Category Archives: BOOKS/PERIODICALS

LUC TUYMANS AND HELEN MOLESWORTH IN CONVERSATION

Celebrating the third and final volume of his Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings—edited by Eva Meyer-Hermann and published last year—join Luc Tuymans in conversation with Helen Molesworth at the Morgan Library.

The artist will present a new solo exhibition at David Zwirner, Hong Kong, in March 2020. In 2009 at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Molesworth curated the first United States retrospective of Tuymans’s work. 

LUC TUYMANS and HELEN MOLESWORTH IN CONVERSATION

Thursday, January 23, at 6:30 pm.

Morgan Library and Museum

225 Madison Avenue (at 36th Street), New York City.

From top: Luc Tuymans photograph and Catalogue Raisonné cover courtesy and © the artist, David Zwirner, and David Zwirner Books. Photograph of Helen Molesworth by Catherine Opie, courtesy and © Opie and Molesworth.

NOAH DAVIS

Noah Davis (1983–2015) was a figurative painter and cofounder of the Underground Museum (UM) in Los Angeles. Despite his untimely death at the age of thirty-two, Davis’ paintings are a crucial part of the rise of figurative and representational painting in the first two decades of the twenty-first century.

Loneliness and tenderness suffuse his rigorously composed paintings, as do traces of his abiding interest in artists such as Marlene Dumas, Kerry James Marshall, Fairfield Porter, [Mark Rothko], and Luc Tuymans. Davis’ pictures can be slightly deceptive; they are modest in scale yet emotionally ambitious. Using a notably dry paint application and a moody palette of blues, purples, and greens, his work falls into two loose categories: There are scenes from everyday life, such as a portrait of his young son, a soldier returning from war, or a housing project designed by famed modernist architect Paul Williams. And there are paintings that traffic in magical realism, surreal images that depict the world both seen and unseen, where the presence of ancestors, ghosts, and fantasy are everywhere apparent.

Generous, curious, and energetic, Davis founded—along with his wife, the sculptor Karon Davis—the Underground Museum, an artist- and family-run space for art and culture in Los Angeles. The UM began modestly—Noah and Karon worked to join three storefronts in the city’s Arlington Heights neighborhood. Davis’ dream was to exhibit “museum-quality” art in a working-class black and Latino neighborhood. In the early days of the UM, Davis was unable to secure museum loans, so he organized exhibitions of his work alongside that of his friends and family, and word of mouth spread about Davis’ unique curatorial gestures.

In 2014 Davis began organizing exhibitions using works selected from the MOCA Los Angeles’ collection as his starting point. In the aftermath of Davis’ passing, the team of family and friends he gathered continued his work at the UM, transforming it into one of the liveliest and most important gathering places in Los Angeles for artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers, and activists. — Helen Molesworth

The exhibition NOAH DAVIS—curated by Molesworth—is now on view at David Zwirner in New York. An iteration of the show will open at the Underground Museum in Los Angeles in March 2020.

A new Davis monograph—featuring an introduction by Molesworth and oral history interviews that she conducted with Davis’ friends, family, and colleagues—is forthcoming.

NOAH DAVIS

Through February 22.

David Zwirner

525 and 533 West 19th Street, New York City.

Noah Davis, Noah Davis, David Zwirner, January 16–February 22, 2020, from top: 1975 (8), 2013, oil on canvas in artist’s frame; LA Nights, 2008, oil on wood panel; Pueblo del Rio: Arabesque, 2014, oil on canvas; Single Mother with Father Out of the Picture, 2007–2008, oil, acrylic, and graphite on canvas; Black Widow, 2007, acrylic and gouache on canvas; The Waiting Room, 2008, oil and acrylic on canvas; Painting for My Dad, 2011, oil on canvas; Untitled (Birch Trees), 2010, oil on canvas; Carlos’ World, 2014–2015, oil on canvas; Leni Riefenstahl, 2010, oil on canvas; Man with Alien and Shotgun, 2008, oil and acrylic on canvas; Noah Davis in Los Angeles, 2009 (detail), photograph by Patrick O’Brien-Smith; The Last Barbeque, 2008, oil on canvas; The Summer House, 2010, oil on canvas; Pueblo del Rio: Concerto, 2014, oil on canvas; Untitled, 2015, oil on canvas; Imaginary Enemy, 2009, oil on wood panel. Images courtesy and © the Estate of Noah Davis, the photographers, and David Zwirner; quote courtesy and © Helen Molesworth and David Zwirner.

JOHN BALDESSARI

John Baldessari’s art is cheerfully laconic. It strikes this special tone, broadcast as if on its own frequency, from its beginnings until the present day. Is there a method to it? And, if so, what does it consist of? The simpler answer points to an ever-surprising change in perspective that Baldessari offers his viewers. A slightly shifted view of art, the world, and its image…

But there is more: a daring intellectual feat in his approach, precisely because it includes acting stupid. Baldessari assumes a calculated risk that he will not be understood fully, but with the aim of deriving intellectual profit from that. Bice Curiger*

*Bice Curiger, “Doubly Detached, Doubly Immersed,” in John Baldessari: Pure Beauty (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2009).

John Baldessari was born in National City, California, in 1931 and died on January 2, 2020 at home in Venice Beach.

John Baldessari, from top: Goya Series: And, 1997, courtesy and © the Museum of Modern Art, New York, SCALA/Art Resource, New York; artist unknown [John Baldessari], late 1960s, reproduced in David Antin’s article “John Baldessari,” Studio International, July–August, 1970; Beach Scene/Nuns/Nurse (With Choices), 1991, courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery; Throwing Three Balls in the Air to Get a Straight Line {Best of Thirty-Six Attempts) (detail), 1973, courtesy and © the estate of the artist, Giampaolo Prearo Editore S.r.L.,Galleria Toselli, Milan, and the Research Library, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; The Overlap Series: Jogger (with Cosmic Event), 2000–2001; Wrong, 1966–1968, courtesy of Museum Associates, LACMA and Marian Goodman Gallery; Eight Soups: Corn Soup, 2012, (borrowed an image from Henri Matisse, Goldfish and Sculpture, 1912), courtesy of Gemini G.E.L.; Beethoven’s Trumpet , photograph by Andreu Dalmau; Three Red Paintings, 1988, photograph courtesy and © Douglas M. Parker; Tips for Artists Who Want to Sell, 1966–1968, courtesy of the Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica; Various Shadows, 1984, courtesy of Jim Tananbaum/Prospect Ventures. Images courtesy and © the estate of John Baldessari and Marian Goodman Gallery.

IBRAM X. KENDI AT THE HAMMER

Ibram X. Kendi—author of Stamped From the Beginning—will be at the Hammer Museum to discuss his new book HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST.

Kendi is the director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University in Washington, D.C.

IBRAM X. KENDI—HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Wednesday, January 8, at 7:30 pm.

Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.

From top: Ibram X. Kendi; Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist cover (Random House); Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning cover (Hachette). Images courtesy and © the author, the publishers, and the Hammer Museum.

TONY CONRAD WRITINGS LAUNCH

I want art to stand strong, to display how it manipulates its audience. I want it to take up their expectations, their sense of the world, their predispositions toward the way they think or use their language, and then to use these things perversely, politically, colorfully, “expressively.” Tony Conrad

Join TONY CONRAD WRITINGS co-editor Andrew Lampert for a conversation with Conrad documentarian Tyler Hubby and Tosh Berman at Artbook at Hauser & Wirth in Los Angeles.*

TONY CONRAD WRITINGS LAUNCH

Saturday, January 4, at 3 pm.

Artbook at Hauser & Wirth

917 East 3rd Street, downtown Los Angeles.

*Tony Conrad Writings was co-edited by Constance DeJong.

From top: Tony Conrad performing Bowed Film, 1974, image credit Greene Naftali, Galerie Buchholz, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Tony Conrad Writings, cover and inside images (3), image credit Primary Information.