Last year during Art Basel Miami Beach, Larry Gagosian teamed up with a somewhat surprising collaborator for a show, someone who has been his competitor since the two men met on West Broadway in SoHo in the 1970s: Jeffrey Deitch. Now it’s been a year, and Deitch has fully settled back in to New York after his stint at MOCA in Los Angeles. He’s got his two Deitch Projects spaces back, and is once again ubiquitous in the city. It wasn’t a bad year for Gagosian, either (even if his preferred presidential candidate lost)—in April, he opened his 16th gallery location, in San Francisco.
Last year, Gagosian and Deitch brought to the Moore Building in Miami “Unrealism,” a sprawling figurative painting and sculpture show that focused on young emerging artists while also reaching back to the ’80s and ’90s. For the sequel, they have turned to Diana Widmaier-Picasso to curate a show called “Desire.” The press release elaborates, broadly:
“Desire” explores modern and contemporary approaches to eroticism in art. One of the very earliest and most fundamental artistic themes, eroticism has served to reflect the social mores and cultural values of different civilizations. As the representation of eroticism has evolved in society, boundaries are tested, bringing to life artistic fantasies and unprecedented imagery. Eroticism reinvents itself with every subsequent generation. Today, for example, the promiscuous overexposure of nude bodies on the Internet and television has forever altered the very notion of erotic representation.
Eroticism fuses together opposing and complementary concepts: form and feeling, spirit and body, intellect and emotion. It is at once the most accessible and most challenging subject in art. Its portrayal can be theoretical, abstract, romantic, carnal, or all of these combined. It may be infused with humor, anxiety, or terror. It can be subtle or brash, creating tension between artist, subject, and viewer. In modern and contemporary art, eroticism often elicits feelings of unease, in the navigation between the male and female gazes, and between voyeurism and self-exposure. Sometimes, the art that explores eroticism in the least expected way possesses the strongest erotic charge.
We’ll have to wait until Miami to figure out what that means, but until then, please enjoy this pretty wild list of the artists who will be presented. What do Diego Rivera and Bret Easton Ellis have in common? This show.
Urs Fischer & Georg Herold
Tom of Finland
Barkley L. Hendricks
Alex Israel & Bret Easton Ellis
Man Ray Harumi Yamaguchi