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Anne Doran

Anne Doran

Articles (3)

The 32 best art museums in America

The 32 best art museums in America

Home to some of the best collections of art in the world, museums in America boast many of the largest assemblages of works from the likes of Monet, Matisse, Willem de Kooning’s rare “door paintings,” and Edgar Degas’s wax and mixed-media sculptures, as well as Asian art. While the beloved New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and D.C.’s National Gallery of Art are must-visit cultural institutions, more novel contemporary destinations are making waves around the country. You have The Broad in Los Angeles, one of the most Instagrammed museums worldwide with its glittering Yayoi Kusama exhibition. Or how about the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, which hones in on experimental works through touring exhibitions, film screenings, and performing arts? And who can forget The Brooklyn Museum’s feminist exhibit and education center? Spending a day perusing centuries of creative history is one of the best things to do, whether seeking a cultural fix in your town or taking a road trip, especially when more than 1,000 museums will be offering free entry one day this month. Here are, for our money, the best art museums in America. Afterward, check out these incredible art installations or some of the best graffiti walls across the country. 

The 29 best art museums in America

The 29 best art museums in America

Of course, landmark art museums like NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and D.C.’s National Gallery of Art are national treasures, but checking out an exceptional permanent collection or the latest exhibitions ranks among our favorite things to do in any urban destination. Since several cities have more than their fair share of standouts, we had to make some tough choices, but our short list includes some idiosyncratic gems among the encyclopedic art institutions. In our view, these are the best museums in the country for feasting your eyes on the finest paintings, sculptures, photography, installations and other visual art forms.

15 Art Basel Miami 2015 galleries you must see

15 Art Basel Miami 2015 galleries you must see

Between December 3 and 6, amid the whirl of Art Basel Miami 2015 parties and events at art museums and other venues throughout the city, 267 galleries from 32 countries will be displaying their wares. While there’s no doubt you’ll see big-ticket items by name-brand international artists at the booths of the most powerful galleries, one of the rewards of attending a major art fair is the chance to see work that you won’t see anywhere else (unless you’re an inveterate globetrotter). So, while you shouldn’t miss looking in on big-box outfits like, say, Hauser & Wirth, Almine Rech and Blum & Poe, the offerings at the following galleries are likely to be a revelation. You’ll find many of them around the periphery of the main Galleries section; others are located in areas of the fair dedicated to younger galleries (Nova) and to booths showing the work of a single historical or emerging artist (Survey and Positions, respectively). Still others represent artists whose work is part of Art Basel’s Public segment—a group of more than 20 outdoor sculptures and installations selected by curator Nicholas Baume of New York’s Public Art Fund and on view in nearby Collins Park. And it that’s not enough for you, there are several satellite fairs to boot. RECOMMENDED: See our full guide to Art Basel Miami Beach

Listings and reviews (5)

“For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968–1979”

“For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968–1979”

4 out of 5 stars

Packed tightly into its two New York venues, this absorbing show brings together some 350 artworks, photographs, books, magazines and installations by 29 artists. It focuses on a single decade in Japan when social, economic and political upheavals—plus an unprecedented cross-pollination between art and photography, as well as between East and West—spurred Japanese photographers and artists to find new forms of visual expression. As curated by Yasufumi Nakamori, associate curator of photography at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, where the exhibition originated, it offers a nuanced view of a critical transition from kindai (the modern) to gendai (the contemporary) in Japanese art. In the late ’60s, despite a booming postwar economy, Japan was roiled by protests against a renewal of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty (Anpo) extending American military presence in Japan and against the Expo ’70 World’s Fair in Osaka, which many felt was disconnected from the realities of a new era. A 1968 experimental film by Toshio Matsumoto that intercuts images of a transvestite’s daily life with psychedelic graphics and scenes of dance clubs and student protests conveys the rapid pace of change in the country’s urban centers. Similarly, photographers associated with the journal Provoke initiated a new style of journalistic photography known as are-bure-boke (grainy, blurry and out of focus) to better convey the speed and complexity of modern life. The exhibition takes its title from the photo

“For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968–1979”

“For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968–1979”

4 out of 5 stars

Packed tightly into its two New York venues, this absorbing show brings together some 350 artworks, photographs, books, magazines and installations by 29 artists. It focuses on a single decade in Japan when social, economic and political upheavals—plus an unprecedented cross-pollination between art and photography, as well as between East and West—spurred Japanese photographers and artists to find new forms of visual expression. As curated by Yasufumi Nakamori, associate curator of photography at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, where the exhibition originated, it offers a nuanced view of a critical transition from kindai (the modern) to gendai (the contemporary) in Japanese art. In the late ’60s, despite a booming postwar economy, Japan was roiled by protests against a renewal of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty (Anpo) extending American military presence in Japan and against the Expo ’70 World’s Fair in Osaka, which many felt was disconnected from the realities of a new era. A 1968 experimental film by Toshio Matsumoto that intercuts images of a transvestite’s daily life with psychedelic graphics and scenes of dance clubs and student protests conveys the rapid pace of change in the country’s urban centers. Similarly, photographers associated with the journal Provoke initiated a new style of journalistic photography known as are-bure-boke (grainy, blurry and out of focus) to better convey the speed and complexity of modern life. The exhibition takes its title from the photo

“Anthea Hamilton: Lichen! Libido! Chastity!”

“Anthea Hamilton: Lichen! Libido! Chastity!”

Anthea Hamilton made an impression last year, in the group exhibition “That Obscure Object of Desire” at Luxembourg & Dayan gallery, with a Plexiglas chair in the form of a woman’s spread legs. Here, the up-and-coming British artist has filled SculptureCenter’s cavernous hall and enclosed courtyard with, among other things, ceramic eating utensils, rice cakes made of glass, PVC-pipe sculptures of giant, stubbed-out cigarettes, bugle-beaded rubber panties and an 18-foot-tall, painted-foam sculpture of a man’s ass, based on Italian designer Gaetano Pesce’s 1972 proposal for an office-building entrance. Hamilton’s apparent references include Eduardo Paolozzi and other icons of U.K. Pop Art, ’70s supergraphics, Adelle Lutz’s camouflage suits for David Byrne, Sarah Charlesworth and, possibly, the clothing designs of Andrea Zittel. The smartest thing the show does is to combine several decades’ worth of fetishistic design, from Allen Jones’s 1960s sculptures of women as furniture to 21st-century, Zen-themed day spas. While somewhat overstuffed, the exhibition never loses sight of the overlap between art and avant-garde design and between sex and consumer obsessions.

“Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015”

“Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015”

4 out of 5 stars

The concurrent photo surveys, “Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015” at MoMAand “Photo-Poetics: An Anthology” at the Guggenheim, might initially appear to be a face-off between analog and digital, slow art and fast. But viewing them in this way ignores their essential similarity During the late ’70s, the Pictures generation, which included artists such as Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein and Richard Prince, appropriated mass-cultural images for critical ends. Like those predecessors, the artists in both of these exhibitions investigate the cultural effects of an increasingly image-saturated world. But the younger artists remix and redistribute images, much like the Internet, and do so out of personal preference instead of a conviction that there’s something inherently problematic about mass media.  At the Guggenheim, a visually lush but almost too homogenous assembly of art features works that frequently harken back to the pre-digital ’60s and ’70s. Anne Collier rephotographs vintage posters, album covers and other printed matter, often with a focus on motifs such as eyes, cameras and women’s bodies. In a sense, she replaces the male gaze, informing the original image with her own.  Leslie Hewitt appropriates material from the same years, layering snapshots over pages from magazines and shooting the arrangements against wood or carpeted floors. In one, a black family at ease in a suburban yard is superimposed over an image of a civil rights demonstration from Ebony magazine. M

“Photo-Poetics: An Anthology”

“Photo-Poetics: An Anthology”

4 out of 5 stars

The concurrent photo surveys, “Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015” at MoMAand “Photo-Poetics: An Anthology” at the Guggenheim, might initially appear to be a face-off between analog and digital, slow art and fast. But viewing them in this way ignores their essential similarity During the late ’70s, the Pictures generation, which included artists such as Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein and Richard Prince, appropriated mass-cultural images for critical ends. Like those predecessors, the artists in both of these exhibitions investigate the cultural effects of an increasingly image-saturated world. But the younger artists remix and redistribute images, much like the Internet, and do so out of personal preference instead of a conviction that there’s something inherently problematic about mass media.  At the Guggenheim, a visually lush but almost too homogenous assembly of art features works that frequently harken back to the pre-digital ’60s and ’70s. Anne Collier rephotographs vintage posters, album covers and other printed matter, often with a focus on motifs such as eyes, cameras and women’s bodies. In a sense, she replaces the male gaze, informing the original image with her own.  Leslie Hewitt appropriates material from the same years, layering snapshots over pages from magazines and shooting the arrangements against wood or carpeted floors. In one, a black family at ease in a suburban yard is superimposed over an image of a civil rights demonstration from Ebony magazine. M

News (5)

Review: Yayoi Kusama

Review: Yayoi Kusama

For better or worse, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s psychedelic “Infinity Rooms”—mirrored environments featuring lights or objects reflected ad infinitum—have become Instagram sensations. In fact, people are waiting up to four hours to enter the two new “Infinity Rooms” showcased in Kusama’s knockout multispace exhibition at David Zwirner’s uptown and downtown locations.   Yayoi Kusama, Longing For Eternity, 2017 Photograph: © Yayoi Kusama, courtesy David Zwirner, New York, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai, Victoria Miro, London, Yayoi Kusama Inc.         If it seems odd that these works, which the artist has described as embodying egoless-ness, have become selfie bait, it’s worth remembering that Kusama herself is a contradiction: an exhibitionist whose work articulates feelings of self-obliteration. From a young age, she’s experienced terrifying hallucinations, in which patterns on everyday objects proliferate until they engulf everything, including the artist. These visions continue to sustain her output, and at 88, she’s as relentlessly productive as ever.   Yayoi Kusama, Infinity-Nets [Pqbme], 2017 Photograph: © Yayoi Kusama, courtesy David Zwirner, New York, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai, Victoria Miro, London, Yayoi Kusama Inc.         Recently, Kusama has revisited her “Infinity Net” paintings, which she began two years after arriving in New York City in 1957. (She lived here until she returned to Tokyo in 1973.) Large canvases evenly covered with

Review: “Max Ernst: Beyond Painting”

Review: “Max Ernst: Beyond Painting”

Surveying the long career of German-born artist Max Ernst (1891–1976), this exhibition puts emphasis on his engagement with process. MoMA has drawn from its holdings of Ernst’s paintings, sculptures, collages and printed matter to reveal how the techniques he conceived or refined enabled his polymorphous output.   Max Ernst, Woman, Old Man and Flower, 1923 Photograph: Kate Keller, © 2017 Artists Rights Society, New York / ADAGP, Paris, The Museum of Modern Art, New York         Originally attracted to such artists as Gauguin, Van Gogh and Picasso, Ernst found his tastes utterly transformed by his service in the German Army during World War I. Returning to his hometown Cologne in 1918, he established a branch of the emergent Dada movement with members who, like Ernst, adopted an anti-rationalist, anti-traditionalist approach to art as a response to the carnage of trenches.   Max Ernst, The Hat Makes the Man, 1920 Photograph: Paige Knight. © 2017 Artists Rights Society, New York/ADAGP, Paris, The Museum of Modern Art, New York         The show opens with Ernst’s Dadaist works, which he created with a variety of ingenious methods. In Farewell My Beautiful Land of Marie Laurencin (1920), he used discarded commercial printing blocks to stamp pictures and letters onto paper, joining them together to produce images of anthropomorphic machines. In The Hat Makes the Man from the same year, he similarly transformed illustrations of headgear from a haberdashery catalog into totterin

Review: “Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950–1980”

Review: “Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950–1980”

What a friend recently called the Met’s anti-MoMA show, “Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason” eschews conventional chronology in favor of a more, well, delirious approach to telling the story of postwar art. Rummaging through the decades between 1950 and 1980, curator Kelly Baum brings together works by American, European and Latin American artists, dividing them into four thematic sections: “Vertigo,” “Excess,” “Nonsense” and “Twisted.” The exhibition proposes that a kind of global delirium formed in the wake of World War II with social and political upheavals ranging from Cold War and decolonization to the counterculture and various liberation movements. Artists reacted with their own delirium, experimenting with new formats, materials and technologies.   Peter Saul, Criminal Being Executed, 1964 Photograph: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin         The show takes an unexpectedly conservative tack, however, with outsider art, craft or performance omitted in favor of pieces that engage formalist concerns, even as they undermine artistic and social conventions. In “Vertigo,” a variety of artworks, including Gego’s hanging wire sculpture, upend the modernist grid. A video shot by Bruce Nauman with the camera on its side does something similar with the concept of the White Cube space. Rationality is dispensed with entirely in pieces ranging from Lygia Clark’s Möbius-strip sculpture to Bruce Conner’s trippy ink drawings. In “Excess,” serial repetition

Review: “Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry”

Review: “Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry”

This joyous retrospective of the work of Florine Stettheimer—Jazz Age poet, set designer, saloniste extraordinaire, painter of modern life—opens with Family Portrait II (1933), in which Stettheimer portrays herself, her two sisters and her mother in an environment that is part gracious interior, part rooftop view of New York. Three gigantic flowers, one for each daughter, overwhelm the composition: Their stems are tightly entangled in a symbolic evocation of unbreakable family ties. Even so, the artist stands apart: Dressed in a black pantsuit, she occupies a place both within and without the sanctuary of her family. This reference to Stettheimer’s outsider status reflected her place in New York society, where, in spite of her wealth, she was marginalized for being both Jewish and female. Like many interlopers, Stettheimer built a world of her own, populating it with some of the most interesting figures of her day.   Florine Stettheimer, Portrait of Marcel Duchamp, 1923-1926 Photograph: David Stansbury, Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts         Stettheimer (1871–1944) was the fourth of five children abandoned by their father early on. While the eldest siblings married, the three youngest sisters—Ettie, Florine and Carrie—remained single, living with their mother, first in Europe and then in New York City. There the sisters created a gathering place for the avant-garde, including Marcel Duchamp and Edward Steichen, both of whom both m

Review: Agnes Martin at the Guggenheim

Review: Agnes Martin at the Guggenheim

      As this 60-year retrospective at the Guggenheim proves, Agnes Martin’s paintings cannot be fully experienced except by viewing them in person. It’s only when you’re in a room with them that their spirit-lifting, eye-fooling qualities can be truly felt and seen.   Agnes Martin
 Untitled, 2004© 2015 Agnes Martin/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York           The exhibition’s high point comes early on, in a side gallery devoted to Martin’s 1979 12-canvas series, “The Islands I–XII.” Each of the 72-inch square paintings in the series consists of horizontal bands of lighter and darker gray, separated from each other by hand-drawn pencil lines and washed with streaks and scumbles of thinned-out white paint. The paintings flicker and bloom, clouding vision; being among them is like being in a whiteout. “The Islands” were hard-won, and how Martin came to make them is the first part of the show’s story.   Agnes Martin 
Mid Winter, ca. 1954© 2015 Agnes Martin/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York         Born in Saskatchewan, Canada, Martin, who died in 2004 at age 92, moved to the United States as a young woman, finally settling in New Mexico. The earliest paintings here—biomorphic abstractions resembling less colorful Arshile Gorky works—were made in the mid-to-late 1950s in Taos. A critical shift in Martin’s style occurred in 1957, the year visiting gallerist Betty Parsons convinced her to move to New York. In the company of artists such as Ellsworth Kelly and the weave