The Freudian dictum holds that where Id was, there Ego shall be. In Louise Bourgeois‘ terms, the successful realization of a sculpture functions to make conscious what was previously unconscious — that is, repressed and inaccessible — and discharge unwelcome or unmanageable instinctual impulses. Her symbolic forms, like the symptoms of the neurotic, are compromise formations between a wish and a defense.
Hippopotamus Poison (1965) belongs to a series of Technological Reliquaries, which Paul Thek (1933 – 1988), began in New York after a summer spent in Sicily. The work engages the Roman Catholic tradition of venerating saintly bodies that Thek had observed first-hand in the catacombs near Palermo, and simultaneously offers a critique of the art of the time, Pop and Minimalism in particular.
Within a visually seductive display case made from colored Plexiglas sits what appears to be slab of rotten meat, realistically rendered in wax.
Inscribed on the vitrine is a paranoid quote that nods to a generation’s underlying fears. “The world was falling apart, anyone could see it,” Thek has explained. “I was a wreck, the block was a wreck, the city was a wreck; and I’d go into a gallery and there would be a lot fancy people looking at a lot of stuff that didn’t say anything about anything to anyone.”
Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
Part Surrealist Biology Lesson, part Otherworldly Natural History Museum and part full-on Horror Show, Artist Matthew Day Jackson’s latest exhibit, narratively titled Something Ancient, Something New, Something Stolen, Something Blue is sure to turn a few delicate stomachs as it blows minds and leaves jaws slack during its tenure at the gargantuan Hauser & Wirth space on West 18th Street. Continue reading Matthew Day Jackson Exhibits Subtly Disturbing New Work at Hauser and Wirth
There are times when it’s very easy for me to speak about and describe the art I’ve seen, and other times when I feel it’s best to just let the art do the talking. The latter is how I feel after seeing David Altmejd’s latest exhibit, currently at the Andrea Rosen Gallery in Chelsea. Not only is the scale of the artworks so overwhelming as to be almost inexplicable, but these sculptures have so much going on within, and without, them that I really do feel experiencing this exhibit in person is the only way to really “get it.”
Continue reading Must See Art: David Altmejd at the Andrea Rosen Gallery