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Judy Chicago: Los Angeles

What Judy Chicago: Los Angeles truly showcases is how Chicago grappled early on with her place in a male dominated discourse. We see the methods through which she challenged and defied normative conventions, working to define a practice that would push the dialogue of contemporary art forward in the direction of feminist interests.

Nicolás Guagnini: Asociación Psicoanalítica Argentina

Nicolás Guagnini’s exhibition Asociación Psicoanalítica Argentina at Bortolami was a twisted riddle, a psychoanalytical conundrum. Supplemented by a performance titled Analysis, the show was dense with signs and possible signifiers that warped interpretative norms.

John Giorno: Do The Undone

Over the past year, Giorno, who passed away suddenly in mid-October, produced a new body of work that affirms the expansiveness of poetry and poetry beyond the page for Do the Undone, his first show at Sperone Westwater.

The Return of Tom Doyle

The Return of Tom Doyle signals an attempt to resurrect the career of a sculptor who in reality never really “disappeared,” but who remained blasé through most of his life to the vagaries of the art world.

Sayre Gomez: X-Scapes

In his current exhibition, X-Scapes, Sayre Gomez’s pastiched visions of Los Angeles suffuse urban alienation with the lurid glow of a sunset existentialism particular to the coastal West, land of limitless absurdity.

John Giorno: DO THE UNDONE

Giorno’s taste was ecumenical. Whether dealing with the playwright Beckett, the performance artist Laurie Anderson, the “stargazing” filmmaker Andy Warhol, or the beat poet Allen Ginsberg, nothing could impede his interest and appreciation for their work. Giorno’s own practice was equally diverse.

Sarah Sze

Glowing light at the last breath of day/Distant skeletons framing staggering timbers/Eco-friendly to planetary nebula/All attesting to divinity and humane intellects

What Are Words Worth?

The ghost of Mark Lombardi hovers over recent exhibitions by Fernando Bryce, at Alexander & Bonin, and William Powhida, at Postmasters, both of which trafficked heavily in a fusion of text and imagery. This combination seems far easier for audiences today to digest than was the case 20 years ago, when Lombardi was one of the few working artists able to locate the proverbial sweet spot between things people want to read and things people want to look at.

Bradford Kessler: Become Gift, Sky Become Shadow

In Become Gift, Sky Become Shadow a surreal atmosphere of anticipation connects two works that examine cultural myth and personal trauma. Through a combination of theatricality and subtle detail, Bradford Kessler contrasts the generic and fictitious nature of popular history with the textures and temporalities of subjective memory.

Renée Cox: Returned

Sometimes it takes years to fully appreciate the importance of a work of art, to evaluate what impact it might induce, and to see it in the context of a legacy that has yet to be realized. So it is with Renée Cox’s monumental black and white photo diptych, Origin, created in 1993. Initially only the left half, a towering nude full-length self-portrait entitled Yo Mama, was exhibited.

Graham Nickson: Eye Level

Graham Nickson's most recent exhibition displays a revelatory new subject matter. Until now, Nickson has been generally associated with two kinds of work. His most expansive paintings like Pelican Bay Bathers (2006) are often on large conjoined panels and comprise figures in carefully calibrated, iconic poses in beachside settings, rendered in intense blasts of clear color.

Alex Da Corte: Marigolds

A vase of orange marigolds adorns a ledge at the entrance of Alex Da Corte’s second solo show at Karma. Like the artist’s work, this little detail cloaks meaning in layers of wit. The marigolds’ striking golden hue symbolizes both fortune and grief. Known for captivating films and installations that probe popular American culture, Da Corte is acutely sensitive to the myriad signifying effects of both color and cultural imagery and uses them to penetrate our individual experiences and collective associations.

Constantina Zavitsanos: L&D Motel

Much of the work of Constantina Zavitsanos maps the bodily encumbrances of personal disability onto an axiological skepticism of contemporary forms of labor. In their work as well as their writing,1 disability and debt are treated as inextricable and interchangeable, and, for the artist, dependency—in the broadest, most abundantly connotative sense of the word—is emphasized as their artistic practice’s pedagogical and discursive content.

Aleksandar Duravcevic: YOUTH

Most of the works in Youth have a reflective quality that transforms visitors into potential avatars of Narcissus.

Meriem Bennani: Party on the CAPS

For Meriem Bennani’s first solo exhibition at CLEARING, the Brooklyn-based Moroccan artist has transformed the gallery into something like a spaceship.

Richard Mosse: Ultra

Richard Mosse has recently garnered a sort of perverse accolade from a hyper-capitalist art market that values speculative worth over subversive potential. The Kilkenny-born photographer set an auction record earlier this year for the sale of a single print by an artist under the age of 45.

Urban Impulses: Latin American Photography From 1959 to 2016

Gray reality with a streak of pink exuberance, themes of protest and popular culture, monochrome photography and full color: Urban Impulses sets up these structural dichotomies and largely manages to reconcile them.

Marcus Jahmal: Double Down

Marcus Jahmal’s new show of paintings takes you into a world of spiritual healers and reverends who traffic in good luck bags for gamblers.

Calder: Small Sphere and Heavy Sphere

A fascinating glimpse into the origins of Alexander Calder’s thinking and evolution, this abbreviated retrospective is a rare opportunity to examine the artist’s early experimental and tentative production. The show follows Calder’s singular career, illuminating the artist's later, resolved and fully realized work, deploying some 70 objects from the mid-1920s through the 1950s.

Hearne Pardee: N/S/E/W: Painting | Drawing | Collage

Hearne Pardee maintains a double life: one in the suburbs of Davis, California, where he teaches in the university’s fine arts department and another in New York City, where he keeps a studio on the edge of Harlem and maintains contacts in the city’s art world.

Joe Zucker: 100-Foot-Long Piece, 1968-1969

Let's get into Joe Zucker's time machine. 100-Foot-Long Piece (1968-1969) is our point of departure, but Zucker brings us up to date with nine acrylic-cotton pieces from 2019. The show is not exactly a retrospective, but enough of one: nine gestural drawings in India ink from 1964 and two vitrines stuffed with miscellanea, including Zucker's high school diploma, a photo of him playing varsity basketball, and a host of gallery announcements and posters capture his chameleon nature.

Sahar Khoury: Afterhours

Nestled in the smaller gallery of Canada’s newly inaugurated Tribeca space, Sahar Khoury’s solo show Afterhours presents sculptures that upon first encounter resemble screens, tapestries, and baskets. Khoury’s sculptures prioritize distortion over function and take pleasure in moments of material chaos. The layering in of personal mementos makes it so that the work can absorb the histories embedded in the discarded materials and reinvent them with new possibilities.

Wangechi Mutu: The NewOnes, will free Us

The Met façade was finished in 1902, but the niches have remained empty ever since, largely unnoticed by museum visitors and passersby—until now. Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu fills the spaces with statues of Afro-futuristic women who employ the pedestals as thrones, inaugurating what will be an annual commission for the museum’s façade.

Cindy Ji Hye Kim: Verses from the Apocalypse

Illustrated with cartoonish hyperbole, Verses from the Apocalypse resembles the out-of-order panels of a dark, smutty comic book: spotlit vignettes of women bondaged by construction materials, restrained by scaffolds, fettered to medieval torture devices, and occasionally nose-deep in books, as if language itself were a form of punishment.

Bernard Piffaretti

Until this current show at Lisson, French painter Bernard Piffaretti hadn’t had a solo exhibition in New York since 2002 (at Cheim and Read). That’s 17 years ago. Far, far too long a time to pass without seeing the work of an artist who is one of the great painters of his generation (born in 1955).

N. Dash

Can a rectangle be sensual? The artist N. Dash sublimates perceptual experience through assemblages of rectilinear panels separated at times by incised lines, string, layers of fabric and even thick segments of high-density foam insulation.

Personal Private Public

Although we’re taught it’s impolite, there is nonetheless something irresistible about eavesdropping, staring, or peering into people’s everyday moments. So we mindlessly invite ourselves into the lives of others, the subjective spectacles and private experiences that are revealed in unrestricted moments.

Alain Kirili: Who’s Afraid of Verticality?

Entering Alain Kirili’s exhibition, Who’s Afraid of Verticality, is like joining a gathering of benevolent beings in a space that lifts one’s gaze and spirit.

Matt Kleberg: Trespassing

Matt Kleberg: Trespassing is the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York City in over two years and includes hundreds of new drawings, as well as five new knockout oil-stick paintings on canvas.

Soft Fascination: Heidi Norton, Jolynn Krystosek & Erin LaRocque

A dominant strategy for the three artists pits decorative symmetry against the dynamic patterns of living forms.

Sinéad Breslin

Seeing and remembering are at odds. Memories—if they are to be shared with others—are packaged in a specific way: flat, rectilinear, still. This fact is not contingent on photography; we have a natural tendency to break narratives up into stills.

Shut Up: Joe Massey’s Messages From Prison

These 42 mostly black and white works, the original “thug life” drawings, have a lovable but menacing charm—a deep wrongness that somehow looks right.

Richard Serra

Perhaps more than any sculptor of his generation Serra has stared base materiality in the face, thereby forcing it to conditionally reveal its stock-still visage back. It’s a game of truth or dare that, in Serra’s case, he usually concedes with a poetic deference towards an unblinking counterpart: the secret to Serra’s work is not his intent to overcome gravity’s mortal indifference to the sculptor’s will, but to frankly acknowledge it.

Richard Serra

Both shows largely eschew the raw and overbearing aggression that Serra is best known for. Instead, they are finely judged installations that manipulate the relationship between a sculptural object, a display space, and a mobile viewer with great sophistication. The overall effect is thoughtful and, at times, even seductive.

Jacolby Satterwhite

What we do see throughout Room for Living, however, are numerous forms of indebtedness—to the canon and, importantly, to Satterwhite’s mother. Elements of Patricia suffuse the exhibit. The LED texts that surround several sculptures are made from her words and handwriting, the drawings of bathtub, penises on wheels, and shoes are taken from her notebooks.

Manfred Mohr: A Formal Language

“Computer graphics is a young and new way of aesthetic communication; it integrates human thinking, mechanical handling, logic, new possibilities of drawing, and incorruptible precision of drawing—a new DUKTUS!” So wrote Manfred Mohr in 1971 celebrating this “duktus,” the Latin term for handwriting, also used in German to acknowledge the individual peculiarities of a medium or someone’s style.

Loló Soldevilla

The work brings into focus another aspect of the Concrete aesthetic: art as game with fixed rules within a fixed space, but a game in which the viewer participates. From a biographical perspective this work also constitutes an irony: with the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, Soldevilla’s work was deemed counterrevolutionary and she was obliged to discontinue her artistic practice and work in a factory making wooden toys for children.

Another World Lies Beyond

Paintings, prints, fabrics, ceramics, furniture, jade carvings, and lacquerware bear elements of Buddhism, Taoism, and folklore. These objects show the fluidity of spiritual and religious beliefs in China, including the fusion of Taoism and Buddhism.

Loie Hollowell: Plumb Line

Body is vessel in the nine new paintings by Loie Hollowell that make up Plumb Line, the artist’s debut show with Pace. With a strong, centrally-placed vertical line as her organizing principle, Hollowell delivers human forms distilled into a succinct vocabulary of curved shapes: bisected disks, almonds, and ovals, plus stacked rows of half-circles crowned by a glowing orb.

Wang Yan Cheng

Wang Yan Cheng offers a large show of paintings at Acquavella Galleries, where his Abstract Expressionist canvases appear very much like a slightly foreign version of an idiom originated and championed in New York.

Nick van Woert

In many of van Woert’s works over the last decade or so, the artist has investigated the relation between our bodies and the waste we produce in our industrial, hyper-consumptive society.

Janiva Ellis

Much has been written about how Ellis’s paintings attest to the pain and sexualization of African American women, but hidden within and below this interpretive paradigm is a messier, more inconvenient model of identity that doesn’t fold as quickly into an established institutional narrative.

Forms Larger and Bolder: Eva Hesse Drawings from the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College

The drawing is the latest of the works on view at Hauser & Wirth, and was made shortly before Hesse’s premature death from cancer at age 34. Spanning two floors of the gallery, the exhibition proceeds in reverse-chronological order so that the viewer finds herself ambling backwards in time to more tentative beginnings.

Elaine Cameron-Weir: strings that show the wind

That the elements of Elaine Cameron-Weir’s works are at once ruggedly utilitarian and impossibly arcane is one of her brilliant conceits.

Guadalupe Maravilla

Saga begins with a monumental centerpiece that incorporates the threads of illness and healing that are in conversation throughout the show. Disease Thrower #5 (2019) is a grand sculpture resembling a shrine that functions as both a therapeutic instrument and as a spiritual altar. Featuring a star-patterned woven structure made from a Mexican medicinal plant and a handmade gong, it is part of a larger series of the artist’s “healing machines” that include handmade and found objects.

Wyatt Kahn

Wyatt Kahn’s wall-based works evade some old categories and challenge a few new ones.

Bambitchell: Bugs and Beasts Before the Law

“All beasts and birds, as well as creeping things, were devils in disguise.” So whispers the narrating voiceover in Bambitchell’s experimental film installation Bugs and Beasts Before the Law. Developed with support from the Henry Art Gallery and showing for the first time at Mercer Union in Toronto, Bugs and Beasts reflects Bambitchell’s (the shared moniker of multimedia artists Sharlene Bamboat and Alexis Kyle Mitchell) interest in juridical histories.

Sarah Sze

Sarah Sze beguiles us with two new spectacularly wrought installations teeming with meticulously arranged objects, contraptions, photographs, plants, projectors that beam moving images, sound, and much more, all disposed in and around her signature scaffolding, itself a tour de force of improvisation and precarity.

Sue Yon Hwang: Material Manifestation

While strolling through the various works of Sue Yon Hwang’s relatively modest exhibition, I was taken by an awkward mystery in the installation, an intersection between science and art that was somewhat difficult to place in time and space.

Doug Fogelson: Anthem

Leaching the prismatic splendour from his landscapes, Doug Fogelson’s latest additions to his “Chemical Alterations” series combine the photographic with the painterly, the representational with the abstract.

Xandra Ibarra: Forever Sidepiece

In the early 1980s, postcolonial theorist Homi Bhabha coined the term “fixity” to describe the motifs and symbols visual discourse has used to craft harmful stereotypes and establish the “difference” of minoritized communities. Usually involving references to supposed violence or sexual deviance by highlighting the physical body and its flesh, this covert language of images perpetuates prejudice against the Other. It is this visual lexicon that the Oakland-based artist Xandra Ibarra explores, parodies, and reclaims in her exhibition Forever Sidepiece, showing at Queens’s Knockdown Center through October 27.


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2019

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