Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs is such a beautiful show. Make sure you catch Charlie Rose’s interview with Karl Buchberg, MoMA’s Senior Conservator and Jodi Hauptman, Senior Curator of Drawings and Prints to get some terrific insights into the background of this show. The Matisse show is definitely 5-star and is up until February 8th.
Robert Gober: The Heart is Not a Metaphor is another fantastic show. I’ve been a big fan for a long time but this is the first large-scale survey of Gober’s work in the United States. Per Linda Yablonsky: Rarely do institutional exhibitions elicit the depth of grief and tenderness articulated by “Robert Gober: The Heart is Not a Metaphor.” The 60-year-old artist’s first American retrospective is an austere but emotional force field, unusual from the jump. (The show is up thru January 18 and also 5-star.)
The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World show has raised an enormous kerfuffle in the art world with critics like Roberta Smith, other artists and all manner of art enthusiasts weighing in. This outpouring of “WTF was MoMA thinking”, makes it a must-see show!! Up til April 5 . Pictures from all the shows below the break.
We’ll start with the most controversial:
THE FOREVER NOW: CONTEMPORARY PAINTING IN AN ATEMPORAL WORLD
Joe Bradley – this, by the way, is my favorite artist in the show
Matt Connors’ red, blue (and yellow) panels, Mary Weatherford – image on left, Kerstin Brätsch (center)
HENRI MATISSE: THE CUTOUTS
Matisse called his cutouts “scissor paintings”
The Swimming Pool restoration
ROBERT GOBER: THE HEART IS NOT A METAPHOR (my absolute favorite)
Untitled 1986 – Love this room – those are sinks out in a garden reminiscent of tombstones
Slanted Playpens 1987
A detail from “Untitled” (2003-05). The show follows Gober as he circles back while moving ahead. Nearly every gallery contains an early work and one that points forward.
A recreation of Gober’s 1992 exhibition at the old Dia Center in Chelsea. The installation has three rooms. A wraparound mural depicting a dense, Long Island forest covers the walls of the central space, where a deep blue sky is visible between the prison bars on high windows. There are sinks here, only now they have working faucets. Under the sinks are boxes of rat bait, sculptures that are almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Scattered here and there, and around the two dark antechambers on either side of the verdant cell, are neatly bundled copies of The New York Times. Also dutifully made by Gober, they reprint actual stories but also include ads for wedding gear modeled by the artist.
This wallpaper is really harrowing – per Linda Yablonsky: wallpaper features a white man asleep in a small bed who appears to be dreaming of a black man hanging from a lynching tree. Hand-painted kitty litter bags line the walls, surrounding a mannequin dressed in a wedding gown custom-tailored for the artist.
Again, per Linda Yablonsky: An enormous cigar sits like a brown torpedo-phallus at the center of another installation, where three partially clothed, male wax figures with candles affixed to their legs lie prostrate against walls papered with the image of a glorious birch forest.
Penis and Vagina wallpaper
The installation they built to recreate his 1992 Dia show
View into the installation while it was being built