Friday, April 30, 2021

Gili Tal at Kunstverein Braunschweig


When it rains it pours, cruelly, the abject waste of capital. Rain as the whip. Hammering rain. Against windows, against Lichtenstein's mirrors, returned or exhumed from bin of pop trash. "One does win against rain or repetition," says Rancière about the unrelenting bleak of Bela Tarr films. "the incessant rain destroys all. It has not only stiffened the coat he no longer dares to unbutton. It has been transformed into an interior rain, which springs forth from the heart and floods all the organs." A rain that is mass produced, printed by the yard.

See too: Gili Tal at Jenny’sGili Tal at Cabinet

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Martin Wong, Aaron Gilbert at P.P.O.W


Wong's are hard, heavy, enclosing, emphasis on bars, bricks, bricks, more bricks. This was the era of neo-expressionism and this was city's expression, Wong painting what the city exuded, its own abstract expressionism. Bricks clung to the canvas like broken plate brutalism. There's just so many bricks. Very little light. Which against this dull light, Gilbert's figures grow etiolated, leggy, soft. They bend in strange ways. Squishy vulnerability. For all the bad situations they still manage to find a lot of pleasant lighting, lovely pastel color. Wong's get none, the pleasure of color is walled in the red bricks, imprisoned by police blues.  

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Past: Ian Rosen

"Rosen is to art what golf is to sport. Removing its physical aspects to magnify its mental and fine muscle finesse of putting the ball in its proper hole with the least sweat. A methodical game for Rosen's name sunk in the proper places of art's social field..."

"A game of gathering artworld credibility... in which you are a pawn with one distinct choice, of saying yes or no, but after that the moves are all already preloaded into Rosen’s game."

Read full: Ian Rosen at The Finley, Ian Rosen at Kristina Kite
Past: Pati Hill at Essex Street

"... that while the Pictures gen treated the world as image (available for all forms of permutable misdeeds), Hill's 1:1 copying seemed far more interested in the objects and their traces, not inherently its theft. Far more Gonzalez-Torres than Sherrie Levine..."

Read full: Pati Hill at Essex Street

Monday, April 26, 2021

Ann Craven at KARMA & Léopold Rabus at Wilde

(Karma, Wilde)

Bird day down here at the dailies. We got scrappy paintings of birds and polished paintings of birds. Birds on blue backgrounds and sticks in the ether. Foliage and naturalism and big ole pizza pie eyes. Painters that couldn't be more different or same. Both rupturing a full connection with their aviary in the warble glass of their eye - painting - a scrappy Craven brushwork or Rabus slight doubled eye surrealism. A crack in the glass that is style, the rupture that prevents full connection to our nature's plumage, a gap to throw our guesses at meaning, the gap is value not the meaning. So they're not just birds, art birds.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Nazgol Ansarinia at Raffaella Cortese


Fragments, parts separated from their lives, they always seem beautiful, alien. They seem wounded, ominous, their meaning is fractured, in ways that can't be put back together. We place these objects to our foreheads and ask for their secrets, contemplate their use, rotate them in our minds. But this was their use, to be pressed to foreheads, interminably silent, hear the ocean in your head. 

Friday, April 23, 2021

Mark McKnight at Park View/Paul Soto

The confusion of the machines reading this as "violent content" is almost objective evidence of McKnight's latent own - the algorithm seeing violence, "humanitarian crisis," or corpses in the body of a tree. I mean it is a sensitive photo. Instagram's policies are notoriously opaque, but assuming this was an automated process, the robots choosing violence don't understand corpses or flesh or violence. (Picking a boat out of a lineup of 9 images fools most robots.) Rather they amass a generalized cloud of what violent content looks like. It's in this etherous affect of violence, of horror - removed from a strict concept of corpse - that both you and the algorithm respond to a tree. No so different after all, husks of the dead, apophenic machines. There's more content to that Bernini-like grasping of flesh than the new church would allow. 

Past: Mark McKnight

"The asinine quantity of pictures of bodies today, instagram influencers, lotion advertising, pornography. The vast amount of flesh smeared on everything, our stores full of them, our faces spread at 10 meter heights. Everywhere; a hall of mirrors. ... And our bodies become so extracted, mined, and repackaged, that we start to feel like we don't have bodies at all. Just things, mocked as meat space, something stupid or without sense, or heat, or passion, or sensitivity, but whitened teeth smiles mined. And but then here a photo of a body still surprising, that can endear us to it, these weird incongruous things not yet fully extracted."

See: “Automatic Door” at Park View / Paul Soto

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Past: Jim Shaw

"... the myths of a culture embedded in the juxtaposition of subjects, making us each an interpreter of dreams.. there’s an implicit premise of speaking truth, reveal the latent subject..."

"... there was nothing worse than having someone telling you their dreams, [the dreamer] could say anything, conjure or erase any detail, that the dream only mattered if you invested enough to interpret its event in the psyche of the dreamer ... And trust the honesty of their manifestation enough to let slip some detail telling. A lot of work for occasional reward. The analysand preconceives the analysis coming.."

"The surrealism of today's painting mirrors the fact that any, in quantities vast enough, begins plotting points of the cultural unconscious. If you amass enough hand made images you begin so see dreams emerge. Painting, a virtual box that you fill with what you desire..."

"painting collecting, like flypaper, a civilization's subconscious."

Full: “Unexchangable” at WielsJim Shaw at Metro PicturesJim Shaw at New MuseumJim Shaw at Metro Pictures

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Brook Hsu at Manual Arts


"In dark forests we imagine predators, in trees see gods. We excel in confusion at inventing gods, or meaning." Critics appear in screens to talk against it. Their babble is the nightlight against unknowing, provide meaning to the void, the loss, the space of art. To feel some comfort against darkness. Explain it.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Ben Sakoguchi at Bel Ami


A sort of psychosis on canvas. The cultural litter accumulated/arranged as signage for the horror -  billboards welcoming the not-so-golden state of culture. This is not the surrealism of painting, but the irruption of a cultural repression. (This is a big difference, as types of surrealism go.) Like comedy is a system that reorganizes culture- rerouting it to a laughter - like Pope.L there's no relief of a joke complete, instead reorganizing culture for pain, an organized crime rearranging legs to prove them capable of breaking.

See too: Pope.L

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sandra Mujinga at The Approach & Angharad Williams, Mathis Gasser at Swiss Institute

Remember S.O.A.P.Y? Remember Cameron Jamie? Sturtevant's carnival. The haunted house's continual slow rising but never quite crescendo. (It has to remain lo-budget somehow, for fear of turning to full amusement park.) Object's Friedian presence amped to hyperbole, almost comedy, but these don't seem intent on funny: the camp relief valve, that laughability post spookability, doesn't seem here. Good art is said to haunt you, and so maybe it's brute force attempting that. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

“Strained Intimacies” at Hussenot


Various fleshes. Art art pornography, with a "look but no touch" world, perform the same function. To get something to feel through the glass. Various methods exists to get the sensual to appear, to make the human endear itself with glossy magazine flesh. A flesh begging please.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

 Past: Ayse Erkmen

"There's something psychotic about this compulsive individuating, a violence even, declaring objects whole and distinct in screaming color, severed from the normal mundane order of objects with blankness and masked, objects which reveal nothing about themselves but their difference, manically irrepressible back into the norms of social behavior like little clowns at your ankles.."

full: Ayse Erkmen at Barbara Weiss

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Antonio Ballester Moreno at Tanya Leighton


Tasteful, set to maximum. You could put these things anywhere and you would prepare to be served a longstem cocktail. Like art from a really lovely hotel, hotel art, but maybe a perfect hotel.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Analia Saban at Sprüth Magers


Making things look like other things with other more culturally cached things all put in the frame of the biggest cache of all, that frame, art. Ostensibly this is meaningful, reweaving signs and myths into themselves, but it feels like doing imaginary math, a premise to simply get us to argue about the answer, which makes the formula appear interesting.

 past: Haegue Yang

"Decorous displays of the mass produced, of the stuff clogging transaction's pipes hung like Christmas trees to capitalism. The store catalog was admittedly her bible and "abstraction" the presentation of it. Abstraction doesn't seem to precisely describe Yang's compositionalization of mass market crap. Unless "abstraction" is taken to mean some form of Marxist fetishization, that these might simply be ugly abscesses of global labor displayed for "abstraction." Like trophies to capital. People make those blinds, handle those bells.You can buy any amount, fill any space, the labor is liquid. The skins of people's sweat hung up."

"Yang’s shopping spree installationism"

Full: Haegue Yang at Fondazione FurlaHaegue Yang at dépendance

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Clayton Schiff at Real Pain


Transcendence and medical technology illustrate themselves similarly. Cartoons become the hollow container you fill yourself into. The body illustrated becomes a cartoon you can inflict. Both art and sales require this permeable vessel. It supplies the identification for its product.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Adam Henry at Candice Madey


Like op-art turned to info-graphics, there seems to be something we are being diagrammatically informed of - which - conflicting with the phenomenological fuzz creates an artistic ambiguity we associate with smiles. 

Friday, April 9, 2021

Ryo Kinoshita at Fons Welters


So why does labor reappear? Why does "stitching" make a comeback? Impressionism's strokes showcasing its painterly labor. It had been that eventually genius embedded itself into the canvas, itself signifying "art," and blankness was fine. Does canvas no longer back painting's monetary value a priori? Do we need proof of work? Like the ornately etched lines of paper currency, making the labor of reproduction more expensive than the bill itself - proof of scarcity, value. Time equates to money. But now we have copy machines, CNC routers, childlabor and interns. Perhaps proof of work is just nostalgia for when there was infinite time, for when there was time. 

See too: Diedrick Brackens at Various Small Fires

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Sharon Hayes at Kristina Kite Gallery

"It's days like this when you realize you are just looking at promotional vehicles, you haven't left the house in days, the world being advertised to you. There's no content here, just a dark room for your projection of how interesting this could be. The advertisement."

Artworld films live or die on their promotional images. A succesful film still, you can almost speak about the films without having seen them. This is how they succeed.

"If Matthew Barney somehow didn't know of Ulrike Ottinger's oeuvre then a medal is in order. Others have made the connection in terms of gender, surrealism, mythos, which is accurate if vague horoscope retro-prediction. But the more distinct fingerprint lay in Ottinger's use of the promotional still image as a mode itself, able to connote and transact meaning equivalent to the film, a received token with through which to speak, a common communal currency. Barney had to have known of this when he turned the promotional image into a metastasized hypertrophic version involving stylists, lighting and image consciousness to an extreme, into basically Levi's ad campaign of artistic hubris. Cremaster succeeded, regardless any filmic merit, on its ability to manifest excitement and intrigue as a promotional vehicle, a cultural mythos that mirrored the mythos within. At the time you could almost talk about Cremaster without having seen any of it, the image was so omnipresent. Seeing was of less import than having being able to have an opinion and know of it. Having gained traction ever since, this form of promotional vehicle cannot be understated in importance post CAD/insta etc. when pipes and what they can funnel is tantamount."

"Towards a language of the promotional still, which, brandishing the act it can only suggest but never actually capture, becomes a sort of gestural pool, an we infer. In this way the promotional image, suggests narrative, a story we can't see, making them function the way altar paintings once had: creating icons for stories, propaganda for their churches.
"The promotional image has a leg up on art since it doesn't finalize itself, it withholds its decisive utterance. It gestures a story, but we are not allowed to speak of it, since we can't "know it." Serving cake and keeping it too, spread, replicate without depleting itself."

"Important for performance to begin to swallowing its own promotional material. The relevant info being self-contained is part of good documentation. Everything there, apparent. Punctured back in, the reason we're here, promotion."

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Emanuel Seitz at Christine Mayer & Tess Jaray at Secession

(Christian MayerSecession)

Painting becomes an organization system for color. For "painting". Which then work backwards to find the logic, organization system. Which is something like meaning. 

Derrick Adams at Rhona Hoffman


Hard to be critical of a warm breeze. Hard to find injustice in pleasant days. A curmudgeon with the weather so good. The color amped to electrified sign. Color as a sign. Force fed pleasance. Not to rain on someone's parade. A "tropic interlude." Art becomes a fantasy, a vacation. A kindness we live vicariously through. We do a lot of living through these days.

Past: Tess Jaray at Exile

"The history of western modernism is one of secularization, no longer higher powers commanding but instead argued for in manifestos, the age of critics who proclaimed the usefulness of aesthetics (or anti-aesthetics) in a society increasingly industrialized and pressurized to extract value from everything, including art, and putting Greenberg on tirade, espousing the paradoxical function of an art ostensibly for only art's sake. The critic pokes the painting, saying "C'mon. Do something." The need for painting to "function" so sublimates into art that it becomes naturalized, necessary."

full: Tess Jaray at Exile

Friday, April 2, 2021

Bernadette Corporation at House of Gaga

The point being, the brand of the artist was tantamount to the work which created and informed the brand. Not a painting but a Picasso. Identity was always a governing force of art's valuation. Art's function is more often the creation of this identity/brand. The lamentations for any current identity vogue fail to realize that this was core to art. The metadata to art is often more telling than its object. 

Thursday, April 1, 2021


Have things gotten softer lately? Gentle... Blurry kinda. Worn into old age? Have we gone soft?

 Past: Bernadette Corporation at Stedelijk Museum

"Launching a hundred like-minded careers since, BC weren't the first of the fashion-orient but their understanding its "based on mythmaking and seduction" opened the eyes of today's Genzkenites to the aura preceding their deluge of material whateverness. Brand was the powerforce of the artist, and confusion, misalignment and just stuff could dissolve objects to the narrative-sans-critque, seen performed in the phenoms of today everyone from Arakawa and Bratsch to half the surround-audience gen and trickling into some of the post-krebberites' conceptual horsing"

 Past: Bernadette Corporation at Stedelijk Museum