The summer’s most hotly anticipated exhibition in New York not devoted to Ken Price, James Turrell, or Paul McCarthy opened on June 13 at White Columns. Titled “The Cat Show,” it is a show of 130 works by more than 50 artists depicting cats in various media, styles, and moods — like Antonio Adams’s feline facsimiles of Whitney Houston, Laci Peterson, and Cayley Anthony (above). Though it’s nearly impossible to pick one favorite among all the irreverent cat art, the following five works beat out the rest by a whisker.
Above: Elad Lassry, “Two British Shorthair Cats (BSH)” (2009). Executed in Lassry’s trademark style of deadpan stock photography (with cleverly color-coded custom frames), this photograph is especially impressive for its subjects’ captivating, Mona Lisa-like gaze.
Above: Richard Prince, “Untitled (original)” (2011). The appropriation artist’s re-framing of an adult novel’s surrealist cover illustration is one of surprisingly few erotically charged cat artworks in “The Cat Show.”
Above: Ann Cathrin November Høibo, “Documentation is Everything” (2013). The closest thing to institutional critique in “The Cat Show,” here the Norwegian artist slyly parodies our contemporary compulsion to photograph and film cats.
Above: Rhonda Lieberman, “Chanel Cat Lady” (2013). “Cat Show” curator Lieberman also contributed one of the exhibition’s most memorable works, which gently mocks Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld all the while referencing the recently viral meme known as Cat Bearding (not to be confused with Cat Breading).
Above: Jason Rosenberg, “Object (Cat Whisker Paintbrush)” (2013). Rosenberg takes Best in (Cat) Show for making cat his medium rather than his subject — though we also sincerely hope that not cats were harmed in the making of this artwork.
“The Cat Show” continues at White Columns through July 27.
— Benjamin Sutton
(All photos by the author.)