Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Shana Sharp at Nicelle Beauchene


Happening at Chris Sharp's Lulu was quaint, perhaps charming, endearing. It's a lovely gift, to give your mother an international art career. This feels different. Beauchene does actually show other artists besides Lulu family, they just rarely show up on CAD (4 in 5? (depends how you count)). So the layers here are complicated, enlarged by our magnifying glass to show this one texture. And charges of nepotism would of course be met with all other, more closeted, forms of nepotism that pretty much structure the art world. Transparency could feel like fresh air. Instead this weird magnifying glass.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Amy Sillman at The Arts Club of Chicago


Maybe Sillman's paintings are uglycute in the way fetuses are ugly, there's not enough drawing to hold the shape nor body to give it viscera, which is why they have that newborn quality of looking like pink pencil erasers more than human, painting and fetus both. A confusion of painting and drawing (within painting specifically, the processes distinct from their materials we could say) that give them that uncanny modern nubility. Abject, sure. About to realize some full state if never completing it, the continual caroming off reaching full maturity.
Past: Amy Sillman

"A tragic affair collectors seek "signature" pieces, [...] requiring the artist already having a signature and thus emptied of its origination, adolescence, nubility and becoming etc, that Sillmans work, generally, seems about... "

"Sillman's painting too curdle representation, bodies."

Amy Sillman at Sikkema Jenkins, Amy Sillman at Kunsthaus Bregenz

Past: Will Benedict

"Thinking of Benedict like a gothicly depressed Baldessari is helpful."

Will Benedict at Gio Marconi, Will Benedict at Overduin & Co., Will Benedict at Bortolami

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Jörg Heiser:      Do you think there is anything ‘polemical’ left in referentiality today?

Willem de Rooij:     Rather the opposite. It has become a completely mainstream convention. I’m amazed by the flood of art pieces I’ve seen lately that consist of a photograph of a book that the artist finds interesting. Or a book in a showcase. Or sculptures that consist of a bookshelf on the wall with a number of books on it. Or a photo of a bookshelf. Or a photo of a book in a showcase. These books might be interesting, but the photos and sculptures are usually not. I find it so unfair to art that the form of the work gets ignored in that way.

Past: David Lieske

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

"If so much art looks like Broodthaers today, it is because Broodthaers was of the first invested in the arrangements of display as a credence to meaning, institutional or otherwise."

"An ambivalence at the heart of much of art today displayed as presentations of objects left to the viewer with a "deal with it" coolness, figurative sunglasses donned."

Click to read full: David Lieske at MUMOKDavid Lieske at Lovaas Projects

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Josef Strau at Francesca Pia


These are much uglier, which is an improvement I suppose. And Straus's text begins with an almost apology for the exhibition, which is reminds of how endeared we all were to artists failing ten years ago. The "I prefer not to." or Manfred Pernice's ongoing struggle to get erect. or The performed hesitance in every painting made. Remember that time? But then Strau's text turns it around.  Attempts to incant and imbue some earnestness into the enterprise. Calls it Sutering, or the process of invoking something earnest, Vivian Suter, meaning, into the paintings. Remember the wacky wild inflatable arm men who danced in front of their paintings to imbue some some [criticality] into bland abstractions?  This is like that, hunched over its making and saying a prayer.

A hail mary pass to capture, touch down, on some meaning.

See too: Josef Strau at House of Gaga (2)Josef Strau at House of Gaga
Past: Josef Strau

"The way butterflies seem garish and unnecessary to a world and inspire our wrath so children crush them and artists crush them against canvas, looking for ways to bejewel our production, steel it against the unpleasant taste of mouths eating coin. They're fine in that way of pleasantness, pinnacle of subservience that is the crux of high dollar abstraction, submission to their surroundings by letting it walk all over them."

"Strau’s concurrent rise with the hegemony of the art's image (say, CAD) makes a sense. Strau attaching text to image, delaying reception by giving words to its arrival at the moment it made it consumable without giving it away. This was huge."

Full: Josef Strau at House of Gaga (2)
Full: Josef Strau at House of Gaga

Friday, July 12, 2019

Anthony Pearson at Marianne Boesky


A lot of art makes the process of getting paint onto the canvas itself the problem of art. Going back to Stella's auto-flex on the canvas, an excuse for the painting. Reason without reason. Simply was. Which was the point then, but however many decades later we suddenly had "process orientated abstraction" whose own tautological reasoning spread infectiously as a means to manufacture object meaning. Pearson - who has been around longer than the process dead - has been inventing all sorts of means to get art to semi-auto-materialize. The "paint" here is poured and peeled, and the others grated with rococo lines, etc. So what you see is what you see, a process in getting the materials to self-expose. But the image is beside the point, the point is simply materialization, sediment something that is elegant, pretty, capable of walls.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Gerrit Frohne Brinkmann at Noah Klink


interest in primitive subjects (cave walls and prehistoric flora) as well as Hollywood staging finds its waypoint in the cardboard mockup's DIY version, not tricking anyone. But the gesture towards mimesis is there. It's low grade magic, like cave paintings once were, premised on the same belief of movie suspension. These and their smells (there's smells) aren't suspending disbelief, their stupidness is there to provides that distance. (To say one of those annoying things art writers tend to say:) they're more to do with our desire to be tricked, playing our fascination with the machines of verisimilitude, creation. Perhaps easier to believe in magic when it's primitive: an iphone is not magic but a rock certainly is.
Past: Maggie Lee

"coolness is an affect and the point attempted to be made was that adopting these strictures to see the subject express through the grate of social coding was its pathos. Did everyone then just think they were cool then? The loss of self to the adoption of vernaculars. [...] the grate through which we express self [...] self-expression immediately confronted with the terror of self-consciousness. 'Gigi is me in 2006.' A teenage self-conciousness..."

"The bedroom as terrarium, the girl as experiment."

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Susan Te Kahurangi King at Robert Heald


A sort of exquisiteness, corpse of culture kaleidoscopic. Things rearranged in a twirl. Liquid, like images turned back to ink and spun.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Kathryn Andrews at KÖNIG GALERIE


The postmodern philosopher said America needed Disneyland to prove the rest the country isn't already. The world already feels like a cartoon, making one within it feels redundant, painfully. Maybe the best thing about Andrews is that, like John Miller or Armleder the work is as off-putting as the culture it draws from is. We just need to admit the pain, that this isn't fun.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Amalia Ulman at The Gallery at El Centro


From the first lightning bolts of Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Stills: the artworld continuously electrified by depictions of women in societal bondage gear. Artists depicting the strictures that force women to conform to cultural mores; images of women made, if only momentarily, powerless or complicit, which whose artistic doubling, or performance of, is the critique. (And as these mores and roles mutate in time so too the art updates alongside the new chain.) And despite the critical intention's now obvious powerlessness to successfully confront or diminish such roles - as evidenced by its 40 years of continuous updating and still ringing true - Sherman et al. enjoy success in the market, press, and critical etceteras. (Successful critique would ostensibly outmode itself to that culture?) A success slightly ominous in comparison to the seeming lack of success of practices and images depicting women that oppose dominant hierarchies or act to provide fertile turf outside it, say A.L. Steiner or . A culture, say a magazine or a museum, that can purchase an absolution to the images it wants through an art that gesticulates critique. But that its success is simply a culture that likes seeing - culturally approved - women in bondage.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Dena Yago at High Art


"the ancient ritual of making an object of basic utility for the purposes of transparent exchange begins to promise relief. The commodity in itself offers a level of commercial purity that feels, to some, less complicit or exhausting than the highly mannered and baroque tapestry of brand narratives and leveraged networks on which creating and exhibiting even traditional forms of contemporary art—like paintings, sculptures, or photography—have come to rely. "

Friday, July 5, 2019

Group Show at The Kitchen Aufderhoehe


"...the ubiquity of installation views today (over the very obsolete taste for images of the paintings cropped of which here there are presented none) merely today's fashion, or is it a use of its authority. ..the empty whiteness surrounding paintings today is the latent frame replacing yesteryear gilt. Instead white walls wreathing its images in the symbolic wealth of hundreds of dollars per square foot of galleries, or museums. Gold leaf is redundant to white walls..."

"[but] in fact sited documentation seems to be on the rise, and emphasized to dramatic effect, highlighting the gallery’s architectural ticks, absurdly so. That Berlin’s Tanya Leighton gallery, of which Sanchez highlights, despite performing the neutral painted grey floors and glowing white walls, is one of the more architecturally memorable galleries. All around images of the object’s site, the installation shot, generally outnumber if not replace entirely the image of the object, even to the detriment of understanding the object. The site as the producer of the art object’s “aura” was established in different way by Boris Groys take on Benjaminian aura in “Art in the Age of Biopolitics” in referring to documentations (in terms of artifacts of conceptual art) need for the site.
" The surrealist vernacular of most contemporary is predicated on this aura for its totems, its mysterioizing, its unknowability, this distance between the object and the viewer. Sontag: "Distance seems built into the very experience of looking at photographs..."

"a fear of vertigo of a white space sent into hyperspace the gallery-space will need to self-locate, architecture will appear as a watermark to keep one foot on the ground avoiding the spins tumbling through non-space."

See too: Brian Calvin at Le ConsortiumSophie Nys at Crac AlsaceZoe Nelson at JDJCAD

Yngve Holen at Modern Art


Commodities made permanent. Are we to put some social science program toward this? some anthropology towards bronzed culture. The PR seems to think so: "one of the questions posed [...] is, what kind of concepts are introduced to the developing brains of children, and in what way does this guide their understanding of the world around them?" Art becomes (has become) a process for turning culture into artifacts of that culture, sediments of it, wiped across paintings and assemblaged in sculpture, like flypaper art collecting the carcass of. Preloaded with content for walltexts or children's television. Collectible too.
If the dominance of mass culture includes threat to diminish art that we could call castration, then art's turning that culture into a fetish item is classic Freud: "a token of triumph over the threat of castration and a protection against it." You can't cut off what I own of yours.

See too: Yngve Holen at Fine Arts, SydneyYngve Holen at Kunsthalle BaselYngve Holen at Modern ArtDavid Lieske at MUMOK,

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Past: Yngve Holen

"Looking for the ghost in the machine we instead find the designer. We treat objects as if they are magic, we acting like a cargo cult, arranging the droppings of the industrial gods like paganists worshipping more technically advanced nations. We place their refuse in our altars. Objects are designed to affect us, strangely adept at it, advertising like a massive psychologic program and objects are the sediment of its energies. But despite every attempt to make technical objects sympathetic to us, they are unfortunately cold and this is difficult for us."

"That terrible emptiness of objects, an indifference that hurts, and in Holen and other's objects we begin to see boogeymen that we assume must be there to fill the cold object with anything but an desolation. We exceed at inventing gods where there are none. What is behind it is only us. It is obvious at this point that objects we design are reflections of us, this is how the field of anthropology operates. We are designers or our world, of our water coolers cut in half in attempts to find its ghost. There is only us standing around it attempting the small talk of art writing."

"These insectile eyes we recognize is an anthropomorphism softening the blow of cold dead indifference."

Read full: Yngve Holen at Fine Arts, SydneyYngve Holen at Kunsthalle BaselYngve Holen at Modern ArtDavid Lieske at MUMOK,

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda at Koelnischer Kunstverein


It's important to note the artists' strategies in mise-en-scene. These photos tell you nothing, give you no information but they connote an affect, one of literal and metaphorical velvet ropes. What, after all, is this photograph of? Of the air, in the impressionist sense. That emptiness they love. Cold like sharks. It'd be something if the artists didn't have at least some hand in the documentation. Or maybe there is just that much air. Like John Knight, the strategies of withholding generate power. In forests we imagine predators, in confusion invent gods, or artists.

See too: John Knight at Greene NaftaliYngve Holen at Kunsthalle Basel
Past: Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda

"In the smoke of Matias Faldbakken's rocketship ascendancy the artworld was left blind scrambling to adhere a politic for it, to make a critical foundation for the artworld's hot new power iconography, unable to accept that how it looked, rather than any little content it contained, was its appeal." "Issues of interest for Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda, artists for whom the making compositions of all but a few remains generated an enormous look of power."

"Artists continually forcing a reading between the lines they force distinctly apart. So that the blank white space feels ominous and full, like a detective novel, figure it out, Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda adept at objects in aura of evidence or clues. Bits of knowledge that are brought up in the PR, starting with the failure of the cult to deliver its prophecies, its promised cataclysm falling to a gaping white nothing burger, a lot like the art's lines. "

Full: Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda at House of Gaga
Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda at Francesca Pia
Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda at 356 Mission

Monday, July 1, 2019

Cosima von Bonin at House of Gaga & Magasin III Jaffa

(Gaga, Magasin)

The first show of Cosima von Bonin in both Mexico and Israel the press releases with trumpets. Which feels more colonial than culturally humanitarian, proffering the west's hegemony further into the world. New outposts everywhere. How dreary it would have to lack proximity to these objects of capital. A tooting symptomatic of our belief in art as a beneficial if not outright moral substance in need of spread, of announcement. The commodity is the form we now think in, and these are teh "good" commodities.
Past: Cosima von Bonin at Friedrich Petzel

"...having attempted and failed to peel the stubborn adhesive from the surface [the critics] claim, "ah look how stuck together they are!" And admittedly von Bonin's adherence to the commodity - despite every critical attempt to remove it from - is sticky stuff, and eventually one wonders if there is a layer at all, or merely a patch drawn to appear such. And the whole critical art world grouped around attempting to pick quarters painted on the palatial shopping mall floors while above their bent necks the objects transact. The critical establishment hallucinate quarters because they are needed to eat."

Read the full thing: Cosima von Bonin at Friedrich Petzel