ArtSeen

CAMILLE HENROT

In an age when artists are pressured to present themselves as easily identifiable brand personas, thank the art world for offering up Camille Henrot, who perpetually undoes any easy expectation one might have of her work.

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW

Alina Szapocznikow’s (1926 – 73) mutilated sculptures of human figures are visually assaulting. The twelve works on view at Andrea Rosen Gallery, from the 1960s and ’70s, are characterized by obscene bodily imagery that conjures gut-wrenching torture, human suffering, eroticism, and death.

Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film

The Jewish Museum’s Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film is a simple exhibition aiming to battle an enormous subject. The artists exhibited and the tale of their failed revolution may be well known, but through its telling and retelling its narrative has become part of a simplified history. This exhibition succeeds in representing this material in a way that allows for a reconsideration of these artists and their environment, and it provides a timely opportunity to meditate on the ever-pressing subject of art, war and politics.

Alberto Burri, The Trauma of Painting

Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting chronicles the career of Italian doctor, prisoner of war, and artist Alberto Burri.

Show Me Something New

On my first trip to the Turner Prize I did not know what to expect other than greatness, and the show’s own heavily advertised intentions, to “Show me Something New” and “Take me Somewhere New.

Rico Gatson and Chris Larson

The river is an endlessly rich metaphor as its constant state of flow and flux takes the artist, viewer, reader, writer, musician, listener on journeys, conveying travelers through to new territories.  The Mississippi River with its grand American sweep, forever entwined with Mark Twain’s fictional escapades, provides the cultural and historical backdrop for The Raft, a collaborative video installation by Rico Gatson and Chris Larson.

Ford Crull, New Paintings

Ford Crull is a mature painter who has been involved in the New York art scene since the 1980s. His sprawling, attractively disheveled abstract work shows strong feelings for the nonobjective style, in which random patterns and complex densities of paint build up to a surface of intricacy and abandon.

THE WORLDS OF MC ESCHER
Nature, Science, and Imagination

Although seemingly ubiquitous in pop culture, MC Escher is not accorded much weight in more traditional fine-art circles. This is, perhaps, because he is something of a flash in the pan.

THE CLAMOR OF REASON
Frank Stella: A Retrospective

Frank Stella’s famous aphorism, “What you see is what you see,” seems most likely to have been followed in his mind by an urgent, “Don’t just stand there looking, do something!”

ANGEL OTERO New Paintings

Puerto Rican-born, New York-based artist Angel Otero has refined a singular, labor-intensive process for making paintings. He applies thick oil paint to Plexiglas slabs and allows it to nearly dry before painstakingly peeling the oil skins away and reapplying them to canvas, to which he then adds and scrapes additional paint, resulting in an entirely new composition.

Berlin Metropolis: 1918 –1933

On the second floor of the Neue Galerie mansion, a pig is hanging from the ceiling. The pig—really more of a porcine puppet man—wears the World War I uniform of a Prussian soldier, with a cap over his ears, and jackboots jutting out at odd angles.

Picasso Sculpture

MoMA’s not-to-be-missed retrospective of Pablo Picasso’s three-dimensional work fills up its entire fourth floor with 141 pieces across eleven galleries, which span a mind-boggling sixty-two years—from 1902, his last year in Barcelona, until 1964, nine years before his death.

DAVID HOCKNEY Early Drawings

When looking at the plentiful selection of David Hockney’s early drawings now on view at Paul Kasmin Gallery, it is not the words of the artist but those of John Berger that first come to mind.

THE DIVIDED CITY
STADT/BILD

Berlin is a divided city. Its inhabitants’ polarized reactions to the sudden influx of thousands of refugees—from acts of arson to massive volunteer campaigns—reveal a city torn between fear of change and a desire to embrace it.

WALID RAAD and ANDREA GEYER

On November 11, art historian Carrie Lambert-Beatty and artists Zoe Beloff and Katarina Burin gathered at the Graduate Center, CUNY, to discuss “Fabulated Archives.”

ALEXIS SMITH History in the Making

In “Politics and the English Language,” Orwell claimed that cliché and “stale imagery” not only marred writing, but the very capacity for clear thought.

THE SURREALIST IMPULSE
CORINNE WASMUHT Alnitak

Corinne Wasmuht is a contemporary surrealist, and her visions are fraught with the same edgy aesthetic of what we are just-uncomfortable-enough-with, in terms of distortions of our reality—similar to Dalí, Magritte, or even Bosch.

JOHN LEES

John Lees’s hallmark obsession with his interior life is legendary. The twenty-seven works on view at Betty Cuningham Gallery are concrete examples of his introspective style; they are ponderous, blisteringly intense, and hyperspecific.

ROBIN WINTERS Free Standing Sentence

Recent neurophysiological research suggests that comprehension of metaphors is grounded in sensory perception. Robin Winters’ Free Standing Sentence, now on view at Present Company in Bushwick, supports this idea.

GIORGIO MORANDI

Solicitously buttering across the suffused dexterity of muteness, / Resembling the earth pigments in their splendor, / Time collapses above and below the horizon.

GIOTTO L’Italia

The fourteen works present here—mostly on panel, but also including five detached frescoes—are brought together for the first time, at the Palazzo Real. They provide a partial, but representative, record of Giotto Di Bondone’s (1267 – 1337) production over a more than forty-year period—from early to late in his hugely influential career.

MARTIN WONG Human Instamatic

The title of the powerful new Martin Wong retrospective at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Human Instamatic, refers to the artist’s period as a street portraitist in Eureka, California in the late 1960s and early 1970s where, after graduating from college, he offered up his photographic services for $5 a pop.

HIBA SCHABAZ Hanged with Roses

Hiba Schahbaz was trained as a miniaturist painter by the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan. Her early work, as well has her art now, powerfully combine high technical skill, a sense of the female position in Muslim Pakistan, and a slightly troubled, troubling feeling for herself as a painter who has moved from a highly hierarchical culture to America, where aesthetic pluralism can confuse a classically trained artist.

ECHO AT THE MARGINS
MAPPLETHORPE + 25

The slideshow paused on the now iconic image of a young Robert Mapplethorpe, his body turned away from the camera, stance partially bent over a sheet-covered platform.

Where is Surrealism Now?

Rare are the pictures of André Breton lying down. This time he is reclining before Giorgio de Chirico’s Enigma of a Day (1933), as if indeed he himself were to be posing as one of those reclining Roman statues within the piazza, observing us observing him.

Greater New York

Bodies and Cities in Greater New York

In MoMA PS1’s Greater New York this year, there is a complex and particularly bodily focus on how issues of socioeconomics, fashion, consumption, gender politics, and gentrification intersect with the city.

Greater New York

School Daze

In a show largely as soulless as the institution its venue once housed, the exquisitely engaging work of Yoshiaki Mochizuki comes as a welcome surprise. Nestled in a hallway on the museum’s third floor, the six small paintings on view are easy to miss.

Greater New York

Dream Screens

Sondra Perry’s multidimensional video portrait of a black family is a powerful antidote to the repetitive displays of racialized state violence too often displayed on our screens.

Greater New York

MARY BETH EDELSON
My Favorite and Most Disturbing

What a celebration! Have we forgotten that before Nancy Spero was shown at MoMA, in 1976 she was picketing the place, demanding that an exhibition include fifty percent women?

Greater New York

Greater New York 2015 Edition

This most recent Greater New York is tightly curated (with some speculative room to move) around a trans-generational city of reality and dreams. It’s an amalgam of contemporary and historic art interpretations of the multi-layered, collective experience we call living for the city.

EDUARDO CHILLIDA

Have you ever seen a carpenter’s joinery—pegs, / Dowel, flush, shy, proud—in Cor-ten steel?

DONALD JUDD

From ancient and sacred geometry arose Gertrude’s “Portraits and Repetition.”

JAMES HYDE: Ground

Perceptual psychologists have long dismissed the notion that our brain records images like a camera; seeing is an interactive process of grazing, in a visual field that extends around us on all sides, rather than a series of flat images projected to a single point. Yet photographic images retain special authority as records of visual experience. In his current exhibition, James Hyde undertakes to dislodge this persistent prejudice.

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