Whitney Museum of American Art
The show—known simply as Richard Artschwager! (and up through Feb. 3, 2013)—is surprising and exciting and sincere and beautiful. And it even features its own exclamation point, a five-and-a-half-foot tall one, in stunning chartreuse no less, consisting of plastic bristles attached to a mahogany core and presented as a kind of gleeful surprise.
But, as the Whitney show amply illustrates, Kusama's work can bear the weight of all this mythologizing. The retrospective is less exhaustive, more representative, accounting for Kusama’s major keynotes and obsessions, her idiosyncratic but rigorously-executed practice, and her development as an artist. Like Kusama’s best pieces, the show—which arrives in New York after stops in London, Madrid, and Paris—is animated by the energy of simultaneous oppositions.
Social studies: the 76th Whitney Biennial revels in its own eclecticism, sensitivity, and light resistance
The driving force behind the selection seems to be a shared sensibility among the artists of living in a fragmentary, in-between age. Filled with references both implicit and explicit to the burgeoning Occupy Wall Street movement, many engage in institutional critique—both of the great art institutions and the social and political institutions beyond them. The materials reflect a concern for an economy of small means (these projects are no bloated, budget-busting affairs—there are no diamond-encrusted skulls, but there's plenty of film povera and ordinary stuff lying around) while their attitude exudes felt, meditative positions.(2)
Billboards on the High Line, Ab-Ex all over town, plus Cattelan, Levine, Holler: A year-end art-crawl
If you’re in town for the stretch before New Year’s with time and/or visiting family on your hands, you can go stir-crazy thinking the city's fast asleep 'til 2012. But right now there’s actually a good deal of great art—in museums and galleries and city parks—still on view and mainly free. But act now, since most of these items are ending soon.(1)