How much of Paris Hilton’s crotch—you’ve seen it on the Internet, I’m sure—any rational person needs is a question asked by Auguries of Innocence, an exhibition of photographs by David LaChapelle at Tony Shafrazi Gallery. Actually, Ms. Hilton only makes a fleeting appearance in what is, essentially, Mr. LaChapelle’s debut as a political commentator. War, Read More
By Mario Naves 9/23/08 10:03pm
The first thing you’ve got to say about the Met’s new exhibition of Giorgio Morandi’s paintings, prints and drawings is this: It’s about time.
Over the past few years, a handful of almost surreptitious gallery exhibitions were devoted to the Italian modernist. The pickin’s were slim—10 paintings in each venue, if that—but they were Read More
By Mario Naves 9/09/08 6:02pm
The gallery season is in full swing and promises the usual mélange of novelties, big money, humdrum outrages, and stray oddments of aesthetic reward. Art types—students, collectors, curators, critics, Matthew Barney and Björk—will be navigating the streets of Chelsea, the Lower East Side, Williamsburg, and—less so, one feels—57th Street and the Upper East Side. For Read More
By Mario Naves 8/26/08 6:16pm
Context plays an important role in art. This is particularly true of sculpture; it’s a medium that engages real space—that is to say, a place and our relationship to it.
Philip Grausman’s Susanna and Eileen (1996-1999), two monumental fiberglass sculptures, are on display on the grounds of the Katonah Museum of Art—Susanna on the Read More
By Mario Naves 8/12/08 3:48pm
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938), the subject of the MoMA exhibition “Kirchner and the Berlin Street,” is, in the greater scheme of 20th-century art, a minor painter, albeit one with a significant role in the shaping of German Modernism.
Kirchner was a founding member of “Die Brücke” (“the Bridge”), a collective of painters out to Read More
By Mario Naves 8/05/08 3:56pm
Felix Nussbaum’s Self in Concentration Camp (1940), a painting included in the exhibition “Max Beckmann: Self-Portrait With Horn” at the Neue Galerie, is as bleak as the title implies. Wearing a wool cap, a tattered jacket and a lean beard, the artist looks askance with steely distrust. In the background, a figure defecates into a Read More
By Mario Naves 7/28/08 11:04pm
In the catalog accompanying “The World Stage: Africa, Lagos~Dakar,” an exhibition of Kehinde Wiley’s paintings at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the artist holds forth on various aspects of his work—among them, his African heritage, the role of mimicry in art, being a twin, and themes of gender and postcolonialism. He lists as his peers Read More
By Mario Naves 7/22/08 2:49pm
In Edward Albee’s The Occupant, a play about the American sculptor Louise Nevelson, a nameless interviewer quizzes the artist on her fame and critical fortunes. He mentions the name “Louise Bourgeois.” Nevelson reacts with dismissive hauteur. The implication is clear: The Nevelson character feels threatened by Ms. Bourgeois.
Why, exactly, is left unanswered. Envy Read More
By Mario Naves 7/15/08 2:55pm
How will art history judge Burgess Collins (1923-2004), the artist better known as Jess? The new exhibition of his work at Tibor de Nagy Gallery won’t tell you, but there’s one thing for sure about Jess’ current standing: He’s nowhere—but, then again, that might stand as the most fitting tribute to an artist defined by Read More
By Mario Naves 7/09/08 6:47pm
In his invaluable book Temperaments: Artists Facing Their Work, art writer Dan Hofstadter profiled the painter Richard Diebenkorn. It’s a remarkable essay, not least because its subject is unexciting.
Diebenkorn comes across as a solid family man and a collegial instructor. He enjoyed the occasional drink, didn’t sleep around or throw punches. Read More