Barnaby Furnas’s bullet-ridden war paintings are art for our times.
He’s just a few years out of Columbia, yet Brooklyn artist Barnaby Furnas has already scored rapturous notices (in the Times and Artforum) and a second solo show at Marianne Boesky Gallery (his first, last year, sold out). His goal since graduation, he says, has merely been to push his own technique—“to try things that shouldn’t work”#&151;rather than make attractive, gallery-ready works. Which is why he’s more than a bit surprised that his bloody, bullet-ridden battle scenes (based on Civil War mythology, and rendered in watercolor and urethane) have become so prized by collectors. But his followers know an artist hot-wired into the Zeitgeist when they see one. Furnas’s apocalyptic oeuvre not only speaks directly to our times but takes an action painting–meets–The Matrix approach to representation. The inspiration for his work, he says, began with a trip to the Louvre, where he wondered, "If you updated history painting now, what would it have to look like? Like, how intense would it have to be?” Very intense, apparently.Simon Dumenco
Details: Marianne Boesky Gallery (September 5–October 4).
“Strangers,” the ICP’s first triennial, challenges the boundaries of documentary photography.
Since moving to its sleek headquarters at Sixth Avenue and 43rd Street, the once-sleepy ICP has been acting more and more like an edgy art museum. And now it seems to have taken the always-controversial Whitney Biennial as its model for “Strangers: The First ICP Triennial of Photography and Video,” an overview of photographers and video artists, from the Dutch portraitist Rineke Dijkstra to American icon Joel Sternfeld. “The title, ‘Strangers,’ gave the show focus,” says ICP chief curator Brian Wallis. “We looked at people who are interested in interpersonal encounters—many of whom are question-ing the premises of documentary photography and photojournalism.” Possibly no one is stretching those genres further than Justine Kurland, whose staged photographs of Americans living (and sometimes posing naked) on communes are at once contemporary and nostalgic.Edith Newhall.
Details: Strangers, at ICP (September 13–November 30).
Best of The Rest
UN Real Estates Art in General (September 6–December 20). The first national touring solo exhibition of Cuban-born artist Maria Elena González’s undulating cast-rubber and fiber-cement sculptures.
George Inness and the Visionary Landscape National Academy of Design Museum (September 17–December 28). A retrospective of the nineteenth-century American artist’s landscapes.
Pencil: Drawings From the Collection MoMA QNS (September 18–January 12). Drawings from MoMA’s collection by Cézanne, Matisse, Malevich, Picasso, Kelly, Twombly, Oldenburg, and others.
The Dawn of Photography: French Daguerreotypes, 1839–1855 Metropolitan Museum of Art (September 23–January 4). Some 175 of the best surviving examples of the daguerreotype, including works by Alibert, Itier, Gros, Daguerre, Moulin, Clausel, De Molard, and others.