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Three to see: New York

Faff about with Vito Acconci and double your pleasure with Stuart Davis

by Victoria Stapley-Brown  |  19 August 2016
Three to see: New York
Installation view of Vito Acconci's show at MoMA PS1. PS1, 2016. Image courtesy of Acconci Studio and MoMA PS1. Photo by Pete Deevakul.
Help MoMA PS1 celebrate its 40th birthday with a look back at the pulse of the New York art scene in the 1960s and 1970s through the work of Vito Acconci. Where Are We Now (Who Are We Anyway?), 1976 (until 18 September) explores the artist’s early poetry, sound and video works and radical performances, like his work Seedbed (1972), in which he spent hours masturbating beneath a ramp at the Sonnabend gallery while whispering aloud his fantasies about visitors. Acconci studio—the collaborative venture of Acconci and his wife Maria—designed the architecture of the exhibition.

The James Fuentes gallery also looks at the New York art scene—this time, of the early 1980s to 1990s—with the exhibition Bad Faith (until 11 September). The show taps into the underlying anxieties of the time and relates them to today’s world with works by Jessica Diamond, Nayland Blake, Peter Halley and Robert Morris that grapple with the culture wars, the AIDS crisis and other socio-economic issues. Blake’s sculpture Joe Dallesandro as Augustin (1991-94), for instance—a suspended figure in 18th-century garb—tackles identity politics by re-framing the Marquis de Sade’s 1795 work, Philosophy in the Bedroom.

At the Whitney Museum of American Art, Stuart Davis: In Full Swing (until 25 September) looks at an earlier era and includes around 100 pictures from the early 1920s to his death in 1964. In particular, the show focuses on how, after 1939, he tended to recycle forms and ideas from earlier pictures. Davis, a member of the museum's early incarnation as the Whitney Studio club, was patronised by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who helped fund a European sojourn in which he learned from Cubism first-hand.

Three other must-see shows: Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist at the Jewish Museum; Diane Arbus: In the Beginning at the Met Breuer; Bruce Conner: It's All True at MoMA

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