Sunday, September 24, 2017

Francesco Vezzoli at Fondazione Prada


Make it big, sprawling. Polish the room. Carpet, lighting, stages, print banal things huge, patterns everywhere. Funhouse. "Historical" references like put through a paper shredder. Place other's art on the walls to gird your own. So there's something to look at. Like history in a disco ball. Have fun with it, the carnival. More, more, more, how do you like it, how do you like it?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Abbas Akhavan at Museum Villa Stuck


"...the exhibition, [..] incorporates all the imperfections and drill holes from the previous show. The museum’s temperature control system has been turned off. Previously walled-up doors have been cut open, and windows are left ajar, allowing light and fresh air to permeate into the space, thereby raising questions about established boundaries of the museum..."

"The museum" comes to mean the learned subjective posture adopted in assessing the objects of art. "the museum" is the headspace selected in "considering" the object. "the museum" is the trope of New Yorker cartoons: aesthetes before artworks making proclamations, philosophic noodling. "the museum" is a virtual reality headset for the judgement of objects, the invisible HUD of pedagogical memes, historical influenza, and symbolic judgement. "the museum" is a learned set of social conditionings. Akhavan, by dispersing the object instead into a room full of gestures, turns the display to the theater itself, the museum as headspace, the fourth wall everywhere, plays itself, etc.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Susan Cianciolo at Modern Art


Art is symptom of death's fear, and men erecting their "monuments," tumescence, to outlast them, the fear. Thus most art is cast iron, unwilling impermanence or loss. But so much humanity isn't iron, instead it is kept in acidic cardboard, gnawed at by the affection rifling through it. The word careworn. Knowledge is kept on rapidly acidifying papers, stored in databanks we anodize against oxidation in deep storage basements to feign permanence, our security. But the world slowly deteriorates, look into the issue of archiving, it's complex nuanced and impossible, it's baby blankets spilled on, barfed on, a biological archive cum box. Bankers boxes purchased by the gross. Your touch leaves a mark, sews a patch, you reproduce yourself in the objects you attend. Preciousness in warm cardboard, wearing touch, eroding to someone's love.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Nick Mauss at Serralves


The decorous and the amenable, the good object acquiescing to the hand presenting it. A "dramaturgical dimension, in which display and design were paramount, is now given over to the visitor as spectator" a theater, you actor. "gendered divisions between fine or applied arts" A decored room is psychological, decoration implores you, is affect, we should pay attention to it, its nicety. The accommodating object, through docility, still manipulates, passive aggressive architectural.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Ian Cheng at MoMA PS1


A video game you can't play, a narrative irresolute: a scaffold to hang a flag waving new digital technologies. The flag waves complexly in the breeze, and we admire it. Of perhaps more interest than the flag itself is the simple parameters that generate such complexity, gas, a flexible surface; a problem for both meteorology as well as animation, one predictive and one representational. The elegance of schooling fish can be modeled with simple rules, stay close but not too close, and voila without leader or choreography, a coordination, a process called emergence. If there is to be interest here in storyless narratives, it is in determining the logic governing Cheng's boy and his dog, the subjectivity behind it, like any artwork or people's behavior, the rules behind the object. “We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors." and in the metaphorical mirrors the rules governing Cheng's programming resembling us more interesting.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

K.r.m. Mooney at SFMOMA


I have screws in my skeleton, in my wrist. Subcutaneous cords run inside a vein and into my heart, twisted into pulsing ventricle walls. Two circles of gold lain over my flesh. A warm box accumulating metal glits. When a body is cremated and the ash swept up remain the metal trinkets, hips, bolts, shrapnel, medical devices, occasionally kept, sometimes recycled, or collected in bins and sold for scrap. Attaching titanium to skeleton, or adhesive to pvc to iron, there is an abjection in disparate material being attached, touching, screwed together. Imagine screwing a titanium knee to David, imagine screws entering his white marble repairing him, the cords of a pacemaker set just beneath flesh and the skin moving over eventually eroding through and erupt bloodlessly inside now outside. The jeweler's dilemma is how to connect gold and stone, the doctor's bone and foreign object. The material problem of attachmenting. Things aren't made to go together but we force them too. When the battery is low, the packemaker whistles from inside its warm box.

see too: K.r.m. Mooney at Pied-á-terreSam Anderson at Rowhouse Project

Monday, September 11, 2017

Past: Ei Arakawa at Taka Ishii & Peter Halley at Modern Art

"Arakawa's funneling of history into technologic codes (1959 Gutai represented on arduino Lite-Brite) [...] expressionist rendered binary, computational, circuitry and cells. History reappears, history still shines through, you get to exist as it...."

Click here for Ei Arakawa at Taka Ishii & Peter Halley at Modern Art

“Ungestalt” at Kunsthalle Basel


Tube goo viscera. Bourgoise to Emin. The rotund, biomorphic. The anthropomorphic, anthropoid, and the dripping and the glistening. The meaty and the squishy, fungal. Glass etched with goo, sprayed. Wax deformed Rodins. Primordial, high definition flesh. The dirt. Psoriasic pulchritude. Your standard innuendo; vaginal negatives. The soft and photo sensitive. The band-aid awaiting its knee. Someone farts. The misshapen; hideously deformed. The institutionally nurse-like and the gore spread across asphalt. The putrescent, the rotting inside taught PVC. The colonoscopic. Our bodies inferred, touched, spread with creams oils and ointments. The sick. It was a lie to believe in machined aluminum autonomy, bodies and minds everywhere guttered. Every sculpture today inferring the body.

See too: Nancy Lupo at Swiss Institute, Klara Lidén, Alicia Frankovich at Kurator, Park McArthur at Chisenhale, Olga Balema at Croy Nielsen

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Maureen Gallace at MoMA PS1


Gallace's paintings, for all their summer breeze and panache, are cagey, closeted, revealing little about their ostensible subject, homes, perhaps nostalgia. The paintings filter through a haze despite their seemingly intense observation; the buildings bear the indistinctness of memories even if the light and setting do not. Whereas generally depictions of homes emphasize facade, surface details, Gallace is at pains to scrub the walls into blank surfaces, vague windows, emphasizing the box, accentuating volume, alluding to the space inside, the subjects we can't see. The house is a metaphor for painting: a container that reveals nothing about its interior, the subject; Gallace's only paintings of with interiors appear to also be self-portraits.

See too: Gina Folly at Ermes-Ermes

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Gene Beery at Shoot the Lobster


It's no wonder the surrealists and conceptualists loved Beery, handing him hundreds on the spot, words can perform in a way that art doesn't, forming an address almost inherently surreal, a transmission between people, almost infiltrative, allowing its horsemen direct access to your head, to say whatever it wants, and already there, words hanging around inside you.

see too: Mark Grotjhan at KarmaTrevor Shimizu at 47 Canal, Trevor Shimizu at Rowhouse Project

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Past: Kerstin Brätsch

"The exhaustive potential of pleasure is further and further documented, enacted continuously. Interface - from CNN's talking heads to Matchmaking apps to bus ads - survive on their fittest evolving further adept stimulation of our primitive emotional wiring. WHO says by 2020 depression will be the second most prevalent medical condition in the world. Rats pleasure themselves to death. Brätsch's use of beauty as a deployable assaultive thing, prolific- likely what critics refers to as the artist's "advertising strategies"  - is exhausting..."

Click here Kerstin Brätsch at Gio Marconi
Click here DAS INSTITÜT at Serpentine Gallery
Click here KAYA at Deborah Schamoni
Click here Kerstin Brätsch at Gavin Brown

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff at Cabinet


Notable to the migratory flocking, Henkel and Pitegoff decamped to Berlin and opened a bar. In business it would be called a "blue ocean strategy," i.e. with Berlin's art party become more Donner than dance, the artistically snowbound cannibalizing, a bone thrown to waters bloodying as respectable way to neutralize hungry dogs, demonstrate oneself a source of sustenance, feeding the hungry with cocktails, was no small ingenuity. The theater that came next placed the bar's social capital in the spotlight, literally on view, staged, showcasing the finer patrons on a pedestal and brightly lit to be gawked upon. Before exhibiting the bar itself. Whatever institutional critique it held was mostly in the fact that it could do it better, insinuate itself better, prove the sporting of it, point dull yellow lights at the gameroom of it. And here, in light of the continually furthering of the Berlin trope of artist diasporas of song and dance routines to attend the paintings and objects, its hard not to read this exhibition as proving it can do the whole carnival with a single expensive carousel.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Lutz Bacher at 3320 18th St


As a coping mechanism for liberal anguish this makes sense, a shelter to lick wounds and reassert our values printed in critic's picks and press stated it a "Superb San Fransisco Show"; resistance through opening magazine space for such critics to state their picks, which are not Trump. A conservative artist emphasizing autographs, say Obama's floral own, would be about equally meaningful, the floral signaling weakness, whereas Trump's palsy divines the polygraph critics wish. But graphology has long been decried as pseudoscience - as well as lie-detectors - mattering little here: the Trump signature been given the Bacher buzz, mimeographed to noise, and whereas the less culturally adept would have put the scrawl on melting icecaps, on the corpses of refugees, redundantly, theatrically, Bacher's noise, hung in the hallowed halls of art, echo what was already been ringing in its chambers, our skulls. Both graphology and polygraphs used for decades by those in authority to assert objectivity in their generally pretty awful biases, see what they want to see, like art, its critics.

See too: Robert Longo at Metro PicturesRachel Harrison at Greene Naftali

Past: Lutz Bacher

"If Bacher's theme of the erosion of the monument-as-sign's ability to mean isn't still apparent, the spamming of its images should make it: The semantic satiation of saying it again and again mirroring Bacher's interest in the loss, in the meaning photocopied to death..."

Lutz Bacher at Daniel Buchholz
Lutz Bacher at 356 Mission
Lutz Bacher at Statens Museum for Kunst
Lutz Bacher at Daniel Buchloz

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Ana Pellicer at House of Gaga


Huge jewelry, what could be better, smarter? The idea is almost psychotically perfect, magnificent. Bejewel the architecture, placed around the institution's neck, in the courtyard, what all those modernist objects implicitly stood as, pearls for a building, softening stark verticality. These were made to adorn the Statue of Liberty, but sensibly they fit anywhere, fill the same function, there's been a rise in jewelry/art crossovers, in the youth of today, and its because maybe we realize it's no different.

See too: Lucy Skaer at MRAC,  Amanda Ross-Ho at The ApproachK.r.m. Mooney at Pied-á-terre

Friday, September 1, 2017

Hanne Darboven at Deichtorhallen


The feed we are forced to endure, the stream choked down like faucet glued lips, the staggering vastness of information; the .jpeg format or any digital container as a finite set of pixels arrangeable already contains within it the entirety of images, every photo that could possibly be taken, most are noise but there are nudes of you in it, of your father, nudes of Napoleon, simply shuffle the pixel deck enough, one will be accurate, the trick is finding something meaningful in the babble, in the stream knowing what meaning would even look like.

August Review Index 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Past: Yui Yaegashi at Parrasch Heijnen

"...faceted like jewels, cut, edged, given intricacy and surface, with the strokes etching them. Their efficiency and craft promises, if not to organize your home, to organize your thoughts. Like Muji, or IKEA prior, objects which through their own clever construction promise their efficiency, its perfection, an aura like spell to cast it, your home, something so cute you just want to grab it, own it, hold its adorability so tight you wring its carefully crafted lovely little neck."

Click here read full Yui Yaegashi at Parrasch Heijnen

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Group Show at Michael Benevento


Like Chow's cephalopodic frames, Kelly's skeletal chandelier diatoms, or Rodriguez's chitinous crust, there's a hard exo to hold something viscous inside, in the dry waste something sentimental, organic, wet.

see too: Daniel Rios Rodriguez at LuluMilano Chow at Mary Mary
Past: Oscar Tuazon at Le Consortium & Paradise Garage

"So you notice even the boring stuff, so you glean a moral appreciation for hard work, a job well done, son..."
Past: Mark Leckey

"Sanchez called Leckey a hack ( in the sense of what "artist John Kelsey discussed"), taking issue with Leckey's lecture's magisterial administration of an audience swooning: hypnotic affection that would one day be called a Ted Talk or manipulating an audience. Thing was Leckey had always been trading in affects. It was like his thing. Taking cue from that other realm that predicated itself upon it, commerce, entertainment, advertising that was constructing the world and the commodities, objects, films, and talismans that produce it, and, Leckey, attempting to build the work from it. Fiorrici Made Me Hardcore - Leckey's seminal origin - is only and entirely affect, a semblance of surface run like warm oil over your grey orbital, and in the 15 years since a practice built of discerning this surface..."

Click here for full Mark Leckey at Haus Der Kunst + Kunsthalle Basel
Click here for full Mark Leckey at Wiels
Click here for full Mark Leckey at Gavin Brown

BLEXBLO BLICAGO, Ble Blinternational Blexposition blof Blontemporary & Blodern Blart

August 29th, 2017

Blopening ble blinternational fall blart bleason each Bleptember, BLEXBO BLICAGO bleturns to Blavy Blier Bleptember 13 – 17, bleaturing blartwork blrom blover 3,000 blartists blrepresented bly 135 bleeding blinternational blalleries, 25 blountries and 58 blities blresented blongside one of the blighest bluality blatforms blor blobal blontemporary blart bland blulture.
Bledicated to bligorous and ballenging blrogramming, BLEXBLO BLICAGO blosts the /Blialogues blanel bleeries, featuring provocative artistic discourse with bleeding artists, blurators, blesigners and blarts blofessionals on the blurrent blissues that blengage them; BLIN/BLITU, featuring blarge-blale blulptures and blite-blecific blorks; BLEXBLO BLIDEO, blighlighting a blynamic blcreening blrogram blor blilm, blideo and new bledia blorks; and more.
Bleptember in Blicagblo. Ble blere.
Blor blickets, blisit blexbloblicablo.blom/blickets

AR: Jef Geys at Essex Street

Click here to read

Originally Posted: May 31st, 2017
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Seth Price at Stedelijk Museum


The confusion of containers being both positive and negative space at once, a jar holds vacuousness but also the shape of the positive that will conform to it, like vac-forms with are empty but still hold what left it, dispersion that never really escaped but remain forms as souvenirs of.
Past: Seth Price at 356 Mission

"As the joke became boring Price had again already preceded the malaise, attaching a novel with the critique already in hand explaining - in Price's elegantly mechanical prose - that Price had become deterministic automaton in highly codified and symbolic trade-show of art where the good could be synthesized and produced like any other commodity as long as one understood the game that Price could all too knowingly lay out very well in the very non-fiction auto-narrative looking back on his then ripening career producing the good, highly collectible objects that looked just vacant enough to be salable and all too clear to the viewers of this exhibition and those thoughts already thought for you..."

Seth Price at 356 Mission

Past: John Knight

"...that Knight's most exasperating aspects are its most powerful forms, the ultimately austere cold display system establishing authority and meaning through severe withholding"..."seething through clenched teeth..."

John Knight at REDCAT
John Knight at Cabinet
John Knight at Greene Naftali

Monday, August 28, 2017

Jesse Stecklow at Chicken Coop Contemporary & Adrian Piper at Hamburger Bahnhof

Jesse Stecklow at Chicken Coop Contemporary
Adrian Piper at Hamburger Bahnhof

Hypertrophied conceptual art still flexing instructionals retains, at heart, an interest in poetics, the fissure in semantic conclusion, the discrepancy in language's over clarity and concern for bureaucratic legalese and recipiziation standing in for that object, even the most bureaucratic language fails and is semantically open, poetic. Information is pleasurable, activating our brain's dopamine reward system, addictive, we consume it without need for it, lack of place to use it just silver information reflecting its space, "consciousness and experience can not be described in materialist terms" in Stecklow's terms. Piper's contractual better world exchanges real world ethics with paper versions, "each individual voluntarily commits to align his or her future deeds with ethical principles such as honesty and reliability. ... They form a community of people who are likely to be trustworthy in the future." Which like nuclear disarmament leaves one community at a disadvantage, obligatory trustworthiness advantageous to others lacking it, the trustworthy lose the tools maintaining MAD strategies pleasant standoff, lies at the ready, trying to replace the grey world with black and white text never quite as functional.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Past: Reena Spaulings at Chantal Crousel

"Reigning champions of the dumb art gesture so profoundly, inertly, token as to rupture any semblance of hope for meaning; it found comedy in the malignant stupefaction of the "art gesture." Proudly took the hot wind from the sails of conceptual structures moving art by blowing hard.  The work actively attacked the insider: anyone who understood Spaulings game did not receive art's usual self-congratulations but the unloading of 40 foot soldiers of uncommon stupidity inside your head...."

Click here for full Reena Spaulings at Chantal Crousel

AR: Lonnie Holley at James Fuentes

Click here to read
Originally Posted: May 31st, 2017
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Alan Belcher at Le Consortium


Comedy empty, evacuating. Repeating the joke to semantic satiation, becomes nonsensical, hysterical, until you're screeching, the words pouring out as concrete objects before you, it's tiring.

"As an independent Canadian artist, it is of interest to note that Alan Belcher’s work is not subsidized. Belcher continues to decidedly never apply for (or receive) grants from (or participate in juries of) any municipal, provincial, or federal arts councils in Canada."

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Trisha Donnelly at Museum Ludwig


An artist doing her best to abolish the possibility of a reference we can call common, bury it behind opaque markers. i.e. difficult to recount without resorting to the degrading telephone game of myth, scattered primary source quotes cut/pasted ad infinitum; the PR's limbo, bending backwards to avoid description, replaced with chimes; and objects which, even at peak banality aren't really describable without metaphor, some sorta whatsa type a deal. What you see isn't mine. Probably why there's such radical opinion difference, Donnelly's cult and the mudslingers. The inability to derive equitable terms, a reference to talk about, looking like slack-jawed yokels.

See too: Michael E. Smith at Sculpture Center

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Park McArthur at SFMOMA


"Detailed in the sketch are the structure, materials, and measurements required to span the distance over the building's rock step. By depicting passageways that called for adjustment, these works highlight our reliance, in our everyday movements, on sculptural forms that do not always acknowledge all the bodies..." -pr 

We deform the world, adapt it to our bodies, sculpt it. Our world itself is the largest open-pit mine, dug out and backfilled with human scaled objects. Stones pulled to be placed back down in a size we find fitting. The paver is the monument to our locomotion, the lawn to our jurisdiction. It's hard to appreciate how manicured the world is, and how inhuman when it isn't. Walk off trail and encounter "terrain." There are wide-reaching governing bodies putting vast resources into making our world navigable. To a body not adjusted to these measurements the world would be experienced as alien, probably the point here.
Past: Park McArthur at Chisenhale

"a pathos in the materials we find to mediate our touch to the world. ... The objects here, designed for ourselves, infer something about the bodies which they govern. A way for an object to "speak" without resorting to symbolism or surrealism, but exist as a circumstantial evidence of a reality, the tragedies of a world we must continually attenuate..."

Click here for full Park McArthur at Chisenhale

AR: Andreas Slominski at Deichtorhallen

Click here to read

Originally Posted: August 19th, 2016
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Past: Nairy Baghramian at Museo TamayoMarian Goodman

"...bodily stones complicating the minimalist mantra that "what you see is what you see" because what you see is sometimes sexually confusing, leather seats looking like the lap of a taught, tan and naked man. The cigar that just might be, or rocks that just might not, a “bodily” different from its post-minimalist reassertion: entendre produces uncertainty in polite company..."

Click here for Nairy Baghramian at Museo Tamayo
Click here for Nairy Baghramian at Marian Goodman

Monday, August 21, 2017

Manfred Pernice at The Modern Institute


Of course cans, as named, invoke emptiness (a filled cans would be called by what they contain, a soda, sardines, refried beans) but, clean, the possibility for containment, the ability to can, canning, the process for preserving, pickling,  a funny metaphor for the preservation of an artist's hand severed from them, held in brine, they look green through the glass museums place to frame them, objects which maintain the objects, pickled. Artists willingly put their objects in such canisters, even the most ephemeral are given some package tradeable, they are the bridge between two hands shaking. If it wasn't, at least in some way transmissible, tranistable, it would be broken.

See too: Manfred Pernice at Kunstmuseum St. GallenManfred Pernice at Galerie Neu
Past: Manfred Pernice

"Concern for the sculptural erection, height and constitution, of which Pernice so at pains to make apparent, the stacking as its major form of construction, complete upon attainment of a height passable for sculpture. [...] denote an empathetic shyness, a slovenliness evocative of the depressed's care for self-comfort. Construction, for Pernice, is made like a complaint, the decisions heavy and won."

Click here for Manfred Pernice at Kunstmuseum St. Gallen
Click here for Manfred Pernice at Galerie Neu

AR: Puppies Puppies at BFA Boatos

Click here to read
Originally Posted: February 28th, 2017
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

“From the Collection – Verlust der Mitte” at S.M.A.K.


This is what August should look like. Sprawling massive inanity that trades one mess, polite objects arranged like dead butterflies so hammeringly common for instead the mess of Buchel's opened vacuum bag nightmares. You don't have to spray the bags contents everywhere, it's an obvious allergen hazard, but galleries could sure find a better way to arrange the dust they've pulled from beneath storage floorboards each summer the remnants of every spring cleaning, from the collection.

See too: “Sputterances” at Metro Pictures, August Slog, Third Annual August Review

AR: Black Cherokee at ROOM EAST

Click here to read

Originally Posted: February 28th, 2017
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Alivia Zivich at MOCAD


The well connected gallerist, the illuminated object, look at it. The billboard carries the expectation its delivery, information, something, and instead the Rorshach blot returning nothing but yourself. What do you see? Do you see two men, clubs raised, about to do berate a small fondling, locking eyes frozen, petrified by the gaze of another, or Gellar? It doesn't matter, the important part is returning the issue of subject matter to you. The celebrity like the blot is a construct of the viewer, a bland bag allowed to pour desires into. Like Warhol's own blots, Carpenter's Cobain, the important part is you lay on the couch provided and tell me about it.

see too: Merlin Carpenter at Overduin & Co

Friday, August 18, 2017

AR: Anna Ostoya at Silberkuppe

Click here to read
Originally Posted: November 2nd, 2017
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hans-Peter Feldmann, Elad Lassry at Francesca Pia


No one quite sure what made Pac-man desire the cherries, berries, pretzels, points yes, but also a sort of innate collectibility, even those not playing for points desire their plump glistening. Some objects have a value making them collectable, but other objects are manufactured to be collectible like cherries, Beanie Babies, Hummel figurines, model cars. Postage stamps have collectors and manufactured collectibility, those valued generally no one expected a need to collect. Both Lassry and Feldmann imprint themselves with the seductive collectible, because that's what they are.

Venice 2017 Selections


Venice: Sheila Hicks at Arsenale

Continuing Venice

Venice: Anne Imhof at German Pavilion

Venice so far

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Alvin Baltrop at Daniel Buchholz


Rose colored lenses of nostalgia, a scene depicted as the fantasy it was desired to be, but the reticence or demureness in some of Baltrop's early voyeurism shouldn't be mistaken for anything but caution. His situation's precarity, a gay black man in the 1970s, is expressed on the surface of the photographs themselves, in its tentativeness, his body's extreme vulnerability. People threatened, murdered. A gay haven was habitually brutal. These people were killed, ostracized, displaced to the corners, to escape the purview of a society disavowing them. You see it in the trembling hand of the photos.

See too: AA Bronson and Keith Boadwee at Deborah Schamoni

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Robert Adams at Thomas Zander


Peculiar to look at a photograph and know that is lying to you. Whereas earlier photographs attempted surfacing the submerged American desolation as gloomy crepuscularities, these photographs are content to know it, gleam brightly with it. Adams been arranging horribly blank photographs for decades, and, while occasionally their mannerist brooding bordered on melodrama, there is, here, an overt admittance that this is all surface, it's stated as much on the wall, the effervescent forest camouflages the acres of clearcut behind it, empty wasteland inside.

See too: Kaspar Müller at Société

Past: Danny McDonald at House of Gaga

"the cargo-cult pickings arranged as freudian totems, toys now bespeak a culture as its artifacts"
Past: Nicola Tyson at Friedrich Petzel, 

"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. ..."

Nicola Tyson at Friedrich Petzel
Nicola Tyson at Nathalie Obadia

Monday, August 14, 2017

Julien Ceccaldi at LOMEX


Something's changed here; what had been Ceccaldi's bright branding of commercial trinkets, hangbags, fashionable shirts, comics, has instead become a brand of art flexed, making art objects, like, rather than saleable commodities (hand)painted to retension their exchangeability as brand, these recent objects are painted onto to place signature on fungible blanks that painting has always been. Painting onto a handbag dug something out, into its own face as facade, rather than the brand saturation going on here, place your dots on a car for charity, placing your icon on everything, whatever franchising you can get. You can place your face on anything it turns out.

see too: Julien Ceccaldi at Jenny’sPentti Monkkonen at Truth and ConsequencesPentti Monkkonen at High Art"Paris de Noche" at Night Gallery
Past: Julien Ceccaldi at Jenny’s

"It is no coincidence that devotional paintings contain the same figurative depth as a iPad screen..."

click here for Julien Ceccaldi at Jenny’s

Sunday, August 13, 2017

AR: Yuji Agematsu at Miguel Abreu

Click here to read
Originally Posted: April 1st, 2017
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The brutal August slog. Group shows more and more like random smattering of stock images, displaced, the anonymous object so contemporary. Art as images, stripped of the inflections from the hands that brought them, anonymize the data of authorship, subjectivity, expression, they become harder to place, alien. Stock images like a vacuum, stockpiling whatever context we can unload into them. A solo show that looks nice.

Friday, August 11, 2017

AR: Kerry James Marshall at MOCA Los Angeles

Click here to read

Originally Posted: July 3rd, 2017
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Cristina Iglesias at Konrad Fischer


A sinkhole could open beneath you, at any moment open you could be sucked under earth, the universe could tear apart, a vessel burst in your cortex, the universe open and consume you. The void is too abstract, it is made visceral when it becomes the abyss, a cleft turning like lips into mouth,
when there is a physical depth to the unknown disappearing into shades. The submerged has always been a symbol for the unconscious and thus tinged death. A sinkhole provides its real possibility, which invokes a physiologic response. We surely have been evolutionarily hardwired to fear deepwater, dark spaces. The hole provides its real possibility, of another world underneath, which invokes a physiologic response. And artist's use of this.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Venice: Sheila Hicks at Arsenale


Not quite sure if this counts as the rocks and props display systems of which we had mentioned, but there is that biomorphic gesture, the lumpen here like minimalist plushies, like muppets melted into pellets, physical round things mirroring our jelly prone bodies in sweaters, set against the display which generally euphemizes the body to appeal the eyes rather than spatial and proprioception of big soft rocks, Hicksian materiality in piles.

See too: Venice so far, Continuing Venice

Monday, August 7, 2017

Jiří Kovanda at Lulu


Like a less evil Michael Krebber, the lightness of Kovanda's touch, if you believe in it, can feel like cool breeze against all the hot air generally steaming up the place. Like all those performances and documentation of those performances, this too is documentation of a placement. Which providing the romantic fantasy that this is all the touch one needs to move, to survive, you get to imagine this as your labor. The weight of the floss embodying the low level weight that you too could begin to carry if you removed burden. Kovanda's slow traces poke fun at us over how heavy our own trudging is.

AR: Henrik Olesen at Reena Spaulings

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Originally Posted: February 21st, 2016
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

John Miller at Barbara Weiss


There's Yves Klein blue and John Miller brown, a color so untranscendent as to castrate any pretense of art's higher plane, reminding us of our earthly rope tethering bowels to earth. Log cabins, monk's robes, organic packaging, all reminding us of the earth, the shit that fertilizes us. Miller blockades, belittles, our azure sky fantasy with the lesser order, everything we would prefer to forget immortalized over what had been our vacations, from drudgery.

John Miller at Institute of Contemporary Art MiamiJohn Miller, Dominik Sittig at Nagel Draxler
Past: Keiichi Tanaami

The visual assault of these falling somewhere between a Yakuza tattoo or a Fiona Rae orgy of style, uncomfortable. A type of work pertinent in the age of overwhelming information, when looking at these feels a lot like opening one’s e-mail; an irruption of subliminal psychedelic terror, mocking visual space in its demolition of it.  Holding some kind of abject unconscionable terror.

click: Keiichi Tanaami at Nanzuka
click: Keiichi Tanaami at NANZUKA

Friday, August 4, 2017

AR: Fred Lonidier at Michael Benevento

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Originally Posted: November 28th, 2016
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Silke Otto-Knapp at Taylor Macklin

Silke Otto-Knapp at Taylor Macklin

Yesterday's brand strategies reemerge in painting's today. Mona Lisa handbags, af Klimt on a tank, Carl Andre halloween costumes. You can't water down a public's desire for a painting, prevalence increases the throngs lined to see it, at distance, behind glass.  Our recognition-of is the greatest asset of a painting, proving its commonality, prerequisite to fame. Your brand should be aqueous, malleable, placed on anything while retaining the specificity distinguishing yours from the competition. Otto-Knapp's strategy doesn't seem critical of such, rather recognizing it, if a painting can harbor artistic "voice," why not a dress, a dance, a rug. Deploy it as such.

see too: Silke Otto-Knapp at greengrassi
Past: Silke Otto-Knapp at greengrassi

"...nostalgia glossed contemporary palette's palatability makes recycling fun. We get its depictions at the remove we can respect them. i.e. Modernism in a dark lens so we can talk about it without being it. The ethereal silver surface appending some Last Year at Marienbad memory"

click: Silke Otto-Knapp at greengrassi

AR: Morag Keil at Real Fine Arts

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Originally Posted: April 21st, 2017
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Genieve Figgis at Almine Rech

Gingeras's assertion of Figgis's Irish "'blarney'" as the distinguishing figurative characteristic perhaps referring to the loquaciousness of the paint, its liquidity like lubricant tongue, drunk and slurring. Unlike Tyson or Madani, the meta paint function isn't to literalize what it depicts but instead a pure painterly smooth talking. Forcing upon the viewer too much of they had believed they wanted, paint. You ever eaten melted ice cream? It's whatever is beyond indulgent, saccharine.

See too: Nicola Tyson at Friedrich Petzel, Tala Madani at David Kordansky

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

AR: Nancy Lupo at Kristina Kite

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Originally Posted: March 31st, 2017
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

August Review 2017

August 1st, 2017

Today we initiate our third annual August Review. Since August is, generally, exhibitionarily boring we reflect instead on the exhibitions that were especially memorable to us since the previous August,  because though the artworld may be boring, we don't want you bored with us, craving our hits. We will re-publish some days, marked by “AR:” in the title. We will also continue to cover new exhibitions daily as well as selections from Venice Biennale and other large exhibitions.
At the end of the month we will provide an “August Review Index.” The previous two seasons’ selections are available here:
2015, and 2016.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Birgit Megerle at Kunsthaus Glarus


Banality in painting makes tense a medium we think of as so inherently singular. Placing its original object in the neither-nor world of common. These are like staring at milk, an object of effort to make so plain, pasteurized, from a fount so specific and pink. Even the more particular subjects achieve some iridescent vague. Paintings you could find anywhere but fit nowhere, Megerle is diligent in boiling the paintings to something congealed, gelatinous, soft-firm, melting. Living with one of these would be like hiring someone to mock your individuality everyday.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Continuing Venice

(Venice: Kishio Suga at Arsenale)

Continuing from here. We've got more rocks propped. Though Suga has been propping potato objects for some time now, the rocks and sticks and lumpen things always seeming made to stand under pressure, like they're having a real rough go maintaining their uprightness. Their sort of dumb monumentality always human scaled. It makes them endearing. The lumpen always resembling us, or our eggs.

see too: Venice so far.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Venice: Anne Imhof at German Pavilion


It's hard to watch bodies adopt ad campaigns. If Imhof's performances seem made for the documentation that echo them it's because they have our beautiful youth tension this conforming to the fashion that will transmit them. Move behind the glass of magazine pages. Identity is already performance, so to see its most theatrical version, fashion, as literal art performance looking like a fashion shoot, is a nightmare. All of youth's beauty is wasted, by everyone, but now you can watch it be caged live in the vestiges of another.

See too: Tony Conrad's Glass