Have you seen anything good? This is the question of the hour, and I, Rosetta Stone, am here to give you the answer. As I always say, I can’t predict the future, but I know it when it finally arrives.
Start uptown at the New York branch of Hauser & Wirth, which debuts with a recreation of Allan Kaprow’s Yard, an environment of five mounds of cast-off automobile tires that was originally crafted in the very same space back in 1961, when it was Martha Jackson Gallery. Bought by a collector in the early days, the original concept is now available to a museum buyer. Price: $750,000.
In ’82 Kaprow said that he first thought of Yard as rocks off a wild coastline, but that it had become a dump, or perhaps a coal cellar. The focus this time around, according to artist William Pope.L, who did the "reinvention" of the piece for H&W, is environmental -- there’s so many of those tires out there that Kaprow, to his surprise, had to pay to have his taken away (seven have been retained, for sentiment’s sake). The tires at H&W are rented.
Next, head to Luhring Augustine in Chelsea, where Janine Antoni, presents miniature copper gargoyles that allow a woman to pee standing up. And why not? Antoni’s self-portrait using the thing, standing on a Chrysler Building balcony (with a Chrysler gargoyle in the background), is $40,000 in an edition of ten (and includes the sculpture). Shall we rehearse the art & urine line-up? Andy Warhol, Andres Serrano, Annie Sprinkle. . . .
In the back room is a giant color photo of Antoni wearing a full-on dollhouse, a trope familiar from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It’s post-modernist feminism with a vengeance.
Across the street at Zach Feuer Gallery is an even more outlandish view of the body, courtesy of Moscow-born Dasha Shishkin (b. 1977), whose wildly inventive works feature nightmarish figures done in richly lapidary style, like Ebola in Technicolor. Most of the best big ones are already sold, at $20,000 and up -- though etchings are available at $1,500.
PaceWildenstein is presenting James Turrell’s 14 "Large Holograms" of paper-thin triangles, squares, spheres in ghostly primary colors, the largest he’s ever made, ca. 62 x 40 in., and the last ones, too. The price? A buck eighty-five, in art-dealer slang. Turrell is still flying small planes over the Grand Canyon. His Roden Crater opens in 2012, at the same time as his Guggenheim Museum retrospective, organized by Carmen Giménez. Of course, as holograms they have mirrors, and I hate art with mirrors.
Elsewhere in Chelsea, at the Gagosian Gallery show of German auction-room star Anselm Reyle (b. 1970) -- his auction record is ca. $635,000, and this is his first New York solo (who says NYC is the center of the art world?) -- are bales of hay painted silver. "No photographs," says the guard. The after-party was at the Boom Boom Room at the Standard Hotel on the High Line.
At Stellan Holm Gallery, brushy Mark Tobey-style abstractions by author William S. Burroughs (1914-97), priced between $7,500 and $120,000. Burroughs liked to blast away at his artworks with a shotgun, so you can look for the holes. . . . At Bortolami, Tom Burr has several clothes racks with earphones hung on them, like you’re supposed to put them on and listen. "Don’t touch," said the alarmed gallery watcher. Aack, I didn’t like this show.
Photo dealer Bryce Wolkowitz was in his spanking new gallery on Saturday as it opened on the ground level of a just-finished silver-faced new skyscraper that leans over the High Line. "I’m excited," he said. He’s premiering with "Textual Landscapes," a show of videos, including a wall of "Lighting Books" by Korean artist Airan Kang, classics like The Fountainhead and Catcher in the Rye made to glow in the dark. They’re unique, and priced at $4,000-$4,500.
Large scribbly abstractions in bright colors by Joanne Greenbaum at d’Amelio Terras are "nicely abrasive," says critic Roberta Smith. . . . . Lots of collector interest in new works on paper by Valerie Giles at Danese, jazz-inspired graphite arabesques filled in with subtle color, some (made using glue) resembling cloisonné, at prices of $1,500 and up. . . . At Newman Popiashvili, a Zen garden done Op style with eye-popping black-and-white patterns by Brooklyn artist Raúl deNieves (b. 1983).
In "The Female Gaze" at Cheim & Read, a soaring self-portrait, complete with designer bag, by celeb artist Anh Duong sold in the $60,000-$80,000 range. . . . At Bowman Bloom on East Seventh Street on the Lower East Side, stitched and painted pictures of birds or guns by Mary Schepisi -- wife of film director Fred -- are moving fast at $800 each. Tom Stoppard owns some.
Further south on Orchard Street, at the year-old Rachel Uffner Gallery (Rachel is a d’Amelio Terras vet), Amherst College artist-in-residence Sarah Greenberger Rafferty has some bleeding-ink expressionistic portraits of comic sidekicks, like Carol Burnett lookalike Vicki Lawrence. The photos are in editions of five, $2,000 each.
Up the street at Candice Madey’s On Stellar Rays, a perplexing show by Zipora Fried, a New Yorker who studied for five years at the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna. The odd lots -- no doubt psychological, with that pedigree -- include one photo of a guy wearing a wig on his face, one of a gal with a flower on hers and another guy wearing three pairs of glasses at once, though he looks rather more confused than less. My favorite? A dinner table covered top to bottom with a knitted black bootie, like a homemade black hole in the hearth of the house. It’s $20,000.
Up on 57th Street in midtown, the sleeper show of the month, "Marcel Duchamp, The Art of Chess," Sept. 10-Oct. 30, 2009, at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art. Look for the vid of two girls playing chess while hula-hooping, made by U.S. women’s chess champion Jennifer Shahade and Daniel Meirom. Also on view, a painting by Artnet Magazine art-advice columnist Mark Kostabi of a famous 1963 chess game, featuring a brilliant queen sacrifice, known as "The Swindle of the Century."
At the Richard Hambleton show, way over at 560 Washington in Lower Manhattan (it’s practically in Jersey), mostly black-and-white lurking "Shadow Figures" made in the last decade or so. Exhibition sponsor Giorgio Armani bought four, priced around $50,000. "They look like him," said one wag.
Spotted downtown, right behind the Artnet offices, a temp mural by Ellen Berkenblit around a vacant lot, organized by dealer Abby Messitte, fence-sized tigers and teens, courtesy of the Downtown Alliance.
Due on Oct. 27, James Rosenquist’s autobio, Painting below Zero: Notes on a Life as Art (Random House). . . . Coming out next year, Stuck-Up Piece of Crap, a visual chronicle of "sticker art," from Warhol’s banana (1966) through stickers from punk, hip hop, skate culture, courtesy DJ DB. Intro is by Shepard Fairey.
Art Basel Miami Beach worries: Andre Balazs is selling the Raleigh Hotel to focus on more affordable properties -- can the art-world pool parties find a new home? Paging the W Hotel South Beach. . . .
ROSETTA STONE is a New York writer.