On View

On View

‘Matthew Porter: High Difference’ at Invisible-Exports

'Field' (2013) by Porter. (Courtesy the artist and Invisible-Exports)

The most fully transparent of all the multiply exposed, deceptively transparent photographs in Matthew Porter’s show “High Difference”—a WWI-era style of camouflage that aimed to dissemble and disorient rather than conceal, “High Difference” would also be a good name for the kind of easy-spirited conceptual double cross that seems to be the fairest flower of our world-weary age—is Field, a color print nearly 5 feet high. 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

Klara Kristalova at Galerie Perrotin and Lehmann Maupin

Installation view at Perrotin. (Courtesy Galerie Perrotin)

At the center of Klara Kristalova’s exhibition “Underworld,” at Galerie Perrotin, sits a lumpy, brown, trained bear. All the other figures in the Czech-born, Swedish ceramicist ’s psychic circus have a dewy wet glaze that makes them look, despite their waist-high size and evident weight, as provisional as soap bubbles. But the only thing shining on the bear, as she lolls on the edge of a low, gray pedestal next to a bearded but womanly ringmaster, demurely tilting her mousy head, are the 20 white claws that she makes a point of extending. It’s clearly the bear that tolerates the trainer, not otherwise. Together they comprise a single insightful piece called Le Mariage. Read More

On View

‘Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties’ at the Brooklyn Museum

Emma Amos, 'Three Figures,' 1966. (© Emma Amos / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photo by Becket Logan)

“We didn’t want a dream, we wanted a revolution,” the sculptor Mark di Suvero says in the catalog for this utterly captivating exhibition. “The art establishment ignored us. Pop art was just starting up. We were against capitalism.”

“Witness” thrusts you back into the world he is discussing in that passage, the 1960s of civil-rights struggles and political violence. Expertly marshaling its art (by names big and still too small), documentary photography, fashion and music, the show channels a time when the stakes were enormous—life and death—and when artists were digging in, serving as committed spectators and activists, testing what could be represented and how. Read More

On View

‘Eugene von Bruenchenhein: Bits from First World’ at Maccarone

'Untitled, November 18, 1978' (1978) by  von Bruenchenhein. (Courtesy  the Estate of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, Fleisher/Ollman and Maccarone)

Eugene von Bruenchenhein sparkles like the light of natural reason. This gorgeously punctuated and interwoven show includes the late Milwaukee obsessive’s psychedelically messianic oil paintings of glass towers and aquatic jungle flora; his black-and-white photos of his wife, Marie, as muse, maid, pinup, friend and model, and St. Sebastian; and the devastating vases, built up in extraordinary, barbarous precision from handpinched leafy petals of clay he dug up himself that he fired in his stove at home. Five slender red steeples, in Steel-Imperial City, June 1978, flick up into a cloudy blue sky like Chinese yo-yos or astral Empire States out of a mound of snaky lower structures in yellow, green and blue. The windowless peaks, which the artist shaped and marked directly with his fingers, shimmer with scaly surfaces that are alternately transparent and opaque. Sitting on dark fabric against a white wall in Untitled (Marie seated on floor, ruffled stockings, pearls, wonderful shadow), with straight bangs, wavy hair framing her face and the pearls draped across her shoulders like a pagan breastplate, von Bruenchenhein’s muse looks up and to the right, innocent, strange and hopeful. In Untitled (Marie with lace top and black bow tie, one arm awkward on lap, hair up), boxed in tightly but with her candidly perfect composition hard to make out against a bold floral-print background, she looks directly into the camera. But in the former, because she averts her eyes, we can feel as if we’re participating in the playful exchange; in the latter, her loving gaze pushes the viewer out of the marital intimacy even as it reveals it. The vases, gourd-shaped, with pinched necks and flaring mouths, occasionally closed but more often a kind of patched open work (they could only hold dried flowers), and usually left a natural brown but sometimes painted coppery green or a flaky, fragile gold, create a tantalizing sense of fuzzy exactitude, like a delicate grid being implied, not shown. Read More

On View

‘Moyra Davey: Ornament and Reproach’ at Murray Guy

'Outtakes' (2012-13) by Davey. (Courtesy the artist and Murray Guy)

Moyra Davey’s Outtakes, a series of 10 unique C-prints hung at eye level in two rows of five, begins with a profile of Abraham Lincoln, stamped into copper and surrounded by green and rose static and a few bulging letters. Ms. Davey folded the photo into sixths, taped it shut, wrote her New York address in the corner and mailed it to gallerist John Goodwin in Toronto. Unfolded again, the photo is left with eight squares of orange tape framing its canton and three postage stamps—one showing an eagle atop a clock and two a detail of Rockefeller Center—hanging from the president’s ear like a tribal earring. The other nine photos are also close-ups of pennies, but each is slightly different. In one, the column of stamps hangs from his mouth like a Fu Manchu mustache, with a square of tape under his nose like a concurrent Charlie Chaplin; in another, a stamp of a Man Ray photo displaces the “American Clock.” The Great Emancipator is occluded by rusty scratches, smoothed with age, and besieged by salty encrustations before rising again, red and angry, from out of a sea of poxy green. Symbol succeeds token, collapse becomes recurrence, image replaces letter, and ideas are passed from hand to mouth until, in the anonymous immortality of coinage, the discreet supremacy of the transient is revealed. Read More

On View

Jordan Wolfson at David Zwirner

Still from 'Raspberry Poser' (2012) by Wolfson. (Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner)

For a brief moment in his discomfiting 14-minute video Raspberry Poser (2012), Jordan Wolfson, dressed as a ragtag skinhead, gives the camera a knowing little smile. Its message: I’ve arrived. He is 33, and his debut at David Zwirner firmly establishes him as a talent and a terror on the order of a young Jeff Koons: hell-bent on perfection and eager to provoke. People are going to take sides. He can’t wait. 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