The Whitney Museums recent show of Arshile Gorky drawings deteriorated into too much of a glorious thing. There were so many drawings from 1941 until Gorkys death in 1948 that they became a blur and only the specialist or one obsessed could keep them in focus. Half their number would have made this excellent show a triumph.
Artist Lane Twitchell grew up Mormon in Utah but in the mid-1990s moved to Brooklyn. His work involves an intensive paper folding and paper cutting process, with paint being applied to cut paper; the results are elegant, lacy designs of repeated American, religious, and place-specific icons that are at once ironized and celebrated, and that make gestures toward both high art and popular culture.
"Rirkrit Tiravanija is arguably the most influential artist of his generation," says Laura Hoptman, the organizer of the Carnegie International. He has transformed the notion of conceptual art by taking his environments out of the museum to the ends of the earth.
In the early 1990s, I entered a downtown gallery and encountered a female nude fashioned from beeswax, down on all fours, a tail of intestines or shit trailing out onto the floor from her anus. The figure was crawling, desperate and humiliated but ferociously aggressive, and yet the pale, translucent wax also had a lyricism and sensuality that seemed to invoke Eva Hesses late work in latex.
On perhaps the coldest morning of January, I met with filmmaker and visual artist John Waters in his Manhattan apartment to discuss irony, Abstract Expressionism, Paul McCarthy, and John Waters: Change of Life, his upcoming retrospective at the New Museum of Contemporary Art.