* "Corporations Are People Too" @ Winkleman Gallery / 621 W 27th St. This evil-sounding group show culls some awesome talent, feat. Berenice Abbott, Ian Davis, CHris Dorland, Kota Ezawa, Louis Faurer, Yevgeniy Fiks, Jacqueline Hassink, Lewis Hine, Dorothea Lange and Phillip Toledano in respective pointed takes on corporate culture, from the Great Depression and WWII to contemporary society.
* "The Human Tornado" (dir. Cliff Roquemore, 1976) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E Sixth St, 10p. Before he was an "Avenging Disco Godfather", Blaxploitation champ Rudy Ray Moore was "The Human Tornado", doing it up Dolemite style in nonstop duels w/ rednecks and the mob!
* Girl in a Coma + Love Inks @ Frank / 407 Colorado, 9p/FREE. Regular LIST-readers know I am a smitten kitten when it comes to local mini-pop trio Love Inks. They do it right, w/o unnecessary gloss and gilding. Pair 'em w/ San Antonio grrrl-rock trio Girl in a Coma (and young singer-guitarist Nina Diaz's superlative vox) in my favorite swank downtown hotdogs-and-beer pub and THEN make it a free show = ATX perfection. This is a Transistor Six (local, analogue-based) taped show.
* Jazz-minh Moore "Is That All There Is?" @ Lyons Wier Gallery / 542 W 24th St. Moore features her sister in a ramshackle Oregon cabin, echoing the artist's birthplace, and integrates her realist compositions with the woodgrain of their panel backdrops against her sister's tattooed skin.
* Jim Isermann "Reunion" @ Mary Boone Gallery / 745 Fifth Ave. A selection of bold '80s abstract-ish paintings, both enamel on wood and yarn "paintings", plus a flower-shaped installation of Isermann's signature chairs.
* Thomas Woodruff "The Four Temperament Variations" @ PPOW / 535 W 22nd St, 3rd Fl. Woodruff wields portraiture, still-life, landscape painting and wildlife w/ uncannily equal aplomb in his fantastical, vivid paintings, threading in mythology, steampunk imagery and "lowbrow" pop surrealism. His eight solo exhibition at the gallery (the last was in 2008) comes with a monograph, essayed by another old-style master, Vincent Desiderio.
* Margaret Evangeline "Time Bomb" @ STUX Gallery / 530 W 25th St. What sounds cooler to you: gestural marks of oil paint on canvas, or bullet holes riddling stainless steel? Guess what: in Evangeline's third solo exhibition at the gallery, you get both!
* "Rotary Connection", organized by Loring Randolph @ Casey Kaplan Gallery / 525 W 21st St. Pay attention to Julia Dault, an electrifying abstract-ish painter and sculptor featured in both the upcoming New Museum triennial "The Ungovernables" AND this group show, organized by the gallery's director. Also featured: Etienne Chambaud, Isabelle Cornaro, Jose Dávila, Jason Dodge (big fan), Ryan Gander (notch), Liam Gillick (ditto), Andrew Kuo, Mateo López, Benoît Maire, Arthur Ou, Marlo Pascual (HUGE fan) and Pietro Roccasalva.
* "The Devil Inside" (dir. William Brent Bell, 2012) screening @ Regal Westgate / 4477 S. Lamar Blvd, 9:45p. What's harder-core than a demonic exorcist possessing a woman? Try FOUR of them…and thanks to her daughter and a film crew, the whole bit is caught on tape! That it was shot in old-school Christian Europe only heightens the chilling vibe.
* Metro-Ongen @ Aoyama Moonromantic / B1F 4-9-1 Minami-Aoyama (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line to Gaienmae Station), 6p/2000yen. Show up early for this indie-pop blowout, b/c while the artsy Tokyo new-wave renegades Metro-Ongen headline the night, there's still much awesomeness before they take the stage. Like sun-drenched trio Goomi and NJ-born singer-songwriter Kate Sikora.
* Joel Sternfeld "First Pictures" @ Luhring Augustine / 531 W 24th St. Four bodies of work — the early "Happy Anniversary Sweetie Face!" from '71, plus '75's "Nags Head", '76's "Rush Hour" street portraiture and "At the Mall, New Jersey 1980" — all integral to Sternfeld's conceptual and formalistic photographic processes, and all rarely exhibited or published. An eponymous catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
* On Kawara "Date Painting(s) in New York & 136 Other Cities" @ David Zwirner / 525-533 W 19th St. Conceptualist Kawara made his first date painting in NYC, "JAN. 4, 1966" — that's over four decades ago, if you're counting, and he's still doing it. Thus, the gallery stages a seminal exhibition of over 150 date paintings, selected by Kawara, accompanied by binders of facsimile newspaper clippings, plus two one-hundred-year calendars for the 20th and 21st centuries. AND! A major catalogue published by Ludion and essayed by Japanese writer Lei Yamabe.
* "The Displaced Person" @ Invisible-Exports / 14A Orchard St. Ron Athey, Walt Cassidy, Jesse Aron Green, Geof Oppenheimer and Sue Williams contribute to this exhibition focused on the delineation b/w public and personal space.
* Michael Wang "Carbon Copies" @ Foxy Production / 623 W 27th St. This NY-based Conceptualist has a history of intriguing interventions, like speculative proposals for the World Economic Forum conference hall in Davos, Switzerland and a series for controlled-release of invasive species called…"Invasives". In his debut NY solo project, he crafts sculptural forms based off not only previously made artworks but also their respective carbon footprints during initial production.
* "Norwegian Wood" (dir. Tran Ahn Hung, 2011) @ IFC Center / 323 Sixth Ave (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St). A cool YEAR after its Japan release comes this tentative, calming adaptation of Haruki Murakami's bestselling novel. And while I can't slather it with glowing praise like I'd hoped to, I did really dig it. I'm pleased to have seen it and encourage you to see it too. Kenichi "Cheekbones" Matsuyama is pretty perfect as the Murakami everyman, as is Rinko Kikuchi and Kiko Mizuhara as the simultaneously cute and quirky Murakami women. But this is a slow-burning, moody film, even quieter than the book, and if you're not prepared to gently immerse yourself within minutes of silence, of wind in the trees and strained gazes between lovers, you might just find it boring.
* 2012 NYC Winter Jazzfest @ multiple W. Village venues (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St, 6 to Bleecker etc), one-day pass $35 (FRI+SAT pass $45). My picks:
- Sullivan Hall / 214 Sullivan St, 7:45p. Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog is possibly the most emotive improv trio around today (he's joined by mighty bassman/electronics whiz Shahzad Ismaily and avant-drummer Ches Smith). They follow the NY Gypsy All-Stars and precede Big Sam's Funky Nation, led by N'awlins all-star trombonist "Big" Sam Williams.
- The Bitter End / 147 Bleecker St, 7:15p. Come early for honeyed chanteuse Lucy Woodward, stay late for Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber (anchored by bassist Jared Michael Nickerson and guitarist/frontman Greg "Ironman Tate") and drummer Jamire Williams' progressive ensemble ERIMAJ.
* "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" (dir. Tomas Alfredson, 2011) @ Violet Crown Cinema / 434 W 2nd St. Cold War-era crime thriller served chilled to perfection. Alfredson's first English-language feature is a magnetizing labyrinth, led by Gary Oldman as a natty, slow-burning British spy and his team of three-piece suit-clad, purportedly untrustworthy kin.
* "Escape From New York" (dir. John Carpenter 1981) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E 6th St, 11:30p. The date is 1997: NYC as a post-apocalyptic prison island! Donald Pleasance as the president! Isaac Hayes as a crazed gang leader runnin' thangs! Kurt "Snake" Russell as the eyepatch-wearing badass aiming to clean (stuff) up!
* Quiet Company @ Emo's East / 2015 E Riverside, 9p/FREE. Quiet Company, Austin's nattiest brass-toned indie-rock stalwarts, inaugurate 2012 w/ a block party-proportioned set. w/ My Education
* Eikoh Hosoe @ BLD Gallery / 2-4-9 Ginza, Chuo Ward Tokyo (JR Yurakucho Station, Marunouchi Line to Ginza Station). The gallery stages a mind-blowing six-part retrospective of the iconic, experimental postwar Japanese photographer's oeuvre. "Kamaitachi", Hosoe's groundbreaking collaboration w/ ankoku button founder Tatsumi Hijikata, begins the experience, which will rotate through the decades approximately monthly (check back for updates and special events!).
* Ai Weiwei "Sunflower Seeds" @ Mary Boone Gallery / 541 W 24th St. Ai's incredible carpet of hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds, which last blanketed the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall in 2010, comes to the states in a site-specific installation at Mary Boone.
* "The Wondrous Worlds of Dr. Höller" @ New Museum / 235 Bowery (F to 2nd Ave), 3p/$8. Ah, "Experience", Carsten Höller's debut (and necessarily site-specific) survey, panned overall by art critic types but adored by the art-going public — if those meandering queues for the damn "Untitled (Slide)" are any indication! On its penultimate weekend, listen in as a diverse and divergent panel (incl. NYTimes art critic Ken Johnson; Princeton asst. professor of architecture Spyridon Papapetros; and CUNY grad. professor of philosophy Jesse Prinz) talk out Höller's work and its relation to their own research. Then ride that slide one more time. Moderated by art historian Matthew Levy.
* Michael Snow "In the Way" @ Jack Shainman Gallery / 512 W 20th St. Snow, the visual pioneer behind '67's "Wavelength", precedes a solo show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art AND a sculpture retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario (both occurring this year) w/ new projection works and older photo-based installations, all emphasizing the art of looking and viewing through objects.
* 2012 NYC Winter Jazzfest @ multiple W. Village venues (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St, 6 to Bleecker etc), one-day pass $35 (FRI+SAT pass $45). My picks:
- (le) poisson rouge / 158 Bleecker St, 6:45p. LPR is the usual epicenter of Winter Jazzfest and tonight is particularly hot. Two words: Cindy Blackman-Santana (three words?). The virtuoso drummer's ensemble Another Lifetime totally funks up LPR. Plus NYC hip-hop legend DJ Spinna mans the decks between sets! Oh, and a solo bass set by Bill Laswell. Yeah.
- Zinc Bar / 82 W 3rd St, 7:15p. The 2nd hottest lineup tonight includes Argentine vocalist Sofia Rei, Ayelet Rose Gottlieb w/ string quartet ETHEL and percussionist Satoshi Takeshi, culminating w/ NYC saxophonist Sharel Cassity and her quintet No Reservations. Hell yeah.
* "The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret" (dir. David Cross, 2011) marathon @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E 6th St, 9p. The acerbic and tremendously witty avant-everyman David Cross created, wrote and stars in this IFC TV show that I've never heard of, b/c I don't watch television except for "American Horror Story" on F/X, which I stream, but… Look: David Cross is in Austin, he's attending this marathon, six-episode show. The show itself is set in London and features Sharon Horgen and Spike Jonze, amid others. Sounds good to me!
* Cruiserweight + Dynamite Boy @ Emo's East / 2015 E Riverside, 7p/$15. Oh snap: CRUISERWEIGHT! I remember this ATX-area pop-punk quartet from back in the day ("This Will Undoubtably Come Out Wrong", circa '01). Apparently they and like-minded dudes Dynamite Boy are both disbanded, but hell, both bands reunite for this concert. Live the memories. w/ Riddlin' Kids (also, ah, disbanded)
* Bunpei Kado "Nest" @ Art Front Gallery / Hillside Terrace A, 29-18 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku (JR Lines etc to Shibuya). Kado's style is like Dada mixed w/ steampunk, as he dissects furniture, steel and found objects, pairs them w/ delicate living (or once-living) things, and fashions out these awesomely emotive sculptures.
* "White Night" (dir. Park Shin-woo, 2009) @ Cinemart Roppongi / 3-8-15 Roppongi, Minato-ku. This decadent crime-mystery thriller, replete w/ decade-spanning murders and entangled relationships, is based off Keigo Higashino's Shueisha-published story "Byakuyako" from the late '70s (later compiled into a best-selling novel). Plus Son Ye-jin plays the lead (hello!).
* "FaceTime" @ On Stellar Rays / 133 Orchard St. A group exhibition focused on the face itself and the pernicious rarity of face-to-face encounters in a ubiquitously digital society. Feat. an international cast, including Maria Petschnig, Debo Eilers, Aleksandra Domanovic and Michel Journiac. Follows the original iteration of the show at IMO Projects, Copenhagen, curated by Toke Lykkeberg & Julia Rodrigues.
* "Road Warrior" (dir. George Miller, 1981) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E Sixth St, 9:45p. AKA "Mad Max 2", and in my opinion superior to the original, w/ Mel Gibson in an actually redeeming role against mohawked, leathered-up bikers zipping across postapocalyptic Australian desert vistas. And badass as "Beyond Thunderdome" unquestionably is, it couldn't exist w/o "Road Warrior"! A triumph of '80s dystopian/punk cinema.
* Artificial Music Machine 10th Anniversary @ Salvage Vanguard Theatre / 2803 Manor Rd, 7:30p/$5. Church of the Friendly Ghost hosts this epic night of live drone, ambient, downtempo and psychedelic music from Texas' stalwart experimental label Artificial Music Machine. Feat. performances by R Lee Dockery, Thomas Fang, Carbon Theory, Malloc, Gift Culture, and Wonder Nexus, w/ live visuals by Katie Rose Pipkin and Paul "Dronetube" Baker.
* "Control" (dir. Anton Corbijn, 2007) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E Sixth St, 10:35p. Corbijn's contrasty b&w biopic on Joy Division's tragic frontman Ian Curtis still gives me chills…and I had the pleasure of meeting Sam Riley! The whole vibe is encapsulated in the scene where he and band transition to their classic sound, to the tune of "She's Lost Control".
* CAUCUS + Shojo Skip @ Koenji High / 4-30-1 Koenji-Minami, Suginami-ku (Chuo Line to Koenji Station, South Exit), 5:30p/2500 yen. A night of primo dream-pop. I'm smitten w/ Tokyo darlings CAUCUS ever since I saw 'em at NYC Popfest 2011 (the sole Japanese band there, though they share members w/ Smilelove) and their prowess for catchy indie-pop spans both covering intriguing underground '90s acts (Rocketship) and their own unique arrangements. Plus Shojo Skip and the charmingly named sugardrop and 死んだ僕の彼女 (lit. "my dead girlfriend"!).
* SHOW-YA + Aldious @ Shibuya O-West / 2-3 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku (JR etc to Shibuya Station, Hachiko Exit), 5:30p/4000 yen. The "WOMEN'S POWER 20th Anniversary" showcase, feat. hostess club-garbed metalheads Aldious and classic '80s hard-rockers SHOW-YA, plus BABYMETAL and other ass-kicking grrrl groups.
* "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter" (dir. Joseph Zito, 1984) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E Sixth St, 10:45p. Yeah, so Jason Voorhees returned to the screen like less than two years later (ignoring the copycat killer/tanked sequel "A New Beginning"). But before that could happen, there was the potent "Final Chapter", the fourth film of one of the most successful, iconic slasher serials ever, the one that made skinny-dipping a no-no for a generation of teenagers! See it again, in glorious 35mm.
* "Exlibris of Lithograph" @ Span Art Gallery / 2-2-18 1F Ginza, Chuo-ku. (Yurakucho Line to Ginza-Itchome Station). A multigenerational group show harnessing the graphic, narrative power of the lithograph. Feat. dreamlike compositions from Keiko Ajito, master printmaker and Kodansha Publishing Culture Award-winner Yosuke Inoue, sharp-toned and sensuous Aquirax Uno and the phantasmic Shuji Tateishi.
* KK Null + DJ Urine (France) @ Bar Isshee / 4F 33-13 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku (JR etc to Shibuya Station, Hachiko Exit), 8p/donation charge. Tokyo noise-rock legend Kazuyuki Kishino, the axe slayer behind progressive hardcore trio Zeni Geva (plus collaborator w/ a who's-who of experimental talent, from Sonic Youth to Seiichi Yamamoto) leads this night of loud awesomeness. W/ French noise-loving avant-DJ Urine (he's teamed with Otto von Schirach and Saul Williams in the past), plus a duet b/w Seiichiro Morikawa (ex-ZOA) and Mitsuru Tabata!
* Maurizio Cattelan "All" @ Guggenheim / 1071 Fifth Ave (456 to 86th St). Maybe you've heard of Maurizio Cattelan, that Italian artist-provocateur whose two decades'-plus oeuvre contains a superrealistic effigy of Pope John Paul II attacked by a meteor ("La Nona Ora"), a squirrel lying face-down at the kitchen table after an apparent bullet-administered suicide ("Bidibidobidiboo"), and a taxidermy racehorse hoisted in midair ("Novacento"). That last part's key, as in his supposed swan-song feat, he's hoisted about 130 of his nearly complete works up, suspending them like gaudy Pop-culture sausages within the iconic museum's iconic Rotunda, leaving some six floors of ramps totally bare. Does this detract from the experience, seeing Cattelan's mostly elusive (at least stateside), alarming works from more than an arm's span distance? I say NO: we see his entire output in concert, not just non-chronological but nonlinear, crashing, competing and (at times) quite intriguingly combining in 3D space. So while the site-specific version of JFK in funereal reverence, as "Now", doesn't apply here, seeing him from above contextualizes it in surreal reverie. Or approaching the sinister mini-Hitler "Him" from below only to then effectively supersede him one ramp higher. In sinister terms, his ironic entry to the Gugg's international show "theanyspacewhatever", Pinocchio floating facedown in the Rotunda fountain ("Daddy Daddy") recurs here hovering 10 feet ABOVE the fountain, in frozen free-fall. Taken as whole, it's one massive echo of the trickster's own multifaceted contribution to and dialogue with the art world and society.
* Carsten Höller "Experience" @ New Museum / 235 Bowery (F to 2nd Ave). You need to devote time to the Brussels-born Conceptualist (and former entomologist) and his two-decades' survey. Like I mean devote some serious hours queuing for that damn slide, aka "Untitled (Slide)", that crowning achievement first seen at the Tate as "Test Site" in 2007 that now winds itself three stories through the stacked white-box galleries of the New Museum. Because while you'll no doubt kill 1-2 hours, easy, waiting for your 10 seconds of breathtaking velocity down that damn slide, you're also riding on a slide in a museum. Think about that good and hard for a second. It's among the most obvious examples that this is not your regular survey show. You will truly experience Höller in attending "Experience", where wearing "Upside Down Goggles" have you trudging about zombie-like when the world flips upside down on you; or disrobing and floating within many gallons of super-salted, body-temperature water within "Giant Psycho Tank; or nondiscriminantly popping a "Pill Clock" capsule w/o considering what, if anything, it'll do to you. Stuff like the self-administering series of rooms w/in "Experience Corridor" are banal if somewhat amusing (I swear that "Love Drug" totally didn't work), and Höller's glassy mockups of super-high-rises (like a combo of children's laboratory sets and translucent Snakes & Ladders) don't hold attention w/in rooms of flashing lights and neon polyurethane animals. But, hell, the whole shebang is just part of the "Experience".
* Mads Lynnerup "Help is on the way" @ Lora Reynolds Gallery / 360 Nueces. This is one of those rare occasions when I visit a multidisciplinary artist's show and am most immediately drawn to the videos. These things take time, and doubly so when paired w/ Lynnerup's candy-colored "Exercise Your Artist" collages and neon cut-paper "Astrobright" arrangements, like infinitely adaptable (and flashier) Ellsworth Kelly's. But its beyond these and the Franz West-style spraypainted plywood and foam exercise "blocks" that the videos really shine. One, "Demonstration", features Lynnerup's muscly trainer in a studio space working out with the West-ish blocks and angular wall relief "Exercising Grill", pulling a Matthew Barney of exertion and stamina but towards a more relatable, self-improving goal. Or at least when he starts doing headstands, it made ME want to hit the gym. The other far quieter video, "Untitled (Shadow)", follows Lynnerup's hands and paper as he traces out a shadow-y landscape in rays of sunlight, a spontaneous flip-book executed in the simplest, and thus most thrilling, gestures.
* Aki Eimizu "birth" @ MA2 Gallery / 3-3-8 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku (Yamanote Line to Ebisu Station). I was speechless when previewing Eimizu's second outstanding solo exhibition at the gallery. Or rather, I was talking a lot, to her and to gallerist Matsubara, but all short phrases of giddy bemusement. Eimizu's talent is layering tiny, tiny methodically applied paint-dots to canvas or paper, or covering a panel with so many thinly translucent washes of paint that the end result is preserved in a resin-like history. Or, alternately, becomes three-dimensional, swirling or stretching out depending on your angle to the canvas. Her palette of opal-ish whites and grays extends here with seductive traces of firefly yellow, both cosmic and entirely earthly, like seeing will o' the wisps in the fog.
* Asuka Ito "欲望という名のワタシー/My name is desire" @ Galerie Sho Contemporary / B1F 3-2-9 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku (Ginza/Tozai Lines to Nihonbashi Station). Awesome, awesome, awesome… I spent way too long here but I couldn't help myself. Ito magnifies notes of femininity and sexuality in her works by pairing photorealistic self-portraits (in soft-core poses: licking a sweet, tied up etc) against glittery large-scale blooms. She then covered the whole gallery floor with bright red rose petals, streaked one wall with watered-down acrylic drips and added a red bed and several paintings — like an offering — to the smaller gallery in the back. As intense as it is, Ito reappears in almost every canvas, staring out at us and daring us to return the gaze.
* Joan Mitchell "The Last Paintings" @ Cheim & Read / 547 W 25th St. Much as the phenomenal, exhaustively comprehensive De Kooning retrospective at the MoMA is rightfully a must-see (doubly so considering the dearth of De Koonings at the MoMA's prior "Abstract Expressionist New York" exhibition), there's another crucial, much smaller exhibition by a member of the AbEx movement that deserves attention. In fact, Mitchell's initial entry into the older male-dominated movement came in '52, via inspiration and introduction to De Kooning. The gallery gathers 13 of Mitchell's late-work paintings (from 1985-92), some of the most attuned to atmosphere, light and her relationship to the environment. (ENDS WED)
* Jasmyne Graybill "Home Sweet Home" @ Women & Their Work / 1710 Lavaca St. Ceramics ain't exactly the kind of art that generally gets my aesthetic juices flowing. But Graybill excels in pairing vintage china, decorative spoons and cut-glass platters — like you'd find in the back of your grandmother's servingware cabinet — with methodically applied dabs and patterns of colorful polymer clay. The result is period-piece objects afflicted with sculpted fungus, lichen, and mold, some of which incorporates quite well amid rosebud details or painted flowers, or elsewhere mimics silk in a site-specific wallpaper installation. Graybill keeps the new lot untitled, but a 2008 combo of actual muffin pan with cake batter-colored clay standing in for burned sweets is "Crested Buttercream Polyps", my favorite of the show. (ENDS THURS)
* Esther Kläs "Nobody Home" @ Peter Blum Chelsea / 526 W 29th St. The German artist focuses on the strength and independence of sculpture, i.e. their physicality and illusion of movement, in her debut at the gallery. That Kläs sticks to industrial elements like resin and concrete amid more traditional clay and plaster keeps the lots visceral.
* Howard Fonda @ Mixed Greens / 531 W 26th St. Fonda's been on a search for sincerity and truth in mark-making, and in his fifth solo exhibition at the gallery and this new array of vividly colorful abstract oil paintings, he just may have locked in on it. (ENDS SAT)
* Mai Yamashita & Naota Kobayashi "Infinity" @ Arthouse / 700 Congress. The Chiba-born, Berlin-based duo inscribe their own straightforward, ingenious take on endurance and Land art: jogging an infinity mark pattern in a field of grass. It's ritualistic, natural and — as the flattened grass grows in again — fleeting and temporary. (ENDS SUN)
* "De Kooning: A Retrospective" @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 5th Ave, 6 to 51st St). Just taking this first major museum exhibition on prolific Abstract Expressionist Willem de Kooning by the numbers hints at the gravity and immensity behind it. Let's see: seven decades of work, spread over nearly 200 works from public and private collections and 17,000 square feet of gallery space (i.e. the entire 6th Fl, the first time MoMA's done this for a single artist since the new building). In sum, it's exhaustive and exhausting! I'm not a massive De Kooning fan (finding his well-timed doses at MoMA's "Abstract Expressionist NY" barnstormer excellent if sparse), but I have to give MoMA well-deserved props here, as this is precisely the kind of chronological, full-treatment retrospective they accomplish so well. There are necessary surprises throughout (unless you're a De Kooning scholar), like his very earliest still-life paintings from the '20s and his figures in interiors from the '30s into early '40s, already taking on a Francis Bacon-esque elasticity of form against geometry, along w/ an acidic color palette (check "Seated Woman", 1940, and "Woman Sitting", 1943-4). Though the one-two punch of "Pink Lady" and "Pink Angels" (1945) was my visual hook, as figures rippled into shards and organic blobs, immersing within fractured backdrops. "Untitled (Three Women)" (1948) was one oil and pastels drawing predating his famous "Women", and the linchpin b/w this and that series was the massive "Excavation", like a sea of Paul Klee-style spiky, twittering figures zooming about an enamel-thickened pale ground, over 8' in width. "Excavation" required an entire gallery wall, as the museum devoted another full one to his "Women", from the incredible first that graced "Abstract Expressionist NY" to the wildly abstracted sixth. His loose painterliness and massive brushstrokes decreased into luminous, liquid-like Montauk landscape and beach scenes in the '60s, then, after visits to Rome and Japan in the late '60s and 1970, gestural figurative works and even some bronze sculpture. And finally the brightly glazed, sparsely outfitted later and last works, seemingly eons away from "Pink Angels" but still very much in De Kooning's hands. (ENDS MON)