Boom, Bubble, Bust: Matthew Barney + Jenny Saville + Mickalene Thomas

New York goes retread. But maybe there's a little hope

Thanks, Mom: Saville's Red Stare Head II, 2011
© Jenny Saville, Courtesy Gagosian Gallery/Photo Mike Bruce
Thanks, Mom: Saville's Red Stare Head II, 2011


Jenny Saville: 'Continuum'
Gagosian Gallery
980 Madison Avenue 212-744-2313,

Matthew Barney: 'DJED'
Gladstone Gallery
530 West 21st Street

Mickalene Thomas: 'More than everything'
Lehmann Maupin
201 Chrystie Street

By contrast, a third show in the city's newish arts neighborhood, the Bowery, sounds a note of restraint and even stocktaking that other artists might consider. Mickalene Thomas's exhibition at Lehmann Maupin is a scaled-down affair by an artist who recently made a splash with a blinged-up mural for MOMA's 53rd Street window. A display of medium- and small-scale photographs and collages—some of which exhibit a vivacity of color and texture that recalls passages of David Hockney—Thomas's salon-style hang suggests meditation, reinvention possibly. The culture we deserve isn't always, clearly, the culture we need. But at least this artist knows when it's time to stop, look around, and reassess.

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Dumbo Arts Center
Dumbo Arts Center

Dear Christian,It was with great interest that I read your recent article. I agree that much of the art is out of touch with contemporary issues. I, however, did have to take exception to your line: "Inside its galleries, museums, and studios, folks have found it blindingly difficult to ask important questions about a crisis they have yet to fully acknowledge."

I believe you simply have not been looking in the right places for art that is addressing these issues. Many artists are staring these issues full in the face, such as JD Samson's recent article on the Huffington Post. Here at the Dumbo Arts Center, our recent shows have all dealt with issues of the economy and financial inequity. Our current show by Aeron Bergman and Alejandra Salinas directly address issues of wealth, value, exchange and permanence. As evidenced by the referencing Tang Dynasty era poems, these are also timeless questions. The show has an intelligent, caustic atmosphere about it.

I invite you down to DAC to experience the show yourself. New art is being created that tries to make sense of our place in this extremely skewed financial moment.


Karl EricksonDirector, Dumbo Arts Center


Great read on these artist and this time.An out of place blast from the bast....sort of like watching GW Bush throwing out the first pitch at a current baseball game.