You Had Me At Hello: 150 Contemporary Artworks That Altered My Consciousness - Part 2
I look at a lot of art. Some of it good, some of it bad. Every once in a while, I come across artwork that fundamentally changes me, even if I don’t understand it at the time. A friend of mine recently asked me which works had had the greatest impact on me over the years, so I compiled my thoughts. This is not a greatest hits list and many artists I love are not included in it. These are all works that have been, for whatever reason, seared into my brain. To be honest, there are a number of artists on this list whose overall practice I am not a particular fan of, yet, they got to me at least once. – Steven Zevitas, Publisher
David Hammons, Untitled (Night Train), 1989
Rachel Harrison, Huffy Howler, 2004
Mona Hatoum, Incommunicado, 1993
Barkley L. Hendricks, Photo Bloke, 2016
Eva Hesse, Right After, 1969
Jim Hodges, Untitled (one day it all comes true), 2013
Evan Holloway, Installation at Paula Cooper Gallery, 2017
Roni Horn, Installation at Nasher Sculpture Center, 2017
Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Couch for a Long Time, 2009
Pierre Huyghe, The Third Memory, 2000 (video)
Robert Irwin, Untitled, 1969
Alfredo Jaar, The Sound of Silence, 2006
Jasper Johns, White Flag. 1955
Probably my favorite contemporary artwork. Cezanne taught me how painting operated and this painting completed the education. Image and facture effortlessly leading to an inevitable content. Masterpiece.
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Rashid Johnson, The New Negro Escapist Social and Athletic Club (Thurgood), 2008
Donald Judd, Untitled 1991
Isaac Julien, Ten Thousand Waves, 2010 (video)
Aniish Kapoor, Cloud Gate, 2004-2006
Mike Kelley, Day is Done, 2005 (Video)
Ellsworth Kelly, Blue White, 1962
William Kentridge, Felix in Exile, 1994 (video)
Martin Kippenberger, Dialog with the Youth of Today (Detail), 1981
Ragnar Kjartansson, The Visitors, 2012 (video)
Yves Klein, Fire Painting No. 6, 1961
Jeff Koons, Rabbit, 1986
Can kitsch and fine art cohabitate? Yep. Koons proved it with this work. I am not a huge Koons fan, but this sculpture was a game changer on many levels. One of the most important works of the twentieth-century.
Courtesy of The Broad
David Korty, Blue Shelf 14, 2013
Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013
Wolfgang Laib, Pollen from Hazelnut, 1992
This work is a placeholder. My first experience with Laib’s work was a 1998 solo at Sperone Westwater in Soho that I cannot find an image of. I remember a house form and a staircase. I remember the smell of the materials. I remember feeling a sort of shamanistic energy. Magic.
Courtesy of Sperone Westwater
Zoe Leonard, I want a president, 1992
David X. Levine, Suzanne Pleshette, 2012
I first saw Levine’s work at Art Chicago in the late 1990s. In the interest of full disclosure, I have represented his work as a dealer for a number of years. Working primarily with colored pencils, often on a large scale, Levine produces one potent work after another. The content of his work is inextricably linked with his painstaking process. He is magic and completely under-recognized.
Courtesy of the Artist
Roy Lichtenstein, Drowning Girl, 1962
Glenn Ligon, Double America 2, 2014
Christian Marclay, The Clock, 2010 (video)
Brice Marden, The Dylan Painting, 1966
One of my favorite paintings. Like its subject, it is raspy. The line at the painting’s bottom kills me…it is an entrance/an exit/a denier of complete object-hood. Marden is the master of gray and one of the top five living painters.
Courtesy of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Brice Marden, Cold Mountain 6 (Bridge), 1989-1991
Kerry James Marshall, De Style, 1993
Before I saw this painting, if you had asked me who the greatest living painter was I would have likely said Jasper Johns. After seeing this work, I would unequivocally give Marshall that title. It operates on every level and should be in every art history text. Kudos to Marshall for setting the aim of inserting “blackness” into the belly of museum culture and winning.
Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Agnes Martin, Night Sea, 1963
Chris Martin , Painting Big, Installation at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 2011
Eddie Martinez, The Feast, 2010
This painting is the culmination of phase one of Martinez’s career. He is, to my mind, one of the most naturally gifted painters out there. His abilities as a draughtsman are virtually unparalleled.
Courtesy of The Saatchi Collection
Andrew Masullo, 4510, 2005
Tony Matelli, Josh, 2010
Gordon Matta-Clark, Splitting, 1974
Paul McCarthy, The Garden, 1992
Sarah McEneaney, Callowhill Neighborhood, 2002
I first encountered McEneaney’s work when she was featured in an early Issue of New American Paintings. She is unquestionably one of my favorite painters working today. For 40+ years she has produced a highly personal, diaristic body of work. McEneaney has always been steadfastly dedicated to her own unique practice unswayed by art world trends. There are a number of younger artists who have adopted her “faux-naïve” style, but she owns that aesthetic space.
Courtesy of Tibor de Nagy
Ryan McGinley, Dash Bombing, 2000
There was that magic moment in the early-2000s when the Lower East Side’s art scene started to hum…Rivington Arms, Dash Snow, etc. This photo captures it for me.
Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art
Ryan McLaughlin, Metro, 2015
McLaughlin’s 2013 solo at the now defunct Laurel Gitlen gallery was a revelation. He is one of the best emerging painters out there. I have rarely seen a painter who attends to every inch of a work with such intensity. Every stroke, every moment counts. It is a Johns-ian feat.
Courtesy of Laurel Gitlen