Sunday, October 31, 2021

Mark Grotjahn Backcountry Blum & Poe, Los Angeles


Probably one of the best parts of being crowned with the blue-chip, you get to start mass producing absolute eye-gougers and people accept it, are forced to take it, saying thank you thanks, asking for their slaughter. 

Alison Yip at Noah Klink


Art in becomes reading the tea leaves of abstraction. (Stated previously.) The viewer made seer. The point of art, seemingly, is to create stronger affect in said tea leaves. To make the more desirable lures. So Yip's reversal here, having her fortune read before making the painting here, is a literalization of art's more mythic, latent, process of viewer-seerization. Sort of like explaining the joke as the joke. 

Friday, October 29, 2021

Past: Julien Ceccaldi

"what had been Ceccaldi's bright branding of commercial trinkets, hangbags, fashionable shirts, comics, has instead become a brand of art flexed, making art objects, like, rather than saleable commodities (hand)painted to retension their exchangeability as brand, these recent objects are painted onto to place signature on fungible blanks that painting has always been. Painting onto a handbag dug something out, into its own face as facade, rather than the brand saturation going on here, place your dots on a car for charity, placing your icon on everything, whatever franchising you can get. You can place your face on anything it turns out."
"I've never been a Disney Princess, but I have been a corpse."

Julien Ceccaldi at Jenny’sJulien Ceccaldi at LOMEXJulien Ceccaldi at Koelnischer Kunstverein

Thursday, October 28, 2021

 Past: Mark Grotjahn 

"Production itself becomes interesting, massing it, output. As Bayrle, his own resurgence now, called it: 'The quality of quantity.' Remember Josh Smith hanging his name into our heads, how villainously insipid it seemed, and now here we are, assaulted again with a man hammering his signature at us. We're not even post-warhol ... the corpse artificially warm for all these artists to wring it for one more drop of blood, standing in his Shadows, except there aren't any here, instead how white those walls, how pushed to verge of overblown, photographically enhanced to candy. A Museum for Ice Cream. Neapolitan! Mint! The sugary libidinal to quench our thirst."

full: Mark Grotjahn at LACMAMark Grotjhan at Karma

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Louise Lawler at Metro Pictures


It's lights out. The big sleep, render art in some purgatory, between the ghosts of artistic mythology, and their cynical corpse: "they are but objects." Render an inkblot: whether you see spirit or corpse depends on your personal faith in an afterlife. There are two types of art person, and the afterlife is a dividing idea of whether art's sacrificial Christ-like MEANING have intrinsic value/spiritual uplift to a culture, or whether it's just a story told for comfort against a great yawning cold. I.e. What you see in the shadows. An inkblot.

Night at the Museum would show that, at least culturally, we believe in some form of afterlife. Ben Stiller gesticulates. 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Liao Wen at Capsule Shanghai


[H.R.] Giger for whom the mechanical and biological found a waypoint in the skeleton, the complex curvature of the arthropod's organic exo-shell, the crabs and muscle cars who share the PVC fetishist's interest in shiny hard bulges; it wasn't hard a move to the erotic.
And these find waypoint of flesh and bone in wood. A confusion of Ripley and her Alien queen, a newborn mess of biological scaffolding, saying "please kill me" and under flamethrower, flesh that burns like kindling. 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Ghislaine Leung at Museum Abteiberg


The detective novel. evidence. monoliths. clue. diversion. Suspicion. Creep. examination under light. walls dusted for prints. reading for signs. to solve. to produce MEANING. a portrait, forensic psychology. But, you say, CAWD has railed against the viewer deputized as detective, making exhibitions as hunt for the story trailed clues. (i.e. That's a Kippenberger in a frame by Leung, the Beuys drawings have a history, the onions' backstory. The walls reveal writing.) And you, dear viewer, on the hunt. The goal of this art is to produce a meaning-like affect in objects. The greatest goal is a suspicion without end - a mechanized fount of art. On the other hand, It feels like we can get rid of all this, say these objects do not meaningfully add up, preferably, and still there is something here. A distinction important. What Hainley called "the affect and the sensorial in a tradition of conceptual or minimalist work." or question of "when is the smell coming from the item and when it is manufactured without the thing." Important:  a meaning not generally associated, a meaning dissociated. "an emotional response repeatedly evoked in situations in which the action tendency that is associated with the emotion proves irrelevant or unnecessary" causes desensitization. "WELCOME"

What Fatima Hellberg called Leung's "ambivalent logic spaces" - their care for us is dissociated- which is our general experience but which we are socialized to endure.  The replacement of [sensitivity, emotion, humanity, our utterance] with not necessarily colder forms, but more efficient. A provided more efficient sentiment. (A more efficient conceptual art? Museum space architecture as invisible socialization.) Made apparent by the continuous multiplying of forms, "Welcome", into a chorus of commodified sentiment. Signing "The Boss." Capital providing our utterances with balloons that kill turtles. ("The hospitalization of sentiment.") The socialization of space or more accurately that spaces are socialization. Now estranged. Ir-relational aesthetics?

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Past: Ghislaine Leung

"...increasing modern "miracle" conveniences and the then latest "smart objects" is hard not to read as a fear of these conveniences, submissiveness, actually infiltrating us, until we became, if not kitchen appliances ourselves, at least frighteningly subservient molded to kitchen surrounding us. The fear of our kitchen as a mold. Such that options for expression become limited by the cultural detritus available in stores.  You join in union, with a multitude, a choir, signing "THE BOSS." Whether or not highlighting these cultural walls with a gloss is helpful, it does make for good scary. "

"...the gradual creep of its suspicion, the John Knight cold cut ominousness in staging. Why must the light be blackout? Why the floor silenced? Why does the carriage require staves? The creep builds suspicion: a house haunted under glistening sterile light. A crime scene scrubbed, we, detectives."

Read full: Ghislaine Leung at CabinetGhislaine Leung at Chisenhale & Essex StreetGhislaine Leung at Künstleraus Stuttgart

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Past: Lucie Stahl

"the specificity of their slick digi-crust-materialism and resolution-as-sex, we loved, the scanner trash prints: what everyone else was at such pains to display with existential and overwrought, like, expression, Stahl had turned into cheap easy and fast slacker products that got closer to the existential dread of that material-reproduction by embodying all its cheap easy fast sexy disposability."

"No longer the romantic era representing ourselves as fathomless depths ... we are now better feared as plumbing: oils, flows, pumps, fluids directed, misunderstood as monsters. The human body is indistinguishable from any sufficiently complex sewer. ... A world already dripping black nightmare, that we pump from the earth, have constructed our world out of... A product pipe-capable. Art as fluids, pipes, same as any other product. We all are forced to become fluid, make a product for channels, be pumped. "

full: Lucie Stahl at Queer ThoughtsLucie Stahl at Cabinet, Lucie Stahl at Halle Für Kunst Lüneburg

Monday, October 18, 2021

Guillaume Bijl at Meredith Rosen Gallery


Wearing a mask of your own face. When does the movie set become actual?  An office attempts to represent an office. This nonfunctional office, dead, is the uncanny, painted corpse. A"transformation" of space in capitalism.The fun here is how easily it works, the distinguishing signs among commodities. The difference between a tarp, a trash bag and tent. Mere signs. Don't bring Baudrillard into this. This is not theory, but funhouse, fun. 

For many, a film's believability is important ... to maintain its dream-thrall and for its duration become real. We understand fiction as able to - even momentarily - become actual. And in [x's] work seeing false things we know have the power to become real is its humorous anxiety. The various distances from "realness" are its multiple punchlines. At what point are the arrangements are decor and at what point it is the authentic living room.... At what point does our decor function as a reflection of society and at what point do our living rooms produce their own image for Hollywood and your neighbors to reproduce, and at what point does suspension of disbelief just become permanent.

See too: Guillaume Bijl at Nagel DraxlerWilliam Leavitt at MAMCO


"Sign detached ever-so-slightly from its signified, like wearing a mask of its own face. Tableau in which the performers perform themselves. And question of, 'How could I ever possibly be not be myself?'"

Full: Guillaume Bijl at Nagel Draxler

Sunday, October 17, 2021


stonehengification - 

The "big dumb object." A more cartoon sculpture. Paleo-totemism. With a smile. The cruder it is, the more archaic it looks, the more permanent we perceive it. Interminably stupid rocks last an unfortunate forever. So paintings like pictograms, petroglyphs. Give a rock some eyes.

As the world feels precarious, moves closer towards its end, we find solace looking towards the primitive we might find as our future, the deities we will worship in the trees we once had.

We find some comfort in dirt smeared not because of its primeval "truth" but because it seems like it can't obsolesce, it can't be superseded, blown away as dust, which we mistake for being eternal.

Olaf Breuning at Metro PicturesSolange Pessoa at Mendes Wood DMAaron Angell at Koppe Astner

Friday, October 15, 2021

Past: Heimo Zobernig

"[The work's] banality incites questioning [as disinteresting objects must expel interest elsewhere], and exposes its stage to skepticism [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: Huma Bhabha at Clearing

"sculpture's totemization ... the mystique of the runic object, stonehengification"

Full: Huma Bhabha at Clearing

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Altoon Sultan Paintings at Chris Sharp Gallery


I was told you have to see these in person, that they're on calfskin, that you're missing half of it, the dusty tempera, the supple egg. A shield against digital suck, prizing your IRL. The sensuous preserved from its extraction/production by image. Protected. It could feel a bit christian, chaste, the erotic guarding, what's not revealed. Which the compositions support, they are roadblocks, closed and hinting, like... O'Keeffe, but the pants stay on. Looking through the fence of your jeans, finding denim, seeking calfskin.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Lynda Benglis at Xavier Hufkens


Everyone owes a big [x] to Benglis. The "unspecific objects." What made her outré from post-minimalism then is everyone's laurels today. The "theatrical," an excess of reference, too many things at once. I don't even mind the gold bronzini in the other room - sometimes you get to give yourself a trophy. 

See too: , "Bodily Innuendo"Nairy BaghramianRon Nagle at Modern Art

Monday, October 11, 2021

Past: Tony Cokes at Greene Naftali

  ...but now text is aerosolized, language appears from all corners buzzing up from your hand to see newscasts across the continuum. An economy of speech value is recalculated on the ability to harvest attention. ...  Cokes' read like poems of how text feels today, a glitchy attention deficit ... difficult to read but they command attention.

Full: Tony Cokes at Greene Naftali


"... there's something about "mechanistic" and "shower" that will always dredge some historical subconscious. These are the afterimages of such. If Foucault were alive we'd already know the spa is a prison. But he's dead and these linger with some notion of. ..."

Megan Marrin at Queer Thoughts

Friday, October 8, 2021


"endless mockery of her subject's desire to appear, to express in any sort of meaningful way, bullying our desire for comfort in recognition itself .... somberly kicking us when we're down with a medical donut strapped to our ass"

"humor in searching for spiritual value in commodic life ... juxtaposed with the day's small tragedy turning over a can of beans to read its ingredients"

"You've got to actively believe for the things to have effect: the point was the power was inside you all along... The placebo effect so strong in the US that drug manufactures have difficulty time creating new painkillers that are stronger than sugar pills. The effect is not seen in Europe, or pretty much any where that does not allow pharma advertising. That this mass inculcation might be the strongest effect of all, like we're all living in a theater in mass suspension because thats what gets the crystals like art to work."

Click full: Shana Moulton at Kunsthaus GlarusShana Moulton at Gregor Staiger

Oscar Murillo at Taka Ishii Gallery


This is the fallout of On Kawara conceptual art. What he posed as a question - whether a sign can contain its moment - has metastasized into marketing strategy.* The PR tells you the locale of these paintings making - their "downloaded content." Against modernist universality, the big dumb abstraction of today localizes itself, we resurrect the author to make sure their symbolic laurel is branded into the painting by the press release, this is the On Kawara stamp. You don't contribute anything to geopolitics, the point is to chant it. 

*"While this was the central conundrum to conceptual art since its inception, the rupture and distance between sign and object (always at risk that its sign didn't actually contain its object) it has since been taken as granted, as a granting agency for value added. While On Kawara's July 21st 1969 poses the question of whether it actually contains the weight of a moon landing, the paint sprayed is given to absorb the history. If an artist goes into the woods and there is no cellphone service around to hear him, does it imbue itself into the copper objects as significant? Jason Rhoades built a career of mocking this value-added system, performing it under absurdly comical conditions, to create his referentially seminal signature: PeaRoeFoam, a mess of so much reference and history and jest that it self imploded. Or Seinfeldized by Arcangel. .. So a word for this value-added process based absorption/valorization of reference."

Past: Oscar Murillo at Carlos/Ishikawa

"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..."

"A distress we can apply like paint... "

"There's never been anything particularly subtle about Murillo's work... hulking metaphors writ in barn door sizes. A grandiosity that shadows whatever the work is "about," allowing a fleetingness, an evasiveness. ... The arrows are huge, blinking, blinding, cover for what-you-want-it-to-be-about aboutness."

Past: Oscar Murillo at Carlos/IshikawaOscar Murillo at David Zwirner

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Pentti Monkkonen at High Art


Life averts entropy, says the press release after a sorta synopsis of oil and marketing. Basically life is complexification, sews ornate carbon chains that we now crumble, burn to release their energy. I.e. we simplify life to power our cars, putting out chaos, exhaust, (traveling to a localized heat death before a later big one. (Plus your own personal.)) Returning to the dust we once were, without order, everything again sand. (See too: .) Your own personal dust machine. This would have the minorest semantic connection to the paintings on view, if it weren't that Monkkonen didn't seem continually hellbent on slicing container from content, brand from form. So the infra-thin PR addendum is just another onion skin peeled. It's the marketing, the butterfly preserve to pretend the rest isn't belching smoke. Painting as advert for its claim to avert chaos. Pretending, like me, to, against a law of the universe, produce order worth burning.

Everything Pentti Monkkonen

"Monkkonen's box-trucks literalize the metaphor: painting as commodity vessels in transit. What were rectangular become parallel grams sent for accelerating markets. The vessels are moving fast, the trucks skull cab and silver toothed grill portend their too-fast-too-young market crash. The flow of brand. Graffiti, produce, logos, brushstrokes, artistic identities all competing for recognition.  Like many interested in the cheap plastic promise of fantastical playthings, it is found perfectly in the toy-form’s commodic pleasure whose projectable fantasy's complete dissolve of use-value mirrors art’s ostensible own."

"The package as product, medium masseuse, the vessel which projects its internal object, which here isn't anything, instead the subject of art, the artist."

"That like childhood figures of action, producing their jism all over town to heroic ends, painting an identity placed over a muscular blank, the vessel, creating a subject."

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Merlin James at Kerlin Gallery


For all our interest in "pushing the boundaries of painting" or whatever, James shows how weird painting can actually be. So far outside current tastes that not even sure we like them, ugly as hell, but beauty is dead. These totally void the question of the painter alignment chart -  what did Hainley say about Dianna Molzan, they "vogue their structure"? These are like painting trying to turn itself into a car. Even the dumbly painted ones, paintings trying to pretend they're a cat. 

See too: Richard Aldrich at Gladstone GalleryTorey Thornton at Essex Street

Carlos Reyes at Soft Opening


It's about time the techno-conceptual and the surreal had their current vogues assimilated. Martin Creed's lights turning on and off with a more technically advanced press spanking.

 Past: 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. ... Worth it for the photos alone.."

 full: Carlos Reyes at Waldo

Monday, October 4, 2021

 Past: Christopher Williams 

"But [Williams'] en abyme of institutional/self reflection requires an outside party to discern the navel's tea leaves. Otherwise it's just tying up the institution in your ornate slick personal knots to look at your button. Otherwise it's just kink. "

"Williams' institutional mirroring... also simply multiplies and reiterates its institutional halos."

"MoMA finally succumbing to its role mass incarcerating tourists  ... hard to see the decades’ work or installation subtlety amongst the brambles of families asking themselves aloud, literally “When do we get to see Matisse?” the Frenchman whose tickets are timed before you can even get in line and so the Williams show acts as a sort of slumbering-area for the masses ...The punchline to this whole joke, is that there is no punchline at all, the wall texts have been eliminated..."

"Commuting in the same deception, that no amount of looking will explain the object/image, they are representations, deferring elsewhere, and never conceding what lay beneath."

All: Christopher Williams 

Friday, October 1, 2021

Goutam Ghosh at STANDARD (OSLO)


Anyone spending anytime reading Tufte understands that information is more interesting than painting. (Tufte should be handed out in drawing/painting 101.) This because we are hardwired to seek and the roulette wheel of information skimming (more than actually discovering information) is what triggers dopamine reward centers. So when a painting lures a visual array that we might could process, there's an intrinsic nervous response to its search. Surely our rat brains will make some meaning of this. We're desperate to. Twombly or Griffa, yeah. Information age symbolism? But a bit yellower, warmer, threatening its loss. 

See too: Antek Walczak at Jenny’s, Jordan Wolfson at Sadie Coles HQ, Yellowing

Past: Nancy Lupo

"Like eye goo, stuf's service is its waste, a continual sloughing, so we can remain fresh, clean. Stuf accumulates, piles, is shed. Stuff is quasi things, is transient, transactional. A disposable fork is, like, quintessential stuf.."

"Stuf becomes subject. Curdles a skin, a flake to slough. Contaminates, spreads. "Disposable." "Flushable." Problems in city pipes, amassing with congealed human grease to create clogs from hell. "Behold The Fatberg: London's 130-Ton, 'Rock-Solid' Sewer Blockage" A world unable to contain our disposability. Reamasses elsewhere.."

Read full: Nancy Lupo at SydneyNancy Lupo at Kristina KiteNancy Lupo at Swiss InstituteNancy Lupo at 1857Nancy Lupo at Antenna Space