FEATURED

“Betye Saar: Call and Response”

through April 5, 2020; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, February 13–May 9, 2021
“Betye Saar’s work, which often takes the form of assemblage (she is a key figure in that medium’s rich history in LA), is marked by an allusiveness that combines sharp critiques of race and gender issues with a sense of spirituality and wonderment.”
Image: Betye Saar, Black Dolls sketchbook, 2015, 6 1/4 x 4 1/8 inches overall. Collection of Betye Saar, courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles. Copyright © Betye Saar. Photo copyright © Museum Associates/ LACMA.

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EDITORS’ PICKS

through January 12, 2020

Comprising twenty statues, reliefs, and medals, this exhibition presents all the surviving works of an artist who claimed to be a student of Donatello and a teacher of Michelangelo. Much favored by fabled patron Lorenzo de’ Medici, Bertoldo curated the statesman’s antiquities collection and headed the informal art school that met in his garden. Bertoldo’s own figurative works in wood, terra-cotta, and bronze are classic examples of fifteenth-century Florentine style, both religious and secular.

Image: Bertoldo di Giovanni, Orpheus (detail), ca. 1471, bronze, 17 1/8 inches high. Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence. Courtesy of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, Rome. Photo: Mauro Magliani.
through January 26, 2020

Nayland Blake has helped expand the purview of art institutions by introducing the codes and participants of subcultural communities ranging from punks to furries. The artist’s first museum survey pays special attention to work made in San Francisco in the late 1980s and ’90s, a formative period when Blake’s engagement with the politics of queer and feminist liberation intensified through AIDS activism and reaction to the culture wars. Comprising some one hundred pieces, the show traces the evolution of his use of unorthodox materials such as food, leather constraints, and medical equipment from that time to the present.

Image: Nayland Blake, Crossing Object (Inside Gnomen), 2017, mixed media, approx. 72 × 34 inches. Courtesy the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York.
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 December 14, 2019

In Malaysia-born, London-based artist Mandy El-Sayegh’s many-layered paintings, room-size installations, and table vitrine sculptures, fragments of visual and textual information—including objects from the artist’s personal collection, skin-like rectangles of painted latex, samples of her father’s calligraphy exercises, and printed advertisements—are arranged to convey new meanings. Along with repeated references to the body, her pieces often feature pages from newspapers like London’s Financial Times and Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post—a reminder of the political, social, and economic structures to which bodies are subject and that these works challenge and disrupt. This exhibition presents new works commissioned in conjunction with Chisenhale Gallery in London.

Image: Mandy El-Sayegh, Four Species, 2019 (detail), stainless steel vitrine table, latex, silkscreened muslin, oatmeal, corn, newspaper, book, photographs, wood, art magazine, metal grills, incense, donor card, resin, rubber tubing, picture frames, cosmetics case, board game cards, candy wrapper, J-cloth, electrical components, plastic mobile phone covers. Commissioned and produced by Chisenhale, London. Installation view, in “Mandy El-Sayegh: White Grounds,” Bétonsalon-Center for art and research, Paris, 2019. Photo: Copyright © Aurélien Mole 2019. 

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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