On View

‘Robert Arneson: Early Work’ at David Zwirner

'Toaster,' 1965. (Courtesy David Zwirner)

You have to hand it to Robert Arneson. Almost 50 years after he made most of the libidinal, occasionally lascivious ceramic pieces in this show, many of them still look racy, even grotesque. He was in his mid-30s halfway through the 1960s and teaching ceramics at UC Davis, where he would stay almost until his death in 1992. His medium didn’t rank highly in most art-world hierarchies at the time, and so he really let it rip. To his great credit, the results continue to be unsettling. Read More

On View

‘Jeff Koons: New Paintings and Sculpture’ at Gagosian Gallery and ‘Jeff Koons: Gazing Ball’ at David Zwirner

'Metallic Venus,' 2010–12. (© Jeff Koons/Gagosian Gallery)

Jeff Koons’s two-gallery blowout, his first large-scale appearance in commercial galleries in the city in 10 years and the unrivaled event of the spring art season (barring, perhaps, the Frieze Art Fair), is a roaring success, filled with feats of engineering and artistic choices that are as gleefully peculiar and perverse as any he has ever made. Mr. Koons strives to please, and he delivers. Read More

On View

‘Richard Serra: Early Work’ at David Zwirner

Installation view. (Courtesy David Zwirner)

Take Richard Serra’s 1967 artwork Verb List, a piece consisting of 108 terms handwritten across four columns on two sheets of letter paper. It’s a kind of index to the 18 titanic formal experiments, borrowed from museums and private collections all over the world, that have been arranged to loosely recreate the feeling of the artist’s 1968 Soho loft inside David Zwirner’s distractingly opulent new building on West 20th Street. Begin with “to roll.” Scavenge an irregular, four-foot-high ingot of black rubber, scraped or torn into a sandy latex color along one corner. Lean it against the wall. The way it lists to the right brings to mind a dancer striking a supple pose, whose shape looks transitional even as it holds steady—a perfect sculptural embodiment of frozen gesture. But then the soft material reminds you that the piece, Chunk (1967) really is bending the way it looks like it’s bending, even though it’s bending too slowly to see. Read More

On View

‘Palermo: Works on Paper 1976–1977′ at David Zwirner

5 Photos

Manhattan, 1976–77

What would have happened if the prodigiously gifted German painter Blinky Palermo hadn’t died in 1977 at age 33, en route to see a girlfriend in the Maldives? That was the irresistible and heartbreaking question on everyone’s mind two summers ago, when curator Lynne Cooke’s majestic Palermo retrospective alighted at Dia:Beacon and CCS Bard. Zwirner’s current exhibition of more than 20 works on paper from the last year or so of Palermo’s life shows the artist rooting about, working in bracingly spare series, perhaps on the verge of conjuring the next in his long line of inventions. It renders his loss newly wrenching. Read More


Richard Serra Meets the Press

Serra at Moma. (Courtesy Patrick McMullan)

Last week members of the press assembled at David Zwirner’s new space on West 20th Street for a preview of Richard Serra’s early works there and, we’d been told, a walkthrough of the exhibition with the artist himself. If you were familiar with Mr. Serra’s personality—or at least his famous falling out with the U.S. government over its decision to remove his sculpture Tilted Arc (1981) in 1989—the walkthrough sounded slightly out of character. Even if he had curated the show himself, Mr. Serra is not a salesman of any kind. He’s not even especially friendly. As the hacks shuffled around near the formal and material experimentations from 1966 to 1971 that comprise the show (coiled lead, etc.), the squat bald artist spoke to no one except the man whose name was on the door. And to him he spoke gruffly. Read More


A New Dimension: Thomas Ruff Embraces 3D


Could it be an art world trend occasioned by the special effects of films like Avatar and The Avengers? A few months ago, rising star Trisha Baga had visitors at Greene Naftali don 3D glasses to better experience her complex installations and slide projections. Last fall, Christie’s made the somewhat tenuous claim that Warhol’s 1962 “3D painting” of the Statue of Liberty was meant to be viewed through 3D glasses, and it dutifully doled them out to prospective buyers and looky-loos alike. Now, at David Zwirner, 3D glasses are provided for viewing superstar German photographer Thomas Ruff’s recent “ma.r.s.” series. Grab a pair from the box near the entrance and enjoy the aerial views of the red planet, originally captured by NASA. In 3D-ma.r.s. 10 (2013), the planet’s carbuncular surface seems to pop right into the gallery. Move around it and the irregular bumps shift and stretch, appearing to follow you. Put the glasses on backward to reverse what recedes and what protrudes—the enormous crater dominating 3D-ma.r.s.09 (2013) will stick out like a Bundt cake. Read More

On View

Alan Uglow at David Zwirner

Partial installation view of 'Torwand (Red) / Torwand (Blue),' 2004. (Courtesy David Zwirner)

It’s the rare deconstruction that remembers to deconstruct itself. But you can see how it works in Alan Uglow’s 2010 T-3. (The English-born painter died in 2011.) On a flat, bright-white field, picture a figure like a cross with red, silver and black bars, the upper and lower two slightly offset to create a cantilevered feeling of expansive stillness. Borders are exact—the white field, if you look closely, is divided by sharp edges of paint into four symmetrical pieces—but the bars of the figure remain thick enough to have their own substance. A subversion of the inhuman infinitudes of geometry is at the same time an expression of faith in their real meaning. Read More

human resources

Kusama to Zwirner

Kusama in 1968. (Keystone Features/Getty Images)

Yayoi Kusama will join David Zwirner, The New York Times‘ Carol Vogel writes. Shortly after Art Basel Miami Beach last year, The Art Newspaper reported that she was parting ways with Gagosian Gallery. She had her first one-person show with the gallery in 2009. A recent profile of Mr. Gagosian in New York magazine said that a representative for the artist told the gallery last summer that she wanted to cease working together. In late December, the German newspaper Die Welt reported the widely circulating rumor that Ms. Kusama was set to join Zwirner in New York. And now the official word has arrived. Read More