In 1978 when Jeff Wall created The Destroyed Room, a radiant tableau that formally linked a ruined domestic space to Eugène Delacroix’s 1827 painting The Death of Sardanapalus, he established himself as one of the most prominent figures in conceptually oriented photography. A writer and practitioner, he created a body of work—often rife with allusions to art history itself—that changed the way photographic images can be created and displayed. Contributing editor Hunter Braithwaite spoke to Wall about his upcoming exhibitions at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (October 22 through January 17, 2016) and Marian Goodman Gallery in New York and London (opening October 20 and 29, respectively), which will feature six new pieces.
In the 55 years since his debut at Leo Castelli Gallery, Frank Stella has led the conversation about contemporary painting countless times. On October 30, the Whitney Museum of American Art charts his nonpareil career with a retrospective that will take over the museum’s entire fifth floor. A solo exhibition of work from several important series is also on view at Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York through October 10. Modern Painters contributing editor Hunter Braithwaite met with the artist at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, Colorado—where he was receiving the National Artist Award this summer—to discuss his long career in surprisingly no-nonsense terms.
“It’s a heavily diluted broth the human body soaks in for leisure,” says Nicolas Lobo of muriatic acid, a common swimming pool cleaner that he will use to scar the concrete walls of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) for “Leisure Pit,” an exhibition opening April 16. “But if it were any more concentrated, it would dissolve that human body instantly.” This is not the first time the Miami-based artist has made art using a household chemical. Over the years he has used homemade napalm, clouds of Robitussin sprayed from a fire extinguisher, bootleg perfume, and expired energy drinks with purported aphrodisiac qualities. This is a man who once made soy sauce out of his own hair.