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By Alex Greenberger


Opening: David Hammons at Mnuchin Gallery


With David Hammons’s work, the recurrent idea might be that you can’t always get what you
want. Hammons has, in the past, done all of the following: placed basketball hoops on telephone poles, covered mirrors in tattered shrouds, denied interviews with the press, made art out of elephant dung, and sold snowballs as a performance. And now that idea comes back with this show, a major survey of Hammons’s work, for which the artist, who has made art about the condition of African Americans in the U.S., has actually removed some of the more famous loans that appear in the catalogue (a portrait of Jesse Jackson as a white man is among the missing) and replaced them with various photographs from his collection. (Another weird touch: Hammons has traditional Japanese court music playing in the installation.) Because this is one of the few surveys of his work that Hammons has actually authorized, this is one of the season’s must-see shows. 


Mnuchin Gallery, 45 East 78th Street, 5:30–7:30 p.m.

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