Richard Prince

Cartoon Jokes

Nahmad Contemporary
980 Madison Avenue, Third Floor
New York
Upper East Side
Nov 12th — Jan 16th

Find out more

Call it what you will—recycling, citing, stealing—Richard Prince is the chieftain of low American culture, manipulating all range of found material to question notions of authenticity and high culture, from the Marlboro man to cowboys to Instagram posts. His favored subjects across series are usually taboo, or at least uncomfortable: stereotypes, sexism, infidelity, and shame. On view at Nahmad Contemporary, “Cartoon Jokes,” featuring work from between 1988 and 1991, is the first show dedicated to the artist’s large-scale silkscreens appropriating New Yorker cartoons with altered captions.

Using a jolting sans serif font that was clearly replaced, and often poorly, these new captions are sardonic, off-kilter, and tap in to a peculiarly American sense of alienation. The bulk of the cartoons in this exhibition feature scenes of infidelity, in which a wife or husband bursts into a scene with a cavorting pair. But what was clearly once a quip-y caption becomes something else entirely: “WHAT A KID I WAS,” the caption to a cartoon of an angry businessman coming home to his wife on someone else’s lap reads, “I remember practicing the violin in front of a roaring fire. My old man walked in. He was furious. We didn’t have a fireplace.”

Also on view are five newer works from Prince’s “Blue Ripples” series (2017-2019). These paintings also use cartoons as their source material—only these were pulled from the pages of Playboy.

Richard Prince, What A Kid I Was, 1989. Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas, 74.6 x 59.13 inches.

  • Through
    Jan 23rd 2021

    Americana—its iconography and occasionally sickly nostalgia—is the breeding ground for new photorealistic acrylic on canvas paintings by Ed Ruscha.

  • Through
    Jan 30th 2021

    Through a series of new clay sculptures, Sally Saul probes themes of innocence, sorrow, vulnerability, and mortality during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Through
    Dec 19th

    Paul Chan's fifth solo show with Greene Naftali features antic and oblique drawings made to accompany his publisher's new translation of Ludwig Wittgenstein's Word Book.

  • Through
    Jan 30th 2021

    All created during the months of quarantine in his Ridgewood studio, Jack Pierson’s five assemblages on view in a solo show at Kerry Schuss Gallery herald a new direction for his work.

  • Through
    Dec 23rd

    Etel Adnan’s second solo show at Galerie Lelong presents a series of tapestries that are reminiscent of the Persian rugs of the artist’s childhood, as well as a new series of oil paintings and a single leporello.

  • Through
    Feb 8th 2021

    Fashion design meets exhibition design in “About Time,” which pairs garments that tell a linear narrative of history with those that disrupt that retelling in celebration of the Met’s own storied past for its 150th anniversary.

  • Through
    Jan 9th 2021

    At Martos Gallery, themes of ruin and rebirth intermingle in a temporally ambiguous landscape influenced by art-duo TARWUK’s memories of Croatia’s struggle for independence in the 1990s.

  • Through
    Dec 20th

    Known for her provocative photographs, Heji Shin’s new series of large-format photographs depicting roosters offers a welcome respite by way of wry critique.

  • Through
    Jan 23rd 2021

    George Condo’s two-floor solo show at Hauser & Wirth admits us into the cavernous, conflicted, and chaotic space of his own mind during the multi-pronged crises ravaging the nation.

  • Through
    Dec 19th

    The “20/20” group show at David Zwirner, drawn from the gallery’s program, features a range of work created this year, in 2020.

  • Through
    Dec 23rd

    For her third solo show at Marian Goodman Gallery, Julie Mehretu divided her new paintings into two categories: that which she made before the pandemic—and that which she produced while on lockdown. Her starting point? The Book of Revelations, obviously.

  • Through
    Dec 19th

    In "Heaven Ship," Clark Filio debuts a number of his signature sci-fi inflected oil paintings that meditate on real-world world-building.

  • Through
    Dec 19th

    Judy Chicago’s opulent and monumental banners, shown for the first time in the U.S. at this solo show at Jeffrey Deitch’s gallery, engage in a feminist world-building—but can also be read as rhetorical, or even fatalistic.

  • Through
    Feb 20th 2021

    In this solo exhibition of Frank Auerbach’s portraits and landscapes from the last fifty years, favored sitters and landscapes are revisited with the artist’s signature impasto strokes and belabored canvases.

  • Through
    Jan 16th 2021

    Featuring work from between 1988 and 1991, “Cartoon Jokes” is the first show dedicated to the large-scale silkscreens appropriating New Yorker cartoons from the high art chieftain of low American culture, Richard Prince.