Reviews

Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium at The Getty and LACMA

Robert Mapplethorpe. 
Joe, N.Y.C., 1978 (from The X Portfolio);
selenium toned gelatin silver print mounted on black board; image: 7 11/16 × 7 11/16 in. Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; partial gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation, 2011.9.41.6 © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

Robert Mapplethorpe is forever associated with scandals that erupted at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati, as well as the crippling drawdown of federal funding that rendered the National Endowment for the Arts a casualty of the late 1980s culture wars. More recently, Mapplethorpe, or the foundation that bears his name, made headlines with two significant acquisitions made by the[…..]

A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s–1980s at the Block Museum of Art

The Pablo Casals mask used by Charlotte Moorman in the performance of Jim McWilliams’s C. Moorman in Drag, 1973. Courtesy of Charlotte Moorman Archive, Northwestern University Library.

The Juilliard-trained musician and performance artist Charlotte Moorman, the so-called topless cellist, never shied away from the spotlight. In addition, as a monographic exhibition at Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art demonstrates, Moorman’s work as a cunning and forceful impresario contributed significantly to the international visibility of New York’s burgeoning avant-garde music scene beginning in the ’60s. A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte[…..]

Kasper Bosmans: Motif (Oil and Silver) at Marc Foxx

Kasper Bosmans. Columna Rostrata, 2016; 1914 print, wood plexiglass, chain; 48 x 5 x 2 in. Courtesy of the Artist and Marc Foxx Gallery.

Up-and-coming Belgian artist Kasper Bosmans continues his interest in symbology with Motif (Oil and Silver) at Marc Foxx. His paintings and sculptures investigate rostral columns, whales, Roman shipping vessels, coinage, and Coco Chanel, among other seemingly unconnected imagery. About a dozen works, tastefully arranged, point to linkages both literal and figurative. The first series of paintings, Coco, Chain (She Loves Pink, Juicy Details, Guava Jelly,[…..]

Black Chronicles II at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art

Unidentified Sitter. Edinburgh, c. 1900. Photographer/Studio: Alex Ayton Junior. Carte-de-visite, 64 x 100 mm. Courtesy of Val Wilmer Collection.

Born on the Danish island colony of Saint Croix with two generations of slaves behind him, the champion heavyweight boxer Peter Jackson cuts a lean and noble figure in his 1889 photographic portrait, his top hat perched level upon his head, his elegant Victorian garments pressed, his stylish accoutrements placed as evidence of his social persona as a gentleman–dandy. The portrait was taken just a[…..]

Make Your Mother at G-CADD

Catalina Quyang. Bumpy Plank (Girl Against Whites), 2016 (detail); aqua resin, extruded polystyrene, steel, bondo, enamel paint, clear coat; 96 x 24 x 10 inches. Courtesy of The Granite City Art and Design District.

The Granite City Art and Design District (also known as G-CADD) is an art compound of galleries and outdoor exhibition spaces along one block of Granite City, Illinois, located across the river from downtown St. Louis. Their exhibition, Make Your Mother, is a multifaceted grouping of works that investigate mother/child relationships. Curated by JE Baker, the exhibition at the gallery named Insurance features the artists[…..]

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks at the High Museum of Art

Jean-Michel Basquiat. Untitled Notebook Page, 1980-1981. Ink on ruled notebooks paper. 9 5/8 x 7 5/8 inches. Collection of Larry Warsh. Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, all rights reserved. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo courtesy of Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum.

The High Museum of Art’s current exhibition, Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, presents the viewer with a “portrait of the artist as a poet.” Although the art world has been well aware of the importance and influence of language, writing, poetry, and experimental literary tactics on Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work for some time (the artist’s notebooks are hardly “unknown”), the presentation of his notebooks as the main[…..]

Art of Prehistoric Times: Rock Paintings from the Frobenius Collection at the Martin-Gropius-Bau

Albert Hahn. Hand Silhouettes, Fish and Moon, 1937; watercolor; 26 x 37 in. Courtesy of Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin. © Frobenius-Institut Frankfurt am Main.

Shotgun Reviews are an open forum where we invite the international art community to contribute timely, short-format responses to an exhibition or event. If you are interested in submitting a Shotgun Review, please click this link for more information. In this Shotgun Review, Robert J. Kett reviews Art of Prehistoric Times: Rock Paintings from the Frobenius Collection at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin. In a 1955 lecture on the ancient[…..]