Friday, June 24, 2022

Leonor Antunes at La Loge


Some artists compress diapers into tractors. Other make lights whose "fixtures are a discreet reference to the concrete elements designed by Egle Trincanato, the first woman to graduate from the Venice School of Architecture." The point is the same, content pressed into shape, trojaned, smuggled, compositionalized, brandished. The difference is the size of the press release. 

see: Marc Kokopeli at Reena Spaulings Fine Art


"Parody is funny, but a form masking the pain of the content, often." 

"Invention becomes the lash of capital, the driving force - internalized as self-flagellation, forced to invent, the jester marionette.... The [novelty] artists are shackled to... Invention becomes survival, requires our renewal continuously, Sisyphean, invention a plea, please, allow my survival, make me interesting."

Full: Pippa Garner at Redling Fine ArtPippa Garner at JOAN

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Marc Kokopeli at Reena Spaulings Fine Art

"Like the drug smuggler casting his contraband in the shape of Jesus to escape the prying eyes, [artists] recast trash as flimsy endearing objects that we are made to love. ... repackaging, a reincarnation, second life in the only way objects know how: camouflaging themselves as fresh commodities. "

"Composing it into art objects becomes a blessing for sending the objects into the "heavenly" afterlife, a means of delivering them to the majority white institutions to get them to care for them in perpetuity."

Diaper cakes. Why recast your gift as a cake? Because the content isn't nice enough to be product/gift. This is an apt metaphor for art. The form (cake) is pretty far from function (shit napkins). So you jazz it up. This is the compositionalization of art. The diaper giver and the artist (or drug smuggler) - they must stealth their package into a societally acceptable object. You abstract the content.  Of course this is actually the new form, a socially compressed oddity, but we don't treat it as that. We think, press release on, "ooh 'a German bucket wheel excavator, used for industrial coal mining.'"

Caspar Heinemann at Cabinet

"Cardboard like a sloughed flesh for transit."

"and soggy cardboard is like a rotting flesh"

"Your touch leaves a mark, sews a patch, you reproduce yourself in the objects you attend. Preciousness in warm cardboard, wearing touch, eroding to someone's love."

like a flesh, ornamented and stringed. Dripped pearls and a hole slightly greased.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Ser Serpas st Galerie Barbara Weiss

Americans spent the last two years tearing down monuments, so there is catharsis here in what was always implicit then, that our ideals were mostly trash anyway. So erect now what you previously pretended didn't. As important as land acknowledgements, a song to the tune of Kanye West's Runaway, "Let's have a toast for the douchebags." Let's have a toast to the trash hole. A toast to IKEA elegance, the shelf that everyone I know has. A toast to waste, yours. 

Past: Ser Serpas

"Hoarding as a sort of extended compassion for the derelict neglected of culture ... Composing it into art objects becomes a blessing into the "heavenly" afterlife ... Hooking the hose from the expelling parts of our cultural body to the part that feeds, getting it to eat its underwear."

Ser Serpas at LUMA WestbauSer Serpas at Karma International


"A Pierre Hughye for the post-apocalypse, Budor's maybe a bit more invested in theatrics, the movies, and less in magic, instead in its dumbness, which is what we love those big sci-fi budgets for, the vast quantity of ash."

Dora Budor at Kunsthalle Basel

Monday, June 20, 2022

Ei Arakawa at Overduin & Co.


Assembles references as a series of gestures - not quite gathered but shrugged towards. A sort of breeze of its symbols, a perfume of content. The most interesting thing in Arakawa is the ability to be about something without saying quite anything about it. Parental painting turned to digital displays. Content exhumed and glitzed. Quote books. An "opera." A breeze. What is to be learned here is the ability to treat content with the lightest touch, to barely use it, to just sorta let it lift itself barely into air. 

Past: Ei Arakawa

"Like the wacky inflatable arm man drawing eyes to dealerships... theatricalizing the artwork as a caricature of attention... turning an artwork to an interpretable state and blinking, tea leaf divination in sporty Vegas-odds inkblots....  "

"the background artists and cultures upcycled into its staging system under the spotlight of Contemporary Art .... a system in which the production of artistic meaning is itself made clear as a series of gestures and movements that encode work with whatever aura..."

"its child-like unstoppability.."

"an action to conjure the documentation."

"Because: the system shifts from content generation to interactivity itself, turning itself into interface for the user/viewer to self-produce. This is the turnkey-operation entrepreneurial dream, in which as long as the structure is up and running 'content-revenue' will self-generate, perfect museum lobby bait. It fulfills the institutional functions in their programs whose goals like "outreach" have kids painting in the style of those artist to see themselves as..'

Read Full: Ei Arakawa at Kunstverein DusseldorfEi Arakawa at Taka Ishii & Peter Halley at Modern ArtKarl Holmqvist and Ei Arakawa at Overduin & Co.Ei Arakawa at Artists Space
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, 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

Friday, June 17, 2022

Elizabeth Englander at Theta & Tahnee Lonsdale at Night Gallery

(Theta, Night)

At one end you have the trash reassembling to totem and at the other end the figure shredded into composition. They meet at the same point, our expectations of art, an object as cultural phantasm, cultural picasso. 

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Paul Mpagi Sepuya at Bortolami


You would think a harem would be sexier. Be fun. But the bodies look refrigerated. This isn't service to sex, to flesh, or fun, but to the camera to be bent around. That screaming art marker, composition. This is fallout of Picasso. Of art turned to manners. Turned to need for looking like art. A man waving his arms spinning a sign saying "COMPOSITION." To mark it as art. Market it as art. The camera is the merely the node for conceptual static. A photography exchanging the desires of people for demands of art. For color and composition as a bad ruler. "The studio" is a machine akin the office paper shredder, a function for limitless abstraction.

Past: Paul Mpagi Sepuya

"It's why so many photographers are want to document the youth, its the embodiment of the photograph's eternal nubility as we all die...

"The bodies work for the camera who is the master to be satiated. Which explains their machine-like affection. It's a more Hans-Breder-like photographic attitude, any sympathetic Tillmans-esque is fractured, the body formalized, turned to abstraction, which is a gore, a machine of equivocation, skin becomes fingerprinted glass becomes magazine flesh cut and pasted.  This is ostensibly fun but play and its dalliance gets close to frivolousness, becomes dangerous when you are machine shredding bodies"

Read Full: Paul Mpagi Sepuya at DocumentPaul Mpagi Sepuya at Modern Art hosting Team Gallery

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Kerstin Brätsch at Gladstone 64


The point is, the production is product. The machine you create to create. This replaces meaning. The machine does. No one knows why Pollock dripped anymore, that knowledge is lost. What is important is that he created a machine that dripped. 

See too: Kerstin Brätsch at Gio MarconiDAS INSTITÜT at Serpentine GalleryKAYA at Deborah SchamoniKerstin Brätsch at Gavin Brown

Paulo Nazareth at Mendes Wood DM & Pivô & The Power Plant

An exotic image for sale. That Nazareth is aware. But unsure what level of duplicity we've gotten off on. Intentionally meeting expectations of the [x] artist. There's too many tropes at play. Enduro walks, cardboard signs, blanket sales, crusty bricks and tin cans, THE CITY, wove leaf hats, cruddy nice paintings. Its got all the tropes. AlysPopeLOrozcoHammonsKuriMendietaCruzvillegasEtal. Maybe the closest is AI Weiwei, who exchange an understanding of politics for an understanding of art. An understanding the artist. Or, perhaps some elaborate triple agent irony? We knowing that he knows that they don't care.

Past: Kerstin BrätschKAYA

"Genzken [is] the most influential living artist not because everything looks like it, but because [she] predicated a conglomerate speed absorbing any last vestiges of particular attention to individuated objects. And whereas others used this to produce "series," Genzken extrapolated, used this as a means of acceleration in which speed and production was the communication, amassing product and centering production as the point. That the production of itself became the product."

Adam Kleinman in TZK: "as many artists have learned to feed this desire with work made quickly, but with enough conceptual acrobatics to make them acceptable as part of a canon of their own oeuvre—or that of a supposed canon on the critique of modernity. And here, the artist has found a way not only to maximize the circulation of his/her work, but also to reduce the budget in terms of both time and materials—the original shady business of “skimming”, although one that is justifiable considering the low rate of artist fee’s. Within this particular loop, a potential critique of excess is ensnared as another symptom of that very excess. And it is with this dual farce of today’s production and related branding activities, namely the desire for the curator to collect and justify an artistic industry of prefab and ready-at-hand esoterics, that one should enjoy DAS INSTITUT’s irreverent something for everybody with a little for everyone approach."

"WHO says by 2020 depression will be the second most prevalent medical condition in the world. Rats pleasure themselves to death. ...use of beauty as a deployable assaultive thing, prolific- likely what critics refers to as the artist's "advertising strategies" - exhausting..."

Click here Kerstin Brätsch at Gio Marconi
Click here DAS INSTITÜT at Serpentine Gallery
Click here KAYA at Deborah Schamoni
Click here Kerstin Brätsch at Gavin Brown

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Michael Rakowitz at Rhona Hoffman Gallery


Totemizing the debris of culture. Art as church for contemplation. We come to see the cultural oracle.

[Art] always look like you blew up a shopping mall, like its reassembly after catastrophe, like hangers categorizing airline wreckage. Trying to make sense in debris. Us, a cargo cult. Us, a primitive culture, drawing aurochs on our white cave walls. With the debris of culture. Our Mystic auto-anthropology. "

"art treats culture as a system of artifacts to be interrogated by its own white light certification process, a factory for meaning production." 

At least here the politics are clear. A giant trashbag in the other room inflates and deflates, turning a political act into performance. Press "on" to repeat history for audience. The PR asks a telling question about an artist who sculpted monuments to both Confederate and Union generals: "What does it mean that the same pair of hands made these two works?" But the obvious answer is telling. In cultural war artists are mercenaries. 

Martin Wong at Galerie Buchholz & Raúl de Nieves at Company Gallery


Recently received, a lovely email (yet responded, apologies), which among else broached a question of cheesiness, which long thought short: there exists an allergy to work that isn't actively in some way rejecting the viewer. Cheese cloys. And we're antagonists. Afflict the comforted and all that. At the same time, Art has an abusive history with commodifying pain and dispossession as late-stage heroism (generally after the halo reward is blocked by several feet of dirt.)  So a hard time reconciling an embrace of Wong's body-ill-at-ease on one hand, with personal jade over de Nieves celebratory excess. And no flies on fruit ever prevented the consumption of a little dutch vanity. Jewels past their expiration date are in fact are historically ripe for most riche taste. 

see too: Kathleen Ryan at Ghebaly Gallery

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Past: Martin Wong 

"...nothing to do with the tragedy that would befall them, but a representation of a common experience among them, of a body merely ill at ease in culture, now looking like a premonition...."

past: Martin Wong at P.P.O.W, Martin Wong at Bronx Museum

Past: Raúl de Nieves

"Too much decoration... We call it 'gaudy' or 'garish' or 'lurid' or 'vulgar' no longer arranged but vomited in quantity, too much, like the clowns who baroque their face to comical levels, found frightening, a rupture of the socially decorous. Because these are ethnocentric terms, wielding the symbolic violence of 'taste,' and such it is rare museums didactic their greek statuary with 'this greek marble would have actually been caked in makeup, like a whore' preserving both the marble and myth of white antiquity."

read full: Raúl de Nieves at Freedman Fitzpatrick

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

 Past: Michael Queenland at Maureen Paley

"Pre compress our trash into the decorative fossils it will become? Litter absorbed into the earth that on geologic scales become liquids, so our landfills are like slow smoothies. Someday someone assess our ruins as beautiful fossils."

Past: Michael Queenland at Maureen Paley

Siggi Hofer at Secession


Painting converting to sign systems, bastardizing the pure expectations; painting begins behaving more like a stop sign. Painters love the functional sign, the sign painter, but capital P Painting can't be given to such pedestrian work. Josh Smith actually painting stop signs proved the bad boy point: painting isn't intended to function. Smith's point negated itself as an eyeroll, expected bastardizing. But when painting fuzzes sign/painting territory the point becomes Math Bass clearer discomfort.

Math Bass at Mary Boone
"It makes for paintings that can be painful, sensitivity traded for force."

Shannon Finnegan Slower Deborah Schamoni, Munich


Carolyn Lazard has a similar show up with redesigned benches and transcribed artwork. And Park McArthur similarly alt-audio-texted the gallery spaces at MoMA. Which is less a critique than obvious parallels, a drippy paint for any expressionist. And less institutional critique than a softening the edges of institution, important work one could argue the institutions should be doing on their own. (A long artistic history, softening corporate facades.) Or Trisha Donnelly appropriating Robert Rosenblum's Picasso audio tour for her MoMA Artist's Choice exhibition. But oddly the audio here is kept from us, the objects/chairs disperse themselves protected by image's glass, but the audio which would digitally free itself instead seals itself in forms. Because words are cheap, and so the digital rights are managed, kept inside frames, a joke about non-accessibility possibly. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Chim↑Pom at Mori Art Museum


Our wreckage as Disney land. Amusement. The giant trash bag of earth. We delight in the impropriety, snorting badness by the line of "raising issues." You treat the world like a cartoon, write captions in the sky, to render the world "in comic book style." The world is a cartoon at least make yourself an artist entrepreneur. Start a business, tear it down, corporate dreams, etc. etc. etc. The world no longer a clay but an erector set with artist designed neon. Very very very fun.  

Monday, June 6, 2022

Past: Chim↑Pom at ANOMALY

"We have invented forms of wreckage we find enjoyable."

Past: Chim↑Pom at ANOMALY

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Nona Inescu at Peles Empire

"like bodily stones complicating the minimalist mantra that what you see is what you see, because what you see is sometimes sexually confusing..."  
"We all fear for lumps inside us, unchecked growth, a malignancy, 'matter out of place,' 'the contaminated diversities that proliferate in the dump.' Fear of toxins, poisons, heavy metal build-up, of heavy concentrations of micro-plastics in the great Pacific beverage, in parts per million, in tumors, cysts, in bisphenol A, BPA's estrogenic symptoms to counteract the now "natural" amounts of viagra in rivers, our vessels leaded with a new Rome, our castrati and fears dispersed, everywhere and nowhere. These things are bioaccumulative, they add up in sediments in your blood, fat, balls..."
A lot of art brandish, monumentalize, these fears into nervous objects: In the ongoing surge of the bodily-lump these find some territory for the fear that asks for understanding, an abstract press release that is good, spells it out, these shrines to our apophenia. 

Angelika Loderer at Sophie Tappeiner


"The mycelium disintegrates the fibers of the prints, and images." This artwork that self-destructs. Sorta.  The non-secret in a long history of artwork auto-destruction is that doesn't. Like the Banksy half-shredded, it merely performed spectacle. Valorizes itself, processes its material to create brand. Like a mushroom, or an artist, or the point.  What we need is not this psuedo-suicide. What we need an artwork that destroys other artworks. A giant chomping crushing machine. What we need is writing.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Lauren Halsey at David Kordansky Gallery


Like Silly Putty to newsprint, like Orozco rolling gum across the City, the katamari of art accumulates its displays, content. Gathers the city, reroutes it back into the Museum. A cultural enrichment program for its whiteness.  With an appreciation for the sign painter, whose vernacular form does what Painting cannot: communicate without pretense, anxiety. The sign painter functions, the artist does not. "They start to scratch at what we crave: not looking like art. Because art is mannered, stillborn, cliche." The long history of artists wanting to be anything but. Not here of course, this is art. 

see too: Gedi Sibony at The ArsenaleDavid Ostrowski at SundogsMark Grotjhan at Karma

Trisha Donnelly at Galerie Buchholz

Donnelly's game is plain, obvious. The detractors points clear: it's mysterioized, basic obfuscation as easy enigma. And the art, just skylines turned, reflected, solarized, whatever. CAWD could label them another example of inkblot art. (They are.) But despite, there still remains. And it is this affective quality despite, that becomes their carapace. Attempting to tell the detractors the photograph looks like deep sea evil, rapture, and that despite the rudimentary workings there's something occasionally affective. Despite. Think Nairy Baghramian uncanny lumpen, her photos of clouds. Or Michael E Smith's cancerous suggestions. It is this ability of Donnelly to separate and divide and make evil our inability to share feelings, to see christ (or not) in the photograph. The innocent question of "what you see" in the cloud becomes apprehensive. Yes the game is dumb, plain, obvious, the quality is despite. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Michaela Eichwald Letzte Arbeiten Reena Spaulings Fine Art, Los Angeles


Giving new meaning to art that matched the couch. Painting like a potato, couch like an Erwin Wurm. They meet in handshake of our body - they both hold meat and brain, contemplation and weight. Becoming here an ouroboros, contemplating our own tail, head feast ass.

Erwin Wurm at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg

Past: Trisha Donnelly

"...abolish the possibility of a reference we can call common, bury it behind opaque markers. i.e. difficult to recount without resorting to the degrading telephone game of myth, scattered primary source quotes cut/pasted ad infinitum; the PR limbo bending backwards to avoid description, replaced with chimes; and objects which, even at peak banality aren't really describable without metaphor, some sorta whatsa type a deal. What you see isn't mine. Probably why there's such radical opinion difference, Donnelly's cult and the mudslingers. The inability to derive equitable terms, a reference to talk about, looking like slack-jawed yokels."

Click: Trisha Donnelly at Museum LudwigTrisha Donnelly at Eva Presenhuber

Past: Michaela Eichwald

"poured onto pleather paint flourishes implication: painters are smearing their own oily expelleds." "Like graffiti's intestinal signatures defecating their authorial. ... you're still reminded of your bowel held waste, the brown rope tethering us to earth that Eichwald seems to consistently paint."

"Eichwald threatens actual excess, dribbles that could still stain, or, like graffiti, are already stained, vandalized. Which Eichwald's do feel, vandalized - graffiti's defecated signatures - that pink one scratched into with like a school desk's attempted Baphomet that comes out more as a hairy devil with tits, not really satanic at all."
"Because the acne poxed kid's hard desire for satanism outshines his ability to actually conjure it. This is endearing. And there's a joke in here about teenage bedsheets too, but both failed satan and besotted sheets are of that teenage libidinal excess that has a tendency to spill, run over, an excess energies that stain things..."

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

 Past: Sung Tieu

"Astrology like tarot cards finds alliance with art since the artwork has mutated to be less an object of beauty than a fount for interpretation. Art having gone from object to oracle. The point of art begins to be setting the spheres to rotate so they may occasionally align, a machine for semio-recombination we could call meaning. Artists become not merely the recombinators of signs, but the producers of machines to do this, to be turned to on, set to run. Endless interpretability becomes their function."

Sung Tieu at Emalin

Monday, May 30, 2022

Allan McCollum at Galerie Thomas Schulte

This is perfect, exactly what we've been talking about, the interpretative box of art, a painting as tarot card, tea leaves, humans as meaning production machines. Make an object that performs it, dancing, meaning. 

 Past: Michelle Grabner

"In Ken Johnson's now infamous review of Grabner's Cohan exhibition - inspiring dozens of site's posts to just contextualize and organize the increasing spiral of commentary and responses and blog posts that themselves further contextualized and organized, excerpted in full, with ever lengthening comment sections growing atop still warm bodies until you had this like eco-production-system of sites that spiral out, far as you would like to go, into cold and nervous chattering all based around the whale fall of one small dead review and which now us too still sucking off the carcass - was, as is often the case with negative reviews, spot on in everything but valuation, 

.."comfortable" "middle class" work from a "tenured" "soccer mom" that allude to nothing more than the "bland" "unexamined sociological background" from which they spring...

See: Michelle Grabner at The Green Gallery

Past: Allan McCollum

"McCollum's brute force attack on "creativity," ironizing uniqueness with its interminable variation, like 'try and stand out in this crowd kid,' pulling out the cornerstones of value with machine made uniqueness, the scary "algorithm," and handcrafted replaced with stand-ins, surrogates, and stage props. Making uniqueness bland. How cruel. Showing on the doll where the creativity hurt him. "

"...without rarity in their uniqueness, but a collector’s majority stake, hoarding wealth like diamonds, irradiating gold, that old Dr.No trick, a governed population, produces power. "

"A cold humanism, depressing individuality. The endgame summated in the center of far sides's black/white sea innumerate, an individual, a penguin, singing, “I gotta be me, Oh I just gotta be me.”

Read full: Allan McCollum at Mary Boone, Allan McCollum at PetzelAllan McCollum at Thomas Schulte

Friday, May 27, 2022

past: Julia Wachtel at Vilma Gold

"Wachtel's sign systems of the cultural meltdown, express the rupture, floating between Baldesarrian inanity and Wolfsonian semantic violence. Finding the tense middle ground where the inanity is the violence, of someone hitting you in the face with something so dumb."

Read: Julia Wachtel at Vilma Gold

Maryam Jafri at Kai Matsumiya


The schizo of culture is well stated; advertising diamonds next to atrocities is news. But rather than documents of raw schizophrenia, Jafri's ability to wrest visual homology in paradox makes the point both elegant and clear. Culture subjectification is a catch-22, no exit, mirror chamber. Jafri lays out a funhouse of our ourselves, cartoon reflections in warped media. Fun!

While this could be confused with cargo-cult droppings, with the compositionalized detritus of "interpretation box theory of art"- its important to note the distinction. The composition is not intended to hay-wire content. It isn't jumbled wreckage on altars, but clear and concisely packaged for its cataloging. Arguable. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Danny McDonald at House of Gaga


This is the interpretation box of art. (see: yesterday) A object we can't see "inside," so place its empty vessel to skull, ask for clues. From the debris of culture. Making this cargo-cult art. The compostionalized altars of cultural refuse. We are welcome to interpret the reassembly of it. Assemblage meaning. Composition as a device we associate with art, and art with meaning. Therefore these edible arrangement of content makes "art" - which is meaningful, tautologically. Ostensibly. 

See too: Danny McDonald, Cargo Cult

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Yngve Holen at Spazio Maiocchi


No one really knows how the algorithm works, what happens inside the box is beyond attempts of research. We are told the machine is a conglomerate larger than any one person is capable of understanding. In it appears a larger entity. We are incapable to understand the monolith. Technology replaces the dark forest we once feared. This isn't a particularly modern feeling. The sublime is now stupid ungovernable boxes, those that dictate our lives. And we stand before them, cut in half, to expose that there is no ghost. Just an indifference that hurts, needs our thought as comfort blanket to wrap its vacuum chill. we hold object-like-skulls to our own crania, ask painting for meaning. Holen's techno-voids are merely translations of art's own interpretation-box attitude. This is art, altars. An interpretable fount, an empty skull that against all known understanding still feels to give back stupidly chills. 

Past: Danny McDonald

"- demolition of meaning - and the cargo-cult pickings arranged as totems: toys now bespeak a Pop-freudian analysis, a culture as its artifacts. the subconscious of culture - a C-3PO with robot tits, an Alien brain tumor, Schwarzenegger slurping a pink dick, the monster made to hold a mirror to itself..."

"semio-space is more and more dominated by cultural IP whose worlds are tightly closed by labyrinthian legal frameworks. What you can and can't do with Barbie on an advertisement is governed by at least 10 pages of legal, and 40 pages of 'best practices.' The mass majority of children learn of good/evil from summer blockbusters more than any Sunday doldrum. This is our culture's totems, gods, rearrange them on poles... converting to hieroglyphics a culture like we weren't already scratching our heads at it. The inkblot was deemed to have little psychologic validity. Yet here we are."

Monday, May 23, 2022

Past: Yngve Holen

"We treat objects as if they are magic, we acting like a cargo cult, arranging the droppings of the industrial gods like paganists worshipping more technically advanced nations. We place their refuse in our altars. Objects are designed to affect us, strangely adept at it, advertising like a massive psychologic program and objects are the sediment of its energies. But despite every attempt to make technical objects sympathetic to us, they are unfortunately cold and this is difficult for us."

"That terrible emptiness of objects, an indifference that hurts, and in Holen and other's objects we begin to see boogeymen that we assume must be there to fill the cold object with anything but a desolation. We exceed at inventing gods where there are none. What is behind it is only us. It is obvious at this point that objects we design are reflections of us, this is how the field of anthropology operates. We are designers of our world, of our water coolers cut in half in attempts to find its ghost. There is only us standing around it attempting the small talk of art writing."

"These insectile eyes we recognize is an anthropomorphism softening the blow of cold dead indifference."

Read full: Yngve Holen at Fine Arts, SydneyYngve Holen at Kunsthalle BaselYngve Holen at Modern ArtDavid Lieske at MUMOKYngve Holen at Modern Art

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Past: John Miller

"There's Yves Klein blue and John Miller brown, a color so untranscendent as to castrate any pretense of art's higher plane, reminding us of our earthly rope tethering bowels to earth. Miller blockades, belittles, our azure sky fantasy with the lesser order, everything we would prefer to forget immortalized over what had been our vacations, from drudgery."

"flashy twinkling across televisual space frozen as the wallpaper of painting and hideous: television zazzle becomes the bad struggle to taxidermy it. The Price is Right ... a Vegas labyrinth watching guesses at the price of garbage, but Miller's focus on the chintz is as much an attack on painting as much as any politics of mass entertainment ... Because the television game is no different from the majority of dealers and collectors also guessing the eventual price or status of the painting before you...."

Friday, May 20, 2022

Past: Amelie von Wulffen

"...the history of painting comes like bruises into von Wulffen's paintings. How images batter through time. We have memory of how painting was, how impressionism was painted, but it's wrong, like your head full of hangover, a painting full of malfunction, its shipment through time arrives damaged."

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Past: Max Neuhaus at Alfonso Artiaco

Here the invisibility of the works themselves present an overtly extravagant hyperbolization of its decorum framing images and sounds drawn to explicate another world entirely.

Full: Max Neuhaus at Alfonso Artiaco

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Past: Liz Craft

"could wish our communicado could find space for ethereal content, walls to text become brick to evoke a feeling rather than language, emoji mise-en-scene."

Liz Craft at Real Fine ArtsLiz Craft at Jenny’s

Friday, May 13, 2022

Joshua Abelow at Baader-Meinhof


So I realized that being with my family is more important than being cool
Dad, what you just said was powerfully uncool
You know what this song says, it's hip to be square
That song is so lame
So lame .. that it's cool?
Am i cool kids
Good I'm glad. And that's what makes me cool? not caring right?
Oh how the hell do you be cool? I feel like we tried everything here.
Wait Marge maybe if you're truly cool you don't need to be told you're cool 
Well sure you do. 
How else would you know?

We're told there is a spectrum between "based" and "cringe." And also that binaries are insipid. That there is a third option, the only true "baseness" is through "cringe." A zoomer divide analogous to GenX's authentic/corporate divide (grunge fully Hegelianated into hyperpop, Pop 2.) But so, point: interest comes from synthesis. And here we have an emerging artist's retrospective. Artistic puberty as heralded mythos, before mythos. Most artists think its bad luck to say "Famous Artist" out loud but here we have all the credentials: the childhood drawings, 3rd place ribbons, rejections and recommendations - this is usually the post-mortem, the detritus for the historian's magnifying glass. Usually in the museum bearing your name. Here the receipts adorn a house gallery in Omaha. Which makes for exhibition as puffed as it is sniffling. It's intensely personal. Cardboard not corporate. The paradox of coolness is that one must "go one's own way" while maintaining sightlines with the status quo. Abelow has walked this tightrope exceptionally well. In a certain sense CAWD and Abelow are opposite mirrors to same problem: identity construction as aversion to Walmart purchased coolness. Whereas CAWD basically deleted self and thefted the corporate, Abelow and his (originally quasi-anon) projects have doubled down on exurban paths to cool, like rural even. It's what we euphemistically refer to as an artist "not impacted by current market trends." Because it's never true. They know, despite. If there is transcendence in Abelow's path, it is in happily showcasing underpants, saying out loud "famous artist," (as Oehlen put it, "really hanging your head out the window and letting it hit you") hanging out to dry your teenage self-portrait, basically exposing yourself for all to see, without real mythos armor, nothing more cringe than that. 

"The wider artworld came to know Abelow through his Art Blog which -coming to prominence against the sterile facade of CAD's hegemony - felt human, resistant, and no-qualms subjective key to a very specific NY scene, felt warm in reestablishing the local against the global, like grocery co-op charm to Walmart's efficiency. It felt NY again. And as interest increased for those looking for the freshest produce Abelow became, if a not a ringleader, then a purveyor of visibility, a figure of some small access in a scene, that everyone knew, all the while and for like ten years before making scruffy hamhanded paintings that purviewed the doubt of the painter, the doubt morphing over many years, the paintings changing over the course of Abelow's character development from unknown, from entendres of suicide ("HANG ME") to flat laughter ("HARHAR") and as the painter character grew to show himself, to paintings of a man running full speed with his erection before him, to today that same man cloaked in the facade of a powerful witch, and all lovely abstractions along the way, still running."

 Joshua Abelow at Freddy

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Ezra Tessler at Hudson House


Let's stop talking about surrealism, let's start talking about the new little crustie. Approaching, but never quite, shellfish. This is what we tried to describe as "Lulu-core," or "the crustables." A natural evolution of Materialphilia. See too:

Miho DohiIsabel Nuño de Buen at LuluSophie Barber at Alison Jacques, Zhiliang Zhao at Lulu & Hélène Fauquet at Édouard MontassutMiho DohiGina BeaversMaterialphilia

Tuesday, May 10, 2022


"...defeatist humor mocking not just the male tool but deflating the hard language of conceptual art: telling the joke over and over again on larger and larger sheets of paper, the high rhetoric of big egos reduced to a bad joke - Cue: Beyonce '♪♫ Cause he's got a big 'ego.' ♪♫' Bernstein: 'it wasn’t funny.'"

"Bernstein painting what had always been repressed as explicit - the large male "personality" embedded in art's very culture - of course couldn't be acceptable: art despises the frank open, [...] the great irony that Boone is showing these now: think of a giant crusty cock painting hanging in the same room as Schnabel, asserting maybe just where all that great thick paint on large canvases was coming from, the Yale professors of course uncomfortable by this exposing, like totally classic Freud. ..."

Read full: Judith Bernstein at Mary Boone, Judith Bernstein at Kunsthall StavangerJudith Bernstein at Studio Voltaire


"No one packs up a van without reason... precisely one car load, kept, allowed into the future. The amount one can carry. What can be preserved as our possessions-as-selves eroding in time streamlined against current's abrasion. Which amass more in new homes. What will be the last object of yours finally cast into waste by your children? Objects carry briefly into tomorrow, but the artist is allowed attempts to loft their objects onto the generational ships of museums, while entire histories of others are and have been lost. Like Dahn Vo's attempt to carry Martin Wong's possessions, or even Cianciolo's corrugate time vessels, we allow a certain amount of artistic provenance into the future, and all the hope for it."

"relevancy in the instant availability of the digital panopticon red water requires constant change, adapt or be obsolete, things lose whatever luster they had quick, and though not every exhibition is required to be a hit, everyone is immediately aware of a bunt."

Full: Ken Okiishi at Reena SpaulingsKen Okiishi at Reena SpaulingsKen Okiishi at Mathew

Ulysses Jenkins at Hammer Museum, Los Angeles


We're not meant to see these photos. Which explains their useless. (I mean the above image is a photo of a halo, not art.) They're meant for editorial, press photos, meant to accompany some review, to supplement what has become The Museum's online cavalcade of docents, saltzes, cheerleaders. Ostensibly me. Weirdly hard to view the work, and now words to stand in for; the foregrounding to replace ground. It's a strange turn for art. Reviews have become the information broadcast mechanism of the museum, its education wings. Which begins to eclipse the work itself: an artwork covered in newspaper clippings about itself. "We are just a mass of images you've gotten to know."

Monday, May 9, 2022

Past: Moyra Davey

"Sontag pointed out photography as inherently elegiac, and Davey further expresses its moribund nature-morte with a gloss of preemptive nostalgia. Like instagram filters made to affect 70’s grain on crystalline microlenses - an artificial warmth on the cold of its technologic clarity - Davey pre-placing that touch on the photographs, mailed to package the touch that preceded them."

"art often feels like a process, technology, for imprinting nostalgia. ...  Photography provides /immediate packaging: that inherently elegiac medium also promises preservation of someone's sight of you.' So you get to preserve your recognition like pickled pigs and call it romantic. Nostalgia's artistry becomes its own technology. "

"It's alluring to attach the psychology of money to feces."

Omari Douglin at Theta

Blow up the pages of adolescent sketchbooks and access the id. Puberty in painting. The remains of a cultural explosion, TNT sears the shadows of coyotes into the walls our skulls. This is the imprint of culture, the massive hot branding of our brains. As you get older the projections get bigger, the canvas becomes a better receptacle. 

Friday, May 6, 2022

Shabahang Tayyari at Delgosha Gallery


Painting converts to interface, the iconization of content. The practice of stylization and production of  "series" become obvious. Content on the swirl setting. Information is converted to its image then compositionalized. But that doesn't nerf it. The interface is strong, it causes our reading which we cannot prevent. Icons are meaning even when they don't. and we are like hypnotized. We are made to read space, and here sign systems converted to labyrinth make puzzling. 

see too: Shabahang Tayyari at Balice HertlingMath Bass at Michael Jon & AlanAntek Walczak at Jenny’s

Past: David Lieske

"Lieske was of the first of the cargo cults reassembling the totems of meaning in the desert of it, picking detritus. The issue was resolved not by necessarily by making objects mean again - which they couldn't - it's hard to make an empty bottle mean in arid land - but by situating objects so that they connoted meaning despite whatever inscrutable blankness. Like hieroglyphs. What was important was exuding the affect of meaning, regardless of whether there was any and that it didn't matter anyway was what we were all beginning to pick up on and what the commercial world had known for decades (that you can create "meaning" at will with attitude, aura) which while Lieske pondering whether this was a problem was suddenly flooded and drown by more ephebic artists already having decided for him it wasn't and now this is the water we live in, a flooded terrain of objects imbued, over-saturated "meaning."

"If so much art looks like Broodthaers today, it is because Broodthaers was of the first invested in the arrangements of display as a credence to meaning, institutional or otherwise."

"An ambivalence at the heart of much of art today displayed as presentations of objects left to the viewer with a "deal with it" coolness, figurative sunglasses donned."

Click to read full: David Lieske at MUMOKDavid Lieske at Lovaas Projects

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Past: Josephine Pryde

"... Pryde uses Pop's function, the saccharine of instant recognition ... whose comfort allow defenses dropped and desire for disposable sweets, a populist bent to criticality ... a shutterstock imaging of normalized categories.... People didn’t enjoy Lichtenstein they enjoyed comics, and within its soothing fantasy. Pryde delivers within the pre-existent of Trojan genres..."

"Genre is the capsule that allows immediate swallowing: "They're about touch." What Isabelle Graw called "straightforwardly thematic." And so we understand them like a trojan horse, internalize with ease. Ostensibly later spring forths the latent soldiers, medicine. But it might be the gulping was the trick. Getting you to immediately get them. The cuteness of gerbils, the joke of consumption."

Mohammed Sami at Modern Art


Painting is affect nailed to content. A vibe sewn to image. Internally, the content withdraws to mystery, creating a distending space where paint floats above a darkening void. An interface of brush and flowers, in foliage a search for clues, a search for where to lay meaning. This is what painting must tension as its interminable life support. This is what we prize painting for, the mud writ question

See: Shannon Cartier Lucy at Hussenot 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Hana Miletić at Basement Roma


Knitting being an embodiment of care. (Because knitting is so laboriously outmoded it can only be care, i.e. not capitalism, more love hours than can ever be repaid, etc. Knitting is the province of excess time, and attention, which translates to -anticapitalist- care) And so, now using knitting as a medium representing other forms of care/repair. Like hand grinding paint to depict a pencil sketch or whatever. A sort of redundancy, or analogy? Homology? Tautology? The point is there is effort-over-time in reproducing others attempts at care. Effort invokes effort. (The stitch marks time.)
"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. "
This separation of our social relations we've so completely assimilated that labor itself returns as a literal fetishism, stitches mark this labor, look compelling, can be brought out onto white walls, as aura, as artwork. Every cheap objects is an equal tapestry. The stitches in time are smoother, hidden. Hold up your child's plastic toy and feel another at its end.

see too: 

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Cudelice Brazelton IV at Murmurs, Los Angeles


Maybe its nostalgia for late aught's unmonumentality, for Donnelly mystery, for E. Smith estrangement, for that single image of Hammons' little radio on top a brick or whatever, or maybe this is finally just art that's hard to parse again. Not even knowing what you're looking at type enjoyment. In the last ten years art has become appallingly clear. Instead this more like "The rocking chair I project from the two elegant bones still in contact with the real is not the same as the one in your head." Searing your brand into the wall, an amorphous inkblot, but an amorphous that's more, already gone. For Donnelly, E. Smith, for that little radio it is less about the object more about altering the air. Book title: Arts of Suspicion. 

see too: Michael E. Smith at Sculpture Center

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Past: Pedro Wirz

"We all fear for lumps inside us, unchecked growth, a malignancy, 'matter out of place,' 'the contaminated diversities that proliferate in the dump.' Fear of toxins, poisons, heavy metal build-up, of heavy concentrations of micro-plastics in the great Pacific beverage, in parts per million, in tumors, cysts, bio-cucumlative, they add up in sediments in your blood, fat, balls, monuments, these fears into nervous objects, art."

Souvenirs of our demise!

Pedro Wirz at LongtangPedro Wirz at Marc Selwyn

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Julia Scher at Kunsthalle Gießen


As art has begun to look ever more sci-fi without acknowledging sci-fi, it's nice here to have overt admittance. Appreciate Scher for finding metaphor in the obvious, explicit. The security camera, the space port. Items that are overdetermined to point of banality, yet the obviousness of the operation does not lessen it. This cardboard spaceport is no more inane than regular airports. The TSA is mostly cardboard. And CGI flights to Corsucant have become as regular as Indiana. Gary Indiana is probably weirder than Corscucant. I've been on a Greyhound bus and it was far more interstellar than any Star Wars movie. 

see too: Julia Scher

Past: Julia Scher

"The security camera, early exemplar of our proprioception lost to digital realms. Your body could be distended in mirrors sent through ethers appearing before you, behind you, and Magritte's Not to be Reproduced no longer surreal but our reality, walking into department stores. On facebook you reach out to poke, instagram click to like, your body a ghost appearing in other's mirrors. You appear everywhere. Like deafferented monkeys in lab experiments we lose control of limbs at the researcher doing studies on our psyche attempting to maximize engagement, a word which now means clicks, their hands in our gloves. Animals living with open brains..."

Read full: 3 Shows, Julia Scher at DREI, Lin May Saeed at Studio Voltaire, Fernando Palma Rodriguez at House of Gaga


"beneath table settings, the underneath, the legs become the portal, cavern ... in the nocturnes, in the maw, against mother's legs clutched, we found worlds in forts constructed, in makeshift boxes, a certain heat to the darkness."

Full: Doris Guo at Bodega

Monday, April 25, 2022

Alighiero e Boetti at Sant'Andrea de Scaphis


1993 was a very strange year for figurative sculpture. You've got the above (which "must have come as a surprise.") But then, same year, you have Paul McCarthy's Spaghetti Man (guess where the spaghetti is), Charles Ray's Family Romance, Janine Antoni's Lick and Lather as well as Mike Kelley's seminal survey exhibition (alongside the Boetti at Sonsbeek) The Uncanny. Kelley's "experiment took its cue from the rise of 'mannequin art,' a term he coined to describe artists like Charles Ray, Kiki Smith, and Jonathan Borofsky, whose life-size sculptures—not, in fact, all mannequins—evoked anxieties about the role of the human body in a time wrought by the AIDS epidemic, the growth of plastic surgery procedures, and advances in biotechnology. In addition to artworks, however, Kelley gathered religious statues, inflatable sex dolls, ventriloquist dummies, wax figures, and medical anatomical models into crowded clusters to eerie effect." 1993 being today. 

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Emilia Wang at A MAIOR


Horoscopes broadcast amongst commerce, hosted as art. Astrology is particularly well situated to fit between both. (see: Art's Astrology: Sung Tieu at EmalinEi Arakawa at Kunstverein Dusseldorf, "[art,] a machine for semio-recombination we could call meaning. Artists become not merely the recombinators of signs, but the producers of machines to do this, to be turned to on, set to run. Endless interpretability becomes their function.") The stars down to Earth. It makes sense, feels comfortable, reminiscent of artist-made commercials in the 60s. Wresting open a space for its message, for your interpretation. 

Friday, April 22, 2022

Past: Roger Hiorns

"You, a machine, a corruption of the sublime, in repetition awe becomes bullying mocking the human for its meat. ... We are but flesh objects, barely cognizant stupid creatures, morons in search of hope, and nailing us to crosses of our trash seems a brave act but it is impish, pornographic, unneeded."

"The Jewel-crusted success of Hiorns' sulfate almost eclipsed the less fabulous concoctions-as-representations for the surfaced body. ...the goo and strata of flesh and bone, and the machinic body ejaculating foam at the mouth, Hiorns wild material divergence always expressed in dualities, steel and perfume, machine and foam, boy and fire, boy and gratuitously hulking aircraft engine, the bodily soft always set against its cold hard master, rigid and pliance, occasionally providing a mild erosion of that order, a strange and insistent fetish that we all seem to enjoy."

Full: Roger Hiorns at ELI Beamlines Center, Roger Hiorns at Annet Gelink

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Past: Lu Yang at M Woods

"... whether this is a critique of culture or fantasy doesn't matter anymore, trying to out-absurd culture is impossible but look how far it's gotten us, Genzken too"

Past: Lu Yang at M Woods

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Stefan Tcherepnin at Meredith Rosen Gallery


Is this the tasteful turn, Sesame street puberty blossoming an arabesque adulthood's cash in? This flying spaghettis bear resemblance to the monsters both: the muppet eyeball becomes painterly logo, brand to the artist, because stitching alligators to cotton improves la cost. And the noodle monster to prove there is no god. 

Past: Stefan Tcherepnin

Monday, April 18, 2022

Eliza Douglas at VI, VII


Culture/commodities valorize their objects with simple bludgeons: the celebrity holds the product, the commercial assigns attitude. Our knowledge of its arithmetic does not cancel it. The code still functions. Brand is the level we fight on. The Whitney Biennial weathered months of protest until the attacks came at their identity, a rebranding "The Teargas Biennial," and suddenly softened their militancy. (CAWD wrote an essay about this here.) Museum brand in turn forms its signet in the installation view, architecture watermarks the photographs, walls as the celebrity hands cradling the art. Why else would Christopher Williams be shipping walls across continents? More celebrity hands. These celebrity hands have been chopped off, stolen, dead hands made to hold. Like as teen you photoshopped yourself kissing Johnny Depp. It would be interesting if a lawsuit developed. Like when the Guggenheim sued Paul McCarthy and Mike Bouchet (again the attack was at brand level.) But Douglas's theft is probably flattering, who doesn't want people stanning for them, building at home reliquaries to them, Johnny Depp, The Whitney, they live off our reverence to them.  

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Past: Eliza Douglas

"The setting as the halo, the performance as the backer to the souvenir. Literally. Swirl the cultural object. The symbolic processes of art become literal, literalification."

 "These aren't paintings of the t-shirts, these are the t-shirts."

Read full: Eliza Douglas at Neue Alte BrückeEliza Douglas at Overduin & Co.Eliza Douglas at Air de ParisEliza Douglas at Overduin & Co. and Tina Braegger at Friends Indeed

Valerie Keane at High Art


We haven't had a Valerie Keane solo since 2016 when formal adventure seemed fun and the garbage was reassembling as totem, content, rococco. (see too: Chadwick Rantanen at STANDARD (OSLO)) In the years since our formalism as gotten less cyber-baroque and more goopy materialist, the photogenic mud wresting which makes Keane's seem chaste. Thing looks different against different backgrounds. And against the ever shifting micro-genres of the last ten years not changing appears new.

Chadwick Rantanen at STANDARD (OSLO)

Friday, April 15, 2022

Jorian Charlton at Cooper Cole


Photography's harvest of youth, an ongoing thread:  Robert Kulisek at VI VIIJustine Kurland at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Sean Patrick Watters at Galerie Praz-DelavalladePaul Mpagi Sepuya at DocumentMichael Smith at Richard TellesWolfgang Tillmans at Galerie Buchholz

That said, a good press release gives pause. A firmness invokes disagreement, opening. What is a photography agreeable between model and maker. Between society and art. Orchid become wasp. Is this possible? Not photography only as extraction for others. A model may contort themselves to the desire of camera, but ostensibly photographer bends too. A handshake between them in the form of a photograph. 

 Past: Valerie Keane at High Art

"capitalist equivalent of objects coughed up in the night, the night terrors of Haegue Yang shopping spree, they assemble the technologies of display... Sharpening the garbage of post-ford CNC driven custom-ordered world, the grosser parts of the capitalistic buffalo, amassing the plastic neurosis..." 

Read full: Valerie Keane at High Art

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Rachel Rose Enclosure Pilar Corrias, London


Weather you can turn on and off, affect detached from reality, a sunset in vial. The preservation of feeling. The embalm of sentiment. Painterly effects, a sun you unplug. Art, like the dandelion, becomes a tool for the storage and display of moonlight, sensation.

see too: Steve Bishop at Kunstverein BraunschweigPamela Rosenkranz at Karma International

"surface effects of our emotive connection, they play like enchantments into us ecstatically, eroding any affective links with what is seen, hyper numbing, leaving the viewer estranged, cold as the real is endlessly manipulated like weather you can turn on and off."

Past: Rachel Rose at High Art

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

 Past: Raoul De Keyser

"reminding us why we liked all those modernist paintings to begin with."

Raoul De Keyser at Inverleith House

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Yalda Afsah at BAR & Kunstverein München


"examines the blurred boundaries between affection and identification with animals on the one hand, as well as submission and human domination on the other."