Three exhibitions to see in New York this weekend

From the Neue Galerie’s anniversary show to Donald Judd’s paintings at Gagosian

Paul Klee, Mystical Ceramic (1925).

Paul Klee, Mystical Ceramic (1925).

Modern Worlds: Austrian and German Art, 1890-1940
Until 13 March 2022, Neue Galerie, 1048 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan

Twenty years ago, billionaire art collector Ronald Lauder achieved a long-time dream he shared with his friend, art dealer Serge Sabarsky: to open a museum in New York dedicated to Modern art and design from Germany and Austria. The Neue Galerie was born, in a Louis XIII-style mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a present-day example of a jewel-box collection pulled together through the determination and deep pockets that come from a life of privilege. The art the museum has acquired over the years includes some of the best examples of work by the artists and decorative designers who shaped Modern art in the region at the turn of the century. It was, in fact, Lauder’s record-setting $22.5m purchase at Sotheby’s of a dramatic self-portrait by Max Beckmann, painted while he was living in exile in Amsterdam in 1938 after being labelled a degenerate artist by the Nazis, that first made the general public aware of the Neue Galerie’s imminent existence. That work and more gems of the permanent collection by artists including Egon Schiele and Paul Klee are on view in this anniversary show, as well as a new acquisition being show for the first time in New York, Carl Moll’s White Interior (1905), depicting Berta Zuckerkandl, the Viennese art critic and fervent supporter of the Viennese Secession movement, in her art-filled home. A fitting birthday gift for the Neue Galerie.

Donald Judd, Untitled (1960). © Judd Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Judd Foundation. Photo: Silvia Ros. Courtesy Judd Foundation and Gagosian

Donald Judd: Paintings 1959-1961
Until 23 December at Gagosian, 555 West 24th Street, Manhattan

Throughout his life, the Minimalist artist Donald Judd maintained that the origin of his work stemmed from painting rather than sculpture, that it came from “the paintings of Pollock, Newman and Rothko”, he said. This exhibition includes 15 paintings Judd made while studying art history at Columbia University and supporting himself as an art critic, shortly before he abandoned painting altogether to focus on the rectilinear sculptures for which he has been celebrated. The show offers an expanded understanding of the artist and the development of his masterful approach to colour and geometric form, featuring works that evoke landscapes cut by diagonal and asymmetrical lines. The gallery announced its representation of Judd and collaboration with the Judd Foundation in September.

Radcliffe Bailey, Nommo (2019). Courtesy Jack Shainman.

Radcliffe Bailey: Ascents and Echoes
Until 18 December at Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 West 20th Street, Manhattan

The American artist Radcliffe Bailey concentrates on Black Southern heritage in his practice. This exhibition, which marks a departure from the artist’s previous figurative photographic work, features abstract mixed-media canvases and sculptures in which Bailey condenses his own considerations on the current state of the nation and its citizens. The artist intentionally creates multiple entry points in his work, merging time, history and collective memory while questioning the beginning and ending of a narrative. A centrepiece of the exhibition, the large-scale sculpture Nommo (2019)—first shown at the Istanbul Biennial in 2019—evokes the remnants of slave ship and the history of migration. The work of the Atlanta-based artist is held in major collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art.