On View

‘Displayed’ at Anton Kern Gallery


“Displayed” has my vote for the most seductive group show of the season—an easy choice, given its treasures and the fact that, in a sense, it takes seduction itself as its subject, with work that examines and exploits the “possibilities inherent to the processes of selection, arrangement and presentation,” as its organizer, White Columns Read More

On View

‘Looking Back: The Eighth White Columns Annual’ at White Columns

Installation view with works by Sanchez, Yao, Conrad and McCarthy. (Courtesy White Columns)

After a year of baleful extravagance in galleries and on the auction block, gargantuan and largely mediocre blockbusters in our museums and the continued hypertrophying of the worst aspects of the art world (spectacle, conservatism, anti-intellectualism), it is a joy to visit this year’s edition of White Columns’ venerable Annual, which has been organized by Pati Hertling, a restitution lawyer, associate of New York and Paris’ Balice Hertling gallery and host of various art events around town. Her exhibition is a poignant tonic for such nonsense, filled as it is with intimate, hand-fashioned, quietly risky art. Read More

Performa 13

‘There Is Only One Karl!’

Holmqvist and Goldsmith. (Photos by The New York Observer)

The fifth edition of Performa, New York’s performance art biennial, is in full swing right now, which means there are ample opportunities just about every night to see art types engaged in some fairly unusual behavior. On Monday night, curator Matthew Higgs could be found at the West Village alternative space that he directs, White Columns, sporting a yellow safety vest emblazoned on its back with the visage of Karl Marx. He was helping to stage a fashion show by the artist Rainer Ganahl called “Comme des Marxistes.” Read More


Seven Adoptions in First Days of ‘Cat Show’ at White Columns

13 Photos

The scene at the opening

The walls of White Columns are studded with work by dozens of artists for its latest exhibition, “The Cat Show,” which is organized by Rhonda Lieberman, but at the opening last Thursday evening, stars like Andy Warhol and Matthew Barney played second fiddle to five homeless felines.

Visitors pressed their noses and smart phones against the chicken wire dividing them from the cats, who spent the opening exploring the amenities of their artsy enclosure, such as Rob Pruitt’s Zen Litter Tray (2013) and Jonathan Horowitz’s carpeted Cat Pedestal (2006). The crowd cooed every time one of the kittens did something cute, which was pretty often. By the end of the night, a dozen people had filled out adoption applications and by the end of the weekend, all five cats had found homes (as had two more that arrived on Saturday). While the gallery originally planned on only holding two adoption weekends, it will now host Social Tees Animal Rescue cats every weekend (except for that of July 4) during the show. Read More

On View

‘Sverre Bjertnes: If You Really Loved Me You Would Be Able to Admit That You’re Ashamed of Me’ at White Columns

5 Photos

Installation view

“If you really loved me you would be able to admit that you’re ashamed of me” is the American solo debut of the relationship between two male Norwegian artists, Sverre Bjertnes and Bjarne Melgaard, who share a studio in Bushwick. Their relationship is mediated by images of Mr. Bjertnes’s girlfriend, Hanna Maria, who appears in the series of realist oil paintings, all made this year, that constitute Mr. Bjertnes’s American solo gallery debut; Liv Ullmann, as incarnated by Hanna Maria re-enacting a single, painful scene from Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage, in Mr. Bjertnes’s six-and-a-half-minute video of the same title; and writer Alissa Bennett, who sits beside Mr. Melgaard in the brilliant interview video If You Really Loved Me You Would Be Able to Admit That You’re Ashamed of Me, answering the questions posed by Mr. Bjertnes to Mr. Melgaard as Mr. Melgaard silently listens. Read More


Different Strokes: Culture Critic Wayne Koestenbaum Takes Up the Brush

6 Photos

Wayne Koestenbaum, Jeff Twice (Purple Shorts)

“It’s really just like he jumped in at the deep end and became this painter,” said Matthew Higgs, the director of White Columns. He was talking about writer Wayne Koestenbaum, who is known for his books on Warhol and Jackie O. On Oct. 27, White Columns will present Mr. Koestenbaum’s first-ever solo show, with about 50 smallish paintings—some brightly colored self-portraits and a smattering of male nudes. Read More

Don't Miss It!

Darren Bader’s Bulletin Board at Venus Over Manhattan


The second show at the new Upper East Side gallery Venus Over Manhattan is filled with bulletin boards. (Disclosure: Venus Over Manhattan is owned by Observer contributor Adam Lindemann.) The West Village alternative space White Columns, which has been home to a bulletin-board exhibition space for a number of years, gave bulletin boards to more than 20 artists and art types and asked them to present something with it. Read More