New York–based contemporary artist Cary Leibowitz (b. 1963) creates comically self-effacing text-based works with a decidedly gay and often Jewish perspective that address issues of identity, kitsch, modernist critique, and queer politics. Since the early 1990s, when he became widely known under the moniker “Candyass,” Leibowitz has been one of the art world’s most delicious practitioners of this demonstrative self-abasement. In both his cheeky multiples and his irregular-format paint-on-wood “wood” works, Leibowitz mixes his obsession with popular culture, fine art, and Jewishness with elements of therapy and self-loathing, interrogation and self-interrogation, institutional critique, social commentary, and stand-up comedy routine. His brightly colored reductive paintings often reference seventies queer history, blending comedy and neurosis in such a way that questions about appearance and identity become a running gag. The exhibition will feature nearly 350 original artworks and multiples from 1987 to the present: paintings, fabric works, multiples, installations, documentation, photography, and ephemera related to curatorial endeavors and performance. In conjunction with the exhibition, The Museum will publish a fully-illustrated hardcover catalog with contributions by Nayland Blake, Rhonda Leiberman, Richard Meyer, Cary Leibowitz, Glen Helfand, and Anastasia James. Cary Leibowitz is organized by The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) and is curated by CJM Associate Curator Anastasia James.
Image credit: Cary Leibowitz, "Modern Art 5 Cents," 1995. Latex paint on wood panel, 24.5 in. diameter. Courtesy of the artist and INVISIBLE-EXPORTS.