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Maika Pollack

On View

‘Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963–2010′ at the Museum of Modern Art

'Raster Drawing (Portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald)' (1963) by Polke. (Estate of Sigmar Polke/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn)

This retrospective of the German artist Sigmar Polke finds profound coherence in what is often termed his eclectic style. Unlike previous Polke surveys it mixes mediums: alongside painting and drawing there’s photography, sound, video, film and collage.Their combination proves key in assessing Polke’s reinvention of painting. From his rasterized halftone dot paintings, to paintings in photographic silver bromide (a light-sensitive chemical that darkens over time) on Bubble Wrap, and even uranium-exposed photographs, Polke effected a tectonic shift in how we think about what a painting can be. Read More

On View

Maria Lassnig at MoMA PS1

'Self-Portrait Under Plastic'  (1972) by Lassnig. (Photo ©Peter Cox, courtesy Collection de Bruin-Heijn)

At nearly 95 years of age, Austrian-born painter Maria Lassnig is having her first museum show in the United States. Like Philip Guston, Ms. Lassnig turned to figuration in the 1960s after a period of abstraction. Like Alice Neel, she has painted herself as a naked old woman holding a paintbrush; unlike Neel, Ms. Lassnig is usually alone in her paintings and brutally self-lacerating in her art. Read More

On View

‘Other Primary Structures’ at the Jewish Museum

Rasheed Araeen, 'First Structure,' 1966-67. (Aicon Gallery/© Rasheed Araeen)

Costa Rican-born German curator Jens Hoffmann’s first effort as deputy director of the Jewish Museum takes on the legacy of one of New York’s most important modern art exhibitions: his museum’s 1966 “Primary Structures.” Organized by Kynaston McShine, “Primary Structures” exhibited works by American and British artists—Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt and Robert Morris among them—who were defining the art we now call Minimalism. Mr. Hoffmann, uninterested in simply recreating the iconic show, instead presents “Other Primary Structures.” Read More

On View

‘Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937′ at the Neue Galerie

'Departure' (1932–35) by Beckmann. (Courtesy the Museum of Modern Art)

On weeks like the fair- and biennial-filled one New York just had, there is a citywide  welcoming of new art. “Degenerate Art” reminds us that in mid-20th-century Germany and Austria, some avant-garde artists, far from being embraced, were systematically persecuted. Olaf Peters organized this exhibition on German and Austrian modernist art and the politics that labeled many of its makers untermenschen (subhuman), destroyed their paintings and drove them to exile or suicide. Read More

On View

‘Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe’ at the Guggenheim Museum

'Interventionist Demonstration (Manifestazione Interventista)' (1914) by Carlo Carrà. (© 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome, courtesy the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York)

In 1909, F. T. Marinetti’s “Founding and Manifesto of Futurism” declared, “We will glorify war … militarism, patriotism … and scorn for women.” A new show at the Guggenheim Museum featuring the art of the Italian Futurists between 1909 and 1944, with nearly 360 artworks by more than 80 artists, is a scholarly and historical tour-de-force by curator Vivien Greene. Moving beyond the model of a solo museum show (which in this case might have focused on macho Marinetti, the movement’s founder), “Reconstructing the Universe” is an inclusive look at the movement with a reach (the show takes us straight through World War II) and depth that yields insights into how art embraced technology, and how artists used new technology to make art, in the first half of the 20th century. Read More

On View

‘Macho Man, Tell It to My Heart: Collected by Julie Ault’ at Artists Space

Installation view. (Courtesy Artists Space)

The timing of this exhibition couldn’t be better. Just as articles have been appearing describing art market speculators’ price-flipping of paintings by artists in their mid-20s, this vast show at Artists Space of the collection of the artist, writer and founding member of ’80s and ’90s art collaborative Group Material, Julie Ault, hints that there are longstanding alternatives in the New York art world in which generosity of spirit has greater sway than money. Read More