Seeing the Northern Renaissance through Contemporary Eyes

Seeing the Northern Renaissance through Contemporary Eyes

Located between The Met’s hall of medieval sculpture evoking a majestic cathedral and the open atrium of early modern art is a bridge between two worlds. Relative Values: The Cost of Art in the Northern Renaissance is a pithy exhibition of 63 works dating from the 16th century and displayed on stark metal screens like those used in modern cold storage facilities, in vividly colored cases, and accompanied with labels that denote the objects’ values on the 16th-century market. Visually, the exhibition marks a departure from other Renaissance exhibitions curated by the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, which often evoke a sense of place by dressing the galleries in 16th-century decor. In a sense, the intention here is reversed: rather than send viewers back in time, the objects are brought forward to today.

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Jimmy Robert: Imitation of Lives

Jimmy Robert: Imitation of Lives

Bucharest-based artist Jimmy Robert has a diverse practice, encompassing a variety of media. Often, his works begin where the artist himself began—in photography and video—evolving into sculptures, performances, and more. Robert’s performances comment on or re-interpret iconic works of art—his commission for Performa 17, Imitation of Lives, was performed over a November weekend at Philip Johnson’s modernist masterpiece, Glass House, in New Canaan, Connecticut. Robert and I spoke prior to Performa, when the artist had just returned to Bucharest following a rehearsal in Connecticut. Robert was in the later stages of organizing his intervention, making final decisions about objects to include, references to cut, and choreography to adjust.

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Larry Clark: When Artists Buy Art

Larry Clark: When Artists Buy Art

When photographer and film director Larry Clark published his first photobook in 1971, it wasn’t Tulsa’s frank depiction of drug-use, sexuality, and violence that caused a stir. Photography had long looked at the disaffected. It was the collapse of any objective distance. Clark wasn’t an passive observer, he was one of them. There’s also a way in which Clark’s private art collection, which began sometime in the 1960s, reflects a deeply personal attachment to art and images.

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Ernst Fischer: The Vision Machine

Ernst Fischer: The Vision Machine

When I met Ernst Fischer in his shared Sunset Park studio, he had just completed a trade of a photograph for two bottles of homemade mead, which he opened upon my arrival. Over the first few glasses, I told him how I came across his work in 2015 at CUE Art Foundation, and he explained how he moved from filmmaking to photography in his mid-twenties by falling into advertising work. After working for years in London and Berlin, where he grew tired of the pressure to print his photographs in series, Fischer came to New York to undermine his own practice.

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