Thursday, September 28, 2017

CAD 2008-2017

Remember Flash? Remember splash pages? For a brief moment the internet had rid ourselves of the clogged glitz of pageantry, webpages moved to chaste legibility, a now eclipsing era when pretty much every gallery - blue chip to apartment - resembled each other democratically: washed of blitzing design, 2008: Facebook's rising militant pages nailing the coffin on the lurid heap of Myspace, the iPhone exiling Flash, and the year CAD launched its own suprematist site. Difficult to discern whether CAD started the trend for desaturated austerity or simply sensed what was in the air with Wade Guyton and subjectivityless painters, stripping the individuated gallery hands for a digital white cube. Hard to remember how difficult finding documentation had been, how gallery's websites were a diaspora of middling horror, how the feed hadn't yet become the dominant digital intake, before Instagram and Facebook ascended as the apex of artistic social conviviality, before all content had designed bingeablilty, in iPhone bereft darkness, the digital campfire of Contemporary Art Daily. Galleries took note, it seemed every gallery adopted the basic black and white that any html lackey could emulate. Cleanliness, order. Now, today, Splash Pages return (they never really went away for LA for whatever reason) and HTML 5 replaces flash, iPhone compatible. In 2008 it was a point of pride that anyone could make the paintings you were making and the websites showcasing them along with it, in 2017 paintings are colorful expressionistic, technical; paintings today look like the Myspace pages we had entombed, and our websites bloat along with them to prove they can. Top separate themselves from the imitations. It is not enough that the 10mb images load, we place an icon, a gesture to show we know they are loading, an ornament.

See too: Sophie Nys at Crac AlsaceBrian Calvin at Le Consortium, CAD

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

“Pharmacy for Idiots” at Rob Tufnell


This fall color is in. Schmutz is hot, and the figurative no longer the province of the cerberally impoverished. Just a number of seasons ago this would have been unheard of. People wanted their painting printed, indexed, sprayed from fire extinguishers, run through a series of conceptual parameters that stood in for ideas. People wanted ice cold abstraction. Wanted painter's hands replaced with scissors and aerosols, desiring our painters as machines for production. Now they want comedy, hard illustrative, want brush work, florals, subjects, want subjectivity. "Art is a pharmaceutical product for idiots." - DADA manifesto 1920, quoted at full in the PR. History repeats.

See too: Joanne Greenbaum at CroneWade Guyton at Academie Conti & Le ConsortiumZak Prekop at Shane Campbell, Nathan Hylden at Misako & Rosen,

Monday, September 25, 2017

Andreas Schulze at Team Gallery, Inc


Ah to spew smoke, to spit smog. Our off-gassing, our hot-air. Your body's continuous pollution, waste, a machine for expenditure. You are net negative on the biosphere.  Like hanging "Everyone Poops" on your wall, things no one wants to be reminded of, Schulze's painting are generally cruel things, stuffed with aggressive lashing. Paintings not really for seating polite company. A lot of art today with its biomorphic and anthropoid rotundity desperate to remind viewers of their bodies but Schulze seems willing to make it painful, reminds us what happens in our more porcelain moments, your exhaust pipe. This is the new moral nature of painting, look at the painter's, the writer's exhaust, self to the wind.

See too: “Ungestalt” at Kunsthalle BaselAndreas Schulze at Sprüth Magers

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

“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 was 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, it's 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

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