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.
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.
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.
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.
DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT: Mary Ceruti (Walker Art Center, Minneapolis) on Education
DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT: Jennifer Doyle, Luke Fischbeck, Shoghig Halajian, and Eric Kim (Human Resources Los Angeles) on Inclusivity
DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT: Polly Staple (Chisenhale Gallery, London) on Value
DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT: Mélanie Bouteloup (Bétonsalon, Paris) on Hybrid Spaces
FIND GALLERIES AROUND YOU
FIND MUSEUMS AROUND YOU
HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR SISTER PUBLICATIONS