The DART Board: 04.12.2023

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday April 12, 2023

Continuing: Cecily Brown | Death and the Maid at The Met

For more than twenty-five years, Cecily Brown (b. 1969) has transfixed viewers with sumptuous color, bravura brushwork, and complex narratives that relate to some of Western art history’s grandest and oldest themes. After moving to New York from London in the 1990s, she revived painting for a new generation alongside a handful of other artists—many of them also women—at the very moment critics were questioning its import and relevance. 


The first full-fledged museum survey of Brown’s work in New York since she made the city her home, Cecily Brown: Death and the Maid assembles a select group of some fifty paintings, drawings, sketchbooks, and monotypes from across her career to explore the intertwined themes of still life, memento mori, mirroring, and vanitas—symbolic depictions of human vanity or life’s brevity—that have propelled her dynamic and impactful practice for decades.

“I really only understand a painting once I’ve copied it,” Brown said in a video made with the museum. The exhibition promises to unpack these discoveries by delving into recurring themes, both sacred and profane, within her ouvre. “There’s a whole raft of art history that flows through the work, and a lot of that is represented even in this very careful selection,” said exhibition curator Ian Alteveer at the press preview.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY Info


Continuing: Gego | Measuring Infinity at the Guggenheim

The first major museum retrospective in New York devoted to the work of Gego, or Gertrud Goldschmidt (b. 1912, Hamburg; d. 1994, Caracas) offers a fully integrated view of the influential German-Venezuelan artist and her distinctive approach to the language of abstraction. Gego: Measuring Infinity features nearly 200 artworks from the early 1950s through the early 1990s, including sculptures, drawings, prints, textiles, and artist’s books, alongside photographic images of installations and public artworks, sketches, publications, and letters.

Gego was one of the most significant artists to emerge in Latin America during the second half of the twentieth century, but her work remains lesser-known in the United States. The exhibition grounds Gego’s practice in the artistic contexts of Latin America that transpired over the course of her lengthy career and also considers her intersections with—and departures from—key transnational art movements including geometric abstraction and Kinetic art. Structural systems: transparency, tension, fragility, spatial relations, and the optical effects of motion are all methodically addressed in her singular body of work on view, presenting an artist that has consistently defied categorization.

Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY Inf


Friday, April 14, 5:30-9:30: Film Screening | AJASS—Pioneers of Black is Beautiful

The Herb Lubalin Study Center in conjunction with Cultural Caravan Productions, Inc., presents a screening of the award-winning documentary, AJASS: Pioneers of the Black is Beautiful Movement, by Louise Dente.  

The African Jazz-Art Society & Studios (AJASS) was founded in 1956 by a group of four talented creatives: Elombe Brath, Kwame Brathwaite, Bob Gumbs, and Chris Acemandese Hall. Inspired by the writings of activist and Black nationalist Marcus Garvey, and his protégé, Carlos Cook of the African Nationalist Pioneer Movement (ANPM). Elombe Brath said that one of AJASS’s primary purposes was to “spread the idea of Black unity through appreciation of self, beauty of self — and to establish a Blackstandard."

Dente’s documentary chronicles the journey of AJASS from its start in the South Bronx, where they first hosted jazz concerts, to Harlem where their projects expanded helping to shape the visual landscape of the second Harlem Renaissance in the process. It features commentary from several prominent voices on the impact of AJASS and the Grandassa Models, a modeling group created by AJASS for Black women, aiming to challenge white beauty standards.  

Frederick P. Rose Auditorium at the Cooper Union, 41 Cooper Square, New York, NY Free of charge Register

Saturday-Sunday, April 15-16: Print Arcade presents David Sandlin

From noon to 6 pm, the Print Arcade: the Affordable Print Fair takes over the Shooting Gallery Annex. Brooklyn’s own legendary Cannonball Press has again assembled a lineup of high scoring, printmashing graphic artists under one roof who will be present displaying and selling their prints for $100 or less. Longtime subscriber and AI awardee David Sandlin will be joined by artists from Planthouse Gallery, the Circadian Press, Paper Crown Press, Voodoo Rocket and more. Info

Shooting Gallery Annex 1214 Surf Avenue, Coney Island, NY Info


Tuesday, April 18: Rear View at LDGR

Spanning two floors of LGDR’s landmark Beaux-Arts-style townhouse, Rear View will present a transhistorical selection of over sixty paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and photographs that explore representation of the human figure as seen from behind—an enduring, wide-ranging paradigm that has exerted potent influence upon modern and contemporary artists. In addition to rare twentieth-century masterworks by Felix Vallotton, Edgar Degas, Rene Magritte, Francis Bacon, Egon Schiele, Paul Cadmus, Aristide Maillol, and others, Rear View brings together seminal works by a diverse group of living artists spanning generations. 

“String bottoms together in place of signatures for petition of peace.” This is how Yoko Ono described her infamous Film No. 4 (Bottoms) (1966–67)—an 80-minute montage of 365 human bottoms, featuring different genders, races, and body types. Marshaling her conceptual Fluxus rigor and sly humor into a powerful political protest against the Vietnam War, Ono’s provocative film retains its antiwar bite as well as its universalizing humanism today. 

But painters and sculptors from as far back as antiquity deployed the human figure seen from behind as a conceptual and formal device. Rear View provides a lens onto this specific genre as it pertains to artists’ desire to capture a range of human states and emotions—contemplation, longing, voyeurism, refusal, fetishism, and defiance—while drawing our attention to the act of looking itself and to the viewer’s role in constructing meaning and identity. 

A number of works in the exhibition illuminate ways in which contemporary painting has absorbed the cinematic motif of the rear view, translating the camerawork of film noir and Hitchcockian thrillers like Rear Window (1954) into paint on canvas or rich black-and-white photographic images. Eric Fischl and Danielle Mckinney, for example, draw upon our collective cinematic imagination in composing their deeply narrative scenes, often populated by mysterious figures shown from the back and seemingly unaware of being observed 

LGDR, 19 East 64th Street, New York, NY Info


Wednesday, April 19, 4-6pm: Returning to Normal | After the Pandemic at CUNY

As people adjust to their altered lives and routines amid the COVID-19 pandemic as well as ongoing war, increasingly frequent natural disasters, worldwide political upheaval, and other unsettling disruptions, a popular term has emerged: the new normal. But what is “normal”?

This event is part of an international, interdisciplinary research project that will examine this question and related ones in an investigation of the norms of life, their impact, and origins.

This is a hybrid event taking place both in-person in the Skylight Room (9100) at the CUNY Graduate Center, as well as online via Zoom. Please register to attend in-person or onlineInfo