The Museum of Modern Art has wisely advertised its Bruce Conner retrospectivewith an image of Bombhead, a 1989/2002 print in which an army general’s head is replaced with a mushroom cloud. This is a show that promises to blow your mind, and it lives up to that threat. Trippy, disturbing, entertaining, and whimsical all at once, “Bruce Connor: It’s All True” is a marvelous look at a figure whose gleefully anarchic work called for the end of culture as we know it.
Like any great show about a great artist, this retrospective—which is curated by Stuart Comer and Laura Hoptman, of MoMA, and Rudolf Frieling, Gary Garrels, and Rachel Federman, of SFMOMA, where it will appear next—makes you wonder how its subject escaped from art history. Perhaps Conner’s inability to be categorized kept his work in the shadows.