The New Museum’s first triennial, ‘The Generational: Younger Than Jesus,’ won’t open ‘till April, but its gratuitous title and its exclusion of any artist over age 33 has already created buzz. In the meantime an upcoming new show by British artist Jeremy Deller promises something more daring. In lieu of a traditional exhibition of art objects, Deller’s ‘It Is What It Is: Conversations about Iraq’ will bring veterans, journalists, scholars and Iraqi nationals into the museum space to engage in unscripted discussion. Will museum visitors want to engage? Participating should prove to be as fun as watching others when this show opens on February 11th.
There aren’t many gallery openings in December, which makes Nathalie Djurberg’s opening at Zach Feuer Gallery on December 10th stand out all the more. The young, Berlin-based, Swedish artist’s stop motion animations star cartoonish characters crafted from plasticine, but their child-like innocence stops there. Darker than Grimm fairy tales, Djurberg’s films don’t necessarily have a redemptive quality as they skewer humanity’s baser instincts, but as stark expose, they’re unbeatable. If anything, Djurberg’s first New York solo show was too crowded with these dubious morality plays. Her second effort – a new film and ceramic sculptural installation – promises to deliver a more concise message.
Will this be the year that the Whitney Biennial makes critics happy? The United States’ most important contribution to today’s international circuit of biennials and triennials (and one of the oldest by far) is usually guaranteed to provoke debate about which artists were and weren’t invited to participate. The focus in 2006 was international while previous editions of the show stressed artists from regions outside New York, but this year’s show appears likely to please the New York/LA axis. Chockablock with artists familiar to gallery crowds in both cities, the list of 81 participating artists and collectives includes conceptual art pioneers Louise Lawler and John Baldessari, and representatives from the subsequent generations they influenced, including Fia Backstrom and Carol Bove. Amongst the other strains of contemporary art showcased by the Biennial will be a focus on cross-discipline work, including a series of performances staged March 3 – 23 at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Ave at 67th Street. Save the dates!
For more on the show, visit the Whitney Biennial’s website.
After two long years of itinerant existence, the New Museum of Contemporary Art is poised to open its brand new building at the intersection of Prince and Bowery on December 1st. Though noteworthy galleries have long called the Lower East Side home, the Museum’s move is boosting the neighborhood’s contemporary art cachet in a big way. Uptown galleries Salon 94 and Greenberg Van Doren have opened satellite spaces just around the corner, while galleries including 31 Grand, Envoy, Luxe and others have relocated from other parts of town to be part of the burgeoning scene. Tiny storefront spaces that are the opposite of Chelsea’s pristine white cubes make for an intimate and fresh art viewing experience while suggesting that the LES trend is one to watch.
It’s the season for group shows in New York galleries, but one upcoming solo show stands out this summer. Starting June 29th, Banks Violette, known for his Goth-inspired aesthetic, will show new work at two collaborating galleries: Barbara Gladstone Gallery and Team Gallery. More than another example of how hot artists are increasingly working not just with one New York gallery, Violette’s dark vision promises to be an intriguing counterpoint to the sunny summer season. (Show runs June 29 – August 17.)