“Dinner with Paul Cadmus in the Village. He showed me a hundred drawings or more; the nakedest and least disinterested are the best, particularly those of Jared French. Until lately they have shared this apartment, an oddly un-American interior; good shabby antiques; a quantity of books and music, charming evidence of self-education. Late in the evening a youth named Lloyd Goff, who was Paul’s assistant, wandered in, at his ease, sleepy, perhaps tipsy. Soon he threw himself on the couch and fell asleep… Paul and I talked and talked, reminiscence and theory, in that particular mood of ours, or of his: smiling relaxation, solemn boyish idealism, who knows what else…
“Goff then woke up and undertook to say goodnight, but the next thing I knew, there he lay again, sprawled face down on another couch, his clothes all drawn on the bias and tight upon his very fine little back and buttocks. At last I gave up whatever impulse it was that had kept me so late. Paul fondly accompanied me to the subway. Perhaps, he said, he would make a drawing or two before he went to bed; our talk had been so stimulating, and a sleeping model suits him…” — Glenway Westcott, 1937*
Falling between last year’s Nick Mauss: Transmissions at the Whitney and next month’s Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern at MOMA, THE YOUNG AND EVIL—curated by Jarrett Earnest at DavidZwirner—looks at the between-the-wars Neorealist-Romantic circles around the artists Jared French, his lover Paul Cadmus, his wife Margaret Hoening French (collectively known as PaJaMa), Cadmus’ sister Fidelma—who was married to Kirstein—Bernard Perlin, Pavel Tchelitchew, George Tooker, and Jensen Yow.
Taking its title from the 1933 collaborative novel by art critic Parker Tyler and poet Charles Henri Ford (Tchelitchew’s lover), the exhbition features never-before-exhibited photographs—many from the Kinsey Institute—rarely seen major paintings, sculptures, drawings, and ephemera of this American Bloomsbury, which included Katherine Anne Porter and the ménage à trois of writer Glenway Westcott, publisher Monroe Wheeler, and George Platt Lynes, who photographed (and often modeled for) them all.
THE YOUNG AND EVIL exhibition catalogue will be published later this year by David Zwirner Books, featuring new scholarship by Ann Reynolds and Kenneth E. Silver.
“Troubled times get the tyrants and prophets they deserve. During our current epoch, the revival of interest in author James Baldwin has been particularly intense. This is in part due, of course, to his ability to analyze and articulate how power abuses through cunning and force and why, in the end, it’s up to the people to topple kingdoms.
“As a galvanizing humanitarian force, Baldwin is now being claimed as a kind of oracle. But by claiming him as such, much gets erased about the great artist in the process, specifically his sexuality and aestheticism, both of which informed his politics.” — Hilton Als*
GOD MADE MY FACE—A COLLECTIVE PORTRAIT OF JAMES BALDWIN—a group show curated by Hilton Als, featuring the work of Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Alvin Baltrop, Beauford Delaney, Marlene Dumas, Ja’Tovia Gary, Glenn Ligon, Alice Neel, Cameron Rowland, Kara Walker, Jane Evelyn Atwood, and James Welling—is on view through mid-February.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Metrograph and Als will present a series of films featuring Baldwin through the years, at home and abroad.
Wolfgang Tillmans’ first Hong Kong exhibition is up at David Zwirner, and includes both older work as well as new photographs related to Tillman’s current interest in human obstinance and the devaluation of fact-based information.
WOLFGANG TILLMANS, through May 12.
DAVID ZWIRNER, 5-6/F, H Queens, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong.
For its 64th iteration, Jahresring enlisted Wolfgang Tillmans to guest edit an issue, which the photographer has titled “What is Different?”:
“We have known for some time that there are people who feel drawn to esoteric conspiracy theories. What is new, however, is that hard facts are no longer believed by wide segments of the population. During the past two years, I have come to realise that if 30% of the electorate are resistant to rational argument, we are on a slippery slope.
“In light of all this, I wanted to investigate [by interviewing scientists, politicians, journalists, and social workers] why the backfire effect is having more impact today than it did ten, twenty, or forty years ago. What has changed? What is different? This latter phrase became the title of the book.” — Wolfgang Tillmans, in The Guardian*
WHAT IS DIFFERENT?, JAHRESRING 64, edited by Wolfgang Tillmans and Brigitte Oetker. Published by Sternberg Press.