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.

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

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

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: 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

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

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

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.