and Life, Living, 1997–98—feature hundreds of sheets, panels, albums, dates, facts, figures, and even two dollhouses. Do you expect to see Darboven, the woman artist, or the world as refracted through her careful moves?
Eighteen canvases made across twenty-five years praise the relationship between drawing and color in Frankenthaler’s oeuvre. In her work, colors by turn are proudly autonomous or bleed elegantly into each other like they just couldn’t bear to be apart. Let the sparks fly.
HELEN FRANKENTHALER Line into Color, Color into Line
Three environments, including a dirt lot and a grassy lawn, set the stage for Henry Taylor’s exhibition of new paintings and sculptures along with an installation by filmmaker Kahlil Joseph, best known for producing videos for Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé. Speaking to the radically disparate displays of class and status that lean on each other across this city, the show will also feature an opening-night performance inspired by a meeting between Taylor and Bob Marley.
The late Austrian artist’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles is a survey of works spanning half a century, examining her seesaw between painterly abstraction and the arguably more loaded abstractions of the body as both material fact and malleable emotional organ. Get ready to crumble.
Founded in 1966, Gemini G.E.L. is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary as one of the country’s foremost printmaking shops with an exhibition of works on its home turf. In addition to fifteen series of prints, including editions by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Vija Celmins, Frank Stella, Michael Heizer, Richard Serra, Ellsworth Kelly, Josef Albers, John Baldessari, and Julie Mehretu, expect lithography, etchings, and screen prints to all put in an appearance.
The Serial Impulse at Gemini G.E.L.
Before his untimely death last year, artist and Underground Museum cofounder Noah Davis conceived a series of exhibitions of works from MoCA’s collection, but installed here, west of the trending downtown area and away from the city’s usual gallery districts. This show, titled “Non-Fiction,” is the second such collaboration between the two institutions, redistributing works by Kara Walker, Henry Taylor, Theaster Gates, Robert Gober, David Hammons, and Deana Lawson, among others, back into the city to address the systemic violence perpetrated on black people.
Tacita Dean’s JG, 2013, is titled after late author J. G. Ballard, with whom Dean enjoyed a long correspondence about Robert Smithson. The 35-mm film, which was acquired by the Musée d’Art Moderne in 2014, is an ode to Smithson’s masterpiece, Spiral Jetty, 1970, and is a tour de force of Dean’s “aperture gate masking” technique, which she developed for her monumental installation FILM at Tate’s Turbine Hall in 2011.