A conversation about the slippery slope from Donald Trump’s lies to the extinction of American democracy—and art’s ability to break through fascist monoliths. The eminent Yale historian Timothy Snyder is the author of On Tyranny, The Road to Unfreedom, and “The American Abyss,” a widely circulated New York Times essay published following the January 6 storming of the Capitol. The essay caught the eye of Luc Tuymans, himself a kind of historian. In the paintings he’s made throughout his career, Tuymans has examined the power of images in not only depicting historical trauma, but also their ability to cover up and reveal things about ourselves.
Two of the most playful, expressive artists we have on their creative process, trying new things, and the art of being a great collaborator. The former lead singer of the Talking Heads, Byrne is an artistic polymath, making stage plays, performances, films, and now even drawings, which he recently showed with Pace. His Broadway hit, American Utopia, also became a streaming hit when Spike Lee turned it into a film for HBO; it was also recently adapted by Byrne into a book with illustrations by Maira Kalman. Marcel Dzama—who has been showing with the gallery for many years, and who has, like Byrne, worked on the stage (most notably with the New York City Ballet)—also just published a new book, an edition of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream full of his beautiful new drawings.
David Byrne is represented by Pace Gallery. American Utopia returns to Broadway in fall 2021; the film can be streamed on HBO Max; and the book is available now.
Marcel Dzama’s illustrated edition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is available now. His next exhibition with the gallery opens September 8, 2021 at our 69th Street space.
A conversation about the art of scents with the perfumer Frederic Malle. The latest in a storied French fragrance family, Malle—whose grandfather launched Christian Dior’s fragrance line, and whose uncle is the great filmmaker Louis Malle—had ambitions of being an art dealer before he took up the family trade, and his unique brand of of scent-making combines science, psychology, marketing wizardry, and (most importantly) art history.
The 86-year-old legend gets personal about a lifetime translating her singular voice to the world. While the major retrospective of her work currently at the Brooklyn Museum has cemented her reputation, Lorraine O’Grady did not discover herself as an artist until her 40s. Here, she traces her unlikely journey to becoming a conceptual and performance artist with a pioneering Black feminist sensibility—including stints along the way as a rock critic, novelist, and translator.Guest-hosted by Jarrett Earnest, this episode is the second of three on a topic the critic is deeply invested in: serious artists who are also serious writers.
Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And is on view at the Brooklyn Museum through July 18, 2021. Her new anthology of writings, Writing in Space, 1973–2019, is available here.
How does an artwork change as the person looking at it does? Kate Zambreno, a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in Nonfiction and the author of the acclaimed 2020 novel Drifts, details the pleasures and discovery of returning to an artist or artwork over and over again—in her case, the likes of Sarah Charlesworth, Chantal Akerman, and Albrecht Durer. She speaks and writes about their lives and work with humor and personal insight born of longtime obsession
Drifts: A Novel, named a Best Book of the Year by The Paris Review, is out now on paperback. Zambreno’s latest book, To Write as if Already Dead, was published in June 2021.
A conversation about the art of telling stories with the South African artist Simphiwe Ndzube, who works between Cape Town and Los Angeles and whose first solo US museum exhibition opens this month at the Denver Art Museum, and the renowned writer Zakes Mda, whose novels are widely read throughout South Africa and beyond. The two dissect their magical realist stories of post-apartheid South Africa and their experiences of America on the page and on canvas—and try to locate the source of their own magic.
This episode is guest-hosted by Kyla McMillan, a director at David Zwirner.
Ndzube’s solo exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, Oracles of the Pink Universe, runs from June 13 to October 10, 2021. Learn more about it here.
Image: Simphiwe Ndzube, The Bloom of the Corpse Flower, 2020 (detail). Artwork image courtesy Simphiwe Ndzube, as part of his solo exhibition at the Denver Art Museum
A conversation about life as art with the author of The Flamethrowers. Few merge writing about art and writing about life the way Rachel Kushner does. A former editor at Artforum and Bomb, she’s deeply interested in memorializing the culture around the art—the conversations, the characters, the tall tales. In her 2013 novel The Flamethrowers, a National Book Award finalist, the New York art world of the 70s was brought to scintillating life; and in her new collection of essays, The Hard Crowd, she writes about Richard Prince, Raymond Pettibon, and Jeff Koons as vividly as she writes about her deep personal passion for motorcycles and muscle cars.
You can order The Hard Crowd now.
Image: Rachel Kushner on her Guzzi motorcycle. Image courtesy Rachel Kushner and Simon & Schuster
Guest hosted by Jarrett Earnest, this conversation with the artist, curator, and critic Nayland Blake reflects on Blake’s own coming-of-age as an artist and writer—and their shared obsession and long history with the great artist Ray Johnson. Prompted by an Johnson exhibition curated by Earnest at David Zwirner in New York that reexamines and reframes the artist’s life and work through a queer lens, this episode is the first of three hosted by Earnest on a topic the critic is deeply invested in: serious artists who are also serious writers.
Ray Johnson: WHAT A DUMP, curated by Earnest, is on view at David Zwirner’s 19th Street gallery in New York through May 22, 2021
No Wrong Holes: Thirty Years of Nayland Blake, a comprehensive survey of their art practice, recently closed at the MIT List Visual Arts Center.
Image, Ray Johnson, Untitled (Self-portrait with Lips), 1994 (detail).
The podcast is back with a provocative conversation. Jordan Wolfson and Mike Winkelmann, better known as the digital artist Beeple, interrogate the NFT question, debate the real value of art, and find the (small sliver of) common ground between a Michelangelo and a JPEG file.
A conversation about the influence of the Bauhaus today, and its evolution from a seminal early-twentieth-century school of thought into popular shorthand for an aesthetic style that—like minimalism—is used for everything from furniture to smartphones. With guest Nicholas Fox Weber, the executive director of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, and the author of iBauhaus: The iPhone as the Embodiment of Bauhaus Ideals and Design.
A conversation about art criticism that is deeply engaged with the lives of artists. Laing’s work regularly appears in The Guardian, Financial Times, and Frieze. Her latest book, Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency, examines the more complicated parts of life through the biographies and art of Agnes Martin, David Hockney, Andy Warhol, and Joseph Cornell, among other artists. This acclaimed collection of essays presents art as an antidote to what ails us—loneliness, alcoholism, our bodies—and a fitting way to write about art right now.
Funny Weather is available now in bookstores and online.
Is seeing believing? In an era of surveillance and “deepfakes” and camera phones, images are more powerful—and fraught—than they’ve ever been. The poet and writer David Levi Strauss, an authority on photography and its effect in society, and the renowned anthropologist Michael Taussig investigate this timely question, spurred by Strauss’s new book, Photography and Belief.
Photography and Belief is available now through David Zwirner Books.
An intimate conversation between old friends who’ve leaned on each other creatively since they were teenagers. Rainer Judd, a filmmaker, artist, and president of Judd Foundation, and the Oscar-winning filmmaker Sofia Coppola talk about growing up with larger-than-life fathers in Donald Judd and Francis Ford Coppola, the necessity of creative “puttering,” and Coppola’s new film, On the Rocks, featuring an art world bon vivant played by Bill Murray.
The artist KAWS’s output has been both wide-ranging and radically democratic, from toys to fashion to street art to museum exhibitions. In this conversation, he explains the vision behind one of his latest ventures, an experiment in augmented reality art making in collaboration with the curator Daniel Birnbaum, which both brings his work to a wider public and offers ideas for an especially timely problem: how to present art virtually.
KAWS AR artworks are viewable through the Acute Art app.
A conversation about the power of editors and curators, and all that happens behind the scenes. Doon Arbus, the author of the new novel The Caretaker, and her editor Barbara Epler, the head of the famed publisher New Directions, tell the origin stories of Arbus’s debut novel about the caretaker of an eccentric museum, and the tiny literary house that became the first American publisher of Neruda, Bolaño, W.G. Sebald, Anne Carson, and many more.
The Caretaker is available now.
A moving, complicated, and at times ecstatic conversation between two groundbreaking women. The artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby, who was raised in Nigeria and now lives in Los Angeles, and the Booker Prize-nominated writer and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga, who was born in Zimbabwe and educated in England, examine their personal experiences with protest, government corruption, Trump’s America, the erosion of indigenous culture, and ongoing missions to center their African and immigrant stories in their art.
Dangarembga’s new novel, This Mournable Body, was recently shortlisted for a 2020 Booker Prize. In July, Dangarembga was arrested in Zimbabwe, protesting government corruption. She’s currently out on bail, but her trial is still pending.
Two icons of the comics world—and old friends—tell their cartoonist origin stories, from the psychedelics-fueled breakthroughs of the 1960s to finding their singular styles and to the generational divide among the comics cognoscenti today. R. Crumb is one of the founding fathers of the alternative comics movement, and Art Spiegelman is equally influential, having authored the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel Maus
Image: R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman, New York, 2019
A conversation between two dynamic artists and good friends, Patrick Staff and Julie Tolentino, whose work feels especially urgent now. Staff, who recently had a solo exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries in London, uses video and other mediums to comment on body politics from a queer and trans perspective. Tolentino also addresses issues facing marginalized groups, through performance that combines her dance background with social exchange. Always integral to their practices, these concerns are only heightened in the current moment. Here, they discuss contagion, toxicity, anxiety, the “leaky body,” and art during the pandemic. Patrick Staff’s work is currently on view as part of Platform: Los Angeles, an online exhibition featuring thirteen Los Angeles-based galleries hosted on David Zwirner Online. You can learn more about Julie Tolentino’s work via the gallery Commonwealth and Council.
Image: Patrick Staff, Glove, 2019 (detail)
In this conversation, the acclaimed poet and New Yorker writer Cynthia Zarin transports us to two of her favorite cities, Venice and Rome, in a celebration of Italy as the country begins to loosen the longest coronavirus-related lockdown in Europe. The episode features evocative readings from her forthcoming book, Two Cities, which captures the meditative yet constantly surprising nature of travel from a deeply personal point of view.
Image: Canaletto, View of the Grand Canal looking toward the Punta della Dogana from Campo Sant’Ivo, second third of the eighteenth century (detail). Pinacoteca di Brera
Artists Diana Thater, a leading pioneer of video and installation and major figure in the L.A. art community since the early 1990s, and Rachel Rose, a significant new voice of the medium, discuss the rapid evolution of video art and its limitless possibilities—including, for both of them, its ability to reckon with personal trauma and threats to the environment.
Image: Diana Thater, Collage with Elephant, Tree and Sky, 2019 (detail)
What do we talk about when we talk about minimalism today? A timely conversation with the art critic Kyle Chayka, who recently published The Longing for Less: Living with Minimalism, on how a radical 1960s art movement became the basis of a hyper-commercialized lifestyle adopted by luxury brands and millennials everywhere—and where Marie Kondo and Agnes Martin overlap, if at all.
Image: Kyle Chayka, Hanger Studios, New York, March 2020
In their spirited dialogue, these two leading voices of their generation grapple with what success means today for young black artists and address the radical power shift from gatekeepers to artists, the breakdown of barriers between fashion and art photography, cautionary tales of social media groupthink and overexposure, and historical artists who made the new black vanguard possible.
A critically acclaimed exhibition of Davis’s work, which was on view at David Zwirner in New York earlier this year, will soon travel to the Underground Museum in Los Angeles.
Since then, Andersson’s exhibition at our New York gallery, The Lost Paradise, was cut short due to the escalating spread of COVID-19, and our spaces have closed temporarily worldwide.
But the story they told then—of two young artists leaning on each other as their family grew; of uncertainty and insecurity, and figuring out how to be different but together; of the pleasure of getting completely lost in one’s work—resonates even more now.
In this episode, the artists Doug Wheeler and Vija Celmins revisit their years in Venice Beach, California in the late 1960s, a scene crowded with figures like Charles Bukowski, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Irwin, and James Turrell. Wheeler and Celmins—old friends and visionaries of their medium—gossip, rehash, map, and even correct this vital piece of art history, while tackling a central question of art along the way: How to impress your sensibility upon the world through your work. Vija Celmins was the subject of a recent, critically-beloved retrospective at the Met Breuer and SFMOMA. Doug Wheeler currently has an exhibition at David Zwirner in New York through March 21, 2020; a definitive monograph of his career was recently published by David Zwirner Books.
The codpiece—a fashion curio, yes, but one whose padded cup runneth over as a conversation piece. The designer Thom Browne, whose collections have featured codpieces over the years, and the writer Michael Glover, who just published an unlikely and hilarious history of the codpiece in art, talk male vanity, gender fluidity, camp, Catholicism, tailoring, and more—all revolving around this little flap of cloth about the midsection.
Michael Glover’s Thrust: A Spasmodic Pictorial History of the Codpiece in Art is available now from David Zwirner Books.
Image: Thom Browne and Michael Glover at Browne’s office, New York, August 2019
When Donald Judd moved to the desert town of Marfa, in the 1970s, it was ranch country—and offered limitless space to work. In recent years, before it became an oasis of Instagram clout, Eileen Myles bought what they say is “the last cheap house in Marfa.” In this lively and freewheeling episode, one of America’s most recognizable poets and writers talks with Flavin Judd, Artistic Director of the Judd Foundation and part-time Marfa resident himself, about Marfa then and now, I Love Dick and Succession, Gertrude Stein and Andy Warhol, a “mammoth” new project and poetry’s comeback, how Myles found their utterly unique voice and where it overlaps with Judd’s art—and his own pioneering way with words.
Donald Judd Interviews, a collection of sixty interviews with the artist over four decades, was recently published by David Zwirner Books. (You can find it here.) In March, 2020, a major retrospective of Donald Judd will open at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Image: Eileen Myles and Flavin Judd, Hangar Studios, New York, September 2019. Photo by Alex Casto
Class, race, art—and the Colombian and African diasporas. The artist Oscar Murillo, who is short-listed for the 2019 Turner Prize, and Charles Henry Rowell, the founder and editor of Callaloo, the longest continuously running African American literary journal, hold an unpredictable conversation that is part history lesson and part personal history.
Image: Oscar Murillo and Charles Henry Rowell at Hangar Studios, New York, June 2019
David Zwirner’s major new Yayoi Kusama exhibition EVERY DAY I PRAY FOR LOVE opens in New York this November.
Image: Christian Luiten and JiaJia Fei at Argot Studios, New York, September 2019
An epic live episode of Dialogues. In journeying deep into Homer’s Odyssey in front of an audience at David Zwirner’s 69th Street gallery in New York, artist Chris Ofili and classicist Emily Wilson encounter religion, art, personal history, gender issues, Trinidad, Greece, truth, lies. Featuring a live reading from Wilson, the first woman to translate The Odyssey into English and a 2019 MacArthur Fellow.
Image: Chris Ofili, Lucas Zwirner, and Emily Wilson at David Zwirner, New York, 2019
When the artist Alex Da Corte and the writer Charlie Fox talk about Edward Scissorhands, Frankenstein, Hercules, Michael Myers, A Clockwork Orange, Scar from The Lion King, they’re also talking about beauty and body anxiety and disability and sexual attraction and queerness—the anxieties of existing physically in the world every day. Da Corte, whose elaborate videos, sculptures, and installations critically re-stage pop culture, art history, and his own life, and Fox, whose recent book This Young Monster celebrates beautiful misfits and freaks across all walks of culture, go deep on how they live—in their minds and in their work—far from what they call normative behavior.
Visit Da Corte’s solo exhibition in New York at Karma through November 3 and his work at the Venice Biennale through November 24, in the main exhibition May You Live in Interesting Times. And you can buy Fox’s book This Young Monster here.
Image: Alex Da Corte and Charlie Fox at Hangar Studios, New York, July 2019
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that when the artist Jordan Wolfson and the playwright Jeremy O. Harris get together, sparks fly. Wolfson’s art confronts intimacy, violence, and desire with sometimes-shocking honesty. Likewise, O. Harris, whose buzzed-about and radical Slave Play comes to Broadway this September, uses music and bodies to complicate themes of violence and sex—and perhaps most powerfully of all, race and history. Jeremy is able to dip in and out of absurdity even at his most serious, something that Jordan has also mastered in his mysterious narratives. Plus, they’re friends who love to talk. Here, they debate and cover everything from suppression and transgression, sexuality, pop music, pornography, and more—all of it very colorfully.
See Jeremy O. Harris’s Slave Play at the Golden Theatre on Broadway September 2019 through January 2020. For tickets and more information, visit broadway.com.
A revealing conversation about the life and teachings of James Baldwin that draws on Beauford Delaney, the pivotal role of invested teachers, and how the writer shaped the racial and cultural landscape in America.
In this episode of Dialogues, Pulitzer Prize winning cultural critic Hilton Als is joined in conversation by friend, collaborator, and thought partner Thelma Golden of The Studio Museum in Harlem for a conversation on Baldwin that traces back to their very first meeting at The Odeon. Brought together on the occasion of the exhibition God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin, curated by Als, the duo examine the legacy of Baldwin and his impact on both their own work and today’s culture.
God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin is on view at 525 & 533 West 19th Street in New York through February 16, 2019, when the galleries will close early at 2 PM for a special event.
A conversation about clothing, instinct, and finding high art in everyday life that touches on Jackie O, Kandinsky, and the Bauhaus
In this episode of Dialogues, Nicholas Fox Weber—cultural historian and executive director of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation—is paired with acclaimed British fashion designer Sir Paul Smith. The two are brought together on the occasion of a major retrospective of Anni Albers’s work, currently on view at Tate Modern, London. Their shared admiration for the art of Anni and Josef Albers drives an eclectic conversation about abstraction, aesthetics, and the tactile nature of design.
Anni Albers is on view at Tate Modern, London, through January 27, 2019.
Listen to Paul Smith discuss his interest in the life and work of Anni Albers at Tate Modern on Saturday, November 17, at 3 PM. More information.
A conversation about the intersection of art and language that grapples with loneliness, religion, and our visceral reactions in the presence of powerful art.
In the sixth episode of Dialogues, Jarrett Earnest—author of the unprecedented overview of American art writing, What it Means to Write About Art: Interviews with art critics, out next month in the US from David Zwirner Books—converses with Peter Schjeldahl, award-winning art critic and esteemed writer for The New Yorker. Touching on Piero della Francesca, Gatsby, and autodidacticism, the two examine the depths of language, the anxiety that accompanies writing, and the value of maintaining a lighthearted approach.
See Jarrett Earnest in conversation with Peter Schjeldahl and Paul Chaat Smith on What it Means to Write About Art at the Strand Book Store on Thursday, November 1, at 7:30 PM. Tickets and more information
A conversation about instinct in creative practice that nods to punk rock, fatherhood, and the ethics of artistic expression.
In the fifth episode of Dialogues, artist Marcel Dzama—known for his whimsical style, distinctive color palette, and varying mediums that include drawing, sculpture, film, and costume design—is paired with musician and composer Will Butler, a key member of the indie-rock band Arcade Fire. Recounting influences from their upbringings that range from Duchamp to biker culture, Vikings to variety shows, the duo discuss the role of art as a form of revolution in the current political climate.
See Dzama’s work in the exhibition Marcel Dzama: A Jester’s Dance on view at the University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor through September 23, 2018.
Watch Will Butler perform live in Arcade Fire, currently on tour through North America. Visit everythingnow.com for tour dates and more information.
A conversation about giving a voice to untold stories that draws on Jane Campion, Philip Guston, and the raw authenticity of human emotion.
The fourth episode of Dialogues: The David Zwirner Podcast features painter Lisa Yuskavage—known for her portraits of nude figures and her skillful control of color—in conversation with widely celebrated screenwriter and film director Tamara Jenkins. Counterparts and close friends, Yuskavage and Jenkins discuss how personal experiences inform their creativity—touching on dark comedy, eroticism, and the importance of trusting your own vision.
View new large-scale canvases and a survey of small-scale paintings by Lisa Yuskavage in her forthcoming exhibitions, opening this November, at David Zwirner’s Chelsea and Upper East Side locations.
Watch Tamara Jenkins’s newest film, Private Life, in theaters this October.
A conversation about collaboration and the obsessive power of good music—touching on Netflix, Kendrick Lamar, and what it’s like to play with Miles Davis.
In the third episode of Dialogues: The David Zwirner Podcast, photographer and multimedia artist Stan Douglas speaks with MacArthur Award–winning pianist and composer Jason Moran—currently Artistic Director for Jazz at the Kennedy Center—about making and experiencing art. These longtime friends and collaborators discuss what it means to awaken ideas through the language of improvisation and exceed viewer expectations.
See Douglas’s work in Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art at Tate Modern, London, and I Was Raised on the Internet at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, both on view through October 14, 2018.
Watch Jason Moran perform with saxophonist Charles Lloyd on August 4 and 5 at the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island. For tickets and more information visit newportjazz.org.
A conversation about the importance of character, the value of mistakes, and painting from film.
In the second pairing in David Zwirner’s Dialogues series, the critically-acclaimed painter—and recent recipient of the Queen’s OBE award—Rose Wylie talks with the actor Russell Tovey from BBC’s Being Human and HBO’s Looking. Wylie, an admirer of cinema, and Tovey, a fan and collector of Wylie’s work, engage in a conversation about improvisation, instincts, and creative influences that T Magazine describes as "charmingly off-the-cuff."
View Rose Wylie: Hullo, Hullo . . . at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in Málaga, Spain through September 9 and Rose Wylie: History Painting at Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange through September 15, 2018.
A conversation about Duchamp, Michael Jackson, the allure of the Renaissance in the age of Instagram, and more.
In the debut episode of David Zwirner’s new podcast, world-renowned artist Jeff Koons talks with Luke Syson, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Chairman of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Their far-ranging discussion touches on evolution and reality TV; polychromy and Pop culture; Plato’s cave and the iPhone.
View Koons’s work at the Met Breuer, New York in Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300–Now), curated by Syson and Sheena Wagstaff, Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, through July 22, 2018.
For more on what’s to come on Dialogues, listen to our trailer.