The Best and Worst Art Shows of 2013 So Far

Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective at the Whitney

Jay DeFeo, The Rose, 1958–66.
Jay DeFeo, The Rose, 1958–66.

It’s not surprising that so few people know about The Rose, Jay Defeo’s immense painting-turned-sculpture that took eight years to make and weighs 2,300 pounds. The work is very delicate and very vulnerable to the elements, making it uncommonly hard to move and insure. Most people who came the Whitney show were there because they had only seen The Rose in photographs. It was also worth seeing the other central works that made the work of this Beat-era artist so distinctive.