JACK PIERSON AND KUNLE MARTINS

PEE PARTY—a new show by the artists and partners Jack Pierson and Kunle Martins, curated by Blair Hansen—is on view now at Jeffrey Stark.

JACK PIERSON and KUNLE MARTINS—PEE PARTY

Through April 21.

Jeffrey Stark

88 East Broadway, #B11, New York City.

Jack Pierson and Kunle Martins, Pee Party, 2019, Jeffrey Stark. Images courtesy the artists and Jeffrey Stark.

COMME DES GARÇONS — WINTER 2020

One could question the location Rei Kawakubo chose this season to present her Comme des Garçons Fall/Winter 2019/2020 collection. She picked the hall of a neoclassical building on rue Cambon—though not the famous number 29! As always, Kawakubo intervenes with the space. Here she created a stage from the marble flooring, overlaid with strips of red-passé carpet. This small arena is enclosed by a few rows of benches and six long, lighted perches—the same machines that will later follow each model in an idiosyncratic ballet, giving the set a futuristic twist. As usual, the assembly is small, but one should know Kawakubo is not here to convince a large audience, but rather one that focuses.

Silence. The show is about to start. The lights turn off, the room is dark, and the ambiance feels quite enigmatic. Rei Kawakubo holds her crowd in a meditative state for one minute of silence. Strangely, this minute feels like eternity—long enough to understand the roles that gravity and magnitude play in this collection. Finally the show starts, with a discontinuous soundtrack from the back. One by one each model comes out to follow the patch of a square—making sure to pass by every corner—and meet at the center. Yet we feel a sense of disorder on stage, and in the air. 


The ambiance is austere: each silhouette is uniquely worked with fastidious details and crafted in a range of solid black materials that echo throughout the space like shadows of knights stepping out of the nightfall. This season, Kawakubo envelops her women in a voluminous armor, dark and rigid. The collection recalls medieval and ecclesiastical themes reinterpreted in a raw couture spirit. One purple garment questions signs of royalty. As always, Kawakubo dazzles with radical strength and bold engagement.

JOHN RICHARDSON

“On February 6, 1954—not quite halfway through my twelve years with Douglas [Cooper]—I turned thirty. Douglas planned a birthday celebration that would also serve as a belated housewarming. But on February 5, the arctic chill that had paralysed much of Europe turned even fiercer, and for the first time in decades Castille was beautifully blanketed with a heavy fall of snow… We put the party off until Easter.

“On Easter Sunday… some of us went to the bullfight… In the course of the corrida, Picasso and Jacqueline [Roque] announced that they and the rest of their group—sixteen in all, including Picasso’s son, Paulo… and Jean Cocteau, plus entourage—would like to dine at Castille; he also announced that he had a present for us… an Ingresque drawing that had obsessed me ever since I first saw it pinned on a wall at Le Fournas: an uncompromisingly frontal image of a naked girl, legs wide apart, seated like an odalisque on a pile of cushions. It had been heavily worked. To create highlights and smudge shadows, Picasso used an eraser—a device he admitted borrowing from Matisse… I was surprised at his giving us something so personal until I realized that the gift must have been made at Jacqueline’s behest. She would have had every reason to want this erotic image removed from the studio wall: it represented one of her rivals, Geneviève Laporte. Characteristically, Picasso brought the drawing in the box that had contained the Dior wrap we had given Jacqueline for Christmas. No less characteristically, he kept the box; he liked to incorporate emballage in his work. As Picasso handed over the drawing, he said, presciently, ‘When you two split up, you’re going to have to cut it in half.’ After we broke up, Douglas simply kept it. Sadly, the drawing disappeared when Castille was burgled some years later. So far as I know, it’s still in the hands of the Mafia.” — John Richardson*

The writer, curator, collector, raconteur, art world insider, and great Picasso biographer John Richardson died in Manhattan this week. Volume IV of A Life of Picasso was nearly complete at the time of its author’s death, and should be published later this year.

*John Richardson, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Picasso, Provence, and Douglas Cooper (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999), 203–204.

Also see John Richardson, “Picasso: The Mediterranean Years,” in Picasso: The Mediterranean Years, 1945–1962 , exh. cat. (London: Gagosian Gallery/New York: Rizzoli, 2010), 11–45.

From top: John Richardson (left) and Pablo Picasso, photograph by André Villers (detail), courtesy Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and ADAGP, Paris; Andy Warhol, John Richardson, courtesy Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Richardson with Nan Kempner at the Met Gala, circa 1980, photograph by Patrick McMullan; Richardson (right) with Boaz Mazor, circa 1975, photograph by Bob Colacello.

MICHAEL RAKOWITZ

Artist and professor Michael Rakowitz—whose work focuses on “singular subjects as literal and symbolic embodiments of the history of Iraq, its diaspora, and the broader Middle East”—recently seceded from the Whitney Biennial in light of the museum’s decision to appoint and defend a tear gas manufacturer as its vice chairman.

Redcat presents Rakowitz’s first Los Angeles exhibition—DISPUTE BETWEEN THE TAMARISK AND THE DATE PALM—in their gallery.

MICHAEL RAKOWITZ—DISPUTE BETWEEN THE TAMARISK AND THE DATE PALM

Through June 2.

Redcat

631 West 2nd Street, downtown Los Angeles.

From top: Michael RakowitzReturn, 2004-ongoing, mixed media installation view, Michael Rakowitz: Backstroke of the WestMCA Chicago, 2017–18, photograph by Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago; Michael Rakowitz, Minaret, performance, 2001–ongoing, mosque alarm clock, megaphone, image courtesy the artist.

TORBJØRN RØDLAND IN CONVERSATION

“In order to move on from the limitations of endless subjectivity, critical postmodern art reduced complex phenomena to a study of cultural form’s and language. Everything became political. With this analysis as a starting point I’m taking a more integral or inclusive stance. I’m not only interested in how images are being read but also in their magic and how they make us feel, how they move us. Even though photography often starts as observation, my dream is a more immersive engagement. I’m an observer longing for intimacy.” — Torbjørn Rødland*

On the opening day of his exhibition FIFTH HONEYMOON in Sweden, join Rødland at Bonniers Konsthall for a conversation with its director Magnus af Petersens.

The show includes the presentation of the artist’s film Between Fork and Ladder.

TORBJØRN RØDLAND and MAGNUS AF PETERSENS IN CONVERSATION

Wednesday, March 13, from 6 pm to 8 pm.

TORBJØRN RØDLAND—FIFTH HONEYMOON

March 13 through June 2.

Bonniers Konsthall

Torsgatan 19, Stockholm.

*Rødland to Magnus af Petersens.

From top: Torbjørn Rødland, Anchor, 2017; Torbjørn Rødland, Baby, 2017; Torbjørn Rødland, The Man in the Moon is a Miss, 2016–2018. Images courtesy the artist and the David Kordansky Gallery.