Saturday, July 11, 2020

“Group Show” at Hussenot


Teenage and whether coy or sympathetic, not many want to prolong their teen proclivity, and here it is not only enshrined but endures, cast as art we don't grow out of but into. Comfort in not nostalgia but a return to adolescent states. What is true about our world is that the teenage years return as powerful forms of commodity.

see too: “Puddle, pothole, portal” at Sculpture Center

Friday, July 10, 2020

Kaspar Müller at Société


Because it stirs the pot, ripples the surface of mythos, of art, content. You cannot kill content if you tried because art is baggage, preloaded with a cultural et al. So make it look good on a wall, even toilet paper.

Read all posts tagged Kaspar Müller, Ripples in the Surface

Past: Kaspar Müller

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

See full: Kaspar Müller at Société, Kaspar Müller at Federico VavassoriKaspar Müller at Museum im Bellpark
Past: Mai-Thu Perret

"at what point is it an "archaeology of modernism" "about its vanished, unredeemed visions" and at what point is it recasting its forms in more precious materials, as designer souvenirs of that history? "

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

Read all posts tagged Mai-Thu Perret

K8 Hardy at Karma International


30 seconds of video, and images through glass, of a lifetime of outfits, enjoy your daily contemporary art.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Rosie Lee Tompkins at BAMPFA


That paint has become the signifier of High Art seems arbitrary, a historical fluke, difficult to decide whether comical and infuriating. At different times tulips and tapestries were more valuable - commissioned paintings of tulips were mere souvenirs to the tulips themselves, etc. The shifting values of culture come with the ideological pretense that those values are either now ideal (progressive) or eternal (traditional), that painting, like diamonds, are and have always been, forever - the grand narrative hung in most western institutions. Greenbergian discussions of Painting in hindsight are comically infinitesimal  - Pollock's great breakthrough of image and object seems groundbreaking only in the history of paint, outside this very tight parameters the distinction is null. "Painting" becomes the history of paint, a substance as any other without the valorization of High Culture. And paint is dumb with that.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Past: Charlotte Posenenske at Konrad Fischer

" 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."

Read full: Charlotte Posenenske at Konrad Fischer

Monday, July 6, 2020

Jongsuk Yoon at Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder


Turning Frankenthaler into the cotton candy it's become for collectors, what was latent become libidinal. Stirring the surface into a delightfully consumable substance.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Past: Mark Manders at Zeno X

"...This stasis, like a pause, blurs sculpture as its image, blur their bronze eternality with the fresh moment they inhabit. A moment replaced with its object. To be both an object and its ossification, the chair is still a chair even if it's a sculpture of it... It's a subtle thing treating the world as an image, masking the violence of our treatment of it as such."

Read full: Mark Manders at Zeno X

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Paul Lee at David Shelton


Composition is the stirred pot activating subterranean content. The dead drum highlights how far we've left the possibility of something, anything. Because nothing has become content.

see too: Paul Lee at MaccaronePaul Lee at Karma
Past: Paul Lee

"[PR:]'These tambourines will not be touched and will not make a sound—their potential for movement or rhythm is only possible through a pictorial plane.' ... like all handmade art eventually hung on walls, only ever now touched through gloves or sight, it is a sort of sad existence after all the grunting love of the painter stretching the canvas, rubbing it with oils, or whatever. Somebody cared once, paintings like ashtrays of that touch."

Read full: Paul Lee at MaccaronePaul Lee at Karma

Friday, July 3, 2020

Mark A. Rodriguez at Park View/Paul Soto


Too bad that "meme" came to mean the whatever-viral-image, rather than its original broader biological definition of any self-replicating social phenomenon. The specificization snipped a useful term for the reproduction/evolution of ideas/ideology, the way we pass along and create thought, deem it useful. Socrates' words living on in 2020 is a meme; Rupert Murdoch invented a memetic form of conservative dogma. The survivability of ideas. It's not propaganda but a much more supple thing, the ability to be not just striking images, but echoing on. To make ideology replicate, teach children thumbs up from thumbs down.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Anna Zacharoff at Neue Alte Brücke


"...Drawing ripples in surface to activate the beneath, tap the vast depths of painting's cultural wealth"

Like cutting a rose from a watermelon, everyone wants the sweet fruit but we facet a composition. This is a metaphor for painting.
The watermelon in the metaphor is that essence "painting" - that unconscious object, myth, we all have some benign feelings towards, painting. And [Marlene] Dumas provides illustration: got famous for theatricalizing its juice struggling against the container, composition, corral.
Because it seems what we are actually pushing around on the canvas is the cultural object of painting. The canvas, support, oils, were long ago replaced by this mythos, the actual material, its signifiers, significance.
Paint becomes simply the candied shell to painting's cultural myth. Doesn't matter how thin because it's merely the container/shape of our love for "painting." As thin as marginally abstracted t-shirts. Drawing ripples in surface to activate the beneath, tap the vast depths of painting's cultural wealth, this the watermelon.

A lot of painting functions by tensioning the relationship between painting and its cultural myth - think the Neanderthalism of Joe Bradley, Krebber, or conceptually negated Sturtevant, the printer of Guyton, the signature of Josh Smith, the bruising history of von Wulffen, necrotics of Richter, the fordist production lines of Koons, Craven, Murakami, Kaws. Etc. Neurotic affairs with "painting." But occasionally painting succeeds by making us forget the relation to its myth, succeeds as a painting without history, paints something else and Painting we get to forget about.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Josephine Pryde at Galerie Neu


Genre being the capsule that allows immediate swallowing: "They're about touch." What Isabelle Graw called "straightforwardly thematic." And so we understand them like a trojan horse, internalize with ease. Ostensibly later spring forths the latent soldiers, medicine. But it might be the gulping was the trick. Getting you to immediately get them. The cuteness of gerbils, the joke of consumption.
Past: Josephine Pryde at Arnolfini

"...People didn’t enjoy Lichtenstein they enjoyed comics, and within its soothing fantasy. Pryde uses Pop's function, the saccharine of instant recognition ... whose comfort allow defenses dropped and desire for disposable sweets, a populist bent to criticality ... a shutterstock imaging of normalized categories....  Pryde delivers within the pre-existent of Trojan genres..."
Read full: Josephine Pryde at Arnolfini

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Nazim Ünal Yilmaz at Exile


A lot of painting functions by tensioning the relationship between painting and its cultural myth  - think the Neanderthalism of Joe Bradley, Krebber, or conceptually negated Sturtevant, the printer of Guyton, the signature of Josh Smith, the bruising history of von Wulffen, necrotics of Richter, the fordist production lines of Koons, Craven, Murakami, Kaws. Etc. Neurotic affairs with "painting." But occasionally painting succeeds by making us forget the relation to its myth, succeeds as a painting without history, paints something else and Painting we get to forget about.

previously: (1)Julie Beaufils at Balice Hertling(2)Marlene Dumas at Zeno X(3)Svenja Deininger at Collezione Maramotti(4)Eliza Douglas at Air de Paris

Monday, June 29, 2020

Eliza Douglas at Air de Paris


Paint becomes simply the candied shell to painting's cultural myth. Doesn't matter how thin because it's merely the container/shape of our love for "painting." As thin as marginally abstracted t-shirts. Drawing ripples in surface to activate the beneath, tap the vast depths of painting's cultural wealth, this the watermelon.

Previously: (1)Julie Beaufils at Balice Hertling(2)Marlene Dumas at Zeno X, (3)Svenja Deininger at Collezione Maramotti
See too: Eliza Douglas at Overduin & Co.
Past: Eliza Douglas at Overduin & Co.

"...clever ideas for coating painting in a candy shell, creating frames that exist as excuses for painting. Like before's hands which cast spells for some "painterly moment." ... means to fill an exhibition."

Read full: Eliza Douglas at Overduin & Co.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Svenja Deininger at Collezione Maramotti


Because it seems what we are actually pushing around on the canvas is the cultural object of painting. The canvas, support, oils, were long ago replaced by this mythos, the actual material, its signifiers, significance.

See previous: Marlene Dumas at Zeno XJulie Beaufils at Balice Hertling

Friday, June 26, 2020

Marlene Dumas at Zeno X


The watermelon in the metaphor is that essence "painting" - that unconscious object, myth, we all have some benign feelings towards, painting. And Dumas provides illustration: got famous for theatricalizing its juice struggling against the container, composition, corral.

see yesterday: Julie Beaufils at Balice Hertling

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Julie Beaufils at Balice Hertling


Like cutting a rose from a watermelon, everyone wants the sweet fruit but we facet a composition. This is a metaphor for painting.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

John Miller at Schinkel Pavillon

"Veblen asserted that what so often passes for beauty is simply demonstrable wealth; our sense of an article’s superiority corresponds to its honorific wastefulness. Extravagance, the capacity to waste, signifies power. To the extent that waste implies a superabundance of wealth, and because power is measured in material acquisitions, the beauty of an article confirms the prepotency of its owner.
After late capital became a retardative force, the standard of beauty, according to Veblen, served to inhibit technical, social, and artistic progress by driving a wedge between the useful and the desirable: 'The principle in question is, in a certain sense, a negative rather than a positive law. It is a regulative rather than a creative principle'[...]
The hope of liberation in superior taste turned the dandy’s quest into a quixotic venture. In contrast, the post-Modern tropes of irony, quotation, and pastiche represent an attempt to reclaim beauty by negating its usual invidiousness. Yet this reclamation, like the dandy’s insolence, admits a painful gap between intentions and results, utopian longing and what ideology actually delivers. And so the promise of a better life lingers on in a highly mannered guise. Here the melancholic portents are unmistakable to anyone who cares to give them a closer look: it is the suppressed rage of those for whom beauty has been tainted forever. " - John Miller, Artforum

Past: John Miller

"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."

"flashy twinkling across televisual space frozen as the wallpaper of painting and hideous: television zazzle becomes the bad struggle to taxidermy it. The Price is Right ... a Vegas labyrinth watching guesses at the price of garbage, but Miller's focus on the chintz is as much an attack on painting as much as any politics of mass entertainment ... Because the television game is no different from the majority of dealers and collectors also guessing the eventual price or status of the painting before you...."

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Melanie Ebenhoch at Martin Janda


 no longer peering through neutral surfaces, a certain complicity in looking through. Ignoring, or looking past something, it isn't innocent.
Past: Melanie Ebenhoch at Galerie der Stadt Schwaz

"...Cast in cartoon stuf that feels like the rubber of current reality. The framing devices Ebenoch has us continually peering through, so you feel like you've entered, so you feel complicit, your eye looking."

Melanie Ebenhoch at Galerie der Stadt Schwaz

Monday, June 22, 2020

Simone Leigh at David Kordansky


"Not everything is available to everyone, not even to a privileged gatekeeper of culture such as myself. Such are the ongoing fantasies of the colonialist mindset. The museum, the Western institution I have dedicated my life to, with its familiar humanist offerings of knowledge and patrimony in the name of empathy and education, is one of the greatest holdouts of the colonialist enterprise. Its fantasies of possession and edification grow more and more wearisome as the years go by. Leigh’s work intimates the increasingly discomforting possibility that an overconfidence in the power of critique might itself be a vestige of privilege. I confess that more days than not I find myself wondering whether the whole damn project of collecting, displaying, and interpreting culture might just be unredeemable." -Helen Molesworth, Artforum

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Maria Wæhrens at Jir Sandel


Painting comes with a story, history attaches painters to moments and ideas, paint as reaction rather than paint, often rather rarely talking about painting at all. The relief of talking about history rather than art. Maybe someday this will change. Maybe someday we will have painting.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Allan McCollum at Thomas Schulte


Words becomes their blotted ink test: viewer create shape in them. For many, there is a lot to worry about; everything will not be okay. Saying otherwise is hard irony. You'll notice it's 90+% white people, a few police. Taking words and turning them to lip service. A dehumanizing project.

see too: Allan McCollum at Mary BooneAllan McCollum at Petzel
Past: Allan McCollum

"McCullom's brute force attack on "creativity," ironizing uniqueness with its interminable variation, like try and stand out in this crowd kid, pulling out the cornerstones of value with machine made uniqueness, the scary "algorithm," and handcrafted replaced with stand-ins, surrogates, and stage props. Making uniqueness bland. How cruel. Showing on the doll where the creativity hurt him. It all ends in death. Did you think your bones were unique. etc."

"...without rarity in their uniqueness, but a collector’s majority stake, hoarding wealth like diamonds, irradiating gold, that old Dr.No trick, a governed population, produces power. "

"A cold humanism, depressing individuality. The endgame summated in the center of far sides's black/white sea innumerate, an individual, a penguin, singing, “I gotta be me, Oh I just gotta be me.”

Read full: Allan McCollum at Mary Boone, Allan McCollum at Petzel
Past: Julia Scher

"The security camera, early exemplar of our proprioception lost to digital realms... your body could be distended in mirrors sent through ethers appearing before you, behind you, and Magritte's Not to be Reproduced no longer surreal but our reality, walking into department stores. On facebook you reach out to poke, instagram click to like, your body a ghost appearing in other's mirrors. You appear everywhere. Like deafferented monkeys in lab experiments we lose control of limbs at the researcher doing studies on our psyche attempting to maximize engagement, a word which now means clicks, their hands in our gloves. Animals living with open brains..."

Read full: 3 Shows, Julia Scher at DREI, Lin May Saeed at Studio Voltaire, Fernando Palma Rodriguez at House of Gaga

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Danielle Roney at Upfor


"Whispers are 3D printed sculptures formed by algorithmically interpreting vocal recordings of readings by and about migrants, intended to embody the physical intimacy of a whisper."
We took your pain and made it into an object! Took the story and made it abstract, silent, and finally beautiful. Abstraction is better when it's imbued with someone's soul, preferably yours.

See too: Dane Mitchell at Mossman

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Dominik Sittig at Nagel Draxler Kabinett


Perhaps both Miller and Sittig were about some radish cures, forcing the child to smoke the whole carton. A "too much" to taste. Sittig's had been so entrenched in their miasma (paintings that approached, but never quite landed on, hyperbolized mud) that no love for paint would save it, they were paintings dying in their own tar pits, unrescuable. But now we get gently rosed children, photographs yellowing. The turn came at least 2 years ago with a press release about Barthes own switch from semiotician to subjectives, his writing to reclaim his passed mother in the photographs of her, Camera Lucida. Which would seem to express a similar sentiment switch here. An attempt to pull and save something from, or in, mud. 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Past: Heimo Zobernig

"[The work's] banality incites questioning [as disinteresting objects must expel interest elsewhere], and exposes its stage to skepticism wrung [institutional critique]. The inanity of such an operation might seem at the limits of humane interest, but Zobernig's magisterial ability to continually wrest insipid rabbits from hats irrupts a comedy at the depths of that hat.

"The dizzying aspect of its practice: the ability to lack any particularness whatsoever, terrifying blankness as genericness as phantasmagoria, projecting ghosts of modernism on the backs of our brains."

Read full: Heimo Zobernig at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Heimo Zobernig at Simon Lee, Heimo Zobernig at Indipendenza, Heimo Zobernig at Petzel, Krupp, MUDAM
Past: Ann Veronica Janssens

"It isn't difficult to warp with human perception, our bodies create the world we perceive and many physiological rifts in its construction that create whole subgenres of "optical illusions" exploiting these glitches. But the simpler the construction of the exploit - the more minimal its resource to mine such faults - the more distrustful we become of our basic grip on reality, real trippy."

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Sean Landers at Le Consortium


A joke can only be told so many time. "A joke is spent and exhausted. So an artwork - with its requisite implicit promise of eternalness - can't really make a joke without implying that it too will one day be depleted. [Richard] Prince's real joke is that the paintings keep telling the same joke for years and years stupidly." Like a painting. And Landers finds a similar interest in defeat, once the comedy is depleted you have reckon with what remains. Which, what remains?

See too: Sean Landers at Rodolphe JanssenSean Landers at Friedrich Petzel
Past: Sean Landers

We identify with cuteness, with the interminable wet-eyed critters of Disney, Pokemon, whatever latest commodified and neotenic rodent. ... And Landers' plaid animals, sad clowns, and now a pinocchio "plankboy" are the means of a lesser sort of identification. Landers' characters are not focus-group perfected. And their revulsion is "an effect of anticlimax created by an unintentional lapse in mood from the sublime to the trivial or ridiculous." ... The definition of bathos. Which Landers prances sad clown around. Landers paintings "arousing pity, especially through vulnerability or sadness," pathetic.

Read full: Sean Landers at Rodolphe Janssen, Sean Landers at Friedrich Petzel

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Dane Mitchell at Mossman


Poeticization a problem. It is the latent remains of conceptual art put on a carousel to come around forever on whatever new plastic horse. Not that "knowing" is all it's cracked up to be, but poetics is 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. Signs, signifiers don't inherently mean. 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: John Baldessari at Sprüth Magers, On Kawara at the GuggenheimSarah Ortmeyer at Chicago Manual of StyleSimon Starling at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Kirsten Pieroth at Mathew, Sam Falls at 303 Gallery, Alan Ruiz at Bad Reputation, Trevor Paglen at Metro Pictures, Sean Raspet at Jessica Silverman, Jason Dodge at Franco Nero

Friday, June 12, 2020

Guan Xiao at Antenna Space


The stuf of the world congeals a character to mock us. Art of the last 5(?) years has shown itself capable of treating the inhuman as human, pressing the inanimatcy to skull and hypothesizing vitality, and so these imagined ghosts stand up like Frankenstein's monster and mock us. A yoga cushion now seeking your advice on its object orientated analysis doctor. We did this to ourselves. 40,000 years from lion-man to capitalist-waste-man.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Soshiro Matsubara at Croy Nielsen


Unlike Khnopff's Caresses there's no nuzzling here and there is something decidedly unerotic about all of Matsubara's. Nothing really sexy about disjointed mannequins which like the scratchy paint conjure all the rugburn the recumbent will endure. Like Lutz Bacher oversized sexual assault doll, or Charles Ray's endlessly genitaliad figures, there's something about mannequin sex that doesn't sit right. Like a kiss without wet, like paintings scratched at, there's something sorta dehumanized about it, more like fish kissing or gasping. Highlighting the strange butt that looks more like a shelf.
Past: Valérie Blass

"We aren't normally delivered the fantastical in such explicit forms. That tasteful hint of surreality mirroring our own world feeling deformed, malleable to invisible hands. Things feel pretty strange these days, so much so that fantasy surrealism almost feels quaint, safe. ... Spraying 5 million tons of acid into the sky as serious funded research, the world has become a cartoon where the actors wields huge mallets, and the world bends like goo to their violence."

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Marianne Berenhaut at Island


If the landfill is hell and the museum is hermetically sealed heaven, art is a practice of purgatorial attempts to suspend its items from the trash, place them onto the helmed cultural ships that navigate time, rather than fall to its bottom the whims and abject slaw of mud or whatever is at the bottom of the bin.

See too: B. Wurtz at Richard Telles & ICA LADylan Spaysky at Clifton BeneventoYuji Agematsu at Real Fine Arts,  Ser Serpas at LUMA Westbau

Monday, June 8, 2020

Mario Schifano at Gio Marconi


How many paintings can we peel from the skin of the monochrome and still call them distinct, still able to peel individuals off similarity, like one more rabbit out of the hat, one more clown out of the car. Still claim a new clown, monochrome. The white of Ryman was a constant to show what else was variable, and the monochrome is proof: there will always be something more, you cannot eliminate content despite trying, it will reappear bearing some distinction, some difference. If not merely any marker of its making*, then the projection screen of everything rolling around in the head of the viewer, the Pierre Menard of painting. Interpretation is interminable, invincible.

*These monochromes have a 60s materiality and a painter who "brought a rock’n’roll spirit to the art world .. He drove around Rome in a Rolls Royce and had countless girlfriends, the best-known of whom was the model-cum-actress, Anita Pallenberg, later the lover of both Brian Jones and Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones" making these party painted monochromes.

see too: Sarah Ortmeyer at Chicago Manual of Style, Kaspar Müller at Museum im Bellpark, Seven Reeds at Overduin

"The wider artworld came to know Abelow through his Art Blog which -coming to prominence against the sterile facade of CAD's hegemony - felt human, resistant, and no-qualms subjective key to a very specific NY scene, felt warm in reestablishing the local against the global, like grocery co-op charm to Walmart's efficiency. It felt NY again. And as interest increased for those looking for the freshest produce Abelow became, if a not a ringleader, then a purveyor of visibility, a figure of some small access in a scene, that everyone knew, all the while and for like ten years before making scruffy hamhanded paintings that purviewed the doubt of the painter, the doubt morphing over many years, the paintings changing over the course of Abelow's character development from unknown, from entendres of suicide ("HANG ME") to flat laughter ("HARHAR") and as the painter character grew to show himself, to paintings of a man running full speed with his erection before him, to today that same man cloaked in the facade of a powerful witch, and all lovely abstractions along the way, still running."

 Joshua Abelow at Freddy

Friday, June 5, 2020

Kiki Kogelnik at MOSTYN


Art doesn't quite buoy a mood, doesn't quite levity the situation. I suppose that's why we don't put cheery art at funerals - we wear black, play pipes. It would be absurd to do otherwise, to try "brightening the mood." Art isn't escapism, there's no suspension of disbelief, it just sits there in front of you. You see your face as some cartoon. You are left to sort it out. We pick up the pieces.

Thursday, June 4, 2020



Language adrift from meaning. There's always more meaning. Like crap to chewed gum, something will stick to it,  Our active pink lump that attracts and minds the dirt, clings to any interpretable speck of concrete information. And hold it for contemplation. Both advertising and poetry leverage our interpretable bits to their advantage, opening us like a can - I'm not sure if we are meant to enjoy these or feel once again dispirited by their abuse of our good nature - our tender top, berated.

See too: Hanne Lippard, Nora Turato at Metro PicturesNora Turato at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein
Past: Nora Turato

"A satisfying gesture: language, propelled with advertorial oomph, instead deadpans with its empty cymbal crash; understand the words but, devoid of context feel a little haunted, disembodied, ghosts of something far. ... The garbage of the 'infosphere.' ...politicians having clipped the sound bite down to two word phrases, the fun of creating your own haunting version, headlines like haikus, is fun. Cut the ends off a sentence and be left with a poem."

read full: Hanne Lippard, Nora Turato at Metro PicturesNora Turato at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Past: Brandon Ndife

"... Filth is only gross when we fear its spread, contamination. And we have become lovers of filth. ... It could be that rise of CAD and crystalline documentation - the even-white fluorescence provided the clinic - could hold filth at a distance, anti-sceptic photography for petri-dish transmission. Everything looks good in the white light of pornography, even that filth. Like we finally had the clean rooms to handle it, not just white boxes, but had invented technological gloves to package all of it..."

Read full: Brandon Ndife, Diane Severin Nguyen at Bureau

Hikari Ono at XYZ Collective

"a jejune experiment for proving entropy. Picture in your mind’s eye the sand box divided in half with black sand on one side and white sand on the other. We take a child and have him run hundreds of times clockwise in the box until the sand gets mixed and begins to turn grey; after that we have him run anti-clockwise, but the result will not be a restoration of the original division but a greater degree of greyness and an increase of entropy.
"Of course, if we filmed such an experiment we could prove the reversibility of eternity by showing the film backwards, but then sooner or later the film itself would crumble or get lost and enter the state of irreversibility. Somehow this suggests that the cinema offers an illusive or temporary escape from physical dissolution. The false immortality of the film gives the viewer an illusion of control over eternity—but “the superstars” are fading." -Robert Smithson, "A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey"
Smithson's angst, placing art within the grand scales of cosmic time. This was his hurt. Casting art as mere symbolic regaining control if not return sandboxes to "order." (Smithson obviously believed in confronting geologic time with erections against it, casting spells in landscape.) Besides the fact that Smithson sounds a little bit like a cop here, the grand scales of his cynicism surpasses thinking about comfort, likely because he himself had it, and was rewarded for his soft chair from which to think about things bigger than, because thinking "big" was important then. The disinterested and "grand" aesthetic.

See too: Lutz Bacher at 356 Mission, Lutz Bacher at Galerie Buchholz and Sarah Rapson at Essex Street

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Monday, June 1, 2020

Writing about art doesn't feel particularly compelling at the moment. Read the news, read something compelling. Art seems doomed to be particularly suggestive tarot cards. Clue board games. Building interfaces for interpretation that is abyssal, sinking.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Tom Król at Neuer Aachener Kunstverein


"Artists have such a strange relation to the face, to our lumpen forms. ... No matter what gratuitous things they do it, whatever fingers clawed through it, we recognize it. Perhaps reason to hate it, through the violence it remains, you can get a smile."

And the face is a surface display, a graphical user interface, like a particularly nuanced iPad, so why not peacock its plumage, blast it with painting.

see too: Chloe Seibert at MickeyThe violence against faces.Nathaniel Mary Quinn at Rhona Hoffman & Genesis Tramaine at Almine Rech

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Josh Smith at David Zwirner


Wow.. this press release is practically bulging with self-pleasure:
"First" "Infinite" "instantly" "absolutely everything" "A whole new world" "immediate" "now" "the spirit" These are the words you can buy with blue chips. The artist is pure experience, sensation. Plugged into the raw. So, it doesn't matter they look like bad post-impressionism, the point is that the artist is electric - is channelling. Dancing around saying the word Truth.
Past: Josh Smith
"Guyton, Walker, Price, a group for whom production was theme: recycling, automation, dispersion and Smith's prolificacy spamming himself into consciousness with grotesque versions to prove the mass, beating his name and himself in the head."

"now they sorta look just like any other painting made today. The wild importance of Fordist speed (and its in-distinction) creating busywork spam into cultural consensus..."

"the final internment of line between critical and sellout"

"Maybe what Smith actually provides is relief. Against paintings overdetermined ... Smith's is an interminable vacation to fields of ever stupid flowers. None of these painting individually matter. Functional. Require zero attention. Just exist like idiotic specimens of a genus Smith...."

Read full: All posts tagged Josh SmithJosh Smith at David ZwirnerJosh Smith at at Eva Presenhuber, Josh Smith at Bonner Kunstverein, Josh Smith at STANDARD (OSLO)

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Jacqueline de Jong at Rodolphe Janssen


Stylistic violence never registered strongly in painting. Like Picasso or de Kooning ripping and rearranging people, it's often mere composition. I've never found Guernica all that horrific. Abstraction's pulling reads less like the horror of war and more like the whims of painter. Ambiguous violence - of someone like Miriam Cahn - forces a viewer to complete the picture in their head, imagine their own violence.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Louise Sartor at Le Consortium


Images are worthless. Painting is made rare and thus valuable for its support, its anchor to reality. But the canvas was also intended to disappear behind the image. So that support starts to hyperbolize, exaggerate. Placing stakes to claim existence, location tethering, against images lost on networks. Materiality self-sites, claims an objecthood. Painters protecting their domain. "today’s painting, after all, has to contend with iPhone screens."

Past: Eric Wesley

"Wesley's ability to mock what contains him, a laughable institutional crit whose assault is the brilliant dumbening of art dialect. The Burrito is hot right now. You've got Murillo's 300k one, Flame's mockery of, Bader's continual replenishing it as category, and Wesley's endless one. The difference here is Wesley's insistence of the burrito not its signifier ... to actually work with the burrito, which morphs to Taco Bell here, to force that most base of architecture to reflect on the walls..."

Read full: Eric Wesley at Midway Contemporary ArtEric Wesley at Bortolami

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Past: Magnus Andersen 

"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. [...] 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."

"An exhibition titled "Stockholm Syndrome" ... 'a condition in which hostages develop a psychological alliance with their captors during captivity.'... 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 as always with hideous painting, 'half the fun is learning to love it.'"

Friday, May 22, 2020

Roman Signer at Martin Janda


What is with the Swiss? Jean Tinguely, Signer, Fischli&Weiss... the list goes on. Mechanics and a comedy denied, like claiming you didn't fart, that the sculptures aren't inane, ridiculous with a straight face. You see it later inflated in the steroided dumbness of Rondinone or Urs Fischer. It finds interest in the discovery that you can steroid stupidity. That people will enjoy it, stacking colored shit into the air.

See too: Urs Fischer at JTT

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Miranda Fengyuan Zhang at Halsey McKay


It'd be nice if art could find a way to bestow its halo without requiring the frame of painting, the shape of abstraction. The PR reminds that knitting is an old art. Tapestries were once the more expensive object, more labor embedded. Eventually labor became cheap, automated, and culturally shabby. So we invented the chic, the mythic art of genius, financialized its abstraction. Markets soared. Became the mold.

See too: Diedrick Brackens at Various Small FiresAnn Cathrin November Høibo at DREI

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Julia Haller at Meyer Kainer


The elusive hunt for more gestures, more brushes, textures, styles. Hijacking the doodles, graffiti, adolescent scratchpads, the painter explores. Different brushes signal something different. This tautology is not nearly a problem. They start to scratch at what we crave: not looking like art. Because art is mannered, stillborn, cliche. Looking like something else would require a thought, and not an interminable hall of mirrors.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Trevor Shimizu at Kunsthalle Lissabon


, which the inept can be lovable or painful, the bumbling either funny or eye-rolling, and Shimizu's an extended question of which.
Past: Trevor Shimizu

"satisfying like a sign painter's numbers, a dumbness relieving against the muddled intentions of more artistic means."
" long as it is painted, so long as it is painting, it is already done."

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Group Show at From the Desk of Lucy Bull


, a social gathering, alight with friends, you decorate yourself with those on your arm, all gathered around the thing that presents it, a gallery in your front room. Exploit what you have, brandish what got. Ornament to each other.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

“EARTH BODY” at Essex Flowers


It seems honest, no? a photograph as evidence to our return to Mendieta, our desire for figures of crust, our pilgrimage back into history for what is current. How much art today is looking for means to accumulate body. Here it is.

Ann Greene Kelly at Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles


Think of it as a product in a store, what would this be used for, who wants a drain in a bed, for what is there such a need? Imagining the need allows associative potentials release, minds to the gutter. Kelly's things seem to acquire a body they shouldn't, an inference that feels slightly like innuendo, always something else.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Steven Parrino at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein


Eventually attitude dissipates and there is a museum of very well attended to objects. Attempting to maintin the attitude of angst and destruction with white gloves and acid free cotton swabs and lighting like the heavens they've been beamed into. All the silvery veils. All punk eventually sells Cola-Cola, becomes nice, attempting to discern all the difference between this and Pollock.
Past: Ann Greene Kelly

"...a more crustacean form ... the gooey soft center threatens to exteriorize, spill its soft innards from something black, and objects tension a possibility of their biomorphing, like loosing ones bowels in the bed your body is said to "go lumpy," threatens structure, inside out, cream interiors, liquids draining in the bed."

Read full: Ann Greene Kelly at Michael BeneventoGroup Show at Michael Benevento

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Tanja Widmann at FELIX GAUDLITZ


The decontextualized image, packed in into a perspex box and sent back through the internet. Perspex to prevent it from becoming just an image again, so that it will always contain the frame, aura, of having once been real, not just any image. One with a halo and a tomb.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Don Suggs at L.A. Louver


The doodles of artists are often their most interesting, so why not find a way to make that automatism the concrete jewels themselves. Far more interpretable than diamonds.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Lothar Hempel at Mehdi Chouakri


Lothar is of the old school, when it was cool for the artistic torture of any signified and culture and its signs were mere vast plane for conquer, or wall trophy. And there's at least one thing on CAD that for which Hempel would today be lightly cancelled. Hempel like Goshka Macuga: the precursors to today's fritzed sculptural signage, of well a lot of art today that looks like this the exploded shed of culture, wasteland post Genzken/Harrison. Everything treated as a kind of homogenous line, a mere material, not only nothing to believe in, but nothing quite means.

See too: Goshka Macuga at Rüdiger SchöttleHenning Bohl at What PipelineHenning Bohl at Karin Guenther

Past: Peter Wächtler

"... an Edenic earnestness as if unspoilt by social awareness, and reattempting it through the mistakes of a Forest Gump or incompetent detective still winning the hearts if not criminal with immaculate sincerity, which of course isn’t true, but the interest lay in ascertaining the discrepancy, the disorientation of its irony."

Past: Peter Wächtler at JoseyPeter Wächtler at Reena Spaulings

Monday, May 11, 2020

Ree Morton at Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Terminal clusters are flower bunches at the end of a plant. But it also sounds like your diagnosis. It doesn't quite congeal. And lit up like a homemade carnival, wonky, exposing your investment/care as greater than talent, and this feels raw. The sleek store purchased Mother's Day cards instead provide assurance that your sentiment is socially acceptable, capital proves it. The inscription approved by committee, and the floral front by an artist who cools his care with talent. Has a mother ever really preferred Hallmark?

There's a tonal dissonance to Morton. It doesn't quite add up, the visual trumpets in lights and banners fail against a phrase falling flat. This failure to arrive at the promise is its pathos. Something we can all get behind.

see too: Careworn: Susan Cianciolo at Modern Art;Andrew Norman Wilson at FuturaJames Lee Byars at VeneKlasen/Werner

Past: Ree Morton at Alexander and Bonin

"Usually art's sentimentality comes as a latent or numb form, like Gonzalez-Torres whose catatonia in place of speech is its pathos, articulates it as loss, distance-from as its means. This a common theme in art; expressions come pre-packaged with their antidote and us all walking around quite well medicated by it and in the face of such desensitization Morton's explicit sentimentality is overbearing, with a theatricality almost comforting..."

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Penny Goring at Campoli Presti


The ubiquitous tarot design by Pamela Colman Smith is proof that clear design is still ambiguous, interpretable. Even without painterly mystery. The icons of an iPad grid are a mystic pool. Saturday morning cartoons seers to a future; Lisa Frank a biblical text. The dolls of childhood show stigmata. The difference seems to be what lacks or has systems of interpretations.

See too: Diamond Stingily at Freedman Fitzpatrick, “Sylvanian Families Biennial 2017” at XYZ collective