I’ve been carrying around this list of shows that I want to see in New York for so long that many of the shows have closed. The dark Rothkos at Pace Gallery in Chelsea, Agnes Martin at the Guggenheim, Max Beckmann at the Metropolitan and Joseph Albers at David Zwirner 537 West 20th.
And I only have until the 28th to catch Philip Guston’s Nixon drawings at Hauser & Wirth in Chelsea, a show called “Laughter in the Dark, Drawings from 1971 & 1975.” From the gallery’s website: “These trenchant works were created at an historic moment, amidst the tumultuous political climate of the early 1970s, as the United States suffered under the weight of civil unrest and social dissent following the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr and Senator Robert F Kennedy, the chaos of the 1968 presidential election, and the enduring violence and brutality of the Vietnam War. In his studio in Woodstock NY, Guston’s distress over the political situation was fueled by conversations with his friend, the writer Philip Roth. The artist and the writer shared an intellectual disposition for the mundane ‘crapola’ of American popular culture, and in Nixon discovered a subject they could each mimic and animate in art.”