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Posted inArt

A New World Order for Photography

The notion of order is really rather muddled: as we put things together to make sense of them, we also surrender some of their meaning. And by its nature, order is perpetually shifting; rules are imposed, then they are broken, reconfigured. This paradox is at the heart of the International Center of Photography’s (ICP) fourth triennial, A Different Kind of Order.

Posted inArt

The Financial Crisis and Other Natural Disasters, A Tour in Three Parts

For Chelsea’s season opener, several exhibitions mimic post-disaster accretions including Thomas Hirschhorn’s Concordia, Concordia at Gladstone Gallery, Mr.’s Metamorphosis: Give Me Your Wings at Lehmann Maupin, and Matthew Lusk’s More Broken Glass Than There Was Window at ZieherSmith. In each case, water and human hubris play some role in creating the chaos; our dangerous love affair with stuff — and lots of it — enhances the devastation. While they all required considerable effort, each show offers different levels of insight into the events purportedly explored.

Posted inArt

Making Sense of Trauma Through Art

To commemorate the 10th anniversary, MoMA PS1 organized a group exhibition, titled September 11, now on view to January 9, 2012. Curator Peter Eleey has brought together more than 70 works by 41 artists — many made prior to 9/11 — to investigate the attacks’ enduring resonance.

Avoiding sensational images of the attack, as well as art made directly in response, the exhibition offers an entry point by which to contemplate the tragic event and its after effects and to look at the ways it has changed how we see and experience the world in its wake.

Posted inArt

At MoMA, Drawing as the Politics of Living

Sometimes an exhibition reminds you of why exhibitions exist, those surprising moments when usually dull curatorial exercises become transcendent experiences, reinvigorating overlooked corners of art history. I Am Still Alive at the Museum of Modern Art is one of those exhibitions, defiant and vivacious as anything I’ve seen in New York in the past few years. The show focuses entirely on drawing, demonstrating contemporary drawing’s engagement with the politics of living and everyday life. This is art as struggle and art as achievement, nowhere more reaffirmed than in On Kawara’s telegrams sent to the artist’s dealers and friends simply stating: “I am still alive.” To make art and to fight through problems and conflicts, social or personal, through the medium of art is to be alive.