Saturday, December 29, 2018

Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys at Kunsthal Aarhus



“They seem big in the empty room. And they remind you of grandiose busts of important people. But when you approach the individual head, it’s as if it’s shrinking, and instead mimics the violent gesture of a decapitated, mummified trophy."

That's a pretty good description. It's JdG&HT's deflationary effect. An initially expected form withdraws, and the more you look the stupider and stupider they get. They appear to hit rock bottom stupidity, but then they fall a little more. They're funny, but they don't feel good to laugh at, no matter how stupid they are, they still reflect us. The doofus in film is guaranteed redemption by the contrivances of plot and will win out in the end. These characters get none. Our laughter will not be redeemed.
Past:  Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys

"Painful, de Gruyter and Thys' developmentally delayed style, filled with speech impediments, slow progress, and language drifting into nonsense, is, like von Trier's early film, an idiocy against social decorum, our socially vulnerable conversations, socially conscious films, replayed by the slow and impaired... banal horror of too-much, of waste, of, in spite of such, cruelly, maniacally plain smiles."


Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys at Gavin Brown
Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys at Wattis
Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys at MoMA PS1

Friday, December 28, 2018

Tom Wesselmann at Nouveau Musée National de Monaco


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While this exhibition is relatively Playboy tasteful, Wesselmann has gone Hustler before. Though Wesselmann - as far as I can tell - has never actually depicted coitus. Great American Nude #87 is as explicit as he gets, and is perhaps most off-putting in the thought that that there are 87 more of these. I don't think its defense enough to say Wesselmann merely had "a love for women" as people seem to say. It may have been a love totemizing and pedestalizing the idea of "woman" but not necessarily women, since individuals are scrubbed of their faces like pink erasers. Thankfully they do get to keep their sexual organs. But, even with genitals intact, these women don't ever get laid, there is never a penetrative act*, the women never even pleasuring themselves. The pleasure they do get is the classic centerfold delight of just being an object of desire; women seemingly made orgasmic, titillated, by the eye itself. Maybe this is all obvious. Maybe the women are just happy that they got to keep their pink bits, if not their eyes. If they were allowed eyes, we can guess the look they'd be giving us, because its culturally encoded in us. But the women, despite any desire they exude, remain pure to intrusion, any penetration, even the corruption of their own devices or hands. A little agency on the part of the women might allow the virginal fantasy popped, and the commodity can't come unshrinkwrapped. The women are instead held at that mythic distance that feels a lot like (is) objectification that is desire/want perhaps come to be misunderstood as love. And Wesselmann's few penis paintings look like underwater photos of dull-headed sharks on the hunt. We haven't moved past this essentialism. Sexual dimorphism in humans is actually pretty low comparatively yet we invent this distance, must continually highlight it, perform it, seemingly incant it. Surely they are about heterosexual desire, its glossy magazine version. And are, almost by definition, sexist. Maybe this is all obvious. Maybe we can find some complexity in that. Worldcat shows I'm a couple thousand miles, or Amazon shows I'm 65$, away from the essays on the matter. Which I would like to read an astute defense. Because one of the paintings is a shelf with Mayonnaise and a ripe red tomato, which is a cruel Sarah Lucas sculpture if there ever was one.


See too: Betty Tompkins at Rodolphe JanssenLisa Yuskavage at Contemporary Art Museum St. LouisNicola Tyson at Friedrich Petzel,Nicola Tyson at Nathalie Obadia
*Found a single image of a negative-shape penis about to enter a lipsticked mouth, and another with something that could have been a popsicle or phallus, though no C. raisonné on hand to verify entirely.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Dawn Kasper at David Lewis


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It's hard to be a performance artist. And Kasper's last Lewis exhibition so cleverly inverted the artist-is-present ethos instead staging the viewer as a humming presence awkwardly avoiding the pratfall spotlighting in the artist's absence. But now, as common, the objects seem awaiting their activation, the remains of the artist, like ashtrays or souvenirs, artists leave both.


See too: Dawn Kasper at David Lewis

Past: Maria Lassnig

Past: Maria Lassnig

"It’s the ones that run near amok that are best... the subject-object problem permutes as prescient proto-version of Sillman’s bodies-that-matter imbued formalism, and many others..."

"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 Lassnig, 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..."


Read Full: Maria Lassnig at MoMA PS1, Maria Lassnig at Kunstmuseum St. Gallen

Corita Kent at at Centre d’art Contemporain Passerelle


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Recent expansions of protest art would assume blizzards of Kent with it, instead a mere light dusting in the winds of recent trends, Kent not being protestant enough perhaps.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Max Hooper Schneider at Jenny’s


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Well these sure make our ecological collapse seem beautiful. It surely won't be this ornamented to us. It might be beautiful to someone, but there might not be fish - or any life form - to be beautiful for. Our future might be a large hot acid scorched rock. Our plastic lingerie will dissolve to micro-suffocation devices for fish, our fake jewelry leeching till the water opaque poison. The plankton, studies have recently shown, are dying. They produce the majority of our oxygen.  These are different from Ruin porn, their interest is in fantasizing our future, apocalyptically. Maybe its nihilistic comfort to see the beauty in our suicide. And one be interested in the calculations that now don't seem impossible, what it would take, scientifically, to rain blood. The recipe as such:

"Trapped in purgatory
A lifeless object, alive
Awaiting reprisal
Death will be their acquiescence"

Monday, December 24, 2018

"Take a casino, and continue to supply power to it. With an insulation sprayer filled with soupy oatmeal, grass seed, and used band-aids in 40/40/10 mixture, spray in sporadic bursts over the interior. Turn to ON the produce misters piped into equal distribution throughout the casino's byzantine carpeted floor. Set the foggers on "Jungle." The aquariums should be clean. Open the amphibian cages, let loose several roombas. Animatronics from several Chuck-E-Cheeses should be stripped of their flesh and set in small pools of shallow water, still horrifically signing. When properly weighted the iPhones will levitate. Leave the faucets run. Scatter around the refuse of humanity. Allow ample wide fields of uncontrolled voltage to go unchecked from large gauge wires. Plug everything in. Lock the door and leave for 10 years. Upon the decade, proceed to cut up the architecture into small manageable sizes and distribute into white rooms of galleries over the entire continent to speak to the future."

Seth Price at Friedrich Petzel


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Has Price gone "painting"? In hindsight despite all the technologic and cultural baggage, Price's containers were always forcing that enigma of painting into the vessels everyone was only speaking of conceptually despite Price's continuous plastering optical illusions on. Because Painting we believe is interminable, mysterious, whereas the vacuum-form is a product and thus taken as limited, understandable. Painting instead is held at a permanent distance of an oracle. Products we believe are empty. And Price with all his Rorschach tricks (ultra-HD videoing of Squid chromatophores as an almost explicit version of the both the inky comic character and psych test) attempting cultural products as the same enigma.
Which here Price's fascination with images: the point being any sufficiently advanced imaging technology might be indistinguishable from painting's magic. It will produces something alien, mysterious. Halter is right to bring up Gulliver's Travels in relation to Price, the book intended as a spoof of travelogue's desire for exoticism that also came at time when access to scientific technology like microscopes had become common, travel and tech magic depleted into something for parody. We'd been keen to be left with a joke, but when this tech eventually obsolesces into banality, we should prepare for simply being left with abstractions, hands clutching inkblots.


See too: Seth Price at 356 MissionSeth Price at Stedelijk MuseumSeth Price at Museum Brandhorst



“Lampen” at Francesca Pia


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Lampen, "a group exhibition exploring recent artistic production relating to light, design and its stabilizing elements." A definition signaling that there are still elements intrinsic to lamps that haven't been deconstructed in a way of, say, painting where one would, in order to successfully broaden the definition to inclusivity of practices under the banner of 'painting,' be forced to say things like "explore the cultural concept of painting" exclusive of any defining elements like paint, since painting need not. But all these seems at least illuminated, electrified, and as per their definition, stabilized, somewhat. No one placing a pound of vulcanized rubber on the floor and calling it "lamp." So being somewhat useful is important. That we trust in the usefulness of lamps as opposed to 'painting's total uselessness is maybe a reason why we see so much neon today, its modern day campfire is somehow comforting.


See too “Marlborough Lights” at Marlborough Broome StreetSam Lewitt at Kunsthalle BaselCerith Wyn Evans at Museo Tamayo

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Lee Kit at Hara Museum


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Sensitivity is a fine distinction away from sentimentality; sentimentality which enforcing its feeling. And wrapped in the fuzz of nostalgia when things weren't recorded in such high-definition. Set your filters to auto-soften. Make it ephemeral. It's ostensibly not-packaged but it is deliverable.


see too: James Lee Byars at VeneKlasen/Werner, Wolfgang Tillmans at Galerie Buchholz, Moyra Davey at Institute of Contemporary Art

Friday, December 21, 2018

“Cut-Up” and Wolfgang Tillmans at Koelnischer Kunstverein


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A "program of events" that we receive now as the promotion of in the empty rooms you could have stood in and heard what you can't hear here, that we should recognize as true of not just these types of "living-structures" but of all images interfaces which make art its own auto-promotion in canvas it embeds itself in.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Blair Thurman at Peres Projects


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Big dumb is an aesthetic too, one the world increasingly relies on for its power, like all those Franz West sculptures set in financial building courtyards, a dumbness used to soften the sharp rectilinearity of power. Big dumb feigns a friendliness that can't speak. A jocularity that hides, obliterating qualities. Like bricks of ham, they are inarguable, simply there. It's like turning painting into a fight with large oversized Wiffle bats. To hide violence in something plastic. For some reason we're attracted to it.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Dike Blair at Karma


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Like Edward Hopper for Instagram times. Haunted vacancy of modern ennui. Diners and foodporn now forlorn, sad. Blair is compared to Hopper a lot it seems (and that window painting could have been cropped from "Rooms by the Sea.") But Blair's specifically rely on a photograph that negates the low-level surreality of Hoppers, stubborn to the material image. And whereas Hopper had an almost Kubrickian straight framing, all walls mirroring the frame like an architecture oppressive, Blair's view is wobbly, a bit woozy, listing in the wind, making perhaps the major difference: Hopper looks in on and documents his sad clientele, in Blair's you are the drunk. A first person shooter of cocktails. People love these, instagram was filled with them, probably because we find relief in their honesty as foodporn we can all relate to depressively.
Past: Candida Höfer at Kukje Gallery

"Taking photos of jewelry would have been clearer. The act of appropriation here attempt subversion of the institution by spotlighting it. As if a highlighter critiques its excised words."
"The "technical perfection" that Höfer is always by writers rewarded for is the very thing that negates any fingerprints for more perfect mirrors, a duplicate of the architecture it wishes to encase in glass."

full:Candida Höfer at Kukje Gallery

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Nina Beier at Metro Pictures


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The world converted to nougat, or asphalt. Expeller pressed in great lengths. Would you like your tar with nuggets? Adding peanuts makes it a Snickers, emulsification with added soap and water makes it cold-mix asphalt-concrete.  The Mars bar is similar to the American Milky Way (which is different than the European Milky Way which is more like an American 3 Musketeers.) The American Milky Way produces about 25 thousand miles of its bar a year. This is about double the 13 thousand of miles of roadway the US adds a year. Weirdly human use of asphalt predates human use of chocolate by a couple millennia, and weirdly nearly 99% of asphalt concrete is recycled, turned back into roads, whereas all those miles of chocolate nugget are passed down pipes in brown cigars. How many miles of brown cigars does the average person move?  We can convert things to other things through these points of pass through, surrealism predicated on making things look like other things, this ability for misrecognition that capitalism has gotten so adept at my making everything so convertible for other things that everything really does feel like a number, like a cartoon, like nugget, like asphalt, feel like shit, because the world fungible with it.


See too: Nina Beier at David Roberts Art Foundation Nina Beier at Kunstverein HamburgNina Beier at Croy Nielsen

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Hun Kyu Kim at The Approach


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Why do we identify with animals, anthropomorphize them into soft humans. Shouldn't we leave the animals alone? Or is it a means to alienate the world so as to see our own actions as helpless stupid critters. We've been anthropomorphizing animals since pretty much forever with 30,000BCE zoomorphic figurines. Which gave rise to Saturday Morning Cartoons and then now Furries in adulthood. A study showed people were able to identify human traits in simple shapes like triangles and circles, the triangle was bossy, violent, locking the little circle in the room. Angular shapes in general are shown to be associated with "bad" while the curvilinear is associated with "good," which is probably why we love all those rotund creatures drawn with curvaceous softness like every Disney squirrel a Venus of Willendorf. Of course kids are going to grow to sexualize them, franchise films of them, they've been genetically bred for appeal. Crushed by capitalism. Dogs bred for pureness with destroyed hips.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Julien Ceccaldi at Koelnischer Kunstverein


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Conjuring the stupidity and desperation of the forlorn, something J Ceccaldi repeats in the wasteoids and corpses against the Adonic beauties they cast themselves at. Turning the romance form into its caricature, comic with They Live glasses of romance tropes perhaps. Love never feels as thrilling or effective as it does in the commodified form of a Movie preview, in a montage, in a Pretty Woman story. I've never been a Disney Princess, but I have been a corpse. The movie makes felt this distance its spectacle, the main character's fawning for their love interest mirrors the viewers own longing for the narrative's created love, a creation of desire. The movie's resolution provides myth for the possibility of our own. It's not true you're just a living corpse.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

NADA Miami 2018


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The naive and the earnest that seem to be rising. That colorful stupidity that drips, clung to, stuck on, chunky. Even three years ago it seemed all materiality and cartoons, the first major drops of surrealism. Now figuration in awkward forms. Purvis Young still looks great, even as everyone tries to meet him, but most are done a disservice. But this is probably what the next 3 years have in store.


CAD'S 2017 NADA BASEL MIAMI
Past: Trevor Shimizu at 47 CanalTrevor Shimizu at Rowhouse Project

"direct and dumb relief against the muddled intentions of more artistic means"

Monday, December 10, 2018

Kaoru Arima at Queer Thoughts


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Drawing was at one time a knowledge. Drawing of fetuses cut from cadavers were cutting edge science. The limits of knowledge were defined by looking at something really hard. When science and tech jettisoned oils and pencils from its repertoire modern artists got mad and crushed representation into something resembling a crumpled Coke can, seeing all sides at once, and this violence was lauded. I find it a bummer how quick artists were to give up looking at their sitters, the ones who did seem to continue looking at their sitters did so in ways subservient to the miracle of technologic reproduction all too Close, and look how that turned out. There's others ways of looking of course and surrealism and non-objective versions oscillated since. But so the PR firmly presents Arima's as looking albeit in the haptic sense, butting them up to the Francis Bacons they lean but don't ultimately fall towards. And though their reproduction isn't necessarily representational it is satisfying that the PR at least affirms their accuracy.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Tala Madani at 303 Gallery


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The projection screen of painting is the same projection screen as the minds eye. You draw from one to draw onto another. Mirror images. And Madani's projection screens make this act explicit, the theater of the imagination. Like Wade Guyton who rode a wave of funereal optimism that we would one day merely press print on our dreams. That painting expressing its ability to conjure is desirable because it proves wishes can be made concrete. You can dream it, you can print it. Or paint it, like all those paintings of Jesus. But Madani shares a similar nihilism as Guyton: that what we will see in other's printed conscious is a lot of nightmares, Madani's.


See too: Wade Guyton at Academie Conti & Le ConsortiumTala Madani at David Kordansky

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Klara Liden at Reena Spaulings


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Dance in the expanded sense. The ability for a body to move, across a theater stage or clipping fences to access a city's forbidden sites. Liden's early video dance beating a bike to death, or hysteric strip on train car. The literal moonwalk and ballet practice. Videos. Dance. The posters are just tchotchkes advertising this theater performance, bodily movement that Liden's practice always been invested in.
So then here, the pratfall, physical comedy, SLAPSTICK. The world turned to rubber. "In social psychology, the pratfall effect is the tendency for attractiveness to increase or decrease after an individual makes a mistake. An individual perceived to be highly-competent would be considered, on average, more likable after committing a blunder, while the opposite would occur if a person perceived as average made a mistake." There's something about our world today where slapstick isn't as funny.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Tania Pérez Córdova at Kunsthalle Basel


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Cosmetics, gunpowder, and volcanic ash walk into a gallery and smear themselves onto the wall. Conceptual art is a lot of jokes without punchlines. Instead a lapse, opening expanse like vacancy. This room is the interpretable space, the gap, where we could manifest the punchline. "The mathematician confronted with fire, proves that solution exists, and goes back to bed." The cymbals and relief of punchlines is replaced by the viewer as critic who interprets. This gap between the returns are literal here, physicalized in the holes of pots attempted to be recast into original forms. That's funny. But not like haha funny. The holes mimicking the ones placed in your head, you fill them.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Kandis Williams at Cooper Cole


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"especially in the art world where we have so many unlanguaged connections to the images of empire. [Those images are] the forms and fragments of Platonic ideals that now serve as our perceptual tools."

Elad Lassry at Le Plateau


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I like in this documentation how extremely far away the artwork is. In all of it. Like stains on white walls. Like placeholders for art, tokens for the objects that should be there. Like setting quarter down in golf. This feels apt for Lassry, treating images as objects and objects as images, teases art for it commodity. The frame for the packaging, the metal that contains the thing printable by the roll.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Past: Elad Lassry

"...like Furries costumed in fursuits as substitute for the slick lines of the anthropomorphic cartoon animals they desire sex with, Lassry's photographs dress their photograph as slick objects, anthropomorphizing the objectifying seduction of photography's cartoon version, wearing a "fursuit" of the image, color coded to the frame..."



Monday, December 3, 2018

Fergus Feehily at Misako & Rosen



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Everyone love Feehily, they are like a breeze. Against everyone else's returns to modernism Feehily's could seem one more scuzz on the pond to extract any further oxygen from it. Instead perhaps like Raoul De Keyser a mining for some odd uncanny version. There is a bit of adorability to their off-elegance. Paintings like the underdog, we root for them. Like wearing a fur-coat and a runny-nose. "in micro mode: in accumulations of near-subliminal pictorial events that reward an unhurried, particle-magnifying gaze."


Raoul De Keyser at Inverleith House,

“Swingers” at Greene Naftali


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There's always been Tinder. We've always tried to connect in through boxes, in boxes. To find people who share our fetishes, a niche for piña coladas and rain. Our expressions are always through the frameworks of our oppressors. Fireflies have phosphoresce we have capitalism, want ads, lights in darkness. The firefly may not even know why his butt is alight, we for the camera.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Vladimir Kokolia at Fait


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Kokolia a perfect example of what the art world's internet presence was like Before CAD. Go Google Vladimír Kokolia. Active artist for decades, a show a MoMA in the 90s, and yet almost nothing organized online. This is what it was like for almost everyone in BC era. Click around and remember it. After Daily, when everyone recognized the power of transmission, the visible became hegemonic, pornographic, we could see everything and know nothing, as promotion of the highest order. And now desperate desires to see Kokolia's drawings off in the distance prove the addiction to sight. I want to see them. Someone sell me one.
Past: Sturtevant at Air de Paris

"Literalness in Sturtevant's work is always a sword's doubled edge, a trap  - that many fell into seen in early writing on the artist - literalness was staged obviousness acting as a foreground which blinded with its hamfistedness. The dark thing next to the bright light. "

Sturtevant at Air de ParisSturtevant at MoMASturtevant at Thaddaeus Ropac,

Friday, November 30, 2018


We've become so slowly steeped into contemporary surrealism it doesn't even register anymore. The cartoons we swim in, the schematics and icons that we now accept as denoting us, it's just us, for granted.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Thea Djordjadze at Portikus


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We’ve invented some kind of Stockholm syndrome to the architecture we are hostage to. An art in supplication to the building's wings that embrace it. We see a vitality, a benevolence in the architecture, like a generous god's embrace. We build to it totems, in it reliquaries. The several photos of the light in the space. Art that literally reflects its light as halos. Any architecture that will host it, a gift to it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Ricky Swallow at David Kordansky


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Cast the world in bronze, make it an image, a trophy. People like permanence. And these are an act of making-permanent, of embalming. Stupid, but permanent. We like permanence. The aesthetic of permanence. The Tuttles will melt but these will stay until our endtimes. A Tuttle made by Charles Ray. Mark Mander's Nocturnal Garden Scene, a slackness of rope converted to "a three-dimensional photograph." Against the Wurtzian resurgence these feel megalomanic.  A cartooning of the world rendered plastic. Casting your desire for forever.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Henrik Olesen at Schinkel Pavilion


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Dirt collects where there are no eyes, this is surely a saying somewhere. Culture has its own rheum. It accumulates in street corners, behind hedges, in dark clubs. Opened to the light society finds these areas repulsive, "Social phobias that reinforce the pathologies of abnormality." And so control must expose everything to light. Social reproduction is premised on this exposure, the normative society you are judged against, must assimilate to. For instance Chickens peck any limping young to death by using words like fag or sodomy laws. This way the cast-off internalizes the panopticon as an ever carried guilt. So the newspapers in alleys will know they are out of place. We prefer clean streets, our families nuclear. The overt reference to Thek here fits as an artist frustrated with minimalist cleanliness, the art of power desiring the removal of fingerprints, subjectivity and labor for grand notions of autonomy that only function when you can function in the light. Which now of course Olesen standing occupying the garde position of Art's Schinkel panopticon.



See too: Melvin Edwards at Daniel Buchholz, Henrik Olesen at CabinetHenrik Olesen at Reena SpaulingsGerry Bibby, Henrik Olesen at Sismógrafo

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Past: Etel Adnan at Sfeir-Semler

"...removing the decisions that brought it to be, clarity is edited and terseness a political strategy that is inarguable. It strips the handles of which one could control the thought. Making a sleek delivery belying its concealment..."


Click for full: Etel Adnan at Sfeir-Semler

Richard Bosman at Freddy


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A lot seems to have been made of Bosman's discrepancy of paint and image. People referring to the images as "annoying" and "bad metaphors" and "empty signifiers" and "numbingly stalemated" and maybe closest when Roberta Smith called them "parody-homage". The theme throughout seems that Bosman's "masterfully casual" brushwork would be better suited to more noble subjects. Wanting paint, not subject matter. An uncomfortable understanding that Paint is more noble than this surely. But then already back in 1982 Kate Linker called them "melodramatic tactics," said "Richard Bosman’s scenarios, for example, are depicted with irony, in thick and frenzied strokes which suggest the impossibility of evoking the “authentic” sentiments they once conveyed." Which sounds a lot like today. The affectual torture of signs and pathways, aren't sure how to relate. Like a bad writer pointing out they're closed doors and saying Brechtian.


See too: Andrew Norman Wilson at Futura

Friday, November 23, 2018

Mai-Thu Perret at MAMCO


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Painting is the ultimate art commodity but these still feel like the commodes of home catalogs and design-porn magazines. Souvenirs of a high-end experience. Perhaps Perret predicting the craft object trends. The pottery on everyones shelves. The neon signs somehow trending in summer cottages. Perret originally created a narrative of a fictional utopia which "produced" the artworks. Which is all the funnier since the trends that look like hers all premise themselves on the selling of hopeful futures, the crafts we will all already be acclimated to post-apocalypse, raku firing our dreams. Perret eventually got rid of the utopia fiction, and then they became just art, much less utopic.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Forrest Bess at Modern Art


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There's nothing worse than reading someone heaping praise on Bess, it doesn't work, the paintings deflect it like steel pans, which is why there's so much writing that resorts to retelling the life that was strange and mad and made for a script. The paintings just don't take it. Bess's paintings are artless, direct, and without affect. They are, as Bess stated, more diagrams than self-expression. He called himself a copyist, assuming a representational adherence to the forms. He thought New York Ab-Ex was overly affected: "He suspected that they thought him a hick, while he adopted a disparaging view of what he regarded as their stylistic conceits." Bess was styleless. Forms rarely repeat, each painting seems its own specific unit. Explicitly drawing something but not necessarily that we know what, we look at Bess's with all the perfect inscrutability of art, its search for meaning. A hurricane came through and blew away Bess's home late in his life and he was left to search through the Gulf's mud to find everything in it.


see too: Raoul De Keyser at Inverleith House, Gertrude Abercrombie at Karma

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Sue Williams at Skarstedt


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You'd think as it softened Williams innuendo would get deeper, more latent more unnerving, but instead abstraction becomes lotion, a relief to hard content. Not even really orifices anymore. A distinct lack of buttholes. The paintings do the blushing for us. There's moments. When the brown takes on the fecal umbers of the gastro-figurative of Michaela Eichwald.  Or the only occasional red really engorged with "content," filling out like lips with blood. More frequently colors seem arbitrary like flowers, attracting insects with saccharine stuff. Butts only attract flies, we're trying to harvest gold. At a time when Williams previous hard brush and comic 'tude should be meeting up with the cartoon kids of the day, an interesting choice to take fabric and wipe it away.



See too: Ivy Haldeman at Downs & Ross, Michaela Eichwald at Silberkuppe, Michaela Eichwald at Maureen Paley

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Eva Koťátková at Convent


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The aesthetic of Medieval Torture, of rat cages, of sharp objects you're not supposed to run with. Art has a masochistic love, an attachment to things that hurt us, it makes them swell to monumental. Mona Houtom or Jeff Koons. So much power art is so violent. Its purchase providing some capitalistic transcendence of the threat, which you now own, you now exert control over, can threaten with. In marketing this is creating a problem to sell the solution. The artist offers nervous uncomfortable objects, an anxiety the collector relieves himself of by buying, the writing through understanding, the common man by crying.

Monday, November 19, 2018

“Verlörung” at Art Berlin


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Why not maximize the product, increase the wallspace into a complex, non-Euclidean like lettuce, a surface area excessive of space. Like lettuce. Make it baroque, grotesque, caricature of the exhibition. It's the same but more. Frilled with lettuce space. This is interesting, this is a cartoon, the one we live in, a maximization, like an efficiency, like an apartment, hoarded toward labyrinthian conditions, scraping everything we can get out of it, to make stone soup.
Past: Deana Lawson at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

"And not necessarily treating her subjects kindly, the best light remains Lawson's, photographic adeptness bending subjects to her. [...] These are what photographs live for, the construction of a subject, here a person. At least these curtains seem properly adhered."


Click to read full: Deana Lawson at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Past: Anna Ostoya at Silberkuppe

"[The office paper shredder's] futurist and Sheeleresque overlay a quasi-destructive act that reviews of spend most space ignoring to tell you about the images buried because its usually easier to elucidate history than art."


click to read full: Anna Ostoya at Silberkuppe

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Leda Bourgogne, Ida Ekblad at Kunstverein Braunschweig


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The excess physicality in painting, the scabs one end and wall vents on the other, perhaps because we're so beholden to virtual environs that we need a new harder visceral materiality to reach across screens, so we can feel like we're feeling something other than glass.


see too: Ida Ekblad at Herald St (2) Ida Ekblad at Max HetzlerIda Ekblad at Herald St (1)Tony Conrad's Glass
Past: Ida Ekblad

"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 [...] Like Lasker's stupid strokes, a clownishness, an exaggeration of the painterly ... forcing painting to speak with a mouthful of bubble gum."


Click for full:Ida Ekblad at Herald St (2) Ida Ekblad at Max Hetzler, Ida Ekblad at Herald St (1)

Friday, November 16, 2018

Diamond Stingily at Freedman Fitzpatrick


(link)

The transition from handmade dolls to mass produced Teddy Bears had to be meaningful for the unconscious of humanity. All sorts of issues for what it would mean with children grown on loving sweatshop objects. Units of CareBears moved. To move you. Shouldn't the Toy Story characters speak Chinese? Dominant culture gets to force its cast to speak its language, dub them against their natural speaking voice, force adoption of its language. It's called localized for a market. It's called acting white. It's called "he's eloquent." called AAVE, a vernacular nonstandard but "equal." They surely will speak whatever when localized for market. Giving commodities to children so they learn to love their master. Because really they'd speak Mandarin. Klaus Biesenbach's apartment has nothing in it and is entirely white, which is a lie since minimalism is basically predicated on closeting the workers you're standing on, but we'll give him several architectural and NYT magazine spreads anyway, a new advancement in whitewash interiors. Because pretending the working body isn't there, pretending everything spontaneously generates on store shelves clean, without indentured sweat, is important to our culture. Corporate production gets so massive it takes pains to relocate itself, force adoption of itself, anything outside it gets the searchlight, brought back under eye that is pretended as benign with total market share, control.


see too: Melvin Edwards at Daniel BuchholzDiamond Stingily at Queer Thoughts

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Han Bing at Night Gallery


(link)

Maybe what was so great about Richter's squeegee is proving that abstraction was asinine, it could abused. How maddeningly dumb it could still survive as. These are stated as not abstract since they from photographs of abstraction, and thus "evidence a tenuous balance"of getting cake and eating it, and looking like it, cake, too.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Lucy Dodd at Sprüth Magers


(link)

reminiscent Amanda Ross-Ho's big-ass tie-dye T-shirts - the cosmic/comical scale of psychedelia amped. Into sizes everyone has to mention in reviews. And Anicka Yi's antidepressant and palm essence elixirs.  Elixir and kaleidoscopia spread across canvas to make a painting as potion for the "spiritual" that has returned so strongly and forces belief once again.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Augustas Serapinas at Basement Roma


(link)

The gallery's neighbor is pet groomer. And neighbors and previous tenants are sorta what Serapinas seems into, using neighbors. Past instances include a locksmith's keys melted into sauna buckets and curtain rings, as well as a neighbor's pen getting into into some bread. In behaved conceptual art fashion is engorges its signifiers with a vitality, allowing the life of writers and press to extrapolate until a blue that's on brand. But this exhibition is much funnier as a literal attempt at represenatational act, attempting to see through walls and well envision the neighbor that everyone writing think-pieces about how we are so disconnected from. A gallery exists next to a pet groomer. Wipe enough fat on the walls and eventually they becomes transparent. People like to see their neighbors in themselves.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Past: Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho

"directly asked in the PR like a book club edition's questionnaires for sparking conversation and us looking to find answers, searching at all the beauty of totem poles."


Read full:

Friday, November 9, 2018

Gili Tal at Cabinet


(link)

the question of what outside your window could be less interesting than this. You draw the shade on the world just to be mocked by this, a curtain that won't let you escape banality. If the photos are by no means good, would it not be fault of the world they depict? It is your city that is ugly, and you should be forced to buy one of these as reminder that your castle not separate from. This mindset allowed for the suburbs, its devolution into ugliness, people moved in personalized containers, personal vehicles in trajectories to their big boxes sheltered, their home, their work, moved in submarines of personalized climate, protected in white walled towers. Curtains are a weak force against the world that these posit perhaps someday someone will invent something to break glass, and the world will flood in.


Modern Gothic is a mode or genre prevalent in Contemporary Art from the early 21st century to this day. Characteristics of Modern Gothic include the presence of banal, irrational, and transgressive thoughts, desires, and impulses; grotesque settings; dark humor, and an overall angst-ridden sense of alienation. While related to the Southern Gothic tradition, Modern Gothic is uniquely rooted in contemporary Capitalism's tensions and aberrations. During the 21st century, the everywhere-nowhere setting of today's post-industrial cities became “the principal region of Modern Gothic” in art. The Modern Gothic brings to light the extent to which the idyllic vision of the progressive, collectivized City rests on massive repressions of the region’s historical realities: capitalism, class, and patriarchy. Modern Gothic texts also mark a Marxist return of the alienated: the region’s historical realities take concrete forms in the city's banality of power structures that highlight all that has been unsaid in the official version of Modern history. Because of its dark and everyday subject matter, literary scholars and critics initially sought to discredit the gothic on a national level.


Modern Gothic: Morag Keil at Project Native InformantGeorgie Nettell at Lars FriedrichGeorgie Nettell at Reena SpaulingsGili Tal at Jenny’sWill Benedict at Overduin & Co., Merlin Carpenter at Overduin & Co.
Past: Gili Tal at Jenny’s

"The more pathetic and depressing aspects of commerce's reign are mirrored in Tal's reconstructions of it, like those half empty coolers, a lightness mimicking advertising's own getting closer to grim comedy alongside a press release from hell once again reminding us all of our relegation to capitalistic damnation..."

read full: Gili Tal at Jenny’s

Perhaps the worst of art is paying attention to artists circulating on, I guess, someone's dollar as an update to the bohemian-chic lifestyle we've been culturally fed as the artist's way now updated with easy first class tickets and diaspora of art centers all needing to be curated and shown the same art, the same names and everyone playing along at home from their TV screens which broadcasts the fantasies of their bohemia back at them.


See too: Ian Rosen at The FinleyIan Rosen at Kristina Kite186f Kepler at Contemporary Art Daily
"Clifton Palace," “Pho Viet Huong” "Vzszhhzz," "Astro 5," and "Tes Yeux" at 186f Kepler

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Past: 186f Kepler

"2015, 186f Kepler releases press stating the liquidation of informational categories as more closely resembling the aqueous system of art, and it’s true, the Field of Cultural Production now looks less like the rigid markets of symbolic goods and more like social systems of pedigree in which, as predicted by Deleuze, the postscript on society’s controls turns institutional interiors into dispersed system of self-policing and production, in which there no longer is an outside to market, your existence becomes the system of circulation for circles and scenes, seeking the endlessly theorized “network” of social capital. And here having CAD as your sandbox to immediately sediment your activity with visibility, you can do as little or much as desired, with enough accredited names attached you’ve got CAD to market your dispersion for you, becoming “of interest” simply by having been listed. 186f Kepler does in fact mirror and perform the social mechanism in which liquidation isn’t so much “escape” as marketing..."

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Jacqueline Humphries at Modern Art


(link)

the more vulgar excesses of Humphries's paint always excused by its obliviousness to the demands of "making a painting." Humphries's almost without-composition but still composed, paintings like an accident, car or bed sheet. And these are readymade, the previous paintings reduxed with the latest deployment: ASCII printing. And so Humphries' drip, brushstroke, mark, neither expressive nor quotational of expression, paint is instead already perfectly dumb. This separates them from the hordes of zombies: no search for brains. Instead the cannibal-without-purpose seems pleasant after so many decades of painting's conceptual juicing. Like Richter whose painting exists in the netherworld of a stupid transcendence, instead just give us what we want, paint, flesh, dumbly.


see too: Jacqueline Humphries at Carnegie Museum of Art

Past: Henning Bohl

"Bohl is the indeterminate horror that knot guy fears."
as quoted in full the PR here


Past: Henning Bohl at What Pipeline, Henning Bohl at Karin Guenther
Past: Jacqueline Humphries at Carnegie Museum of Art

"The thin distinction of Humphries from the song and dance of all those other silver abstractionists is that the well worn jazz hands of "expression" aren't, for Humphries, totally choreographed yet by Dr. Frankenstein. While the corpse may have its fluids replaced in technicolor, paraded around in chromes and newfangled chemiluminescence, it's the activation of this new deployment of means, materials, not just silver paint but making the silver paint shine like candied yams."


Click for full: Jacqueline Humphries at Carnegie Museum of Art


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Kerry James Marshall at David Zwirner


(link)

The paintings everyone's talking about because it's easier to talk about prices than art. That's the hegemony of price. It is the abstraction allowing exchange, both monetary and conversational. Everyone can talk about it, even if poorly.


see too: Kerry James Marshall at MOCA Los Angeles
Past: Kerstin BrätschKAYA

"Genzken the most influential living artist not because everything looks like it, but because it predicated a conglomerate speed absorbing any last vestiges of particular attention to individuated objects. And whereas others used this to produce "series," Genzken extrapolated, used this as a means of acceleration in which speed and production was the communication, amassing product and centering production as the point. That the production of itself became the product."

Adam Kleinman in TZK: "as many artists have learned to feed this desire with work made quickly, but with enough conceptual acrobatics to make them acceptable as part of a canon of their own oeuvre—or that of a supposed canon on the critique of modernity. And here, the artist has found a way not only to maximize the circulation of his/her work, but also to reduce the budget in terms of both time and materials—the original shady business of “skimming”, although one that is justifiable considering the low rate of artist fee’s. Within this particular loop, a potential critique of excess is ensnared as another symptom of that very excess. And it is with this dual farce of today’s production and related branding activities, namely the desire for the curator to collect and justify an artistic industry of prefab and ready-at-hand esoterics, that one should enjoy DAS INSTITUT’s irreverent something for everybody with a little for everyone approach."

"WHO says by 2020 depression will be the second most prevalent medical condition in the world. Rats pleasure themselves to death. ...use of beauty as a deployable assaultive thing, prolific- likely what critics refers to as the artist's "advertising strategies" - 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


Past: Alice Tippit at Night Club

"Between the anthropomorphic and the pareidolia is the seeing ghosts in images that contain a sort of liquid content, innuendo, form to the container-viewer"

See full: Alice Tippit at Night Club

Monday, November 5, 2018

Diane Simpson at Herald St


(link)

Simpson's is like watching objects preening for their digitalisation, become icons. Begin from "from flat printed matter, renderings of material culture discovered in used bookstores, university libraries, and online archives—pictures of medieval clothing, Art Deco patterns, or commercial packaging design." Which as our relationships between 2 and 3D, virtual space and physical space become ever more fraught, (see the ability of IKEA insistence on flat pack, alleviating the physicality of distance and reduce shipping to basically reign over low-end furniture) the details become hardcoded, organics are put into firm boxes, codified, cubicles, far easier to measure pack ship and thus virtualize, it of course feels apt to Simpson's resurgence today: that we enjoy our detached contemplation of our oppressor. We move real world problems into aesthetic fields, which feels like control, they're lovely.


*Kate Nesin, Artforum

Sunday, November 4, 2018

B. Wurtz at Richard Telles & ICA LA


(Richard TellesICA LA )

There is now a waste issue called "aspirational recycling" in which "people set aside items for recycling because they believe or hope they are recyclable, even when they aren’t," no longer just trash clogging our excretory paths but hopes clogging our recycling. Headaches as evidence of anxiety at the hands of trash of which the Wurtzian model provides a relief in seeing the the objects cared for, not amassed in landfill graves but given the second life in carousels. Our aspirations finally lets them levitate, holding them off the ground, where they would become trash. Which they are suspended from.


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

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Past: B. Wurtz

"that the details aren't trivial. They are the attachments of care, sewing buttons to close coats around a warmth for when another person can't.  Wurtz's more homely space is all about knots tied, and buttons threaded, plastic bags hung to dry. They're dumb objects rescued by so much care like a responsibility shown for them."

"The American Gym Sock. Tied to teenage boys, normally repositories of filth, seed, and feet, normally locker room attire. a pubescent attire. Pimples and athletics, is here given a fastidious clean, highlighting its cotton and comfort, restoring purity, virginal phallus and receiver of course."



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

Friday, November 2, 2018

Mary Obering at Kayne Griffin Corcoran


(link)

It seems there's become a scramble to repair art history, reweave the tapestry's holes left by the moths hungry for the limelight. The omissions all pretended never happened. There is a problem with revisionist history in omitting that we did need to revise it. It would feel better if hadn't come so late, come after women artists finally also flying towards the moon with prices, the galleries tinting theirs with suspicions of market plays and generally not at all fair to the artists. KGC has a better track record, having always looking at least partially back, and so suspicions should maybe be muted, there's no fluorescents here. Though it does kinda look like a beach in moonlight.
Past: Allison Katz at MIT List Visual Arts Center

"We - despite all - trust art to tell us something about subject, and Katz's "self-portraits" make this mirror between painter and self-subject anxious by threatening this trust: painting that feel like fibs, competing styles that delay any coherence in its subject, the painter, our trust for the text to tell us something about the author."


Click for full: Allison Katz at MIT List Visual Arts Center

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Raúl de Nieves at Freedman Fitzpatrick


(link)

Too much decoration is a terrible thing. We call it "gaudy" or "garish" or "lurid" or "vulgar" no longer arranged but vomited in quantity, too much, like the clowns on view who baroque their face to comical levels found frightening, a rupture of the socially decorous. Because these are ethnocentric terms, wielding the symbolic violence of "taste," and such it is rare museums didactic their greek statuary with "this greek marble would have actually been caked in makeup like a whore" preserving both the marble and myth of white antiquity. The myth of white antiquity that believes in the raw lineage that gives us aluminum Macbooks and UberBlack as opposed to the lesser Ubers which come in colors disorganized. Sontag wrote the word camp and it suddenly allowed the intelligentsia to participate in the kitsch with the shield of irony, but if you weren't, if you couldn't, what then if these were just garish.


See too: Joanne Greenbaum at Crone, Olaf Breuning at Metro Pictures

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva at Andrew Kreps


(link)

As if the several images of projectors illuminating gallery walls wasn't enough, we brandish the literal celluloid here to state "this is a physical object," a spell to ward off the anonymizing ether of digital networks that would, god forbid, force competition with every other image. Instead we wreath it, frames architecture filmstock perforations. Objects seem to almost fear their dispersion, fear their image against Instagram mass. Kreps website doesn't actually have the photos without their frames, that's a CAD exclusive perhaps ready for its close up. And the celluloid is labelled like a movie, time and all. Walls for protection. It's important to keep you distinct and the gallery in its resplendent pasture, separate from the polloi.


Monday, October 29, 2018

Past: Kaspar Müller

"Not knowing is unacceptable, but outright rejection would prove viewer's impotence, thus created an environment where artists are able to produce further and further extremes of blankness, vacuums filled by refusals to not-know, whose sensory deprivation creates phantasms, see the abyss looking back because we are doing the projecting."



See full: Kaspar Müller at Société, Kaspar Müller at Federico VavassoriKaspar Müller at Museum im Bellpark

Janice Kerbel at greengrassi


(link)

Typographic enunciation. Abstraction that get its content too - legible. All manner of questions in the difference between reading and looking. One is data processing, a systemized manner we have been trained specifically for. That though the "lake" in your head is not mine, we have quasi-equitable terms of exchange. And so you can disappear into a text, be "transported." Looking keeps you here, staring, what you are meant to do with that is up to you.  The difference between a serif or sanserifed "GRAB" is interpretable.  This "Grab" is fancy, that "Grab" is plain. The different garb we dress in. Despite comics' or Wool's long interest in such matters, these are dressed tastefully in tuxedos to match our white walls.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

“The Myriad Forms of Visual Art” at The National Museum of Art, Osaka


(link)

The strangeness of documentation that doesn't conform to the crystalline white of lighting. Everything looks primeval, like what we imagine museums at night, occult spaces of objects left to do what objects do when no ones looking. The museum seems closed, set in a forest. A warmth we usually enact through instagram filters or rose tinted glass. Like its the 90s. Covered in nostalgia. Now everything looks like porn, bleached and depilated.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Stuart Middleton at Carlos/Ishikawa


(link)

Which like metaphor for the wrangling of the image, of forcing it out, Middleton's investment in manhandling the image, often laborious, stop motion, animations, of banal, finger-tapping, plain scenarios, extinguishing cigarettes in piss, show effort, weird flex but okay, hauled off to market, labor, means, a beautiful cow. What is a cow but a technology for meat production, surely kin to art.


Cow too: Wilfredo Prieto at NoguerasBlanchardAleksandra Domanović at Tanya Leighton
Past: Mathis Altmann at Halle für Kunst LüneburgMathis Altmann at Freedman Fitzpatrick

"The Model becomes predominate as the world's point of scale becomes unmoored, and reality floating between the virtual and material conditions abstracted by floating points of enumeration etc. etc. Housing replaces houses replaces house distinct from home, which is bombed out. The model encapsulates this world governed by virtual features, the planning, projected statistical everything, abstraction of everyday. Looking down at our hands the sphere of the earth is said to be at our fingertips. This abstraction feels lived in."

See too: Mathis Altmann at Halle für Kunst Lüneburg, Mathis Altmann at Freedman Fitzpatrick

Friday, October 26, 2018

Aki Kondo at ShugoArts


(link)

All we want is something painted. The ostensible white language of plainness is actually easy means to see the difference, what we're looking for anyway, the subject of painter rendered in the glass they see the object through, the errors of their mis-seeing. No one thinks bananas look like this, but a question of what was finished enough for acceptability here. See the flaws in the glass of another's eyes.