Friday, April 29, 2016

Maggie Lee at Real Fine Arts

Maggie Lee at Real Fine Arts
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The bedroom as terrarium, the girl as experiment. Gender as a construct has reached the mainstream, conservative clashes flare and the girl-doll in her room as trials and experiments in constructing it. The glitter is razor-wire. People love these. And their Lisa-Frank-cum-punk-ethos, fun yet assumedly unassuming, "twee," are easy consumption. So to save these from the casual acceptance everyone seems so willing, think about it like this: the dolls depicted in these rooms are at that moment of radical emotional overhaul that also comes at the moment of social-aware realization that one must never express this radical emotional overcharge if one wants to be anything near the coldness of cool. In order to survive the onslaught we freeze our emotions. And these sculptures are very very cool.



Thursday, April 28, 2016

Peter Piller at Projecte SD

Peter Piller at Projecte SD
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Surrealist juxtaposition didn't need Rosler's knife to collapse the elements together, domestic normativity and war were already covering german magazines apparently. War on the front, woman on the rear, a brand-identity so metaphorically rife its capture like gazelles scatter. If magazines like Life were populist anthropology-lite, Piller's is a sociology of that anthropology that covers magazines, which "when freed from any sort of caption, say precisely nothing, but are in themselves all so very telling." The portraits humans give themselves.


See too: Peter Piller at Capitain Petzel

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Laura Lamiel at Silberkuppe

Laura Lamiel at Silberkuppe
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Transition between stages and monochromes is not totally rare. Zobernig studied theater-design before art indistinguishable from props for it. Prina's packed themselves into their own pink stage and Violette. Parrino after he got off the stage. Mosset's showroom which are kind of like a stage. and Lamiel, against such brutishness, a reversed trajectory to stages of lonely avant-garde emptiness. Both the stage and of monochromes laying the spotlight on the only people who can make sense of its void staring back with one big question, the actor encountering the stage manager. Like those empty scenes in the post-apocalypse where people wander through vacant worlds wondering just what to do.


See too: “Seven Reeds” at Overduin & Co.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Nicola Tyson at Friedrich Petzel

Nicola Tyson at Friedrich Petzel
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Like injection molded dolls to the grinder, like PVC fetishists inside too-hot cars, like your makeup running from tears or acid rain, disfigured, de-gloving Barbie's arms, Homer's shotgun bursting his wife's face in makeup gore: Tyson's melting figurines. The violence done by painters. The destruction of the features by wayward strokes. A little loose green to cleave the face. Tyson's world is injected molded and dripping. Now crushing women under press. These the smushed faces of clownish, grievous, plastic hurt.


See too: Michaël Borremans at Dallas Museum of ArtLisa Yuskavage at Contemporary Art Museum St. LouisLuc Tuymans at David ZwirnerErwin Wurm at Kunstmuseum WolfsburgAndro Wekua at Sprüth MagersThomas Eggerer at Friedrich PetzelThomas Eggerer at Richard TellesKaoru Arima at Misako Rosen

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Guillaume Bijl at Nagel Draxler

Guillaume Bijl at Nagel Draxler
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Bijl the euro-weirdo existing on the fringe of artworld purview. Probably in need of a retrospective. Bijl is the missing-link between Broodthaers' display-tact-as-object-creedence-lent and today's culturo-marxist-surrealists. Like, see David Lieske. Sign detached ever-so-slightly from its signified, like wearing a mask of its own face. Tableau in which the performers perform themselves. And question of, "How could I ever possibly be not be myself?"  Is the Scrooge McDuck staring into you still the Scrooge McDuck when he is set into the alternate blank white universe where he acts only as a referent sign to himself, or was he always only a referent to himself. Like, see David Lieske. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Liz Magor at Catriona Jeffries

Liz Magor at Catriona Jeffries
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Tomorrow, April 23rd, 2016, there is an Estate Sale at 1344 Lambert Cir in Lafayette, CO. A pause before an objects moment in the world is scrubbed. Green Rayon pantsuits laid out on floral polyester bedspread. Ornately bezeled mirrors. Rusting jewelry in teal ceramic clam shells. A deflated donut cushion. Faint Naphthalene smells. Black velcro shoes. Frames with their contents removed. Objects whose sentiments evaporate along with the those who left them to become voids of that sentiment. Staged for a purgatorial display between vintage reincarnation and garbage. Threshold worlds. The trivial difference between a trash box and moving. And this last transitional moment Magor extends indefinitely, embalmed to pay respects, injected with formaldehyde to plasticize body without warmth.


See too: Dylan Spaysky at Clifton Benevento , Yuji Agematsu at Artspeak

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ashley Bickerton at Kayu

Ashley Bickerton at Kayu
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A sliver in the engorged tumescence of art's moral decorum, Bickerton is an artist in need of a retrospective. Transmuting trash into violence and like the syphilitic artist followed, spreading souvenirs of exploitation. Containing no tasteful reserve, to be pulled by an onion from hell, but indefensible. Unpleasantness, gratuitously. Bickerton predating recent ready-made surrealists (of an after-internet sort) by a large fraction of a century that this looks so much like. Predates the internet they were supposed to be after. And that the vogue for distempered Magazine-ready surrealism looks a lot like overtly colonialist art is something someone should be paying attention to. Of course in curating a retrospective of Bickerton a curator would have to admit to, at least in some small part, liking it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Ian Kiaer at the Neubauer Collegium

Ian Kiaer at the Neubauer Collegium
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The romance of battle against architecture, as some have written it. In which the overt drama of rooms is rivaled by dumpy objects attended to. Kaier is seductive. The gesture of the artist's deliberation, hand, heightened to anxiety, makes unresponsive objects gain weight. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Nancy Lupo at Swiss Institute


(link)

Set up like a jaw. Gnathic. Run your tongue over your teeth. Most adults have 32. It is warm, nutrient-rich, continuously bathed with saliva; a pH of between 6.75 and 7.25. Ivory towers protruding from wet mass of human gum that had been intended to be scrubbed polished and sanitized. We believed in the pure autonomous body. Distinct from the the onslaught of bacterial-other we believed continually threatening its entrance into us. But the mouth is warm. It is, according to the USDA, center in temperature at which not to place food. The "Danger Zone." Harbors a diverse, abundant and complex microbial community. And different species thrive on the front of our teeth than on the reverse. Plaque is resultant the corruption of the mouth’s homeostasis. When your teeth feel furry. More than 600 bacterial species comprise the plaque microflora that exists on surfaces within the oral cavity and, like belly button's lint, bacterially so diverse it is more unique than fingerprints. Teeth are more like timbers green in the ocean. In November 2014 headlines declare, "A ten second kiss transfers 80 million bacteria." A journalist discovers his belly-button contains bacteria not found outside the soil of Japan. The man has never been to Japan. And Japanese sake is poured by researchers down lab rat's noses to introduce lactobacillus into their artificially bacterially amok sinuses. The social practice of kissing derives from parental feeding through mouth-to-mouth regurgitation between mother and child, which like the vaginal birth's bacterial transference, populate the infant’s sterile gastrointestinal tract, aiding in a diverse gut flora and against colonization by large numbers of E. coli and streptococci found in most feces. Fixed appliances like orthodontic hardware cemented to teeth increases the habitat for bacteria, and after eating an Oreo smiling revealed teeth covered in chewed black goo. There are “good bacteria” and “bad bacteria.” Complete your own at-home fecal transplant with a Youtube instructional. Make sure you lay down a trash bag or tarp. The rats insufflating sake did clear their sinusitis. That we are not ourselves. No object is itself. But collections of sedimented energies, desires, biomes, utilities and images. Rubbermaid Brutes were shaped by a human with desires that are latent in the curve of its lip. The last centuries' want for objects maintaining autonomy and austerity caused problems in the long run attempting their clean self. The definition of clean is going to be entirely different in 20 years. Traditional native methods of burying rotting fish in the dirt to ferment has much lower chance of causing food sickness than doing the same in sterile plastic buckets. Food Grade plastic which is not impermeable and food-safe such the LLDPE of Rubbermaid Brute TM creates anaerobic conditions favorable to botulism. Looks like a teether. The exhibition title: quasi-homonymic and homologous parent and parrot, social reproduction and each becoming the other. Lupo's sculptures are like these things.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mélanie Matranga at Indipendenza

Me?lanie Matranga at Indipendenza
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Oversized clothing was trending in 2014 according to one popular art blog. A too-lateness that becomes a pathos. Like showing up to a party with party games while everyone is doing coke off glassware. Yet, the cool kids recognized the option for both, snorting off the board they played upon. Years later in the hindsight of sobriety it becomes a question, that the person bringing the board-game may have known all along what they were bringing. And who looked stupid then?

Christodoulos Panayiotou at Kamel Mennour

Christodoulos Panayiotou at Kamel Mennour
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Everything converts to signs. Of which Panayiotou is aware, the PR delivering the relevant Marx quote : ‘Value does not stalk about with a label describing what it is. It is value, rather, that converts every product into a social hieroglyphic’ Like books about bananas, the "gripping chronicles of myth, mystery, and uncertain fate of the world’s most popular fruit," expounding their social political and economic history objects to objects as markers in a sea of human excess. Objects which if traced reveal whole strata of their conditions. And until then the blankness of objects staring back at you.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Brendan Fowler at Mathew

Brendan Fowler at Mathew
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Historically, a stitch would have, in time, saved nine. But time falls apart. That Gildan's Heavy Cotton 5 pack is 9.97$. The entrepreneur increasing stitches per time's inch warps our fabric into the non-Euclidean lettuce-like frill adorning our cuffs and cravats. Yet everyone desperate announcing, "but I don't want to be a pirate" capitalistically but everyone secretly is. And wants to be. Luddites replace with their opposite, robot overlords sedimenting material fetishes.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Anita Leisz at Meyer Kainer

Anita Leisz at Meyer Kainer
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Maintain the body Minimalism aborted. Minimalism wanted objects birthed without human seed, an alien, a specific object rejecting relations to cultural representation threatening to despecify its particularity.  Leisz's soften that specificity, becoming generic enough to connote and blur with the human made by hand. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Marina Pinsky at Kunsthalle Basel

Marina Pinsky at Kunsthalle Basel
(link)

CMD+T. Click and drag to scale. Return. M. Click and Drag. G to fill.
Somewhere between Elad Lassry and Nina Bier waistdeep in the newfound rubbery substance of photography.  That photos do weird things in the world today. They wrap the curves of public transit, dissolve from gray paper in puddles, facade high-rises, are uploaded to clouds, stabilized by conservators, projected in darkrooms, amassed in feeds. They lack need for any substrate whatsoever yet the process of being photographed is called being objectified. You become an object and things become their representation. Photography is a purgatory between the filth of the world and the infinite white virtual. But so the wooden versions of the Cryogenic tanks too are privy to this process of objectification as we start to understand the whole world as photography.


see too: Nina Beier at David Roberts Art FoundationAlicja Kwade at Kunstmuseum St. GallenElad Lassry at David KordanskyJana Euler at Galerie Neu & PortikusAmanda Ross-Ho at The Approach

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Lawrence Abu Hamdan at Portikus

Lawrence Abu Hamdan at Portikus
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The vogue of the antagonist villain artist, stemming from the myth of art's transgressive potential, nullifies the question of art's utility, protecting artists from messy question of art measured for its good or usefulness. Implicitly Art believes Ethics would void the frivolous nature of art by placing in the mud of the material world and sobering its ether high of beauty. Art would like to remain judged as art, and even Art's greatest love, politics, still voids its ethics by staging politics in the realm of poetics, destroying its link to material political conditions while still using its signs. [See Walid Raad and Trevor Paglen for two examples of a wildly different quality.] Both the villain and political artist maintain a deflective Irony dome, shooting down inquests into the artist's moral accountability. That the villain artist's defenses reflect Empire's only bolsters his/her position, while the political artist downplays this. Both throw candy to their critic by "raising questions," by maintaining an indefinite relation to their signs. See the overuse of the word problematizes. The do-gooder however can't claim irony on doing good; like, you can't do good ironically. The gesture is never in question as to its intent. Anyway, Abu Hamdan did good, a problem for art.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ian Rosen at The Finley

Ian Rosen at The Finley
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Rosen is to art what golf is to sport. Removing its physical aspects to magnify its mental stressors and fine muscle finesse of putting the ball in its proper hole with the least sweat. A methodical game for Rosen's name sunk in the proper places of art's social field. Both Rosen and golf minimize their respective sphere's entertainment value (athletics and objects) to find viewers caring more for the prosaic passing of scenery, i.e. that since there's nothing to see our interest turns elsewhere, and Rosen's finesse in making CAD his personal resume proves the course has, at least in some tournaments, been standardized. The greens on which Rosen sinks putts aren't that disparate, Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer of the Finley provides in some way the map to Rosen's field, having co-curated with and exhibited at - the then co-gallery of - Kristina Kite; curated exhibitions at Midway Contemporary Art where too Bruce Hainley has curated and who has at least appeared several times on stage with L-G who thanked him firstly in her Lozano book; all of whom have worked with Rosen. The New Museum's First look series is the only unconnected green. Which makes you realize the course isn't that large.

Also this show was in February according the Finley's nice website (the only organization to list Rosen's exhibition on their website) and had this to say:
Ian Rosen's project took place online, replacing our website with this single image. Nothing was installed in the physical space of the gallery for the duration of the show, though the sidewalk marquee indicated the artist's name.
While it may seem non-referential and indecipherably oblique, Rosen's image is actually a direct reference and visual quote from the first exhibition at The Finley.

See too: Ian Rosen at Kristina Kite

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Steve Reinke at Isabella Bortolozzi

Steve Reinke at Bortolozzi
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Call it affectual torture, like its psychological cousin, it erodes the ego-defense of its victims through learned helplessness, psychological regression and depersonalization. Reinke's videos are a methodical stress-testing of our emotional capacities through tonal short-circuiting. It's funner than it sounds submitting to psychological bondage. Reinke films' slow pacing and calming paternal voice leads through footage and images with jarring music, unexplained scenes, and philosophical manhandling as a bad-trip Nature film fritzing our relationship to its input, creating a helplessness at the hands of the torturer who remains in control of the sensory input. Desensitization that makes one impressionable to suggestion, coercion and inculcation. It's an interesting metonym for the suggestive function in the affectual-coercion of wider culture, from our selection of olive oil in a grocery store down to our birth, the socialization and replication of a normative culture we find inside us daily that Reinke seems firm in his odds against. When Reinke, in "The Genital is superfluous," says of the drunk shirtless men wrestling wetly on formica flooring that they "want to go back to the placental state" it's been so pummeling getting there you submit to it, believe him.


See too: “Rum, sodomy, and the lash” at Eden EdenRachel Rose at High Art

Nathaniel Mellors at The Box

Nathaniel Mellors at The Box
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Mellors acknowledges the Saturday Morning Cartoon upbringing grown with Beckett absurdism. Examplar of art-today's newfound coalition with entertainment. But Mellors' complicitness with television, friendly and enjoyable as they seem, are terrifying for their adeptness manufacturing futility in comedic timing. To watch someone enter your head and unpack a gag reel of existential disconnect. Alienation, like Ha Ha funny. Much of Ourhouse's comedy is premised on the family's total inability to communicate. No member ever quite registers with another except in terms of tertiary objects of concern and left longing in the wide berth between what is meant and what is received, and an ongoing inability to find meaning in their world.


See too: “Sirens” at Christian AndersenVenice Biennale vs  "Surround Audience" Triennial“Puddle, pothole, portal” at Sculpture Center

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Adriana Lara at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler

Adriana Lara at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler(link)

Objects create the artist, we use artworks as points to interpolate them. This exhibition's overt branding throughout - proving the objects maintain allegiance to their leader Lara - acts as a cover-up for the subterfuge in the diaspora of objects that fails to coalesce a proper artist. The objects become instead souvenirs of an artist-identity that Lara works so hard to peel herself from, leaving strange husks of it for us to deal with. The souvenir removed from its network of significance becomes its own whole object.


See too: Adriana Lara at Algus GreensponDavid Lieske at MUMOK

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

AA Bronson and Keith Boadwee at Deborah Schamoni

AA Bronson and Keith Boadwee at Deborah Schamoni
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That cultural conservatives would point to two grown men shooting paint out of their asses and declare moral bankruptcy when at same time I see it as a small ember evidencing at least a small right in the world. That there were once sodomy laws. Legislating what you could put in your ass. That two men grown under these laws can now enact what was prohibited in their youth, even if decades later, too late, playfully, is a small restitution.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Ull Hohn at MD 72

Ull Hohn at MD 72
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Rejecting his professor, Richter's, coldly specific subjects Hohn's landscapes instead descend toward their complete loss into Ross's soft vagueness, the oblivion of whatever cheese substance grows cultural memory (the kitsch landscape existing in everyone's mind). From the specifics of an actual living plant to gross bloated inaccuracy of "tree" for the expediency of a television audience. This hanging threat of a signifier's total loss to this cultural oblivion, becoming a cliche of a cliche or in the case of the Revision series - in which the artist meticulously remade paintings he had made before any artistic training - the self, but delaying it even momentarily, is its tenderness even at its own cruelty.


See too: Luc Tuymans at David Zwirner“Atlas” at MOTINTERNATIONAL, Lin May Saeed at Jacky Strenz

Monday, April 4, 2016

Lin May Saeed at Jacky Strenz

Lin May Saeed at Jacky Strenz
link)

Lin May Saeed likes animals, and communicates that by making art depicting animals. Its forthrightness would seem naive if it wasn't so endearing, handing it right to you to care for its fragility. The leafy sea-dragon is actually well protected by its iconic status as symbol of south Australia, but the ocean it survives in bleaches rapidly. Like James Lee Byars or Felix Gonzalez-Torres, the unassuming sign is intertwined with its loss.


See too James Lee Byars at VeneKlasen/WernerAlejandro Cesarco at Midway Contemporary Art

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Group Show at Taka Ishii Gallery

Group Show at Taka Ishii Gallery
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The early 21st century of art will be remembered for a stylization of opacity (blankness) that, regardless of whether or not it actually did, connoted intention to mean. Silvered photographs with surrealist orbs hovering. That there exists a connotation or affect of meaning that remains separate from it, acting to totemize objects as clues styled to conjure the affect of signification. Much more apparent in group shows as the objects become disenchanted from their significant network. That what we find profound might be a mannerism.
"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." -Baudrillard


See too:  Group Show at Salle PrincipaleMerlin Carpenter at MD 72

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Park McArthur at Chisenhale

Park McArthur, Contact V (2015). Courtesy of the artist and ESSEX STREET, New York and Lars Friedrich, Berlin. Photo: Andy Keate.
(link)

Salves, balms, ointments, bandages, cushions, condoms, bumpers, foam, wraps, loading dock ramps, a pathos in the materials we find to mediate our touch to the world. Foam which evaporates, disintegrating merely with exposure. Heat as replacement for warmth. Darwin, living in the 1800s, could see a flower and draw a moth undiscovered until after his death. The objects here, designed for ourselves, in a similar way infer something about the bodies which they govern. A way for an object to "speak" without resorting to symbolism or surrealism, but objects which exist as a circumstantial evidence of a reality. These accumulations are tragedies of a world we must continually attenuate. A growing number of mostly women sculptors seem attuned to this.


See too: Erwin Wurm at Kunstmuseum WolfsburgKlara Lidén, Alicia Frankovich at KuratorNancy Lupo at 1857, Darren Bader at Andrew Kreps

Friday, April 1, 2016

Lisa Yuskavage at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

Lisa Yuskavage at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
(link)

Since the Venus of Willendorf's tiny talisman, 30 thousand years of humankind's representing fetishizing and totemizing the maternal.  Leading today to Yuskavage's ambrosial hazes. The feast of the Vanitas' balanced by looming overripeness.  For Yuskavage this balance to its too-sweetness is made through its subtle representational violence against the women depicted, who in attaining this otherworldly ripeness are subject to subtle deformities, missing arms, noses, butts like egg sacs, breasts manipulated by invisible strings, contorted and culled to the desires of a culture. And Everyone wondering whether or not Nicki's butt is real, furry porn where anthropomorphic animals grown from Saturday cartoons given bodies like overinflated water-balloons, and subsections of violent pornography where the maternal is extracted and policed by the programmatic systems of capitalist production, in bondage and milked called human cow -  there is a lot proving our cultural relation to maternal is at least a little fraught, and Yuskavage's paintings are a very tasteful representation of that.


see too: Katja Novitskova at Kunsthalle Lissabon