Thursday, February 2, 2023

 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

Patricia L. Boyd at Secession, Vienna

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The "certifying white light." Of food porn, pornography, and god. Also the gallery. Product photography. To reduce blemishes. Feign omniscience. Pretend to be science, all knowing, objective. If we could remove darkness, spend extra on the intricacy, we would find some kind of truth-identifying substance. We only require extra wattages, a more technical brilliance, higher levels of magnification, detail, analysis. Then it will be revealed. The exhaustion engine. 

Past:  Patricia L. Boyd at Christian Andersen & Front Desk Apparatus

"But what does this system produce? Nothing except an image of itself. The artist refers to the work as an “exhaustion engine.” It simultaneously represents and realizes the use and expenditure of her artistic resources: a commission fee and a studio at the NASA-grade production facilities" -Annie Godfrey Larmon Artforum
Someone once said that Sports were simply an advanced random number generator for creating stories. Sometimes art seems a similarly tangential means for the same.


Wednesday, February 1, 2023

 Past: Hana Miletić 

"...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. Labor itself becomes auratic, the look of it. Simulacra. Because 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.

"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)"

Full: Notes on StitchesHana Miletić at Basement Roma

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Isabella Solar Villaseca at O—Overgaden


Artists take note! The t-shirt is an honest signal. Unlike for so many artists who must subsume their signs/fandom into craft objects as value, the lowly t-shirt attempts no artistic bruhahaha. The t-shirt is stupid, democratic, it is your vote - which is why we like it - and why so many bad artists attempt to leverage their tastes as "art," monumentalize their like into statues, little fascists that artists are. 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Group Show at House of Gaga

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Recognizing art is different from seeing it. We experience registry rather than sight. It's not a camel, it's a Heji Shin. It's never more noticeable than in group shows of a certain age(?).  Becoming recognizable as an artist is a certain type of death. Which many experience as unfortunate success. This is important recognition. 

Poppy Jones at Overduin & Co.

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The receding sign, withdrawal, threatening loss, like paintings in the rain. 🥺 sad. "art often feels like a process, technology, for imprinting nostalgia. Casting banality in bronze, silver, with a halo of rose. " The Sontagian elegy of photographs as an Instagram filter. "preserves your recognition like pickled pigs and call it romantic." Pre-attaching its loss, you can almost print it. Nostalgia turning into an industry for creating it. 

see too: Moyra Davey, Peter Hujar at Galerie Buchholz

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Alex Becerra at Karma International

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IN 2014 Alex Becerra was titling exhibitions "problematic whores" and getting reviews in Frieze and LA Times. Lauding him for "the self-granted freedom ... that no white artist would dare put his name to.""clearly feel[ing] no pressure to self-censor, which is a rare thing today, not just amongst artists." Now almost 10 years later the paintings are tame and the "reviews" come from culture magazines. It's a classic shift of the painter entering midcareer yes, but also a measure of how the art world has childproofed itself. No more edge, is it growing up or growing old?

Past: Nicolas Ceccaldi
 
"the indulgence of style seems the point, the running theme throughout Ceccaldi's: oversaturation of 'content,' a new version of camp: 'ostentatious, exaggerated, affected, theatrical.'  It's an blanket you put on things to make them appear new. You put dark fairy wings on young children, attach biomorphic toy-parts to video cameras, remake Beethoven with the signs of the dungeon dweller, paint it black and turn it upside down and suddenly people react to the affect rather than any individual content"

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Ishi Glinsky at UC Santa Barbara

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For a century now art has been take x but big. Expressionist childhoods projected at meters square carried 50 years of art. Etc. So no foul here. (And we've said before, big jewelry, brilliant.) If you're going to put the sign on the wall, put the sign on the wall. The sign scales. And scale is a tenuous thing today, it may be the defining characteristic of it. The ability to scale. The loss of scale in image that consumes us. Richard Serra could build something so big as a sign. 

See too: Ana Pellicer at House of GagaAmanda Ross-Ho

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Evian Wenyi Zhang at Lulu

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The book page, the altar piece, the comic panel, cubism (ostensibly), Google Images, GUI space, the "F shape" web structure. Information design, every so often a new way of looking is invented, discovered.  The form creates the seeing, realigns the world. Not sure this is it, but it's a noble pursuit. 


Monday, January 23, 2023


"What hides behind the nicety is an insidiousness of attentional assault."

Past: Laura Owens at Capitain Petzel

Friday, January 20, 2023

Koichi Enomoto at Nonaka-Hill

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This on the other hand is the Pollockification of figuration. The splatter gun school of content. The drips become sign systems, limbs, etc. Painting is the flypaper of culture. Collects its surreal. All forced into the depth of an Ipad, or again, Beckman. Painting as your punk jacket assembled and stitched with the cultural buttons you find neat. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Satoru Kurata at Tomio Koyama Gallery

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Most of today's wild wacky arm figuration is limbs as an excuse for some Pollock. An abstraction excused as the narrative it isn't. (Like we still haven't gotten past Schutz. Or Beckman.) But here the narrative structure is stupid simple, effective. The trick gives subjects autonomy, the minorest amount of agency. We see them seeing. Instead of just the painter. Which we still always are. But we get to forget that for a brief edenic moment. Momentarily vicarious.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Past: 

"We've been staring at lights for a hundred thousand years, fire to hearth to television to phones, the light we arrange our living rooms around, surely finding comfort in our control, ability to channel and manipulate forces. We can now flaunt it, bend the tubes of capital to allow its flows to move through our neon, make it baroque to brandish it - its light as proof of our life, the lights are on, we are vital. Where once the fire was symbol of home, lights are now proof of capitalistic viability: an artist keeping the lights on."

"...i.e.: Conceptual Art was always [already] maximally poetic; failing to deliver the object the bureaucracy its language promised - breaking the logical glass to expose perfume of its confusion. Glossing beauty atop to prove it: annoying at best. Wyn Evans engagement with this problem seems, at least partially, the point, the aestheticization of experience and awareness of it. This is the sinister pulsing of Wyn Evans, the fact that there is no need for this artificial light."


Click for Cerith Wyn Evans at Galerie NeuCerith Wyn Evans at Museo Tamayo

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Reto Pulfer at Hollybush Gardens

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This type of artwork may be the final boss of 2010s contemporary art. A book you can't read. Pinned to the floor. An object of infinite affect. Compare to this object from 7 years ago. The tied up text.

"The packaging - the design, the arrangement - is the object, the affective manipulation of its viewer: the object above all connotes. Connotes intention and therefore meaning. The documentation encircles and presents it." But also prevents it.

"It creates a hole for the projection of its potential, fun or meaning. ...  The art object must be an inexhaustible hole, an affectation of the toy never opened. Like the toy manufacturer who ultimately wins by having privatized access to object, the artwork privatizes its "meaning." [Both are locked in packaging. ] It "means" nothing outside of the inflection of its affect [advertsing]. Circulates its sign within the sign structures of art, it looks like art, like it means something."

The toy designer and the artist no longer design a toy, design an artwork, they design a transaction. 


Monday, January 16, 2023

Past: Julia Scher

"The security camera, early exemplar of our proprioception lost to digital realms. Magritte's Not to be Reproduced no longer surreal but our reality, walking into department stores. Your body could be distended in mirrors sent through ethers appearing before you, behind you, and on facebook to poke, instagram to heart, 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..."

Past:

"Notable to the migratory flocking, Henkel and Pitegoff decamped to Berlin and opened a bar. In business it would be called a "blue ocean strategy," i.e. with Berlin's art party become more Donner than dance, the artistically snowbound cannibalizing, a bone thrown to waters bloodying was respectable way to neutralize hungry dogs, demonstrate oneself a source of sustenance, feeding the hungry with cocktails, was no small ingenuity. The theater that came next placed the bar's social capital in the spotlight, literally on view, staged, showcasing the finer patrons on a pedestal and lit to be gawked upon. Before exhibiting the bar itself. Whatever institutional critique it held was mostly in the fact that it could do it better ... continually furthering of the Berlin trope of artist diasporas of song and dance routines to attend the paintings and objects..."

"'I’m leaving because this is bad. Because it’s really bad, isn’t it?'"


Saturday, January 14, 2023

New Space Show at Layr & The Old Greyhound Bus Station at Bortolami


New Space day at CAD. An old bus station, a fresh digs. The exhibition space is the thing we're meant acknowledge but also not supposed to really acknowledge. (It would be too base to talk about the space in a true art review.) But yet it's there, the cosmic radiation to art.  I'm not even sure we have a language for its criticism, we only talk about it as a whole, as the common cube, to everyone. The implicit gold wreath. That now occasionally self-acknowledges? The exhibition's space is the watermark for the gallery's brand. the identity - so of course there is desire to puff its chest. 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Cindy Ji Hye Kim at Kunsthall Stavanger

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Saccharine counterbalanced with fragility in excess. Laser cut bones, graphite sandcastles. This will all be erased! Graphite drawing: granules in time, sand in the hourglass! It makes the chintz bearable knowing it will disappear. Why does our nervous systems resemble brambles? Our venous system roses? Our love all tinder in the long run's fire. As we desiccate. To the charcoal we will become. Art linked to our own bonfire.  It makes the sweetness temporary, endurable. Saying the same thing 3 times. 

Past:

"so Humphries' neither expressive nor quotational of expression, paint is instead already perfectly dumb. This separates them from the hordes of zombies: no search for brains. 

"Like Richter whose painting exists in the netherworld of a stupid transcendence, instead just give us what we want, paint, flesh, dumbly."

"..the well worn jazz hands of "expression" aren't, for Humphries, totally choreographed yet by Dr. Frankenstein... the corpse may have its fluids replaced in technicolor, paraded around in chromes and newfangled chemiluminescence ... not just silver paint but making the silver paint shine like candied yams."

"the more vulgar excesses of Humphries's paint always excused by its obliviousness to the demands of "making a painting." ...

"This song and dance is actually a visual pleasure of a long dead corpse embalmed really well."





Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Past: Anna-Sophie Berger at JTT

"Berger's exhibitions look like group shows, filled to the brim with objects inconsistent. If outward appearance needs consistency to "make sense," if fashion is meant as an expression of its subject, the wearer, we could draw a line from Berger's fashion discourses earlier to now: a breakdown in objects ability to communicate its subject, artist or wearer...."


read full: Anna-Sophie Berger at JTT

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Adam Higgins at Chris Sharp Gallery


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Drip paintings as hyper realist memento mori? A salad days preserved for years, preserved by "photography's inherent embalm and morbidity." Argument: "But youth should be wasted, sloughed into bogs of our own autumns. Instead [salad's] preservation, feeling always like photography flexing its own ability to do so, holding its pearl while we are like strapped to dying animals, timers and all. Like Imhof's Faust, subjects are forced into becoming advertisements for themselves [for painting], for the thing they cannot hold onto but [art] gets to reap." So you get your big abstraction, at a slight remove, and the humility flies upon it. They're vanitas, all art temporary, your Pollock rots, attracts vermin. This will all spoil!  But only in representation. "Dutch vanitas were also a means for the wealthy to signal their humility through ostentatious displays of said humility." The joke is you get your cake and display a humble cake too. 

Past: Mai-Thu Perret

"at what point is it an "archaeology of modernism" .. and at what point is it recasting its forms in more precious materials, as designer souvenirs of that history? "

"... as the commodes of home catalogs and design-porn magazines. Souvenirs of a high-end experience. predicting the craft object trends. The pottery on everyones shelves, neon signs trending in summer cottages. Perret originally created a narrative of a fictional utopia which "produced" the artworks. All the funnier since the trends that look like hers all premise themselves on the selling of hopeful futures, the crafts we will all already be acclimated to post-apocalypse, raku firing our dreams. Perret eventually got rid of the utopia fiction, and then they became just art, much less utopic."


Read all posts tagged Mai-Thu Perret
Past: Lucy McKenzie

"... the modern question of whether we should believe in the sign or not, the surface or not, like clue boards we're not sure to trust, as the PR states: presenting legal grey areas in culture’s appetite for the genuine."


All posts tagged: Lucy McKenzie

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Past: Henry Taylor at Eva Presenhuber

It's a odd property of most paint that you can't brighten black skin by adding white; brown's vibrance is muted by white. While the tonal value is "lighter" the chromatic intensity is lessened...  An artifact in history's poor representation of blackness ... in the paint itself.

Full: Henry Taylor at Eva Presenhuber


Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Manuel Solano at Carlos/Ishikawa

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The blind painter, it's like a Borges story, we see the creation the creator cannot. The preloaded failure in communication, the age old question whether the tree in my mind is the tree in yours. Why was it important for culture to keep dinosaurs lizard like - we were afraid of boys constricted by feather boas? Puffs with teeth underneath? If these dinosaurs are flamboyant then Jurassic Park's are alt-right. We're not even sure we're looking at the same thing. Different trees.

Past: Raimer Jochims

"There is analogy to be made in the sculptor as an intestinal tract: Freed from the structure and striations of skeletal muscle ... the smooth muscle sculptor digests like an intestinal tube that is artist's erosion in time... just rubbing, frottage until the rocks are tumbled to our gratification."

"Jewels or portals, the tension-confusion. A faceted sapphire is both; painting a jewel for your wall."


Click: Raimer Jochims at Jacky Strenz (1)Raimer Jochims at Jacky Strenz (2)Raimer Jochims at Jacky Strenz (3)Raimer Jochims at Jacky Strenz (4)

Past: Kerstin BrätschKAYA

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

"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 MarconiDAS INSTITÜT at Serpentine GalleryKAYA at Deborah Schamoni Kerstin Brätsch at Gavin BrownKerstin Brätsch at Gladstone 64


Monday, January 2, 2023

Rodney McMillian at Petzel

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Connecting the dots between rooms we would assume those too are fake modernist "decoys" - not precisely art -which, in the longstanding modernist battle to end art, making a fake version seems as apt as anything. But fake art presents the real-fake-doors conundrum - that the fake requires an authentic. Which there wasn't. It's all in service to the trophy - the token as meaning. What is a trophy? And not even sure why we wanted to kill art - but this seems less an attack on art more like attempt at self-deletion, the trophy hunter capturing himself?