The Daily

Look

The Family Acid

August 19, 2016 | by

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.

Roger Steffens and the Family Acid, Marrakech Rainbow, April, 1971, archival pigment print, 20" x 24".

 Read More »

Doing Hard Time

August 12, 2016 | by

preview_xl_tom_of_finland_15_0901081228_id_186391

Tom of Finland, 1984, graphite on paper. All images courtesy of Taschen. © 2016 Tom of Finland Foundation.

“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 »

Long Gone and Missing

August 9, 2016 | by

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.

Peyton Freiman, JFK was a Realist, 2015, mixed media on paper mounted on canvas, 6" x 3.5".

 Read More »

Visual Anarchy

August 3, 2016 | by

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.’’

Michael Kidner, Particle Evolution: The End of the Tunnel at Cern. Stage 1, 2008, colored pencil on paper, 44 ½" x 67 ¾".

 Read More »

Life Goes On

July 25, 2016 | by

“Life Goes On,” an exhibition by the Japanese artist Shinya Kato, opened last week at +81 Gallery, in New York. Kato uses a painting knife to apply layers of color to nineteenth-century cabinet cards. His show is up through August 21.

 Read More »

Self-Portraits by Raqib Shaw

July 15, 2016 | by

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.

Raqib Shaw, Self Portrait in the Study at Peckham, after Vincenzo Catena (Kashmir version), 2015, acrylic and enamel on birchwood, 39 3/8" x 51 3/16". © Raqib Shaw. Photo © Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd Courtesy White Cube.

Vincenzo Catena, Saint Jerome in his Study, ca. 1510.

Read More »