Kiss Off is an exhibition about kissing that just opened on the upper east side at the Luxembourg & Dayan Gallery, 64 East 77th Street just off Madison Avenue. The museum quality of exhibitions at this gallery, which has a branch in London, is impressive. While the spaces are not grand by industrial standards they are comfortable, consummately installed and have a spacious feeling. This exhibition is the realization of an idea from curator Francesco Bonami in collaboration with gallerist Amalia Dayan and the gallery researcher. When asked about the breadth of the subject Dayan related that they have so much research and information from preparing this show, that they could start a database on the kiss in art. The Kiss by Rodin, the print based on that sculpture by Marcel Duchamp and of course Brancusi’s The Kiss are a few works that could populate a viewer’s musée imaginaire or another one or more exhibition on this theme which is of perennial interest.
“Love is a timeless preoccupation, but its incarnations and representations are mercurial” one reads in the press release. The range of artists in the show includes Marina Abramović & Ulay, Vito Acconci, Lynda Benglis, James Lee Byars, Patty Chang, Willem de Kooning, Urs Fischer, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jeff Koons, Man Ray, Marisa Merz, Joan Miró, Elizabeth Peyton, Francis Picabia, Sigmar Polke, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, and Joyce Wieland. Especially good is the combination of Image à deux faces (literally ‘two-sided image’) by Man Ray across from Le Baiser by Joan Miró which are met in a triangulation by Untitled, 1995 the lightly touching silver hoops of Felix Gonzalez-Torres (they are kissing). The subject of the kiss has interested many artists throughout the ages, it is basic human, and at times an extremely subtle subject as can be seen in the 4 video art pieces. A Koons – Cicciolina photograph from the Made in Heaven series shares the space with Lisp with Water Drops by Ed Rusha and James Lee Byars, The Perfect Kiss, a project that Byars did as a performance and in a number of works over time. Luxembourg & Dayan is one of a number of excellent Upper East Side galleries to know; visit the show if you wish to muse on what it is, the kiss.
Luxembourg & Dayan
Organized in Collaboration with Francesco Bonami
February 23 – April 14, 2018
L. Brandon Krall is an Artist-Filmmaker-Curator-Writer