FEATURED

“Elizabeth Murray: Flying Bye”

through September 15, 2019
“At a moment when painting had been declared dying, or dead, she became one of heterogeneous group of artists—among them Jack Whitten, Mary Heilmann, Brice Marden, and Ron Gorchov—reinvigorating the medium.”
Image: Elizabeth Murray, Sandpaper Fate, 1992-93, oil on canvas, three parts, overall installation dimensions: 104 x 102 x 10 inches. Collection of the Murray-Holman Family Trust, courtesy Pace Gallery, New York. Copyright © The Murray-Holman Family Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS 2019.

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EDITORS’ PICKS

ongoing

Abstract painter Sam Gilliam is best known for his experiments with vibrantly colored, draped, and suspended canvases. A member of the 1960s Washington Color School, a group of loosely connected artists who cultivated Color Field painting in Washington D.C., Gilliam soon began to move his canvases beyond the frame, turning them into sculptural works and site-specific installations. In this show, the monumental Double Merge, consisting of two draped paintings (both titled Carousel II, 1968), suspended together from the ceiling, is accompanied by Spread, a 1973 painting from the artist’s “Beveled-Edge” series.

Image: Sam Gilliam,  Double Merge, 1968. Installation view, Dia:Beacon, Beacon, New York. Copyright © Sam Gilliam. Photo: Bill Jacobson Studio, New York, courtesy Dia Art Foundation, New York.
through January 5, 2020

Material art, the expression of a concept or idea based on a specific substance, gained traction in China at the turn of the current century. In this exhibition, art historian and curator Wu Hung brings together thirty-five works from the past four decades, among them Cai Guo-Qiang’s gunpowder drawing Mountain Range (2006), an untitled 1989 plastic work 
by Gu Dexin, Gu Wenda’s massive installation of human hair, united nations: american code (2018–19), and Xu Bing’s “Tobacco Project” (1999–2011), drawings and installations reflecting the history of the tobacco trade.

Image: Lin Tianmiao, Day-Dreamer, 2000, cotton thread, white fabric, digital photograph. Copyright © Lin Tianmiao, photo courtesy of the artist.
through February 2, 2020

Romantic poet, painter, and printmaker William Blake (1757–1827) was little known in his own day, but has since proved culturally prescient. His art can be seen, for instance, as a precursor to movements like Symbolism and Surrealism, as well as a direct influence on subsequent pop cultural forms, including graphic novels and psychedelia. This show assembles some three hundred of the British visionary’s paintings, prints, and illuminated books, arguing that his concerns, such as fighting social, political, and sexual oppression, continue to resonate. Blake’s only exhibition during his lifetime—a failed affair he staged above his brother’s hosiery shop in 1809—is re-created in an immersive installation.

Image: William Blake (1757-1827), ‘Europe’ Plate i: Frontispiece, 'The Ancient of Days,’ 1827, etching with ink and watercolor on paper, 9 1/8 x 4 3/4 inches. The Whitworth, The University of Manchester.
through February 9, 2020

Alvin Baltrop (1948–2004), who sometimes lived in a van and supported himself by doing odd jobs, photographed a range of daily vignettes—among them leisurely sunbathing, sexual acts, and crime scenes—during New York City’s 1970s financial crisis and the LGBTQ community’s struggle for civil rights. Baltrop began taking pictures at age seventeen and, in 1969, joined the US Navy, where he captured fellow sailors both clothed and nude. That experience later informed his documentation of underground gay culture along the West Side piers and an isolated section of the West Side Highway. Over 170 photographs, rarely shown during Baltrop’s lifetime, are on view in this exhibition, along with the artist’s personal memorabilia, from letters and family photos to graphic design work and posters.

Image: Alvin Baltrop, The Piers (man wearing jockstrap), n.d. (1975-1986) silver gelatin print, 6 3/4 x 4 5/8 inches. Courtesy The Alvin Baltrop Trust, © 2010, Third Streaming, NY, and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York.


VOICES

Art in America talks to artists, curators, and other leading figures in the art world.

DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT: Mary Ceruti (Walker Art Center, Minneapolis) on Education

“How do museums produce knowledge and meaning in dialogue with their constituencies, rather than simply acting as presenters?” Read More »

DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT: Jennifer Doyle, Luke Fischbeck, Shoghig Halajian, and Eric Kim (Human Resources Los Angeles) on Inclusivity

“I would say that our programming is based as much on the idea of generosity, of curating as a form of hospitality, as on aesthetic judgment. In fact, I see that generosity as itself an aesthetic commitment that perhaps sets us apart.” Read More »

DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT: Polly Staple (Chisenhale Gallery, London) on Value

“Value might not necessarily be measured by the number of people you can get in the door. It could be measured by the quality or depth of the work you are doing—in our case, supporting artists at a critical moment in their careers.” Read More »

DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT: Mélanie Bouteloup (Bétonsalon, Paris) on Hybrid Spaces

“We strongly believe in the generative potential of spaces where heterogeneous—and even conflicting—practices and positions can come together.” Read More »

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR SISTER PUBLICATIONS

KAWS: ALONG THE WAY, 2013, wood, approximately 18 feet tall; at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

What the Rise of KAWS Says About the Art World’s Ailments

By William S. Smith
If there are art world gatekeepers intent on excluding Brian Donnelly, who has worked under the name KAWS since the mid-1990s, it should be clear by now that they are fighting a losing battle. . . READ MORE
JENNIFER PACKER: AN EXERCISE IN TENDERNESS, 2017, oil on canvas, 9 1/2 x 7 inches. Photo: Matt Grubb. Courtesy the artist, Corvi-Mora, London, and Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York. Private collection.

Display Cases: Greg Tate on a Whitney Biennial Haunted by Warren Kanders and Mamie Till

By Greg Tate
[E]very Whitney Biennial aims to lend aristocratic imprimatur and coherence to an essentially anarchic field, to reify and revolt against its host body—The Institutional White Art World (henceforth to be referred to as TIWAW)—while functioning as both high-minded survey and gutsy provocation.. . . READ MORE

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