NYU’s Grey Art Gallery is exhibiting 80 drawings by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the “father of modern neuroscience” who used art to reveal the anatomy of the brain.
Each of these exhibitions showed me something I had not seen before.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres once made the argument that all art is political, even an artist’s choice to focus on the purely aesthetic.
As an Asian boy growing up middle-class in America, I was taught assimilation was key.
An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle presents a slice of the rich Northern California art world of the postwar years. Much of what is here is not “gallery art,” in a commercial sense, but art created by and for a small community of friends, colleagues, and lovers, rooted in a specific place and cultural moment.
Back in the 1950s in the Bay Area, the center for creatives a little off the trail in experimental art was a Victorian house packed to its wooden walls with books. As the home of Jess and Robert Duncan, a couple where within their own relationship there was a constant collaboration between visual art and writing, it became one of the magnets for an eclectic group of artists.
Radical Presence gives a great taste of some of the work done by black artists working in performance over the past five decades. And one of the best things about it is that it’s not just a static archive.
From 1953 to 1963 — a period that corresponds with the publication of his most celebrated works — Allen Ginsberg snapped photographs of his cohort of soon-to-be famous friends. These shots weren’t intended for exhibition; they were mementos, thrown in the back of a drawer. He unearthed them two decades later and had copies made, in the borders of which he scrawled relevant details in felt-tip pen. It is these photographs, amended with shots from the ’80s and ’90s, that are on display at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery.
In his poem “America” (1956) Allen Ginsberg addresses the nation as if it were a codependent lover, asking, “Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine?” followed immediately by the confession, “I’m obsessed by Time Magazine. I read it every week.”