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Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World

Looping endlessly on twelve television monitors, close-up shots of hands frenetically scratch different parts of the body. Zhang Peili’s iconic piece, Uncertain Pleasure II (1996), ironically anticipates today’s highly mediated experience of viewing, as well as the challenges of giving a coherent framework to the chaotic history of contemporary Chinese art.

The Risorgimento of Arte Povera

This fall, three major international galleries in New York City and one private collection mark the semi-centennial of Italy’s pivotal Arte Povera era with comprehensive surveys.

Lines of Thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to now

style="text-align: left;">When Hugo Chapman, the Simon Sainsbury Keeper of Prints and Drawings of the British Museum stands before you and says, “This is the British Museum’s Print and Drawings department’s single best traveling exhibition, ever,” your pupils dilate and back straightens.

Anger Management

“The T-shirt made a kind of social debut in the 1950s, a literal ‘coming out’ from concealment as an undergarment to attitude-intensive outerwear,” according to artist and satirist Pippa Garner.

Restoring the Minoans: Elizabeth Price and Sir Arthur Evans

The latter part of the Victorian era was a romantic age of celebrity archaeologists: Howard Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb captured the public’s imagination, as did Leonard Woolley’s excavations of the burial pit at Ur. Sir Arthur Evans unearthed and restored Knossos, and Heinrich Schliemann excavated Mycenae—rescuing Homer’s lost civilizations from the mythological mists of time.

CHRIS OFILI: Paradise Lost

The viewer has a lot of heavy lifting to do in Chris Ofili’s new installation, enigmatically entitled Paradise Lost. Whose “paradise” is a matter of conjecture, but the experience of loss is triggered by our inability to fully see the four paintings and wrap-around wall mural that are the show’s star attractions.


Delights and Frustrations: that could have been the title of the Belgian painter Walter Swennen’s recent exhibition at the Gladstone Gallery.


Two concurrent exhibitions in New York this fall refer to natural and cultural forms in poetic installations with entirely different, conceptually framed takes. Both use painting as intellectual and physical currency, and both excerpt works of literature in their press releases. Chris Ofili cites John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost. For Sam Falls, the relevant citation comes from Vladimir Nabokov’s novel The Gift: “A jail with no jailer and a garden with no gardener—that is I think the ideal arrangement.” 

Homage to Dimitris Condos

On a steep street snuggled below Mount Lycabettus in Athens, exuberant scribbles gleam through the window of CAN Christina Androulidaki, a small gallery whose first show of the fall is atypical of their regular program of emerging artists.


In Girlhood, Joyce Kozloff has extended her 20-plus year practice of map paintings in a new and very personal direction. During the poignant chore of going through her parents’ effects after their deaths, Kozloff discovered a collection of her grade-school art assignments.

MEL KENDRICK: Woodblock Drawings

Based in New York since 1971, Mel Kendrick is best known as a sculptor, though he has consistently worked on drawings. This practice goes back a long time—the six woodblock works on exhibit date from 1992 to 1993.

Rock, Mosquito and Hummingbird: A Prehistory of Governor's Island

Walking through Governor’s Island is like walking through a time warp. The old barracks, the plaques on small boulders marking the invisible histories of Native American settlements, how the island was sold to Dutch settlers in the 1600s at the cost of two axe heads and some other small items, the stories of how the streets were named, the histories involved in making the island what it is today.


“Two wrongs can make a right,” “what you see is what you get,” and all sorts of impenetrable truths and blatant cliches are up for grabs in the maelstrom of data and dots in this well paired exhibition of Israel Lund and Amy Granat.


What defines modernist painting, and distinguishes it from old master European art, is the elimination of obvious details. This suppression permits expressive directness and pursuit of immediacy, which makes the figurative works of Matisse and Picasso, like the abstractions of Mondrian and Pollock, distinctively modernist.

Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now

Nation-themed contemporary art exhibitions can be problematic, especially now when so many artists work in the context of globalization. Nonetheless, national exhibitions still retain enough public appeal to justify their continued existence. In this context, Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now is surprisingly thoughtful, in part because it does not hew too closely to mere geographical parameters.

Artist of the Visible

First—a small line, traced on the wheel of a bicycle in a special ink. The bike was ridden throughout the town. Every sidewalk was marked with the line; it was feathered in shape, as if fallen from a small goose or large dove. 

Defining “We” 2017: The Study Center for Group Work

Collaboration has increasingly become an organizing principal of society due to our reliance on interactive technologies that allow, and demand, working together across distinct and distant geographic and temporal zones. But it has also become a more common part of any contemporary artists’ practice as illustrated by the emergence of the new online Study Center for Group Work under the administration of artist, activist, and educator Caroline Woolard.


The Good Ship Jesus vs. The Black Star Line Hitching a Ride with Die Alibama
[Working Title]

The title of Tracey Rose’s performance sets these two ships against one another, as if one might expect a boxing match, which would not be out of character for an artist who has used boxing as a structural form in earlier performances.


Kairos, the title of Pat Steir’s most recent exhibition at Lévy Gorvy, is taken from an Ancient Greek word that refers to the right or opportune moment for action.


The largest painting in Andy Cahill’s new show spans over thirteen feet wide. In it, an androgynous creature points a finger-gun at a man crawling up an increasingly vertiginous path toward a house already out of reach, lost to the inevitability of one-point perspective.

Kyoung eun Kang:
1402 Seok-Dong

Kyoung eun Kang is a Korean-born artist who took her BFA (2003) and MFA (2005) at Hong-Ik University in Seoul before coming to New York, where she received her second MFA from Parsons in 2009.

Somewhere Some Pictures Sometimes

A funny coincidence happened on my way to see Cheyney Thompson’s exhibition of new Quantity Paintings, entitled Somewhere Some Pictures Sometimes. First I stopped in at David Zwirner’s to see all the blue paintings that Ad Reinhardt ever painted.

ALICE AYCOCK: The Turbulence Series

The terms “climate event” and “extreme weather” have only recently entered common usage, yet the meteorological occurrences they refer to are as old as our planet’s atmosphere.


When a new experience affects your established perception of an object, it is called apperception.

ISHMAEL RANDALL WEEKS: Annotations, Striations and Souvenirs

Ishmael Randall Weeks’s exhibition, Annotations, Striations and Souvenirs delved into questions surrounding the demarcations between the authentic, the counterfeit and the use-value of the real.


Having grown up in the politically conservative American South, I was first exposed to feminist thought not by my community, but by the film Legally Blonde.


From 1984 – 1986, El International Tapas Bar & Restaurant was the first restaurant to introduce tapas in the United States, but it was much more than a restaurant.

The Experimental Music of Maryanne Amacher and Philip Corner

The history of time-based art, and particularly performance, is plagued by unverified and missing information, often relying on memory-faded oral descriptions and scant documentation.

RON BARON: Beyond, Beyond

The most elemental mode of human travel is on foot, walking. (The bipedal mode of transportation is considered a hallmark of Homo sapiens).

BEN WILSON: From Social Realism to Abstraction

Ben Wilson’s career as a painter parallels that of many others in his generation who began their creative investigations in the social realist idiom of 1930s America, ultimately evolving their own responses to Modernist abstraction in the post-war period.


At the time of his death in 2006, the Aldabra giant tortoise Adwaita was 255 years old. To this day, he stands as the longest living terrestrial animal in recorded history. His name refers to the non-dualistic Hindu philosophy of Advaita Vedanta, which argues that individual experience in and of itself is illusory; in reality, all beings are constitutive of one form of pure consciousness (Brahman). By titling his solo show at Interstate Projects Until Adwaita, Travis Fitzgerald hints that this monism is a point of entry for him.


The paintings on view in Israeli artist Tsibi Geva’s first solo exhibition at Albertz Benda embody the tumultuousness of his homeland. They evoke displacement, belonging, and demise through narratives that range from intimate to commonplace.

Resistance Across Time: Interference Archive

In a review of the Met Breuer’s Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950-1980, Emily Watlington convincingly argues that our “delirious times” call for responsively delirious curation.1 As buzzing news alerts stoke excess trauma through an ascendant reactionary (neo-) conservatism, such a call is not off-mark.

Deadeye Dick: Richard Bellamy and His Circle

In a 2002 interview with Judith Stein, the curator of Deadeye Dick: Richard Bellamy and His Circle and author of the recent, definitive Richard Bellamy biography, Eye of the Sixties: Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art, Richard Tuttle said, “Dick was unbelievably sensitive, delicate and extremely refined. But he was strong—the strongest part of him was his belief in following his own way with art.”


Samsøñ’s current group exhibition, Immigrancy, is a thoughtful send off for a prominent Boston gallery that is closing its doors—but not going away—after nearly fourteen years in Boston’s SoWa arts district.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2017

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