Thursday, December 31, 2020

Past: Caleb Considine

"Have you touched a movie screen, they're like this. Bumpy, silver, with an internality we project, a subject inside, however privy we are not to it. What do you see is what you project. It's a new type of formalism where content is created then made an aside, rejected, cancelled by the imbroglio of meaning. A representation that is tampered, we stare at."

"The puzzles of today's painting in which their individuated flat symbols present a real mystery of a subject. Looking like de Chirico designed a board game. Soviet Realism for the icon age, new devotional painting. Colonel Rublev in the museum with a candlestick."

"... artisanal Old-timey rendering, wrapping its cold surface in warm wool."

Read full: Matte RepresentationCaleb Considine at Daniel BuchholzCaleb Considine at Massimo de Carlo

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Christine Sun Kim at François Ghebaly


CSK's work had felt less inclined to a gallery than to textbooks, drawings to be handed out at school instead of warehoused in art's jewelry box. They lacked the frivolity of most art by virtue of seeming necessary. They made their subjectivity an object - almost perfect for transmission, memes. Now they slowly lean heavier toward their more elusive and open-to-interpretation means. That plain speaking remains, and all manners of potential misinterpretation surely the point. But there was something so lighting rod about something no one misunderstood, the perfect language for it.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Cécile B. Evans at La Salle de Bains


The storyboard/ideaboard has something so thoroughly [apt] to today. Unlike painting which finds its self-mysterizing its value (value in the interminably opaque, distantnced, surreal) the storyboard wears interpretation on its sleeve - it does not attempt to distance/detourn the information it contains - the storyboard collects referents, collects its valency. It's virtual, impressionable, loose. Choose your own adventure, hyperlink. It's more like the internet than a lot of the internet. 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Daniel Knorr at Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder


Specimens of the world, color, art. "...resemble the little pieces of the Berlin Wall often sold as souvenirs." Torn from the it, placed on walls. Vivisecting our still respiring world - slicing it apart to begin the coroner's report. Art as a form of playing doctor, pretend this is real make believe, the fantasy of anything but a big dead beautiful rock.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

“Breathing Through Skin” at Antenna Space


Group shows always look like you blew up a mall because so much art treats culture as a system of artifacts to be interrogated by its own white light certification process, a factory for meaning production. Temples of.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Raphael Hefti at Kunsthalle Basel

There are risks. In the process of his still young career, the artist has subjected himself to extreme heights and endured punishing heat, he once accidentally blew up his car (and as a result was under investigation for years by an anti-terrorism unit), and his hair temporarily fell out due to the substances he was using to produce his early photograms. For a solo show in 2013, he piled more than 25 tons of sand in his then-gallerist’s tiny London space and set in motion a chain reaction that sent an unstoppable flow of 1,600° Celsius molten steel down sand channels in an act that was partly sculptural and partly performative. No one was hurt and the gallery floors held up, but that these processes remained benign could not have been predicted with certainty. To make his art, and importantly also, to show his art, Hefti probes the limits of the possible, for himself as much as for the institutions who exhibit his projects. (This one being no exception: The weight of some of his works challenges the structural limitations of the historic Kunsthalle Basel building, the electricity coursing through other pieces court a high voltage risk.) 

This would make a great character in a book. Post-minimalism, but bigger. Turned to 11. Those Serras that killed people, awesome. Dealers out of business. The sum of all lines snorted. Oh yeah that's the stuff. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

SoiL Thornton at Essex Street


Thornton seemed to have the insight that there are more interesting things than "painting," and that these things are (or can be assimilated with) painting, that painting is not the historical given. There is no "natural" painting but merely an inherited set of tropes that no one said you even have to play by. Rules to a game you didn't even realize existed. Kin say Richard Aldrich where almonds or pennies might be an equal painting axiom as Greenbergian "flatness".  Inflate a mattress, call it painting, it's not revolutionary except for the fact that no one else is on the same gameboard. 

A "befuddlement of the terms and conditions of paintings... obtuse, tangential starts digressing from those painting histories generally acceptable as beginnings. If the paintings seem facetious or frivolous it is because [x] doesn't necessarily [deem sacrosanct] the histories that are painting cannon..." Need not reinscribe them to reflect in them.

See too: Richard Aldrich at Gladstone GalleryDarren Bader at Andrew Kreps

Monday, December 21, 2020

Fiona Connor at Fine Arts, Sydney



... a condo's message board holds its neighborhood. There is lives, jobs, wants, wishes, desires attached to a board, fossils of a building accumulating the tacks of people's frontiers, the edges of their presence in the world, leaving notes to the chance of being happened upon, message in a bottle...
Now made a ghost, a negation of. Become a movie screen for all your projections. A tray to hold loss.
".. the forced lapse in reasoning, an artificial unknowing. Like holding your breath to find a profound experience. Conceptual art's interest in semantic rupture has metastasized into a set of materials, tools, into a genre itself. The forms of which are literal enough at this point to be made into a machine. ... We are so adept at pareidolia insight that any object stripped of context we endlessly backfill for. When it doesn't work, the loss affects profundity, that great gulf of something uninterpretable, getting smacked in the back of the head someone saying, 'look, a 6 foot hole.'"

See too: Fiona Connor at Modern ArtFiona Connor at Fine Arts, Sydney

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Oscar Murillo at David Zwirner


like Water Lilies, spilled in crude oil. Painting history, a denim we distress. "The hardship that is reclaimed like wood for collectors."

While the ultra-wealthy trade the scatalogic nappies of adult-child-brutes whose own naive styles self-declare their idiocy as avant and thus valuable as coins amongst collectors, Purvis Young's would seem more "authentic," ... patinated with all the struggle to be taken seriously most of his career, and all the worrisome that we wait for the outsider to prove value through wear beat into their objects, while sterling dudes are acclaimed in architecture magazines for the sheer size of their ruby studios; the point not to make fun of them but that for one group the valor is in silver for but another it's in hardship now reclaimed by collectors of such.

A distress we can apply like paint, manufacture reclamation. 

See too: Purvis Young at James FuentesDerek Fordjour at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Past: Genieve Figgis at Almine Rech 

"'blarney' ... referring to the loquaciousness of the paint, its liquidity like lubricant tongue, drunk and slurring. ... a pure painterly smooth talking. Forcing upon the viewer too much of they had believed they wanted, paint. You ever eaten melted ice cream? It's whatever is beyond indulgent, saccharine."

Full: Genieve Figgis at Almine Rech 

Anna Ostoya at Bortolami


"Every painting today is a process painting." Painting becomes "generating-any-excuse-to-get-the-paint-on-canvas." You put the referent in the shredder to make a puzzle appear. Which looks like a painting. Gives the PR something to talk about. 

See too: Anna Ostoya at Silberkuppe

Past: Anna Ostoya at Silberkuppe

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

click to read full: Anna Ostoya at Silberkuppe

Bony Ramirez at Thierry Goldberg


that they don't always treat the body as cartoon, that the flesh is blooded - even hints at its erotic capabilities - so that when the human is bent for painterly composition it is the The Thing like horror. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Heji Shin at Reena Spaulings


There is too much metaphor, too much content to Shin's subjects: birth, cocks, Kanye, the X-rays of objects we don't need. And casts their lure in photographic concrete, explicit, as incredibly stupid-if-beautiful facades. Against all the assumptions of art's effusive aboutness, or meaning, (or whatever critical magic we unconsciously appreciate) Shin's turn the subject off, loaded with a content that's there but not it: entering into its game of unpacking "cocks" is the bright red gap, the herring to a photo depicting it. It's a dare, like shark-cocks, a socially constructed mirage. But you are not a detective, this is not a Clue board. This is the sort of Wolfsonian dissonance, an affective-if-meaningless thing, a vacuum we can't allow. An X-ray is no help to thought, a picture maps no meaning. Cocks are pretty. Kanye is a uniquely Baroque wall, not a window. The writer who attempts shall be eaten by dragons.

See too: Heji Shin at MEGA FoundationJordan Wolfson at Sadie Coles HQ, Jana Euler at Galerie Neu

Past: Heji Shin

"Explicitness is hard to deal with. particularly in the subjective.... almost daring attempts at conversations of the aesthetic over what is our most physically objective moment of personhood. What language do we have to deal with this. The glaring red gap in."

Read full: Heji Shin at MEGA Foundation

Tuesday, December 15, 2020


CAWD Awarded the Prize

Artist Contemporary Art Writing Daily has been awarded the Prize, now in its year. People thought CAWD wouldn't be awarded the Prize, but CAWD was awarded the prize. In recognition of its outstanding multidisciplinary practice, CAWD will receive $10,000. 

Three artists were named to 2020 short list.

Visit for more information.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Caroline Mesquita at Centre d’art Contemporain Passerelle & PIVÔ


The carapace, hard upper, shingles, a shell, a roof, an exoskeleton, a home. Suggesting an interiority. A beneath, the inside, indoors, the soft pink innards you imagine. An igloo is crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. This would be the recurring theme. A suggestion of what's inside.

See too: Caroline Mesquita at T293Caroline Mesquita at Kunsthalle Lissabon

Friday, December 11, 2020

Lucia Love at JDJ


Do we have a name for this style yet? The acrylic surreal. Collage, post-internet. Disney childhoods, chopped and screwed.  The Photoshop and projector painters. Set the blender to mince, insert magazine. Tarot Cards and a Canvas. The .psd symbolists. Picasso in the internet. Magrittean tech. Turbo Ernst. 

See too: Jamian Juliano-VillaniEmily Mae Smith, Sascha Braunig“Puddle, pothole, portal” at Sculpture Center,

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Nina Manobra at Jir Sandel


A lullaby maneuver "...boredom, and layers, layers, layers. Layers of Boredom, Layers of Time..." Framing a show in boredom almost feels like relief, honest - and thankfully not intellectualized.  Boredom is stupid, dumb, not smart, and here someone crawls around on the carpet filming their gnatty flight over its monochrome. The monotone, those fleeting glimpses of total malaise where no one is writing a press release to attempt understanding.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Sean Townley at Kristina Kite


In the trend for art as sci-fi set pieces, Townley's seem distinct in presenting the historical institution as the stage - rather than whatever Hollywood SFX presented as art - but the museum rendered back at itself. The space of relic, display, and preservation for a subtle estrangement or mockery. Like a dark and more powerful Indiana Jones. All the questions of which past is worth fumigating, which is worth suffocating? The two get confused. Isn't history itself science fiction at this point? Bad news is an understatement, comedy. 

See too: Josh Kline at Modern ArtAdrián Villar Rojas at MOCA GeffenCooper Jacoby at Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-BadenMax Hooper Schneider at Jenny’sMax Hooper Schneider at High ArtTimur Si-qin at von ammon coTimur Si-Qin at Carl KostyálKorakrit Arunanondchai at Clearing

Monday, December 7, 2020

Carlos Reyes at Waldo


aboringdystopia or "the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey." A time machine built in Self-Storage by incompetent tech bros in Dallas. That vaguely sci-fi style of There's something that draws us to tech-fantasy in the ruins, the outskirts and desolation and the way capitalism inhabits it. A more banal technology to fortress orbs, hold your belongings. The fringe, and all the possibilities of it. Tiny kingdoms for rent behind metal grating. Art here becomes the means to flaunt it, stage it, in all its weird already-the-apocalypse glory. Worth it for the photos alone, a fashion shoot for the asphalt plains.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Rochelle Feinstein at Nina Johnson


Painting can often feel less like painting and more like generating-any-excuse-to-get-the-paint-on-canvas. (Generally in big bright swathes.) Style excuses painting; it is the "logic" that makes this process seem rational, makes it "make sense" why there is a rainbow on the wall, some higher value to its spill.  (Somewhere along the way painting and art became valued for "what it says/means" rather than what it was, to confusion of everyone.) All paintings today are "process paintings" because the artist is the harbinger of "meaning" making their studio the factory of this imbuing meaning production. 

Feinstein might seem to making a joke of such, the theft of Conrad Marca-Relli or Sam Gilliam, Frankenthaler et al. would lend some critical air as parody perfume. But then.. they're just paintings stolen too. Now in Tide colors.

See too:Rochelle Feinstein at Francesca Pia

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Group Show at Altman Siegel (Wade Guyton)


Because history is more interesting than painting. Because culture more surreal than surrealism. Because the unconscious of society already printed for you. Now it's a plaque-as-painting for a museum to own. To allow them to put the didactic next to. In a museum you need a painting to mark it. That's just how museums, dumbly, work. 

Friday, December 4, 2020

Contemporary Art Writing Quarterly

In case you’d like to spend a while absorbed in anything other than listless documentation of art, you might like to visit Contemporary Art Writing Quarterly, where we publish deeper, uh, "expanses" on art. Pick your essay below:

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Daisuke Fukunaga at Tomio Koyama & Jasmine Gregory at Karma International

(Daisuke Fukunaga at Tomio KoyamaJasmine Gregory at Karma International)

It's a particular type of figuration we're experiencing. The body is subservient to style. Becomes decor. Sometimes this cruelty is fun, theme. Sometimes the body is just decor, a pipe for service. 

See too: Koak at Altman Siegel

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Catalina Ouyang at Lyles & King

Like Scifi, charred and melted. Like Matthew Barney's Silent Hill. Like a phantasm gone bad. Spoiled fantasy. A darker more evil drawing. An oil painting of your mother dead for her 60th birthday. 60 candles burning.  Blood letting to amuse guests. Asking god to hit you. Not asking about certain stains on your boyfriend's sheets. Oh this clown suit? No. A specific detail no one asked for. A dog no one remembers missing. A shelf full of books documenting a very specific historical massacre. Christmas. Wounds before penicillin. Burial grounds for the French. You open the door to find a wiggling mass. Wetness spreading. Lawnskeeper's sheds. European forests. Men in colonial uniforms. Puritans. Deformed by primitive science. The dark unbridled night. Children in wet coats. Forced to carry their young. Trees that have done unspeakable things. The town's records placed into a coal fire. Vast quantities of underground earth moved. Children lost to mines. Civil war bone saws. Early submarines. Comfort homes. History's bruise. Folktales become truth. Deer with a misaligned face. Horns of plenty.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Whitney Claflin at Bodega


tangential painting circling but never quite anchoring, stylistically. The goopy dripstractions are the best we could call a Claflin style/theme, but everything else fighting to rebut this signatory. This is the tangential theme, non-linear moves, a sort of Richard Aldrich befuddlement of the terms of painting, a genre which is like alt-rock, an alt to painting that doesn't say no to dad so much as use lipstick to differentiate itself as alternative. 

See too: Richard Aldrich

David Shrigley at BQ


The merch table. Monet on a placement is sadness. But Shrigley on a placemat is acceptable, it was already kitsch. The irony which justifies, lubricates, the trinkets: "ha ha I'm not buying this with seriousness." Somehow it makes buying garbage feel like relief from responsibility for it. 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Jean-Luc Moulène at Chantal Crousel


Moulène riding fine line of decorative tripe and experiments unnerving enough to shrug easy swallow - a straddling that tensions each. Moulène always threatening to fall into the high powered kitsch of Urs Fischer or Ugo Rondinone but never actually doing it. The automotive sex of the purple shiny thing is made explicit by the inflated concrete tits, its latent sex unhidden.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Nancy Lupo at Sydney


Stuf becomes subject. Curdles a skin, a flake to slough. Contaminates, spreads. "Disposable." "Flushable." Problems in city pipes, amassing with congealed human grease to create clogs from hell. "Behold The Fatberg: London's 130-Ton, 'Rock-Solid' Sewer Blockage" A world unable to contain our disposability. Reamasses elsewhere, waiting in the night, leaking nightmare. Find toothpicks in veins. Lupo's associative juicing. The process of paper making and the accumulation of sewer blockage aren't that different. A more human pulp. A calendar of waste.

See too: Nancy Lupo at Kristina KiteNancy Lupo at Swiss InstituteNancy Lupo at 1857Nancy Lupo at Antenna Space

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Fredrik Værslev at Gio Marconi

"The electrified corpse of symbolism." Made to jitter again. Not just flags, stained flags the audience gasps, amazed at the corpse twitching. The symbols already existed, the idea already existed in Johns, but these paintings pull the corpse out for display again. A dead thing. Stare into the abyss, the abyss give back to the theater of your skull: this is called Prisoner's Cinema, a lack of stimulation causes the perception of phantasms. We write 10,00 word essays expounding the ghosts. They're symbols. They point. That's what they do. You perceive a content, like a corpse. But that's not grandma laying there.

"... smoothed and well worn into comfort: the softness of acid-washed history, whose untreated denim is stiff, abrasive, and has edges that Værslev happily washes away, with the already pre-distressed historical material."

"There is no trap set, no one is going to “read into” these, only conceptual fracture of others moves loaded onto a canvas to re-package it as virtual corporate franchising... everything stolen and printed. A race to the bottom in derivative deflection en abyme. Not so much preferring not to, mass producing it."

Read full: Fredrik Værslev at Bergen Kunsthall, Fredrik Vaerslev at Centre d’Art Contemporain Passerelle

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Tau Lewis at Cooper Cole


Irrupt your desire into space. "meant to resemble a light-filled womb. ... sculptural textiles reflect on non-gendered motherhood and gardens as sources of knowledge and growth. ...tells a story of joy, freedom, and triumphant love." Scraps rearranged to manifest new reality. That we are imagining. We used to think the gallery provided critique, but we'll take fantasy, a different world.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Marte Eknæs at A MAIOR


Safety products not only abating hazard but highlight its possibility. A potentialized air of drama that we'd love to accumulate on art's stage: at any moment calamity, at any moment circumstance. There is said to be "a situation." Sort of like an "experience." Even this weak force in the real Painting wishes it could hold such potential. Some previously invisible thing be felt.  The "layers of infrastructure that determine experience."

see too: Marte Eknæs, Sean Raspet at Room East

 Past: Marte Eknæs, Sean Raspet at Room East

"Safety products not only abating hazard but highlight its possibility. A potentialized air of drama that we'd love to accumulate on art's stage: at any moment calamity, at any moment circumstance. There is said to be "a situation." Sort of like an "experience." Even this weak force in the real Painting wishes it could hold such potential. Some previously invisible thing be felt.  The "layers of infrastructure that determine experience."

"And Fight Club turned the 'Calculation of Negligence' into nihilistic mantra for millions of angst ridden boys, finding solace for their jade in a new schizo-sado-masculinity, solace in a brutality ending in terrorist fantasies of high-rises burning. It felt like relief. The main character's lavish condo exploding from a gas leak was ostensibly the best thing that ever happened to him. The non-accident we later learn is a symptom stemming from the very repressive bourgeois lifestyle it destroys. That the terrorist act was itself an expression of late-capitalist detachment, the same thing that Baudrillard would later claim in his "The Spirit of Terrorism" that capitalism expressed a sort of auto-terrorism, boredom itself bringing the towers down. The Pop success of both at least clarifies the latent cultural desire we have for the fantasy of watching the world burn so long as they are sublimated (make us able to believe we would never actually desire to see them enacted) through the filters of acceptable and neutering forms, pop-film or philosophy, and here art."

Read full: Marte Eknæs, Sean Raspet at Room East

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Antoine Catala at 47 Canal

A dance to do nothing, an alphabet respirates. A life support to language, get it, and we get our aspiration: "the politics of breathing" or "confronts the reality ... struggling on life support."  Made to jitter, on life support, the electrified corpse of symbolism. A gesticulation to command the attention, get the breath it demands. 

And we think to ourselves, at least it's not another neon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Megan Marrin at Queer Thoughts


Showers as prisons, cages. Dark historical undertones. Even if these are "Edwardian" "wellness" and "welcoming"(wut) there's something about "mechanistic" and "shower" that will always dredge some historical subconscious. These are the afterimages of such. (Rid of flowers, we are the ghosts asked to inhabit.) If Foucault were alive we'd already know the spa is a prison. But he's dead and these linger with some notion of. I keep thinking of that Carolyn Lazard quote, the "uncompensated labor necessary to reproduce oneself day after day." To keep oneself "clean." To keep oneself viable. And painting to touch such nerves.


"... an obvious precursor to interest in cultural artifactification and art's white light used as anthropological study ... The world is alive and humming with the energies that conceived an object as well the current emptiness inferring the ghosts that will inhabit it...  A door handle infers a maker and user, and art is the Fried-ian stage that plays it. 

Read Full: Lewis Stein at Essex Street

Monday, November 16, 2020

Wanda Koop at Night Gallery


like Jawelnsky's heads, which whose anatomy is just the excuse to hang paint. Gives it a reason, the face arranges the paint, like furniture. 

See too: Heather Guertin at Brennan & Griffin 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Timur Si-qin at von ammon co

An ad campaign for the earth? There's a pitch deck (or "white paper"), a .faith website, and an essay proving this isn't ironic. Arguing capitalism and corporations as inherent historical extension of western judeo-christianity with all its implicit bad values. Which then using those corporate strategies to promote a new religion, which is itself, which is an artwork, for your display. It's all very en abyme. Ostensibly this is using the machine to kill the machine. Or at least a publicity project for a new religion to destroy the machine. A publicity campaign to end publicity campaigns. I might be confused with what floor of irony we are intended to exit on, but these techno objects are firmly pro-environment. The glowing landscapes are to make you appreciate the earth, or hate its rendering, I'm not sure, but they look like techno fantasy. 

Friday, November 13, 2020

Dozie Kanu at Project Native Informant

"Is there a distinction between furniture and works of art? Where do you fall on the spectrum?"
"Sometimes I make sculptures, but for the most part right now I’m making functional works. It’s a little bit less rigorous. Sometimes I feel pressured to load work with meaning—or, when the work doesn’t have a real function, you’re sort of trying to create a perceived function. As if it serves a purpose. Worth having an existence. That can be nerve-racking sometimes. I think it should happen very naturally, very organically. With furniture, the function is its purpose, so it’s still art in that way. You can still give it that same respect, but you can justify its existence immediately because you can use it, you know?" (interview in ssense
"But Kanu muddles the usual divisions, highlighting the way black vernacular making—slab culture, African textiles—is excluded from rigid notions of what art is and by whom it is made." (Review by Tiana Reid in AiA)

Kanu is right about the functional object. And one of the joys of a vernacular functionalism is the endlessly alternative, the elsewise arrival at a similar solution. Think Birney Imes documenting the solutions of an impoverished south. Kanu's project might be a similar mining of alternatives to an already existing solution, selling the artworld what it wants. 

See too: Jessi Reaves at Bridget DonahueMelvin Edwards at Daniel BuchholzMark Grotjhan at KarmaRobert Grosvenor at Karma

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Yu Nishimura at Crèvecoeur and KAYOKOYUKI and Komagome SOKO

(CrèvecoeurKAYOKOYUKI and Komagome SOKO)

either avoiding or lack a language for the most obvious elements of painting. Or pretend the obvious isn't. Speak to some ulterior, interior, some grand "meaning" just out of sight. Matisse painted incredibly stupid paintings of goldfish, even more of women, but we don't say that; we say, "Goldfish were introduced to Europe from East Asia in the 17th century." A complete non sequitur to painting. We pretend painting is too serious, handled with care. But it is the childlike wonky that is their enjoyment, the complete derangement of "cat" that may be their only fun. Look how poorly I can paint it and still might make you feel it.  But, "poor" is a subjective term masquerading as an objective one, an assessment tool of some biased hoodwink. We don't say that anymore. Which is why this cat looks like a pickle.

See too: Trevor Shimizu

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

 Past: L (the artist formerly known as Lazaros?)

"art's a witchcraft, disproved by the sciences, elucidated by sociology and psychology, in which a practice's material insistence affects a viewer magically: think tarot, images drawn and illuminated to bounce around in your head to alight some new substance inside, like any painting. The further you believe in the drawing the more deeply it affects. A potion for wealth eventually brings it through stubborn physical existence on your kitchen counter to remind you that's what you value, seek. Any object's aboutness, its meaning, it tautologically enacts like a string tied around your finger: the string doesn't necessarily intrinsically symbolize "pick up eggs;" its meaning is conjured by the reminded who tied it. Objects are imbued with meaning, even snakes humans are not primed to fear but primed to develop some emotional response to, blank slates all. Like art the trick is getting anyone to believe it enough to keep it in their home, tie it to their being."

Link: “Hecate” at Various Small Fires

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Hadi Fallahpisheh at Efremidis

(Andrew Kreps, Efremidis)

There was nothing really "new" in Wade Guyton's rocket launch career. The "new" was a false-promise of a new technology for realizing old dreams, a printer for our unconscious. New tech, means, provides a look of promise, of advancement. And Fallahpisheh's more like Tala Madani's, better for its ancient and dumb themes in drawing dark projection screens. This is what drawing is. Old.

See too: Tala Madani at 303 GalleryWade Guyton at Academie Conti & Le ConsortiumTala Madani at David Kordansky

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Past: Ken Kagami

"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..."

"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. "

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Jennifer J. Lee at Château Shatto


Image is just a lure, and the fissures are the fence that keep resolution at bay. "the corrupted transmission of information" "the painting towards a vibrational abstraction." This is the fissure that allows the breath of interpretation, failling to fully complete its semantic transmission, and instead surface, texture, camouflage, phantasmagoria, mute.

 Past: Matte Representation (Jennifer J. Lee)

"Paint like suede. Leather, rubbed, treated. The point is the [soft opaque] surface, a shallow pool ... A plane to project on. Have you touched a movie screen, they're like this, bumpy and silver... A surface that warbles in little blots scumbled. ... a new type of formalism where content is created then made an aside, rejected, cancelled by the imbroglio of meaning."

"Call the exhibition Clue. The puzzles of today's painting in which their individuated flat symbols present a real mystery of a subject. Looking like de Chirico designed a board game. Soviet Realism for the icon age, new devotional painting. Colonel Rublev in the museum with a candlestick."

Read: Matte Representation (Jennifer J. Lee)

Monday, November 2, 2020


The romance of battle against architecture, as some have written it. In which the overt drama of rooms is rivaled by dumpy objects attended to. Kaier is seductive. The gesture of the artist's deliberation, hand, heightened to anxiety, makes unresponsive objects gain weight. 

"objects gain authority through compositional attention, (think Fried's theater and minimalism's staging), remnants totemized by a self-aware anticipation of the viewer, and arranged for them - is probably the best argument against speculatory theories. The arrangements anticipate the viewer, appear as though inhabited, sentient by the specificity of a logic which cannot be seen but inferred, winking, and attributed to the Wizard of Oz, an intelligent design from some immanent spectre, but really just a smokeless mirror and us believing again in ghosts.

Read full: Ian Kiaer at LuluIan Kiaer at the Neubauer Collegium

REDCAT at Contemporary Art Daily


Like fish bumping into glass, attempt to seek the limits of our experience, our aquarium of fantasy.

"...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 replacing yesteryear gilt. ... the symbolic wealth of hundreds of dollars per square foot of galleries, or museums. Gold leaf is redundant to white walls..."

"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. ... 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."

"art itself is the realm that allows for this, our fantasy mmorpg; and it is the gallery that is the true virtual space, both everywhere and nowhere, excess in its ascetics. The gallery provides the fantasy of fantasy, that this is all somehow new, or even progress, that we're actually inventing something, simply because it exists."

"the white cube and its Matrix-like virtual space will perhaps become redundant to this physical de-locale, 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."

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Cindy Sherman at Metro Pictures


"Renowned for her depictions of female stereotypes" says the PR.

"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 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."

Critical etceteras amounting to mostly, "haha women are constructed."

Art needs to contend with the fact that - if its cultural critique was successful - it would outmode itself to that culture, make itself irrelevant. So what is 40 years of Sherman's critique? That not only is Sherman still successfully mocking the mores of "woman" but also the  re-regurgitations of Sherman-esque in younger careers. That, maybe, there is no critique at all, maybe culture just enjoys the befuddlment of women.

See too: Amalia Ulman at The Gallery at El Centro,

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Past: Danh Vo

"allows legend to become perfume, an adornment mystifying its objects. Like an unironic Jason Rhoades, exhibitions become spaces for the process of mythification. Whereas for Rhoades it was a comic process of figurative trash becoming hokey possibility for art, for Vo the pre-christened becomes involved in the permutations of further embedding it in objects. ... The aura of art, of objects, is somehow smeltable, is made able to be repoured into new objects.... Vo is a factory for this witchcraft, for the production of belief in these ghosts. ... that somehow (through conceptual art) we've equated the aura of art with the mythologizing of objects with a narrative, a press release. Replaced something's raison d'être with any reason for being whatsoever."

Read full: Venice 2019, Danh Vo, & at kurimanzutto

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Pieter Slagboom at Bridget Donahue


Like, whereas outlines illustrate, designates (instructs), the contour line caresses, warms its figure with all its touch, not so much states its figure as rubs it. Probably why these look closer to surrealist frottage than drawing: the whole thing must be touched to make it appear. This is a metaphor. Humans aren't so much plumbing and cartoons as little haptic nubs that touch and feel and bone. "...your fingers developed small wounds from the pressure exerted on the pencil." "PS: I was disappointed because I could not feel the pencil anymore. The tenderness disappeared. [...]when I press down every day for a whole week.  Between the skin and the bone, finger padding begins to vanish, and the pencil makes contact with the bone, which is very very painful." You do not think the subject, but physical touch to manifest it. We get sick, a pandemic exists, and proximity feels like physical air, no meniscus, no barrier at all, everyone sharing each others heat. Spirituality seems to emerge as an any-alternative-to-this, escapes the restrictive cookie outline of "the normal" cartoon. And which, see here figuration too jettison the general cartoon delineation, drawing's outline becomes instead its Red Studio absentia, line its ghost.

See too: Miriam Cahn at Meyer Riegger

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

 Past: Victor Man at The Central Pavilion

"..brooding tinctures in the hieroglyphs of a new puzzle form of painting, the explicit clarity of subjects, revealed flatly, become illustrations of a mysterioized subject withheld. The more overt the “subject,” the harder we fall into its promise of illustrating something, meaning..."

Read full: Victor Man at The Central Pavilion

 Past: Gedi Sibony

"It had been exciting then, its barely-thereness, so slight, that "unfinished too soon" look we all at that point had craved, the provisional existence we felt stood in for life ... There was something so charming about its lack of artistry, the almost not art that it now just sorta looks like."

"The small pleasure of Sibony's found paintings is their modernist uncanny within vernacular abstraction. That those uncaring, underpaid to blot out corporate logos for truck's resale, might - through dumb luck or undiscovered brilliance - have painted something fine. ...  That brushstrokes without art intention always look best, and these just made to cover, to stop beer from selling itself, so painting could."

Read full: Gedi Sibony at Greene NaftaliVenice: Gedi Sibony at The Arsenale

Monday, October 26, 2020

Jacolby Satterwhite at Mitchell-Innes & Nash


The Matthew Barney libidinal excess launched it into the limitless - into the psychic space, the virtual as fantasy stage. A closer representation of fantasy in etherous technology. The virtual space is both new and the same - it the blank canvas or the chunk of marble - mere projection screens, space to manifest, desire. It is art itself that is the realm that allows for this, our fantasy mmorpg; and it is the gallery that is the true virtual space, both everywhere and nowhere, excess in its ascetics. The gallery provides the fantasy of fantasy, that this is all somehow new, or even progress, that we're actually inventing something, simply because it exists. But objects are not invention. Even in virtual fantasy. The pathos of Satterwhite is that it is old. 

Friday, October 23, 2020

K8 Hardy at Reena Spaulings


The seemingly obvious in art shouldn't itself be a criticism since, well, Greenbergian abstraction was itself pretty obvious confrontation with some psychoanalytically blank wall stained with all those painterly headbutts of a phallic order. "less surface, perhaps, than receptacle" the press release nails. Just like all those stiff socks for male expression.

Sure it's yet another inkblot test for endless interpretation, but at least it's got a frame to shape it. Like tea leaves, like expression's seminal drips, this at least owns the navel it gazes with.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Past: Henrik Olesen

"the filthy human Olesen has, for a while now, been stuffing in crevasses" "flakes like your dead skin collecting under beds with dirt as dust, the cells that Olesen keeps adhering like wet toilet paper to everything, and the hangnails sticking out from walls, an imitation game of filth, waste failing to crystallize packagability, use, the matter of bodies that meaninglessly accumulate, failing representation."

Read full:
Henrik Olesen at Schinkel Pavilion
Henrik Olesen at Cabinet
Henrik Olesen at Reena Spaulings
Gerry Bibby, Henrik Olesen at Sismógrafo

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Past: D’Ette Nogle at Bodega 

'manifesting pedagogy and social reproduction in object form was never going to be exactly 'fun,' and the soft-authority is deployed with a humor so dry as to almost be nonexistent... and even when the stand-up exists it is deprecated to near loss, fury, all but calling the whole thing, whole project, the teacher that Nogle is as 'fucking losers.'" 

"And Nogle's interest in this loveably unfun thing we call bureaucracy seems to be for its hairy, ensnaring and otherwise tangly qualities. Enjoyment seems less important than the slowly painting and then identifying one's hands, yours and hers, with a faint perfume of red, so that 'you're going to regret clapping in the end.'"

Read full: D’Ette Nogle at Bodega 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Emily Sundblad at Campoli Presti


Will these become that asterisk you see in history books: "Sundblad, a 00s gallerist known for launching the careers of [vaguely still alive artists] also exhibited her own paintings at [several galleries you faintly recall.]" Betty Parsons Gallery exists more as myth now, and her art floats down to today as rare and impossible fragments. The PR already attempts something like mythos: Sundblad as an "exile" painting "plein air on a marble balcony of the Hotel Negresco in Nice." But wait! A romance we are warned against: "the Negresco’s owner once told Bill Gates that purchasing the hotel would be well beyond his means. This moldiness has no price, she meant: a time zone inaccessible to a contemporary technocrat." But I guess these paintings can purchase it, or attempt to own some of it. Why else tell us the vintage? Romance like a wine purchased on vacation and sold to your friends. Now you can own a bit of that french villa, a piece of the world before it sinks, paintings made before the world became techno. Souvenirs of history, however artificial. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Sung Tieu at Emalin


Astrology like tarot cards finds alliance with art since the artwork has mutated to be less an object of beauty than a fount for interpretation. Art having gone from object to oracle. The point of art begins to be setting the spheres to rotate so they may occasionally align, a machine for semio-recombination we could call meaning. Artists become not merely the recombinators of signs, but the producers of machines to do this, to be turned to on, set to run. Endless interpretability becomes their function. This is art, possibly. 

Astrology: Ei Arakawa at Kunstverein Dusseldorf 
Tarot: Juliette Blightman, Dorothy Iannone at Arcadia MissaCaitlin Keogh at Bortolami

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Trenton Doyle Hancock at James Cohan

A lot of artists have taken a lot from Guston with less honesty than this. Call those thefts the affect of Guston, the style stuck to painting. Very rare that someone goes to the sources themselves, the storytelling devices Guston himself stole from, comics or de Chirico. But it's a more interesting painting when you aren't just stealing painting en abyme. Things lose definition in endless mirrors. There are a lot more interesting things than painting. Perhaps Guston's cartoon point. The point of a politics, a concrete thing. And the comics are great.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Carolyn Lazard at Essex Street


"Heat as a replacement for warmth." A band-aid to stand in for mother's compression. "a world we must continually attenuate." We design a "humanity" and it reappears in alien forms. You can't redesign warmth; you design its substitute. Technologies of the human. Of "care." The Journal of Technologies of Care. Because we don't, or can't, care. Aliens emerge. Colby Chamberlain channels Marta Russell: the Americans with Disabilities Act that G.H.W. Bush "signed into law to trim welfare rolls." Neoliberal care, freedom for the "uncompensated labor necessary to reproduce oneself day after day." Adorno channels Tocqueville:  "tyranny leaves the body free and sets to work directly on the soul. The ruler no longer says: ‘Either you think as I do or you die.’ He says: ‘You are free not to think as I do; your life, your property – all that you shall keep. But from this day on you will be a stranger among us.’" Care made equivalent to function. Efficacy equivalent to its efficiency.

So much art currently deploys and compostionalizes medical/insitutional aesthetics but rarely cares for its material conditions. And so what happens when Gober sinks are stripped of their touch and we are left with a stainless version- scientifically designed to shed the human. A world that won't purify on its own. We continually design a world that is hospitable in all ways but human.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Yong Xiang Li at Emanuel Layr


The returns of overt sentimentality chimes with our nostalgic times, its longing, wistfulness, or its hate filled "again." Building apparatus to suspend this ephemeral world: a wallpaper's pleasance like a tissue against fire.