Three solo shows debut today at the New Museum, alongside the large scale survey, “Carol Rama: Antibodies,” which opened on April 26. The new Spring Exhibitions feature artists Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Kaari Upson, Elaine Cameron-Weir, each on their own respective floor, and are well worth a visit. Also, a new residency on the fifth floor presents RAGGA NYC, a platform that connects a community of queer Caribbean artists working across a wide range of disciplines in order to explore how race, sexuality, gender, heritage, and history informs their work.
In the opening remarks at the preview, Artistic Director Massimiliano Gioni noted, “Four out of five of these shows are by women artists, and we are happy to clarify we didn’t chose them because they are women, we chose them because of their great work– and in fact if they were all men, it wouldn’t be newsworthy, so we hope this will be the new normal, that when a great artist is presented, they are judged by their work and not their gender.”
Gioni said, “In each of these exhibitions artists are pointing at new ways to represent and invent [human] bodies and new incarnations of desire.”
On the ground floor in the lobby gallery, “Elaine Cameron-Weir: viscera has questions about itself” offers sculpture that combines the Canadian artist’s study of historical objects made to protect, punish, or stand in for human bodies with renaissance armature and torture devices. She utilizes S&M references and our olfactory senses by including industrial-looking troughs of warm resin.
“Carol Rama: Antibodies,” is the first New York museum survey of the work of Italian artist Carol Rama, who died in 2015 at the age of 97. It features an extensive collection of her work, which was devoted to fantastical anatomies, bodies without organs or “anatomies in pieces,” as the artist called them. Bodies are dissected and re-invented, creating new ways to examine desire and repression, anticipating our modern day discussions about gender and sexual representation.
On the Third Floor, “Kaari Upson: Good thing you are not alone” features the artist’s largest exhibition to date, including new installations, video and sculptures featuring the artist herself, her mother and a dark version of America today. Her current project, “MMDP (My Mother Drinks Pepsi)” is a vivid and slightly wacky collection of work based on the interdependent relationship between herself, her mother and a cultural fascination with big box stores. Upson is often described as an artist continuing in the tradition of Paul McCarthy.
“Lynetter Yiadom-Boakye: Under-Song For A Ciper,” on the Fourth Floor, presents a series of new paintings made specifically for this exhibition. British artist Yiadom-Boakye, recognized as one of the most renowned painters of her generation, produces strikingly gorgeous oil paintings of imagined figures caught in quiet moments of repose.
The Spring Exhibitions run through the first week of September, 2017. Go here for tours, hours and admission info.