Friday, December 30, 2022

Daniel Turner at Kunsthalle Basel


Sculpture never had its Zombie formalism. But this is it. The industrialization of aura through reference-shredded-process. This stuff comes from hospitals! And, like, chemical factories! Spooky. Think of hospitals, stuff happens there! Chemicals! I bet they linger! Wow, have you heard of On Kawara! It points! Things in the world! Oh my! Traces! Like the Shroud of Turin in relation to the face of Jesus, they are fake. But asking questions! Artworld JAQing off. A more steroidic budget. Turning human blood into wine for rich consumption. 

This value added of anecdotal content, of reference converted to sign...
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, [now art] is given to absorb the history. 

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. A satirical factory of art aura.

The animism that pervades contemporary sculpture is a compositional strategy of curators and artists drawing out a latent feature of minimalism described already in 1967 by Michael Fried as a "theatricality," and used as a showroom potentiality, a sort of pornographic objecthood in a showroomization of art, imbuing importance with display strategies arranging attention, prioritize the presence of the object in relation to a viewer, no longer the blank mirror objects of minimalism creating a stage to hold the viewer/actor, but objects which the actor, you, holds in relation to themselves, Hamlet touching the cranial vault to his own, all under the shadow-less white light of product photography or god.

See: “Being Thing” at Centre International d’Arte et du Paysage & Treignac ProjetJames Hoff at VI, VII

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Past: 

 Swennen's painterly literalness: there is no magic, just the object and the sisyphean onus, push paint. It makes an image. The interest in this hamhandness is in never pulling the same gambit twice, still producing some object interest while lacking any painterly ambition whatsoever.

an occasional brilliance in darkness, that dies, and leaves one wondering what light there ever was in the first place, and when its dark its almost chilling levels of it, sort of begging you to hate them.

full: Walter Swennen at Xavier Hufkens(1), Walter Swennen at Xavier Hufkens (2)

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Heimo Zobernig at Petzel

(link)

There is no bedrock to terrible things. Imagine something bad, now imagine it a little worse. Make it children. Redder. Make it expressionist. Continue until you have ugliness you cannot commit to paper. There are further depths than this abyssal trench. A drill is required to get deeper technicolor horror. The baseness of Heimo Zobernig's painting. Things you can't explain to father. 


Past: Heimo Zobernig

"[The work's] banality incites questioning - 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 : 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

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Past: Silke Otto-Knapp

"The ethereal silver surface appending some Last Year at Marienbad memory".." they're projection screens for home films of your cultural baggage."

"Our recognition-of is the greatest asset of a painting, proving its commonality, prerequisite to fame."

"Yesterday's brand strategies reemerge in painting's today. Mona Lisa handbags, af Klimt on a tank, Carl Andre halloween costumes. You can't water down a public's desire for a painting, prevalence only increases the throngs lined to see it, at distance, behind glass. "


Read Full: Kyung-Me at Bureau & Silke Otto-Knapp at The Renaissance SocietySilke Otto-Knapp at greengrassiSilke Otto-Knapp at Taylor Macklin

Monday, December 26, 2022

Dashiell Manley at Marianne Boesky Gallery

(link)

Laura Owens was able to rescue from cynicism the quotational irony of Jonathan Lasker's cartoons and whack out a baroque nosegay. The academic into clusterfucks. Even Fun. Here the quotational returns to that Xeroxed question; you put art history straight to the office paper shedder. "You put the referent in the shredder to make a puzzle appear. Which looks like a painting. Gives the PR something to talk about. "

See too:Dashiell Manley at Jessica Silverman

Past: 

" A lot painting today is excuses for getting bright striking colors onto canvas. ... PRs become the spellcasting against anything that could be mistaken for irrational, and we spit-firing reasons, definitions, reference, backloading the work to look like weight. ... Perhaps brilliance, like Grotjahn, in just not even excusing oneself. A confusion of whether or not these are dumb."

Dashiell Manley at Jessica Silverman


Past: 

...rendering's look itself has come to represent and stand in for our imaginative space ... The wet image absorbed the qualities of virtual space, the sheen of the digitally plastic, denoting its manipulability...

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Marina Xenofontos at A MAIOR

(link)

A disappearance into the christmas trees of capital. Placing your art amongst commodities is a higher form of self-flagellation. 

Friday, December 23, 2022

Past: Manfred Pernice

"Construction, for Pernice, is made like a complaint, the decisions heavy and won." "... failure to fully erect anything." "Height made apparent with pain. the stacking as its major form of construction.. attainment of a height passable for sculpture. ... denote an empathetic shyness, a slovenliness evocative of the depressed's care for self-comfort."

Read Full:Manfred Pernice at The Modern InstituteManfred Pernice at Kunstmuseum St. GallenManfred Pernice at Galerie NeuManfred Pernice at Anton Kern

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Past: Barbara Kasten

"...like exorcisms to make photography reveal its surface: what was made to represent everything but itself ... a surrealist project of photography's desire-surface, the paradox of photographing glass ... desiring the wet image of surface. Like making love to someone's glistening sweat... making its car-body self expose without getting a look under the hood,

...like now pretty much every photographer today not necessarily trying to break the glass, at least looking to place a sticker on it or find some odd way to warm its domination of us, with a filter say, the image.


Read Full: Barbara Kasten at Hannah Hoffman“Every Day I Make My Way” at Minerva

Sara Deraedt at Maxwell Graham / Essex Street


Art abhors a vacuum, we critics race like rats to fill void with our hot air. Me, a pattern seeking brain, notices: D's continual insistence on containers, empty or to be filled. Vacuums, a "fishbowl" gallery, empty water bottles, prisons, and then now these... chambers. Several of these past works include in their materials list the cubic centimeters of volume they contain: 2010 cm³, 448000 cm,³ - Steel, screws, paint, 364480 cm³, etc. (Pedantically accurate, they include 10 cm³ of airspace in the 2L water bottle.) A small detail from an otherwise reticent artist for this exhibition: "All objects are human body size." In other words this is the space for you. You project yourself. The art just there to contain it.... yeah, like a prison. It reaps your profits.

This is not "audience-as-decoration." Because you are indentured to this bespoke void.



Enjoy your stay: The empty space for ghosts

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Past: 

"the bad television of painting history, floating through low reception airwaves..  It arrives jumbled, confused, i.e. the "What we think we see is a creation of our mind’s eye." In other words, an inkblot.

Full: Heather Guertin at JDJHeather Guertin at Brennan & Griffin 

Terry Winters at Modern Art

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Terry Winters is proof that dumb painting can look smart with the whiff of information, science, intelligence. The gentlest hint of reason. So bubble up signs in mud, possible glyphs to understanding. Because we want paintings that speak, mean.

Like all those microscopic slides whose abstraction we nonscientists can't assess but are told hold meaning. Isn't that the perfect analogy for art?


We apophenic machines: Antek Walczak at Jenny’s

Friday, December 16, 2022

Past: Merlin Carpenter

"Has a more vacuous flaccid and dead show ever been done? An exhibition so empty it's like looking at ocean’s abyss. Carpenter has always been capable of the self-flagellating gesture, but this, this is like selling your flesh to pay the guy who owns your soul for its postage to hell, and you’re walking around bleeding without a shirt. This show makes Zobernig look like an academic painter. Codax like he paints Sundays."


Full: Merlin Carpenter at Reena Spaulings, Merlin Carpenter at MD 72,  Click Merlin Carpenter at Overduin & Co.Merlin Carpenter at Reena Spaulings (2)“Faktura (For A Nervous Spirit)” at kim? Contemporary Art Centre

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Past: Tobias Kapsar

"Folding fashion into art should seem to cause a nebulous hole to erupt, the whole thing en abyme and vertiginous... But it just looks like art."

"None of this is lost on Kaspar who has been gliding between fashion-as-art and just-plain-art [...] fashions which for the moment the flash can be frozen"


Past: Tobias Kaspar at SilberkuppeTobias Kaspar at Peter Kilchmann

 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, ..."

See: Michelle Grabner at The Green Gallery

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Past: Mungo Thomson at Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver

"...Thompson's boorish version replaces romantics with a cleverness, inserting pop-culture into the permutations of conceptual art. It's all almost funny. e.g. John Cage's 4:44 rendered beautifully as symphonic chirping of crickets. [...] The list goes on and critics groan and the uninitiated feel some sort of awe at getting it, art, we get it, the easily explainable trick Mungo's greatest trick of all."

Colors of the year(s)



We made this joke in 2019 on instagram. But the radiant orchid is a perennial. 

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Ghosts

(link)

 Looking for the ghost in the machine we instead find the designer. We find ourselves, staring back. This is you, the abyss your baggage brought. 

Writing about blank art you are confronted with the theater of your skull, your dome's skeletal movie screen. It's called "prisoner's cinema," a useful term for art. Eyes phosphene in darkness, in vacuity your mind alights. You project. Blankness rewards the already full mind, handing the viewer back to themselves, allowing all the self-satisfied self-congratulations they can self-muster. Art abhors vacuum. You cannot kill content if you tried. Because art is baggage, preloaded with a cultural et al. 

[Because] not knowing is unacceptable, and rejection would prove viewer's impotence, thus created an environment where artists are able to produce further and further extremes of blankness filled by those refusals to not-know, whose sensory deprivation creates phantasms, see the abyss looking back because we are doing the projecting.

The wider the distance between signs/images the greater the space to be filled, the grander the concept, the impossible gap, generally seceded to the viewer. This is our conceptual moment. Objects have meaning, we cannot pass that off, and the distance between them, grand like the canyon, vacant and large. ...the only thing left to do is to produce greater and greater gulfs of meaning.

The tension: whether this beacon actually broadcasts idea. Or simply clears space for fill, me, this, now."


In dark forests we imagine predators, in trees see intelligence. In confusion we excel at inventing gods, or meaning.


Thursday, December 8, 2022

Past: Olga Balema

" ... both art and pornography must materialize its sensitivities by finding visual equivalents for touch. "  "Our touch, now more than ever, comes from sight, comes from packages of it in the high definition of images and advertising, we feel through sight"

"over-inflated carcass of rotting whale PVC fetishists"

"the demands for artwork, like pornography, to photograph well... Now, here a show that doesn't photograph well. Instead, like tires danced through by hulking men on tiptoes, your body staged in tripwires. Connections others have made to the history of empty galleries miss the fact that A, the gallery is full of things and B, empty galleries do not require such care where you step. (The read of "empty" seems, again, evidence of our perception now dominated by sight rather than haptic presence, proprioception, etc.) ... This is another means of making the body appear, nervous, a perhaps long theme of Balema, but without resort to the "excess body", the biomorphic, lumpy, intestinal. ..."

Full: Olga Balema at Bridget Donahue, Olga Balema at High Art (2)Olga Balema at High Art (1)Olga Balema at Croy NielsenOlga Balema, Geta Brătescu at Galerie Barbara Weiss

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Past: Magnus Andersen 

"It's impossible to measure earnestness. Time de-ironizes and jest is made serious by attention. Saying one is more authentic is a set-up for defeat. Andersen knows that to survive is to triumph. ... Thus straps a bomb to his chest walks into the vault of images, which we his visual hostages, on a long enough timeline, learn to love, and pied man leading children to their deaths."

"An exhibition titled "Stockholm Syndrome" ... a decades long acclimatization to certain types of aesthetic abuse, where an artworld begins to actually like the Jeff Koons, or Josh Smith.  On a long enough timeline they begin to appear quaint, lovable, despite their demonics. To deny it would simply place you outside it. ... and as always with hideous painting, 'half the fun is learning to love it.'"


Tuesday, December 6, 2022


"for Brodmann style is suspended  in the dispersed particles of [art's] past participants, in the soup of its references, closing in on the liquify setting of its blender."

"By turning the painting into an accumulation of "Brodmann moments", in a sort cave-painting/graffito mode, Brodmann compositionalizes his semio-capital, transmuting it into information, into a field of redirects failing to place it anywhere, turning it into painting as sort of recursive field, allowing to renege on the artist task of "be Brodmann" while being Brodmann."

Past: Vittorio Brodmann at Halle Für Kunst LüneburgVittorio Brodmann at Freedman FitzpatrickVittorio Brodmann at Gregor Staiger

Monday, December 5, 2022

David Rappeneau at Queer Thoughts, New York

(link)

Hold a fashion magazine up to warbled silver. The effect ostensibly providing the "nightmare" and "post-apocalypse" to what otherwise are a snapchat's night out. They just look fun. You can't out nihilist fashion - that's a loser's game - these already begun their pleasance. If they were paintings they'd already be on the high courts walls. Their crayon applies a backrooms feel, underdog, pulled from the notebook of a derelict clown. Their paper being their critical strength. Otherwise they'd just be silver mirrors. 

 

Liz Craft at Centre d'édition contemporaine, Geneva


(link)

Craft's investment in our emoji-ification - the way we relinquish representation/communication to symbols and mannequins. Yellow orbs to replace us, pareidolialy, trash compose face. It's easy and we're good at it. That we identify with the dead eyes of Ms. Pac-man. That speech bubbles can shrink wrap anything. The frame explain its function, even when there is none, it comes flooding, like a painting. We will always see something in them, singing signing. 

Liz Craft at Real Fine ArtsLiz Craft at Jenny’s


"the youth are bored, despondent, they are nervous and pallid, but worst they're nostalgic. Cylindric reference reflects in anamorphosis to project history as bigger than it..  Looking back to see yourself reflected in the glass already containing all the gold you can fish, to find yourself trapped on the silver side of the mirror, your reflection. And Rappeneau's endless inscriptions in this silver surface, this hypertrophied advertorial ennui.."

Past: David Rappeneau at Queer ThoughtsDavid Rappeneau at Queer Thoughts
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, December 2, 2022

Past: J. Parker Valentine

"expectations of legibility, depictive of some tip-of-the-tongue subject within a library of means detailing the amorphous thing it circles but fails to produce. There is the lure of subject-object, the thing that will at any moment manifest itself in the definitive lines of drawing"

"a viewer left to sort spaghetti formed lines like tea leaves that were inside you all along. Pareidolia."


J. Parker Valentine at Misako & RosenJ. Parker Valentine at Juan and Patricia Vergez CollectionJ. Parker Valentine at Park View

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Past: Naoki Sutter-Shudo

"The souvenir acts as a placeholder for tourists urge...  desire, likely some vestigial expression of our sexual selection's wiring, which is why so many of them are cute." "The trinket functions like a flower, a desirous other, holding some promise. We don't know what it is for, but it feels for something. The flower was beautiful before we knew its sexual radish. "

"The break in between what something is and what something suggests: a function, poetic fissure."

Full: Naoki Sutter-Shudo at Bodega (1), Naoki Sutter-Shudo at Bodega (2)Naoki Sutter-Shudo at Crèvecoeur