Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Past: Olaf Breuning

Clownic terror is emotional indifference to our own, irony as slapstick, forcing a replacement of our feelings with manic versions, to feel better. Happy or sad, the clown face draws its emotion as large as possible, overpowering the nuanced plane of facial expression, overshadowing our own, powerless and impotent. ... Breuning a villain swaddled in fun that is no fun at all.

Read full: Olaf Breuning at Metro Pictures(1)

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Past: Tobias Kaspar

Past: Tobias Kapsar

"Folding fashion into art should seem to cause a nebulous hole to erupt, a singularity, the whole thing en abyme and vertiginous, distinctions collapsing and the thing torn open for questioning. But it just looks like art."

"None of this is lost on Kaspar who has been gliding between fashion-as-art and just-plain-art [...] fashions which for the moment the flash can be frozen"

Past: Tobias Kaspar at SilberkuppeTobias Kaspar at Peter Kilchmann

Monday, February 22, 2021

Abraham Cruzvillegas at Chantal Crousel


According to the PR, the works in the exhibition "are the result of a long term reflection" on the Las Limas Monument, "Señor de Las Limas."
"Made from materials picked up around the city ... they are all put together to be carried and carry something else... based on scientific proposals as to the transportation techniques the Olmecs used for the Señor de Las Limas... Abraham Cruzvillegas completes his sculptures by a hybrid activity: strapped to his body, he embarks each one on a journey between the gallery and a place of personal importance in this day-to-day life."
According to wikipedia page for the 1000BCE Señor de Las Limas: "What these sculptures symbolized to their culture is not clear." Which is true now too. What do these sculptures symbolize to our culture, chairs in the air. We can't even figure it out now. "examines the notion of labor" or more specifically the valorization processing labor into art through myth.  

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Harry Gould Harvey IV at Bureau


Not sure what multiplier of neo-neo-gothic we're on. As early as 2001 artists already mocked the gothic vacancy with felted craft projects of black metal's "Norwegian Romanticism" or New Gothic, Southern Gothic, before the "Digital Gothic" Modern Gothic- etc. - etc. People want the Gothic. Want the look. We reclaim it like wood. The above sculptures claimed from a Gilded Age Gothic Revival mansion. Wealthy 19th century Americans who "admired the estates of the European nobility" and saw themselves as nouveau-nobility, wanted it, recreated it. Reflected and distorted enough times, the gothic becomes a signifier without origin. Which like neoclassicism whose attempt to affect stateliness becomes McMansion Hell, the gothic becomes the safety scissors of edge. The affect of brooding power. "language that was once living and ephemeral turns from undulating patterns and waves of frequency into physical declarations that simultaneously attempt to solve social ills while imposing structural violence on those who may be marginalized."

Attached to real history to add some new bells, whistles, lockets, an affect on an affect. A look. A whole history of burning architecture to be dark and look cool. anachronism, an implicit nostalgia for the past's future, rather than our own. What the Victorians had imagined as horror, pools of blood and pendulum cuts, is far more genteel than what is our current madness. This is the pleasure-saftey of genre, it has rules.

For more conceptual wood: Venice 2019, Danh Vo, & at kurimanzutto

Friday, February 19, 2021

Erdem Taşdelen at Mercer Union


Painting's trend for clue boards maybe has its precursor in installation art - the arrangements compositioned to heighten the details, give aura to clues - you see it in the particular way things are placed, casually, but in concrete, casually, but forever - this makes the mundane appear meaningful.  Which is important for art.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Past: Charline von Heyl

"What Kelsey called Big Joy could also be a state of mania, or anxious outburst, like seeing your friend on amphetamines and wondering what about his personality you liked in the first place. Abstraction is the friend in this metaphor. Because these paintings are brutal."

"trading the devotional for the more transactional address of advertorial cymbal crashing, of images striking"

"like being struck, designed with the force of icons and logos, instantaneous recognition, the paintings connect with a speed prophetic of the contemporary / understandable that her rise delayed would coincide with that of digital networks: von Heyl's paintings turn composition into a kind of semio-transaction of consumption"

"painterly recognition that is particular, depleting, and manic"

Click for full:
Charline von Heyl at Petzel & Deichtorhallen
Charline von Heyl at Gisela Capitain
Charline von Heyl at Capitain Petzel

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Past: Francis Alÿs at Museo Tamayo 

"Alÿs's politics begin to look more and more like children's book fantasy; images as dreams as solutions, poetics attached ever so lightly to horrible quagmires."