Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Moyra Davey, Peter Hujar at Galerie Buchholz


And art often feels like a process, technology, for imprinting nostalgia. Casting banality in bronze, silver, with a halo of rose. "Nostalgia a toxic substance used to preserve our memories in formaldehyde's rose tinted veil." Photography provides "immediate packaging: that inherently elegiac medium also promises preservation of someone's sight of you." So you get to preserve your recognition like pickled pigs and call it romantic. Nostalgia's artistry becomes its own technology. I don't think this is implicit to art. Against this someone like LaToya Ruby Frazier's grayscales confuse time and conflate eras, make chronology slippery, and deny a continuum of progress, inherently anti-nostalgic.

Past: Moyra Davey

"a gloss of preemptive nostalgia. Like instagram filters made to affect 70’s grain on crystalline microlenses - an artificial warmth on the cold of its technologic clarity - Davey [...] pre-placing that touch on the photographs, mailed to package the touch that preceded them."

"It's alluring to attach the psychology of money to feces."

Past: Pedro Wirz

"We all fear for lumps inside us, unchecked growth, a malignancy, 'matter out of place,' 'the contaminated diversities that proliferate in the dump.' Fear of toxins, poisons, heavy metal build-up, of heavy concentrations of micro-plastics in the great Pacific beverage, in parts per million, in tumors, cysts, bio-cucumlative, they add up in sediments in your blood, fat, balls, monuments, these fears into nervous objects, art."

Pedro Wirz at Longtang

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

April 7th, 2020


What an excessively visual day. It's like a sci-fi movie in here.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Everyone rushes to produce "content." Noticing a captive and assumed bored audience the attention economy flexes, pulsates; you begin to the feel the capitalistic end of content's tentacle. What was intended as the fill for little crevices in the bricks of our day at some point became our day. Chatter becomes the content; Instagram becomes the business. And everyone microtize their content, becoming viral capable, themselves the droplets. Content starts to hurt. People mistake our convalescence as opportunity, our boredom as their docking point. The line between extraction and compassion becomes thin.

Past: Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys

"Against Venetian statuary, against marble gods with triforks, JdGHT's is wantonly provincial, the unsophisticate, the stupid it is. Turns out, despite centuries of looking up at them, we don't actually resemble Greek Gods. "
"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"
"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."

Read full:
(Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys)
Venice 2019, Belgium Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys Mondo Cane
Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys at Kunsthal Aarhus,
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
Past: Reena Spaulings at Chantal Crousel

"Reigning champions of the dumb art gesture so profoundly, inertly, token as to rupture any semblance of hope for meaning; it found comedy in the malignant stupefaction of the "art gesture." ...  The work actively attacked the insider: anyone who understood Spaulings game did not receive art's usual self-congratulations but the unloading of 40 foot soldiers of uncommon stupidity inside your head. A virus affecting only those in-the-know while the blissfully unaware remained free of its belittling folly.
"Writing this, I've actually needed a thesaurus for "dumb."
"...the more you get it the more it evacuates."

Read full: Reena Spaulings at Chantal Crousel

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Past: Marc Camille Chaimowicz

"Art like pieces of display catalog, Ikea presentations of what your home could be, as images of potential, like all those pantone grids we all find so pleasant in organizing the full mess of choice into something pleasant, choosable."
"We find this wanton sensitivity almost unnerving in art, we fear the institutionalization of its form, the hospitalization of 'sensitivity.'"

Read full:
Marc Camille Chaimowicz at Kestner Gesellschaft
Marc Camille Chaimowicz at INDIPENDENZA

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Ebecho Muslimova at Maria Bernheim


Cartoon characters are only cartoon when they are cut from their world and pasted into the real. In their natural inked setting cartoons are simply flesh, however elasticized. Floors, feces, body are of the same stuf and there was some inherent truth.
When the cartoon now does its Who Framed Roger Rabbit thing, the duck finally becomes a cartoon duck, the visual promiscuity is lost, his flesh is now not of the the surrounding world and forces him to become more singularly himself.  Fatebe becomes a character, no longer a natural feature of her reality but a style cut and pasted into. And her world becomes simply a grab bag of digital effects to encounter. It was always bound to happen, drawing must eventually be valorized as painting. Madani gets away with it because her painting is drawing. And Who Framed Roger Rabbit was most interesting when the softness of cartoons were hit with hard reality, forced to take its shape, "flatten the duck with a frying pan and he becomes a frying pan" and the worlds again begin to seamlessly blur in the green glow of the Matrix, our imagination's virtual plane, and the cartoon naturalizes again.

see too: Tala Madani

Friday, April 3, 2020

Friederike Feldmann at Barbara Weiss


It would be so nice if we could just have some drawing without requisite need of deploying it like a big factory of gesture, magnified swatches of what had been human. The just plain ol' drawing has everything already. This is the fault of the world. We need more drawing.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Cyprien Gaillard at Sprüth Magers


This is the language of advertising: upstairs you view the commercial and in the showroom the products. The film, which is beautiful and affective like all good ads, ostensibly provides a confusion/detournment to the process of commodity affectation, but not sure language can talk itself out of the language. Cynicism about the process is still the process.
Past: Liam Gillick

"...The forebear to today's Simon Dennys and Anne Imhofs, the weaponizing of corporate and cultural tropes as a banality, ambivalent to its corporate manipulation of emotive capacities..."

Read full: Liam Gillick at CAC Vilnius
Past: Pati Hill at Essex Street

"... that while the Pictures gen treated the world as image (available for all forms of permutable misdeeds), Hill's 1:1 copying seemed far more interested in the objects and their traces, not inherently its theft. Far more Gonzalez-Torres than Sherrie Levine."

Read full: Pati Hill at Essex Street

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Koak at Altman Siegel


People bent like pipes for their decorative purposing. The painter demands composition, extraction, humans repurposed for painting's ends, how modern. Arabesque motifs get harsher until the ballet seem inhuman doll-like, Picasso rips apart models and we find this intoxicating. Our runway models and their own body's El Grecoing. Etiolated for the consumption. There is discrepancy between what things represent and what they are: beautiful.

see too: Julien Nguyen at Modern ArtLisa Yuskavage at Contemporary Art Museum St. LouisLouisa Gagliardi at Open Forum

Charlotte Posenenske at Konrad Fischer


PR states "she erased all gestural traces avoiding and dimishing [sic] any kind of subjectivity." which while not entirely true the attempt does feel apropos to our current scratching at the glass, less to feel something than touch its borders as well as mark it. Scratched glass tends to reveal itself. This is the edge, the limit. Posenenske found it. And then Posenenske, tellingly, left the artworld. Yet we keep dragging her back, out. Why does art love and mythologize the people that leave it? As Herbert recounts one of her last acts was handing out broadsheets at Documenta stating "You culture vultures, so here you are all gathered together to chat and lie and talk crap so as to gain the upper hand." Us all loving our artists while not listening to them, an exhibition like a condescending smile.

Monday, March 30, 2020

They come three, four, at a time. Zebra hard to chase not because the stripes provide camouflage but because the predator cannot single a specific focus, i.e. with overabundant choice the selector's (predators) cognition malfunctions; in nature videos you see lions, surrounded by cheeseburgers, acquiesce, lay down, stupefied by movement, flow, numbers which disrupt the ability for sense, sensation ruins, the surface effect which short circuits our ability for recognition, to choose, to see individuality for a moving surface of pattern and stripe across a broad plain of thing. Eventually the lions that do not starve in the face of such are selected for reproduction.

originally published November 15, 2017.

Thomas Hirschhorn at Chantal Crousel


Hirschhorn provided fantasy. Conflated the constructions with construction work, of a philosophy being useful like plumbers, a pragmatic attitude that "fans" of philosophy armed with nothing but his packaging tape could assemble some good in the world. In hindsight much of it was tone deaf and not really useful. But it looked utilitarian. That was important.
This exhibitions "conversations" are a clever way to commodify another's thinking in a neat package AND provide a fantasy, of our communication being clever. Making your fandom pay through resale.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Özgür Kar at Édouard Montassut


Our twitching little bodies. Cramped into screens, boxes, glass, chopped into talking heads, dismembered in little windows, in corners. And asked to fit in these broadcasts of personal nightly news, to loved ones, alone and connected. Excessive tech to just prove we are still twitching, murmuring night lights, stand ins for comfort.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Barbara Bloom at Capitain Petzel


Displays themselves become uncanny; they are the living dead, lacking human they were designed for. They are stage without actors, so when we seen them we see death. (IKEA displays create anxiety that must be counteracted, feeling our homes could feel like death if we don't fill them with otherwise.)  This exhibition comes with a packet explaining which exact ghost haunts each.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Rodney McMillian at Petzel


This seems to be Petzel's first solo exhibition of a someone black?  Is that possible? 25 years. The press release seemed odd.
Past: Barbara Kasten

" exorcisms to make photography reveal its surface: what was made to represent everything but itself ... a surrealist project of photography's desire-surface, the paradox of photographing glass ... desiring the wet image of surface. Like making love to someone's glistening sweat... making its car-body self expose without getting a look under the hood, now pretty much every photographer today not necessarily trying to break the glass, at least looking to place a sticker on it or find some odd way to warm its domination of us, with a filter say, the image.

Read Full: Barbara Kasten at Hannah Hoffman“Every Day I Make My Way” at Minerva

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Kayode Ojo at Praz-Delavallade


Fashion/perfume advertisement setting, sedimented as sculpture. Awaiting moistened Drake to pour and offer, not just a drink but a life. They traffic in advertising's same lifestyle projection. We've forgotten this because no one opens Artforum anymore, it's sent out as hamster bedding and subscriber inflation, but a distant memory of its filler comes back in these sculptures, an air we would call nostalgic. The smallest narrative allows the biggest projection. We like chintz, and better any excuse to play it as ironic, look down upon it. How much artworld glitz comes with heavy justification, armor against actually liking it. Excused glamor are why artists were invented. The surgical/esthetician set barely register as an anomaly. Maybe the Snook Hook. A lot of Tom Burr.
Past: Michael E. Smith
"A google search says no one has used to word tumor in any online writing about Smith. Which seems odd; his objects seem awfully affected by a lot of lumps, red dots, growths on institution and inflated with resin crusts. Teratomas: the classic hair and teeth of your twin in your tummy. You can google pictures of these, they actually look a lot like Smith's more "bodily" objects. Of growths without cause, find a potato in our eye, the "categorically promiscuous." Things sliding into new subjects like bare knees across asphalt..."

"Threat of bodily violence (a body to become goo as any other) is implicit to art that treats materials as categorically promiscuous (surreal), e.g. if you can put puffer fish under the table's summer sky, inflate them like footballs with whale ears, aren't you as wiling to place skulls at your knees. The disregard for the categorical order is like gore, crushing bodies."

"It's a cliche at this point to say that Smith makes the mundane object estranged. And in a sea of so many surrealists currently operating, less than helpful. Estrangement is today's go-to strategy. Smith's is individuated, each object set off so that we can no longer "know" the sculpture, eroding a complete vision, and opening a distrust. A psychological sliver. We cannot know the object, its relation to other objects is broken, either categorically (there is no category to place the object within, surrealist) or psychologically (the unknown threat). The rocking chair I project from the two elegant bones still in contact with the substrate of the real is not the same as the one in your head. This unknown destabilizing of our ability to conceptualize the objects in equitable terms to exchange with another -both objects and other people - (eroding the material semio-substrate with which our exchange is based) breaching a distrust, is its sinister quality."

"You can never be certain you've seen all the butterflies, their artwork is everywhere."

Click for full: Michael E. Smith at AtlantisMichael E. Smith at 500 Capp Street Foundation, Michael E. Smith at Sculpture Center, Michael E. Smith at Michael Benevento, Michael E. Smith at Zero, Michael E. Smith at Lulu, Michael E. Smith at Susanne Hilberry,

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Past: Marie Angeletti

"exacerbating all the annoyances of images today, Angeletti's are always claustrophobically opaque, too close, dim. Not quite sure Angeletti has ever shown in a completely lit space...
"which, in an era of almost total fuck-all of images our cognition is molested by daily, could make an art practice mirroring such seem a brutal finger but at some point we have to be trained for this, we could attempt to make sense of, it all, if we wanted to start lifting."

see too: Marie Angeletti at AtlantisMarie Angeletti at Beach Office

Marie Angeletti at Carlos/Ishikawa


Seduction, eroticism, through glass. What a time for it. Pornography is sex through glass, like our isolation, like our galleries, please remain six feet away from the
Both pornography and art must find visual means to sensate through this barrier. So you adopt its methods. Live through the window of her, ordering distant contact online. This is our prophylactic erotics.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Ben Echeverria at Parapet Real Humans


At one end of the artworld we the rendered and ecstatic, at the other end the scrappy material and careworn. These could seem worlds apart. But they begin to feel in the same way affected. You apply a video filter, you belabor the painting. Both become search for means to make "residue" appear, of time, of warmth we're after. A weathering effect you can turn on and off like rain.

see too: Moyra Davey at Institute of Contemporary Art

Monday, March 23, 2020

Solange Pessoa at Mendes Wood DM


I think we find some comfort in dirt smeared not because of its primeval "truth" but because it seems like it can't obsolesce, it can't be superseded, blown away, which we mistake for being eternal.
Past: Silke Otto-Knapp

"The ethereal silver surface appending some Last Year at Marienbad memory"
"Yesterday's brand strategies reemerge in painting's today. Mona Lisa handbags, af Klimt on a tank, Carl Andre halloween costumes. You can't water down a public's desire for a painting, prevalence only increases the throngs lined to see it, at distance, behind glass. "

Read Full: Silke Otto-Knapp at greengrassiSilke Otto-Knapp at Taylor Macklin

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Calida Rawles at Various Small Fires


I think the reason you can google "underwater realistic painting" and see its a popular theme is that a photograph of people shattered in water intrinsically appends the abstraction we want and associate with painting while giving the value of the photographic, it does the work for it. It's already painting even without it, the mechanistic process of representation doesn't ruin it.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Johannes Wohnseifer at Meliksetian | Briggs


Our paintings collect culture like a surreal flypaper. Like seeing phantasms, after-images with your eyes still open. At night in bed from dark currents in your brain emerges a decade old jingle.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Federico Herrero at Lulu


In our fishbowl isolation we look out through so much glass. Through your monitor through a photographer's camera lens. Through the gallery's look-but-don't-touch air imitating glass and, in the distance, a painting's stained glass, zoomed pixels. Which are material turned highly-tuned images, windows, more glass compressed into a final glass, a code, a jpeg, our vitreous body. We try to polish this glass further and further, correct for it, so it seems like we aren't just seeing it, a fishbowl. If you move a fishbowl does it experience a different part of the world? Do you see glass? You can purchase Christmas through it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Magnus Andersen at Neue Alte Brücke


An exhibition titled "Stockholm Syndrome" which is "a condition in which hostages develop a psychological alliance with their captors during captivity." Which CAWD called Andersen's last Neue Alte Brücke show: "which we, [Andersen's] visual hostages, on a long enough timeline, learn to love..." Stockholm Syndrome is thought to happen because "the victim’s need to survive is stronger than his impulse to hate the person who has created the dilemma." In order to survive one must begin to identify and find compassion for the captor: people held captive for decades will defend their captors in court. An analogy could be made for a decades long acclimatization to certain types of aesthetic abuse, where an artworld begins to actually like the Jeff Koons, or Josh Smith.  On a long enough timeline they begin to appear quaint, lovable, despite their demonics. To deny it would simply place you outside it. And so, "Andersen knows that to survive is to triumph. And so with defeat you must accept its march into visibility." You will be seeing more of these, and as always with hideous painting, "half the fun is learning to love it."

see too: Ida Ekblad at Herald St.Josh Smith at David ZwirnerMagnus Andersen at Neue Alte Brücke
Past: Magnus Andersen at Neue Alte Brücke & Dorothy Iannone at Air de Paris

"It's impossible to measure earnestness. Time de-ironizes and jest is made serious by attention. Saying one is more authentic, or by comparing hierarchically these two is a set-up for defeat. You could say (with a long enough timeline) 'the necessities of circumstance turn to virtue.' Andersen knows that to survive is to triumph. And so with defeat you must accept its march into visibility. Andersen even got a theme-song for his parade. [...] Thus Andersen straps a bomb to his chest walks into the vault of images, which we his visual hostages, on a long enough timeline, learn to love, and pied man leading children to their deaths."

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Jan Kiefer at Swiss Institute


You're on lockdown, staying in. The Swiss Institute is closed. The food only being delivered. You log on to to find some interest, to find a snowman mocking you, enjoying his pumpkin headed freedom. The joke is on him; soon he will be dead, melted like the glaciers he skis. This is what you come here for, the beautiful vistas, windows, cruelty.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Past: Ken Kagami

"Stupidity becomes the vernacular of a world that is so saturated by it; we are awash in it, berated with it, nor innocent of it. Stupidity is to comedy what holding your breath is to drug expanding consciousness, practiced by primitive schoolyard psychonauts. Stupidity cannot be advanced through elegance or profundity, and 3 Standard Stoppages eventually evolves this raft of cranial blockages, an aspect MoMA says "to display the inherent indeterminacy of life." Indeterminacy sorta like stupidity, the big irrationality. Picasso in his underpants. And one way to feel better about the stupidity of the world is be the one enacting it. Allowing yourself to feel at the helm, in control of the thing that berates. "Everyone in the world is acting smarter than me" is a more comforting blanket than what is likely our own opinions on bell curves and self ranking..."

Read Full Ken Kagami
Past: Trevor Shimizu at 47 Canal, Trevor Shimizu at Rowhouse Project
"direct and dumb relief against the muddled intentions of more artistic means"

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Tam Ochiai at Soft Opening


Ochai's painting collect their painting like a window sill collects dust. The only requisite might be time passing and its loss sedimented of whatever accumulate. You might write your name in the dust, but these collect places as dust. We could just be happy it doesn't look like painting.
Past: Tam Ochai

"Names, dates, things are hidden behind the curtain of their signifier and us all looking at blank paintings trying to grasp the thing they have purposely lost behind words for us."

Read all posts marked Tam Ochai

Friday, March 13, 2020

Bri Williams at Queer Thoughts


What a time for an exhibition about soap. What is the history of cleanliness in art, the drains of Gober, the Purell of Puppies Puppies... Under certain conditions old paintings exude soap. Your body itself is barely not-soap, and soap opens your body to becoming not body, cleanses you by blurring self with soap, which goes down the drain, leaving you clean, dry.  Milk congeals skin, becoming subject, but soap is flesh become object, stuff. Classic Kristeva:
...under the cunning, orderly surface of civilizations, the nurturing horror that they attend to pushing aside by purifying, systematizing, and thinking; horror that they seize on in order to build themselves up and function? I rather conceive it as a work of disappointment, of frustration, and hollowing-probably the only counterweight to abjection. While everything else-its archeology and its exhaustion-is only literature: the sublime point at which the abject collapses in a burst of beauty that overwhelms us-and "that cancels our existence." (Céline)
Past: Bri Williams at Interface

"Soap we consider clean but we wouldn't want to touch a bar found on the floor of a public shower. If I covered you in lye, your body would turn to soap, a simple process of an alkaline solution mixing with fatty tissues, "liberating" your glycerine."

Read full: Bri Williams at Interface

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Kelly Akashi at Tanya Bonakdar


Our touch cast in glass, is there a better image for today? Visual metaphors for feeling. Porn is metaphor for sensation, the internet is our aquarium and the world is a kunstkammer, we look but don't touch, preserve it in zoos, on swatches, designated scenic lookouts. The world is covered in glass, we now find sensuousness in glass, rubbing erotically on the aquarium. Eventually we prefer glass.

We've been talking about this for so long: Materialphilia

See too:  Kelly Akashi, Cayetano Ferrer at PP,

Jeanette Mundt at Overduin & Co.

"A relation to their subject is ambivalent despite their load. Mundt often targets content that is full of juice, yet is left on canvas to fall apart. A gap that reviewers seem unable to fill with their own: Travis Diehl seemed to conjure the process of glaucoma's blindnessTess Edmonson said about the film on which a painting was based: "the gallerist warned me not to watch it"; and Zoë Lescaze aptly called it "ready for viewers and critics to plot their opinions onto her body." Her body of work which fails to deliver on the subject."

Read full: Jeanette Mundt at Overduin & Co.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Past: John Miller

"The stupid comedy of our anthropomorphized figures... their odd hollowness standing in for all the blood and guts that should be splattered. That we actually identify, sympathize, with them, these reflections we adorn our stores with. What use does a culture have for fake images of ourselves? The Doryphorous has a reason, an idealization, a mannequin, devoid of his saleables, none."

"There's Yves Klein blue and John Miller brown, a color so untranscendent as to castrate any pretense of art's higher plane, reminding us of our earthly rope tethering bowels to earth. Miller blockades, belittles, our azure sky fantasy with the lesser order, everything we would prefer to forget immortalized over what had been our vacations, from drudgery."

Richard Hoeck and John Miller at Meliksetian | Briggs
John Miller at Barbara Weiss
John Miller at Institute of Contemporary Art Miami
John Miller & Dominik Sittig at Nagel Draxler
John Miller at Meliksetian | Briggs

Monday, March 9, 2020

Past: Gracie DeVito at TIF SIGFRIDS

"Like Bonnard's rags, we like paintings looking picked from studio floors, rubbed with, spilled on, rather than painted ... sentience from captured artistic sneezes. Though these are a lot nicer than the usual strains of scatalogical nappies of the idiot-savant, of say Joe Bradley, of the real base impulses collected.
"the frame had once aggrandized its painting haloed, now redundant to white walls, to the cost of real estate, the frame cartoonifies, ironizes, self-deprecates in the goofy expense of custom routed framing: each an individual like a thumbprint or a mess. Frames are dumb if necessary, and these admit to that, a sort of excusing itself by way of clown. "Oh this red nose?, no."

Read full: Gracie DeVito at TIF SIGFRIDS
Past: Ann Cathrin November Høibo at DREI

"Materially in excess condenses through glass, perspires its objecthood through the glazing. [...] CAD is a window in an abyss of many windows. Everyone trying to feel something through. Our personal panopticon."

Ann Cathrin November Høibo at DREI

Sunday, March 8, 2020

“No Joke” at Milieu


Groups shows look like if you blew up the mall and then cleaned up pretty well.

Friday, March 6, 2020

François Curlet at Micheline Szwajcer


Darren Bader, Bertrand Lavier, Baldesarri, Martin Creed, Mungo Thompson, François Curlet. Not quite pop art, not quite conceptual art, derived from each, a cartoon of both.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

New Red Order at Artists Space


Important for performance to begin to swallowing its own promotional material. The relevant info being self-contained is part of good documentation. Everything there, apparent. Punctured back in, the reason we're here, promotion. The website being pretty good.
Past: Sturtevant

"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. "

Read full: Sturtevant at Freedman Fitzpatrick, Sturtevant at Air de Paris, Sturtevant at MoMA, Sturtevant at Thaddaeus Ropac,

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Nicolas Grenier at Bradley Ertaskiran


Infographics given 70s gloss, retro and surreal. We like information, we've basically been evolutionarily programmed to find its stimulating, it feels like meaning, and given nostalgia's candy coating. This painting shows a scene from the new Indiana Jones where Jones uses the Staff of Ra to reveal a map on of the interior of Ed Ruscha's The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire before it sinks into the tar pits beneath Zumthor's black eyesore, all illuminated by a Kanye/Turrell floating stage.

See too: Emily Mae Smith at Rodolphe JanssenAlexandra Noel at Freedman Fitzpatrick, AtlantisOrion Martin at BodegaRay Yoshida at David NolanSascha Braunig at Kunsthall StavangerAlice Tippit at Night ClubLui Shtini at Kate WerbleSascha Braunig at Rodolphe JanssenMathew Cerletty at Office BaroqueAnne Neukamp at Greta Meert,
Past: Sophie von Hellermann

"Such softness, it's abject. Saccharine. Like walking around with cotton candy between toes, sugary resolve to true grit. Till your teeth fall out your head. But softness something of a ruse, a narrative lacking definition..."
"We look through the paint at some cloudy apparitions like a Renoir got wet. For all their candy von Hellerman's aren't all that appetizing; Suzanne Hudson called their characters etiolated, plants grown leggy in darkness, a feeling of being deprived of crucial nutrients..."

Read full: Sophie von Hellermann at Office Baroque Sophie von Hellermann at Greene Naftali

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Birke Gorm at Croy Nielsen


Materialize has become a word of extra meaning in art, a new process akin to electroplating, anodizing, or gilding. Artists "materialize" things like text into substance, into a material with weight, turd like figures, objects which feel material. Distinct from artistic objectification (which merely turns the virtual into the concrete to make it transactable), materialization is the patina of objectification, an excess. As if the content was inherent to the material object itself, as if it speaks.

see too: MaterialphiliaBirke Gorm at Croy Nielsen (1)
Past: Sam Anderson at Rowhouse Project

"There is rarely an object of Anderson's we don't look down at, that you don't watch where you step, a presentation whose, like early Wilkes or Aran's tables, dust settled marks this instance and foreboding its wind. A little dog rolling over exposing belly's soft pink skin veiling easily destroyed guts." There is a fragility.

Click for full: Sam Anderson at Rowhouse Project

Past: Birke Gorm

"Our rising desire for materiality in a world losing it manifests in fetish for increasingly grotesque versions. Coprogenics. "Author Donna Williams [...] points out that fecal smearing serve many real purposes that are often overlooked by caregivers and medical providers: ..."

Birke Gorm at Croy Nielsen

Monday, March 2, 2020

Past: Ser Serpas at LUMA Westbau

"Hoarding as a sort of extended compassion for the derelict neglected of culture, a sympathy moving to material itself, material that a world simply would like to rid itself of. Composing it into art objects becomes a blessing for sending the objects into the "heavenly" afterlife, a means of delivering them to the majority white institutions to get them to care for them in perpetuity. Hooking the hose from the expelling parts of our cultural body to the part that feeds, getting it to eat its underwear."

Ser Serpas at LUMA Westbau

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Merlin Carpenter at Reena Spaulings


Irony was fun about a decade ago, seemed to have its peak in about 2010 before the political discourse shifted abruptly and boots on the ground politics seemed pressing. But now, recoil, irony is back with people wearing clown makeup and being disingenuous online. Irony is a scapegoat for so much. A means for someone to deflect and quagmire conversation by being deeply unclear. Carpenter feels like a game of "well I know that he knows that I know that he knows..." en abyme. 

Carpenter knows this is dumb, and knows that we know he knows this is dumb. But us all gripping chins wondering on which floor precisely the middle finger is resting. Our cerebral assessments of navel's swirl that 5 years ago couldn't have been less interesting now return in way that feels apt to the political moment. Because we're exhausted. And perhaps what Carpenter is actually trading in is the feeling of exhaustion. Can you imagine being forced to explain these to someone? Explain politics now to someone?

Because people often don't think this is dumb:
"Interactive art, of which this is, like Web 2.0's [...] the system shifts from content generation to interactivity itself, turning itself into interface for the user themselves to self produce, the turnkey-op entrepreneurial dream, in which as long as the structure is up and running "content-revenue" will self-generate, [...] because like Scanlan on Sehgal, even mediocrity is acceptable to a public so long as it has a hand in it."Read full Urs Fischer at JTT

Read all posts tagged Merlin Carpenter

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Past: Merlin Carpenter

"Has a more vacuous flaccid and dead show ever been done? An exhibition so empty it's like looking at ocean’s abyss. Carpenter has always been capable of the self-flagellating gesture, but this, this is like selling your flesh to pay the guy who owns your soul for its postage to hell, and you’re walking around bleeding without a shirt. This show makes Zobernig look like an academic painter. Codax like he paints Sundays."

Click Merlin Carpenter at Reena Spaulings
Click Merlin Carpenter at MD 72
Click Merlin Carpenter at Overduin & Co.

Nicolas Ceccaldi at Meyer Kainer


Joker was happy to stick the multiple prongs of its fork into multiple political hot sockets and see sparks. For reasons seemingly not much more than to see those sparks; political hot buttons becoming their own form of Hollywood special effects. The film's patheticness against its grand ambitions seems to mirror the main characters own, a sort of filmic meta-pathos. Identifying not with the joker, but the losers who paint pictures of the joker.

"becomes impossible to imagine an identity outside of cultural signs."

Read all posts tagged Nicolas Ceccaldi

Friday, February 28, 2020

Past: Nicolas Ceccaldi

"the indulgence of style seems the point, the running theme throughout Ceccaldi's: oversaturation of 'content,' a new version of camp: 'ostentatious, exaggerated, affected, theatrical.'  It's an blanket you put on things to make them appear new. You put dark fairy wings on young children, attach biomorphic toy-parts to video cameras, remake Beethoven with the signs of the dungeon dweller, paint it black and turn it upside down and suddenly people react to the affect rather than any individual content"

Read full: Nicolas Ceccaldi at Le ConsortiumNicolas Ceccaldi at Real Fine ArtsAnna Uddenberg and Nicolas Ceccaldi at MEGA FoundationNicolas Ceccaldi at Project Native InformantNicolas Ceccaldi at Mathew

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Jordan Wolfson at Sadie Coles HQ


The success of a Wolfson artwork seems how effective the lures are in ensnaring us. The spectacle is always just the technologic bait for the game in which seemingly innocuous - but visually seductive - elements become easily quagmired in overlapped semantic dissonance. Even the James Lee Byars childhood works read like a technology for affective means, a product. This formalizing the world of course causes tension: "political trends and topics, but seemingly only for decorative purposes." Wolfson himself: “It creates a kind of poker face of absurdity to the artwork that negates meaning. They can’t load meaning into it, because it. Just. Doesn’t. Work.”  But we refuse to believe this, we can't believe something that could affect us could be meaningless. That Wolfson has become of the most famous of his generation is a case study in what the artworld demands from its artists. Attention without anything to attend to, a blank slate with bait. Wolfson seems have become a search for new technologic means to repeat the same fantasies.

See too: Jordan Wolfson at David ZwirnerJames Lee Byars at VeneKlasen/WernerBlankness
Past: Jordan Wolfson at David Zwirner

"Wolfson is a semio super-villain, weaponizing Naumanian irony to undermine affective means.  [using signs, objects] which establish identification-with (the artist's interest in the gaze and facial recognition tech as well as nostalgia and cultural mythos) only to systematically abuse and deplete that link through endless tonal dissonance and juxtaposition, e.g. playing saccharine love-songs while a boy who looks into our eyes is repeatedly dragged and dropped onto concrete from a steel marionette of the artist's hand, basically irradiating the gold underpinning our emotive currency, held hostage and tortured."

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Giulia Essyad at Cherish


Between libidinal corporeality on one end and cybernetic dislocation of consciousness on the other. Between concrete cake and blue screen fantasy. Between touch and imagination. The gulf between and its discrepancy we're all trying to currently deal with.

See too: Juliana Huxtable at Reena SpaulingsMaterialphilia

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Jon Pylypchuk at Petzel


What had been a more formal torture of our facial tendencies, is now a wanton mass, a poopy stuff. Pylypchuk had stretched pareidolia to absurdity; you can disfigure a face into extreme proportions and still see human. They were cleaner children then. Proportions were used with a comic's timing. The endless use little arms, doofy mouths, and hyperbolized eyes like a child aroused to Saturday morning TV. Affective little terrors. Infantile features triggering nurture responses in adults. And now I guess we deal with the nappies too, very pop-grunge.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Frances Stark at greengrassi


Country and date of US coups looming over pop songs from that year. The level of frission between the two varies.* Grand Funk Railroad's 1973 hit is pretty apt: "We're an American band / We're comin' to your town / We'll help you party it down." Others are less on the nose. The discrepancy provides the interpretability, that poetic fissure. The internal disjuncture on a semantic completion, allowing that sort of blank state that you dear viewer get to ink your own adventure into, wall text or otherwise.  This would be a much less interesting if Stark hadn't for a long time now been investing in bedroom posters as self-construction, adolescent in the good sense. The point isn't being political but in construction oneself as political.

see too: John Baldessari at Sprüth Magers
Past: Frances Stark

"They're her own bedroom posters. Pay attention, it's an outline of escape, that subjectivity can conform to the vessel without losing its shape, or so Stark would wager."

"Stark’s teenage formality, her posters and videos, though clean, contain a level of humanist existential goo. ... drawing from DIY-punk ethos letting it all hang out, a gesture towards admitting the cultural disposability of art practice based in images today that stands over the face of the Deep, Instagram. Artists can’t get over it, blasted in an unstoppable deluge of culture daily. With so many “dealing with it,” detourning it into art, [...] Stark’s insistence in the forms cheapness itself, its mixtape assemblage of a disposable music video, affirms her as one of the few who actually get it."
Past: Lily van der Stokker

"Lisa Frank feminism posits an ironic fuck-all to neurotic questioning of gender paranoia's possibility of stereotype, of pink; e.g. “Parenting the non-girlie girl,” “Loving Pink for Boys, Haiting it for Girls,” “Pink and Blue,” “Toemageddon 2011,” “In Praise of Pink Polish,” “When did girls start wearing pink” “Saving our Daughter from an Army of Princesses,” and “What’s the Problem with Pink Anyway?” A baseline existential question: how am I not myself? I can be who I want to be, but will everyone know that I am being who I want to be? recursive mise-en-abyme into self’s abyss..."

"The cute design abutting flat footed niceties. That despite greeting card's insistence of overflowing sentimentality, van der Stokker’s skepticism over the clean pre-packaged prose instead inserts the more human version of awkward phrasing, misguided explanations and childish self-congratulation.."

Read full Lily van der Stokker at Koenig & Clinton, Lily van der Stokker at Air de Paris

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Lina Viste Grønli at Christian Andersen


Attempting to short circuit the conduit/loop by placing tongue already in objects. The words inside my head are no longer mine. Someone sitting on your shoulder, expecting you. Common to Lina Viste Grønl.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Dashiell Manley at Jessica Silverman


A lot painting today is excuses for getting bright striking colors onto canvas. Paint excused because we don't trust "expression." PRs become the spellcasting against anything that could be mistaken for irrational, and we spit-firing reasons, definitions, reference, backloading the work to look like weight. The compressive strength of bamboo. Excuses become important when we've conflated painting with its history. Both the history of the art-form, in which painting must become a marker for its own context, a placeholder of itself, for curators to elucidate, but also because of this the individual canvas must have a raison. This is the tension of all that neanderthal painting, of trying to make paintings so stupid it couldn't possibly be mistaken as reasonable. And yet here we are. Perhaps brilliance, like Grotjahn, in just not even excusing oneself. A confusion of whether or not these are dumb.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Past: Fergus Feehily at Misako & Rosen

"Against everyone else's returns to modernism Feehily's could seem one more scuzz on the pond [...] Instead, perhaps like Raoul De Keyser, a mining for some odd uncanny version. [...] their off-elegance. Paintings like the underdog, we root for them. Like wearing [Modernism's] fur-coat with a runny-nose.

Read full: Fergus Feehily at Misako & Rosen

Alan Ruiz at Bad Reputation


More art as the cargo cult, the displayed droppings of dominant culture, broken into artifacts, and presented it in our white altars to press heads against it. We used to draw aurochs on cave walls; we relocate the world into art, to make it manipulable in our realm, sandbox, aesthetics. To stand in for control. Aesthetics becomes the religion of fictionalized understanding. It substitutes its little problem for the one big problem. And therefore claims knowledge, and thus domain.
If the dominance of mass culture includes threat to diminish art, [a diminishing] that we could call castration, then art's transmuting that culture into fetish item is classic Freud: it is "a token of triumph over the threat of castration and a protection against it." i.e. You can't cut off what I own of yours.
Do the Gods know we exist?

Cargo cults: Sylvie Fleury at KarmaYngve Holen at Kunsthalle BaselYngve Holen at Modern ArtYngve Holen at Modern Art (2)David Lieske at MUMOKYngve Holen at Fine Arts, Sydney,  Rachel Harrison at Whitney MuseumSean Raspet at Jessica Silverman

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Kristy Luck at Philip Martin


More ambiguous abstraction. [T]rends of biomorphics, its use of vague forms, distributed referents, the sort of innuendo formation of meaning. Whats in your head may not lay in mine. Instead clouds to see objects in, named with the words that assign more meaning to us than the [paintings] which reflect them. Overlay information until it blurs, slips, spreads like inkblots. A cat butt appears but perhaps only in me.
This feels symptomatic of something.

See too:  Lucy Bull at High ArtAlice Tippit at Night ClubLui Shtini at Kate WerbleRon Nagle at Modern ArtVincent Fecteau at greengrassiNairy Baghramian at Museo TamayoNairy Baghramian at Marian Goodman Larry Poons at Michael Jon & AlanLucy Bull at High ArtOlga Balema at High ArtOlga Balema at High Art (2Miho Dohi at Crèvecœur

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Past: Kirsten Pieroth at Mathew

"Residuals, remains, ashes, essence, marks, history, artifact. Your own level of animism denies or allows belief in encoding memory into objects. Or be like an On Kawara painting, encapsulating the object by presenting its ghost. Our fingerprints are ours, but we cannot be created from them. We leave traces, deformations in the world in our shape. At the end, ashes; perhaps your name scratched in history, or a hint of your face in a generation of children, offspring who are getting the residuals. But the object is gone, and like all behaved conceptual art there is a story.

read full: Kirsten Pieroth at Mathew

Monday, February 17, 2020

An-My Lê at Marian Goodman


We killed truth in the documentary, so photographs now adopt a sort of totemic blank state, slow and brooding. The peppering of vast landscaps becomes ominous. Fruit trees come with our knowledge of their labor, the perhaps original guilt they carry. We have come to, at root, fear photography. We have come to acknowledge that photographs carry a guilt. And when it's bigger it is worse because there is larger tray for it.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Miho Dohi at Crèvecœur


Tuttle's never really resembled, their garbage was formal compositions from whatever looking like nothing more than art. They looked like art. Which was its own politics then. But Dohi's resemble, recall unplaceable things, which is our politics now. Resemblance was dirty back then, we wanted purity in forms, because clouded abstraction led to impure thoughts. Why do we desire allusive formalism now? Fecteau, Baghramian, Balema, Nagle, et al. Is still a latent surrealism? The shifting space of ambiguous "clouds" saying that one looks like a rabbit but never knowing it.

See too: Vincent Fecteau at greengrassiLui Shtini at Kate WerbleRon Nagle at Modern ArtNairy Baghramian at Walker Art Center?Nairy Baghramian at Museo TamayoNairy Baghramian at Marian Goodman Larry Poons at Michael Jon & AlanLucy Bull at High ArtOlga Balema at High ArtOlga Balema at High Art (2)
Past: Miho Dohi at Hagiwara Projects jewelry brazed from trash. ...something so fungal about them, lichens atop autonomous crust. ... feel fragile, like cripple ducklings we wish to care for because they can actually be wounded.

read full: Miho Dohi at Hagiwara Projects

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Sam Lewitt at Miguel Abreu


Lewitt seems to invent covers for books, images that contain a promise, alluding to some deeper richer story. Instead we get a press release. The world and the processes that comprise these objects are interesting, in the future as the works become historical documents of these technologies possibly the art will become too. Not a book by its cover and all that.

see too: Sam Lewitt at Kunsthalle Basel

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Kim Gordon at 303


At a certain point you can cash in the cred you've made by pressing tokens of it. Baseball cards of your occasionally-sublimated visage. For the collector. This show isn't about surveillance or the "intimacy surreptitiously undermined by insidious, unseen forces", unless maybe about the fact that Gordon is famous and feels like people are constantly sticking a camera in her face. Where a gathering could actually feel like surveillance. Who would acoustically render Wonderwall there? Gordon has a different level of surveillance than the rest; which is why we're here. Which is why there's a campfire of monitors in the middle to remember why we are here. The most interesting works are the ceramics, in which we watch someone famous be sort of middling and naive at something, making them human sculptures. They're the only things not cool, cold and deflecting.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Paul Mpagi Sepuya at Modern Art hosting Team Gallery


We call this "his exploration of the dynamics of intimacy." But here's the deal, this nudity rarely feels intimate; it is awkward, stiff, bodies look uncomfortable trying to bend a composition. The bodies work for the camera who is the master to be satiated. Which explains their machine-like affection. It's a more Hans-Breder-like photographic attitude, any sympathetic Tillmans-esque is fractured, the body formalized, turned to abstraction, which is a gore, a machine of equivocation, skin becomes fingerprinted glass becomes magazine flesh cut and pasted.  This is ostensibly fun but play and its dalliance gets close to frivolousness, becomes dangerous when you are machine shredding bodies.

See too: “Automatic Door” (Mark McKnight) at Park View / Paul Soto
Past: Paul Mpagi Sepuya at Document

"It's why so many photographers are want to document the youth, embodiment of the photograph's eternal nubility as we all die...
"...flaunting the camera as possessor, the machine which embeds the photographic capture as loss, everything moving away from the machine indexing time ... These people, these bodies, moved away from this moment and its crux the camera ... It's horribly romantic but it's true, time intransigently on, surely stupid to point out, but painful to see every-time we see it ....  see you then."

Read Full: Paul Mpagi Sepuya at Document

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Hadi Fallahpisheh at CENTRAL FINE


Ah the virtualization of our white space made manifest with a blown out shutter. Letting the light in. That vertigo you feel when the floor falls out, little rooms traded for infinite white void, us floating. This is the world Fallahpisheh draws in photographically, would be the read here. But this is the world we all draw in, this is our world, this is just more literal.

Past: Andrew Norman Wilson at Futura

"It's seductive, the power of film, the strategies of advertising that is basically the solution film is now developed in. The way, remembered, a certain insurance commercial could make my mother weep and then laugh as quickly at the ridiculousness of her emotive connection to commercial effigies, fictionalized death's emotional wounding and immediately proffered palliative with horns soaring: 'AARP life insurance,'" "It is today's form of slapstick; physical comedy is replaced with emotional spanking, our weeping no use against a master's hand, he'll give you emotional candy when it's over. Buster Keaton on the piano."

Read full: Andrew Norman Wilson at Futura

David Snyder at Michael Benevento


We used to see work like this all the time, the rickety Oursler, Rhoades, Dave Hullfish Bailey, Michael Smith wet cardboard kinda humor assemblage.  But in an artworld that today attempts to find visual artifacts for touch and feel, we see endless sculptures instead fetishizing its own materialism with a sort of Carol Bove like cabinet of the past's material curiosities: The lumpy crusty and rough hewn, sanded and polished. Whereas the above instead sort of nihilistically hate-loves its own trashiness, self ironizes with its own crudeness. And in a world where everything is being virtualized and drywalled this ironic janky-ness feels cruel; it is the dominant situation. So today we find comfort in artists preserving little butterfly collections of the "real" that at once may have been considered "authentic." The above coagulates all the crap of the demolishing today. That this isn't fun anymore.
I think this worked in the past because we didn't actually fear it, it was titillating, and now it is real fear. Check out The Guano here.

See too: Materialphilia

Monday, February 10, 2020

Past: Ellen Gronemeyer

"Chagal for Dubuffet fans, smiling manically."
"Amy Sherlock in Freize relates Gronemeyer's anecdote, learning ballet: 'She didn’t know the steps, but something stuck with her: the teacher telling the dancers to "grin as stupidly as possible", to imagine they were totally idiotic. To be relieved of the tell-tale responsibility of her own expressions, to abdicate the need for the correspondence between outer appearance and psychological reality, was, Gronemeyer found, totally liberating.'"

Read full: Ellen Gronemeyer at Karin GuentherEllen Gronemeyer at greengrassi

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Dara Friedman at Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof


Our documentation are starting to look like those bad architectural renderings, cardboard people pasted by their creator's magnificent invisible hand. The same god hand that conjures the condos for the cardboard people. Figurants whose job is to lack agency, to not revolt.

There was more film clips last time here.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Davina Semo at Ribordy Thetaz


Exercises in the statue-ization of materiality, to cast the lumpy is shiny permanence. It is at once a romanticization of the material world (which must be made monument) at the same time it treats it like a virtualization, as if you can clip out little sections of the world and freeze them with injections of liquid metal. I interminably think of the butterfly scientist, the artist who preserves his beloved by killing them. Isn't it enough to just play with clay, dough? Do we need to press them into coins with titles and dates beneath them?


Thursday, February 6, 2020

Caitlin Keogh at Bortolami


Illustration is meant to bring clarity, to denote, delineate, resolve. So when it draws surrealism there's a tension in the elegant lines not necessarily clarifying.* But what is important is that we feel something is being told, explained. Like if John Wesley designed Tarot cards, pearls for pentacles or whatever. The Tarot illustration provides it's own oracle, meaning. I guess the illusionary orbs also serve to retension the flatness, "the roughly two inches of depth" that had become its own trend, "the depth of iPad" "Its less the digitalization of painting than its conversion to iOS. Then made surreal." Said before.
Clarity and "recognition is a visual strategy used by the advertorial (logo) or systems (icons) that has reached saturation with touchscreens, GUIs, facebook forums. Our brains, wired for recognition, are berated with this, icons forcing recognition of themselves. [Clarity and recognition become their own force, violence.] Painters begin adopting this as their history, the Magrittean version of objects as linguistic symbols. These paintings delay the force of recognition as a palliative, lessening the slap of apprehension by averting it."

*A similar tension when its clarity must wrest with the delicate complexity of a rose. The conversion of complexity to something digitally clear.

See too: Anne Neukamp at Greta MeertEmily Mae Smith at Rodolphe JanssenOrion Martin at Bodega Ray Yoshida at David Nolan, Sascha Braunig at Kunsthall Stavanger, Alice Tippit at Night Club, Lui Shtini at Kate Werble, Sascha Braunig at Rodolphe Janssen, Mathew Cerletty at Office Baroque,

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Tala Madani at secession


The sketchbook is the imagination's stage, so whatever wet sketches happen in Madani's abyssal paintings already makes sense, they are theaters for whatever projection is put in it. It's a sort of brilliant trick, capable of making them accept whatever, a stick figure becomes the thought/action of conjuring it, thinking it. The painting is the sketchbook drawing from the unconscious onto the theater - which is the virtual projection inside your skull - that is, again, the painting. Projected thought*. When Madani's brush smears shit it bears the shiver of actual, not because it is, but because it feels someone imagine doing it. Reading a story of a murder feels somehow less horrible than finding, even a fictional, scrawled notebook saying how they would murder. Watching someone imagine. The paint - which painting professors will be quick to remind you is just fancy dirt suspended in fats - equates to shit, or cake, or flesh. Light is sprayed like urine. Children bear the face of men, bear the brunt of Madani. Which seem, unsafe for art, being this literal. It is becoming more and more important to be dumb in art.

*So of course they became movies, they basically already were.

See too: Quintessa Matranga at Freddy, Read all posts tagged Tala Madani