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

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.

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

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

Friday, May 8, 2020

Antoni Tàpies at Almine Rech


Precursor to some of the worst excesses of paint as expressionist mudphilia and painting as the scatalogic napies of men - say Anselm Keifer or Schnabel - you can see primordial the later male existential angst that would encrust itself so thick in history, ego. These are the late paintings of Tapies, after all that, painting in the ruins of it.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Nathaniel Mary Quinn at Rhona Hoffman & Genesis Tramaine at Almine Rech

“Flesh was the reason oil paint was invented," said de Kooning before violently rearranging his women. Tearing scalp from skull, Picasso invented the modern. Does the coroner's justice. Now with cubist battle damage. The face to be toyed with, drawn on. They conflate their liquid material for our flesh, treat you like an assemblage, middle fingers raised rebellion to it. (It is both legal and common practice to pour the entirety of a corpse's blood into the sink, into municipal drains.) Here’s the thing: No matter what gratuitous things artists do, whatever fingers clawed through bloody abstraction we recognize our smiles beaming through gore. Perhaps this is the reason to hate the face, through all the painter’s cutting, reassembling, stitching, the liquid face shows through red, see a smile. 

See too: The violence against faces.
Past: Laure Prouvost

You're always entering a tunnel with Prouvost. Always ending with an argument on the exact definition of mis-en-scene. ... Prouvost's is a sort of dental office maximalism. You always leave Prouvosts feeling lightly diddled ... Like if an Apple commercial grew tentacles entered the real and manipulated you.
"Prouvost treats everything and me as an infant, so radically in awe of all equally, dust, shit, flowers babies, nipples, in resin or celluloid cast together. Like advertisements working on the desire for you to return to the infantile placental state, into some affective hypnosis, impressionable like goo."

Read full: Venice 2019, Laure Prouvost French PavilionLaure Prouvost at Carlier Gebauer

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Olivier Mosset at MAMCO


"Erotic sexual denial is the practice of refraining from sexual experiences in order to increase erotic arousal and/or tension. The prohibited experience can be narrowly or broadly defined and banned for a specific or indeterminate length of time depending on the practitioner. The experience withheld can be any favored or desired activities, such as specific acts or positions, provided it is something the practitioner wants. Erotic sexual denial is commonly used as sex play between intimate partners, but it can also be indulged in as an individual practice."

See too: Olivier Mosset, Karin Sander at lange + pult, “Seven Reeds” at Overduin & Co.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

“Beyond the Black Atlantic” at Kunstverein Hannover (Sandra Mujinga)


The design that inflects a character. Supposedly people booed the first big screen presence of Darth Vader, his mere appearance made his operatic badness understood. The clown is scary because his costume signals that he isn't structured, social codes are not his, the clown is above law. The cues that speak to the inhuman.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

May 2nd, 2020


Spindly wire sculpture day.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Yoshitomo Nara at Charles Moffett

It seems cruel to hate the work of Nara. It's saturated with an innocence we are asked with wet eyes to be sympathetic to. How could one hate an innocent? This is like retribution for the Massacre of the Innocents, their ghosts now haunt us interminably, multiply with each exhibition.
"The crowd of extremely young visitors yearning to possess models of Nara’s figures as if they were in a department store and the realization that this generation already feels nostalgia for its own quite recent experience of childhood imbued these works with a subtle melancholy.—Marco Meneguzzo"
This is what are attempting to purchase, your innocence back, trying to maintin it like a departed loved one, but it's dead and gone, and you are washing a corpse that Nara continues to produce in porcelain flesh. The haunted Precious moments factory product.