August 19, 2016 | by Dan Piepenbring
This is the last week to see the photography of Roger Steffens and the Family Acid at Benrubi Gallery, in New York. Taken mainly in the sixties and seventies, Steffens’s self-consciously psychedelic pictures “imagine a different America, one of strange beauty and mystic truth,” as his son Devon put it. The photos are on display through August 26.
August 12, 2016 | by Caitlin Youngquist
“He only knew a drawing was good if it got him hard,” writes Dian Hanson of Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland (1920–1991). I’ve been spending my evenings drooling over “Tom’s men,” as they’ve come to be called—famously erotic, fabulously gay, and achingly virile. Tom’s is a métier that worships the male form. Sculpted, brawny bods dress up in archetypically masculine uniforms—men in uniform were a fetish of Tom’s—and frolic across the page to bone.
Since the late fifties, when a (comparatively tame) drawing of his was featured on the cover of the muscle mag Physique Pictorial, Tom and his drawings have risen to an iconic status—and there’s a whole cottage industry of ToF merch, from fire blankets to anal beads, to prove it. But I, bashfully, have only just found him. I owe much of that to Taschen, who have, to mark the quarter century since the artist’s death, published a handful of books comprising much of his delicious oeuvre—a retrospective culminating in the reissue of the Holy Writ of all ToF books, Tom of Finland XXL. Among the collection is The Little Book of Tom of Finland: Cops and Robbers, one of three in the Little Book series, and my favorite of the bunch. Read More »
August 9, 2016 | by Dan Piepenbring
Peyton Freiman’s exhibition “Long Gone and Missing” opens Wednesday, August 10, at Shin Gallery, in New York. Freiman, based in Brooklyn, uses his work to explore “feelings of disillusionment with institutional systems,” with a special fondness for “jejune colloquialisms.” His show is up through September 10.
August 3, 2016 | by Dan Piepenbring
The artist Michael Kidner died in 2009. In New York, a new exhibition at Flowers Gallery celebrates his works on paper from the 1960s and 2000s, which found him experimenting with moire patterns, pentagons based on Penrose tiling, and the geometrical effects of light. “I was curious about how the brain interpreted objects,” he said in 1996. “It's a black box and yet we seem to see colors and shapes, and it’s all coming in little chemico-electrical signals along nerves. So, whatever’s happening in there is incredibly abstract, and at one point I was thinking of these patterns more as maybe something that goes on inside the black box.” Stephen Bann described Kidner’s patterns as “constitutionally unstable and liable to take you to the brink of visual anarchy.’’
July 25, 2016 | by Dan Piepenbring
July 15, 2016 | by Dan Piepenbring
In his new exhibition at White Cube, “Self Portraits,” the painter Raqib Shaw insinuates himself into classics by the Old Masters. You’ll find him in the canvases below—carefully modeled after work by Antonello da Messina and Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger, among others—posing as a joker, a mime, and a ghost lying in his own coffin. Shaw, born in Calcutta, was raised in Kashmir and moved to London in 1998. In his paintings, the critic Norman Rosenthal has written, “Color achieves an almost blinding intensity and precision that exists in both a horrific, and beautiful universe derived from personal experience based on self-knowledge and dream psychology … mixed with a profound love and understanding of the history of visual and poetic culture of both East and West.”
Raqib Shaw’s self-portraits are at White Cube through September 11.