BY frieze in Reviews , US Reviews | 04 APR 23

The Best Exhibitions in New York This April

From Rachel Whiteread’s entropic assemblages at Luhring Augustine to a Lizzi Bougatsos performance tribute at TRAMPS

BY frieze in Reviews , US Reviews | 04 APR 23

 ‘no existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane Maria

Whitney Museum of American Art

23 November 2022 – 21 April 2023

rogelio baez
Rogelio Báez Vega, Paraíso Móvil, 2019, oil on canvas, 1.4 × 1.8 m. Courtesy: the artist 

To mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Maria, the Whitney has gathered together recent works by 20 Puerto Rican artists that grapple with how to give form to the overwhelming scope of these problems. Masterfully organized by Whitney curator Marcela Guerrero, with Angelica Arbelaez and Sofía Silva, the show is the first survey of Puerto Rican art in a major US institution in half a century, joining the seminal but now distant 1969 exhibition ‘Contemporary Puerto Rican Artists’ at the Brooklyn Museum, and the pair of 1973 shows co-produced by the Metropolitan Museum and El Museo del Barrio. – Eva Díaz


Lizzi Bougatsos


13 January – 22 March (extended to April 16)

lizzi bougatsos
Lizzi Bougatsos, ‘Idolize the Burn: An Ode to Performance’, 2023, installation view. Courtesy: the artist and TRAMPS, New York and London; photograph: Mark Woods 

Lizzi Bougatsos, the artist, musician and downtown troubadour, performed a piece in 2001 at age 27 with her band, Actress, that included fire: a youthful and dramatic representation of her disillusionment with the art and music worlds. The performance went awry when Bougatsos’s costume caught aflame, causing severe burns throughout her body. That fateful night, and the following months of excruciating recovery, are immortalized in her show ‘Idolize the Burn, An Ode to Performance’ at TRAMPS’s new space in New York. The exhibition is a tribute not only to that singular performance but to Bougatsos’s beginnings and existence as an artist, showcasing her life as a gesamtkunstwerk dedicated to chasing the euphoria of artistic expression and belonging. – Madeleine Seidel

Rachel Whiteread

Luhring Augustine

10 March – 22 April

Rachel Whiteread
Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Thicket), 2022, steel, wood and paint, 3.1 × 1.4 × 0.9 m. Courtesy: © Rachel Whiteread and Luhring Augustine, New York; photograph: Prudence Cumming Associates

Rachel Whiteread’s alchemy turns absence into presence, refuse into potent symbolism. For her eponymous solo show at Luhring Augustine Tribeca, the artist presents a new body of work produced over the past three years that shifts the paradigm of her practice. In contrast to the smooth solemnity of her earlier work, Whiteread seems to redirect her focus towards systems of entropy and transformation. The three, free-standing sculptures in the centre of the gallery are turbulent and disordered – assemblages of disparate elements strewn together as if by a storm. Rising from a dented cubic planter in Untitled (Thicket) (2022), leafless branches are entangled with industrial detritus: a tube; an anonymous four-legged metal base; contorted wire mesh suspended like knotted ornaments from a barren, lifeless effigy of a tree. – Rebecca Rose Cuomo

VIROSA Presents: Degenerate Cinema

The Mildred Complex(ity), Narrowsburg

11 March – 12 April

Mildred's Lane cabin
Mildred’s Lane Renovating Walden, 2010–ongoing. Courtesy J. Morgan Puett, Mark Dion and Fellows of Mildred’s Lane; photograph: Deborah Davidovitz

The bicoastal art collective VIROSA presents sculptures, prints and material ephemera that have emerged from their experimental filmmaking practice. At the heart of the show is two surrealist short films, Poor Magic (2020) and Fishbowl (2022) which were shot and edited, respectively, at the exhibiting project space. Mildred's Lane co-founder J. Morgan Puett wrote about the arts complex in issue 233 of frieze, describing the site's propensity for perpetual adaptation and inspiration: ‘There are dozens of discreet landscape interventions and art installations at Mildred’s Lane, as well as a long list of past happenings. We are all entangled beings here, experimenting with ideas and with one another – sometimes uncomfortably, but more often in wonderment – from the skilled artists who construct vernacular dwellings to the cultivated mildew that later blooms across their canvas walls.’

Main image and thumbnail: Lulu Varona, Mapa, 2020, cotton thread embroidered on Aida cloth, 1.5 × 1.2 m. Courtesy: Collection of Yolanda Colón

Contemporary Art and Culture