Three to see: New York

Explore art history with Kerry James Marshall and bask in the pure positivity of Mark Leceky


Go see Kerry James Marshall’s retrospective, Mastry, at the Met Breuer (until 29 January 2017). Then go see it again with an artist. Visit a third time with an art historian. You’ll need reinforcements to sift through the layers of Marshall’s virtuosity, from his ability to create luminous compositions with unforgiving acrylic paint to his talent for synthesizing hundreds of years of art history without being pedantic or obtuse. For the New York version of this travelling retrospective, Marshall dug into the Met’s stores to pull together an eclectic selection of works that have inspired him, including Japanese screens, African masks and paintings by Frank Stella. It is immensely satisfying to identify traces of these influences in his own work. The exhibition also includes Marshall’s lesser-known photography and comic book light boxes, but the paintings remain the stars.

The French art dealer Almine Rech inaugurates her New York gallery with an exhibition organised by Bernard Ruiz-Picasso and Alexander Rower, the grandsons of Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder (until 17 December). Rech—who operates two galleries in London, as well as one space in Paris and one in Brussels, and who is married to Ruiz-Picasso—says that the show aims to develop a missing dialogue between these two artists. The exhibition features more than 50 paintings, drawings, maquettes and sculptures created between 1912 and 1967 and show “not a master versus teacher situation, but two artists who admired each other’s work and were equally concerned with questioning the ‘void’—whether from the internal perspective of immortality, as with Picasso, or from the external perspective of the vastness of the universe, as with my grandfather,” Rower says.

MoMA PS1 is hosting what it calls the largest ever exhibition on the Turner Prize-winning British artist Mark Leckey. The show, titled Containers and Their Drivers (until 5 March 2017), highlights works from the 1990s to the present, including the one for which Leckey is best known: his film Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999), in which he spliced together documentary footage of British dance subcultures between the 1970s and 1990s. Despite the overwhelming size of the show, Fiorucci (which is given its own room) is still the most compelling work, and has an enormously sympathetic tone. Some of the characters in the film have crazy haircuts and clothes, but there's no sense at all of mocking—it's purely positive. Leckey says he hopes people get “lost in the potential ecstasy” of his work.