Magazine article The New Yorker

Summer Preview: Art

Magazine article The New Yorker

Summer Preview: Art

Article excerpt

Fibre-Rich Sculptures, Moon Shots, Wild Things Onstage

When the Indian artist Mrinalini Mukherjee was a graduate student in mural painting, she happened upon hand-dyed hemp rope in a Gujarat market. With no formal training in sculpture or textiles, she devised an ingenious process of knotting the fibre into towering volumes that merged the bodily and the botanical—sui-generis works that put a modernist twist on an ancient material. The artist, who died in 2015, at the age of sixty-five, is the subject of the retrospective “Phenomenal Nature,” at the Met Breuer, which also includes her later forays into ceramics and bronze. (Opens June 4.)

In the late nineteen-seventies, the beloved children’s-book author Maurice Sendak embarked on a new wild rumpus—designing costumes and sets for ballets and operas. The Morgan Library, whose archives Sendak often turned to for inspiration, shares a hundred and fifty of his preparatory works on paper in the exhibition “Drawing the Curtain.” (Opens June 14.)

The Guggenheim’s compact but crucial exhibition “Basquiat’s ‘Defacement’: The Untold Story” centers on the artist’s private response to a notorious instance of police brutality: the death of the graffiti artist Michael Stewart, in 1983, following his arrest in a New York City subway station. Twenty related paintings and drawings by Basquiat accompany works by Andy Warhol, David Hammons, and Keith Haring‚ on whose studio wall Basquiat originally commemorated Stewart. (Opens June 21.)

The absurdist videos of the Argentine-Israeli artist Mika Rottenberg are so entertaining that you could almost miss her biting critique of late capitalism—imagine the feminist love child of Jacques Tati and Rube Goldberg, ripe for the era of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. …

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