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.