Coco Fusco in Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art at Grey Art Gallery (September 10 through December 7) and Studio Museum in Harlem (Dec. 13)
Just in time for Performa 13, New York’s November-long arts biennial featuring all things performative, NYU’s Grey Art Gallery and the Studio Museum in Harlem co-present Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art. At the top of the list of participating artists is Coco Fusco, winner of the Absolut Art Award 2013.
Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey
at the Brooklyn Museum (October 11, 2013 through March 9, 2014)
Brooklyn-based Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu has had a busy few years, exhibiting at museums and institutions the world over, from the Musee d’Art Contemporain de Montreal to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney to the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. Since October, the Brooklyn Museum has housed the first survey in the United States of Mutu’s work, exhibiting more than fifty of Mutu’s large-scale collages for a comprehensive look at the career of the skyrocketing artist.
Mike Kelley at MoMA PS1
(October 13, 2013 through February 2, 2014)
Christopher Wool at the Guggenheim
(October 25, 2013 through January 22, 2014)
Christopher Wool is a painter who began working when painting wasn’t cool. In the 80s, in New York, the popular art scene held painting as stuffy and old-fashioned, uninteresting to the avant-garde. Whether it’s in reaction to this, or in keeping with it, Wool starting painting about painting – trading paintbrush for paint-roller, he set out to examine what painting is, or perhaps, what it could be.
Installation view: Christopher Wool, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, October 25, 2013–January 22, 2014. Photo: Kristopher McKay © Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
With a visual aesthetic that was born of the punk and No Wave culture of New York in the 70s, Wool was producing his breakthrough body of work by the late 80s - using rollers stamped with floral designs, or sometimes geometric patterns, he produced paintings in an innovative and startling manner. Removing gesture and “the artist’s hand” from painting, Wool’s work was revolutionary. When he began using letters – breaking down words, omitting letters and paint-rolling them in grids – Wool juxtaposed language and formalism, exposing the visual impact that structure and broken-patterns could have.
The retrospective features more than 90 paintings and works on paper, as well as photographic works, whirling up and up around the Guggenheim’s rotunda. Tracing Wool’s earlier paint-roller days, through his more recent explorations in alternative collage, erasing-and-redrawing, and most recent digital work, the exhibition proves to be comprehensive – an exciting collection for fans of Wool’s, and an in-depth introduction for those less acquainted with his work.
- Jordan Nassar
Isa Genzken: Retrospective
November 23, 2013–March 10, 2014. The Joan and Preston Robert Tisch Exhibition Gallery, sixth floor. The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby, first floor.MoMA, New York
This first major U.S. survey of German artist Isa Genzken spans some four decades of art-making that ranges from uncompromising to audacious. Genzken’s prominent 2007 Venice Biennale installation “Oil XI” fills the Museum’s ground-floor lobby with discarded luggage overseen by three ghostly NASA flight suits hanging overhead. On the sixth floor, the retrospective unfolds chronologically, starting with Genzken’s inventive explorations as a student of Gerhard Richter in late 1970s Dusseldorf, of precision in man-made engineering and natural forms. Here, a group of monumental floor-pieces, “Hyperbolos” and “Ellipsoids”, produced between 1976 and 1981, reflect her fascination with meticulous production and forms in space as these elongated, sleek, minimalist sculptures lightly touch the ground either solely at their center or their very tips.