Miguel Ángel Cárdenas: Sex Takes a Poke at Abstraction

THE DAILY PIC: At Andrea Rosen Gallery, Cárdenas sees the body as the greatest argument against the abstract.

THE DAILY PIC (#1718): If we have a blind spot in looking back at the most “advanced” art of the 1960s and ’70s, it lies in how we’ve forgotten that content-free abstraction still felt like the Oedipal father that needed to be sacrificed.

Today’s Pic is Blue Lovers, a 1965 work by Miguel Ángel Cárdenas now on view in his solo at Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York. The title, and that sexy, Warholian banana, tell us that the piece is talking about sex and the body. In the context of its time, however, bodily art got half its power from its rejection of disembodied abstraction. You could almost imagine that Yves Klein and Barnett Newman are the two blue-lovers that Cárdenas was naming, and shaming, in his work. (Courtesy the Estate of Miguel Ángel Cárdenas and Instituto de Visión; photo by Pierre Le Hors)

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