Saturday, February 22, 2020

Dashiell Manley at Jessica Silverman


A lot painting today is excuses for getting bright striking colors onto canvas. Paint excused because we don't trust "expression." PRs become the spellcasting against anything that could be mistaken for irrational, and we spit-firing reasons, definitions, reference, backloading the work to look like weight. The compressive strength of bamboo. Excuses become important when we've conflated painting with its history. Both the history of the art-form, in which painting must become a marker for its own context, a placeholder of itself, for curators to elucidate, but also because of this the individual canvas must have a raison. This is the tension of all that neanderthal painting, of trying to make paintings so stupid it couldn't possibly be mistaken as reasonable. And yet here we are. Perhaps brilliance, like Grotjahn, in just not even excusing oneself. A confusion of whether or not these are dumb.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Past: Fergus Feehily at Misako & Rosen

"Against everyone else's returns to modernism Feehily's could seem one more scuzz on the pond [...] Instead, perhaps like Raoul De Keyser, a mining for some odd uncanny version. [...] their off-elegance. Paintings like the underdog, we root for them. Like wearing [Modernism's] fur-coat with a runny-nose.

Read full: Fergus Feehily at Misako & Rosen

Alan Ruiz at Bad Reputation


More art as the cargo cult, the displayed droppings of dominant culture, broken into artifacts, and presented it in our white altars to press heads against it. We used to draw aurochs on cave walls; we relocate the world into art, to make it manipulable in our realm, sandbox, aesthetics. To stand in for control. Aesthetics becomes the religion of fictionalized understanding. It substitutes its little problem for the one big problem. And therefore claims knowledge, and thus domain.
If the dominance of mass culture includes threat to diminish art, [a diminishing] that we could call castration, then art's transmuting that culture into fetish item is classic Freud: it is "a token of triumph over the threat of castration and a protection against it." i.e. You can't cut off what I own of yours.
Do the Gods know we exist?

Cargo cults: Sylvie Fleury at KarmaYngve Holen at Kunsthalle BaselYngve Holen at Modern ArtYngve Holen at Modern Art (2)David Lieske at MUMOKYngve Holen at Fine Arts, Sydney,  Rachel Harrison at Whitney MuseumSean Raspet at Jessica Silverman

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Kristy Luck at Philip Martin


More ambiguous abstraction. [T]rends of biomorphics, its use of vague forms, distributed referents, the sort of innuendo formation of meaning. Whats in your head may not lay in mine. Instead clouds to see objects in, named with the words that assign more meaning to us than the [paintings] which reflect them. Overlay information until it blurs, slips, spreads like inkblots. A cat butt appears but perhaps only in me.
This feels symptomatic of something.

See too:  Lucy Bull at High ArtAlice Tippit at Night ClubLui Shtini at Kate WerbleRon Nagle at Modern ArtVincent Fecteau at greengrassiNairy Baghramian at Museo TamayoNairy Baghramian at Marian Goodman Larry Poons at Michael Jon & AlanLucy Bull at High ArtOlga Balema at High ArtOlga Balema at High Art (2Miho Dohi at Crèvecœur

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Past: Kirsten Pieroth at Mathew

"Residuals, remains, ashes, essence, marks, history, artifact. Your own level of animism denies or allows belief in encoding memory into objects. Or be like an On Kawara painting, encapsulating the object by presenting its ghost. Our fingerprints are ours, but we cannot be created from them. We leave traces, deformations in the world in our shape. At the end, ashes; perhaps your name scratched in history, or a hint of your face in a generation of children, offspring who are getting the residuals. But the object is gone, and like all behaved conceptual art there is a story.

read full: Kirsten Pieroth at Mathew

Monday, February 17, 2020

An-My Lê at Marian Goodman


We killed truth in the documentary, so photographs now adopt a sort of totemic blank state, slow and brooding. The peppering of vast landscaps becomes ominous. Fruit trees come with our knowledge of their labor, the perhaps original guilt they carry. We have come to, at root, fear photography. We have come to acknowledge that photographs carry a guilt. And when it's bigger it is worse because there is larger tray for it.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Miho Dohi at Crèvecœur


Tuttle's never really resembled, their garbage was formal compositions from whatever looking like nothing more than art. They looked like art. Which was its own politics then. But Dohi's resemble, recall unplaceable things, which is our politics now. Resemblance was dirty back then, we wanted purity in forms, because clouded abstraction led to impure thoughts. Why do we desire allusive formalism now? Fecteau, Baghramian, Balema, Nagle, et al. Is still a latent surrealism? The shifting space of ambiguous "clouds" saying that one looks like a rabbit but never knowing it.

See too: Vincent Fecteau at greengrassiLui Shtini at Kate WerbleRon Nagle at Modern ArtNairy Baghramian at Walker Art Center?Nairy Baghramian at Museo TamayoNairy Baghramian at Marian Goodman Larry Poons at Michael Jon & AlanLucy Bull at High ArtOlga Balema at High ArtOlga Balema at High Art (2)