Sunday, September 30, 2018

“Splendor Solis” at The Approach


There's a sort of funny documentation choice, Bosmans' paintings in one photo are in the next photoshop erased to leave the wall behind them, the light doesn't change. It's a small decision mildly touching on the artificiality of our cartoon conditions, reality able to be distressed, bent, stretched. The slow feeling of vertigo and stretch, a malleability we all permanently live under and probably why cartoons blitz across art as the world begins to feel more like them, and we look for things representative of it. Even if the paintings were actually physically moved, it would have taken less time to have been done in "post," after, do things to a moment after it has taken place.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Jaya Howey at STANDARD (OSLO)


Howey painting about painter's mental health for some time, the last Bureau a painter crippled and frozen by his/our cage. "Music on headphones will be allowed further into the semester." Maximally untranscendent paintings. That they're even using paint, thickly, seems an ironic defeated gesture, attempting to regain the pleasure, or capital, of "painting" from things designed on screens, cut on plotters and pasted down before mindlessly spread with paint, the "painting" already finalized before paints even opened.
"Laughter is used as a defense mechanism used to guard against overwhelming anxiety. Laughter often diminishes the suffering associated with a traumatic event." "This nervous laughter is not true laughter, but an expression of tension and anxiety."
seems basically the way these work. Though the desire to not become entangled as therapist or sympathizer to Howey's plight would perhaps make the mistake that half of paintings from the last 200 years has been artists trying to toss their baggage onto your back. Rothko with a cold bucket of darkness for you to carry. We could provide some sort of talking cure, lay these paintings on the couch, endlessly expound a psychological profile, develop an emotional game-plan, and send them out the door better than they came in but then we wouldn't have Rothko. Anyway, Step 5. "Avoid anonymous, disembodied and profoundly hopeless forms of self-expression."

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Shana Moulton at Gregor Staiger


Equating our investment in the celestial power of "self-care" with primitive digital effects would seem to be mocking both: a particularly pleasurable bath delivers the only the filter of Google's Deep Dream, a yoga practice against belly distension births a green screened moon to the heavens. The effects are child-like, naive like the character, and require suspension of disbelief. This seems the point, any skepticism towards crystal effects, video or holistic, might render them moot. You've got to actively believe for the things to have effect, a placebo effect like a Disney ending: the point was the power was inside you all along if you just believed the pill would. The placebo effect so strong in the US that drug manufactures have difficulty time creating new painkillers that are stronger than sugar pills. The effect is not seen in Europe, or pretty much any where that does not allow pharma advertising. That this mass inculcation might be the strongest effect of all, like we're all living in a theater in mass suspension because thats what gets the crystals like art to work.

See too: Shana Moulton at Kunsthaus Glarus

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Sanya Kantarovsky at Kunsthalle Basel


10 images. Of which 7 installation views, 2 photos of paintings on walls straight, and one promotional still from a movie yet to play. Kunsthalle Basel has always been pretty miserly with their images, but this is a new low. The old low is 11 images acting as documentation but mainly just letting you know it happened through the window you have your faced pressed up to look in on. They come in a packet on the website marked "Press images." Like we've glued our lips to promotional pamphlets.

see too: Sanya Kantarovsky at Marc FoxxJoanne Greenbaum at CroneVittorio Brodmann at Halle Für Kunst LüneburgHeather Guertin at Brennan & Griffin,

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

B. Wurtz at Metro Pictures


That despite cheapness, a care that is fastidious. Like a mother combing her child's hair, a job well done. It's picture day. Not fussy. Mildly doting. but mostly, sympathetic. Wurtz seems sympathetic to his materials, even sanding to round the corners of cheap wood, like polishing a pair of meager shoes. Not all artists are sympathetic to their objects. Most use material for scorching stabbing churned molding into the god-whims of their creator hands. What little fascists most artists are. It's picture day.

See too: Paul P., B. Wurtz at Cooper ColeB. Wurtz at Lulu“The Crack-Up” at Room East (B. Wurtz)

Monday, September 24, 2018

Than Hussein Clark at Crèvecoeur


What would it mean if your face went baroque? Grew extra decoration, an excess of facial ornament, a sinuous nose, maybe a second or third nose, a face rippling and exuberant, an excess of face, your eyes like twisted columns, 64 floral teeth, a rococo face, a visage replete with flourishes. verb, to baroque something, a surfeit of something. That's sorta Clark's modernism.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Ken Kagami at Parco Museum Ikebukuro


Stupidity becomes the vernacular of a world that is so saturated by it, we are awash in it, berated with it, nor innocent of it. Stupidity is to comedy what holding your breath is to drug expanding consciousness, practiced by primitive schoolyard psychonauts. Stupidity cannot be advanced through elegance or profundity, and 3 Standard Stoppages eventually evolves this raft of cranial blockages, an aspect MoMA says "to display the inherent indeterminacy of life." Indeterminacy sorta like stupidity, the big irrationality. Picasso in his underpants. And one way to feel better about the stupidity of the world is be the one enacting it. Allowing yourself to feel at the helm, in control of the thing that berates. "Everyone in the world is acting smarter than me" is a more comforting blanket than what is likely our own opinions on bell curves and self ranking.  Auto-asphyxiation is a common childhood game, and we'd like to believe the stupidity that paddles us stayed those children as well. But the PR assures us that the artist is an adult. It states,"Ken Kagami is an adult." but qualifies this: "but one who has achieved and maintains a childlike sense of mischief and cynicism via the practice of art."  But this is a lie to make us feel better, like he's only play acting, like we're safe, like the adults at the helm are acting rational. It should have just said, "Ken Kagami is an adult."

Saturday, September 22, 2018

FRONT Triennial


Bigness itself qualifies press, attention, views. And so we invent fairs, biennials, whatever things stand in for bright neon of Artworld's next Las Vegas in new lands to hopefully Luxor hotel their place on the map. Beam me up, spot the fish to bite. Or something along those lines. I wonder what the rate for click through for all the images is, though there's not even that many here for an exhibition across 30 locations and and multiple cities. The exhibition's CAD Tags are longer than the Press Release. It should be noted CAD has an amazing amount of data on its hands, probably valuable, saleable, data. But maybe it's just depressing data. The amount of time spent on images in fractions of seconds, the amount of images even looked at listed in single digits. When someone clicks through to an exhibition, what do you think is the average number of images actually clicked through? Supplying the entirety doesn't matter, just the cream to be skimmed. There's 111 artists listed in the exhibition pamphlet, only 72 tagged here, and about 80 images. Ouch.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Charline von Heyl at Petzel, Deichtorhallen

(Petzel, Deichtorhallen)

No longer devotionals of ab-ex maybe not only because they draw from advertising and cultural chutzpa at large, but because they are dishonest. The impressionist showed the strokes that the Academy would have buffed and, winning the historical argument, paintings ever since have performed this honesty as Truth. Which these don't suggest any cathedral of Truth. Instead just sorta flip-out, covering and masquerading a can-can, like a painting in slow state of clonic seizure, and gesticulation as a sort of cerebral-visual paradox, optical illusion, disguise. What Kelsey called Big Joy could also be a state of mania, or anxious outburst, like seeing your friend on amphetamines and wondering what about his personality you liked in the first place. Abstraction is the friend in this metaphor. Because these paintings are brutal. I keep coming back to their somehow relation to the FEED, to the anxious state of transitionary image, of scrolling. "painterly recognition that is particular, depleting, and manic." People love these and I could stop talking about them if someone would write that their praise, that what we are all enjoying, is the delirious feeling of being struck in the face with air. Your eyes are a pillow and these things like fists.

See too: Charline von Heyl at Gisela CapitainCharline von Heyl at Capitain Petzel

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Markus Oehlen at Karma International


1985, Kuspit; Artforum:

"Werner Büttner, Martin Kippenberger, Albert Oehlen, Markus Oehlen


I admire these artists quirkiness, irreverence, and contempt. I first saw their work several years ago in Germany, and I’m glad to see they’ve become still more perverse or saucy, to use a word they like. One can label their work neo-Dadaist, which suggests that their attitude is more important than the objects they make. Certainly they seem to aspire to become sacred monsters, although that’s nothing you can work at, even when you have command of seemingly limitless reserves of (Dadaist) disgust; the world makes your monstrousness happen.
However large the range of their activities—they write as well as make music—it is as painters that these artists exist in New York. No doubt their painting is just another kind of performance, but it leaves behind a deliciously smelly residue. It is this odor of garbage that attracts us. We sense that the artists are trying to set painting right after it has betrayed us by pretending that it can become attractive flesh hanging in museums and apartments. Garbage must be garbage, in the name of the honest truth; this claim of authenticity is a traditional one, like many others around today, but it’s harder to resist than the others, for history and art history’s pile of garbage continues to grow. Compost heaps are never out of fashion. These young Germans, like true youth everywhere, are obsessed with the decay of both art and meaning, which they have decided to enjoy with as many crocodile tears as possible. They have seen through everything; they know the shiftiness of everything; they know shit is the only substance eternally present. They quote Dali with approval: “I don’t like it when something goes in the nose and comes out the anus, but I love that which slips in the anus and exits through the eye.” They have restored paranoia to its original anality, making images and meanings, and of course paint, into so much shit they playfully offer the world that has mothered them.
I prefer not to take them seriously, though, but to enjoy their spiteful antibourgeois satire as part of the eternal return of shit.

The shit, for Markus Oehlen, a toolboxing of cultural forms slapped in maximalist congealings of it, forced to eat it all, more Charline von Heyl but directed by James Cameron. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Bri Williams at Interface


PR stating the show "powerfully (and aggressively) evokes sexual violence" when no object seems its vessel and instead saturating the air like a humidity. Perhaps the pipe thrust through the chair's ass waves the flag of the content surrendered to. Everything else just accumulating the dew in our search of it, starts to rust and rot because it's hard to keep things shiny clean when trauma lingers, things just sort of fall apart, continuously, like building a tower in seawater while everyone else builds theirs on dry land. Salt has a tendency to creep, to corrode. Not easily cleaned. Soap we consider clean but we wouldn't want to touch a bar found on the floor of a public shower. If I covered you in lye, your body would turn to soap, a simple process of an alkaline solution mixing with fatty tissues, "liberating" your glycerine. Why you feel "slippery" if you get any on your hand. When you turn to soap, called corpse-wax, or scientifically "adipocere," with a wick run through you we could burn you like an incredibly detailed human candle. This is true. Mistaken professors have done it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Haegue Yang at Fondazione Furla


Decorous displays of the mass produced, of the stuff clogging transaction's pipes hung like Christmas trees to capitalism. The store catalog was admittedly her bible and "abstraction" the presentation of it. Abstraction doesn't seem to precisely describe Yang's compositionalization of mass market crap. Unless "abstraction" is taken to mean some form of Marxist fetishization, that these might simply be ugly abscesses of global labor displayed for "abstraction." Like trophies to capital. People make those blinds, handle those bells.You can buy any amount, fill any space, the labor is liquid. The skins of people's sweat hung up.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Maria Lassnig at Kunstmuseum St. Gallen


Everything mutant. Many explained well; Johanna Burton: "an animated approximation of the homunculus replete with all manner of magnifications and obfuscations, ostensible distortions that operate—counterintuitively, perhaps—in the name of not realism per se but perhaps something like a corporeal existentialism." or on Lassig, Paul McCarthy: "Francis Bacon does not know how to paint backgrounds."

So a note on the lighting, which Lassnig's is the cool bleaching of fluorescent "bright white." Tele-visual light. The light of the millennial gallery. Inundated enough by that coldness, the dawning of CAD and the seared product photography of contemporary art, our eyes to acclimate, so we could finally see it. Lassnig painting for years what would finally shine on it. And under the cool colors of "cheery palette of soft pinks, blues and green" there's always something yellow underneath, a lemon squeezed on metal, something pissy. A tendency for picture rot, like urine on the table despite the embalming light for your dissection. Lassnig: "The picture is very yellow, much yellower than in reproductions."

See too: Maria Lassnig at MoMA PS1

Sunday, September 16, 2018

“Remote Castration” at LAXART


"Remote Castration" irrupting on city as graffiti which is like the subconscious's nocturnal emission, perhaps conjuring "Remote Viewing", sending Lorena Bobbit by dream, like a Freddy sorta Scissor-hands to snip the membership to patriarchy. I like this definition since the exhibition's abundance of drawing, which always felt like a means of pulling from the subconscious a diagram to send like a telegraph in to consciousness of another person. Drawing is like schematics for trojan horses that the viewer erects in their head. Painting is an object outside you but drawing form inside you, feeling a lot more like writing: equations building images, sending Ms. Bobbit inside your head where she stands ready, you can see the hole you get fucked through.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

“Naturally” at Lulu


The Lulu-esque, here all the hallmarks: fragility, a lumpishness, but "naivety" in quotes, found object assembled with the lightest touch, even a quasi-naturalist underpinning, like a penchant for wounded denim, then finally paintings lovely, softly. We could almost call this exhibition a paragon of it, of Lulu. But there's something missing, some ever so slight edge, a metallic taste like a bitterness, like the fruit is fake, or the objects are metallic, or hung from metals, or of car crashes, or some of glob trottery, as a certain say Sharpness we usually find that has become the artistry of it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Jim Lambie at Franco Noero


Lambie's whole deal an extensive search for excuses to put garish colors in rooms that don't need it. Like dressing in blaze orange to a dinner party, saying look how "fun" one is but also simply look at him. Not entirely convinced of the need for arbitrary splashes of color as a proxy for fun. A dog at the same dinner party adds a splash of color onto the living room rug but at least his is an act of institutional critique. In this metaphor the dog is Martin Creed. But so, Beautifying the world isn’t reducible to slapping down a coat of color. Despite what public art projects would fund. Nor is it plunking a sculpture onto the lawn of gleaming corporate towers, or your Hamptons home. A fungus on noble corn type lysergic. Literalized here by chaining dyed fabric swatches to the walls. Sunglasses as stained glass. The world filtered through rose-colored lenses of Hippies' attempts at profundity, rosy retrospection, each one these things are like a question: remember fun?

Monday, September 10, 2018

Morag Keil at Project Native Informant


The normally groan inducing abuse of green screen is perfect here not for its potentializing the anyspacewhateverism of our onsetting digital tyranny but for finalizing the nail in the coffin of its utter banality mirroring the cheap surrounds of the congenitally bland office. You really could be anywhere inside there. Rooms so boring they are physically upsetting. People spend their lives in rooms like these. Landlords piecemeal warehouses into art studios that look like this, the furthest thing from freedom, and fire hazards. There's no way this show is up to building codes. Artists die in spaces like these, surely creating a lot of last moments' regret among the creative class. The surveillance only emphasizing the lost track of your body like phantom limbs. Keil's knack for pinpointing and amplifying the dreck comprising our doldrums would seem cruel if masochism hadn't become so fun as means of at least owning it: the if-I-am-going-to-feel-depression-I-may-as-well-inflict-it-upon-myself feeling of control. So if you're looking for a hit of coal black drudgery Keil is it. Almost baroquely morose.
Here's hoping some of those hollow core doors get sold as paintings, I would like one, mail one to me.

See too: Julia Scher at DREIMorag Keil at Jenny’sMorag Keil at Real Fine ArtsCAWD on DesensitizationMerlin Carpenter at Overduin & Co.Georgie Nettell at Lars FriedrichGili Tal at Jenny’sGeorgie Nettell at Reena Spaulings

“Re: Re: Black Macho. Unleash the Queen” at Philipp Pflug Contemporary


This was a little before shoe burning had recently hit front pages. Johnson's less viral*. I'm not sure what is with brands and our ability to stick ourselves to them, 4 days ago there was no opinion on Nike other than as any other global capitalist conglomerate. Now, thanks to the power of hyperconfused white people, we are forced into conjuring an opinion because Nike has roped a lightning rod into their orbit. Dogwhistle polemics as divide and conquer strategy. The NYTimes is reporting on it. My distaste for Nike's exploitation of a valid (and invalidly polemical) political movement. An interest in Kapernick becomes an opinion on Nike thanks to the power of branding. Staggering that somehow the conversation over race, sports, and protest, is now, if momentarily, controlled by a Fortune 500 whose name is at the top of the search results. When have brands had such control? Now I want to burn the shoes too.

*One of the more engaging moments of the performance is far before this climax: Johnson appears to stop his contortionals and rests. He squats down, rubbing hands and holding skeptically out above the audience. A respite that doesn't feel all that. An anxious pause that we could make all sorts out of, but the moment feels real and if not Johnson could be an actor. Then he winds his body through the gallery down the stairs and outside and set fire to the Timberlands and sips Hennessy from the bottle, now absolutely dejected but finally actually relaxed while boots bonfire. He wears pink converse (parent company Nike) and a white union suit, patented as "emancipation union under flannel." 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Florian Pumhösl at Galerie Buchholz


Andrea Rottman in describing Pumhösl's arena: "To use art historian Hal Foster’s formulation, the once-solid canon of modern art has become 'less a barricade to storm than a ruin to pick through.'" And Pumhösl like a salesman with the brilliant idea of smashing sculpture to create more fragments to sell, detachery of every appendage he can snap. Rottman says as much and Diederichsen states this amplified piece-mealing as a hyperbolic retooling of modernism, repeating the same stripping (laconicness) on that already stripped language of modernism taken to the cusp of oblivion: "but reduction in this case represents an attempt to formulate a problem: What is the minimum condition for a sign?" At what point will we finally turn our heads away?

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Michael Krebber at Morena di Luna


Oops. An artist doing a little show where no one will really see it quietly attempting to take the cash and bam exposed on CAD like being pantsed, showing like clean white gallery underpants, and these as you can see from the photos are very freshly laundered, like an ad for the cotton that holds them. So of course it's the one with the smooshy brown on it you like the best.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Kazuo Kodonaga at Nonaka-Hill


The department store catalog of naturalism we now need as the world virtualizes under fingertips; in the future there will be booths where you will pay 25 credits to touch wood, feel dirt, see a tree, watch archival footage of rain. "Each living thing, plant or animal, has a soul"and so torture its material to get to "dance," incise a tree to watch it split open its innards, flayed logs like medical brains, melting glass frozen in slumping deformity, raking wood over coals to a toasty sunburn. The exhibition even has a little informational video showing the process, a common sight at trade shows, demonstrating by extension how close you are to the subject lost, glass isn't good enough we display it.

See too: N. Dash at Casey Kaplan

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Gertrude Abercrombie at Karma


Barren lands whose little clues we read for any hope for meaning, trying to make sense in desolation. The last 500 years of western painting had been dedicated to championing meaning from god given gilt. We, finding god dead, erased from painting, find ourselves symbolically bereft, attempting to arranging the secular remains into something telling. That these paintings have direct lineage to today, with the reappearance of surrealism and collage in virtual spaces - you could even say this show is proleptically on time - maybe shows what we're still struggling with. Isolate and excise the background noise, find our empty environs, still trying to assemble objects that we could say matter.

Surrealism too: Matthew Cerletty at Karma, Mathew Cerletty at Office Baroque , “Pharmacy for Idiots” at Rob Tufnell, 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, Emily Mae Smith at Rodolphe Janssen Jamian Juliano-Villani at Tanya LeightonDavid Lieske at MUMOKGina Litherland at Corbett vs. Dempsey

Monday, September 3, 2018

Andrew Norman Wilson at Futura

"Every morning I open my clamshell and immediately feel the urgency of creating some sort of feedback loop with the images I see."..."The goal here is to acknowledge that we have all been programmed to respond to these kinds of scene composition through sustained exposure since birth. It’s why prestige television grips us so well. Like baby formula."
It's seductive, the power of film, the strategies of advertising that is basically the solution film is now developed in. The way, remembered, a certain insurance commercial could make my mother weep and then laugh as quickly at the ridiculousness of her emotive connection to commercial effigies, fictionalized death's emotional wounding and immediately proffered palliative with horns soaring: "AARP life insurance," or some such and my mother between sobs and laughter, smiling between the bars of her tears. My first lesson in the post-modern. The strategies today's artists deploy with Brechtian malfeasance, affective deployment as assault, short circuiting their usual emotive categories: space guy steps out in awe at SCUBA* minions' crotch harvested for blood while an acapella cover of 90's pop crescendos like the now approaching wave and the minion has the color pumped from him, mosquito, needle, oil rig, and the attempt to make sense of our feelings. "Desensitization is the diminished emotional responsiveness to a stimulus after repeated exposure to it. It also occurs when an emotional response is repeatedly evoked in situations in which the action tendency that is associated with the emotion proves irrelevant or unnecessary." So we collect and collage disparate moments in Magrittean fashion in attempts at alienation, so that we can hold them in our hands at a distance, that slight remove, so when you see nostalgia's video grain warmth sharpen at its filter's removal into the digital clarity that feels so cold we recognize the fiction we prefer. It is today's form of slapstick; physical comedy is replaced with emotional spanking, our weeping no use against a master's hand, he'll give you emotional candy when it's over. Buster Keaton on the piano.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Anthea Hamilton at Kaufmann Repetto


The armpit always seemed like a place where god got a bit lazy. A sort of hole patched with the divine equivalent of Bondo, a sort of universal goo, leaving one wondering if body builders or gymnast armpits are an equally sponge material. God's conceptual flab. Like when Searle called the butt one of design's more embarrassing moments, but Pesce's bum wasn't embarrassing, though maybe a means of forcing embarrassment and mockery to those prudish and uninterested in humanizing an aperture, entryway. The butt was more like design's armpit, a confusing gendering of spaces, giving them a little but too much "body,"  that Anthea's interest seems more in line with in the in-between and confusing spaces of humor seriousness history and whatevers, closest to maybe Nauman in the ability to "teeter on knife point" between irony and earnest, a sort of conceptual flab of reference.