Tag Archives: David Zwirner Books

JARRETT EARNEST AND KENNETH SILVER IN CONVERSATION

To celebrate the publication of his exhibition catalogue THE YOUNG AND EVIL: QUEER MODERNISM IN NEW YORK, 1930–1955, editor and curator Jarrett Earnest will join Kenneth E. Silver for a public conversation at The Center in Manhattan.

THE YOUNG AND EVIL—JARRETT EARNEST AND KENNETH SILVER IN CONVERSATION

Tuesday, March 10. Doors at 6:30 pm

The Center

208 West 13th Street, New York City.

From top: Jared FrenchMurder, 1942, courtesy the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, John D. Phillips Fund; Jarret Earnest, photograph by Gregory Aune; Jarret Earnest, editor, The Young and Evil, David Zwirner Books. Images courtesy and © the author, his publisher, the photographer, and David Zwirner.

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.

CHARLES GAINES IN CONVERSATION

When I went to graduate school in the 1960s… I was faced with a dilemma… I was surrounded by ideas about art that I couldn’t identify with. I couldn’t identify with the practice of trying to decide what to put in a painting using a kind of intuition. Or looking at a painting as a vehicle for self-expression. It’s not that I looked down on that, or that I thought it was such a bad idea. It’s just that I wasn’t working in a manner that required that kind of behavior… Then I ran into a person who told me about a couple of books, which I bought and read. One was by the art historian Henri Focillon [1881–1943], called The Life of Forms in Art [1934]. The other was a big picture book on Tantric Buddhist art by Ajit Mookerjee [1915–1990]. In those books I began to find things that made sense to me in terms of art production.

[Focillon] had a Platonic perspective, that form was synonymous with number, with mathematics, with structure. And he said that form had a life of its own, had its own reciprocal fitness, had its own autonomous exigency..

This sounds like the tenets of high modernism. I don’t think it followed those tenets in talking about some kind of tautology or self-referential or self-reflexive apparatus. I saw it as a general critique of expressionism, which was central to my problem. I didn’t feel connected with the objects I was making, because when I made them, I wasn’t convinced that there was any connection between my motive to make something and the thing that I made. It just seemed arbitrary to me. I would see painters laboring in front of a painting, trying to decide whether a corner should be red or blue. To me it didn’t make any difference. It could be red or blue, you know? How can they feel good about a judgment that they make? On what basis do they establish this connection? And for the life of me, I couldn’t figure it out.

Focillon gave me the idea that you’re ultimately not the author of the object. You’re more like a vehicle of this realization without an author. With Tantric art I saw visual representation of the same idea.Charles Gaines*

This weekend—in conjunction with his Hauser & Wirth exhibition CHARLES GAINES—PALM TREES AND OTHER WORKS—join Gaines in conversation with Thelma Golden, Laura Owens, and Gary Simmons.

ARTIST TALK—CHARLES GAINES IN CONVERSATION with THELMA GOLDEN, LAURA OWENS, and GARY SIMMONS

Sunday, November 3, at 3 pm.

Hauser & Wirth

901 East 3rd Street, downtown Los Angeles.

“Charles Gaines, January 31, 1995,” in ArtCenter Talks: Graduate Seminar, The First Decade 1986–1995, edited by Stan Douglas (New York: David Zwirner Books / Pasadena, CA: ArtCenter Graduate Press, 2016), 172–197.

See Gina Osterloh on Gaines’ Shadows series.

Charles Gaines—Palm Trees and Other Works, Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles, September 14, 2019–January 5, 2020, photographs by Fredrik Nilsen. Images courtesy and © the artist, the photographer, and Hauser & Wirth.

ALICE NEEL — FREEDOM

Two years after Alice Neel, Uptown, David Zwirner presents ALICE NEEL—FREEDOM, another great exhibition of the painter’s work, this time focused on Neel’s portrayal of the nude figure.

The show’s catalogue features contributions by Marlene Dumas, Helen Molesworth, and Ginny Neel, Alice’s daughter-in-law and the organizer of FREEDOM.

ALICE NEEL—FREEDOM

Through April 13.

David Zwirner

537 West 20th Street, New York City.

From top: Alice Neel, Pregnant Julie and Algis, 1967; Alice Neel, Degenerate Madonna, 1930; Alice Neel, Untitled (Alice Neel and John Rothschild in the Bathroom), 1935; Alice Neel, Bronx Bacchus, 1929; Alice Neel, Joe Gould, 1933. All artwork © The Estate of Alice Neel, courtesy The Estate of Alice Neel and David Zwirner.