Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Peter Fend at Essex Street

Peter Fend at Essex Street

In its art impotence we need not obey or believe, and instead pick at the minutia of its rhetoric, sampling it in the political limpness of a poem, like Holzer’s Truisms, tweets flashing on courier’s white aluminum. Poster removed from action, placed in the gallery, looking good but not quite working. From a decade when Chris Wool was screaming unheard in silent graphics, to today as Fend yells in varying green hues, some red; it’s less call to action but instead gloss in the cybernetic reach of slogan marketing, maps of cerebral gaming. Winning the hearts and minds. The way its breath enters you, like Jonathan Horowitz’s pedestalled tofu, slowly getting slimy. Bruce Nauman in his skyplane writing on the blue Pasadena sky, “Leave the land alone.” The invocation of James Bond feels spot on in its admittance of our land of fiction:

HOW CAN THE CIA CONTROL
SUCH A NEW WAY TO WRITE
FINALLY JAMES BOND MUST
RELENT, GIVING WAY TO A
FORCE OF COMMON THOUGHT
BY A CITIZEN NAMED FEND

Monday, September 29, 2014

Vittorio Brodmann at Gregor Staiger

Vittorio Brodmann at Gregor Staiger

Well painted cartoons in lavish colors, deft paint. Less a Condo watch-me-paint-something-stupid than 4th generation Guston, trickle filtered through the present painting substrate, Sillman and Schutz and Vance and Lassnig - funny amalgam in a Picasso Baby reverent irreverence, dissonant with the painted ennui of awkward bodies, the baseline for painting today.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Gina Beavers at Clifton Benevento

Gina Beavers at Clifton Benevento
(link)
Let’s not make anything of the Instagram origins conceptual juicing. Beavers’ shift from edging foodporn to straight porno-esque, the nails, lips, decommissioned musculature of engines, the post-coital stub, phallic carving exposing the more explicitly latent. Pulling from the world’s vast reserve of images made to speak about its desires. Let’s not make much of the countless men sculpting countless phallus. Rounding the lips express the touch, cuuuuuurves, till the last one looks like a butthole. puckered. None of Instagrams perfect white lighting, everything appearing soaked in ink, coated in oil. The dry scrapping of the brush around the curves. Trippy in the battle of discerning what is relief and illusion in image.

See too: Gina Beavers at Retrospective

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Nicholas Buffon at Freddy


(link)
The world rendered in miniature, distant. The signs of the world arranged in a taxonomic grid. Prefiguring action of action figures, scenery in the play we project. MD -> NY, gallery direct. Painted with a teenage aestheticism, pizza handed in Guston gluttony, brushstrokes dragged like feet to get in the car. Distinct Joe Fig’s clever meta game of infinite cleanliness, instead touch rendered, Buffon’s empty streets, and human remnants find a sentimental blowing in the detritus, the world empty, ready for the world’s endless figurants. The facade of the gallery to imagine its inside, the inside everything out, synechode New York. I would like the police car action set please.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Torbjørn Rødland at Kunsthall Stavanger



The PR’s refusal to acknowledge the sexual themes leaves the perverts guessing. Erotic coupling, miscegenation of binary masculine/feminine, phallic/soft. Everything touching, lightly. Black butterflies suckling split bananas opened nectar. Spire’s gape like saddled into stirrups. This into that. Penetrating weave of wicker threaded with ticklish horsehair. Oh me oh my. Porcelain lighting on fragile goosepimpled legs, secured into stout kneepad’s digital camo. One thing into the other. “Our wedding,” the coupling, the light caressing of a face. The slit orange’s tufts.

“Comparing a sock to a vagina is OK, it’s done all the time, but you’d have to be insane to compare a pure aggregate of stitches to a field of vaginas [...] Salvador Dali, in attempting to reproduce his delusions, may go on at length about the rhinoceros horn; [...] But when he starts comparing goosebumps to a field of tiny rhinoceros horns, we get the feeling that the atmosphere has changed and that we are now in the presence of madness.” - D+G

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Michael Krebber at Nagel Draxler


For all Krebber’s hoodwinks, in the grand and continuing view of his practice over decades, the oeuvre looks tame, conservative. Compare a walk through Chelsea today sees violent lashing out in the struggle for visibility. What allowed Krebber to be, here in “youth” 90’s - 00’s, unflappable. Perhaps presence of famous friends. This of course his subversion, the aiming at self’s feet for well placed shots, and a long trail of much loved blood.
But revelatory here the prairie-home innocence of this time periods exhibtionism, less the silly artfair painting jest redoubled today as bad paintings joke sold to collectors, than the nostalgic young Krebber and friends having a time in the country. The famous “digging into the mirror” photo's context reveal much less conceptually prescient images of Krebber for instance with a boot dangling from his ass. Similar to Capa’s filmrolls revealing his famous shot soldier really hadn’t been captured midst ballistic trauma, but rather tripping over his own feet.

Affiliated: Krebber at Daniel Buchloz

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Joav BarEl at Tempo Rubato

Joav BarEl at Tempo Rubato


According to the PR this is the center of the world. And if you buy it, or curate it, you can place there on its clear altar under its dome any object you like.
But so of course the question is which world does it become the center of. Becuase Bruce Nauman built the center of the universe, fittingly, in Albuquerque. In cosmological terms all points are the center of the universe, dispersed, infinite. Everything expanding away from everywhere else. All distance increasing over time, though it’s hard to say whether between me and you. Between you and this thing. But so what’s the difference between a world and a universe. And whose world. And what is a center of a world.

Tonight I'm being paid $125 dollars to follow a partybus containing a celebrity reporting its location by texts to producers through the Los Angeles night.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Eric Wesley at Bortolami

Eric Wesley at Bortolami
(link)

The schedule like the modernist grid thematizes the paint. Paint as laughably hopeful-stand-in for thought, the aura of having thought, without containing it. Eroticising the noodling, doodles, messes, detritus, as the work itself, symbols of work, desperately, “drolly,” coming with nothing but itself in hand, the seed spilled.
Rorschachs as production schedules, enabling projection. A luring decipherability: telling us nothing, appearing as if they could. The paint/doodling is desire, hypothetical, schematics projecting into time, suspending the painting into delay, a pre. The touch, marks of a lifetime, on canvas, blown up. Noodling in time, marking it, as only spilling on a schedule could.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Richard Prince at Kunsthaus Bregenz

Richard Prince at Kunsthaus Bregenz

A theft of art 'tudes, buddy buddy his new buddy Dan Colen’s limpid ethos. An Ikea like postering of ideas. Bedroom Klimts. Think of these like Ikea posters for your bedroom, then we’ll be picking on the right critical discourse. Not engaging bedroom posters coolness, actual posters of coolness.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Robert Grosvenor at Karma


The awkward of minimalism of Grosvenor, a sort of cartoony literalness. The “sculpture” here, the triangular vehicle, becomes dreamlike fetish or totem. Impossible to understand as either sculpture or functional object, it’s surreal like all those lobster telephones or floating basketballs, suspended between art and enterprise.
Best in the artless construction, the simple cum uncanny, off. Photos of vernacular construction whose means make a sort of sense, but odd. Makers who follow their own impossibly developed logic to its own ends. The blue steps. The impossibly phallic car. The little wheel.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ettore Spalletti at MAXXI, Museo Madre, Gam

Ettore Spalletti at MAXXI, Museo Madre, Gam

A phenomenal practice that doesn’t take well to criticism. You had to be there, man. The attempt at compressing light/color into physicality. All the things Fried said were latent in minimalism are express here, a theater of an exhibition, It presents you with your own viewing, an experience. Zobernig sans critique, sublime. Vague objects becoming specific in the experience of them. Romantic in its ideal of what it wants you to feel, fetishistic in its trained manipulation of it; pain in the pleasure, the failure in the immensity of the attempt.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ian Rosen at Kristina Kite

Ian Rosen at Kristina Kite
(link)

Presciently, Bruce Hainley understood early, eerily, the limitations of interest in Rosen’s work in a review based on a sole photograph in a single show when the artist was still working in physical space. Hainley muses on discerning acts of “grooming” from “genuine distress,” reaching out for “contact,” the review reads as sage advice/stern warning to the young artist more than addressing Artforum readers.
But despite Hainley’s parable to a young artist, we are today left with Rosen gathering artworld consecrators to be"pleased to announce [their] cooperation in the presentation of an exhibition." “Exhibition” now mere name listed: Hainley, Midway Contemporary Art, New Museum, now Kite; you’d be hard pressed to find a higher end roster. Its nihilistic critique asserting that names on a list are the real base of art, reductio ad absurdum. A game of gathering artworld credibility, that Hainley acknowledged his complicity with, in which you are a pawn with one distinct choice, of saying yes or no, but after that the moves are all already preloaded into Rosen’s game.
Like Codax, or Green Tea Gallery, it’s hard not to be cynical about its “institutional critique” - revealing the cred-network - as anything but press building, self-mythology.

Read Hainley's here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Steinar Haga Kristensen at Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius

Steinar Haga Kristensen at Contemporary Art Centre

Doubling is a good one, used to to full effect here. It suspends the rectifying, organizing principles of vision into a game. Desperately wanting to look at the thing itself, the images, repeating, disobey the logic of visual order: that there be a thing, singular. "The fact that there were two of them signifies the end of any original reference. [...] Only the doubling of the sign truly puts an end to what it designates." The content ironizes, deauthenticates, and prioritizes visual experience of the competing sights. If there had been only one owl, we’d be talking about the owl, but the two make it seem beside the point, of which there isn’t one, there’s two. Good Show.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mike Bouchet and Paul McCarthy at Marlborough Monaco

Mike Bouchet and Paul McCarthy @ Marlborough Gallery Monaco

The Battleship Bilbao Billboard project was refreshing, a simple attack at the level of image/brand shaking the behemoth that the endless arrows of well-scripted criticism, aiming at Guggenheim’s museum as franchise model, couldn’t. Brand image was where the reality lay. But in the exhibitions since it seems its a collaboration 25 years in the making to go back to making work in the coincidence-valorized-as-auratic-material art making narratives of Jason Rhoades, McCarthy’s student and Bouchet contemporary. Rhoades who in his own time couldn’t get McCarthy himself off his back as a reference. Influence comes full circle in just not enough time to forget totally, and the funny-fresh irreverence of Rhodes symbolist networks lives in McCarthy/Bouchet’s titillation of their own brand strategies; Ivory Snow becoming Bilboa sunscreen and Battleship films - even with its own a-hole prepackaged. Though for now not nearly wildly inventive or all encompassing as Rhoades magisterial ability to tie it all together as if it somehow made sense, and not just a bunch of art scrap in a room.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Nick Mauss and Ken Okiishi at Mendes Wood DM



The Okiishi TV one of the most confounding artworks of the last number of years. So obvious, ham-handed, and bungled it’s difficult discerning whether miraculous or idiotic. Brilliant commodities that’s for sure and an Artsy page that’s “SOLD” out. Everyone somehow talking about chroma-keys, as if that mattered. For better or worse, if it wasn't fashionable Okiishi producing these, no one would care. Mauss and Okiishi’s desire for the possibility of new images seems deigned to expressing less a new image than the fetishistic desire inherent in images, a sexual teasing of images that of course leave you firmly blue-balled with cash in hand.
The spoons are an interesting nice gesture but feel more camouflage for the exhibition of last year's hot tickets sold once again.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

David Rappeneau at Queer Thoughts

David Rappeneau at Queer Thoughts

So our references here are all tied together, we’ve got Fashion advertorial ennui in the heroin chic vein, injected with post-Akira Gabber stylings, like Tom Nijhuis's 2011 throwback /1995. A Richard Hawkinsian party complete with smoking effeminate zombie boys. The real appeal here is just seeing something drawn. The silver subject matter almost kin contemporary still life, just banal enough to seem vaguely post-critical critical. A sort of interest in the uncanny-valley of the manga rendered bodily Mad in volumetric distortions, but not so far as the outright weirding of it of by Julien Ceccaldi, to whom these will be endlessly compared.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Aaron Curry at Michael Werner

Aaron Curry at Michael Werner

Sometimes you see something so awful words lack and dismay suspends time to second guess yourself. But these are just the worst. Unbelievable ugly. Appropriated high school noodling made irrepressible paintings. So bad they look from the future. It’s like you thought it couldn’t get any worse, but then it did. All of primitivist colonialism in teenage-bedroom’s unthought posters. It’s like being cybernetically plugged into a powerful video game and then cerebrally taken against your will. Curry’s penchant for theft finally stealing from people without recourse, teenage boys, Giger, all the lowest, brandished in neon green, Curry stealing candy from the helpless masses not consecrated as art.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Karla Black at Raffaella Cortese

Karla Black at Raffaella Cortese

Black’s confectioneries artstudent recipes sugarcoated yellow. Formal experiments in candy-coating, yellow, unifying the fractional objects to the lowest common denominator in attempts to add them up to a sum greater than all the recipe's parts. A low calorie smorgasbord that can't really hold up that well.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cathy Wilkes at Tramway


Cathy Wilkes at Tramway
(link)

Since sculptural figuration’s wastelanding after modernism, its return in inhumanist impulse made sense in conceptual and post-minimal fallout. The humanist passe was instead fit into the acceptable accounting methods of the 60's ruling doctrine, and begetting experiments fitting the body into the cold baths of art’s de rigeur; e.g. Nauman’s uncanny serialization of it. It continued time and artist again until it started actually resembling the body reflected in cold capital, looking prescient for whole new reasons, e.g. Katharina Fristch, Rachel Harrison, etc. or even treating it kin architectural vessel like Andrew Wekua.
And but so its interesting to have someone actually sympathetic to brutal goo of bodies figuration, even insisting on abject Humanism, intercepting hail mary from Louise Bourgoise, without having to treat it to some quasi-spirituality of Kiki Smith or Gober, in firmly materialist occultism.
The work’s overt sentimentality is overboarding, but treads in the acknowledgment of its cliche, the real material of history, well worn, without resorting to symbolic bags of concrete as representative of history to sink the whole ship in awful triteness. The affective pathos of the skin rendered wool and sleeping, really laying it all out there, held in stasis by the uncanny facelessness, just barely hanging in there, the theatricality might be over, but fresh materiality flees drowning symbolism.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Stefan Tcherepnin at Freedman Fitzpatrick

Stefan Tcherepnin at Freedman Fitzpatrick

Saying "Stefan Tcherepnin at Freedman Fitzpatrick"  is a bit misleading, an oversimplification masking the real transactions. Freedman Fitzpatrick is a social institution, an outpost of a scene importing artists. Berliners understanding the relational survival of arts rosteral trading networks. Give us post-rookie-upswing Tcherepnin we’ll give you our space. Just visit Paramount Ranch for a list of people who are willing to relate. Green Tea gallery, this show’s symbiote, whose real-in-name slowly becoming actually real in finding itself listed in real artist CVs, inverse opposite that other attachment gallery, Shoot the Lobster and their fake artist insertion. Green tea gallery here comes with a whole barrel of fun, With Tcherepnin you get a whole bonus pack, Ei and Tomoo Arakawa, aka United Brothers, (50% more!) and “ invited artists Hanayo, Anicka Yi, Yuri Manabe, and UB Android No. 5 will be featured as a scene in United Brothers’ upcoming installment of the Les Andröides trilogy.” A self-propagating club-house reproducing itself magnificently.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Richard Wright at The Modern Institute

Richard Wright at The Modern Institute

Wright continues his laborious ephemerations castaway from the wall, casting glass to cast light ephemerals back on the walls, light as a brush. Beautify your site-specificity, home, lobby, whatever, it’s made-to-order non-representational design service fitting niche market of anywhere you wanna be. “Wright has adapted the technique initially employed in his recent commission for Tate Britain’s eastern windows, in the Milbank foyer." Museum wing, to gallery, to your home, totally beautiful.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ed Atkins at Serpentine Gallery

Ed Atkins at Serpentine Gallery

Let’s call them the render-stentialists: Atkins, Wolfson, Stark, Helen Martens. They're all good.
Wolfson and Marten’s hipster symbol-shorting mire; Stark & Atkins detached digital-self-subject Nausea-ics; funnily all producing souvenir posters, awash in juxtaposition branding, amazing how similar the tchotchke-trophies made for big game collectors. Wolfson’s got the upper hand on his posters laden with teenboy bedroom mythos, self-annealing; though one would have to admit Stark’s collages are a bit more “real."
No possible acceptable comment on the fact that opposing Atkins' empty surrogate self will be a “durational” exhibition by Marina Abramovic. We’ll all just give each other the eyes over that one.
But so, Atkins videos initial tapping-on-the-glass grating solipsism generally softens over the course of viewing time, ceding an actual emotive plea opposing Wolfson’s building manipulative inflammation, and so one would wish here for more than two minutes of viewing time. Wolfon’s black face actually achieves more nuance here in Atkins directness, called out in its explicitly written on “his” face: troll.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mariana Castillo Deball at Kurimanzutto

Mariana Castillo Deball at Kurimanzutto

A pre-existing map turned flooring like the rugs pre-printed in roads played on as children, not everyone had one, but still the imaginary allure of walking over the map holographing your body imaginarily into the scene, tying one to the place, investing them in it.
Adela Breton the map’s first facsimilist in 1890’s, and anti-psychotic 80’s ads are interesting along with swedish coincidences, references, of which this show is built, everything referring, deferring, are all there in an attempt to tell a story through a connect your own dots adventure, of colonials and appropriation, and its fine, important stories, the archival impulse along with its partner the sentimental impulse, but as art moves further into skepticism over its propagandistic impulse it risks saying merely what is already contained in the texts in an emotive impulse, its loss. You're supposed to put your face in the mask since you're already imaginarily walking in their shoes.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Simon Denny at Portikus

Simon Denny at Portikus

The Highlander Rap Battle, Denny V. Schumacher.
Digital documentation’s res on approach to limits of information contained, its impossible to tell what’s going in half these photos anymore in the bits further limiting visuality, eventually we’ll be documenting mere clouds of shitty nanobot art, but until then, whatever. Denny’s exhibitions an info-graphic-webpage layered arcade, hyperlinked in icons, Benjaminian historico-materialism, thus “History Hall.” Poster Board Board Meeting minutes, even styled in a Haacke-esque politco-absurdum conference table portending Schumacher’s glossy tri-fold PRing the sub-seen IT cogworks. Denny berates, the board bored asked, made to, to care; Schumacher’s warm-liquid soothes the discrepancy between interface and cogs’s backend dilation, realizing nobody cares enjoyability. Denny’s hesitancy leaves him dusty, trying to juice some ink for the future, academically hopeful, propagandizing fear, worried about the unsung quagmire of technology’s cultural representation way too far gone to even try to begin, stuck in ominous 1993’s palliative newness, like, fuck. Schumacher seems injected into it, totally ready for whichever singularity of his future.
One could feel warm towards Denny’s slowness, seemingly having actually taken a step back, or enjoy the blazing fast interneted internalizing of Schumacher; whichever the quickening will eventually deliver.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Maria Lassnig at MoMA PS1

Installation view of Maria Lassnig at MoMA PS1, 2014. © 2014 MoMA PS1; Photo Matthew Septimus.

It’s the ones that run near amok that are best, the ones that feel just outside the border of able-to-keep-your-ducks-in-a-row.  There's a distinct level of Voyeurism involved here.
Questions remain of who is/can-be delegated the task of subjective expressions. The question gets run-off into intentions, and choice, and knowability of the subject, and is this “behaving,” and but every artist today is a well behaved one, so possibly moot.
Lassnig’s subject-object problem permutes, prescient proto-version of Sillman’s bodies-that-matter imbued formalism, and many others, Lassnig even depicting a literalized morphosis of abstract-form-subject. Borges stating the writer invents their historical influences, and maybe its the wave now that makes visible Lassnig at all.  Strange how pleasing the abstractions are and how formally-subservient-to-what-they-depict the representational are.
What’s missing here is her words used to describe the work, totally out-of-line of today’s standards.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hiroshi Sugimoto at Palais de Tokyo

Hiroshi Sugimoto at Palais de Tokyo

Of all the left hand early-to-mid-career turns made, Sugimoto’s left turns 360 degree shitty whipping donuts around as though he could walk away from it all. Trading in all that delectably precious gelatinous silver for brown burlap what? compared to Pace’s tesla coil science-fair (wasn’t even really that big of a tesla coil) got nothing on this. Here an artist who could have lived off his silver screens forever, predicated on its embalm’s impressiveness. but instead apocalyptic mis-en-scene with Anselm Kiefer levels of extentialist post-theshit-nostalgia. Look in this window to see a fake naked lady on a real silk couch. These hay-ride theatrics becoming ubiquitous. The return to theater. Destruction fetishism. Radioactive history. But artistic desire to look at the present with the lens of the post, it ends up coming across as solipsistic, needy. If we’re going to continue with these haunted hay-rides we could at least remember Sturtevant actually made an actual House-of-Horrors amusement ride.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ger van Elk at Kunstverein München

Ger van Elk at Kunstverein München

PR willingness towards realistic explication separates this one from the packets of them, even for casual cliches like “slowing down the act of looking,” helping no one.
The paint/picture/screw doodads are a mystery, of interest, but mostly the show looks like your quintessential european museum show; dry, disparate and academic. Schjeldahl once named all new French art lousy, but its more your European allergy to fun, funny, or visually pleasurable art. The slicing together photo-panoramas is a trope that can die anytime now, just unbelievably dead. But, In the context of its conceptual time period, this stuff is a riot. van Elk (RIP) seems to have weaseled some interest under the Anti-fun-dictatorial-radar as subtle means, the way things are put together always slightly off, strangely chosen, mostly hidden here by piss-poor documentation which takes such for granted, the rigging for the panorama-graph, the airbrushing manipulation of photos, the possibly backlit versions, the what-is-going-on-with-the-man-hanging in the background as sort of “Three Men and a Baby” type ghost myth. It puts him in line with the contemporary materio-surrealists of much new contemporary euro art.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Andra Ursuta at Kolnischer Kunstverein

Andra Ursuta at Kolnischer Kunstverein

The objects of interest find themselves buried in a theatrical wasteland. Objects looking interesting, and the show at the Hammer was, but this haunted hayride seems dismissive of their individualist selves. Are the “cultural codes of Romania” really this rural, or archetypal, I mean straw and scythe we get it, but then the connections multiply in the bike seat, making it a flying-witch-biker-from-hell kind of rape scene, and the Hammer’s graveyard becomes the Kunstverein doom-metal party, allusions to Dracula and Death abound. Did you see the cover of the new Pallbearer album, It’s pretty bitchin, and Ursata's more malleable surrealism, referentially slippy, multiplies its interest. A more sacrificial, less catholic Rober Gober, less gemlike, more basement. And That “Ass-to-Mouth” object has got to be the best Brancusi take of a lot of Brancusi takes in the last 5-10 years. I mean who hasn't consider being fully penetrated by a Brancusi.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Thomas Ruff at S.M.A.K

Thomas Ruff at S.M.A.K

Of all the Dusseldorfers, Ruff’s brilliant origins, as the most boring among, saved him the inevitable decline of initial impressiveness since it was all already, had always been, mired in conceptual dust, making him the smartest guy in the room, hard to get tired of something that was tired to begin with. Their slightly bent derivativeness, of all the projects strata, Warhol by way of driver’s license, Richter blurs, Science approbation through appropriation, virtual photograms, etc... it’s all a clever connect the conceptual-historico dots whose failing to come full circle (reveal something concrete) you’re standard dissonance equaling enigmatic art poetry. The blandness of all the miracles on display here meant to weigh like the blankness of Celmins’s stars, the discrepancy between seeing and knowing and raw computing power vs photograms and your spirit versus your image, and technology vs banality, and school dogma vs blankness, the cold embalm soothes the atrophied soul well, I sorta like Ruff’s dark hard paralysis candy, Richterian emptiness.