Last chance to see NYC art exhibits, Monday, Sept 17–Sunday Sept 23
Organized to coincide with “David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night” at the Whitney Museum, “Rough Trade” explores the intersection of art and the world of (mostly male) sex work during the 1970s and ’80s—the decades sandwiched between the beginning of the gay liberation movement and the onset of the AIDS crisis. On tap are works by 14 artists (including Wojnarowicz himself, along with Larry Clark and Philip-Lorca diCorci, as well as underground figures such as Tomata du Plenty and John Sex) that run the gamut from documenting sex-work, to exploring personal experiences within it.
On view are paintings, sculptures, drawings and quilts by such stars of self-taught contemporary African American art as Thornton Dial, the quilters from Gee's Bend, Alabama and Nellie Mae Rowe among others.
In this (limited) crowd-sourced project, McGinley asked a number of people, ranging in age from 19 to 87, to photograph themselves in the nude within an arrangement of mirrors. Cameras and film were provided to participants, along with 20 mirrors to be used as each subject saw fit. The results were compiled and printed by McGinley to explore how “the camera functions as an increasingly ubiquitous mediator in the presentation of contemporary identity.”
This show uncovers the heretofore hidden connections between France's Supports/Surfaces group of the late 1960s and a later generation of American artists who appear to have been influenced by them, consciously on not. Coming out of the ferment surrounding the nationwide strikes of May 1968, the members of Supports/Surfaces shared an unlikely mix of Maoist ideology and Color Field aesthetics, and while the Americans dispense with all the politics, their work does share some formal affinities with the French contributions here.
Abandoned as a child before turning tricks as a teenage hustler, David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) had plenty of personal anguish to draw upon when he emerged during the East Village art scene of the 1980s. A charismatic and controversial figure, he was known for work that railed against society’s indifference to AIDS, a disease which eventually claimed his life.
Looking for more art exhibits?
With New York’s art scene being so prominent yet ever changing, you’ll want to be sure to catch significant shows. Time Out New York rounds up the top five art exhibitions of the week, from offerings at the best photography and art galleries in NYC to shows at renowned institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim.