Wednesday, February 28, 2018

“The Pain of Others” at Ghebaly Gallery


CAWD on our art's cuckolding, on our fetishes, on our intentions to own our pain through others: Desensitization

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Morag Keil at Jenny’s


Possibly the culmination of Jenny's program towards rendering the cloying dread of banality's final boss. It's not so much empty as toneless. Thus the hollow soundtrack. While at one end there's the renderstenialists whose tonal overabundance manicizes, say RoseHenrotProuvostAtkinsWolfson, at the other, this affectlessness of "clean" objects scrubbed to that everyday clean feeling of pleasurelessness. Think just how much tone you're subjected to in so much current art strapped into a chair, how well this show conjures without it. Banality isn't a word strong enough. Those particular door handles, the defining feature of cheap mass apartments. Nettel once left the dirty dishes out and has Keil washed them, put them away behind that brown door,  in each others apartments for their collaboration, "The Fascism of Everyday Life" forcing day to day drudgery's recognition, the things we care to forget, every one of us socialists but as roommates we don't share hot-sauce.
""Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an 'event boundary' in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away," said the lead researcher. "Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized.""
Our brains are haywired continuously, forced to deal with frizzing nonsense, cheap dishes and smart tvs, that old joke: "My work is inspired by [...] paintings so boring the human mind is incapable of remembering them, creating the impression that you are seeing them for the first time, everytime." Daily amnesia of us trying to remember our lives.

See too: Morag Keil at Real Fine Arts, Carissa Rodriguez at Wattis, Karl Holmqvist at Sant’Andrea de Scaphis

Monday, February 26, 2018

Tobias Spichtig at Malta Contemporary


Its an effective image, one from Spichtig's endless activities in framing (e.g. the walls weren't painted but the paintings were with it, documented by the artist, mattresses, desks blockades, etc.). But the fridge. Fridges unrunning and closed will have their internals fester with mildew, stink. The closed body rots, the fridge breeds internally. (Was someone from the gallery opening them at night to let air in, or were they allowed to fester.  Or were they running, breathing dry air against mold; the several electrical outlets documented show otherwise. Or were they modified. Maybe some anti-fungal. Or at the end simply gathered like corpses at room-temperature, rotting, and tossed into their grave, atop Malta's apparent landfill problem.) You can probably properly prepare a fridge for long term storage, embalm them just like the paintings removed from the rot that makes them interesting to be hung on your wall nicely, away from our gathering images of metal bodies rotting, stinky fridges more interesting than painting.

see too: Roger Hiorns at ELI Beamlines Center

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Njideka Akunyili Crosby at Baltimore Museum of Art


Perhaps too easy a statement that for Akunyili Crosby, like Kerry James Marshall, the patchwork assembling of visual cultures not necessarily the western canon and manifesting all the diaspora of it - Nigerian pop and pattern for AC; comics, movie posters, barbershops for KJM - feels less like the paintings trends of post-modern dicey-ness, less a Rosler war brought home than saturated by, felt lived in, warm. When the graphic face of a Nigerian minister comes roaring through collapsing space like a advert it seems less compositional than accurate to how time functions, we don't to keep attaching lead and weight to canvases to function for the weight of history.

see too: Kerry James Marshall at MOCA Los Angeles

by not necessarily being indebted to western canon

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Than Hussein Clark at GAK


At its most extreme the proposition may be that art is not as valuable as the context surrounding it.  That the spaghetti dinners attribute diamonds their value. And so the context, under new light, grow baroque, wilt new leafs, gilt themselves in preparation for their spotlighting, put little balls on their feet so as weight their connection to it, the theater.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Betty Tompkins at Rodolphe Janssen


For all the explicitness and its usual attendant cruelty Tompkins' candid blunt feels tinged remorseful for a subject that is denied the full blood of its humanity, a humanity replaced only with the lasciviousness of pornography - our genitals now denoting smut rather than humanity. Tompkins' Fuck paintings basically beginning alongside the advent of modern pornography's spread, a subject their painting seem to gather back from the photographic a pulse, restoring a faint heartbeat to the grid of measurement, reproduction; Tompkins' drawings are evidence of drawing's relevance in conjuring back something the photograph excises, holding its subject with the ginger hand of the pieta.

Darren Bader at Sadie Coles


Anton Chigurh: Don't put it in your pocket. It's your lucky quarter.
Gas Station Proprietor: Where do you want me to put it?
Anton Chigurh: Anywhere not in your pocket. Where it'll get mixed in with the others and become just a coin. Which it is.

You can see there this is going. Art, like lucky quarters, made indistinguishable from their unordained brethren, just a coin. Thrown into the pile of stuff the anxiety of an artwork lost, returning to common object, which it is.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Corinne Wasmuht at KÖNIG GALERIE


Noise, digital haywiring, the gravel dissolve, as if digital technologies weren't abrasive enough now we are to find some aesthetic function in their rubbing us raw with overwhelming digital salt, painting that make you feel tender, delicate against their threat.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sarah Morris at Berggruen


"Both Morris’s paintings and luxury merchandise operate like memory-obliterating machines. In order to arouse the consumer’s intense longing for a brand-name product - a creamy, lustrous lipstick by Clinique, for instance - memory must be successfully erased. Flagrantly confronted with the object of desire, we gladly relegate to oblivion all good intentions, as well as the knowledge of what we really need and what we have already accumulated. Sensible recollection gives way to an irresistible longing, whose presence is far more intense and acute. 
“Morris’s paintings must also reckon with two kinds of desire: either, we surrender to them, pleasurably allowing ourselves to be mirrored in their high gloss surfaces, or we simply take them to be a strategic attempt to launch a trademark and scrutinize them no further. One might then conclude that this seems to be no different from the various ways in which ordinary brand-name products are perceived. But there is a telling difference. Morris’s paintings offer not only the object of desire but its flip side as well: a desire that does not want to be ‘fulfilled’ and is defined by absence. They show us the dizzying voids and abysses that open up the moment we succumb to desire [...] the trance-like feeling that follows hard on shopping spree: for instance when you’ve finally given in to your passionate desire to buy that lipstick. But instead of ‘satisfaction,’ you find yourself facing an even greater void...”  - Isabell Graw "Reading the Capital"
That hammering emptiness that writers with less deft than Graw attempt backfilling with all they reference they can mine from titles and films to go interminable explications of the architecture they repute to reference, of displays of information signaling content, data, that they lack actually denoting, just the impact of information's look with hollow drums like conga lines.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

LaToya Ruby Frazier at Gavin Brown


Ruby Frazier's photos appear as from some distant past because surely we can't believe it's the present; photos from last year seem in some nebulous era that surely isn't this new millennium the complications of the black and white and registering of historic tumult. We have facial recognition tech in the palms of our hands and water we can't send through pipes. Perhaps this would seem a paradoxical if we didn't know the facial tech was manufactured in buildings surrounded by suicide nets and towns were destroyed when companies could find cheaper backs to stand on.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Birgit Megerle at Galerie Neu


"Claire Bretécher’s smokey eyes or a precisely applied black eyeliner are forms that have become a consolidated look that can be put on like a shield. Slider turtles, whose shells are designed according to their habitat, renew their carapaces regularly, though undoubtedly not at a particulary rapid pace. Presumably, painting the make-up shields also takes a long enough time to move slowly enough through the different forms of feminisms that have developed since the 1970s, and at the same time align one’s own image in and with the mirror of the other figures. Birgit Megerle’s portraits would thus confront the pressure imposed on us by some ideas and ideals of beauty with a form of artificiality and masquerade that serves both as strategy and information."

Comparing the mutating patterns of turtle's phantasmagoric plastron to the shifting tides of women's facial adornment is alluring, if wonderfully specific, aligning of cosmetics as carapace, the movement of hard form patterns with a liquid and glacial place, rocks behave like fluids over geologic time and all that. Which has something to do with Megerle's own puttying of her hard edge source material the PRs over several exhibitions having been mentioned as importantly missing, the brushing out the inflated curls and rounding of eyebrow's high angled peaks, replacing their ostentation with a hematoma of makeup. The exchange is unsettling, Megerle's despecifiying of images, removing from them their character, their selfhood, depersonalized, like the most unnerving villain you could face would be the shifting fluid of an inkblot, a blurry monster.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ida Ekblad at Herald St


Paint coagulates, a crust like Ekblad's Mr. Kellog's Cornflake Scab stuck to fine surfaces. Scabs are excess of bodily presence, we want to pick them, peel them from our elbows, remove the corpsing exuberant. It's itchy. Crust is an overpresence of material. Like Lasker's stupid strokes, a clownishness, an exaggeration of the painterly, of material, of the person for the clown, for Ekblad forcing painting to speak with a mouthful of bubble gum.

See too: Ida Ekblad at Max HetzlerIda Ekblad at Herald St.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

LaKela Brown at Lars Friedrich


Commodity displays look a lot like our information displays, the Google images that look a lot like old toy catalogs, inventories of our blossoming desires anointed with the heavenly light of product photography pornography, offering a selection menu that is overexposed, bleaching like coral reefs whose left white skeletons trace a once thriving culture. The ecosystem remains a ghost of taxonomic fossils remaining, held for the assessment of all the dreams of a life embedded.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho at 47 Canal


You will spend 3/4 of your press release explaining this object, an artifact precipitated from global anxieties. The story is interesting, succinctly narrativizing global transition's stranger expression as as a terse plot. The story almost a retooling of the standard Disney prince/princess narrative, the pauper/prince transforming his embattled town to gold tech industry; the coffin carpenter saws himself into manufacturing mogul. Storytelling magic, installing the lens to view the object as new. An object once prized for inexpense (rivaling ikea!), it now has value for the story it contains like a totem. 3/4 of reviewer's wordcount will be recounting the incantation to install the program in their readers. To see this global precipitate for our study, under new lights, placing lights in it, illuminating it, live cameras to portray it from a new and multiple angles and place within it a potion of "wood, ink on rice paper, single-channel video (7:00 mins, looped), plastic bundles containing: inflatable dolphins, security blankets, dried mushrooms, bath mat, bucket, rice noodles, dried fish maw, poncho, lotus leaves, candied winter melon, aluminum platter, 360-degree panoramic WIFI camera light bulbs" - fish bladders take on the flavor of the soup they are in - to activate "artistry," and to its benefit 4 questions end it, directly asked in the PR like a book club edition's questionnaires for sparking conversation, refreshing in its directness, and us looking to find answers searching at all the beauty of totem poles.

See too: Amy Lien & Enzo Camacho at 47 Canal

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Marianne Wex at Tanya Leighton


We should know who Wex is for returning conceptual art's borrowing of information systems - for its own poetic haywiring - back to a visualization of terrene issues, i.e. no longer rooting around in linguistic abstraction but instead its empirical evidence returned to the scientific foundations of material conditions. Like, while Kosuth was concerned for all the mysteries of "Chair," Wex and Mary Kelly were like yes, but we also get pregnant. The "cerebral" of men's white concerns was treated as the higher plane and, for all its agnostic posturing, the "conceptual" allied itself with a reverence akin the religious divinity it ostensibly exiled. Men, oblivious to their own bodies that had never been in question by culture, had the privilege to etherealize themselves above everyone's heads to some assumed universal while women's were increasingly entrenched in politic ground war.  The men atop, the women below. The production of gender that Wex visualized has today become further entrenched as it has become microtized, with the amount of content produced today we are able to produce micro-genres of gendered images that are the laughingstocks of today: "Women alone laughing at salad" its most viral.  With this mass dispersal, normativity dissolves into vaguer forms of power structures, but at the same time, and more hopeful ulterior forms of identity seem to flourish, but this is the bifurcation to today's stems.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Michaela Eichwald at Maureen Paley


The platter served on matters, canvas tends to absorb any spillage of material suggestiveness, but poured onto pleather paint flourishes in its implication: painters are smearing their own oily expelleds.  Like graffiti's intestinal signatures defecating their authorial, artworks that we conceptually digest while our stomachs do the same. Looking at art doesn't work if you have to take a piss, its magic is ruined by a heavy bag, so that when you try conceptualize art with your head you're still reminded of your bowel held waste, the brown rope tethering us to earth that Eichwald seems to consistently paint.

see too: John Miller at Barbara WeissNicolas Deshayes at Modern Art

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Fiona Connor at Modern Art


Mark, touch, history, transience, communication, all things the sign board sediments. As a newspaper's pages accumulate history, a condo's message board holds its neighborhood. There is lives, jobs, wants, wishes, desires attached to a board, fossils of a building accumulating the tacks of people's frontiers, the edges of their presence in the world, leaving notes to the chance of being happened upon, message in a bottle of dryland. Information display systems we find increasingly endearing.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

“Lemurenheim” at Meyer Kainer


Every 10 years assemblage reinvigorates itself as the dumpsters picked through are modernized to the current castoffs and appear new, the waste that evolves along culture until finally an artist is able to rummage up enough LEDs, acrylic panels and Arte Povera catalogs to accumulate the update to our Rauschenberg cardboard clogging the pipes of our forward progress. At least sticks are still in vogue as symbols of the foraging, our original human toil, production.

See too: Ei Arakawa at Taka Ishii & Peter Halley at Modern ArtKerstin Brätsch at Gio MarconiDAS INSTITÜT at Serpentine GalleryKAYA at Deborah Schamoni,

Monday, February 5, 2018

Kasper Bosmans at Gladstone Gallery


PR provides: "evoking political artifacts and labor practices reified into material gestures [...] presented as an ensemble of painting, sculpture, textile, and wallpaper, [...] rendering them as inert aestheticobjects."  Inert aesheticobjects.  i.e. The numbhanded approach, assessing objects with bloodless feelers that estrange them, cast across the gulf of meaning, the fissuring of symbol from its signified, this distance of the rift the interpretable space we call poetic. The symbols ability to store and dissipate information, hyperlink icons and broken links, and paintings with all the navigable space of ipads, littered with icons. The look of information, the pleasure of useless maps.
"Painting in the virtual space that our world increasingly appears. Space becomes an information deployment system, and layout becomes highly organized studied and manipulated. Style becomes a corruption of the subject. Reflecting the increasing prevalence the interface over the image."

Sunday, February 4, 2018

“Mechanisms” at Wattis


CAD is turning 10 this year and we'd like to nominate this photo, in its absolute blankness, as the icon of all we've been through, a symbol for the "neutral" that has come to feel a trauma, the mass grays aggressively empty, the foam of installation insulation: averaging a couple hundred CAD images produces a warm grey (#b0aaa7 C:33 M:29 Y:30 K:0) the color of eye stuff, a warm enduring color and a paint sold only in select stores, refined images from the refinery of art. And in the distant background amongst all the framing and vitreous substances we look through to an artist's warped mirroring of all of it, us.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Nikolas Gambaroff at The Kitchen


An exhibition filled with robots that run enchantingly around the space because of a play the artist might have read but at least heard about which is unstageable and art loves stuff like that and but the play really has almost nothing to do with the exhibition - except for its connection to our current political moment thereby connecting these lovable bots as somehow now attached to our political moment - a talking point to excuse the use of 3k$ robots running around the space and documenting themselves and the exhibition and a few artworld famous people (how many can you name?) and basically the whole thing is an excuse for the expensive paintings as set dressing, except the robot play is really the set dressing for the paintings which are characters in a global theater of currency as painting being traded the world over, is how I understand it.

Friday, February 2, 2018

“After Curfew” at Freedman Fitzpatrick


An adequate press release points out: the kids grew up on Disney, adolesced under its demonstration, force fed a diet of muppets and princesses as if this was normal consumption, and society wondering why people have furry issues today. When are we going to start dealing with it the people ask. After curfew we should be adults, but our children tag along recessed in our closeted heads. Whether or not the PR or the exhibition has anything particularly revelatory to say about the condition - the PR basically stops at diagnosis - is maybe beside the point, no one is sure, really, about the children we have stored and all the attempts to leave them along all their teeth pulled awaiting the Fairy ending, Freedman Fitzpatrick following the Disney chain to their own Disneyland Paris.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Lu Yang at M Woods


Uterusman, whose 11 minute introduction video is on view, whose main superpowers appear various forms of spouting blood out of his vagina located between his feet - he also can throw ovums, ride a pelvic chariot (with deep throat laser cannon), skateboard on a menstrual pad, summon a baby and then use the baby as a mace-like weapon with umbilical cord whip, among other things - is a woman's organ bestowed with male superheroics, as if given the domineering heroic characteristic the womb would ostensibly receive had it only been given to man instead of woman, Uterusman. Like Superman until realizing the redundancy: man was already super in 1940s culture, so the trope removed super and comics just starting appending man - Batman, Aquaman, Iceman, Beastman, He-man - to anything, variable-man, and thus the x-man, x-men were born. So then, Uterusman, if only boys had been born with them. Discussions of feminism aside - so steeped so heavily in camp as to be quite soggy on such rigid concepts - whether this is a critique of culture or fantasy for it doesn't matter anymore, trying to out-absurd culture is impossible but look how far it's gotten us, Genzken too.

see too:  KAYA at Deborah Schamoni,  Isa Genzken at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel + Daniel Buchholz