Four exhibitions at New Museum, New York

Carol Rama: Antibodies
Through September 10

This is the first New York museum survey of the work of Italian artist Carol Rama (1918–2015, Turin, Italy) and the largest presentation of her work in the US to date. While Rama has been largely overlooked in contemporary art discourses, her work has proven prescient and influential for many artists working today, attaining cult status and attracting renewed interest in recent years. Rama’s exhibition at the New Museum brings together over one hundred of her paintings, objects, and works on paper, highlighting her consistent fascination with the representation of the body. Seen together, these works present a rare opportunity to examine the ways in which
Rama’s fantastical anatomies opposed the political ideology of her time and continue to speak to ideas of desire, sacrifice, repression, and liberation.

Under-Song For A Cipher by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
Through September 3

Although they inhabit curiously placeless and timeless settings, Yiadom-Boakye’s painted figures also probe the politics of representation. The characters brought to life in her works are almost always black, and—in part because of the artist’s compositional style and chosen medium—they call to mind the absence of people of color from centuries of European painting and attest to the enduring relevance of black portraiture. The artist, however, offers scant details about her subjects or the scenes she depicts, instead furnishing her viewers with oblique and lyrical titles that prompt contemplation or evoke a mood. In foregoing any specificity, Yiadom-Boakye seems to underscore that her figures are ciphers for the viewer’s imagination and are, as such, intentionally open to a range of narratives, memories, and interpretations.

Good thing you are not alone by Kaari Upson
Through September 10

Encompassing drawing, painting, sculpture, and video, Upson’s works track open-ended, circuitous narratives that weave elements of fantasy, physical and psychological trauma, and the often-fraught pursuit of an American ideal. For her exhibition at the New Museum, Upson debuts a new series of works that center around a family living in a tract house in Las Vegas. The series will explore an environment characterized by its architectural mirroring, yet haunted by the psychological tensions inherent in striving toward an imaginary perfect double.

viscera has questions about itself by Elaine Cameron-Weir
Through September 3

Cameron-Weir presents a series of new works that incorporate typical laboratory implements like metal barrels, rods, clamps, and fabric heating mantles, which collectively establish a mood of observation and inquiry. The voids emphasized by the installation’s other works, which include a suspended “jacket” and “skin,” in turn suggest phenomena or forces that seem to escape scientific explanation. While Cameron-Weir’s new sculptures are informed by her study of historical objects made to protect, punish, or stand in for bodies—medieval armor or torture devices, and early-Renaissance orthopedics—they also reflect her interests in aspects of evolutionary design, such as corporal symmetry and the possibility of biological systems that harbor intelligence and self-awareness. In this sense, the exhibition’s enigmatic title alludes to potential forms of knowledge or intelligence that are intrinsic to the body but independent of the mind.

New Museum, New York