Staff Recommendations: Oct. 15


Alex Greenberger

Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness”

Alex Greenberger, Arts Editor

For those who don’t want to brave the line for the last week of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Jeff Koons blowout, here are four less crowded art exhibitions to see in October.

“Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness”

With “The Production Line of Happiness” at the Museum of Modern Art, American photographer Christopher Williams proves that, every so often, conceptual photography says something important without being pretentious. By placing color bars next to models and literally slicing cameras in half, Williams’ high-contrast images peel away the artifice behind Kodak moments, and with the show’s zany style, Williams also looks at what constitutes an art exhibition. It is brilliant, frustrating, funny and one of the most moving shows of the year.

“A Lot of Sorrow”

Last year at MOMA PS1, Icelandic performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson worked with indie band The National for “A Lot of Sorrow,” a six-hour performance in which the band repeatedly performed its song of the same name. For those who missed the performance, Kjartansson has turned this performance into a video, which is now on view at Luhring Augustine’s Bushwick outpost. Known for testing music’s ability to extend emotions over long periods of time, Kjartansson’s work never fails to affect viewers, and it is a treat to watch The National change little by little as it becomes increasingly affected by its own song’s sadness.

“Richard Prince: New Portraits”

Is Instagram art? In Richard Prince’s hands, of course it is. This exhibition, at the Madison Avenue Gagosian space, is proof that Prince never lost his edge. The Pictures Generation artist’s newest work is a series of inkjet prints of Instagrams, replete with hashtags and bizarro comments that Prince leaves on unsuspecting users’ accounts. Like his appropriated stills from Westerns, the Instagram portraits are proof that today, in a time inundated with images, any picture can be stolen.

“Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond”

Like Brooklyn itself, the Brooklyn Museum’s “Crossing Brooklyn” is fabulously diverse. No work of art in this show, which features art pieces by a variety of Brooklyn artists, feels similar to anything else currently on view in New York. In an art world that is still dominated by the largely white and male Chelsea scene, the exhibition is a reminder that there are more artistic perspectives on the world than we can possibly imagine, and that Brooklyn is home to just a few of them.

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Oct. 15 print edition. Email Alex Greenberger at [email protected]