Sunday, January 31, 2016

“Political Populism” at Kunsthalle Wien Museumsquartier

Installation view: Political Populism, Kunsthalle Wien 2015, Photo: Jorit Aust: Flaka Haliti, Thendive, Grace, Rishika, Lefa, Kaden, Victoria, Nadia, Leo, Cyril, Mrs. Faye, Malrar, Josias, Ojas, Philip, Ernest, Ziyanda, Ledri, Amadou, Bayanda, Julien (Detail), 2015, Courtesy the artist
(link)

This is one of those times when the artworld's relation to its signs is confusing. That in an exhibition about the insidious means of political populism, should - if we harbor any belief that not all art is inherently "good" -  signal an alert towards the populist and attractive in art, skeptical of the art's likeable means, as any productive critique must be reflexive. But then the PR weirdly reads these symbols at face value, the blue filled Ikea bags as migrant hopes for better skies, and so much other technically sophisticated looking art and politicized symbols but never that this selection of it here may be the demagoguery of art.


see too: Simon Denny at MoMA PS1

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Tris Vonna-Michell at Jan Mot

Tris Vonna-Michell at Jan Mot
(link)

The aquarium dons as a kind of headspace, akin to a screen, a virtual landscape, like all those early computer screensavers of video fish aquaria so popular -  digital pets softening new digital homes - google styled images rising to its watery surface completing the analogy of Vonna-Michell's networked images always representing their "interactivity" more than what they depict, again all manifestations of the digital without digital. Like a computer monitor left on in an otherwise abandoned and echoing building (sound-tracked to the sounds of empty night) the glowing object claims some illuminated significance that connotes but doesn't necessarily mean but just gives a screen to look into and empty.


See too: Group Show at Salle Principale

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sergej Jensen at dépendance

Sergej Jensen at de?pendance
(link)

They're still stains, these stains are just better organized, but still interested in rustic materiality, marks on fabrics, deployed with a domestic interest in the vintage, a "warm material" that - as Sanchez is right in pointing out - online spread like a meme of display screen relief, recalibrating our color rods where, in a white world of plastic, it feels good to see wood; which seeing Jensen's painting in person the fetishistic attachment to raw material unpainted was hard not to see in purview of that time's cultural trend leading to that explosion of bars with reclaimed wood everything and newfound reinterest in brass and stone and a sort wish for a return to materiality and sensitivity so prevalent that we should have taken the opportunity to introduce the public to arte povera, and reviewers describing Jensen's paintings like their high-thread-count bed-sheets, this wish for "the natural" that Jensen acquired through accumulating accidents (nature), and so the "painter without paint"(!) couldn't use paint because that would make a new image - which we were all so tired of - whereas stains and bleach and dust were patinas that only referenced age, but now using paint since 2013, but they're still stains in that they are ghostings of history's painting and still totally vintage.



Rezi Van Lankveld at Annet Gelink

Rezi Van Lankveld at Annet Gelink
(link)

Psychedelia's tropes attempt to convey the psychotropic by finding visual metaphors for it, that while kaleidoscopic and tremulous in their own right merely find analogy for what are the very distinct slippages in perception that drugs produce - drawing the carpet melting isn't the same as experiencing the carpet thawed to run under feet sinking quite rapidly into it - the experience vs the concept, the difference between, say, photography and Cezanne, two poles between which van Lankveld has fluctuated for some time before finally clubbing one far end hardly with the clouds, with this particular painting.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Riccardo Paratore at Federico Vavassori

Riccardo Paratore at Federico Vavassori
(link)

The filthy chairs serves to underscore the asphyxia of the room's hermetic vaccum, sucked of air. The leather is the naked rotting thing in a room of suffocating elegance. Like the beautiful and naked prostitute on the floor of the penthouse, to touch.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Ray Yoshida at David Nolan

© Estate of Ray Yoshida, courtesy David Nolan Gallery, New York
(link)

When the Chicago Imagists were at their best something freakishly prescient about their particular assemblage of cartoon/icon abstraction and virtual figuration contemporary-surrealism. Something about its added proportions of pop, surrealism, comics and psychedelia, presaging something uncanny about the way the world feels today. Predating the google image search, and yet here it is the compartmentalization of bodies under conceptual scriptures. 


Sunday, January 24, 2016

“Rum, sodomy, and the lash” at Eden Eden

(link)

The fritzing signals of today's art are haywire responses to the stimuli of the world's ever more erratic tone, and artists working to contain that nervous expression with their own affectual means discombobulated and freed from its semantic anchors as a coping mechanism for the staggering inanity of much of the world's power structures. Transgression of course becomes the last vestige of intimacy. Giving in to Melgaard's semantic video abuse in an otherwise thoughtful film guarantees some level of reciprocal investment from its viewers willing to allow it be inflicted upon themselves.
And now the old Sunday group-ex full circle en abyme, to haunt us. Our reflections symptomatic of the ruling parameters of its time, reflections of the entities that govern it, expressions of another hidden corporate body, expressions of the frightened and disdainful anti-socialite. The work in the exhibition feels pained in their reflection of the world. That as much as the ever disengenous CAWD presents itself outside a system that it yearns for, CAWD getting its cake and eating it too.

Yoko Ono at Andrea Rosen

Conceived as two room-sized installations shown in two spaces—a whole in two parts— visitors are encouraged, via instructions, to visit both spaces in order to experience and fully understand THE RIVERBED. Both galleries will have a pile of large river stones that Ono has selected and gathered. She will inscribe the words like remember, dream, and wish on the stones, which have been honed and shaped by water over time. Visitors may pick up a stone and hold it in their lap, concentrating on the word and letting go of their anger or fear, transforming the stone into an emotional object to be placed upon the pile of stones in the center of the room. Additional instructions on paper will encourage you to “draw a lineto take you the farthest place on our planet.”
(link)


There is no doubt Ono is an important artist. Grapefruit encoded itself in so many artists alongside the acid trips with it to appear at inopportune times in the future, haunting forever this one psychedelic time. It's steroidic aporia. Ono's scores place language through a series of permutations stretching meaning into duress - the "imaginative" - and the resultant structural loss like watching the collapse in happen in slo-mo silence, in a helpless state of emptiness where things had once stood attaining a tone of the oddly reverant and churchlike, "zen," and moralizing and a one of art's most spectacle like tropes.


See too: Juha Pekka Matias Laakkonen at Corvi-Mora

Friday, January 22, 2016

Jenine Marsh at Lulu

Jenine Marsh at Lulu
(link)

Radioactive green lakes were once the nuclear age's symbol of ecological apocalypse, doom and gloom type scenario, a hyperbolic green and dead that today's lakes and rivers actually do turn fed by the nitrogen-rich run-off of hyper-agriculture's fertilizers and poisonous suburban lawns that dogs must stay off for 24 hours blooming the pristine green lawns of everyone's micro-aristocracy, a new form of ecological apocalypse in which the difference in green between sci-fi premonition's barren radioactive is indistinguishable from the lake's hypoxic spring bearing too much life, an indistinguishability that has something to with Marsh's exhibition here.


Gerwald Rockenschaub at Eva Presenhuber

Gerwald Rockenschaub at Eva Presenhuber
(link)

Imagine an adjectiveless object, a characterless object, a featureless one. Imagine an object so empty of description it cannot exist within it. This the dream. It is hard to throw words at a vacancy. This is ultimately its value. An object that lacks adjectives to describe its simplicity becomes a specific object. Specific objects defeat language by requiring a inordinate amount of words to describe their simplicity, fills your mouth with oblong and awkward words and so you just have to look at the thing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Jana Euler at Galerie Neu & Portikus

Jana Euler at Galerie Neu
(Galerie NeuPortikus)

Photoshop makes surrealism quaint, Magritte's entire practice premised on its most basic tools, transpose, cut, drag and drop; and today phone apps like magic mirrors to show you elderly, replace your face with your dog, barf rainbows at will in a world that is totally virtual.The image today is understood as a total malleability. Euler's images free themselves of the physical setting - the last vestige of the pre-virtual surrealist - floating free in hyperlink space in which images are links, expanding out ready outpour their content in a deluge to anyone ready to open them.


see too: Jana Euler at Kunsthalle ZürichJutta Koether at Bortolami




Lucy McKenzie at Daniel Buchholz

Lucy McKenzie at Buchholz
(link)

Different from other representational returns prizing the awkward and cartoon, Mckenzie's representation is surreal in its explicit literalness, a directness that in art is almost vertiginous in our distrust of it. The appealing comfort of the bourgeois home's surface, all surface, the modern question of whether we should believe in the sign or not, the surface or not, like clue boards we're not sure to trust, as the PR states: presenting legal grey areas in culture’s appetite for the genuine.


See too: Mathew Cerletty at Office Baroque

Monday, January 18, 2016

Magali Reus at Westfälischer Kunstverein

Magali Reus at Westfa?lischer Kunstverein
(link)

Tableaus, table pictures, carefully posed "the approach thus marries the art forms of the stage with those of painting or photography, and as such it has been of interest to modern" sculptors framing the objects of which "Not one single piece of apparent detritus on the curb is a found object" each is a"public archaeological relic" desiring study. Like the enlarged illustrations of locks manifested in the physical and adorning the walls the created objects treat the real as constructable, the physical as putty in cartoons, detached from their specific instance and arranged into hieroglyphs, what Javier Hontoria referred to as the artists's "semantic ambivalence."


see too: David Lieske at MUMOKAlicja Kwade at Kunstmuseum St. GallenKatherine Bernhardt at Venus Over Manhattan,  Merlin Carpenter at MD 72

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Avery Singer at Hammer Museum

Avery Singer at Hammer Museum
(link)

Money and value are often conflated, as institutional credence incommensurate with aesthetic interest, on which Singer's meteoric rise could be conspiratorially stated, that sometimes automations in markets encounter feedback loops of marked signals and values exponentiate. This is to say let's not yet make much of the rise. Singer's paintings are fine, just fine, their biggest asset, perfect productions - obvious in hindsight and brilliantly able to recoup near any critique as symptoms of the increasingly digital world they represent safely - expressions of 2012's much talked about "New Aesthetic" documenting "the increasing appearances of latent digital mechanisms within the real world" which is here the google freeware (created to model and represent 3-D space) painted as representations (become representations of our digital representations then) and which Singer's painting do represent well, that particular weight digital objects hold entirely in their surface and the weight of rendered light they are, after all, realist. Again it's that reptilian pleasure of seeing something painted, rendered, we get representation back but now with the value added of a moral (which the institutional artworld secretly loves, gives reason to text), cautionary tales of spooky new digital take over as dutch still lifes, vanities, memento moris of everything beautiful mechanized and produced, even the artists and art, which we know but now they get to tell us.


See too: Jonas Wood at David KordanskyBrian Calvin at Le Consortium

Sam Anderson at Tanya Leighton

Sam Anderson at Tanya Leighton
(link)

Precious, Anderson's not packaged with the usual given art gloss but fragile and at stake, with the possibility of loss that is inherent to the precious, a loss that so many wish to defeat with packaging to eternalize; and many forms of. E.g. FGTorres giving the metaphorical finger to loss with sheer determination to print it free of its preciousness; Agematsu's cellophane; the whole subgenre of contemporary reliquary art; Anderson's loss instead something the objects flatly accept, their defeat, preciousness without preservative, making it sentimental. Romance is usually intended to be forced upon the viewer by artist's gilding and gloss, but these - like the wire traps before - force instead a stewardship, a carefulness, so terribly awkward, the way bad feng shui consistently reminds you of your body.


see too:  Sam Anderson at Off VendomeJames Lee Byars at VeneKlasen/Michael Werner

Friday, January 15, 2016

Aaron Curry at David Kordansky

Aaron Curry at David Kordansky
(link)

Their shock of ugliness - vogue brandished as grotesque - is spectacular, feels cybernetic, jagged objects reaching (without painting's frame to hold them tastefully) they instead enter you as signs to implant within and deplete themselves with immediacy, their shock is one use only, and, spent, you feel used, having been inside you deployed themselves and left, the "bad" in 5 years will appear tasteful, mannered compositions of their time, totally respectable, but you'll remember.


See too: Aaron Curry at Michael WernerCharline von Heyl at Gisela Capitain

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Sarah Morris at Museum Leuven

Sarah Morris at Museum Leuven
(link)

Programmatic expansionism, in which paintings perform composition as design - design functioning here as fulfillment of painting's criteria - similar to a soundtrack's ability to cohere fragments of image/color - (both always producing viable result) through an endless series of iterations, that after the loss of words like masterpiece (in which individual works were judged rather than artist's programs) to postmodernity instead exchanged for artistic constructions of identity or sameness over time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ayse Erkmen at Barbara Weiss

Ayse Erkmen at Barbara Weiss
(link)

Erkmen's long varied career now recently threaded with these singular colored objects. There's something psychotic about this compulsive individuating, a violence even, declaring objects whole and distinct in screaming color, severed from the normal mundane order of objects with blankness and masked, objects which reveal nothing about themselves but their difference, manically irrepressible back into the norms of social behavior like little clowns at your ankles, and a video's too-closeness undermining its beauty by holding your face to it so you can't look away.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Kirsten Everberg at 1301 PE

Kirsten Everberg at 1301 PE
(link)

The PR quotes:
“Everbergʼs subjects are less the actual buildings or locales and more the ways in which these cultural landmarks, icons, or markers have entered the public imagination” – Gloria H. Sutton
It's an interesting thought, painting cultural representations rather than physical and the notion seeps out and infects what it gets on with questions of where representations lay and is someone painting Ingmar Bergman's home solely because of its cultural cache or instead represent this cultural cache's consumption, the ant climbing to the grass's tip awaiting the sun or the maw of the goat.


See too: Jonas Wood at David Kordansky

Monday, January 11, 2016

Michelle Grabner at The Green Gallery

Michelle Grabner at The Green Gallery
(link)

In Ken Johnson's now infamous review of Grabner's Cohan exhibition - inspiring dozens of site's posts to just contextualize and organize the increasing spiral of commentary and LttE and responses and blog posts that themselves further contextualized and organized, excerpted in full and commented with ever lengthening comment sections growing atop still warm bodies until you had this like eco-production-system of sites that spiral out, far as you would like to go, into cold and nervous chattering all based around the whale fall of one small dead review and which now us too still sucking off the carcass - was, as is often the case with negative reviews, spot on in everything but valuation, Grabner's work might be "comfortable" "middle class" work from a "tenured" "soccer mom" that allude to nothing more than the "bland" "unexamined sociological background" from which they spring, that's exactly why they're so good.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

“National Gallery 2: Empire” at CHEWDAY’S

Dora Budor
(link)

Dora Budor
Where is your office? What do you do exactly? You know things, I think this is what you do. I think you acquire information and turn it into something awful, 2015
Axis Chemicals model miniature tower screen-used in “Batman” (1989) and “Guest House Paradiso” (1999) (after Anton Furst’s production design: formed styrene with a wood base, sfx paint, model architectural elements and working lights), prop rubber red vines from “War of the Worlds” (2005), prop foam rocks and silicone umbilical cords from “Falling Skies” (2001), toxic soil from excavation site and underground New York sewer, steel and wood armature, polystyrene foam, aquaresin, detritus from New York construction site, paint watered down with emulsion of Tylenol, birth-control pills and caffeine, metal hardware
275cm x 29cm x 29 cm / 108 1/4 x 11 7/16 x 11 7/16 inches

When you shop with CAD sometimes you're missin' out on stuff, but on the other hand CAD makes it so you don't have to perform and be "required to crouch to enter the exhibition and find spaces where panels have been removed to stand up and view the works."


See too: “Flat Neighbors” at Rachel Uffner

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Stan Douglas at Wiels

Stan Douglas at Wiels
(link)

"examining the 'failed utopia' of modernism and obsolete technologies"
"a critical analysis of our social reality"
"Samuel Beckett, Marcel ProustE.T.A. Hoffmann and the Brothers Grimm, 
blues and free jazz, television and Hollywood, Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud
haunt the uncanny montages
of the Canadian artist"
"In what art historian Hal Foster describes as 
the 'outmoded genre'
in "failed utopias and obsolete technologies"
"a new medium out of the remnants of old forms"
"the parameters, functions and limits of cinematic adaptation"
"creating the effect of a recurring nightmare"
"everything deferred and delayed"
"troubling the material and spatial boundaries of the cinema and museum"
"thematically disturb these distinctions
as his art occupies
a transitional zone
that interrogates 
perception, narrative
comprehension and 
modes of visual and aural storytelling."
"and"
"invites interrogation
from film studies insofar as it not only utilizes the medium but also actively modifies 
and references 
the canonical texts, orientations and histories of cinema"
"Douglas situates Overture in the historical moment that the beginnings of film share with the end of the novel, when Proust's faith in the tantalizing structures of his great predecessors, Balzac and Wagner, was being undermined by the perceptive discontinuities that film helped to bring about."

- Wikipedia.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Guy de Cointet at Museum Leuven

Guy de Cointet at Museum Leuven
(link)

Never being quite sure what is going on is part of it, Disequilibrium, a state of being in which never quite sure of what the object is.  De Cointet's objects are coded, transmuted abstractions. Like all those interminable children's videos on Youtube, a woman holds up a ball and a voice narrates, "Ball" and transforms to a triangle and someone states, "Triangle" the child delivered the information of the semantic system that makes communication, taught; prior to this the world is "meaningless" shapes, colors. Language acquisition accrues through inference through existing in the world where those objects exist, and this is like de Cointet's plays, where slowly we learn or infer the meaning of large dumb objects and some we just never know.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Adele Röder, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at Haus der Kunst


(link)

The breezy glyph. Neither pertains to a specific but instead representation meaning a subject, light and carefree, a subject with air between it.


seet too:  Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at Serpentine Gallery

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Jim Shaw at New Museum

Jim Shaw at New Museum
(link)

200 million images are uploaded to Facebook everyday, another 60 million to Instagram daily. Shaw's investment in good old artisanal, traditionally constructed images could seem asinine in comparison to the endlessly juxtapozing and surreal mass Instagram feed journaling the dreams of the slumbering. It has been argued before that both premade tubes of paint and photography's invention each radically shifted the ground of painting, and so the disposability of images now must too be having radical repercussions, and so it's hard to tell if Shaw is a relic or a seer, but it looks pretty good right now.


see too: Jana Euler at Kunsthalle Zürich

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Gianni Piacentino at Fondazione Prada

Gianni Piacentino at Fondazione Prada
(link)

Opppsing this to yesterday's Zobernig, Piacentino's basic forms still hold particularness in their cartoon genericness become caricature, exaggerated quality of dumb objects that feel irruptive and manic whereas Zobernigs are reductive and cruel.


see too: Heimo Zobernig at Kunsthaus Bregenz

Monday, January 4, 2016

Heimo Zobernig at Kunsthaus Bregenz

Heimo Zobernig at Kunsthaus Bregenz
(link)

"In other words [Zobernig's] extreme banality incites questioning [disinteresting objects must expel interest elsewhere], and exposes its stage to skepticism wrung [institutional critique].
The inanity of such an operation might seem at the limits of humane interest, but Zobernig's magisterial ability to continually wrest insipid rabbits from contemporary hats irrupts a manic laughability at the depths of that hat."

The dizzying aspect of its practice is its ability to lack any particularness whatsoever, terrifying blankness as genericness as phantasmagoria, projecting ghosts of modernism on the backs of our brains.

See too: Heimo Zobernig at IndipendenzaHeimo Zobernig - Petzel, Krupp, MUDAM

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Group Show at CAC Vilnius

Group Show at CAC Vilnius
(link)

The Sunday group show. Objects arranged in a space photographed  and broadcast over the world. Seeing this exhibition in Vilnius you look down to see them presented to you from the floor, and online they present themselves the same.

John Knight at Greene Naftali

John Knight, Installation view, a work in situ, Greene Naftali, New York, 2015
(link)

Knight's seminal Cold Cuts is one of the better entrances into why the practice has been so influential, that Knight's most exasperating aspects are its most powerful forms, the ultimately austere cold display system establishing authority and meaning through severe withholding, editing as meaning, leaving the signifier hanging without its signified meaning rush to fill it.


see too: Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda at Francesca Pia, Merlin Carpenter at MD 72, Christopher Williams at MoMA

Friday, January 1, 2016

Amy Sillman at Kunsthaus Bregenz

Amy Sillman at Kunsthaus Bregenz
(link)

The Kristeva quote provides a new sort of entrance, theorizer of the abject, if the abject was all about the object attaining body, milk curdling flesh, that Sillmans painting too curdle representation, bodies.