Skip to main content
2727 South La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90034
310 836 2062

Also at:
19 East 66th Street
New York, NY 10065
212 249 2249
Artists Represented:
Alma Allen
Theodora Allen
Karel Appel
March Avery
Darren Bader
Alvaro Barrington
Lynda Benglis
JB Blunk
Mohammed Bourrouissa
Pia Camil
Robert Colescott
Carroll Dunham
Sam Durant
Kōji Enokura
Anya Gallaccio
Aaron Garber-Maikovska
Tomoo Gokita
Françoise Grossen
Mark Grotjahn
Ha Chong-hyun
Julian Hoeber
Yukie Ishikawa
Matt Johnson
Susumu Koshimizu
Friedrich Kunath
Shio Kusaka
Kwon Young-woo
Mimi Lauter
Lee Ufan
Tony Lewis
Linder
Florian Maier-Aichen
Victor Man
Eddie Martinez
Paul Mogensen
Dave Muller
Kazumi Nakamura
Yoshitomo Nara
Asuka Anastacia Ogawa
Solange Pessoa
Harvey Quaytman
Matt Saunders
Julian Schnabel
Hugh Scott-Douglas
Nobuo Sekine
Jim Shaw
Penny Slinger
Kishio Suga
Henry Taylor
Alexander Tovborg
Yukinori Yanagi
Yun Hyong-keun
Zhu Jinshi

 

 
Gallery exterior. Courtesy of Joshua White and Blum & Poe Gallery, 2010.


 
Online Programming

Nobuo Sekine

Broadcasts: Tribute to Nobuo Sekine (1942-2019)



Blum & Poe Broadcasts presents a tribute to the late Nobuo Sekine, one of the central figures of the Mono-ha movement in Japan. This month marks a year since his passing.

Solange Pessoa

Broadcasts: Solange Pessoa at Ballroom Marfa



Blum & Poe Broadcasts presents a focus on the practice of Brazilian artist Solange Pessoa, in conjunction with her first US museum exhibition currently installed at Ballroom Marfa, Texas. Like many other museums today, Ballroom Marfa is now closed indefinitely—this Broadcast is intended to share significant work that would otherwise be on view to the public.

Broadcasts: Three Day Weekend Presents "The Gallery is Closed"



Engaging directly with this shared global experience of pandemic-motivated social distancing, Blum & Poe Broadcasts, Dave Muller, and Three Day Weekend present an online group exhibition titled "The Gallery is Closed." A number of artists and members of our community have contributed personal drawings and public signs that announce closure and reflect a multitude of absent voices and voices in waiting.

 
Current Exhibitions

Alexander Tovborg

Sacrificial Love



March 23, 2021 - May 1, 2021
Blum & Poe is pleased to present "Sacrificial Love," an exhibition of new paintings and a bronze sculpture by Copenhagen-based artist Alexander Tovborg. This marks Tovborg’s third solo presentation with Blum & Poe. In his paintings, drawings, sculptures, and performances, Tovborg approaches spirituality and mythology as crucial components of the human experience. Aiming to reconstruct history, his work invites us to redefine humankind’s position in relation to the hierarchies and power structures inherent to these oral and written narratives. Characterized by speculative and fictional tale-telling, these works come to life as a visualization of a new alphabet through fragmented and poetic imagery. Focusing on subplots of Western religions and European folk traditions in which the artist is rooted, his works are a hybrid of fantasy and raw abstraction, staging dreamlike sceneries featuring biomorphic forms. Tovborg’s past bodies of work, such as "The Knight of Faith," finding its central theme in the myth of Noah’s Ark, "The Rape of Europha," a meditation on Europe’s current political crises, and "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell," an overarching parable of good versus evil, all come together to tell a delicately layered story, which has often been excluded from historical accounts. In his new series "Sacrificial Love," Tovborg continues his critical approach towards grand religious narratives, and reconstructs them through a personal and intimate story—the pregnancy of his partner, cellist Cæcilie Trier. Born on the feast day of Saint Cecilia, who symbolizes the central role of music in the liturgy, Trier is portrayed as this most famous virgin martyr of the early church in Tovborg’s recent works. The paintings and the bronze sculpture in the show are imbued with Christian symbolism: evil dragons, lilies for divine sacrifice, and the seduction of Eve by the serpent. Tovborg reclaims the mythological chain of power in these narratives by manipulating the characters, depicting the Virgin Mary with a daughter, or speculating about a new mythical creature that is half-human and half-scorpion, echoing Trier’s zodiac. With feathers and halos around her figure Cæcilie becomes part of nature and the cosmos, challenging the man-made linear history suggesting one that is cyclical and holistic. The artist’s choice of household materials, such as cleaning cloths or bedlinens, as his primary painting surface further aims to problematize the portrayal of women as domestic workers throughout history. Tovborg’s works draw a mystical circle in the exhibition space—one that is beyond time and space, initiating from the cycle of motherhood and eventually leading to an existential awareness that is both sensual and poetic. Alexander Tovborg (b. 1983, Copenhagen, Denmark) received his BA from Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Karlsruhe, Germany and his MFA from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark. Tovborg’s work has been the subject of international solo exhibitions including "The Deity and its Creators," Rudolph Tegner Museum & Statue Park, Dronningmølle, Denmark (2019); "Knight of Faith," GL STRAND, Copenhagen, Denmark (2016); "The Rape of Europha," State of Concept, Athens, Greece (2016); "Bocca Baciata," Overgaden Institute for Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark (2014); "Teenage Jesus," Hospitalhof, Stuttgart, Germany (2012); and Tre, Museet for Religiøs Kunst, Lemvig, Denmark (2011). Selections of his oeuvre have been featured in institutional group exhibitions including at Camden Arts Centre, London, UK (2020); the 9th Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Gothenburg, Sweden (2017); Museet for Religiøs Kunst, Lemvig, Denmark (2016); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2013); and the Museo Nacional de la Estampa, Mexico City, Mexico (2012). At Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA in 2015, Tovborg's work was included in "The Avant-Garde Won't Give Up: Cobra and Its Legacy," a rereading of the Cobra postwar movement, curated by Alison M. Gingeras. Tovborg's work is permanently installed in various public Danish institutions and was recently acquired by the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA.

Asuka Anastacia Ogawa



March 23, 2021 - May 1, 2021
Blum & Poe is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Japanese-Brazilian artist Asuka Anastacia Ogawa. This is the artist’s second solo presentation with the gallery, following her debut at Blum & Poe Tokyo in 2020. Asuka Anastacia Ogawa’s large figurative paintings feature children engaged in reverie and play, in scenes that are both autobiographical and dream-spun. With large almond-shaped eyes, these subjects look out of the canvas with mysterious radiance and wisdom. Full of cryptic symbols from mirrors to garlic bulbs, Ogawa’s paintings are marked by references to the artist’s Japanese and Afro-Brazilian ancestral lineage. Born in Tokyo, Ogawa moved to Petrópolis, Brazil when she was three, attended high school in Sweden, and then studied at Central Saint Martins in London. Her peripatetic upbringing and identity are asserted in her paintings through imagery that is outside of time and place. Employing a minimal palette, she uses saturated yellows, pinks, and blues, to convey an elemental visual poetry. Her paintings are open to interpretation, as she notes, inviting viewers to create their own complementary stories. Ogawa’s works spark a journey through hereditary dreams that exist in the collective consciousness. In one picture, a child is portrayed kneeling on the ground with their hands concealed in a large, tangerine-hued bowl, as if caught in a domestic ritual. Two guardian-like figures dressed in white hold a pastel-pink banner over the child in a heraldic gesture of protection. Another painting features a figure brandishing a bird toy in one hand, and a basket full of reeds in another, cushioning two children from a shadowy character on horseback. In response to the prompt, “Where is home?” Ogawa replies, “I think about the people I love when I think of the word ‘home’—having time to explore, and a place to paint, is when I feel most at home.” The works in the exhibition are both a meditation on interconnectedness and belonging, and an offering of sanctuary from and within a world in flux. Asuka Anastacia Ogawa (b. 1988, Tokyo, Japan) received her BFA from Central Saint Martins, London, UK. After having her first solo show at Henry Taylor’s studio in Los Angeles in 2017, she had a solo show at Blum & Poe Tokyo in 2020, and was featured in the group exhibition “5,471 miles” at Blum & Poe Los Angeles in 2020. Her work is in the collection of X Museum, Beijing, China. She is currently based in New York and Los Angeles.

Anna Weyant

Loose Screw



March 23, 2021 - May 1, 2021
Blum & Poe is pleased to present “Loose Screw,” an exhibition of new paintings by New York-based artist Anna Weyant. This show marks Weyant’s first solo presentation with Blum & Poe. Anna Weyant’s figurative paintings and still lifes bring to mind childhood bedtime stories and nursery rhymes. Both familiar and ominous, Weyant's versions of these stories feature young female characters trapped in tragicomic narratives. Their stories take unexpected twists at each turn, illustrating complex personalities and attitudes, and an awareness of life's irony. With round and prominent faces, Weyant’s characters echo the mischievous dolls of the famed Madeline children’s book series, featuring girls in a Catholic boarding school in Paris. Often autobiographical, Weyant’s characters are amusing and endearing, though simultaneously moody and dark. Weyant’s palette prioritizes dark greens and yellows, neutral hues that highlight juxtapositions of humor and solemnity, rebellion and repression. Once an idea emerges, Weyant sketches it on paper in different combinations before settling on a scenario, which she then stage-designs with dolls. Her elaborate and meticulous process culminates in rendering the dramatically lit scenes onto canvas. She references an eclectic range of art historical influences, from seventeenth-century Dutch painters like Gerrit van Honthorst to contemporary artists Lisa Yuskavage and Will Cotton, and pop culture references such as New Yorker cartoons, Bugs Bunny, and the Grinch. Presenting paintings made in 2020 and 2021, “Loose Screw” is also a meditation on the current state of humanity during the pandemic, dealing with complicated emotions such as fear, desperation, isolation, ignorance, and aggression. Giving its title to the show, one of the central works “Loose Screw” (2020), inspired by Otto Dix’s painting “Woman With A Red Hat” (1921) and Ellen Berkenblit’s portraits, depicts a woman seated at a bar, looking lonely and unhinged. Fascinated with Dix’s depiction of a column emerging from a dark void in the painting’s background, Weyant incorporates it into her own composition, approaching the column as a humorous stand-in for another figure—a reflection on what dialogue looks like in the age of self-isolation. One still life features a slice of bread stuck with a butter knife, a basket of eggs, and dead fish, eyes open, presented on a silver platter; another, a bouquet of white roses, the flowers cut from the stems. Her characters—some presented upside down, others mouth open, appearing to fall down from a wooden staircase, with spilling breasts—accompany these still lifes to tell an eerie and unsettling story in fragmented vignettes. If followed carefully, these scenes come together to form a magical realist narrative. “Loose Screw” invites viewers to a therapy session, a look at episodes and memories from childhood—an exorcism of thoughts and experiences at emotional heights. Anna Weyant (b. 1995, Calgary, Canada) received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI. Weyant’s work was the subject of the solo exhibition “Welcome to the Dollhouse” at 56 Henry, New York, NY (2019). Her work has been featured in group exhibitions, including “Life Still,” C L E A R I N G, New York, NY (2020); “Sit Still,” Anna Zorina Gallery, New York, NY (2020); “Humanmakes,” Recharge Foundation, Singapore (2020); “Historicity,” Ochi Projects, Los Angeles, CA (2019); “Of Pursism,” Nina Johnson Gallery, Miami, FL (2018); and “Circles without Breaks,” Local Projects, Long Island City, NY (2017).

 
Past Exhibitions

Paul Mogensen



January 23, 2021 - March 6, 2021
Blum & Poe is pleased to present a solo exhibition of works by New York-based artist Paul Mogensen, following the recent announcement of the gallery’s co-representation of the artist with Karma. Presenting paintings dating back to the beginning of the artist’s career in the 1960s and recent works from the last decade, the exhibition also marks the artist’s first show in his hometown of Los Angeles in over forty years. Based on essential numerical sequences and ratios, Mogensen creates esoteric compositions that invite the viewer to make sense of the planar space. First conceiving a system and utilizing a mathematical formula, he allows the progression to dictate the composition. Mogensen prefers not to date or title his paintings—while this can be read as a gesture foregrounding the timelessness of his work, it also underlines the necessity for a non-linear narrative in art history. Avoiding both metaphorical and conceptualist language, he rejects most canonical terminology—including “minimalism” and “abstraction.” Largely shaped by his education focusing on mathematics and art at the University of Southern California, Mogensen’s practice reflects his wide interests ranging from fourteenth century Sienese painting to Russian constructivists such as Alexander Rodchenko and Vladimir Tatlin. Building upon the beauty of simplicity, Mogensen’s works are gracefully concise and yet yield complex and intense visual experiences—similar to an elegant mathematical formula. His earliest paintings from the ‘60s epitomize his interest in reduction. Stacked vertically, these modular, multi-panel works are made of rectangles that gradually increase in size, and utilize negative space through exacting processes. These monochrome compositions vibrate with saturated pigments—paint he applies straight out of the tube, rejecting any mixture. The pursuit of reduction is a large and compelling part of his practice, seen in his use of pure chemical pigmentation and numerical sequencing alike. Various visual relationships—between color and form, canvas and the wall—give way to a visual illusion blending the painterly with the architectural. As longtime friend artist Lynda Benglis points out: “Paul’s painting challenged both the wall and the floor space, literally breaking up the surface of the wall. This mocking of the wall was a totally new idea.” Highlighting the kinship between the works and the architectural space, one of the multi-panel works guided by the golden ratio is exhibited in the downstairs gallery constructed using the same perfect mathematical formula—with each room reducing in size in accordance with the golden section. Continuing this application of mathematical and architectural processes onto a single canvas in his most recent works, Mogensen utilizes the N + 1 progression pattern to grow and propagate the square shape. Traveling around the edge, the squares migrate towards the center, creating a spiral form. The oscillation between colors and forms implies a fugal complexity, as the human brain tends to seek out and complete a pattern that might not initially be there. The use of sharp contrast in colors—deep cadmium red on black, ultramarine blue on hot pink—adds additional dimension to the single-layered surface. Isolating color, line, form, and light, Mogensen creates a pathway for the eyes to move along the edge of the canvas. Different from figurative artworks in which human faces automatically activate neural systems, geometric abstractions require active thought. This show is an invitation for deep and silent observation in an age of digital stimuli excess, providing a sanctuary for busy minds. Paul Mogensen (b. Los Angeles, 1941) lives and works in New York. He attended the University of Southern California. In 2019 the artist received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Art, and his work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX and Karma, New York, NY, and was featured in a group exhibition at the Vienna Secession, Vienna, Austria. Mogensen’s work is represented in the collections of major museums in the U.S. and abroad, including: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Harvard Art Museums/ Fogg Museum, Cambridge, MA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; Menil Collection, Houston, TX; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; New York Public Library, New York, NY; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.

Robert Colescott

Two Drawing Sweets: "Robert's Complete History of World Art" (1979) and "The Girls of the Golden West" (1980)



January 23, 2021 - March 6, 2021
Blum & Poe is pleased to present a solo exhibition of never before exhibited works on paper by the late artist Robert Colescott. Presenting two series respectively dating back to 1979 and 1980, the exhibition showcases the artist’s well-established satirical and critical approach to cultural clichés, racial stereotypes, and tropes of beauty and the gaze. By the mid-1970s, Colescott had created the works with which he achieved a national reputation. These paintings used the tools of parody and appropriation to remake art historical masterpieces, while satirizing and deconstructing pervasive racist attitudes. In 1979, Colescott created a series of drawings that satirized art history itself. Art history as an academic discipline came into being during the nineteenth century, and the earliest professional art historians viewed their primary task as similar to that of their colleagues in the academy, the natural scientists. Classification was the order of the day. Aesthetics gave way to taxonomy, to a certain extent. Art history became a history of movements, and artists became something less than individuals. The tendency of scholars and art historians to categorize artists only intensified during the twentieth century, which meant that any beginning student of art history would be taught that it is a procession of movements leading logically from one to the next, in an inevitable flow of progress. For an uncompromising individualist like Colescott, the reduction of art to broad categories or “isms” presented him with an irresistible target for satire. The first of the twenty works of this Art History series on view at Blum & Poe Los Angeles, "ROBERT'S complete HiSTORY of WORLD ART" (1979), announces that these drawings present his personal, idiosyncratic version of the subject at hand. These works are gently mocking rather than savagely critical, and injected with a vaudeville flavor. The first four drawings represent early art historical periods, and each is portrayed by a statuesque woman wearing sexy lingerie and smoking a cigarette. These drawings are loaded with references—one symbolizing Egyptian art which had a decisive influence on the artist due to his time in Cairo in the mid-1960s; another represents Rome, borrowing the figure’s pose from a famous ancient sculpture representing the death of a Trojan priest, Laocoön. Another, a parody of a medieval illuminated manuscript, turns the Christian ethos of asceticism and denial on its head by depicting naked figures engaging in various sexual activities. The second series on view, The Girls of the Golden West, was created a year after the Art History drawings in 1980. Colescott had returned to the Bay Area in 1970 after having lived elsewhere for almost two decades, and it was during this time that the artist began a voyage into his past. Colescott takes on the social conditioning of the American ‘30s and ‘40s, exploring his own exposure to popular culture especially through advertisements. Colescott riffs on the sexually suggestive cowgirl persona employed in the commercial imagery of his youth—seductive, nostalgic illusions that insinuated one could still partake of the adventures of the frontier. Employing the narrative devices often found in his paintings such as the dream sequence, the cut-away, and the montage, Colescott depicts each state of the West with a version of this cowgirl motif, parsing the reality of the American dream. Most of the drawings in this series come across as a theatrical experience, as their protagonists act out various scenarios typical of old Westerns. One cowgirl personifying the state of Colorado wears a breathing device as she is about to descend into a mine. Another woman representing the Dakota territory is an ominous vision clad entirely in leather, while the figure representing the state of Wyoming is a mirage of sky and clouds in female form. At the end of a typical Western film, the hero rides off into the sunset, but perhaps in this case, she simply dissolves into the sky. With gratitude to Matthew Weseley, independent art historian and co-curator of the traveling retrospective exhibition "Art and Race Matters: The Career of Robert Colescott," who generously contributed original research and scholarship on these two bodies of work, vital to this exhibition and its correlating press release. Robert Colescott (b. 1925, Oakland, CA; d. 2009, Tucson, AZ) was honored as the first African American artist to represent the United States with a solo exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 1997. His work is currently the subject of a traveling retrospective curated by Lowery Stokes Sims and Matthew Weseley that began at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH in 2019; traveling to Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; Sarasota Art Museum, Sarasota, FL; and Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL;accompanied by a comprehensive monograph published by Rizzoli Electa. Colescott’s work is represented in public collections internationally, in such notable institutions as the Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH; American Research Center in Egypt, Alexandria, VA; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta GA; Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; New Museum, New York, NY; Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA; Pinault Collection, Paris, France; Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA; Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; among many more.

New Images of Man



February 1, 2020 - March 14, 2020
Blum & Poe is pleased to present New Images of Man curated by Alison M. Gingeras. This exhibition revisits and expands upon the Museum of Modern Art’s eponymous 1959 group exhibition curated by Peter Selz that brought together artists whose work grappled with the human condition as well as emerging modes of humanist representation in painting and sculpture in the wake of the traumatic fallout of the Second World War. Some sixty years have passed since New Images of Man presented key figures of the European neo avant-garde such as Alberto Giacometti, Jean Dubuffet, César, Francis Bacon, and Karel Appel alongside the ascendant figures of the American art scene such as Willem de Kooning, H.C. Westermann, and Leon Golub. Set against the backdrop of existentialist philosophy and the socio-political anxieties of the postwar period, the esteemed humanist philosopher Paul Tillich wrote of these artists in the original MoMA catalogue, “Each period has its peculiar image of man. It appears in its poems and novels, music, philosophy, plays and dances; and it appears in its painting and sculpture. Whenever a new period is conceived in the womb of the preceding period, a new image of man pushes towards the surface and finally breaks through to find its artists and philosophers.” Part homage, part radical revision, this two-floor presentation reconstitutes emblematic figures from the original MoMA line up of artists while simultaneously expanding outwards to include those of the same generation and period who were overlooked in the midcentury. This reprisal features forty-three artists hailing not only from the US and Western Europe, but also Cuba, Egypt, Haiti, India, Iran, Japan, Poland, Senegal, and Sudan. The overwhelming maleness of the original New Images of Man has been amended by foregrounding previously excluded women artists from the same generation. Had gender politics of the 1950s been less misogynist, Selz might have considered artists such as Alina Szapocznikow, Niki de Saint Phalle, Yuki Katsura, Carol Rama, and Lee Lozano. With the benefit of inclusive hindsight, Gingeras strives to present a fuller range of this humanist struggle, thus more acutely enacting the original curator’s vision to gather a range of “effigies of the disquiet man.” As the capstone to this historical proposition, the exhibition argues for the contemporary resonance of this midcentury disquiet by judiciously including a selection of contemporary artists. These living artists are also “imagists that take the human situation, indeed the human predicament” as their primary subject, while also reflecting the legacy of the aesthetic concerns from the original period. Spanning painting and sculpture, this contemporary component includes works by Paweł Althamer, Cecily Brown, Luis Flores, Michel Nedjar, Greer Lankton, Miriam Cahn, Sarah Lucas, Dana Schutz, El Hadji Sy, Ahmed Morsi, Henry Taylor, amongst others. Installed alongside these paintings and sculptures, historic and contemporary, are interventions that evoke the larger-than-life figures from the original show—de Kooning, Dubuffet, Bacon, Giacometti, Westermann. Playful tributes to these masters appear throughout the exhibition, including two wall murals by Los Angeles artist Dave Muller. Embedded at the center of this revisionist enterprise is another historical MoMA exhibition also founded upon postwar humanism—this time through the lens of photography. The 1955 exhibition Family of Man curated by Edward Steichen—the legendary director of the Photography Department at MoMA—was conceived four years before Peter Selz’s New Images of Man, and was devised as a celebration of the camera as a powerful, immersive tool for the promulgation of images as well as the affirmation of the universal human experience. While it debuted in New York in 1955, Family of Man went on a veritable world tour. According to Steichen’s 1963 memoir A Life in Photography, between 1955 and 1962 about nine million viewers all around the world had the opportunity “to see themselves reflected” in the 503 photographs of people, making it the most popular photography exhibition ever. As the legacy of Steichen’s curatorial endeavors lives on in contemporary visual culture, this section of the exhibition sets out to challenge the Western-centric bias of the original show. This reassessment of Steichen’s conceit focuses upon two women artists from the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The Polish, self-taught photographer Zofia Rydet was active in the mid-1950s yet she was separated from Steichen not only by the Iron Curtain. This redux presentation of Rydet’s photographic oeuvre suggests a more complex vision of postwar era humanist photography. In fact, after seeing Steichen’s Family of Man show in Warsaw, Rydet embarked upon her series of documentary images of children in the literal rubble of the Second World War in the early 1960s entitled Mały człowiek (Little Man). This presentation features a selection of Rydet’s photographs from her documentary series called the “Sociological Record” in which she captured thousands of ordinary households in Poland from 1978 until her death in 1997. Rydet’s reworking of the Steichen paradigm finds a jarring echo in the contemporary oeuvre of Deana Lawson—an artist whose intimate, yet iconic imagery immortalizes African-American family life. Lawson grew up in Rochester, New York, the birthplace of Kodak—her involvement with photography is deeply bound up with her family’s history and their entwinement with the photographic industry. Unlike Rydet, Lawson’s images are often staged while they strive to capture the magic and textures of everyday struggles, emotions, and plain existence. Her gaze intrepidly focuses upon members of the African diaspora while also crafting stunning formal compositions that hark back to classical painting. As Lawson has said of her work, “I have an image in mind that I have to make. It burns so deeply that I have to make it.” Shown side by side in a scenography that references Steichen’s original Family of Man presentation at MoMA, Rydet’s communist-era documentation of Polish families in their humble interiors resonates uncannily with Lawson’s present-day portraiture. Despite being decades apart, culturally disparate, and approaching their medium with radically differing methods, both Rydet and Lawson create images that offer a sharp rebuttal to Steichen’s sentimental and melodramatic original opus. Both photographers share a quality that Lawson has articulated when speaking of her own work, creating images that are “thick with space, layered with otherness and belonging at the same time.” Together Rydet and Lawson provide a revisionist twist to this new Family of Man. This section of the show was curated in collaboration with Antonina Gugała with a new installation by Deana Lawson made especially for the show. While much has changed in social and political terms since the 1950s, we are arguably again in a period of immense existential questioning and profound collective anxiety—artists now, as then, are on the frontlines of confronting what it means to be human, therefore making New Images of Man a subject still urgent for contemplation and provocation. This past summer, Selz died at the age of one hundred. In his New York Times obituary, his daughter Gabrielle remarked, “He would say that everything—a somber painting by Rothko or a Rodin sculpture—was about the human condition. My dad responded to emotion.” Arguably, emotion is the gravitational force that draws us to images of other people—from prehistoric cave paintings to press photographs of detained refugees and children on the Mexican-American border, humans find empathetic connection, solace, or simple recognition in the act of contemplating depictions of other humans. In the spirit of Selz’s original aim, this restaging of New Images of Man and reimagining of Family of Man resolves to recontextualize artists’ agency in addressing the fundamental questions of the human condition and to discourage apathy about our fellow humans’ plight. While an art exhibition can only operate on a symbolic and discursive level, the impetus behind the new New Images of Man is to continue our collective rumination on the human condition with renewed emotional and intellectual urgency. By expanding the geopolitical and generational scope of artists, an expansive vision of humanity starts to emerge—broadening “man” to a more intersectional vision of human existence.

Henry Taylor

NIECE COUSIN KIN LOOK HOW LONG IT'S BEEN



September 24, 2019 - December 21, 2019

Mohamed Bourouissa

Une poignée de Dollars



September 14, 2019 - October 26, 2019

Anya Gallaccio

Stroke



September 14, 2019 - October 26, 2019

Alma Allen



July 20, 2019 - August 17, 2019

March Avery



June 27, 2019 - August 9, 2019

Florian Maier–Aichen

The Limits of Control



June 1, 2019 - July 6, 2019

Tony Lewis

Charlatan And Ultimately A Boring Man



June 1, 2019 - July 6, 2019

Brazilian Modernism



April 30, 2019 - June 21, 2019

Part II – Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s



April 6, 2019 - May 19, 2019

Robert Colescott



February 27, 2019 - April 13, 2019

Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s



February 14, 2019 - March 23, 2019

Friedrich Kunath

One Man's Ceiling is Another Man's Floor



November 7, 2018 - December 22, 2018

Darren Bader



November 2, 2018 - December 22, 2018

Chung Sang-Hwa & Shin Sung Hy



November 2, 2018 - December 22, 2018

Four Rooms



September 12, 2018 - October 27, 2018

Tomoo Gokita



September 8, 2018 - October 27, 2018

Karel Appel

Out of Nature



September 8, 2018 - October 27, 2018

Andrew Kerr



July 12, 2018 - August 17, 2018

Wendell Dayton



June 30, 2018 - August 18, 2018

Enrico David



May 12, 2018 - June 23, 2018

Mimi Lauter

Sensus Oxynation



May 12, 2018 - June 23, 2018

Dave Muller

Sex & Death & Rock & Roll



April 28, 2018 - June 30, 2018

Kishio Suga



March 1, 2018 - April 14, 2018

Julian Hoeber



January 18, 2018 - February 24, 2018