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Three to see: New York

Sex, money and porcelain round out this week's list

by Victoria Stapley-Brown  |  26 January 2017
Three to see: New York
Arlene Shechet, Dancing Girl with Two Right Feet (2012) (Photo: Jason Wyche)
“Come and don’t see it,” the artist Mike Bouchet says about his exhibition, Tender (until 25 February) at Marlborough Chelsea, where an “invisible sculpture” fills the gallery with the scent of handled US currency notes. It took over a year for the scent to be developed at the flavour and fragrance producer Symrise’s laboratories in Holzminden, Germany. To get to the distinct smell, perfumers began with the scent of new, unhandled bills, to which were added layers of other smells, such residue from inside trouser pockets and “even fecal matter,” the artist says. The work is available in an edition of three, if you have the cash.

A look at “human desire in its raw form” is how Mark Snyder, the director of exhibitions at the Museum of Sex, describes the museum’s current show, Known/Unknown: Private Obsession and Hidden Desire in Outsider Art (until 16 December). The show looks at sexuality in the work of outsider, folk and self-taught artists through more than 100 works from private collections, many of which have never been seen before. It includes examples by artists like Thornton Dial and Henry Darger. “We found ourselves drawn to [the artists’] unfiltered expressions and found each revealed a very personal story of obsession and desire,” says the show’s curator, Frank Maresca. Look for the gorgeously carved ostrich eggs by Gil Batle, with scenes inspired by the artist’s time in prison.

See what happens when the Frick Collection hands over the controls to a contemporary artist in the exhibition Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection (until 2 April), which includes around 100 18th-century Meissen porcelain pieces that Arlene Shechet (with assistance from the Frick) selected from Henry Arnhold’s collection. With the pieces come 16 of her own works made during a 2012-13 residency at the Meissen factory near Dresden, Germany. Shechet’s art is a clever exploration of porcelain-making, as with Dancing Girl with Two Right Feet (2012), a playful amalgam of different motifs.

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