Tuesday, February 9
Grids, globs, shapes, scrapes, space—Lasker is a master contemporary abstractionist, and this luscious, super-saturated, light-filled grouping of works forces us to reckon with capital P Painting’s sexy, damned heart.
It’s said that when a culture feels imperiled, it turns to the mystical for solace. That sense of desperation is nowhere apparent in this stunning group show of occult-inflected works put together by Pam Grossman, who, for example, manages to adroitly pair up the sensuous witchcraft chic of Carol Bove’s sculptural Wunderkammer with the unsettlingly tender, turn-of-the-twentieth-century magickal watercolors of Major-General J.F.C. Fuller: “artificial moonlight” pioneer and professional British Fascist.
Language of the Birds: Occult and Art
Stars, hands, bricks, and bodies: These are some of the symbols and talismans from Martin Wong’s bloody pictorial universe. Here was an artist, like Genet, who was keen on imbuing the downtrodden and cast-off with a busted-lip eroticism that quivers like that famous line sung by 1960s girl group The Crystals: “He hit me (and it felt like a kiss) . . .”
Martin Wong Human Instamatic
Chris Burden broke his body in ways too numerous and nightmarish to count. Yet many of his sculptures are lovingly realized—especially Buddha’s Fingers, 2014, the artist’s shrine-like arrangement of old-timey street lamps common in Los Angeles during the 1920s and ’30s. Nostalgic? One can say so. But to witness this Rockwellian streak in an artist like Burden is ultimately—gloriously—perverse.
Chris Burden Buddha's Fingers
What better way to look back on 2015 and inaugurate 2016 than with Matthew Higgs’s exquisite selection of twenty-five artists (Yevgeniya Baras, Susan Cianciolo, Vaginal Davis, Christopher Knowles, and Birdie Lusch, just to name a handful) from New York and beyond, which highlights the sharpest and forecasts the soon-to-be brightest from our vast, roiling, and numinous Art World.
Looking Back / The 10th White Columns Annual - Selected by Matthew Higgs
Matisse would be crazed with envy by all the ways Betty Woodman’s radiant ceramics have tweaked, twisted, and blown up his formal vocabulary. Her gustatory coloration is exquisite: strawberry, lemon, persimmon, lime—sherberty lights and highs that refresh one’s psychic palette.
Betty Woodman Breakfast At The Seashore Lunch In Antella
Izumi Kato’s paintings are a polyamorous marriage of Francis Bacon, Marlene Dumas, Hieronymus Bosch, and the amphibian creatures from the animated movie Fantastic Planet (1973). They’re queasy, kinky, sad, and nasty—inside-out-looking beings who seem to stare more at us than we at them.
Tony Conrad’s deadpan “dirty movies”—boxers, men’s briefs, brassieres, and a pair of granny panties or two, all hung up and painted with the artist’s signature “screen” apertures—possess a humor that concrete comedian David Robbins would approve of and filmmaker Woody Allen would simply adore.
According to Jarvis Cocker, “Cunts are still running the world.” Judith Bernstein, perhaps more appropriately, refers to them as “Dicks of Death”—narcissistic dudes with lots of money, power, and vitriol who’ve been making this world a bloody nightmare for a long, long time. Bernstein’s visceral and pulverizing peens horrify. But they make you laugh, too, considering the tragedy lots of them were inspired by (Nixon) and all the farces we’ve been put through since.
Judith Bernstein Dicks of Death
Donald Moffett doesn’t exactly pick up where Pino Pascali left off in 1968, the year Pascali started his bachi (worm) pieces and, shortly afterward, died in a freak motorcycle accident. But the inventiveness and formal overlaps that seem to connect the two artists is striking. The “hairy” surfaces of their works—Moffett’s made from an abundance of small and delicately extruded bits of oil paint, Pascali’s from industrially produced acrylic bristles—are simultaneously erotic, playful, and otherworldly.
Floss: Pino Pascali and Donald Moffett
Burroughsian free-association and Samuel Delaney seem to haunt Henrik Olesen’s exhibition at Galerie Buchholz, where pictures of knives, smoke, planets, and fire want to reconfigure your sense of language and slide beneath the skin. “I'm sorry. I observe a new mechanics,” says Olesen via science-fiction writer Mark von Schlegell. Of course, we know—don’t apologize.
Henrik Olesen’s works—funny, faggy, violent, fantastic—are the antidote we need for the homogenization of homoness that’s wracked the world of inverts, perverts, and “Halloweeners and in-betweeners” (to quote the moribund LA drag-rag Dragazine) in the twenty-first century. Here, St. George the Beatle wrests with George and his Dragon inside a crimson obstacle course that’s equal parts Anthony Caro and Paddles NYC.
Birds, moons, flowers—these deceptively “décor” subjects within Ann Craven’s canvases at 630 Greenwich are exactly that: Trojan horses meant to dissect and undermine painting’s authenticity and objecthood. Though Craven’s pictures are very beautiful, too much time alone in a room full of them will dismantle you.
Ann Craven Hello, Hello, Hello
The skeletal outlines of different flowers and birds—as if utterly bled out—sit atop pools of color in several of Ann Craven’s palette paintings here. Other works give us dreary stripes in mint, eggplant, and varying shades of gray. There’s a faded suburban glamour that haunts these pieces, as if the artist’s hues were vampirically leeched from a tony model home gone to seed.
Ann Craven Hello, Hello, Hello
Uneven, Brobdingnagian, and utterly nuts, this fourth iteration of MoMA PS1’s madhouse art bazaar pushes you into the drunkest cocktail party in town. Curators Peter Eleey, Thomas J. Lax, Douglas Crimp, and Mia Locks—with guest curators Mark Beasley and Jenny Schlenzka—pull out all the stops to showcase everything that is all at once right now in New York City, 2015.
Greater New York
A great painting by Amy Sillman, Me & Ugly Mountain, 2003, shows a woman schlepping a monstrous sack of busted-up squiggles, shapes, colors, and lines. That’s what art history looks like—at least to any smart painter trying to make a new picture, every single time. What a drag. But Sillman’s touch—so elegant, witty, rich, fully engaged, and totally mysterious—never lets on to the burden. This, in most quarters, is commonly referred to as cool. Be jealous.
Amy Sillman Stuff Change
Organized by Jens Hoffmann, “Unorthodox” wreaks havoc on curatorial politesse and scrambles together more than fifty artists to “break with a cultural and artistic uniformity that has developed over the last century among artists and museums.” We’ve got Christina Ramberg, Jeni Spota, Bunny Rogers, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Tommy Hartung, Adolfo Bernal, Miroslav Tichý, and countless more. Pretty meshuge, no?
Cheryl Donegan treats the sticky black heart of American Pop with a scintillating and showbiz-savvy touch. A stuntwoman with a go-get-’em panache and razzle-dazzle that one can only call Liza-with-a-Z!-Minnellian, Donegan just dives right into late-capitalist culture.
Cheryl Donegan Scenes and Commercials
Glenn Ligon’s explorations of blackness—from skin to outer space, the melancholy of everyday life, and the darker side of humor—culminate in Live, 2014, his soundless seven-channel video work based on the film Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip, from 1982. Ligon’s examination of the legendary comedian’s mythos is nearly surgical yet deeply felt, affectionate.
Glenn Ligon We Need To Wake Up Cause That’s What Time It Is
When the asteroid hits, we’ll likely go out with a whimper. That’s pretty grim but really funny, much like this magnificent retrospective put together by Nancy Spector and Nat Trotman. For thirty-three years, Peter Fischli’s and David Weiss’s brilliant mash-up of Conceptualism, Dada, and that straight-faced despondency that the Swiss do so remarkably well gave us heartrending glimpses into the existential comedy of being alive. Empty water bottles and assorted charcuterie have never looked more beautiful, or profound.
Peter Fischli David Weiss How to Work Better
America’s collective stomach dropped watching Citizenfour (2014), Laura Poitras’s documentary on the state of electronic surveillance in the United States and our Fourth Amendment’s avenging angel, Edward Snowden. This installation, her first solo exhibition at a museum, curated by Jay Sanders, will continue to expand upon the post-9/11 psyche in a dizzying project that that will weave together “documentary footage, architectural interventions, primary documents, and narrative structures.”
Laura Poitras Astro Noise
Few give credence to joy the way Miriam Schapiro did. Every glittering, floral, ruffled, hyper-patterned, and supersaturated aspect of her work was a kind of defiance: of taste, art-world hive mind, and some of the more misogynistic elements of the culture that keep a lady—and those of us with an affinity for the lady-like—down. To call her a visionary, as the title of this exhibition claims, is not an overstatement, as it takes real vision to work in such a grand vein of unabashed love.
Miriam Schapiro “Miriam Schapiro, A Visionary”
Books—or comics, magazines, and newspapers—make sense for Warhol, as they are entirely democratic vehicles for art, ideas, and desire (it’s not difficult to imagine the artist, eight years old and bedbound for months with illness, fastidiously poring over Modern Screen or Popeye’s weirdly masculine contours in the Sunday funnies). Warhol left behind vaults full of gorgeously printed and bound things: from the limited-edition collaboration with his mother, 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy,1954, to the still-going-strong Interview magazine, founded in 1969. More than 130 objects from the artist’s commercial career and afterward will be on display, which underlines what we’ve always known—Warhol’s oeuvre is endless.
Warhol by the Book
More than fifty years of Ryman’s cautiously metaphysical paintings, sculptures, and drawings are situated in Dia’s luxurious space like a sexy Minimalist cathedral. White in Ryman’s numinous hands becomes more than psychic space—it’s psychic material—and brings you, quite carefully, for just a split second, to the edge of some kind of marvelous forever.
With a focus on rarities from the 1930s, this stunning exhibition expands upon the haunted intelligence of Giorgio Morandi—a mostly homebound genius who, like Emily Dickinson, could peer into life, death, and eternity with startlingly limited means.
Dyke Action Machine!, Gran Fury, the Guerrilla Girls, Martha Rosler, Coco Fusco, and the Friends of William Blake, among innumerable others, show us that art can, and does, change lives. Brilliantly organized by Stephanie Weissberg, Jess Wilcox, Saisha Grayson, Catherine J. Morris, and Stephanie Weissberg from the museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, “Agitprop!” might be one of the most urgent shows up in the city right now.
As part of CONDO, a collaborative exhibition initiated by Vanessa Carlos that includes twenty-four galleries across eight London spaces, Arcadia Missa is hosting Munich’s Deborah Schamoni Galerie’s show of new works by A. L. Steiner and Phoebe Collings-James that suggest loosely autobiographical narratives through photography, painting, and collage. Other galleries participating in CONDO include Carlos Ishikawa, Project Native Informant, and The Sunday Painter.
Deborah Schamoni exhibiting A.L. Steiner and Phoebe Collings-James Condo
Much of Simmons’s DIY aesthetic derives from 1980s and ’90s punk and early hip-hop posters and fanzines. Here, the New York–based artist shows new wall works and plywood-mounted paintings alongside audio sculptures made using wood reclaimed from New Orleans buildings destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
Gary Simmons Post No Bills
In 1974, the ICA’s series of film screenings, talks, performances, and exhibitions highlighted cultural developments emerging from West Germany at a pivotal moment in the country’s history. More than four decades later, a presentation of archival documents related to “Art into Society – Society into Art: Seven German Artists” reveals the original exhibition’s egalitarian ethos of open discussions among artists, curators, and viewers.
Art into Society – Society into Art
Presented across six screens, the Canadian artist’s new video installation features a single feature-length film shot in Lisbon with a cast of local actors. The Secret Agent (2015) is based on Joseph Conrad’s novella of the same title, but Douglas has changed the setting to Portugal’s 1974 Carnation Revolution, during which a military coup with popular support overthrew the authoritarian Estado Novo regime.
Stan Douglas The Secret Agent
Following in the footsteps of Anish Kapoor and Ai Weiwei, the Mexican artist has created a work to fill the Tate’s enormous Turbine Hall. Empty Lot, 2015, consists of 240 triangular soil-filled planters that will, hopefully, sprout during the course of the exhibition.
Abraham Cruzvillegas Empty Lot
The New York–based artist’s first solo exhibition in the UK showcases new sculptures and works on paper that illustrate the ways care is administered to bodies of all kinds: old, strong, ill, sexual, or young. Among the materials McArthur uses are high-density acoustic polyurethane foam meant to absorb sound and impact, paper made with superabsorbent polymer powder (the substance in diapers and sanitary pads that captures and contains liquids), and impermeable single-use items like condoms and latex gloves.
Working with clay despite art-world fashions since the 1950s, American artist Betty Woodman is known for expanding the traditional scope of ceramics by incorporating unexpected mediums and materials into her practice. In addition to her iconic vases—a form the artist uses to represent the human body and animal figures, and as a metaphor for art history—the show, Woodman’s first solo exhibition in the UK, celebrates her ecstatic combinations of ceramics and painting.
Betty Woodman Theatre of the Domestic
Borrowing its title from a term Nam June Paik coined in 1974 to describe how technology facilitates and ignites global connections, this exhibition traces the influence of computers and the Internet on artworks. Beginning with 1966 and going to present day, the show’s reverse chronology culminates with artist-engineer collaborations initiated by the Experiments in Art and Technology collective in the 1960s.
The Berlin-based artist’s latest installation, Manifesto, comprises thirteen films screened simultaneously to create a cacophonous audio-visual collage of manifestos written by artists, architects, choreographers, and filmmakers. All are embodied by Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett delivering the words of Jim Jarmusch, Sol LeWitt, Kazimir Malevich, Adrian Piper, Sturtevant, and Tristan Tzara, among others.
Julian Rosefeldt Manifesto
Alfredo Jaar’s new installation uses neon arrows to illustrate the movement of people from the global South to the North in an articulation of the main travel paths taken by migrants across Europe in 2015.
Alfredo Jaar (Kindness) of (Strangers)
Timed to coincide with this year’s Berlin Film Festival, upcoming Manifesta curator Christian Jankowski’s survey exhibition focuses on the artist’s cinematic works made between 1992 and 2015 as well as additional sculptural installations. Satisfying Jankowski's own desire to have his retrospective curated by an actress, the artist has cast German movie star Nina Hoss in the role of curator.
Christian Jankowski Retrospektive
Hot on the heels of her retrospective at Paris’s Musée d’Art Moderne last year, Carol Rama, long sidelined by art history, is back in the spotlight. Complementing a selection of her paintings, collages, and assemblages made between the 1940s and 2014, Bepi Ghiotti’s moving photographic portraits show the Italian artist at age nintey-five, just two years before her death.
Carol Rama Ferite della memoria - selected works
Commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim for her Manhattan residence, Jackson Pollock’s largest work, Mural, 1943, predates the artist’s iconic poured paintings, for which he garnered fame and increased public scrutiny later in the decade. As part of its rare European tour, the freshly restored mural makes a pit stop in Berlin to keep company with photographs from the Kicken Collection and paintings by Lee Krasner and Robert Motherwell, among others, on loan from the Kunsthalle Bielefeld and private collectors.
Jackson Pollock's Mural
For Warhol, the Polaroid camera was an ideal egalitarian tool because of its built-in flash, preset focal distance, and standard print dimensions that could turn us all into equally glamorous creatures. This comprehensive selection of Warhol’s Polaroid portraits documents the New York underground scene—including artists, Factory denizens, and Studio 54 revelers—between 1971 and 1986.
Andy Warhol Andy Warhol Polaroids 1971 - 1986
For three days, the denizens of Los Angeles will pretend they like books. I kid. This lineup is stacked with quality independent publishers all around, and though New York and L.A. have the quantity, Spain, the UK, and our favorite neighbors to the north (Canada) might just have the pure quality you don’t even know you’re looking for until you find yourself trapped at their tables by thirty moist bodies forcing your browse. Possible highlights include Devendra Banhart’s DJ set at the Thursday night preview and British artist Hannah Black’s book launch via the publishing sisterhood of Dominica and Arcadia Missa. Free and open to the public.
Printed Matter’s LA ART BOOK FAIR 2016
Mother nature meets the art of projectors and TV monitors and finds they get along—who knew but Diana Thater? Bees, dolphins, and dogs are just a few figures that appear in the menagerie of light, space, and wildlife that is this comprehensive exhibition of the Los Angeles–based artist’s work. Highlights include a series of videos recreating chess matches, including a legendary game dating back to 1851, and a back room of subtly shifting paintings of flowers as composed with nine video monitors apiece.
Diana Thater The Sympathetic Imagination
The subject of an acclaimed 2014 documentary film, Finding Vivian Maier, this exhibition presents selections from the most extensive collection of the photographer’s work in the world, as compiled by one of the film’s directors, John Maloof. Showcasing a selection of more than sixty-five photographs, including gelatin silver prints and new color prints, this is a rare opportunity to face time with a body of work we almost never saw. Consider her found.
Vivian Maier Vivian Maier
For the artist’s first solo show on the West Coast, a group of new sculptures incorporating steel rail supports and structural framework wooden beams signify a close kinship with heavy industry, with one work composed of ninety sections of railroad tracks weighing more than sixty tons and suspended above the ground. Move over, guys, Marianne’s doing some lifting now.
The first survey of Korean monochromatic painting, or Dansaekhwa, with American Minimalism, this exhibition consists of more than twenty-five paintings and sculptures dating from the 1960s to the present, with works by Carl Andre, Chung Sang-hwa, Ha Chonghyun, Robert Irwin, Donald Judd, Kwon Young-woo, Lee Ufan, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Agnes Martin, Park Seobo, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, and Yun Hyong-keun. This is the second major exhibition the gallery has staged with Dansaekhwa artists; the first was back in September 2014 and curated by Joan Kee. A second, future installment of the show will be on view in the gallery’s New York space.
Dansaekhwa & Minimalism
Kicking things off with the Word, specifically a passage from St. Paul the Apostle’s epistle to the Corinthians, this exhibition of Susan Cianciolo’s signature “kits” as well as a showroom for the home wares division of the artist’s design empire RUN reminds us that nothing but L-O-V-E creates and sustains the momentum to turn art from nothing to something.
Presenting more than four hundred works (including the masterpiece La Jungle, 1943, on loan from New York’s Museum of Modern Art), this exhibition aims to reposition the Cuban artist within the art historical canon by emphasizing his influence on European and American artists. This retrospective includes works spanning the 1930s to the 1970s: a period during which Lam worked in Cuba, France, America, and Spain.
Hirschhorn’s latest series of collages is a formal nondigital exploration of pixelation. Raising questions about why certain media images are intentionally blurred or pixelated, the Paris-based artist pairs graphic photos of dead bodies with pixelated images from fashion magazines.
Thomas Hirschhorn Pixel-Collage
Evoking the circle of life, Steve McQueen’s Ashes, 2014–15, tells the story of a murder in Grenada through two films—one showing a boy on a boat, the other a cemetery—projected simultaneously on opposite sides of a hanging screen. Echoing this moving memorial, a new wall installation repeats the phrase “Remember me” in blue neon in dozens of different handwritings.
The processes and inspiration behind the artist’s playful drawings and three-dimensional works are revealed in a documentary-style film that shows Shire producing exquisitely complex cups out of steel and clay at his Echo Park studio. Among the works on view in this exhibition are twenty of Shire's signature ceramic mugs, design pieces like end tables and lamps, sculptures, and drawings.
Peter Shire Love and P's