Author: Robert Shuster

  • On Display: Your Guide to NYC’s Spring Art Exhibits

    Critic’s Pick: Carnal Desire In one watercolor, a naked bedridden woman with amputated limbs erotically flashes her tongue. In another, a devilish nymph grasps an enormous snake writhing from her vagina. If you aren’t familiar with Italian artist Carol Rama (still virtually unknown in the U.S.), you might mistake the paintings — acerbically feminist, suggestive […]

  • Jane Jacobs at 100

    In 1961, a woman without any training in architecture or municipal design — without, in fact, a college degree — changed the way the world thought about urban renewal. In The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs presented, as her opening sentence famously announces, “an attack on current city planning and rebuilding.” […]

  • This Fall, Embrace the Unfamiliar in the Art World

    If there’s a trend this fall in the art world, it’s the embrace of the unfamiliar. Sure, you can get your servings of comfort food via Matisse (MOMA, October 12), Helen Frankenthaler (Gagosian Gallery, September 11), or yet another round of Cubism (the Met, October 20). But for whatever reason—new curatorial energy, a general hunger […]

  • Holiday Arts Guide: Art Picks

    Dotty Attie: The Lone Ranger November 21–December 21 Best known for arrangements of small paintings that appropriate and rebuke Old Master portraits of women, Dotty Attie has more recently turned to kooky vintage photographs as source material for her feminist wit. In this show, she lampoons notions of the male rescuer, as exemplified by the […]

  • Arresting Images: Richard Ross, Andy Kaufman, Natasza Niedziolka

    Richard Ross: ‘Juvenile-in-Justice’ Inside a Kansas detention center, a 12-year-old boy sits alone in a cinder block cell, completing a homework assignment on Old Yeller and trying to make it through a two-week lockup—punishment for expressing pent-up anger to a parked car. In Nevada, a barefoot eight-year-old, arrested for being violent in school, stands in […]

  • Mark Menjivar Shows Shelf Pity With ‘You Are What You Eat’

    Mark Menjivar: ‘You Are What You Eat’ Like a psychologist, Mark Menjivar manages to get complete strangers to reveal some of their most private and personal details—namely, the contents of their refrigerators. With a background in social work and a keen interest in the way food shapes lives, he spent four years photographing the icebox […]

  • The Google Riis

    Doug Rickard: ‘A New American Picture’ The primary photographer behind the portraits of urban desolation in this oddly affecting show is a robot—the indifferent, computer-controlled spherical camera mounted on Google’s Street View cars. Although designed to document buildings and landmarks for navigational purposes, the eyeball-like machines are also taking snapshots of life at each location. […]

  • Iraq’s Grosz: ‘Ahmed Alsoudani and Darren Waterston: Remote Futures’

    Renderings of dream states seem to be everywhere these days, but two shows of paintings—virtual opposites in subject and style—make the fantastical distinctive. At Haunch of Venison, Ahmed Alsoudani once again depicts the violence of Iraq, his native country, with bitter irony. A George Grosz for the modern era, he populates surreal and chaotic allegories […]

  • ‘A Visual Essay on Gutai’ Sees Japan Reborn

    ‘A Visual Essay on Gutai’ In 1954, the year a radiation-born monster named Godzilla first stomped across movie screens in Japan as a symbol of atomic catastrophe, a number of the country’s young artists vowed to get beyond defeat and destruction. They called themselves the Gutai Art Association, issued a manifesto rejecting everything traditional, and […]

  • Guido van der Werve: Boom Goes Chopin

    Guido van der Werve Like many feats of endurance performed as art, Guido van der Werve’s arduous trek in his latest film—Nummer veertien, home—is at its core a spiritual quest. A trained pianist, the Dutch artist drew inspiration from the 1849 journey that Frédéric Chopin’s sister made to fulfill his dying wish—that his heart be […]

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