NEW SOLID LIGHT WORKS AND EARLY DRAWINGS
Sean Kelly Gallery
475 10th Avenue
New York, NY
Jul 14-Aug 25, 2023
Opening Reception: Jul 13, 2023
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Anthony McCall is widely recognized for his solid-light installations, a series he began in 1973 with the ground-breaking Line Describing a Cone, in which a volumetric form composed of projected light slowly transforms in three-dimensional space. His new solid-light works show how McCall has progressed this format, evolving his work over time through innovative installations and configurations. Upon entering the main gallery, visitors encounter McCall’s Split Second (Mirror) III, 2022, a single projection in which the “split” is created by interrupting the throw of light with a wall-sized mirror. The plane of light is reflected onto a double-sided screen hanging in space to create a triangulated viewing field, enabling the viewer to pass through and see the shifting volumetric form from both front and back.
The second half of the main gallery features McCall’s vertical installation Skylight, 2020. This smaller-scale piece stands alone with a gradually morphing light sculpture projected from above onto a four-foot plinth, which allows the viewer to walk around the cone of light and observe it from all sides. This work is accompanied by a sound element by acclaimed composer and musician David Grubbs. Echoing throughout the space is the sound of a distant thunderstorm accompanied by the intermittent flashes of an electrical storm. As with all of McCall’s light installations, the works evolve slowly, yet quickly enough for the viewer to clearly perceive its movement and progression.
The third-floor gallery space features a select overview of photographs and preparatory drawings illustrating the arc of McCall’s career, offering the visitor context and insight for a fuller understanding of the artist’s oeuvre.
Sundaram Tagore Gallery
542 W. 26th Street
New York, NY
Jun 15-Jul 15, 2023
Opening Reception: Jun 15, 2023
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
For more than five decades, Salgado has made it his life’s work to document humankind and nature on photographic expeditions around the world. For this series, he traveled deep into the heart of the Amazon, capturing the unspoiled beauty of the world’s most biodiverse region and its inhabitants in stunning back-and-white images. Salgado, who was born in Aimorés, Brazil, in 1944, initiated the project with the hope that it would serve as a catalyst for raising awareness of the need to protect the Amazon and its indigenous population. Images from Amazônia have traveled to cities across the globe, including São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Paris, London, Manchester and Avignon. In the fall of 2022, the California Science Center in Los Angeles hosted the North American premiere, presenting more than 200 large-scale photographs suspended throughout the museum’s 13,000 square feet. The exhibition is scheduled to be shown throughout 2023 in Milan, Zurich, Madrid and Brussels. In addition to work from Amazônia, we will also be showing select work from Magnum Opus, Salgado’s special series of fifty platinum-palladium prints representing some of his most powerful series, including Amazônia, Genesis and Workers. These rare prints, made in Belgium by the printer Salto Ulbeek, were recently presented in a selling exhibition curated by Lélia Wanick Salgado at Sotheby’s. It was the largest curated solo exhibition of photography in the auction house’s history, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Instituto Terra, the Salgados’ nonprofit devoted to reforestation and environmental education. Sales raised more than a million dollars for the foundation.
2023 SUMMER EXHIBITION
New York Academy of Art
111 Franklin Street
New York, NY
Jun 7-Jul 9, 2023
Opening Reception: Jun 7, 2023
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The New York Academy of Art is pleased to announce its annual Summer Exhibition. This year's exhibition was juried by downtown NYC gallerists Eden Deering of P·P·O·W, Anna Furney of Venus Over Manhattan, and Olivia Smith of Magenta Plains. Featuring works by Academy alumni, students, and faculty, the exhibition includes paintings, drawings, and sculptures.
Jimmy DeSana’s reputation might have died when his life ended, in 1990, as a result of aids. He was only forty years old. The New York-based photographer was busy, prolific, and popular during his lifetime—he was included in the buzzy exhibitions “The Times Square Show” and “New York/New Wave,” in the early eighties—but, in hindsight, he seemed stranded at the edge of the scene. A new retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, “Jimmy DeSana: Submission” (through April 16), makes a strong case for his ongoing relevance. From the beginning, DeSana’s work was erotic, compulsive, gender fluid, and all the more unsettling for its comic flashes. The show opens with a wall-filling grid of fifty-six voyeuristic, black-and-white pictures from 1972—student work, made in imitation of amateur porn and flea-market snapshots. Nearby hang later examples of DeSana’s stylized portraiture, featuring the likes of William S. Burroughs, Billy Idol, and Laurie Anderson. A portrait of Debbie Harry, laughing in sunglasses, appeared on the cover of the influential underground magazine File, under the headline “Punk ’Til You Puke.” At a moment when the counterculture had come to define the culture, DeSana played a key role, turning rising stars into hipster pinups. He also dabbled in S & M, portraying unlikely collisions of bodies and objects, all luridly lit: a red high heel trapped under pantyhose, a suspended figure with his head in a foaming toilet bowl, a screaming mouth full of cocktail toothpicks (“Party Picks,” from 1981, above). The effect is a cross between David Cronenberg’s body horror and Guy Bourdin’s fashionable fetishism. At once laughable and alarming, playful and lethal, DeSana’s work still lands like a psychological time bomb.
Since 2016, the American artist Zoe Leonard has taken hundreds of photographs at the border of Mexico and the U.S., following the route of a body of water that divides the two countries for twelve thousand miles, known alternately as the Río Bravo and the Rio Grande (and by at least five ancestral names, in Pueblo and Navajo). The exquisitely installed exhibition “Excerpts from ‘Al río / To the River,’ ” on view at Hauser & Wirth through Oct. 29, offers only a glimpse of Leonard’s epic project—ten works consisting of fifty-six black-and-white pictures, hanging singly and in sequences on the walls—but it conveys her rare balancing act of poetics and politics. You might call Leonard’s approach concerned conceptualism, as seen in a quartet of near-abstractions portraying lines raked in dirt, a tactic used by ice to capture the footprints of migrants. These striations are echoed in five views of irrigation canals, attended by flocks of birds (above, in an untitled detail, dated 2020/2022). Leonard’s quiet vistas run counter to sensationalist media coverage of borderland conflict. Her camera lingers on landscape, not people, who appear in only six images here, as distant figures enjoying a day at the beach on a riverbank in Ciudad Juárez, under the omnipresent eye of surveillance apparatus.
Sept. 14-Oct. 22
537 W. 20th St.
Fifty years ago, a posthumous retrospective of a New York photographer broke attendance records for a one-person show at moma. Crowds lined up around the block to see a hundred and thirteen black-and-white pictures by Diane Arbus, a relative unknown whose brilliance was already an open secret among her peers. (Before she took her own life, in 1971, at the age of forty-eight, Arbus had few collectors, but they included Richard Avedon, Jasper Johns, and Mike Nichols.) The exhibition generated both rave reviews and hot takes; dissecting Susan Sontag’s scathing essay “Freak Show,” published in 1973, is now almost an academic subgenre unto itself. On Sept. 14, the Zwirner gallery, in collaboration with Fraenkel, in San Francisco, opens “Cataclysm: The 1972 Diane Arbus Retrospective Revisited,” reuniting all the images from the exhibition (“Woman with a veil on Fifth Avenue, N.Y.C. 1968,” above, among them). It’s accompanied by the new publication “Diane Arbus: Documents,” a doorstop scrapbook that reproduces a half century’s worth of writing about an artist who, as Avedon once observed, “made the act of looking an act of such intelligence, that to look at so-called ordinary things is to become responsible for what you see.”
The Lakota expression mní wičóni—“water is life”—was heard around the world during the Standing Rock protests. Now it echoes through the halls of the Met, thanks to a small but momentous exhibition on view through April 2. Titled “Water Memories,” the show was organized by Patricia Marroquin Norby, the museum’s first curator of Native American art; as a woman of Purépecha heritage, Norby is also the first full-time Indigenous curator in its American Wing. The show traverses six centuries in a scant forty art works and artifacts by both Native and non-Native creators. An exquisite oil of a foamy wave by the American modernist Arthur Dove, from 1929, assumes a mournful edge in the company of a shimmering sculptural installation by the Shinnecock ceramicist Courtney M. Leonard, from 2021, that eulogizes the decimation of the sperm-whale population off Long Island’s East End, where Dove made his painting. Poetry and protest are inseparable in all of the contemporary pieces here, including the Chemehuevi photographer Cara Romero’s oneiric 2015 scene (pictured above) of Pueblo corn dancers reckoning with a collective water memory: the flooding of thousands of acres of tribal land by the construction of the Parker Dam.
May. 13-Jun. 18
87 Franklin St.
In 2016, when the photographer Sam Contis was ending the project for which she’s best known—a five-year study of the all-male student body and the cattle-ranch campus of Deep Springs College, in California—a chance encounter on a trip to Berlin led her art in a new direction. Watching the mezzo-soprano Inbal Hever rehearse an otherworldly solo by the composer Chaya Czernowin, Contis became fascinated by the subtle demands that the exertion of breath placed on the vocalist’s body. Contis went on to photograph Hever, off and on, for the next six years, always in small practice rooms with natural light. The superbly restrained results are on view at the Klaus von Nichtsaggend gallery’s new location, in Tribeca, through June 18. The format of the portraits shifts virtuosically: color, black-and-white, intimate diptychs, large prints, documentary, nearly abstract. In the process, Contis establishes her project’s lineage, from Eadweard Muybridge’s locomotion studies and the spirit photographers of the nineteenth century (an allusion seen above in “Inbal July 18, 2018”) to Alfred Stieglitz’s decades-long composite portrait of Georgia O’Keeffe and “The Sound I Saw,” Roy DeCarava’s exaltation of jazz. Audio of Hever’s rendition of Czernowin’s piece animates the exhibition; on May 26, at 7, she performs live, surrounded by pictures of windows—Contis’s record of the spaces in which the two women met to create this stunning, expansive duet.
May. 6-Jun. 11
520 W. 20th St.
The most exciting exhibition in the city right now is the New York solo début of Lauren Halsey, at the David Kordansky gallery (through June 11). It’s a sculptural love letter to the historically Black neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles, where the artist’s family has lived for a century. The fourteen pieces on view shift in form from hard-edged to biomorphic, and in tone from public monument to secret sanctuary, but their primary materials are the language and the life of the street, with its small-business signage (the Braid Shack, Watts Coffee House) and larger-than-life heroes (Kobe Bryant, Nipsey Hussle). In the densely collaged, billboard-size “LODA,” a cartoon image of a Black astronaut reading Jet magazine underscores that Halsey is building both a time capsule and a long-range plan, the latter realized here, to exuberantly funked-up effect, in “My Hope,” an eighteen-foot-long model of a teeming block (a detail is pictured above), in which low-rider cars cruise a South Central dreamscape of golden palm trees and Nubian pyramids. Think of it as a preview of a future blockbuster: next summer, the artist will scale up her remarkable vision on the roof of the Met.
Oct. 1-Jul. 22
200 Eastern Parkway
Baseera Khan contains multitudes. They are a queer Indian-Afghani-East African American, a Muslim woman, a Texas native, and the winner of the 2021 UOVO Prize, awarded annually to an emerging Brooklyn-based artist. In this related exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, the ambitious artist moves through mediums like a snake shedding skins, using performance, sculpture, installation, collage, textile, drawing, and photography—and that is an incomplete list—to confront colonial histories. In “Law of Antiquities,” a spirited series of ink-jet prints, Khan digitally layers still-life and self-portraiture, performing a conceptual sleight of hand with objects from the museum’s Arts of the Islamic World collection. In one image, the artist appears with a fourteenth-century enamelled-glass mosque lamp, from present-day Syria or Egypt, and a reproduction of an early-seventeenth-century Iranian prayer carpet too fragile to handle—a displaced artifact that Khan transforms into a sort of sanctuary.