Letter from New York City
by Joyce Culver

New York City on the second weekend after Labor Day is an exciting place to be for gallery shows. I went to the opening of Louise Fishman’s new show at Cheim & Reid (521 West 23rd Street), abstract paintings made of multiple layers that were sanded and scraped. The place was full of dykes. Sept. 15 through Oct. 21.

Nicole Eisenman’s show of work at Jack Tilton (49 Greene Street) includes installation, painting, and a show of objects that comment on a coterie of subjects including art and the battle of the sexes. I noticed that Eisenman and Fishman are both discussed in Harmony Hammond’s Lesbian art in America. Sept. 7 - Oct. 14.

In the photography area at Matthew Marks (523 West 24th Street), the late Peter Hujar’s work from the latter part of the 1980s is being shown Sept. 16 - Oct. 28.

Wilhelm von Gloeden’s black and white photographs -- which include 150 vintage photos of Sicilian youths as inheritors of the Greek ideal -- are being shown at Wessel + O'Connor (242 West 26th Street), a gallery which specializes in gay art. Sept. 8 - Oct. 8.

And lastly, Duane Michals photographs from his commercial work, as well his narrative sequences with handwritten text, are at the Visual Arts Museum (209 East 23rd Street). Sept. 18 - Oct. 8.

Joyce Culver

... and a few more observations from New York City by Sherman Clarke

The shortened summer hours of the commercial galleries are hard on us weekend galleryhoppers. I recognize that gallery owners and workers need a break, but I’m elated that Labor Day brings a new season. As I cavorted with focus and abandon in West Chelsea last Saturday, I stopped at Sarah Morthland Gallery on Tenth Avenue. I buzzed and a handsome man opened the door. I was thrilled to see that there was a Frank Yamrus show, which happens to be entitled “Rapture.” I said to the man “Oh, wow, a Frank Yamrus show, I’m in rapture.” He said “Hi, I’m Frank Yamrus.” Stammer, blush. The Yamrus photos are very interesting, head-and-shoulders portraits of men and women caught in that private moment -- with a wide variety of expression(s).

At the Metropolitan, there’s a new exhibition on mid-19th century New York City. One of the galleries has some European art that was either exhibited in New York then or which exhibits New Yorker taste of the time. In that gallery you can find a rather queer juxtaposition: Rosa Bonheur’s “The horse race” is near a serene neoclassical Ganymede by Bertel Thorvaldsen.

Overheard in front of the Georgie Arce portrait on the next-to-last day of the Alice Neel retrospective at the Whitney: “I grew up with faces like that; it’s great to see someone painting faces like that.” It is great to see your life in art and to see diversity and that’s part of the appeal of Neel’s portraits of gay greats like Andy Warhol, Henry Geldzahler, Gregory Battcock, and Frank O’Hara.