Christmas is just around the corner, but amid the shopping and festivities, don’t forget that many gallery shows are slated to close right before the holidays. The most obvious must-see is John Currin’s racy, exquisitely rendered portraits at Gagosian Gallery’s uptown location. Meanwhile, don’t miss the huge show of late Warhols at the gallery’s two downtown spaces, where self-portraits in fright wigs butt heads with Mao and Jesus makes an appearance in monumental Last Suppers. For something out of the ordinary, catch Martha Camarillo’s photographs of horse-riding culture in the heart of inner city Philadelphia (as in, hanging out on the street on a horse), at the Jack Shainman Gallery. (All shows close December 22nd.)
If getting to galleries in this busy season is impossible, don’t stress. Shows may be closing soon, but the good news is that several promising ones open this week. Tops among them may be Jenny Perlin’s unconventional video and film work at The Kitchen, based on research into FBI wiretapping in the ‘50s. At the opposite geographic end of Chelsea comes a completely different kind of exhibition: ‘Primitivism Revisited’ at Sean Kelly Gallery which matches classical African Art with work by major contemporary artists (including Robert Mapplethorpe, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Marina Abramovic and more) to demonstrate changing attitudes toward African culture. (Jenny Perlin at The Kitchen opens Dec 15th and runs through February 10th. ‘Primitivism Revisited: After the End of an Idea opens Dec 15th and runs through January 27th.
What do you get when you mix a hot art star, Hollywood luminaries including Tilda Swinton and Donald Sutherland, and the exterior walls of the sleek, midtown Museum of Modern Art? A highly visible, super-stylish art video in the form of Doug Aitken’s seven screen projection, Sleepwalkers, which began screening nightly outside MoMA in mid-January. Times critic Roberta Smith concisely summarized the effect as “dazzling and a bit bloodless.” But considering that New York magazine anticipated this to be the “most seen show in MoMA’s history,” and the fact that the museum reported over two and a half million visitors last year, that’s a huge audience for Aitken’s film, without a doubt making it the hottest show in town. (Sleepwalkers screens nightly at MoMA from 5pm – 10pm until February 12th.)
See the trailer and visit the on-line exhibition on MoMA’s website: