Saturday, May 21, 2022

Past: John Miller

"There's Yves Klein blue and John Miller brown, a color so untranscendent as to castrate any pretense of art's higher plane, reminding us of our earthly rope tethering bowels to earth. Miller blockades, belittles, our azure sky fantasy with the lesser order, everything we would prefer to forget immortalized over what had been our vacations, from drudgery."

"flashy twinkling across televisual space frozen as the wallpaper of painting and hideous: television zazzle becomes the bad struggle to taxidermy it. The Price is Right ... a Vegas labyrinth watching guesses at the price of garbage, but Miller's focus on the chintz is as much an attack on painting as much as any politics of mass entertainment ... Because the television game is no different from the majority of dealers and collectors also guessing the eventual price or status of the painting before you...."

Friday, May 20, 2022

Past: Amelie von Wulffen

"...the history of painting comes like bruises into von Wulffen's paintings. How images batter through time. We have memory of how painting was, how impressionism was painted, but it's wrong, like your head full of hangover, a painting full of malfunction, its shipment through time arrives damaged."

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Past: Max Neuhaus at Alfonso Artiaco

Here the invisibility of the works themselves present an overtly extravagant hyperbolization of its decorum framing images and sounds drawn to explicate another world entirely.

Full: Max Neuhaus at Alfonso Artiaco


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Past: Liz Craft

"could wish our communicado could find space for ethereal content, walls to text become brick to evoke a feeling rather than language, emoji mise-en-scene."


Liz Craft at Real Fine ArtsLiz Craft at Jenny’s

Friday, May 13, 2022

Joshua Abelow at Baader-Meinhof

(link)

So I realized that being with my family is more important than being cool
Dad, what you just said was powerfully uncool
You know what this song says, it's hip to be square
That song is so lame
So lame .. that it's cool?
No
Am i cool kids
No
Good I'm glad. And that's what makes me cool? not caring right?
No
Oh how the hell do you be cool? I feel like we tried everything here.
Wait Marge maybe if you're truly cool you don't need to be told you're cool 
Well sure you do. 
How else would you know?

We're told there is a spectrum between "based" and "cringe." And also that binaries are insipid. That there is a third option, the only true "baseness" is through "cringe." A zoomer divide analogous to GenX's authentic/corporate divide (grunge fully Hegelianated into hyperpop, Pop 2.) But so, point: interest comes from synthesis. And here we have an emerging artist's retrospective. Artistic puberty as heralded mythos, before mythos. Most artists think its bad luck to say "Famous Artist" out loud but here we have all the credentials: the childhood drawings, 3rd place ribbons, rejections and recommendations - this is usually the post-mortem, the detritus for the historian's magnifying glass. Usually in the museum bearing your name. Here the receipts adorn a house gallery in Omaha. Which makes for exhibition as puffed as it is sniffling. It's intensely personal. Cardboard not corporate. The paradox of coolness is that one must "go one's own way" while maintaining sightlines with the status quo. Abelow has walked this tightrope exceptionally well. In a certain sense CAWD and Abelow are opposite mirrors to same problem: identity construction as aversion to Walmart purchased coolness. Whereas CAWD basically deleted self and thefted the corporate, Abelow and his (originally quasi-anon) projects have doubled down on exurban paths to cool, like rural even. It's what we euphemistically refer to as an artist "not impacted by current market trends." Because it's never true. They know, despite. If there is transcendence in Abelow's path, it is in happily showcasing underpants, saying out loud "famous artist," (as Oehlen put it, "really hanging your head out the window and letting it hit you") hanging out to dry your teenage self-portrait, basically exposing yourself for all to see, without real mythos armor, nothing more cringe than that. 


"The wider artworld came to know Abelow through his Art Blog which -coming to prominence against the sterile facade of CAD's hegemony - felt human, resistant, and no-qualms subjective key to a very specific NY scene, felt warm in reestablishing the local against the global, like grocery co-op charm to Walmart's efficiency. It felt NY again. And as interest increased for those looking for the freshest produce Abelow became, if a not a ringleader, then a purveyor of visibility, a figure of some small access in a scene, that everyone knew, all the while and for like ten years before making scruffy hamhanded paintings that purviewed the doubt of the painter, the doubt morphing over many years, the paintings changing over the course of Abelow's character development from unknown, from entendres of suicide ("HANG ME") to flat laughter ("HARHAR") and as the painter character grew to show himself, to paintings of a man running full speed with his erection before him, to today that same man cloaked in the facade of a powerful witch, and all lovely abstractions along the way, still running."


 Joshua Abelow at Freddy

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Ezra Tessler at Hudson House

(link)

Let's stop talking about surrealism, let's start talking about the new little crustie. Approaching, but never quite, shellfish. This is what we tried to describe as "Lulu-core," or "the crustables." A natural evolution of Materialphilia. See too:

Miho DohiIsabel Nuño de Buen at LuluSophie Barber at Alison Jacques, Zhiliang Zhao at Lulu & Hélène Fauquet at Édouard MontassutMiho DohiGina BeaversMaterialphilia