Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sam Lewitt at Miguel Abreu

Sam Lewitt at Miguel Abreu
(Sam Lewitt at Miguel Abreu)

Technocratic sculpture, symbols of technology and information as banners draped over the bones of the Unmonumental styles, an art that appears new, shiny, and once again copper, made to be placed on the covers of philosophical texts as illustrations of the spooky newness of our condition, emblems. Bochner measuring with the giddy glee of new technologies.  These aren’t conceptual objects but representational ones. They depict the information they contain.The world and the processes that comprise these objects are interesting, in the future as the works become historical documents of these technologies possibly the art will become too.

See too: Ben Schumacher at Musee d’art contemporain de Lyon , Darren Bader at Andrew Kreps

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

“Transatlantic Transparency” at Mathew

Transatlantic Transparency at Mathew New York
(“Transatlantic Transparency” at Mathew New York, Berlin)

In the intentionally bathetic ending of Lerner’s novel (quoted in the press release) the Poet, throughout stricken with self-reflexive paralysis, described by one reviewer as an “examination of just how self-conscious, miserable, and absurd one man can be” arises from the dream of his Madrid fellowship discovering his problems somehow gone the moment he leaves them.
Not that there's anything wrong with that. The exhibition's formalism is criticism only in the sense of contemporary art's allergy to the word, but of course Wilde’s “It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances...” and so. Appearances are politics, and in an age where the image replaces thought, the formalism often exists as an interesting necessary tool. So why does this exhibition feel so defeated before born? Like the press release, it itself uses its stylistic assemblage to bog itself in its own mire, only to get sad about it, defeated by its own appearances.

HE HAD ENOUGH RESPECT FOR PAINTING to quit. Enough respect for quitting to paint. Enough respect for the figure to abstract. For abstraction to hint at the breast. For the breast to ask the model to leave. But I live here, says the model. And I respect that, says the painter. But I have enough respect for respect to insist. For insistence to turn the other cheek. For the other cheek to turn the other cheek. Hence I appear to be shaking my head No.
-Ben Lerner from Angle of Yaw.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Chris Burden Metropolis II at LACMA

(Metropolis II)

the highest function of art in democracy
is to keep potential dictators out of the candidate pool
by offering them a much less socially costly
illusion of immortality.
- Mark Leidner

Burden’s sculptures express stupid power, mimed and caricaturized from the world's existing forms, brutal and dumb, big and deaf.
At 11:30 a.m. on a Saturday the children sitting patient with the machine begin along with it to whirr and squeal, running in the same circles as it. They could not be more enamored with seeing their playthings scaled to the epic one of money’s fuel. Their unsublimated desires erected by the ordering principles of capital, having not yet even known this was their desire.
And As a caricature the sculpture feels apt. The inexplicable pointless whizzing of thousands of cars mocks the outrageous scale of Los Angeles’s travel system's own competing with the Great Wall in sheer determination as solution. Inelegant.
For Burden the question of, “How did our world end up like this?” is posited as the product of thousands of megalomaniac children grown never learning their childhood fantasies of the world need not be enforced upon it. That the train barons and real estate developers creating and having created the world may have less to do with money and more with the latent remains of childhood fevers. The rest are left in the lumbering audience’s stands that surround it which brutally ask viewers to bear witness to it, grandstanding their viewership of the world as constructed. The children run giddy.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sherrie Levine at Simon Lee

Sherrie Levine at Simon Lee
(Sherrie Levine at Simon Lee)

Not to mention the infiltration of certain forms of cultural capital into emerging markets.

The opacity of Levine’s practice, what at first seemed political eventually dispersing to the desire clouding their surface, the first photo cancelling Levine’s second, leaving it as fetish, its surface, an erotic act of medium. Krauss writing it’s “act of theft, which takes place, so to speak, in front of the surface of Weston’s print” made it impossible to see hers, and others theorized the feeling of third sets of eyes, implying a form of moral stakes in which the viewer really was birthed in a consciousness that signaled the end of edenic ignorance. Levine eventually ditching the overt specificity of appropriation proper, and began rendering unplaceable genericisms and monochromes under the burnish of banal surface, a less cruel and more seductive version of Mosset monochromes, whose destruction of content made their opaqueness a violence, and more like commodity forms, whose reproduction was their content and total-allure of surface their meaning.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Elmgreen & Dragset at Statens Museum for Kunst

(Elmgreen & Dragset at Statens Museum for Kunst)

Mark Handforth at Kayne Griffin Corcoran

Mark Handforth at Kayne Griffin Corcoran
(Mark Handforth at Kayne Griffin Corcoran)

The strangeness of this exhibition is reconciling the in-person experience with its now image representation, the discrepant experience of two forms of scale. In reproduction the largess is a concept, it flatters them, making the big dumb things seem more appropriate to function as freakishly oversized signs in a world rendered virtual, the terror of their superfluous birth into the real producing not such a cripplingly appropriate question. In the real world you see they’re made for collectors backyards, the perfect monument to the capital’s exchange, codes for real.

See too : Amanda Ross-Ho at ApproachDaniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel at Micheline Szwajcer

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sean Raspet at Jessica Silverman

Sean Raspet at Jessica SIlverman
(Sean Raspet at Jessica Silverman)

Peter Eleey's exhibition The Quick and the Dead was an expose on the Conceptual art’s hinging of itself on the poetics of its functionlessness, even the driest conceptualizations of dead art scrolls were in lineage with a Caspar David Friedrich existentialism, positioning art within a cerebral vastness and nothingness, conceptual art latently filled with men standing before crashing waves of their romantic ideals. The go-to form of conceptual art now is a mannerist product version of it, sited within minimalist tendencies of theater, ascribing precepts to objects which evoke an endless myriad of poetic feels. The recipe for this process is well understood, the problem lies in making its concoction more concentrate, more acidic, a better product, and once Raspet finally rid himself of the hairgel cubes to present the near nothingness of his thesis show in which the concentration reached peak, and here the ouroboros of its olfactory conceit in which everything and nothing happens in inevitable returns, the vast nothingness spreads before us and the conceptual cymbals crash.

See too : Jason Dodge at Franco Nero

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Philippe Parreno at Esther Schipper

Philippe Parreno at Esther Schipper
(Link: Philippe Parreno at Esther SchipperSchinkel PavillonPilar Corrias)

Parreno always felt askew in the ideological containment of Relational Aesthetics. Yet Kelsey’s final cut at Relational programs as coup-de-grace description: “capitalist realist adaptation of art to the experience economy” fits particularly unfortunately well to Parreno. Parreno’s premised on a pagan-importance of experience run through the fun-house of post-modernity, a contemporary update of some of the quasi-spiritualism of minimalism’s Light and Space and Irwins phenomenological trips, forgetting the name of the thing one saw as a salve to ordering impulse of capital, rendered now (further realist ala Kelsey) with symbols and mis-en-scene, alienating the experience of today’s banalities towards the to-what-ends? of the real contention of RA. If no one has made such bold claims in the beginning we wouldn't have had the maelstorm that colors the sight of these things today and they would look like mere art, instead of politically contentious objects that fall under a name that we can't forget and thus cannot see.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Margaret Lee at Team

Margaret Lee at Team (bungalow)
(Margaret Lee at Team)

From Buren’s stripes previously turned polka dots and Zobernig’s banality turned to silver, Lee’s interest in “transforming the act of presentation into a subject unto itself” makes for a semi-reflexive nondescript jewelry form of institutional crit: so banal one must wonder about them. References so watered down to make tastes so bland it becomes impossible to discern where the appropriation even lay. Like the p-zombie, it becomes impossible to discern those mindless forms of art and the forms that mine the them. Zobernig was able to able to make funny the surprise of wresting yet one more form of banality out of saturated markets of it, a new runner in a race of weak-tea genericism as critically appropriate.

See too : Heimo Zobernig - Petzel,  Krupp, MUDAM

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sturtevant at MoMA

(Sturtevant at MoMA)

It would make sense that Sturtevant’s culminating exhibition would be a bad one. Yet to call the show a disservice amongst an entire career of stop and starts and too-soon brilliance - what Hainley refers to as the artist’s tendency for prolepsis - makes this addendum of an exhibition all the more sadly apt; that to think the work capable of a finality of representation was of course misguided. An artist who in her 70’s began again with a whole new line of work capable of competing with 20’s Berliners in fresh faced zeal, the artist would have been better served outside this dullest of institutions. Yet curator Eleey, always the installation showman, and alongside the artist seems to have smuggled a few time-bombs of white-hot brilliance  into of the dim yellow tendencies of MoMA corporate-hood. An ecstatic video work placed within sight of Starry Night, an act of total historical vertigo, too soon.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Moyra Davey at Institute of Contemporary Art

Moyra Davey at Institute of Contemporary Art
(Moyra Davey at Institute of Contemporary Art)

Sontag pointed out photography as inherently elegiac, and Davey further expresses its moribund nature-morte with a gloss of preemptive nostalgia. Like instagram filters made to affect 70’s grain on crystalline microlenses - implanting an artificial comfort into the cold of its technologic clarity - Davey went from photographing the dust and stains that mark human touch and embody nostalgia, to pre-placing that touch on the photographs, mailing them to package the touch that preceded them. Unlike Beshty’s copper marring conceptual emblems, the touch placed onto photographs re-re-re-inscribes photography’s loss of the human in favor of the sediment of it. Like Long Life Cool Whites, brimming with the ghosts photography’s past theorists, the book was pre-yellowed with the past brought to the present to fill it like Proustian remembrance of theorists past.  It’s all incredibly affective, like Sontag’s furthering Genet’s “the only criterion of an act is its elegance” with Wilde's: “the vital element is not sincerity, but style.”

Friday, December 19, 2014

Greer Lankton at Participant Inc.

Photo by Karl Peterson
(Greer Lankton at Participant Inc.) link

Today, in the era of the online avatar Lankton’s surrogate dolls may have had a resurgence of relevance, staging and reflecting its world in the warped mirror of Lankton’s desire, the way digital technologies’ virtual platforms potentialize the endless construction of the avatar-self and its world. Lankton’s worlds were proto-virtual; projections of her desire/vision into imagined worlds that today makes more sense in terms of so many artists' digital desire-realms. It could have been great. But today the cast of characters surrounding the work today and writing the PR seems more concerned with projecting it back into history, back into its now lifeless scene, alongside the more famous names it can accredit to it, preserving it in the embalm of the all the pedigree it can inject.

See too: Tony Greene at Schindler House , Nicholas Buffon at Freddy , Danny McDonald at House of Gaga

Thursday, December 18, 2014

“Paris De Noche” at Night Gallery

Andrei Koschmieder, Pentti Monkkonen, Amy Yao
"Paris De Noche" at Night Gallery
(“Paris De Noche” at Night Gallery)

In a sense you don’t want to fault these three for making such perfect lozenges of product/commodities, because 1; they all really look great, and 2; to do so, would require faulting every painting ever made for its perfect commodic form: painting's content valuable for the support on which it rests, the sexy container. Similar to Seth Price for whom the packaging was the product and Dispersion as content, the three here take to crafting the package itself, in re-making the support as a form: ladders as frames, trucks as canvas, and corrugated metal as painting; each a product inseparable from its package whose functional content remain to be seen.

See too Pentti Monkkonen at High Art , Andrei Koschmieder at Real Fine Arts

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Amy Lien & Enzo Camacho at 47 Canal

Amy Lien & Enzo Camacho at 47 Canal

Haegue Yang’s early blinds - prior to the later shopping-spree installationism - interspersed heaters, smells and videos of airport lounges within its venetian mazes to create metonymnic sites for the then-still analog fracturing of space (it was 2007 when jet-setting was still the only way to fly) was relevant to globalizing artworld. Yang's spaces disfigured unconscious visual ordering of space and inserted their own artificial senses for it. The video monitors depiction of circulation’s non-sites became ironic respite from the disorder, but in the banality becoming no escape at all. Of course that all now looks nostalgic, superseded by the all-powered exchange of monitor-theater.
And so here the lights turn low and the curtain drawn around all-interior personal theaters, locked in to Bacta tanks of network refresh in a Sturtevant spin, fleeing videos in which attention cannot be directed-to but merely mis-directed by whirli-wig visions, matching the press release's dizziness of everywhere-nowhere artist romance, refreshing art’s nauseating self-sentimentalization.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Frances Scholz at Tif Sigfrids

Frances Scholz at Tif Sigfrids
(Frances Scholz at Tif Sigfrids)

 You can cheer yourself with donuts and coffee between each, but the rising regret of a days visiting galleries in Los Angeles is, like summer heat, slowly oppressive, omnipresent. You’ve never felt stupider in your decision, driving ten minutes between each to look for parking at each, turning off the car, getting out, feeding a meter with the prediction of how interesting the exhibition will actually be, and walking into the space where everyone looks incredulous at your having shown up. Every desk jockey’s eye implicitly asking the question of “don’t you know its beautiful outside.” It is beautiful outside, and you have to reassure yourself your interest in art is real and just and there is a brief standoff between you and the gallerist as to whether you will stay or just be a normal person and leave but you win and the jockey's body, creaky from attunement to semio-labor and not the physical one of having to get up to turn a knob, gets up and turns on the sound to the projector and returns to their desk behind a wall to resume conversation. You can tell how important they think you are by how lewd the gossip remains. Because everyone in L.A. knows everyone else, and since they don’t know you, its assumed you don’t know anyone. So the conversation is lewd.  And since you don’t know anyone there is no way you could be interested in this, your attendance can only be rationalized as an accident and heads in disbelief erupt from behind the wall every 2 minutes later, in wait to to turn the sound off once again, expecations for the mistaken viewer to leave. Heads not even waiting the length of even one trailer. 4 times in 10 minutes the heads peek like whack-a-mole, but where I, the viewer, am the mole, and the disembodied moles attempt shooing their voyeur away. Disbelieving in an ability to maintain interest, to watch all 10 minutes 16 seconds of video.
And as if to prove them right it shows up online, they have the world on computers now.

The trailers are interesting. A perfect distending form of art, the film trailers purpose to give jist of what the thing is “about,” giving each bit of film, each fragment, a projectable potential into its larger arc continually guessed at over the length of its viewing. In this way the form itself is the lure in which one already understand the rules and assumptions of its form and anything placed into it will assume a certain type of viewing. It gives the nonsensical mess a structure which make it appear to make some sense as potential. You can throw whatever into it, adding more and more, and it will self organize by the cultural assumptions which precede it. Paul Giamatti helps too.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Danny McDonald at House of Gaga

Danny McDonald at House of Gaga
(Danny McDonald at House of Gaga)

The toy/action-figure has become a major feature in art.
From Steinbach’s belief in the formal beauty of the product, to Harrison’s abuse of their semantic connotation - demolitioning of meaning - and the cargo-cult pickings arranged as marxist totems, toys now bespeak a Pop-freudian analysis, dredging up the subconscious of culture - a C-3PO with robot tits, an Alien brain tumor, Schwarzenegger slurping a pink dick, the monster made to hold a mirror to itself; that, like a Jim Shaw pop-surrealism in Cady Noland means, becoming assemblage Rorscharchs of what this culture could possibly mean, and fun to boot, the hot new item on everyone's list surely.

See also: Pentti Monkkonen at High Art, Flat Neighbors at Rachel Uffner, Jim Shaw at Metro Pictures, Mathis Altmann at Freedman Fitzpatrick, “Puddle, pothole, portal” at Sculpture Center

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Albert Oehlen at Skarstedt

Albert Oehlen at Skarstedt
“No. There have been all kinds of filth in art. Beuys, Vienna Actionism, Miserabilism, every kind of filthy painting, broken bodies, bits of flesh, violent spray orgies, and painters who listen to Tom Waits while they work. We didn't have anything to do with any of that." 
-Oehlen on Kippenberger and himself.

Kippenberger may have had the charisma and showmanship, but, as is revealed in interviews and paintings, Oehlen was the funny one. While Kippenberger's paintings were a joke, self-mocking farce on the viewer’s desire for mastery, Oehlen’s paintings were a comedy relying on the formal exigencies of the craft - timing, inflection, nuance - acerbic without punchlines; they lack a clear position from which to “get the joke.” Oehlen’s paintings do not clearly delineate their intended “content."
This, what the NYTime’s called a “lack of pretense,” set him apart from the multitudes today indebted to his practice who, desiring to be swallowed so quickly, find a lured aspect for which the paintings to be consumed, following on 2009’s Luhring Augustine finger paintings that proved you could make bad paintings and be cool too, of course then the moment Gagosian decided to represent him, and Oehlen’s second American wind from the huffing of so many young churning out marketable variations of him.

O’BRIEN: But can you be an abstract painter and a bad painter? 
OEHLEN: Absolutely. [all laugh] 
WOOL: The worst. I like a story you told once that I tell students sometimes. You said you were trying very hard to make seriously bad paintings, while the New Museum version of bad painting was really about something else—it was about outside ideas that were bad—but you were trying to make really bad paintings, and you realized that the worst ones you could make were exactly like the Neue Wilde painters in Berlin. And then you decided it really wasn’t worth it, and Dieter Roth said something similar. He was interested in making bad paintings, and he said he always failed, because with paintings it always looks good in some way. Just because of the material . . . But he could do it with music, he could do it when he was playing the piano by himself, but it was excruciating to listen to, and he would immediately have to stop. It kind of closes the loop. 
OEHLEN: I mean, you have to do it seriously. You have to take responsibility. You cannot just do it as a side project and make an arrogant attitude, a gesture. I think Dieter Roth could not have done it because he was not a painter. You have to become a painter and hold your head out the window. You have to give it an importance, and I did that, so that’s why I could do it. [laughs]
Interview Magazine

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Miriam Cahn at Jocelyn Wolff

Miriam Cahn at Jocelyn Wolff
(Miriam Cahn at Jocelyn Wolff)

The material presence of Cahn’s dusty surfaces that the work is predicated on is here instead given a physical presence to occupy real space, the spectral planes become exhibitionist bodies, hewn logs simply scattered. This of course is the most romantic - nearing nostalgic - pleasure afforded by art today, to remember the days of bodies. Yet overt sentimentality is balanced in their formal dumbness, the directness of the intention, the pleasure of physical bodies without the formal wankery of Puryear. Just dumb lumps molded to softness, sanded skin looking like dough, the gross stupidity of our bodies, something entirely erotic about the fan shape etched in flesh.

See too: Cathy Wilkes at Tramway

Friday, December 12, 2014

Will Benedict at Bergen Kunsthall

Left to Right: Tom Humphreys, Clegg & Guttmann, Floor: David Leonard, Pentti Monkkonen, Lucie Stahl, Monitors:Puppies Puppies, Lin May Saeed

The new method of artistic identity production, vacant-token-products for the gallery leaving the unsaleable cultural-capital building for the museums. Benedict has always been, like Kanye, a wonderful producer woefully lacking in “content.” Instead the arrangements are based on the formal material massaged in the medium of the network, buoys in the flow. Though Yeezus was great.

And Benedict's turn towards video production gives the most interesting results, yet the temptation to connect Benedict’s passé part-outs to the subliminal-abjection of the anti-adverts - both creating a fragmented disgust - would miss how sick-sweet repulsiveness of Fried Chicken and KFC commercials is premised on their physiological allure set against a much deeper horror. Benedict’s are closer to the phenomenon of trypophobia, a socially spread internet “fear,” presenting a study of whether it actually premised off a biological response or a form of social inclusion

See too: Will Benedict at Balice Hertling 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sean Landers at Friedrich Petzel

Sean Landers at Friedrich Petzel

Landers’ aborted-before-conceived humor is continually resuscitated by the artist’s writings - here etched in the paintings themselves at the bottom of the ocean - imbuing a pathos into the not quite fully gestated juvenalia, asking to be excused for mistakes made in teenage exuberance of dealing with art in the eternal sense, becoming all so stupid and pathetic as to become endearing, like all John Candy’s exasperatingly aloof characters who in the film/gallery's third act find him asking directly and pathetically for forgiveness to found-families for the idotic-yet-winning obliviousness, as a whale wearing flannel about to go down, here an Uncle Buck kept on life-support to achieve immortality as a joke.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Trevor Paglen at Metro Pictures

Trevor Paglen at Metro Pictures

The art trope of highlighting the discrepancy between surface depiction and the latent content; Paglen’s I-spy photographics, making spectacular-banal photographs that await the moment of their reveal: finding the tiny dot denoting drones that mar the expensive print of skies, or the anonymous building turning out to be a possible “black site” discovered by the artist, or this exhibition's nonsensical phrases revealed as government code names. Unlike Christopher Williams, for whom the endless textual production surrounding the photographs acts like a spigot draining the privilege of the visible, Paglen’s photographs make visible something meaningful that is ultimately meaningless, there’s nothing to be done with this information, these absurd names, but watch them pass like a poisoned and interminable river, a discrepancy affective but belittling. Having more to do with art than politics. You’ve found Waldo, but you’ll never get to shake his hand.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Kaspar Müller at Federico Vavassori

Kaspar Müller at Federico Vavassori

It’s Zobernig tar+feathering, Julian Opie’s picto-programmatic brand, and other iconographies existing in unplaceable cultural memory. But whereas Zobernig’s genericism was a deflecting form of critique, maquettes for his fictionalized art theater, Kaspar’s direct thefts of institutionalized styles is a reflexive and perforated form of identity, accumulating a piecemeal version, forming a pile of identity rather than a package, to be sifted through rather than consumed, objects which will never become whole. The new puzzle form of art’s conceptuality.

See too: Jana Euler at Kunsthalle Zürich , Annette Kelm at Gio MarconiHeimo Zobernig at Petzel, Krupp, MudamMatthew Cerletty at Office Baroque

Thursday, December 4, 2014

“National Gallery” at Grand Century

"National Gallery" at Grand Century

The exhibition was a month ago but its good timing this late-entry-prior Miami arrivals to get the free advertising, labelled on the map of relevancy, legitimation and visibility. Before there be just serpents in the uncharted. But a few famed friends shed light as german markers of this new territory, addendum to Empire’s realm.
The show hung on the ceiling.
Looks fun - Genzken at 66 still has it, and Kennedy’s work was always made to do this - but in it’s desire for “a heightened physical awareness that serves to explore the idea of vision as corporeal” and “a temporary resistance to mass circulation” the irony of its installation upset lies in the fact that it was always going to end up in the trading routes of it not Empire, then any of the other outsider networks, pretty much made for it by the gallery National’s standard two day party affair, documentation for the hungover circulation, and that that is all that is left, temporary resistance as a good foreplay, because every good sea man does eventually want to get swallowed.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thomas Eggerer at Richard Telles

Thomas Eggerer at Richard Telles

The painting’s tension exists in whether or not Eggerer cares about his subject matter. Richter may have shown care for his but then masochistically bled it, and as this cold blood trickled down, through Tuymans and Sasnal, it finally reaches the ambivalence of Eggerer’s young men as vessels. Richter painted abstractions and people to prove his violence toward each; Eggerer paints people within architectures of highly stylized abstractions to prove the artificiality of his vision.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christian Herman Cummings, Miriam Hanks-Todd at Michael Benevento

Christian Herman Cummings, Miriam Hanks-Todd at Michael Benevento

The smell of latex permeates the show, setting the scene in nausea unalleviated by the pepto bismal spread over pinkly over the desk, all adding up to a scrappy and roughshod abjection of framing, of frames' weakly pink made bodily in the dead flesh molding campy ventian blinds open to reveal doodled notations of a crude sexology, schematics, kid stuff in a Cronenberg version, a good show of gross stuff. Wounds as sex objects in the other room.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Flame at 576 Morgan Ave Apt 3L Gallery

Flame at 576 Morgan Ave Apt 3L Gallery

Reinhardt’s dictum of his as the last paintings taken as a challenge rather than rhetoric, certain artists since race to end painting in an escalating torture-porn of it, sending their innocent child paintings to be forcibly taken in all the imaginative ways of the market, ready to prove - by forcible insertion - its shiny new neo-liberal critique to teach it know better, horror as ethics. Thing was Krebber had already proved you could have your burrito and eat it too, even if the press release doesn’t believe it, and that mocking Murillos “burrito” painting’s market ascension after the same artist later went on to stand up and lecture the bourgeois paying his way, however meaningless itself, seems a petty game more concerned with demonstrations of the cold depths of out-nihilising the other, a Baudrillard-like shift moving from productive critique of Marxism to a hyperbolic rhetoric of endgame, immanetizing the eschaton, hell on earth.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Julien Meert

Unlike the Condo-esque pastiche of the orange and green portrait’s 3rd-generation faux-primitivism, the other painting in the show, Meert’s flesh and blue portrait grapples with a whole other cultural primitivism of a blue-eyed westerner: the elementary portrait painted in unlearned directness of first attempts to render. That these unlearned portraits reveals, like a repressed artifact floating to the surface of the pool: a western collective-unconscious ideal of person. Like the Vitruvian man fit into rational containers, everyone’s shitty first portraits draw a sort of hidden standard, a boyhood's normative primitivism revealing unconscious ideals.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Alexander Ross at David Nolan

Alexander Ross at David Nolan

The painting’s physicality found in its detail's quasi-digital scaling, rendering topography as a haptic plasticity reminding you of your face's more rubbery bits. Ross’s lumpen portraits are reminiscent of the original Smiley Face™ created to keep workers happy, a smiling complacency of un-revolving ideals, assuaging masses.

See too: Heather Guertin at Brennan & Griffin.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Oscar Tuazon and Eli Hansen at Maccarone

Oscar Tuazon and Eli Hansen at Maccarone

The brutalist bravado of Tuazon meeting the campy stoner pastiche of Hansen’s psuedo-psychedelia makes for an imprecision of tone like Prince’s appropriation of the rural’s common tire planters, hard to disentangle celebration from sarcasm, like the joke of this exhibition’s endless column of toilet water. What was brilliantly found common ground in previous co-exhibtions, containing the specificity of both’s affective attachments, as in duct taped glassware, becomes in this exhibition dulled in its conflicting auras, mixed-metaphors of irony meeting its antithesis, of the deft masculine erections mocked by its sidelined dropout equivalent, found a meeting point in the threshold of blue-collar car craft aesthetics.

Oscar Tuazon and Eli Hansen at Maccarone