Saturday, November 16, 2019


[Previously a] press release asks, "So how can we make up for the inability to touch?"

Our modern problem, our world, mediated by screens, the totality of which becomes enshrined in gallery, or touch screen glass. Ours is a world we see but don't touch, like an art museum.

And so art becomes the world's great development project inventing all the ways to surmount glass with a materiality so strong it could visually empath itself, so that we could feel through glass.

Like porn, we want to touch, want to experience sensuality. Separated by this glass both art and porn must find ways to make physical sensation a visual code passable through glass. Pornography does this by covering the body in oil, wrapping it in latex, inflating its breasts to absurdity. Art does this with goo and viscera and softness and lumps. Hypernormal stimuli.

So we get more exhibitionist materiality. Open wardrobe to expose wood, some woodgrain to counteract the glass we see everything through. This materialist becomes conflated with the authentic, the rustic.

Attention to the brown you may have noticed in stores having enveloped our packaging to stand for its green, the ecological concern signified by "brown." And "Natural" you may also have noticed has no FDA governance and can be, without recourse, stated about things like gasoline and high-fructose corn syrup, maybe steel nails.

Natural, like nature, creates a negative distinction, we are said to go out "into nature" to pretend we are distinct from it, to pretend worlds distinct from mankind. Like the trend in homes, bars, everyone hauling reclaimed wood by the tonnage deep into the city, West Elm mass producing it, in attempt to reclaim some authentic experience separate from the glass we touch all day in pocket. 

But the glass like the gallery can bring us anything, it appears on screen, in white fields, in front of you, your touch of nature, your finger grease smeared on it.

Like cabinets of curiosities collecting various exotic tokens displayed for enlightened society's pleasure, N. Dash's material deployments like swatches of touch are the anthropological remains of our dissolving physical world, distributed like catalogs of our once sensual pleasure over digital networks, "The Kunstkammer conveyed symbolically the patron's control of the world through its indoor, microscopic reproduction" but no one is that hubristic today, these are about the loss of that, mourning it, our desire to once again touch things again.

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.

"deploys her fragmented gestures in the service of a greater alchemy," chipping away at the artistic monument, further granularized to finer and finer pocks and us finally all staring at noise like a church for sensitivity training - commanded to the virtue of noticing. Like if you removed all the signs from the world asserting "scenic view ahead." As if we could consider it all so. There is no thing to see, no "main thing." Just a forest and trying see every tree for it, any sufficiently complex sidewalk is indistinguishable from art.

Stripped. But, no matter how much you want it, do not touch the art. Leaving everyone with a case of erotic sexual denial.


....The rotund, biomorphic. The anthropomorphic, anthropoid, and the dripping and the glistening. The meaty and the squishy, fungal. Glass etched with goo, sprayed. Wax deformed Rodins. Primordial, high definition flesh. The dirt. Psoriasic pulchritude. Your standard innuendo; vaginal negatives. The soft and photo sensitive. The band-aid awaiting its knee. Someone farts. The misshapen; hideously deformed. The institutionally nurse-like and the gore spread across asphalt. The putrescent, the rotting inside taught PVC. The colonoscopic. Our bodies inferred, touched, spread with creams oils and ointments. The sick. It was a lie to believe in machined aluminum autonomy, bodies and minds everywhere guttered. Every sculpture today inferring the body."
Past: Mungo Thomson at Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver

"Taking the tropes of conceptual and post-minimalist art, Thompson's boorish version replaces romantics with a cleverness, inserting pop-culture into the permutations of conceptual art. It's all almost funny. e.g.: taking the October-author-weight of concern with the index and making an indexical film about the antiquated quaintness of the Rolodex, a gallery's. or: John Cage's 4:44 rendered beautifully as symphonic chirping of crickets. [...] The list goes on and critics groan and the uninitiated feel some sort of awe at getting it, art, we get it, the easily explainable trick Mungo's greatest trick of all."

Past: Daniel Rios Rodriguez

"The crust laden and the spiritual, it's hard to do sentimentality in art without being an outsider. You can't paint a flower without ironizing its loveliness, your desire to impress this. Sentimentality drips into its performance, theatrical, a too-much-presence and we blush for the artist having fallen into the trap of their own subjectivity for them, too often. Thick paint helps. It alleviates with its own paintertly over-presence, which provides, if not an ironizing, at least a solidarity. The paint expresses materially the same excess as the subject is. Confidence in clumsiness, endlessly endearing, a situation where you'll want to care for them."

"the brown you may have noticed in stores having enveloped our packaging to stand for its green, the ecological concern signified by "brown." And "Natural" you may also have noticed has no FDA governance and can be, without recourse, stated about things like gasoline and high-fructose corn syrup, maybe steel nails. Natural, like nature, creates a negative distinction, we are said to go out "into nature" to pretend we are distinct from it, to pretend their worlds distinct from mankind. Like the trend in homes, bars, everyone hauling reclaimed wood by the tonnage deep into the city, West Elm mass producing it, in attempt to reclaim some authentic experience separate from the glass we touch all day in pocket. But the glass like the gallery can bring us anything, it appears on screen, in white fields, in front of you, your touch of nature, your finger grease smeared on it."

link: Daniel Rios Rodriguez at LuluKate Newby, Daniel Rios Rodriguez at Nicelle Beauchene

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Laure Prouvost at Carlier Gebauer


You're always entering a tunnel with Prouvost. Always ending with an argument on the exact definition of mis-en-scene. If German expressionist cinema had a unifying gestalt that we could all understand if not quite pin as anything but expressionist and German then Prouvost's is a sort of dental office maximalism. You always leave Prouvosts feeling lightly diddled, a titillation feeling swindled. Like if an Apple commercial grew tentacles entered the real and manipulated you. Prouvost treats everything and me as an infant, so radically in awe of all equally, dust, shit, flowers babies, nipples, in resin or celluloid cast together. Like advertisements working on the desire for you to return to the infantile placental state, into some affective hypnosis, impressionable like goo.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Karl Wirsum at Derek Eller


They're ludicrous of course, imagist. But occasionally their flight appears nearing touching down on reality, in landing, and, when doing so, the insanity feel nervous, electric. When the land of the zany encroach reality the question of course is whether the ludicrous momentarily mimics sensibilty or if reality itself has shifted into insanity. The world feels more and more like this no? Like taking crazy pills no? The fun of Wirsum is maybe finding these moments that touch on us, complete the circuit, release the static shock, remember waking up looking like this, looking at this man who controls our territory. Within art's safety.
Past: Gene Beery

"no wonder the surrealists and conceptualists loved Beery (artists handing him hundreds on the spot) - words can perform in a way that art doesn't, forming an address almost inherently surreal, a transmission between people, infiltrative, allowing its horsemen direct access to your head, to say whatever it wants, and already there, words standing around inside you."

"Beery toys with this functionality, a slight haywire version sparking in the walls, threatening to burn the whole thing, meaning, down. The trueness of statements, their ability to make sense, becomes if not beside the point, a thing to torture. Not the treachery of images, but the treachery of saying anything at all. "

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Sarah Ortmeyer at Chicago Manual of Style


Writing about blank art you are confronted with the theater of your skull, your dome's skeletal movie screen. Eyes phosphene in darkness, in vacuity your mind alights. It's called "prisoner's cinema," a useful term for art. Blankness rewards the already full mind, handing the viewer back to themselves, allowing all the self-satisfied self-congratulations they can self-muster. The philistine sees checkers; the learned, chess; the PR wonders about the things that aren't there, and the aesthete, Sherrie Levine, Rosalind Krauss's Grid, the whole history of Modernism to fill whatever text space allowed: art abhors vacuum. The tension here: whether this beacon actually broadcasts idea or simply clears space for fill, me, this, now.

See too: Sarah Ortmeyer at BodegaSarah Ortmeyer at Potts“Seven Reeds” at Overduin & Co.Kaspar Müller at Museum im BellparkYngve Holen at Fine Arts, SydneyYngve Holen at Kunsthalle BaselYngve Holen at Modern ArtDavid Lieske at MUMOKYngve Holen at Modern Art
Past: Sarah Ortmeyer at Bodega, Sarah Ortmeyer at Potts

"...a more mythologic subject, a cultural signifier to whom our attraction is unbounded, orbiting a celestial beauty, a man of so much public weight it begins to accrete its own egg-like shell, his image..." An egg.

Click: Sarah Ortmeyer at Bodega, Sarah Ortmeyer at Potts

Past: Diamond Stingily

"and how did natural black hair become a 9 billion dollar industry so profoundly contentious it led Chris Rock to make a documentary about the subject with a Rotten Tomatoes 95% approval rating after his daughter at three asked why her natural hair wasn't "good?" Disneyfication, conforming a subject to dominant culture's preexisting expectations of how that object should be, making for a lot of unnecessary and uncomfortable changes." "...forever ambiguous until looked upon which like the quantum cat's vitals inside a box, a physical attribute achieves a superposition in culture, a sort of walking contradiction as a symbol of power at the same time it leaves open the wound for the bitter slight, Becky with the good hair.'"

Diamond Stingily at Queer ThoughtsDiamond Stingily at Freedman FitzpatrickDiamond Stingily at Wattis

Monday, November 11, 2019

Karin Sander at Hussenot


"canvases in standard formats that Karin Sander leaves at a selected location for a limited, defined period of time. They absorb and reproduce the specific patina of this location."

Conceptual art was obviously the roots of our the Living-Dead Formalism, the instructions lending credence to inoffensive abstraction. Weren't conceptual art's instructions just a means of self-mythologizing? Why does art cycle itself? Shouldn't we learn.

See too:  Karin Sander at Barbara Gross, Olivier Mosset, Karin Sander at lange + pult

Past: Puppies Puppies

"Like oral traditions whose stories allowed modification to fit the moment’s ethos, PP’s public domaining of intellectual properties proposes the, e.g., Chiquita banana as open source material. [...]  pre-established content for its storytelling, inhabiting the corporate/commercial sign systems that have come to determine our world. Harry Potter is the new Iliad for better or worse...."

"Behind a hostage of the forcibly public-domained. You get to disappear behind others'. A system of drag (drag as corporeal parasitization, cosplay) but too the dirty and cruel world of bodies forced to adopt the identity and means of the larger cultural empire that oversees it, i.e. Adorno’s conform or perish."

Read full: Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo) at Balice HertlingPuppies Puppies at What Pipeline, Puppies Puppies at BFA Boatos

Saturday, November 9, 2019

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 itself 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, your 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..."

Friday, November 8, 2019

Glenn Sorensen at Corvi-Mora


The oil continues ink spread, like dipped in it. Continue into the night, where the world fractures into shadows and shards. It is frustrating that writing about the night always sounds poetic since Sorensen's seem to have done away with anything melliferous, instead something tasting more like nickel. I think it's the green, the color of late-night television thrown onto bad carpet. It is science fiction lighting. Ominous green. Feel like seeing something, then seeing nothing.

See too: Glenn Sorensen at Annet Gelink
Past: Glenn Sorensen at Annet Gelink

"Got to give Jennifer Higgie Credit for calling Sorensen 'post-industrial Monets.' If the impressionists commented on the particularity of French light, Sorensen maybe on the particular liquidness of lighted night, ... unnatural abruptness that shorts rods and cones into afterimages, emergency light, disorientated to something representational that feels abstract."

Full: Glenn Sorensen at Annet Gelink

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Sayre Gomez at François Ghebaly


Here the cage bars become less literal. Fencing dissipates into the photographic techniques, a picture's non-focus is a frosted glass wall. A fake palm cell tower, a strip-mall sign: the impediment to a sunset. Homeless encampments censored against full identification. Gomez, is Hollywood's landscape painter with a sigh, using the techniques of tinseltown's advertorial golden era, the quick seduction of airbrushed leg landscapes. But instead of vistas we get cellphone towers. Only the grisly crust gets Gomez's full HD defect.  The stupid vile blackness of an Enterprise car rental sign to match Reinhardt's own. Whether this throwing in your face shit is stupidly cruel or realistic is your personal preference. "But I painted the banality so accurately!" cries the painter of life. "A mimesis so exact it enacts the drear it represents!" Call it antidote to the naive who think Hollywood is the nice part of LA, medicine to those who have never actually stood at Hollywood and Vine, walked that one block south of the restaurants in downtown. Someday this will all be yours, someday this will all be gentrified. Gomez at whim is able to flick his vaseline seduction on or, more powerfully, shut it off. This makes him coy. A gamesman. The paintings giveth and the paintings taketh, Gomez with his fingers. Yes, think Ed Ruchsa, but now words obscuring the view are attached to sign-poles, very realistic, yes, literal, yes. Literalness in all its stupidity is given in all seriousness its hard dullness.

See too: Andrei Koschmieder at Jenny’sSayre Gomez at Ghebaly Gallery
Past: Sayre Gomez at Ghebaly Gallery

...when you could simply change the focus to what's outside. Instead some vague construction. The old predicament of art, to peel away the stickers marking the surface of cynicism. [Painting] elegiac Walls. All of this is obvious, it's right there, legible; the point is that it’s alluring. We want to keep the walls around.

Read full: Sayre Gomez at Ghebaly Gallery

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

“Plains Ledger Drawings” at STANDARD (OSLO)


The perspectival ambiguity of the homes/tents/forts aligning around the edge of the paper which acts as edge of its world, like a fisheye lens for god, turn the paper any orientation and this was still the center of the world. And look at that soldier's leg, the soldiers falling back akimbo, while the guy on the horse is central, static, strong, as if the rider doesn't move, as if the world moves around him. The tension between pictographs, information and depiction, stories to tell.

*Of course though painful that while these are traded under ironically white lighting, the US's native populations are still among its most vulnerable people.

See too: Purvis Young at James Fuentes

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Maren Hassinger at Tiwani Contemporary


Accumulate as ward against scarcity; arrange as ward against death. Identifying with the cast-off and detritus, seeing society waste and want not. Art which can express that lesser form of aesthetic judgement, compassion.

Minimalism's infatuation for the industrial process, of say Judd et al, was, in part, premised on these industrial processes deletion of the body and its "expression" (if not a promise of subjectivity excised entirely) in looking "pure," like objectivity, removing the human. ... Of course this was the lie of any commodity: that the clean aluminum sheets comprising boxes or laptops weren't simply wiped of their indentured sweat. Minimalism hid the body in the closet.

The hoarder artist re-stake the essential hand-care, human, blood, to what is considered by at best by most simply material. Treat waste with compassion.

Read: Melvin Edwards at Daniel BuchholzLutz Bacher at Galerie Buchholz and Sarah Rapson at Essex StreetSer Serpas at LUMA WestbauYuji Agematsu at LuluDylan Spaysky at Good WeatherDylan Spaysky at Clifton Benevento,

Monday, November 4, 2019

Hanne Darboven at Sprüth Magers


Proposal: A series of videos of artists and curators explaining Hanne Darboven to their dad.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Past: Gili Tal

"... if the photos are by no means good, would it not be fault of the world they capture? 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."

"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’sGili Tal at Cabinet

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Katinka Bock at Pivô


Installation art seems made for its own Rube Goldbergifition, attachments and strings, pulleys and hangings: the appliances for hanging become the art objects themselves. Why do we like Rube Goldberg machines and their absurdification of the device. Is it comedy? The world rendered caricature? There is an undercurrent of nihilism, of angst and cynicism toward technology, neutering mechanical complexity as childlike confabulation. An angst or nihilism that subtly pervades Bock's work. As the PR says, Bock "‘profanes’" the exhibition space, contorted into subtly absurd gestures. "Katinka Bock chose Avalanche as the title of an exhibition in a country where it never snows but which is on the verge of collapse, like so many others."  The exhibition, its context, Sao Paulo, the art, its function, is made into cartoon, a fantastical contraption, a comedy device replacing actuality, a fantasy which is easier to deal with.
Past: Sara Deraedt

"Vacuums look like Star Wars droids, a technology not sleek but fantasy mechanical. The term 'greeble' was invented for Star Wars' scene builders to describe the false detailing added to increase surfaces visual complexity, to thus exoticize if not heighten the inferred technology. Vacuums are a tube that sucks and yet their encasements evolve all sorts of sleek sexual-mechanical curves and corners. A shell that infers the inner without much referring to it. The casing isn't designed for the object inside but for person deciding upon it, obviously."

Click: Sara Deraedt at Essex Street

Friday, November 1, 2019

Sturtevant at Freedman Fitzpatrick


While the paintings/drawing provided question of what exactly was being looked at, (How did Hainley put it? What remains of a cancellation?) as occlusion of what was Sturtevant. Against this blindness, cancellation, or hole, after her tennis break she returned with a visual maximalism that was so incredibly alluring. Recall seeing the inverted video pyramid at Gavin Brown - throbbing soundtrack lead in - and, mesmerized, watching the entire length of the video several times. What other art film has done that? Creating a gluttony, a casual technical lucidity that made them so consumable, a sugar image. They invoke an amnesia, the feeling of watching television as children, hours passing. Wake up to find yourself having been entranced by a void.
Past: Sturtevant at Air de Paris

"Dynamo for so much of the 1960s art world, Oldenburg was also, at times appallingly, no cartoon. (Séance Hannah Wilke.) Did an artist with such psycho-aesthetic investment in the invagination of commercial space ever stop to consider what might happen if, courtesy of a wildly inverting repetition, the phantasmatic derangements of capitalism or branding embroiled in his concession shoppe and its merging of philosophical and commercial notions re-rendezvoused to, vagina dentata-like, bite him in the ass?" - Bruce Hainley, Under the Sign of [sic]

"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,