What's on in New York: Museums lend Ruskins for a show at Salander-O’Reilly as Gagosian hangs blue-chip Warhol

Meanwhile, Paul McCarthy and Pierre Molinier provide a little titillation


“It’s the first one in a while”, says Larry Salander about the John Ruskin exhibition at Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, 20 East 79th Street, which runs from 5 until 28 September. The watercolours and drawings on view including “a striking self portrait owned by Wellesley College” have been borrowed mostly from North American public institutions including the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, San Francisco’s Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts and the Art Gallery of Ontario and important private collections in Canada and the United States. The gallery’s broad interests are indicated as well by the other exhibition taking place on the second-floor at the same time to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). “We got involved out of respect for an institution that’s been around for a long time and because a number of artists we work with including Elmer Bischoff and David Park, whose estates we represent, and Nathan Oliviera and Paul Wonner, went to school or taught there”, explains Salander. From Ansel Adams to Vito Acconci and from Nan Goldin to Richard Diebenkorn, a fascinating cross-section of generations with special links to SFAI is offered by the approximately fifty examples of paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography and ceramics on view. Total proceeds from sales go to the school.

Luhring Augustine, 130 Prince Street, opens the autumn season with an action-packed exhibition on view until 12 October, featuring a sexually charged and culturally loaded portrayal of the Old West by yet another SFAI graduate, Paul McCarthy. The leading West Coast performance artist based in Los Angeles, whose Fresh Acconci, a video he collaborated on with Mike Kelley, was in the last Whitney Biennial and was shown in MOMA’s Project Room series. He has done a mind-blasting installation with moving robotic figures. A monograph on the artist is being released by Phaidon Press in October. Luhring Augustine is planning to issue a video collection early next year of McCarthy’s greatest hit performances of the 1960s and 1970s.

Body art of an intensely sexually explicit and fetishistic sort is also featured this month in two exhibitions of photographic work by French artist Pierre Molinier at Wooster Garden & Brent Sikkema, 558 Broadway, and Ubu, 16 East 78th Street from 7 September to 22 October. Better known in Europe than in the US, Molinier, who died in 1976, was a pioneering gender-bender who gave imaginative reign to his proclivities for “male lesbian fantasies”. The exhibition, which includes, according to Adam J. Boxer of Ubu, “work that hasn’t been seen before”, is a “don’t miss” for those interested in the expressive lengths to which legs, stockings and dildoes can go.

“This shows how minimalism is being used as a point of departure for artists interested in personal or political references”, says Max Protech about “Extended Minimal”. The group exhibition on view at his 560 Broadway gallery until 28 September demonstrates the premise with works by Ellen Gallagher, Gregory Green, Oliver Herring, Will Insley, Byron Kim, Glenn Ligon and Sol LeWitt.

Both uptown and downtown, Gagosian Gallery is showing the “Rorschach Test Paintings”, one of Andy Warhol’s lesser known bodies of works executed in 1984, from 21 September to 19 October. This is the first time the “Rorschach Paintings” will “constitute a show unto themselves and be shown in depth”, reports Ealan Wingate, director of the downtown space. The pictures, according to Wingate, “show Warhol as the only artist I can think of dealing with abstraction as coexistent with the century of psychology and analysis”. Will London audiences be next to test the paintings’ powers of association?

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Ruskin meets New York'