Julia Margaret Cameron
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Both known and derided for her use of tools and techniques that evaded, for expressive purposes, the increasing potential for photographic precision, Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879), a curious figure among Victorian literati, had never even produced a photograph until she was nearly 50. What she left behind is, nonetheless, an extensive and moving body of work featuring many portraits of her intellectual coterie. On view now. Paul D'Agostino.
Dante Ferretti: Design and Construction for the Cinema
A list of renowned Italian directors with whom Ferretti hasn't worked since the late 1960s would be a very short one indeed. Having collaborated with Pasolini, Fellini, Comencini and Bellocchio, Ferretti is the Ennio Morricone of production design. He's worked with Scorsese, Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton as well, to name just a few of the many others. With multivalent screenings and trappings of so many blockbusters within, this exhibit is inherently a blockbuster itself. Opens September 20. D'Agostino.
Audible Presence: Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Cy Twombly
Dominique Lévy Gallery
This new gallery is not a museum, per se, but its roster of artists rather make it seem like one. What's more, Ms. Lévy will celebrate the opening of her 909 Madison Avenue space in grandiose style, and in a sacred space next door—with a 32-piece orchestra and dozens of choir singers performing, for the first time ever in New York, Yves Klein's "Monotone-Silence" Symphony. Concert on September 18. D'Agostino.
Several hundred mixed media works by this broadly influential and—though he might not have readily agreed—deeply loved artist will take over all of PS1's exhibition spaces in a reassembling of his posthumous retrospective previously mounted at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Monumental, for sure, and for good reason. Some shows should be seen; this one must be. Opens October 13. D'Agostino.
If you’re old enough to have grown tired of seeing piles of icky stuffed animals define artmaking in the 90s, you may also be old enough to know that Mike Kelley, who committed suicide in 2012, is the artist to blame for that very dark period of contemporary art history. Kelley began his work with toys in the 80s, making quilts, toy blobs, and installations with the material. In 1992, his work even graced the cover of the Sonic Youth album Dirty. But Kelley’s practice is arguably much more diverse than his influence, so this is an exhibition worth spending some time perusing. It'll span the entire museum. Paddy Johnson.
Rituals of Rented Island
Whitney Museum of American Art
Mike Kelley will also figure into this exhibition—along with many other artists such as Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson and John Zorn—as it aims to convey some of the grit, emotion and fervor of performances and the like that took place in alternative spaces in Manhattan in the 1970s. Curator Jay Sanders hopes to portray "the cool underground of New York," so this show might encourage you to wonder—perhaps more than you already do—if there even is such a thing anymore. Bring tissues? Opens October 31. D'Agostino.
Chris Burden, Extreme Measures
The New Museum
A lot of Burden’s early work makes me want to vomit. His most well-known performance, "Shoot," took place in 1971, and literally featured him getting shot in the arm by an assistant. In 1974, he had his hands nailed to the hood of a Volkswagen Beetle as if crucified. In 1975, he lay motionless underneath a piece of slanted glass for more than two days. We’ll get to see all this, plus what he did in the 80s, 90s and 00s, in this retrospective. That’s five floors at the New Museum of pretty intense art. Burden’s later work moves away from performance and, despite being much less scary, has received a fair amount of attention. My favorite pop cultural namecheck of his work occurred in 2008, when The Young and The Restless
’ Victor Newman took a field trip to LA to see Burden’s installation of 202 found antique street lights. Opens October 2. Johnson.
Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis
The Frick Collection
The headlining names in what promises to be an exquisite exhibition are Vermeer, Rembrandt and Hals, but a great many other Dutch masters will be featured as well, thanks to a generous, not to mention quite rare, lending of 15 works from the hallowed halls of Holland's Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis. Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring" should be particularly winsome as the lone painting in the Frick's Oval Room, but the exhibition will be full of similarly stunning finery. Opens October 22. D'Agostino.
Johannes Vermeer’s painting “Girl with a Pearl Earring” is so famous it’s inspired whole books as well as a Scarlett Johansson movie. Now, thanks to recent renovations at The Hague museum, this work, along with a large swath of paintings from the Dutch museum’s collection, will be showcased at the Frick. This show offers a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to see world famous artworks in a world class setting. Johnson.
Jared Bark, LIGHTS: on/off, performance at The Clocktower, June 21, 1974. Photograph by Babette Mangolte. Courtesy Whitney Museum of American Art
I’m hoping this New York-based performance biennial will provide an antidote to the recent plague of endless art fairs. It only took five years of being constantly presented with assemblage and collage, but I think I’m finally getting tired of the stuff. Exactly what Performa will offer remains a bit of a mystery. So far, we only have curator Roselee Goldberg’s list of commissioned artists, but the event will at least keep us busy for the month of November. Participating artists include: Jake and Dinos Chapman, Subodh Gupta, Rosa Barba, Alexandre Singh, Marianne Vitale, Raqs Media Collective, Ryan McNamara, Paweł Althamer, Nicholas Hlobo, Tori Wrånes, Florian Hecker, Rashid Johnson. Starts November 1. Johnson.
You can follow Paul D'Agostino on Twitter @postuccio