Grace, Depravity, and Grandeur

The Venetian Renaissance by way of ancient Greece and Cecil B. DeMille

Here, Horowitz and Pruitt begin a chain reaction by choosing the much underappreciated Jennifer Bornstein. She contributes an enchanting etching of her friend, the artist Chivas Clem, who, it will come as no surprise, is also her choice of artist (artists are nothing if not fixed in their tastes). Clem instantly turns the friendship theme salty with a Polaroid of what can only be called a schlong sticking thorough a bathroom-wall glory hole. From here things get earthy—in the literal sense—with Meg Webster's transported seedlings.

The show is a diagram of associations. A couple of the participants are married, a few live together. There are subsections where painters chose painters and older artists chose older artists. The installation, which proceeds so you can see who picked who, reveals aesthetic proclivities as well. There's a section of abstract painting, conceptual photography, and sculpture. One of the better jags is the patch of humorous art led by the inimical Michael Smith, whose snapshots of the Arizona biosphere include one of the cafeteria, with an advertisement for "Jumbo Beef Dog." "Two Friends" is more than a show; it's a map of cliques, affiliations, favors, and camaraderie. As such it is a small, sweet mirror of the art world of the summer of 2006.

Satin doll: Veronese's Wisdom and Strength
Paolo Veronese/The Frick Collection New York
Satin doll: Veronese's Wisdom and Strength


Veronese's Allegories: Virtue, Love, and Exploration in Renaissance Venice
The Frick Collection
1 East 70th Street
Through July 16

See also:
  • Our Crowds
    A two-headed butterfly flapping its wings
    Jerry Saltz reviews Two Friends and So On

  • The Sublime Is Us
    The terror, the delight, and the unfathomable feelings of being alive
    Jerry Saltz reviews Klara Liden

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