The exhibition American Interior at Carriage Trade has an odd title. It’s not “interiors,” plural — as if there is one psychic space, one soul, one ethos to plumb. If there ever was one, it forked a long time ago into divergent streams you can see in this show. There is the absurd, as in Paul McCarthy’s, “Plaster Your Head and One Arm into a Wall” (1973/2005) a photo of someone’s standing body with the head and arm hidden encased behind fresh plaster. You see the idyllic: Terence Gower’s “Kitchen I & II” (2004) a photographic diptych of a pristinely antiseptic kitchen with new appliances and a dutiful housewife. There’s also the unfortunate immigrant version: Dorothea Lange’s, “Japanese relocation, California,” (1942/2017) where a Japanese woman irons in a War Relocation Authority center where evacuees of Japanese ancestry spent the duration of WWII against their will. Barbara Ess depicts the nightmare version: a photograph “No title (snake in living room)” (2017) that shows a living room with couch, easy chair, fireplace, and a big television, but with a snake slithering down the middle of the carpeted floor.
The image that most haunts me is Gordon Parks’s photograph “TV Willie Causey, Jr., with Gun During Violence in Alabama, Shady Grove, Alabama” (1956). It shows a barechested young man, sullenly holding a shotgun across his lap. I’m told by the gallery owner that he was stationed by the door of the house to protect Parks, who had taken some pictures that whites in Alabama had objected to. Oddly, the gun is pointed in the direction of the children playing on a bed in the background. This is the American character I know: the one that extols the value of protecting its own, and acclaims being armed against threats real and perceived, yet brashly, unknowingly, risks the lives of others who are nearby, those who have no part in creating the violence they inherit and yet will bear its costs.
American Interior continues at Carriage Trade gallery (277 Grand Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan) through June 3.
MTV’s The Exhibit Is Back With an Inflatable Dolphin
Episode four, in which artists tackled themes of justice and injustice, was the most lifeless of the reality TV show so far.
Florida Principal Ousted Over “Pornographic” Michelangelo Sculpture
Parents complained that the famous sculpture was shown to their sixth graders.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Tickets to Sold-Out Vermeer Show Are Going for Hundreds
The online resale market for the Rijksmuseum’s smash exhibition is booming, with tickets selling on eBay for over $2K.
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
Miniature Worlds: Joseph Cornell, Ray Johnson, Yayoi Kusama
Through small-scale works, this exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York examines Cornell’s prominent role in the lives and careers of Johnson and Kusama.
Three Looted Antiquities at the Met Repatriated to Turkey
Nine other repatriated works were seized from Met Trustee Shelby White, whose collection was subject to a criminal investigation.
This week, the world’s lightest paint, Pakistan’s feminist movement, World Puppy Day, and were some of Vermeer’s paintings created by his daughter?
The Wider World and Scrimshaw
On March 28, join the New Bedford Whaling Museum online and in-person for a symposium on global carving traditions from across the Pacific Rim.
Who Will Decide on the Future of a Miami Native Burial Ground?
Native activists say sacred remains and objects dug up from a Brickell construction site should remain there, but mega-developer Jorge Pérez is pushing back.
How Can a Curator Approach South Asian Futurisms?
How do I acknowledge my shortcomings while reckoning with obscured histories and the exclusion of subaltern narratives in the fine art landscape? A working checklist for curators.
MCA Chicago Presents On Stage: Frictions
Will Rawls, Shamel Pitts | TRIBE, and Barak adé Soleil explore Blackness, queerness, movement, and dance in performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
The Complicated Legacy of Camilo Egas
The Ecuadorian painter, a leading figure of Latin America’s Indigenismo art movement, has been both praised and scorned for his representation of Indigenous peoples.
Tom Jones Zeroes in on Ho-Chunk Visibility
“I think about the young kids, the teenagers, and I think being able to see yourself represented in art is so powerful,” says the artist.