By Victoria Stapley-Brown
Told and Untold: the Photo Stories of Kati Horna in the Illustrated Press at the Americas Society (until 17 December) is the first solo show in the United States on this Hungarian-born photographer (1912-2000), who worked in Berlin, Paris and Spain before emigrating to Mexico City under an assumed name in 1939. The exhibition demonstrates the importance she placed on printed media and includes photo essays on the anarchist politics of the Spanish Civil War and playful, edgy work she made for the Mexican avant-garde publication Snob. One highlight is a selection of pages from Horna’s personal album from the Spanish Civil War, which was lost for decades after she fled the country and returned to her by the Spanish government in 2000.
Last week, the Grey Art Gallery at New York University opened A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s-80s (until 10 December), a look at the work of this musician and performance artist. New York is an appropriate place for the show, which travelled from the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University (its organiser), since many of the 15 avant-garde festivals Moorman organised between 1963 and 1980 were held in the city. The importance of these festivals and Moorman’s own work is explored through sculptures, videos, photographs, costumes, musical scores and other archival materials.
Sean Scully: the Eighties at Mnuchin Gallery highlights the artist's paintings from 1982-89, the period when he began making multi-panel constructions and traded in his brightly-hued, hard-edged precision for a more painterly style and moody palette. “By striping up each panel separately, and forcing them together, I was making romantic portraits of the city [of New York]: all based on collision, pressure and disharmony,” he has said of this evolution in his work. The exhibition includes massive, commanding works like By Night and Day (1983) with smaller works like the striped oil-on-board construction Ridge (1982), allowing a sense of how Scully’s compositions work across different scales.