Monday, January 31, 2022

Shabahang Tayyari at Balice Hertling

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These are nice (Iranian patterning meets cybernetic Guy Fieri Art Deco?) though wishes for the embedded content to be less burned images and more left to surface, but surely that just another means in a long tradition in finding representation for forbidden figuration?

See too: Sarah Morris at Berggruen

Sunday, January 30, 2022


"...The internet at the time felt like so many keyholes to look through. Everything before was found in dusty libraries, had been stuffed into artist catalogs, piecemeal, the one Quaytman "chapter" you saw in person at Abreu.. And Quaytman's paintings magnified the pleasures of this, of a good mystery. The doors of new media opening along with the mystery of Quaytman; it provided its own meta-detective story. ... and better digital resolution with each one. Go look at 2008's documentation here. Compare it to today's. We see it all now, pornography is the mainstay, all at once as much as you want. There is little left to the imagination, to mystery. ... in higher and higher resolution, eventually returned itself as an endless and inconclusive hall of mirrors. They revealed themselves as paintings."

"Quaytman is forebear to today's painting puzzification. Like any good mystery, it's rife with clues. Painting becomes signs and signals, turn painting into information ...'every detail... is subject to careful control.' Careful control presuming purpose for such ... The careful control of avoiding anything so specific as to be finally graspable, a very very finely tuned house of mirrors. ... Enough mirrors and the ventriloquist need not speak at all?"

See all R.H. Quaytman

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Group Show at Queer Thoughts, New York


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A group show that's color coordinated. You could almost wear it as an outfit. Color graded to a Matrix like blue-green, an Amelie use of Red. So young but so cold blues. Vampires are immortal eternal teenagers, that's why they're prone to angst. 

Friday, January 28, 2022

Masahiko Kuwahara at Tomio Koyama Gallery

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Cuteness is a gargoyle, the policing gremlins of Gothic architecture dispersed into media, into Pikachu, politically kneading your desire into acceptable dough. Cuteness creates artificial identification, forces sysmpathy, care, for an object its church. You become sympathetic to their cause, the militarized demons of the holy police state, Pikachu. 


see too: Sam McKinniss at JTTMisaki Kawai at The HoleSean Landers at Rodolphe Janssen

Past: Miho Dohi

"...something so fungal about them, lichens atop autonomous crust. ... feel fragile, like cripple ducklings we wish to care for because they can actually be wounded.

"...But Dohi's resemble, recall unplaceable things, which is our politics now. Resemblance was dirty back then, we wanted purity in forms, because clouded abstraction led to impure thoughts. Why do we desire allusive formalism now? Fecteau, Baghramian, Balema, Nagle, et al. Is still a latent surrealism? The shifting space of ambiguous "clouds" saying that one looks like a rabbit but never knowing it."

Thursday, January 27, 2022

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


Camille Blatrix at Centre d'Art Contemporain La Synagogue Delme


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An artist working in the simulacra, in the sign systems, in the question of a yoga pants basic versus the tactical version. Why do adult toys begin to look like elegant spacecraft. Why do vacuums look like mechanistic Star Wars droids? This is not functional form, but form conjuring affect, comfort, sales. 100HP dildos designed to sell. Getting off is tertiary to its main acts of looking sexually swallowable. The restaurant's table itself tells you how long to sit. They tell us what we are. This is all well documented. The point now is it's fun art theater.


Past: Charline von Heyl

"What Kelsey called Big Joy could also be a state of mania, or anxious outburst, like seeing your friend on amphetamines and wondering what about his personality you liked in the first place. Abstraction is the friend in this metaphor. Because these paintings are brutal."

"trading the devotional for the more transactional address of advertorial cymbal crashing, of images striking"

"like being struck, designed with the force of icons and logos, instantaneous recognition, the paintings connect with a speed prophetic of the contemporary / understandable that her rise delayed would coincide with that of digital networks: von Heyl's paintings turn composition into a kind of semio-transaction of consumption"

"painterly recognition that is particular, depleting, and manic"


Click for full: Charline von Heyl at Petzel & DeichtorhallenCharline von Heyl at Gisela CapitainCharline von Heyl at Capitain Petzel




Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Past: 

"But tradition was wiped out by the invention of capitalist plastic. Labor was reduced to work, and craft became manufacturing processes, became laser cut wood, CNC milled blocks, a thousand interns on call. Suddenly your dreams could be injection molded. Ostensibly. "

"The cuteness of Hospital beds, which are ostensibly sympathetic to us. ... the look of object who wish to project their sympathetic nature to us humans."

Full: Sanya Kantarovsky & Camille Blatrix at Modern Art, Camille Blatrix at Wattis


Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Jana Euler at Cabinet

(link)

"a sort of conceptual abstraction for your walls." Against our wishes for clean aluminum concepts and graspable truths, a "conceptual abstraction" is like having mud in your mind - an ungraspable muck, inside your head. And Euler's feel loose, threaten spillage, a filth inside. Do not open them up in here. It will get everywhere. I am not the cleaner, I cannot keep up with this level of dust. They watch you now. They will see you get it on you, your projection, a woman turning horse.

Past: Jana Euler

"Photoshop makes surrealism quaint, Magritte's entire practice premised on its most basic tools, transpose, cut, drag and drop; and today phone apps like magic mirrors to show you elderly, replace your face with your dog, barf rainbows at will in a world that is totally virtual. The image today a total malleability."

"and we revel in its mud. No longer Euler's symbolist nesting dolls, now paintings more like a mirage, shifting muck of material images, and so uncertain about whether that shark officially looks like a cock or if that's just you."

"like a just opened lid and staring into the bait to unpack the whole, pulling one referential string and the whole thing deluges like clowns out of cars, only guessing at the number of clowns in the office. How insane it all feels, how microtized to the wind. The thread pulls endlessly, and the sweater never comes."


Past: Marie Angeletti

"exacerbating all the annoyances of images today, Angeletti's are always claustrophobically opaque, too close, dim. Not quite sure Angeletti has ever shown in a completely lit space..."

"which, in an era of almost total fuck-all of images our cognition is molested by daily, could make an art practice mirroring such seem a brutal finger but at some point we have to be trained for this, we could attempt to make sense of, it all, if we wanted to start lifting."

"The Rorschach inkblot is the ultimate symbol of art. It is exactly what we now demand: an interpretable stain, an endlessly inscrutable fount for "meaning" generation."


see too: Marie Angeletti at AtlantisMarie Angeletti at Beach OfficeMarie Angeletti at Édouard Montassut

Friday, January 21, 2022

 Past: 

"Painting is its ghost - not so much has cultural baggage as is cultural baggage. A history paintings stir reflections on its surface. And you see something in it."

"... using your memory of history's painting against you. These paintings feel like being gaslit: isn't that what's his name in new colors? No, these are entirely new paintings. History flows through the bejeweled eye of the beholder's digestive endpoint, already chewed and expelled for us."

Jill Mulleady at Galerie Neu, Jill Mulleady at Gladstone Gallery

Thursday, January 20, 2022

 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 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 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Bas Jan Ader at Meliksetian | Briggs


(link)

Funny or sad? or a sort of funny sad, conflicted feelings, "a literary genre that blends aspects of both tragic and comic forms" - like surely he's not actually going to get into that boat.. oh. huh. Wait, what? No.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Michaela Eichwald at Kunsthalle Basel

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What is a couch but an innuendo for a body? Suggesting its shape and therefore resembling its function, a loaf. 


Hannah Levy at Arts Club of Chicago

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Surreal lush: plethorize association, fertilize until green abundance overflows, and we can't contain our reference. "It's risky, committing language to such ambiguousness, you sound like a perv while the tight-lipped get doubt's benefit. The words [will] assign more meaning to us than the sculptures which reflect them." The planet manifests unconscious what the spacemen would prefer closeted, our dead relations reappear. "We don't need other worlds. We need a mirror." - seems Lem's critique for conjured aliens. And between the poles of sentient-planet-surface-island-fantasy and mirror not sure where these lay. Somewhere like Matthew Barney chromed Louise Bourgeois. 

See too: Ron Nagle at Modern ArtNairy Baghramian at Museo Tamayo

Monday, January 17, 2022

 Past: Martin Wong & Aaron Gilbert at P.P.O.W

"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."

Full: Martin Wong & Aaron Gilbert at P.P.O.W

Saturday, January 15, 2022

ART CLUB2000 atKunsthalle Zürich


(link)

A little too early they were. They the waypoint between General Idea and 2015's Surround Audience. 

2015: "10 years ago avenues to visibility were tightly controlled ... Today youth of the post-net are really post image-democratization, a time in which all images come preloaded with mass audiential capabilities, matched by cheap raw visibility's fungible version, exchangeable with any world (fashion, commerce, literature) equally, the gold standard of different disciplines."

But maybe GI was somehow ahead of it all, interested in viral conditions packaged in Trojan horses, not the medium but the dissemination as content.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Sam Pulitzer at House of Gaga


(link)

"On the internet you would see items auto-designed by algorithms, the internet dredged of images to place it on a mug, Walmart printing an iPhone case with a man in diapers. Everything onto everything. Vertigo in feeling one's toes sense the full ocean of production. A tornado of reference and attachment, and the audience attempting to see in the whirl anything to relieve the anxiety of so much garbage. "

PR: "consciously creates unprecedented combinations of form without guaranteeing that they will resemble anything at all in our ordinary, sinful world or even in the otherworldly realm of pure form."

PR: "this visual detritus would be found laying in wait for redemption as aureoles of broken fate."

"Hoarding as a sort of extended compassion for the derelict neglected of culture, a sympathy moving to material a world simply would like to rid itself of. Composing it into art objects becomes a blessing for sending the objects into the "heavenly" afterlife ... Hooking the hose from the expelling parts of our cultural body to the part that feeds, [ass to head.]"

See too: Darren Bader at Andrew KrepsSer Serpas at LUMA Westbau


 Past: 

"... as images become devalued the importance of artists to revalue the image as puzzling indeterminable founts, labyrinthian puzzles, to stopgap their expediency, becomes paramount."

Sam Pulitzer at Real Fine ArtsPeter Wächtler & Sam Pulitzer at House of Gaga and Reena Spaulings Fine Art

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Agnes Scherer at Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen


Maybe this is a bit on the nose, or maybe this is exactly what we need, a big metaphor linking the symbolists, the icon painters, the current tech surreal of Cornell boxes. 

Autumn Ramsey at Crèvecoeur

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This would be the, at least, 4th cat butthole - this one with lips of thighs to attend a sort of mollusk rear. (There's also been at least one, albeit less luxurious, dog butt.) Trying to describe a hole, an absence, but a thing rife with image: the son of god appears in a dog. (Google "dog butt Jesus.") The point being, the rear of a cat is an icon for the mirage factory of Ramsey - the butt is the nexus where the world goes abstract, the fur whorls, the thing, like a Klein bottle, turns in on itself, disappears. Self empties. Self decorates its hole hallucination. Like all the roses. 

Monday, January 10, 2022

Past: Autumn Ramsey

"decorative embellishments adorning the subject like Christmas tree, a structure for the hanging of means, that while Moreau's wreaths of ornamental doodadery shimmer with objects and riches... an object that has more or less lost its meaning to act the tradition itself, history painting glitz."

".. the decorative itself becomes an object. It's not the shimmer to a space, but the sculpted out affect. You're not looking at a lion, you're looking at a hallucination..."

"lovely and sensuous cat butt"

Read full: Autumn Ramsey at CrèvecoeurAutumn Ramsey at Park View, Autumn Ramsey at Night Club

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Past: 

"Like Cage, for whom silence released a flood of sound, for de Rooij from the magistration of blankness comes an outpouring of reference. Cognition loathes a vacuum and in noise organizes pattern and meaning. Finds pleasure in such sterility totemized.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Claus Richter Easy Clages, Cologne

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"a whole fun fair" : the big cartoon, the toy store, thematic to our world which converts everything into transactable pleasure, the stores for adults not much different from a kid's store anymore. "Sesame Street and hyper-Western Americanisation, which Richter has internalised since childhood." In 2015 CAWD wrote: "the kids grown on cartoons have arrived and their childhoods have coincidentally, absurdly, become the accurate depictions of the way the world has begun to feel." And we're once again asked to read the malls for clues to our own humanity. We window shop for it, humanness or something like it.  

See too: “Puddle, pothole, portal” at Sculpture CenterJuliana Huxtable at Reena Spaulings


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Edu Carrillo at L21 Gallery

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the difference between here and Robert Nava or Joe Bradley for the real nappies. Painting as a child, or representations of the paintings of children. One is defensible, wields emoji badges of draftsman. The other is a child. Your preference will be telling. Some will say, neither, yuk yuk. But elsewhere, always, day to day, the same choice.

See too: Austin Lee at Peres Projects (evolution of bad painting) 


Monday, January 3, 2022

Miriam Cahn at The Power Plant

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Painting today is made to hang well behind desks. Blame Gerhard Richter "powerful" benign abstraction. Safe. The beautiful paintings Cahn's can't really be mistaken for. Color instead a cruelty. Chicken plucked flesh. An acid replacing lipstick. There is too much content, unmistakeable, with an ambiguous antagonist. Is that birth going well? is the smiley faced sex? The general moments of happiness (sex, handjobs, infants) instead unsafe. This all sounds so direly over-the-top, so excessive. But maybe that's why it works. There's no couching it. No excuse to hang well over you.

Past: Miriam Cahn

"like drawings made by children to be diagnosed by therapists."

"painting's bright red beauty a violent thing. ... balloons filled with red liquid. Rubbed of noses, devoid of hair, flesh the color of factory chicken. The manifold meanings of the adjective tender, "showing gentleness" as well as "sensitive to pain." "(of meat) easy to cut."

"Like heat maps for sensation, it could be unendurable cheese, e.g. "the red stands for love" but its their tenuous walk over the chasm of schmaltz that feels like its relationship to horror - fall into a meat grinder or sentimentality, crushed like Precious Moments figurines. There's something so fragile about our ability to feel empathy, to feel tender. We're stupid creatures that are easy to break. The ability for Cahn to at any moment move firmly into the world of melodrama feels as much a threat as violence, she could destroy them with a heart emoji."

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Darren Bader at Real Pain

(link)

Lmao this press release is pretty good, if even only for the last line: "What is compelling here is not a proposal that these assemblages are meaningful, but that there is a chance they could be." The line is telling, much to unpack. The anxiety of things. Of their meaning. A real terror. 

Past: Darren Bader

"that if we're going to take seriously the idea of dead fire bricks arranged gravenly on floors .. then too so we must accept with it its ideological twin, shrimp tossed in a foosball table or muffins arranged. To argue the importance of bricks/floor vs shrimp/game is to already enter into Bader's standoff, and lose to the man brilliantly willing to lose everything to win."

"Possibly the reason a lot of artists hate Bader, besides the general impishness, is the refusal to perform any sort of critical consolidation of his practice, that moral underpinning of art, "criticality." Instead, at the cost of any "critical" structure a near incessant expansion.  Any of Bader's "good ideas" are buried in an avalanche of "any idea." Darren Bader is exhausting. A lot of artists - despite whatever art's claims to freedom and ostensible rejection of cultural values - wouldn't let themselves behave half this stupidly. The criticism is perhaps that acting stupidly isn't really freeing, but really neither is what most artists do anyway. "

"...on the internet you would see mugs printed with inane images auto-designed by algorithms. It dredged everything available to place it onto a mug. Everything onto everything. A tornado of reference and attachment, and the audience in the whirl attempting to see anything to relieve the anxiety of so much garbage, vertigo in feeling one's toes sense the full ocean of production."



See Full:
All posts tagged Darren Bader
Darren Bader at Franco Nero
Darren Bader at Blum & Poe
Darren Bader at Andrew Kreps
Darren Bader at Sadie Coles
Darren Bader at Radio Athènes,
Darren Bader at Kölnischer Kunstverein
Darren Bader at Andrew Kreps

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Xu Zhen at MadeIn Gallery

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Xu Zhen is the guy that cut a meter off the top of Mt. Everest, showed the still-snowcapped-peak in a vitrine. Documentation to "prove" it. At the time I was interested in myth and the production of the artist - the way rumor rutted into reality, how artists became "mythic," their trademark. Now it's XU ZHEN®. What artist hasn't established a brand, released a perfume. Like the paintings - structured on the WeChat message screen - familiarity provides comfort. Comfort sells. Place your identity into a package, into an Apple store, something more easily consumable.