Was It Even Supposed to Be Fun? The Whitney Biennial Opening Kicks Off Armory Week

"BCBGMAXAZRIA partners with the
Whitney Museum of American Art for the 
2014 Biennial Opening Night." (Photo and caption courtesy Patrick McMullan)

“Scenes,” read a label on David Foster Wallace’s Cuddly Cuties™ branded Pale King notebook on the fourth floor of the Whitney Museum at the Biennial opening Wednesday night. The object raised a few questions. Was it necessary to include one of the greatest writers of his generation in this museum show, when he’s already received no shortage of tributes since his suicide five and a half years ago1? And if a writer had to cover this particular opening, might it be, in just this one case, acceptable to attempt an imitation of Wallace’s trenchant, scene-oriented style of journalism2? Read More


Lifting the Veil: Izhar Patkin Celebrates Mass MoCA Show


Eating eggplant cabonata and balsamic caviar off of Elizabeth Taylor’s face may sound like the disturbingly specific fantasy of an extra on the set of Cleopatra, but it was merely typical at a reception Tuesday night for artist Izhar Patkin. Guests exploring the vast East Village complex of colorful rooms and courtyards he calls home nibbled Italian fare off plates Mr. Patkin purchased for $2 a pop and painted with the faces of famous Jews. (Taylor converted at the age of 27.)  Read More


Hadou-kin! Jon Rafman Hosts ‘Street Fighter IV’ Tournament at Zach Feuer

From the event.

Late Saturday afternoon, Chelsea’s setting sun had turned the windows of Zach Feuer to mirrors and, past the racks of fake video games at the entrance, the gallery had undergone a transformation too. Aggressive clusters of young men shit-talked each other over hip-hop from a DJ booth at the back of the room. Some of them ate Haitian food from tin containers on folding chairs, engaged in nodding discussions serious enough to discourage the gallery types from taking a seat nearby—they tended to hang near the walls. Read More


Shot From the Hip: SculptureCenter Fêtes Fred Wilson, Susanne Ghez at Annual Benefit


A topless Russian and an elaborate humanoid ice luge were among the sights that greeted guests at SculptureCenter’s annual benefit gala last night. More than a few attendees looked startled by the spectacle—the half-naked young man was dispensing lemon vodka from twin spigots that stuck out the sculpture, by artist Anicka Yi—but it could have been a lot more shocking. “I originally proposed he be completely nude,” Ms. Yi said as she watched the slender model banter. “That was shot down very quickly.” Read More