One expected to be disoriented walking into Lehmann Maupin’s new venue on West 22nd Street. It was formerly the Sonnabend Gallery, and a number of the artists in this imaginative show, curated by Manuel E. Gonzalez, had associations with both galleries. However, despite such familiarity, the gathering of new and old “friends” had a sparkle that only unanticipated relationships among them could trigger. Hanging on the wondrously white wall in the front space was an exceptional collage by Mickalene Thomas whose puzzle-like composition led to various spatial readings. It hung opposite Adriana Varejão’s wall piece Folds (2000–2001) in which brown entrails exploded out of a flat blue canvas uniting the elegant and the grotesque.
Elsewhere, Juergen Teller’s C-print of a ravishing nude Vivienne Westwood as odalisque held court among a Tracey Emin embroidered nude and a David Salle diptych, while a pale, micro-marked drawing by Shirazeh Houshiary hung spiritually near Do Ho Suh’s 24K gold-plated sculpture Karma (4 columns), 2015.
Downtown, too, the animated conversation continued, with Liu Wei’s black canvas wall piece and Lee Bul’s exquisite and poignant crystal, glass, and mirror chandelier. And that was very far from all in this heady mix.
A version of this story originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of ARTnews on page 106.