Thomas Hirschhorn’s ‘Gramsci Monument’ Opens at Forest Houses in the Bronx

The Gramsci Monument

“What can I say about this here?” DJ Baby Dee, a tall man in a long white T-shirt and jeans, asked the crowd that had gathered atop Thomas Hirschhorn’s Gramsci Monument in the South Bronx yesterday. He looked around at the sprawling structure, which was built in a courtyard of the Forest Houses housing projects by 15 residents in about a month and a half, using classic Hirschhorn materials: plywood, blue tarps, lots and lots of tape. “This is a beautiful thing,” he said. “The museum, the arts for the children, the library, the Internet room, the radio station.” Read More


In the Belly of the Beast: Barnaby Furnas at Marianne Boesky, Goshka Macuga at Andrew Kreps, Nicola Tyson at White Columns

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Barnaby Furnas paints in a different time. The flensers, oarsmen and harpooners who skulk dangerously through “If Wishes Were Fishes,” his new show at Marianne Boesky, are from the 1850s. Shirtless, in stovepipe hats and gray black hip boots all modeled with the same exaggerated sheen, smoking pipes and wielding bloody axes, they have all the dignity of rats in stolen jewelry. The landscape is strictly second day of creation: a firmament has been placed amidst the waters, dividing upper from lower, but its effect is still fresh and untested. Read More


Man Up: Macho Men Take Upper East Side Galleries—Too Much Testosterone?


THE UPPER EAST SIDE ART SCENE sure is getting wild. Long the preserve of the staid and genteel (old masters, modern masters and the like), the neighborhood has recently been seeing more adventurous fare. Three gallery shows that exemplify the trend—and a fourth farther uptown—are of work by artists who share elements of the same profile: the bad-boy avant-gardist with machismo to spare, rebelling against aesthetic conventions, social norms or both. Read More


Slowstagram: The Met Reminds Us That Photography Has Always Been a Bag of Tricks

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Unknown, [Man on Rooftop with Eleven Men in Formation on His Shoulders], ca. 1930

It’s easy to think of the ability to alter a photographic image as an achievement of the digital age, but “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop,” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, proves that recent innovations are only the tip of the iceberg. Tracing the history of doctored images through photography’s century-and-a-half-long history—and using several hundred examples to make her point—the show’s curator, Mia Fineman, argues that photographs and trickery have always gone together. Read More


Painting Out of a Corner: Pieter Schoolwerth, ‘After Troy,’ at Miguel Abreu; Viktor Kopp at Bureau; ‘klaer, uglee callamari’ at Ramiken Crucible


If you were to take an image of Aeneas fleeing Troy with his father on his shoulders as a self-reflective metaphor about 21st-century art-making, it would be tempting to read the aged Anchises as standing for the history of painting. Once favored by Venus, it’s now a burden that must be carried until it expires. To make After Troy 10, Pieter Schoolwerth begins with a reproduction of Lionello Spada’s majestic Aeneas and Anchises, circa 1615, enlarges it to the point of gaudy pixelation, and then, before printing it on canvas—a “giclée” print, more commonly known as inkjet—removes the little bundle of household gods, Aeneas’s son, his wife Creusa’s body and nearly all of both men. Read More


The Season’s Bounty: Warhol at Eykyn Maclean, Twombly at Gagosian, Serra at Craig F. Starr

Andy Warhol, 'Flowers,' 1964. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 24 x 24 inches/ (©2012 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

It’s auction time again in New York—between this week and last, around a billion dollars of modern and contemporary art is on offer at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips de Pury & Co.—and so it’s tempting to start griping about money’s corrupting influence on culture. But another option is to revel in the sheer number of top-quality artworks on view around the city. The auctions themselves bring out pieces that have been hidden away for years, and in many galleries, particularly those on the Upper East Side, dealers put on museum-style exhibitions, readying themselves for the heavy-hitter international collectors who fly in from around the world. Three shows on view right now comprise a happy art-historical coincidence: all of them are devoted to artists (Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly and Richard Serra, respectively) who helped forge the look and feel of postwar art in America while showing at the Leo Castelli Gallery in the 1960s and ‘70s. Read More


Distorted Conceptions: ‘Jason Brinkerhoff: Some Women’ at ZieherSmith, ‘The Artists of Gugging’ at Ricco-Maresca, ‘Seth Price: Folklore U.S.’ at Petzel

'Untitled' (2012) by Brinkerhoff. (Courtesy the artist and ZieherSmith)

[Ed. note: When Hurricane Sandy hit the art district in Chelsea, it put the following three exhibitions on pause. All three galleries plan to have the exhibitions open again soon, however, possibly within the week. Please call them for further information.]

Jason Brinkerhoff draws women. In the first small untitled piece in his exhibition “Some Women” he gathers together nine or 10 of them, sitting, kneeling or leaning over, in a tightly chaotic grouping with the accidental elegance of a compositional palimpsest. Rendered in black graphite with the loose, curving line of an academic painter’s first sketch or a fashion designer’s last, the figures are overlaid with pink pencil and partially colored in with wax pastel, spray paint, oil and acrylic, creating a final effect of frantic, unresolved obsession. Read More


Origin Stories: ‘Materializing ‘‘Six Years”: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art’ and Mickalene Thomas at the Brooklyn Museum; Rosemarie Trockel and Judith Bernstein at the New Museum

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Mickalene Thomas, Din Une Tres Belle Negresse 2, 2012

A century and a half ago, Gustave Courbet painted a close-up, spread-eagled view of a woman’s genitals and called it The Origin of the World. It is one sign of the extent to which women artists have taken ownership of such male-created images that no fewer than three major New York museum exhibitions of works by mid- and late-career women artists feature variations on Courbet’s erotic classic. In the past year, both this newspaper and The Economist have reported on the lingering inequities between women’s work and men’s on the art market. That may still be true, but, at least in New York, museums are doing their part—and that may eventually set things straight. Read More