Monday, January 22, 2018

David Lieske at Lovaas Projects

Thomas Meinecke: Yes, and did you come to any results? 
David Lieske: Not really. In the end, this magazine embodies complete ambivalence altogether and, as it is, that’s enough for me. Even more so that’s what I find particularly interesting and admirable about it as the same is true for the art that I want to exhibit and that I am promoting – its greatest aim should be to generate the highest level of ambivalence. In the same sense I am unsure whether what I am proposing here as my exhibition could still be called art.

An ambivalence at the heart of much of art today displayed as presentations of objects left to the viewer with a "deal with it" coolness, figurative sunglasses donned. An ambivalence stemming from the pictures generation, authorship and authority questioned, and now artists - as stated previous - picking through semio-rubble and arranging it in quasi-mystical totems of the anthropologically alienated. Artists are like primitives to droppings of powerful Mass Culture, even its "special interest magazines," sifting through it with an almost reverence to its ability to "mean" in a way art likely never will, artists become in awe of Culture, develop intense interests in its niches, its ability to generate slight amounts of slack in its culturally tight bunghole through the ambiguity of its insertion, the insertion that art attempts to duplicate with its ambivalence, as if ambivalence itself opens new space, like one where maybe art doesn't have to mean.

See too: David Lieske at MUMOK
Past: Michael E. Smith at Sculpture Center, Michael E. Smith at Michael Benevento, Michael E. Smith at Zero, Michael E. Smith at Lulu, Michael E. Smith at Susanne Hilberry

"This destabilizing of our ability to conceptualize the objects in equitable terms to exchange with one another (eroding the semio-substrate with which our exchange is based) breaching a distrust, is its sinister quality."

"Bodily violence, its threat (a body to become goo as any other) is implicit to a work that treats materials as categorically promiscuous (surreal), e.g. if you can put Mario in the gallery sky or ocean's puffer fish under the table's summer sky, inflate them like footballs with whale ears, aren't you as wiling to place skulls at your knees. The disregard for the categorical order is like gore, crushing bodies."

Past: David Lieske at MUMOK

"Lieske was of the first of the cargo cults reassembling the totems of meaning in the desert of it, picking detritus. The issue was resolved not by necessarily by making objects mean again - which they couldn't - it's hard to make an empty bottle mean in arid land - but by situating objects so that they looked to mean, they connoted meaning despite whatever inscrutable blankness, hieroglyphs. What was important was exuding the affect of meaningful objects, regardless of whether there was any and that it didn't matter anyway was what we were all beginning to pick up on and what the commercial world had known for decades (that you can create "meaning" at will with attitude, aura) which while Lieske pondering whether this was a problem was suddenly flooded and drown by more ephebic artists already having decided for him it wasn't and now this is the water we live in, a flooded terrain of objects imbued, over-saturated "meaning." If so much art looks like Broodthaers today, it is because Broodthaers was of the first invested in the arrangements of display as a credence to meaning, institutional or otherwise."

Click: David Lieske at MUMOK

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hannah Greely at Parker Gallery


"An ominous commingling of humor and horror intensifies the communication breakdown of pictorial space."  "Greely turns language into legible sculpture, allowing us to read physical form."

Today, icons become confused with symbols, amputating the leg from the cheetah-dane you cleave the wholeness of its object-thought. Like a three-legged pup cutely hobbling with the sympathy we feel at its misaligned strut, the sign itself, severed of wholeness, elicits sympathy for an inability to totally stand for its representation, like any good broken artifact whose fragment is all the more lovely for its symbol replaced with formalism, an impairment to the language it intends to mean: sculpture as a sort of lovely speech impediment, hearing a lisp for the words. We love a good three legged dog, and figurative representation can contain all the sculptural slurring as language, the dog limps on endearingly with its crusty cartoon gait all the better, love.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Miyoko Ito at BAMPFA


Paintings that look constructed, built like homes, making their abstraction like a plan for its composition. Ito's paintings are plain, direct, and confusing, a straightforward depiction belying its subterfuge. You unpack their construction like the pleasure of a model, or architectural funbook, same as of say Toma Abts, huge precursors to the puzzification and surreal ipad-iconists of today, the trend for paintings tangled icon of itself, abjuring the directness of recognition that design implies, instead designed for misrecognition.

"The pleasure of Abts’s paintings is that of origami, or well constructed puzzle, like setting a good corner in New Mexico pasture, the blankness of a Morandi, solving simply its own internal puzzling, like shaker furniture, a clever construction in a protestant like satisfaction of a few-frills job completed."

See too: Tomma Abts at David ZwirnerCharline von Heyl at Gisela CapitainEmily Mae Smith at Rodolphe Janssen, Ray Yoshida at David Nolan, Sascha Braunig at Kunsthall Stavanger, Alice Tippit at Night Club, Lui Shtini at Kate Werble, Sascha Braunig at Rodolphe Janssen, Sascha Braunig at Foxy Production, Mathew Cerletty at Office Baroque, Oscar Tuazon at Le Consortium & Paradise Garage

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

David Hartt at Graham Foundation


The potted plant in art. Was Broodthaers the first underlining the theatricality of its installation, the artificiality of its use as staging, the stage, decor of a gallery.  The potted plant can only ironize with temporality clashing against that of the gallery, a greenery that extends beyond it. I've been collecting art images with them for a while a now, its a trope, one of the few home decor choices regularly entering the space of art.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Past: R.H. Quaytman

"Miguel Abreu surrounds itself in a very distinct aura, it desires so strongly to be fictional literature, like a Borges labyrinth, where fiction is made to feel real, and the library the realest of all, from which entire worlds stem. Not even that Quaytman chapters her work, all the exhibitions feel like arcana and leaden magic where complexity's turgidity make it feel all the more real for its almost bureaucratic commitment to the fiction."

Read Full, click: R.H. Quaytman at Miguel Abreu

Marie Angeletti at Beach Office


You can assemble the parts of the PR to de-crimescene what's on display here, or wait for the writer mutated to docent, to explain, but that'd be beside the point to be at a loss shuffling through image and text that Angeletti seems determined to maintain in the limbo of contextlessness. The breadth of Angeletti's work looks like a google image search for a long string of arbitrary numbers, an array of the world's images arranged by a search term we cannot see, which in an era of almost total fuck-all of contextless images our cognition is molested by daily could make an art practice mirroring such seem a brutal finger but at some point we have to be trained for this, we could attempt to make sense of, it all, if we wanted to start lifting.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Past: Cooper Jacoby

"Apocalypse fabulous. Our world's end, celebrate it with a commemorative lamp, a luxury mirroring your wealth's participation in it."

- Read full: Cooper Jacoby at Freedman Fitzpatrick

"...recasting the bee houses as foreclosed slums, a critique predicting the ends of these best intentions as in the hive of Detroit - a production colony experiencing its own collapse - the ends of manufacturing utopias, if the art weren't so sexy too. ... critique of power often comes with the fetishization and deployment of it..."

- Read Full: Cooper Jacoby at Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden

Liam Gillick at CAC Vilnius


"So then in the middle of this empty room we'll have these, like, little models that sort of look like Risk tokens of industrialization"

"Like little maquettes."

"Like all alone and empty across the space."

"Yeah, symbols I guess..."

"in the dark."

"Well and there's like heavenly club light like pouring down on it."

"Symbolizing the interior."

"and then sawdust all over the floor."

"also symbolizing the interior."

"Because they're actually warehouse dancehalls."

"Well yes people are in an Museum, but surely they'd rather be somewhere else.."


The forebear to today's Simon Dennys and Anne Imhofs, the weaponizing of corporate and cultural tropes as a banality, ambivalent to its corporate manipulation of emotive capacities so long as it produces its effect, content, cruel fun.

see too: Simon Denny at MoMA PS1Venice: Anne Imhof at German Pavilion

Friday, January 12, 2018

Tariq Alvi at Michael Benevento


Which look like enlarged thumbprints on the adverts, which sort of charicaturize what collage always meant to invoke, the touching, the importance of artistic labor, which we treat shamanistically, artists prove their touch with the assumption of our belief in it, channeling, arrange some truth out of cultural noise, which these are returned to.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Juliette Blightman at Fine Arts, Sydney


Like home design catalogs presenting the life we could live, the gallery displays an open door breeze, the sentimentality of trying to maintain, hold, a night between friends that a playlist remembers. Your life could be better the catalog says, if only you could imagine it as mine. The elegiac quality is the loss.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Cali Thornhill Dewitt at Karma International


“Low-level advertising really speaks to me because it’s so forthright. All the information is there, there’s no bullshit..”

Kanye's Saint Pablo Tour merch designer and probably-not murderer of curt Cobain, Cali Dewitt here with his hammering textual effigies. The phrases, deprived of all context, still haunt. A good phrase is like a magic spell, an incantation, it makes itself truer every time you say it, saying it conjures its ghost into being. This rattling emptiness so apt to Kanye's merch, is perhaps the lovely subterfuge of Dewitt, hollowness doesn't preclude impact horribly.

see too: Gene Beery at Shoot the Lobster

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Anna Uddenberg at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler


Uddenberg works with the obvious message that's unspoken, that you almost have to force, make explicit, that our cars look tanned bodies, lingeried accoutrements, there's a sexuality to the leather curves of car interiors.  Which like the bootied bits of Uddenberg's before all but force the issue: the mass majority of sculptural history's content sexual and unspoken by the MET's blue haired.  And everyone now tearing at couches to reveal our innuendo's innards, digging for the implication from the things that caress us.

See too: Jessi Reaves at Bridget DonahueOlga Balema at High Art (1), Olga Balema at High Art (2),  Torbjørn Rødland at Henie-Onstad KunstsenterAnna Uddenberg and Nicolas Ceccaldi at MEGA FoundationCaroline Mesquita at T293Alexandra Bircken at Le Crédac & BQNairy Baghramian at Museo TamayoJessi Reaves at Bridget DonahueBergen AssemblyKatja Novitskova at Kunsthalle Lissabon

Past: Jorge Pardo

"What may be beleagueredly interesting about Pardo’s practice now - artists for decades attempt “meaning”’s destruction in an intellectual whack-a-mole - to consider here something inconsequential."

Full: Jorge Pardo at 1301PE

Monday, January 8, 2018

Anne Collier at The Modern Institute


As Sturtevant foretold, "appropriation" post internet is different indeed, no longer political or even contentious, "theft" is airquoted, artists incredulous at being called out on it. It was perhaps the youtube era of Supercuts, a "genre of video meme, where some obsessive-compulsive superfan collects every phrase/action/cliche from an episode (or entire series) of their favorite show/film/game into a single massive video montage" garnering millions of views, tumblr collections reported on in NYTimes, pinterest boards, the age of aggregators and the lines outside the door for Marclay's Clock, arrangement became meaning, content, "appropriation" went full populist. In the absolute deluge of images as the fount of internet opened it made sense for the archivist impulse to popularize as people tried to make sense of the mess, of the overstimulation of everything all once, that could be divided arranged, made into little groupings of sense. Sturtevant on the other hand started making nightmares.
Past:  John Miller at Barbara Weiss, John Miller at Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, John Miller & Dominik Sittig at Nagel Draxler

"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. 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 Barbara Weiss
John Miller at Institute of Contemporary Art Miami
John Miller & Dominik Sittig at Nagel Draxler

Sunday, January 7, 2018

“Tierra. Sangre. Oro.” at Ballroom Marfa


We don't like to see labor, we attempt to believe our objects as plucked from some global production line where no one fears the coming automation because we believe everything to already be, like the seams of our clothes not already warmed by sweating hands in hot rooms, or the brushed aluminum and Gorilla glass whose machining attempts to appear seamless, the seams that stand for assembly, that collect grout, human detritus, that body we don't wish to see. When the seamless, brushless, painting disintegrated into the impressionist strokes like building blocks the bourgeois were appalled, and the desire of minimalism to once again repress the labor of the factories they got to build their work seem an attempt to return the order of the seamless virtual object, willing to align themselves against labor. Each seam, each brick representing the hands that minimalism was willing to sacrifice, lop off, repress.

See too: Judith Hopf at Museion, Judith Hopf at kaufmann repettoMelvin Edwards at Daniel Buchholz

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Diango Hernández at VAN HORN


"The number 5 on my list of least used words in contemporary art is ‘love’. Believe it or not these days love is not really in vogue, hip or cool. I have looked repeatedly in museums, galleries and all sorts of exhibitions and rarely I saw or heard it used. How could that have happened? Who took it away from art? Have we all forgotten the primary reason why we make and exhibit art?"

If you believe art to be some abstracted form of sexual plumage it would make sense that all art is a form of "love," shimmering objects like peacock's tail. It is perhaps why Chuck Close could - oopsie - assault by mistaking an interest in his object as an interest in him, the conflation of art with its sexual extension. We don't speak of art as love - Gonzalez-Torres had to all but force the issue - because we fear this sublimated form of desire bubbling back up its primordial grease. Art is an extension of us, our selves, our home, sometimes as an innuendo at the end of a rod.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Torey Thornton at Moran Bondaroff


Enough amalgamation allowing for the collection of everything and yet remain free of its debt, reviewers throwing artistic forebears by the handful to see what sticks but Thornton's elision of names proper provides its greatest deftness, a balletic comedy of evasion, against being pinned down.  Dumb painting and its dogged ability to get the paint on the canvas as its own stubborn form of defense.

Schjeldahl, 1988: George Condo is one of the new dumb painters, adherents of a fashion bidding to be a tradition. [...] the latest hope in the painterly romance that flared a decade ago with Julian Schnabel and Sandro Chia and has since made dozens of names in the U.S. and Europe. The Romance is an infatuation with paint, distinct from any special use for it. The new dumb painters  of the 1980s are not necessarily unintelligent, but they are allergic to analysis. They bet that their own innocent pleasure in painting proves that painting (and they) will be immortal. [...] In its decadence, signaled by Picasso's terminal, self-imitating, dumb phase (mid-'40s onwards), one gets an elegance so second nature that the fiercest attempts to uglify it, by Dubuffet or by Picasso himself, merely amplify the tastiness. [...] That's the point: to show that painting has a primordial vitality as unkillable as cockroaches.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Rita McBride at Wiels


Like the previous empty negatives of industrial cut outs, hollow forms that speak to both specificity and vacuity, that old modernist tension of simplicity and its ability to strike, that has come to be mocked by so many so well able to perform it a zesty stupidity, Zobernig, Lili Dujourie, Armleder, Levine, etc. etc. Modernism was obviously absolutely vampired by the production it pathed until it became cheap clad chip-board flat-packed and distributed to the point of annihilation, everywhere, insidious, today represented by its most terminally numb forms. Wresting just one more inert but definitive object from it is the ongoing joke.

See too: Heimo Zobernig at Kunsthaus BregenzHeimo Zobernig at Simon LeeHeimo Zobernig at IndipendenzaHeimo Zobernig at Petzel, Krupp, MUDAM

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The violence against faces.


"You can do incredible violence with a painting, with a stroke you can mutilate. The horror film and the painter implement similar meat. [...] Watch a body be melted, a face cleaved. A flower erupts a deformity or berries, it's difficult to tell, something the horror film cannot do: a painting's wayward stroke contains an ambiguity that is interpretable."
Full: Tomoo Gokita at Taka Ishii

"The body an artist can drop from a height over and over again and care nothing for it if they so wish. Cahn seems to care, even while suspending its pink people over the sandpaper causticness of its abrasive color, one of a very few painters to make painting's bright beauty a violent thing. and against people like rubbed erasers, pink and sensitive worn forms. Painting can do a real violence to balloons filled with red liquid." 
Full: Miriam Cahn at Meyer Riegger

Michaël Borremans at Dallas Museum of Art
"Like early scenes in horror films - prior first blood - The body is imparted the possibility of being threatened. If the trope of horror-films was to die after sex, it was because the carnality established the body as fragile, human, meat; sex filled the character with blood for the destruction to come. Similar to Borremans' realism positions the body capable of bodily "abstraction," the subtle wavering of flesh by a painter using brushstrokes to threaten hurt. Borremans painting loosens (abstracts) to threaten what could be done, coming apart with the fragile blow of a stroke. 
Full: Michaël Borremans at Dallas Museum of Art

"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 PetzelNicola Tyson at Nathalie Obadia

"its ambrosial sweetness balanced against subtle representational violence towards the women depicted, who in attaining this otherworldly ripeness bruise deformities... missing arms, noses, or butts swollen like egg sacs, breasts manipulated by invisible strings, contorted and culled to the desires of a culture, like everyone wondering whether Nicki's butt is real, or furry porn 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..." 
Full: Lisa Yuskavage at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

"...Madani's paintings foreground drawing of imagination from an abyss, that, like Bacon's claustro-realms, become spaces for enacting and enacted belittlements and torture, and what this means for Madani in psychoanalytic terms is hard to tell." 
Full: Tala Madani at David Kordansky

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Nicolas Ceccaldi at Le Consortium


"Within the context of the present exhibition, the satanic motif exceeds the framework of occultism to become a kitsch allegory of artistic practice as professional activity."

Like LaVey's Satanism rebranding Randian Objectivism with dark panache for its target audience of misguided white kids, the indulgence of style seems the point, the running theme throughout Ceccaldi's: oversaturation of "content," a new version of camp: "ostentatious, exaggerated, affected, theatrical."  It's an blanket you put on things to make them appear new. You put dark fairy wings on young children, attach biomorphic toy-parts to video cameras, remake Beethoven with the signs of the dungeon dweller, paint it black and turn it upside down and suddenly people react to the affect rather than any individual content, which you can't see behind the hollow overlay.

See too : Nicolas Ceccaldi at Mathew

Monday, January 1, 2018

Marc Camille Chaimowicz at Kestner Gesellschaft


Art like pieces of display catalog, Ikea presentations of what your home could be, as images of potential, like all those pantone grids we all find so pleasant in organizing the full mess of choice into something pleasant, choosable.

Marc Camille Chaimowicz at INDIPENDENZA

Past: Marc Camille Chaimowicz

"We find this wanton sensitivity almost unnerving in art, we fear the institutionalization of its form, the hospitalization of 'sensitivity.'"

Click here for Marc Camille Chaimowicz at INDIPENDENZA