Top 5 Monday, Jan 21–Sunday, Jan 27
This retrospective of the Argentine-Italian artist Lucio Fontana (1899–1968) is the first U.S. survey of his work in 40 years, and, as you’d expect, showcases the slashed and punctured “Spatial Concept” canvases for which he’s best known. Taking up two floors of the Met Breuer and a gallery at The Met Fifth Avenue, the show also features Fontana’s sculptures and ceramics, as well as his pioneering immersive environments.
“Lucio Fontana: On The Threshold” is also on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, through Apr 14.
Few photographers have obtained the mythic stature of Robert Mapplethorpe, whose often controversial black-and-white photos reflected his life as a gay artist working in the downtown demimonde of post-Stonewall, pre-AIDS New York. The man, the artist and the legend are all recalled in this two-part retrospective that marks the 30th anniversary of his death.
Presumably chastened by the controversy surrounding her contribution to the 2017 Whitney Biennial—a portrait of Emmett Till, in his coffin after he was lynched and a mutilated by a mob for whistling at a white woman—Schutz returns with new, thickly impastoed paintings along with a group of sculptures. While always owing a considerable debt to Philip Guston, this latest work may be her most Gustonian yet.
One upon a time (say, the late ’60s and early ’70), transgressive art was actually, well, transgressive—which is to say, not the pantomime of edginess that marks much of the current art making claims to that distinction. But the work of Neke Carson truly fits the bill: Among other achievements, he perfected a method of painting with a brush stuck in his asshole. “Rectal Realism,” as Carson dubbed this approach, was just one aspect of his oeuvre, which is recalled here in another revival by gallerist-doing-God’s-work, Mitchell Algus.
According to show organizer Dan Nadel, “emotive figuration” is one of the ties that bind this engaging selection of paintings and sculpture by a diverse group of 16 contributors that includes Ellen Berkenblit, Steve DiBenedetto and Sarah Peters.