In 1959, Bard College suspended Carolee Schneemann—for “moral turpitude,” she says. “I painted a full-length frontal nude portrait of my partner, James Tenney.”1 It wasn’t until the early ’70s that Erica Jong could write Fear of Flying, extolling the “zipless fuck,” and Judy Chicago begin her iconic feminist installation, The Dinner Party.
Paul McCarthy’s exhibition at Hauser & Wirth’s gigantic 18th Street space included sculpture carved out of blocks of walnut that were pieced together from dark and lighter segments of wood. From these composite blocks, McCarthy produced medium-size to colossal tchotchkes (a genre that is dear to him), thereby entering the arena in which Jeff Koons
After visiting Detroit in fall 2012, Barbara Luderowski and Michael Olijnyk, co-curators of “Detroit: Artists in Residence,” recognized a kinship between what artists were doing there and the Mattress Factory’s mission to encourage experimentation and risk-taking.
Emma Hart’s Dirty Looks is a kinky office nightmare. Inspired by her time working in a call center, her installation presents a garish Kafka-esque environment in which photocopiers spit out to-do lists and glossy eroticized images of the natural world, some of which are fashioned into a phallic, bucket-headed totem.
Yayoi Kusama’s rise to the top ranks of the art world has been hard won. A precocious young artist trained in Nihonga cultural traditions in Matsumoto, Japan, she displayed an original vision. Her imaginative use of oil paint and other materials, and her intuitive grasp of abstraction, led to solo shows in her native town
“I’ve often heard that it’s very difficult to write about my work,” Mark Manders told me, “but I think my work is very clear.” In business discourse, there’s something called the “sweet spot,” when a product or service is strategically placed in between things and results in success.
Joseph McDonnell is a widely exhibited and commissioned Modernist sculptor who moved to Seattle in 1998 from New York. “From Amulet to Monument,” his recent survey exhibition, covered work from 1971 to the present, concentrating on smaller-scale pieces, maquettes, pedestal sculptures, and two glass chandeliers.
Lynda Benglis’s terrific show of table-top clay sculptures reminded us, yet again, that the New York School’s achievements can be furthered in the hands of a top-notch artist. Benglis, who has studios all over the world, made these works in New Mexico, but she remains a quintessential New Yorker.
In Sam Scharf’s two-part exhibition “Nothing is the Same,” two deconstructed telescopes, encased in soft, transparent rubber, were mounted in the windows of two separate buildings and trained on each other, inviting the curious to make a visual connection across G Street NW.
Andi Steele’s Emanate, an ephemeral installation of taut monofilament lines, transformed space into shimmering reflections and hovering shadows. Carol Prusa’s “Liminal Worlds,” a group of highly detailed acrylic hemispheres that clung tightly to the walls, also asserted an influence on their surroundings, though their effect was more subtle.