New York Postcard: Inside the Devil’s Tent

Art Life , Stuff Dec 09, 2014 No Comments

Our man in New York George Shaw reports from inside the tent…

Bourgeois 2

Bourgeois 3


Louise Bourgeois, Suspension

With the earliest piece on show dating back to 1962, the collection of hanging works by Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) at Cheim & Reid spans more than forty-five years making her lifelong themes of biography and psychology strongly evident. While the tethered sculptures are executed in a variety of materials and sizes their volume and overt physicality are offset by the apparent ease with which they appear to float. For Bourgeois, suspension represented a state of ambivalence and conflict with profound implications of vulnerability.



Francesco Clemente, Two Tents, 2014

Having established his presence in 1980s New York, Italian-born Francesco Clemente has since spent extended periods of time in India in his quest for understanding of civilization and the self. In Two Tents at the Mary Boone Gallery, Clemente has installed two full-size Mughal-style canvas tents created in collaboration with craftspersons in Jodhpur, India. Evoking the potent opposing forces that define human nature and beliefs, he has painted the interior of the Devil’s Tent and Angel’s Tent with imagery reflecting his emotional and spiritual quest.

Greer Lankton 2

Greer Lankton

Greer Lankton and her sculptures, 1984 (original image: Eric Kroll)

Greer Lankton’s (1958-1996) lifelong obsession with her transgendered body is on view in her career retrospective Love Me at Participant Inc, which brings together a coterie of the meticulously constructed dolls she was most famous for, as well as photography and works on paper. The autobiographical nature of her work is not just a window into a unique life and aesthetic, but serves as a history lesson about one of the most daring artists in the particular microcosm of New York’s 1980s East Village.

George Shaw

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