Gary Cannone

Gary Cannone: Manet/Degas

Inspired by Conceptualism’s object-word plays and the comedy icons of his youth, Gary Cannone infuses his work with a wink and a rim shot. In the artist’s exhibition here, the show’s namesake, Manet/Degas, 2024—a yellow warning sign bearing the titular Impressionists’ names planted in this experimental gallery’s front yard—signals viewers to the art-historical tropes that fuel Cannone’s droll pastiches. “Albums by Conceptual Artists,” 2015–, an ongoing crowd-sourced series hosted on Tumblr, is a mashup of famous record covers and portraits of visual artists (or their work) that nudge the semantic meanings of the art they lampoon. Among the forty-one mock albums, presented as digital offset prints in the east gallery, are recasts of Kiss’s Lick It Up, 1983, featuring a photograph of Allan Kaprow’s 1964 happening Household,where women lick jam from a car, and the 1968 soundtrack for The Graduate (1967), with a Photoshopped image of Robert Gober’s sculpture of a lifeless limb opposite Mrs. Robinson’s stockinged leg. These “communal acts of parody,” as the artist describes them, give way to deeply personal works in the west gallery that similarly employ humor (and seriality) to explore the limits of the body and mind, the focus of Cannone’s practice since being diagnosed with a neurological illness that affects his cognitive functioning and motor skills. One series, “Bloopers,” 2021–24, documents the artist’s mental and physical challenges through dated lists stitched in thread that record his momentary inability to perform ordinary tasks. Other objects act as comedic props and markers of instability, fragility, or threat, including a chair fabricated from butcher paper and scotch tape, and a cast-iron pan attached to the ceiling (think falling anvil). Countering these obstacles to safety are doormats faced with pictures of well-known artists in their wheelchairs and a similarly seated Matisse as a foam-board standee, placing Cannone within the artistic canon he both reveres and spoofs.