Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea featuring Anselm Kiefer and Robert Rauschenberg

Glass encased box with metal remnants on display at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea

At this point it should come as no surprise that rockstar art dealer Larry Gagosian can put on multiple large-scale exhibitions by brand-name artists, any one of which would be more than welcome in any museum in the world. But in case you still need convincing, we heartily recommend heading over to Chelsea some time between now and December 18 for Gagosian's two current stunners: Anselm Keifer's potent, moody spectacle on 24th Street, Next Year In Jerusalem; and an engaging career-spanning show by the dealer's most recent big-name acquisition, the great Robert Rauschenberg. 


Metal box with doors that open up to display a man waving in a field artwork by Anselm Keifer

Giant glass boxes with metals scrap scupltures set in front of black and white paintings - artwork by Anselm Keifer at the Gagosian Gallery in New York

The individual pieces–and there are at least two dozen of them–that make up Keifer's Next Year In Jersusalem are often compelling in their own right, whether his sinister sculptures (almost dioramas, in some cases) enclosed in massive glass and steel tanks, or his mixed-media wall hangings, thick with paint and thorn bushes and, in several notable instances, "synthetic teeth". But it the installation as a whole that really packs a punch. We won't attempt to analyze what it all means, but the effect of walking into the Gagosian Gallery's huge 24th Street space, utterly transformed by all of the glass and greytones and menace, is truly visceral, a gallery-going experience you won't soon forget.  



Assemblage piece by Robert Rauschenberg with colored wood pieces collaged onto a white background

And on 21st Street, Gagosian Gallery in New York gets a chance to show off his newly-acquired, headline-making representation of Robert Rauschenberg, one of our personal favorite 20th-century artists. The exhibition here encompasses nearly 60 years, from 1950 until 2007, the year before Rauschenberg's death, and includes 49 assemblages, paintings, and sculptures. And though we definitely gravitate towards the boldness, the exuberance, and the humor of his earlier work–some of the later stuff feels a bit too washed-out–this whole show is like an unexpected gift for Rauschenberg fans, a museum-type exhibition in a gallery setting, and at a gallery admission price, which is to say, free. 

Collaged images of an American flag on a white picket fence, truck tires, and fast food signs by Robert Rauschenberg at the Gagosian in Chelsea


Robert Rauschenberg collage of prints, photos, and paintings in all colors at the Gagosian

Anselm Kiefer and Robert Rauschenberg at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea Details 

Anselm Kiefer: Next Year In Jerusalem is at the Gagosian Gallery in New York on 24th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. The Robert Rauschenberg career retrospective is at the Gagosian gallery on 21st Street, also between 10th and 11th Avenues. Both galleries are open on Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., and both exhibitions run from now until December 18th. For more images and information, please see the Gagosian website.    

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