On View

Keith Haring at Gladstone Gallery

Exhibition view. (Photo by David Regen/©Keith Haring Foundation)

Don’t trust anyone whose opinion of Keith Haring falls short of unbridled admiration. The late Downtown phenom’s unrepentant accessibility and his (unfortunate) position as godfather to so much insipid street art can make him seem suspect and uncool, but the simple fact is that he produced some of the most captivating, irreverent, hilarious, engaged imagery of the past half century. Anyone who doubts it is refusing to look. Eight large works at Gladstone, on canvas, tarp and muslin, offer further proof of a basic truth: He is an American treasure. Read More

On View

‘Mixed Message Media’ at Gladstone Gallery

Installation view. (Courtesy Gladstone Gallery)

This group show, curated by Neville Wakefield, is as full as a clock factory of complex mechanisms directed at singular, simple aims—or at least, that’s how they look all together. Wilfredo Prieto’s Yes/No could pass 95 percent of a Turing test: a slight mechanical modification makes each of two standing electric fans into an autonomic decision-making machine. One nods “yes,” the other shakes its fan “no.” Kaari Upson’s three mattresses hanging on the wall, apparently florid with fluorescent mold, are actually made of colored and cast silicone. Cinthia Marcelle’s Surplus (spatula), a little spackle knife with a formal milk mustache of white latex paint across its blade, leans diffidently against the wall, while Tony Labat’s Leisure, an off-the-rack black steel grill, sits—serenely unattainable—six feet off the floor, thanks to its extra-long legs. Read More

On View

Marisa Merz at Gladstone Gallery

5 Photos

Marisa Merz, Untitled, 2012

A profligate choice of materials takes the weight off their particularity. Marisa Merz uses paint, graphite, gold leaf, cut paper, tacks, copper or nylon mesh, and clay with theatrical precision—each does exactly the job it’s needed for, and then each can be dropped from our thoughts. The job these materials are most often needed for, in the dozen or so recent works at Gladstone, is depicting a thumb-shaped figure that combines the whimsy of a finger puppet, the self-reproving vagueness of a mystical ode to an unnameable deity, and the separately acting, far more self-conscious Arte Povera whimsy of making the choice to affect this particular style. On the left panel of one untitled, eight-foot-high paper-on-plywood double apotheosis, the thumb-faced figure appears, with azure eyes and gilded lips, against a sea of red. The color is more cardinal than Communist, but flame-like motions at the bottom and a long gray form hanging like a banner from a black pole make clear where it’s pointing. A pair of disembodied arms stretch out with flickering fingers. On the right, the thumb face, more masculine and mask-like, is gold. It rises up between red banners into a pale blue dome above a more definite but still disembodied white embrace. Read More

Review

Transformers: Ambitious Installations Are Altering the Reality of New York’s Galleries

10 Photos

Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe's 'Stray Light Grey' at Marlborough Chelsea

Just when you think you know what it’s doing, art has the nasty and endearing habit of veering in a completely different direction, turning back on itself and throwing you, Alice-style, down a chute into wonderlands. Consider: a Depression-era bank has time-traveled to ZieherSmith; a cavernous cruise ship casino has crashed into Gladstone; a rabbit’s warren of dingy, sinister rooms has displaced Marlborough Chelsea; and a suburban home has taken up residence in the Pierogi Boiler.

What happened? Just a few months ago, the Whitney Biennial argued that the past decade’s excesses had passed. It celebrated modestly scaled art, exemplified by Andrew Masullo’s compact abstract paintings, K8 Hardy’s fashion photos and Vincent Fecteau’s cement and clay confections. That, as it turned out, was wishful thinking. The new season has delivered a bumper-crop of full-on, intensely immersive, gallery-filling installations. Read More

fairs

Notorious VIP: After a Stumble, an Online Art Fair Embraces Its Tech Side

A screen capture from VIP 1.0.

Let’s assume for a moment that Amazon.com is the best way to sell something to someone else online, the Platonic ideal of website retail. Imagine a version of Amazon.com that exists for just one week a year and requires you to have a little instant message conversation with a salesman as the first step to any transaction. If he likes you, or you’re known to him, he might take you to a “private room,” identical to any other inventory page, but where they keep the really good thriller novels. Fair warning! This version of Amazon.com has a reputation for being a little quirky technically as well. The chat function isn’t reliable, and the whole site once had to be taken offline for several hours, during that week of its existence. Read More

Art

Richard Serra’s Junction/Cycle at Gagosian Gallery and Matthew Barney’s DJED at Gladstone Gallery

"DJED" (2009-2011) by Matthew Barney.

The materials of Richard Serra’s two enormous new sculptures, currently dominating the Gagosian Gallery on 24th Street, will be recognizable to anyone who knows Mr. Serra’s work. They’re made from curved, continuous steel plates more than thirteen feet high, rusted into shades from powdery orange to Martian mahogany, and marked with what are or appear Read More