Tuesday, May 31
There’s a great collage by Lukas Duwenhögger, State of Affairs, 1982–83, where a cartoon Giotto is thinking about stemming the rose of a pretty, tan ephebe. Duwenhögger’s humor—faggy, filthy, sharp, and brilliant—never fails to moisten and refresh. Get to Artists Space by June 5, the last day of this marvelous exhibition as well as this vaunted nonprofit’s Greene Street residence, before its move.
Ellsworth Kelly and Frank Stella, make room: Centenarian painter Carmen Herrera has been creating her rigorous yet utterly sensuous hard-edge abstractions for nearly eighty years. Alas, the artist’s bright and beguiling works have only caught the art world’s attention during the past decade or so. But a major solo exhibition scheduled at the Whitney this fall is finally making up for all that lost time.
Follow Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller wherever they want to take you. The centerpiece of their fourth solo exhibition here is The Marionette Maker, an immersive and ghostly tableau from 2014 about the titular craftsman that features, among other things, a series of robotically animated marionettes performing inside a vintage caravan.
Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller The Marionette Maker
Cindy Sherman’s been seducing us for over thirty-five years with her ambivalently feminist phantasmagoria of broken socialites, fairy-tale victims, trophy wives, Old Master characters, and silver-screen clichés. Her exhibition at Metro Pictures—Sherman’s first new body of work in four years—is an exploration of female Hollywood “types” from the Roaring Twenties.
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.
Tracey Emin has received a lot of flak for being a hard-core romantic. Many have questioned her sincerity, but you know—love is ugly, funny, murderous, and strange. This exhibition—of sculptures, drawings, and embroidered and appliquéd paintings—though formally restrained, even classical, offers up more of what we’ve come to expect from Emin, delivered as a longing embrace that, gradually, suffocates.
Tracey Emin Stone Love
This tripartite exhibition––presented at Andrea Rosen, Hauser & Wirth in London, and Massimo De Carlo in Milan, and curated by the inimitable team of Roni Horn and Julie Ault—highlights different aspects of González-Torres’s endlessly giving oeuvre that, twenty years after his death, still breaks hearts.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres Curated by Julie Ault and Roni Horn
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.
Mike Kelley called dark humor “negative joy,” an ultimately creative force that suffused everything he did (which makes one wonder if it’s anything at all like our universe’s dark matter, a mysterious yet totally productive energy to which Kelley was likely a direct conduit). The artist’s shaped paintings—made during the early to mid-1990s—are presented together for the first time. Think of them as guides to America’s greasy, filthy heart, full of sex, shit, cartoons, and blood.
Mike Kelley Shaped Paintings
Jasper Johns’s fastidious, poetic works are exquisite mysteries that we’ll spend lifetimes trying to decipher. At Matthew Marks’s West Twenty-Second Street space, forty-one of the artist’s monotypes—made between 1978 and 2015—will be on display, many of which have never been exhibited before. In 2017, the gallery will publish a catalogue raisonné of these pieces, written by Jennifer L. Roberts, professor of art history at Harvard, and Susan Dackerman, Getty Scholar at the Getty Research Institute.
Jasper Johns Monotypes
Hanna Liden’s “figures,” like happy-face shopping bags and bottles of Gatorade, contrast strangely with the anonymous bodies in Jimmy DeSana’s exquisite and luridly lit tableaux. These New York–based artists’ photographs encapsulate this city’s odd spectrum of temperatures, from bodega banality to lowdown sexuality, that make living here so weird, so great.
Still Lives: Jimmy DeSana and Hanna Liden
American life has been particularly ugly these past several years—as if the battles for the rights of black people, immigrants, or the poor had simply never happened. Rodney McMillian understands that collective memory, especially in these hypermediated times, is more tenuous than ever. The castoff things he resuscitates, like sofas, chairs, or carpeting, are, physically, quite heavy. But so are the histories attached. Should art be otherwise?
Rodney McMillian Views of Main Street
This exhibition pulls us into that numinous, dangerous decade for queers, shortly after Sylvia Rivera threw the first brick at Stonewall and right before GRID—now commonly referred to as AIDS—decimated legions. Organized by Leslie–Lohman’s staff, the show brings together a wide range of works from the likes of Paul Cadmus, Cathy Cade, Jimmy DeSana, Tee Corinne, Diana Davies, and Robert Mapplethorpe, among others. Witness a generation’s charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent while, in the words of Harry Hay, “throw[ing] off the ugly green frog skin of hetero-imitation.”
Paul Cadmus, Joan E. Biren, Jimmy Desana, Marion Pinto, Amos Badertscher The 1970s: The Blossoming of a Queer Enlightenment
Nicole Eisenman’s lesbian heat beats up painting’s lineage of hetero male starchiness. Though she pulls her depictions of bodies from the best—Bosch, Goya, Bruegel, and Munch, among countless others—she imbues them with a weirdness, humor, and pathos that is, unequivocally, hers. This retrospective at the New Museum, titled “Al-ugh-ories,” is the artist’s first major museum survey in New York and is curated by Massimiliano Gioni, the museum’s artistic director, and assistant curator Helga Christoffersen. The catalogue features contributions from Grace Dunham and one of New York’s finest, Eileen Myles.
Nicole Eisenman Al-ugh-ories
Ed Atkins’s inaugural show with Gavin Brown will take up all three floors of the gallery’s gorgeous new space in Harlem. Prepare yourself for full immersion into this artist’s febrile HD horror shows, which make you feel more than a little guilty for being alive. What are those dismembered hands with the dirty fingernails doing in that airport bin (Safe Conduct, 2016)? And what’s up with the collapsed head of that skinhead-looking thing with the fucked-up tattoos (Ribbons, 2014)? We’ll find out soon enough—we can’t look away.
American Pop art always had an edge of frantic paranoia lurking beneath its shiny, deadpan exterior. But Germany’s version of Pop, Capitalist Realism, didn’t do much to hide its postwar regret or Stasi-tinged ambivalence. Anyone who saw the revelatory Sigmar Polke survey at MoMA in 2014 knows that this polymath artist could do contemporary comedy pushed through existential tragedy like few others. This exhibition at David Zwirner’s 537 West Twentieth Street location, the first with the gallery since announcing its representation of the artist’s estate and curated by Vicente Todolí, the former director of Tate Modern, will cover almost thirty years (1969–1996) of this artist’s sharp, hallucinatory works.
Sigmar Polke Eine Winterreise
The abstractions in “Philip Guston: Painter, 1957–1967” provide a glimpse into the chthonic pool of reds, grays, pinks, and murderous blacks that eventually gave rise to the artist’s famous Klansmen, cyclopes, fleshy shoes, and tumorous lightbulbs. This historic exhibition—organized by writer, curator, vice president, and partner of Hauser & Wirth, Paul Schimmel—covers a pivotal decade of work within Guston’s career that, more than half a century later, still unsettles and seduces.
Philip Guston Painter, 1957 – 1967
Musician, filmmaker, painter, and all-around queer wunderkind Sadie Benning gives us “Green God” (an examination of the phrase “God created man in His own image,” from Genesis 1:27), one half of a two-pronged exhibition taking place at Callicoon Fine Arts and at Mary Boone’s Fifth Avenue space. For this section of the show, Benning inhabits the Goddess mantle—Being Supreme and Artist—with an iconic female crucifixion as well as several binary-breaking illustrations of the human form that screw up the range between “male [and] female, baby bump [and] butt.”
Sadie Benning Green God
Musician, filmmaker, painter, and all-around queer wunderkind Sadie Benning makes her solo debut at Mary Boone, curated by Piper Marshall, with “Green God” (an examination of the phrase “God created man in His own image” from Genesis 1:27), one half of a two-pronged exhibition taking place here and at Callicoon Fine Arts. For this section of the show, “the artist incorporates found objects and photographs into the composition[s] of [her] works,” which tweak notions of Christian monotheism with a pantheon of littler, lovelier, funnier gods, like the purple hat god, the grey god, or the worm god, among others.
Sadie Benning Green God
Richard Serra’s heavy-metal colossi destabilize mind and body in terrifying, terrific ways. This exhibition, spread across Gagosian’s two Chelsea spaces—522 West Twenty-First Street and 555 West Twenty-Fourth—will be the artist’s thirtieth solo exhibition with the gallery. Here, we get to witness NJ-1, 2015, made from six plates of Brobdingnagian, weatherproof steel. Walking between these vertiginous sheets will feel like Moses in the Red Sea.
Richard Serra’s heavy-metal colossi destabilize mind and body in terrifying, terrific ways. This exhibition, spread across Gagosian’s two Chelsea spaces—522 West Twenty-First Street and 555 West Twenty-Fourth—will be the artist’s thirtieth solo exhibition with the gallery. At this location are four new pieces—three major sculptures and a drawing installation—arranged with a cinematic precision that would make Kubrick jealous.
Multifaceted cultural engineer Genesis Breyer P-Orridge is one body, two souls, and a thousand hearts. “Try to Altar Everything” is the name of this survey/shrine/site-specific installation, which highlights the ways Nepal and Hindu creation myths have influenced h/er thinking and making, in realms sacred and profane. The artist will be at the museum at certain times throughout the duration of the show, and visitors are encouraged to bring objects of devotion to add to this sprawling autobiographical sanctuary of—what else?—love.
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge Try to Altar Everything
The Judd Foundation’s numinous atmosphere is church-like, but its Protestant-seeming architecture is considerably sexier. This exhibition of five works by James Rosenquist, elegantly hung within the genteel-brut environs of Donald’s house, and expertly curated by Flavin Judd, reminds us that Pop’s prosaic loveliness often countenances the divine.
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.
Cao Fei’s immersive, funny, maddening, and queasy video installations may feel Surrealist, but understand: The artist doesn’t pull from dreams. Her approach to exploring a flowering of Chinese culture in the grips of twenty-first century metastatic capitalism feels nearly documentarian. Cao’s exhibition at MoMA PS1 is her first solo outing at a museum within the United States. It surely won’t be her last.
Imagine what Marcel Breuer’s dark, imposing edifice did to New Yorkers during its first incarnation as the Whitney Museum, when it opened to the public in 1966. One can feel the white gloves quake and starched collars moisten in the presence of this seductively forbidding structure. Taken in by the Metropolitan Museum of Art when the Whitney went Meatpacking, The Met Breuer, as it’s now officially dubbed, comes at us with several brilliant exhibitions, one of which is “Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible,” a show that will explore “a subject critical to artistic practice: the question of when a work of art is finished.”
Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible
László Moholy-Nagy managed to make it through two world wars without his spirit being utterly crushed. A nearly utopian optimism pervades this designer/painter/teacher/photographer’s prodigious oeuvre, which we have the good fortune of experiencing in “Moholy-Nagy: Future Present,” the first major retrospective of this thinker and maker’s work within the United States in nearly half a century, beautifully realized by the Guggenheim’s Karole P. B. Vail, Danielle Toubrinet, and Ylinka Barotto.
László Moholy-Nagy Moholy-Nagy: Future Present
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)
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
Known for videos, photography, and performances that draw attention to twentieth-century protests, the American artist here explores queer and feminist movements in the US and the UK. The new works on view include a six-channel film, a wall drawing, and a large-scale installation that evokes the notice boards used by action groups as a means of communication.
Sharon Hayes In My Little Corner of the World, Anyone Would Love You
Elizabeth Neel’s paintings are records of her being expressed through gesture, bodily fluids, and gravity. The new paintings and works on paper shown here examine the relationship between the individual and landscape, both in terms of physical and emotional surroundings.
Elizabeth Neel Vulture and Chicks
This group show brings together work by seven artists from two generations—Sonja Braas, David Claerbout, Elger Esser, Julie Monaco, Jörg Sasse, Stephen Shore, and Joel Sternfeld—who use photography to explore the uncanny. The works on view demonstrate photographers’ unnerving ability to simultaneously document and mutate reality.
Magical Surfaces: The Uncanny in Contemporary Photography
This two-woman show takes the form of an unexpected visual dialogue between weavings and drawings. Keeping examples of each others’ artworks in their studios as they worked, the two artists have created poetic cross-media counterpoints: Strafella’s drawings are fluttery and weightless, while Mirra’s tapestries are stiff and thick.
Helen Mirra, Allyson Strafella, Suchness
Jean Dubuffet’s late-career works from the 1960s to the 1980s include paintings, sculptures, and drawings. Highlights of the impressive and diverse samplings on view include ballpoint-pen doodles that the artist famously made while talking on the phone (“Hourloupes”), abstract mental-landscape paintings (“Mires”), and large-format graffiti-style figures and abstractions (“Théatres de mémoire”).
Jean Dubuffet Dubuffet: late paintings
In addition to serving as the title of this show, “currentmood” is the hashtag Arcangel uses to share his personal browsing habits on social media. Taking place in two parallel realities, the exhibition comprises new works in various media, on view in the gallery, and an IRL online component.
Cory Arcangel currentmood
The British artist’s latest nudes were inspired in part by a recent exhibition at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum: “Titian to Canaletto: Drawing in Venice” (October 2015–January 2016). While Saville’s writhing and coupling figures certainly relate to Old Master nudes, her forceful gestural marks also mine the overlap among figuration, landscape, and abstraction.
Jenny Saville Erota
Born in Beirut to Palestinian parents, Mona Hatoum settled in England in 1975. This show, her first major survey in the UK, was organized with Paris’s Centre Pompidou (where it debuted in 2015) and includes thirty-five years’ worth of beautifully haunting work—from early radical performances and video pieces to recent post-Minimalist sculptures made from various industrial and personal materials, such as barbed wire or the artist’s own hair.
Mining a rich art-historical period when artists found new ways to engage with reality and make work beyond the studio setting, this survey includes, among others, Keith Arnatt, Hamish Fulton, Mary Kelly, John Latham, Richard Long, David Tremlett, and Stephen Willats. Much of the work on view is politically engaged, dealing with a wide range of contemporary issues from feminism to the conflict in Northern Ireland.
Conceptual Art in Britain: 1964–1979
The basis of the American artist’s latest work, Epigraph, Damascus, are architectural drawings she made from photos of Damascus. Mehretu used a range of traditional etching techniques to create the final layered image, which sprawls across six panels in a flurry of the artist’s signature painterly gestures.
Julie Mehretu Epigraph, Damascus
In his ongoing project examining the art-historical, industrial, and commercial dimensions of photography, Christopher Williams notably features one particular piece of drywall in his latest exhibition. This piece—which Williams first showed in 2009 at Germany’s Bonner Kunstverein as part of a typological display of mobile wall systems, and then used as an actual wall in his Whitechapel Gallery show in 2015—was rephotographed and printed into images for this current exhibition, which are shown alongside the original wall in a characteristically meta move for this artist.
Christopher Williams Open Letter to Model No. 1740
A follow up to Phillips’s 2015 show at Mathew NYC, which featured a takeoff on Christopher Wool’s and Albert Oehlen’s paintings, the American artist’s latest paintings enter into a dialogue with Gerhard Richter’s abstractions. Overlaying an old, found series of black-and-white portraits of a female model with painterly neon rainbows of oil color applied via a painstakingly cut vinyl mask, the artist achieves a certain psychedelic tone at once celebratory and satirical of the expressive associations of abstract painting.
Richard Phillips New Paintings / Neue Bilder
As a photojournalist, Lee Miller captured haunting images of WWII, including scenes of aerial bombardments of London, the liberation of Paris, and Nazi concentration camps in Dachau and Buchenwald. Though she was often footnoted in history as Man Ray’s muse and partner, the one hundred photographs included in this exhibition are a testament to Miller’s singular talent and diverse repertoire encompassing Surrealism, fashion, and documentary reportage.
Lee Miller – Fotografien Lee Miller
Taking as his subject the space and contents of his own studio, Wolfgang Tillmans slots another entry into the veritable historical genre of artists depicted at work. While scenes from his native site of production have previously appeared as a backdrop in many of his portraits, here they take center stage.
Wolfgang Tillmans Studio
Inspired by the gallery’s location—the fourth floor of an office building at Alexanderplatz—Rachel Harrison’s latest work seeps from the exhibition space and takes over an empty conference room next door, colonizing the corporate dwelling with self-reflexive selfie-stick-holding sculptures and anachronistic drawings that mix Amy Winehouse into a soup of various art-historical figures.
Ostensibly describing a flight from Israel to Azerbaijan—where he was commissioned to make a new work last fall—the strange artifacts that make up Oscar Murillo’s poetically titled solo show include metal beds, industrial scales, and oil-on-canvas sculptures strung up like sails or carcasses in a slaughterhouse, a comparison strengthened by the heavy odor permeating the installation. By turns elegant, obtuse, creepy, and harrowing, the artist’s latest politically inflected works are, in his own words, “detritus of a failed period.”
Oscar Murillo land with lost olive trees
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
Invalidenstraße 50-51 / +4930266424242 / smb.museum/
Tue - Fri 10am to 6pm, Sat - Sun 11am to 6pm, Thu 10am to 8pm
With seven new paintings and one from her 1970s series “Stroke Paintings,” the works here soil and sully the legacy of AbEx with their sensuous, painterly strokes wrapped in ribbons around dried sunflowers, berries, rosebuds, and mud. Grab some cotton buds and start swabbing that waxy canon from your ears, it’s time to listen to Joan Snyder’s “Womansong.”
Joan Snyder Womansong
Painting? Sculpture? Who cares, as long as Tabor Robak’s custom-built computers are buzzing away to generate a live feed of “aqueous brushstrokes” or rendering the alluring landscapes of a Junk Drawer for our visual feasting purposes. Pull up to the bungalow and get ready to sink in deeper than any beanbag chair can take you.
Tabor Robak Sunflower Seed
Encompassing portraits, still lifes, nudes, and his infamous X Portfolio from 1978—exhibited that same year at the legendary Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art—this exhibition comprises half of Robert Mapplethorpe’s major LA retrospective. Drawn from a major acquisition of works from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation in 2011, the show begins in the early 1970s and moves through his output from the 1990s, when he became a codefendant in the US government’s puritanical purge of so-called obscenity from publicly funded art. Where better to get reintroduced to hedonism than at the top of these hills?
Robert Mapplethorpe The Perfect Medium
The flipside of Robert Mapplethorpe’s two-part retrospective in Los Angeles, this exhibition promises to get its hands dirty with the photographer’s early drawings, collages, sculptures, and Polaroid photography, as well as archival materials, portraits, rare examples of his work in color, and two rarely screened films, all meant to focus on the artist’s relationship to his adopted home, New York City. The show is complemented by “Physical: Sex and the Body in the 1980s,” a roundup of work from LACMA’s permanent collection.
Robert Mapplethorpe The Perfect Medium