Wednesday, November 29, 2023

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 all: Eliza Douglas

Gelatin at Galerie Meyer Kainer


Gelatin's would seem a populist stupidity balanced with the high abjection of a butthole. But it's all butthole in populism, and Gelatin's greatest skill is getting a blue haired public to smile on camera with said butthole, to join in happily to dig the worthless hole. It doesn't take much. Everyone is happy to laugh because irony excuses everything. Like a nun taking photos with the Naked Cowboy - this is common. Dunking on the Mona Lisa is playing basketball against a team paid to lose. The dunks better be Globetrotter - otherwise what is the point of the effigy. Comedy falls flat when it commends an audience's ability to distance themselves.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Hanna Hur at Kristina Kite Gallery


Spirituality was always psychedelia wearing a different coat. The vibes were differently ordered. Sacred Geometry, Minimalism. And this is the Venn center of all of them. Geometric psychedelia. Sacred hallucinatory. Amsler grids for God. Sense a higher plane, order, any order, just order, through the meat of your eyes.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Hypothesis: if art was given to a simple taxonomic system it would reveal that there are relatively few strategies that are continuously reshuffled underneath a facade of ever updating cultural signifiers on its surface. The stems that underpin flowers aren't all that different. That while perhaps the canvas isn't a given, and the visages refresh, there is little independence to art's conceptual underpinnings. That this taxonomy of simple mechanics is never done is not because taxonomizing art would be dogmatic or repressive - but because we need the myth, that we all must actively prevent the destruction of art by the most basic levels of assessing, categorizing, and worst naming. 

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Friday, November 24, 2023

Oier Iruretagoiena at WIELS


The press release will explain the diagram, or it won't, but it doesn't matter - the diagram makes interest on a fabric of communication. Legibility, unimportant. The diagram appliques interest. Lends interpretability. The highest prize of art. Because it insinuates meaning, gold at colorful banner's end. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Berenice Olmedo at Fitzpatrick Gallery


"Every era gets the art it deserves." So then, artists were the indicator species, or canary to coal mine. Like a fever to an ailing body, art was a symptom "deserved." And so we looked to artists like idiot-savant diagnosticians. We gave them our signs, our medical equipment, pictures of our sickness so they would perform the rituals to make meaning in the churches. We didn't believe they could heal us, but we believed in a hidden knowledge in the nonsense.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Hélène Fauquet at Kunsthaus Glarus


Détuorns a frame we're used to. Reframes a frame we expect, "know" how to read. The trick is effective. These are our portals of the familial. This photo? Great cousin Greg when he was still a protoplasm, a primordial ooze. Your uncle Geoff, he's always been a cuttlefish, a real blue tailed skink. Fauqent penchant for the glass we know too well, and the glass we look through. 

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Contemporary Art Writing Daily’s 9.5 Year Anniversary!

Over the last 9.5 years, perhaps our greatest joy has been the kindness and the angry emails we’ve received from artists. Contemporary Art Writing Daily arose from a desire to stand against the hegemony of the image surpassing all critical thought, and the support and encouragement we’ve received from so many of the artists we most admire has been the fuel driving all of our efforts. We’ve used that fuel to create this website, which gives the public access to nearly 3,000 articles documenting recent art history. Just in the last two weeks, we’ve said great things.

In that spirit of gratitude for the artists we’ve learned from, we’re honored to announce our new Artist Committee. We’re grateful to have the ongoing advice and support of your name here.

We’re ultimately here because of you! Thank you for being here over the years and learning about artists alongside us. Advertising alone is not enough to cover the costs of doing this important work, so we need your help. In order to maintain this small organization, it’s crucial that we raise $150,000 in this landmark year. Please make a non tax-deductible donation here to help us reach our goal.

We’d like to thank everyone, the artists, art spaces, supporters, and friends who have made it possible for our small no-profit organization to survive for so many years. Without your help, we wouldn’t have been able to go 9.5 years basically missing only a few days, or creating Contemporary Art Writing Quarterly. We hope to continue to be of service to the international art community.

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Kyle Thurman at Sophie Tappeiner


The suit is a vessel we project into, a blank everyman we can identify ourselves in. A male power fantasy, the mech suit or the business suit. The suit is painting. It's not even a metaphor. It is simply how art operates, as a receptacle, a fantasy projection screen, a sandbox dictatorship for the tiny artist dreams.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Autumn Ramsey at Crèvecoeur


You can't write an ode to a rose, you can't praise a flower already so decorative. The rose was manufactured, it's image doesn't exist in nature - it was cultivated by science, gardeners, botanists, whose Icarus-like purpose was to strike at god, the consumer, with something more red, more voluptuous, more synthetically emblematic of verbose Beauty. The rose is a sick and twisted beast, tattoo'd into a vacuous cliche. And it is this excess artificiality that Ramsey's paintings do well, acknowledging their plastic grandeur - it is synthetic, a drug, a worldview hybridized from research chems, paint and brush. The decorative layered on the cliche. This is your grandma commenting on how much she loves your teenage wall's prismatic dancing bear. Then later it's the reverse, finding yourself staring up at your grandma's wood paneled wall, finding yourself liking her painting of a duck, its okay to like a painting of a duck, it just doesn't feel right.
Past: Autumn Ramsey

"... the 4th cat butthole - this one with lips of thighs to attend a sort of mollusk rear. ... 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. 

"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."

"lovely and sensuous cat butt"

".. 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..."

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

Thursday, November 16, 2023

 Past: Pamela Rosenkranz

[Rosenkranz's] substances are often fictional, and Anemine appears an artistic bruhaha in a long line of "doctors" with liminal connections to good medicine ...  So long as promotion outspeeds due diligence the product will remain valid. And they are fun to say: NeuroSafe, Anthroplex, Brain Safe, Myco-ZX, TB12, Super Male Vitality, medical leeches, ... 

"gives consumers a sensation of security: the less they understand the terms used to describe the product, the more reliable it seems, because it's at the cutting edge of technology." ... everything there for a real good narrative.

As ostensible critique of pharmaceutical, technological and advertorial strategies, Rosenkranz instead deploys them to great affect in art, using their strategies in consolidating attention and maintaining lure over the viewer.

Pamela Rosenkranz at Karma International(2), Pamela Rosenkranz at Karma International(1)

Omari Douglin, Lukas Quietzsch at Ramiken


Position the abstractions with cartoons, to prove they have content. That the cartoon contents has an abstract value. Painting is a patchwork quilts. A color you sew to its vessel. A sponge absorbs what's near, a painting is its circumstance. How it is positioned, hung, curated. "the canvas becomes a better receptacle." It just takes it. Abstraction are cartoons, our cartoons are abstractions. etc. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2023


"Thornton seemed to have the insight that there are more interesting things than "painting," and that these things are (or can be assimilated with) painting, that painting is not the historical given. There is no "natural" painting but merely an inherited set of tropes... Rules to a game you didn't even realize existed. ... where almonds or pennies might be an equal painting axiom as Greenbergian "flatness".  Inflate a mattress, call it painting, it's not revolutionary except for the fact that no one else is on the same gameboard. 

A "befuddlement of the terms and conditions of paintings... obtuse, tangential starts digressing from those painting histories generally acceptable as beginnings.

a balletic comedy of evasion.."

"It's like the world but also not the world at all. "

Full: SoiL Thornton at Kunstverein BielefeldSoiL Thornton at Moran BondaroffSoiL Thornton at Essex Street

Monday, November 13, 2023

Caitlin Keogh at Overduin & Co.


What can a tornado mean? How does it speak, catapulting whole neighborhoods into the air. A house blown up, again. How many times can you explode the house, the archive, mailbox, fenceposts, Greg, displayed, waving though the air, help. They continue beyond the frame! What can a Tornado mean by this? This is the fallout of Rachel Harrison semiotic explosion. The settling dust of nonsense. This is meaning aloft, in midair, the detritus of whatever art recently smart bombed. The airline wreckage cataloging its hangar. The little stick and poke tattoos glistening on your body. This face of Post Malone. A pox, outward flush of signs. He's got a case of the semiotics. He's got a pox of the interpretability. The illustration is clear.. but the meaning, whoa, wait till you get a load of the meaning. It's everywhere. The point is to make it look like a Clue board, to make the game is meaning. The loser is the first person to say "pipe."
Past: Kaspar Müller

"Not knowing is unacceptable, but outright rejection would prove viewer's impotence, thus created an environment where artists are able to produce further and further extremes of blankness, vacuums filled by refusals to not-know, whose sensory deprivation creates phantasms..."

"You cannot kill content if you tried because art is baggage..."

See full: Kaspar Müller at Société. Kaspar Müller at Société, Kaspar Müller at Federico Vavassori, Kaspar Müller at Museum im Bellpark,

Friday, November 10, 2023

Gina Folly at Centre d'édition contemporaine


The box's abundant metaphor, the gift, vessel, the transfer, a waste, a stuf, that nests a possibility. The box is capital's egg. Delivery, birth, of sexually selected commodity. The humble cardboard box makes our Amazonian wishes possible, you can conjure Christmas from a phone, it arrives in box. What is painting but a box? Its material is useless in comparison its higher order of content, to the gift of painting. A body that dies, but whose spirit remains. (See too: Sarah Rapson at Modern Art) An excess of cardboard population, no recycling center can handle. A dystopic grin printed on every one. Which becomes here's sentiments printed like a seance to the ghost, the ether, the big thing undelivered. 

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Alex Katz at Sant'Andrea de Scaphis


It is so nice to be effortless. To be a breeze. To be warm winds. God could you imagine trying hard. No one wants to watch someone pedal a bicycle. They want motorcycles leaping chasms. Speed. And not wearing a helmet, or seatbelt, for danger allows you to fuck up the face. Look cool with a broken nose. Do not stop. Guns like brushes blazing. Saying, This / broken nose / makes me look cooler / than the guy / in a helmet of perfection / right? God can you imagine slowing down, to correct a mistake, pedestrian.

Terminal velocity, production itself becomes the product: BrätschKAYA, Genzken, Craven, , the zombies, the current, etc.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Bernd and Hiller Becher, or Borges, the attempts an archive expand to questions of what use? What use is a photo of every wasserturm. Every image of the world. There is too much water in ivory towers. Eventually their flood replaces the land, light houses occluding everything else, the territory replaced with its map scaled to consequence, beamed directly to your hand, interest. There is darkness elsewhere, dragons. We're not even sure there's art anymore, only documentation covering the land, creating the land. Where do you stand in it? Where we're going we don't need roads, or the 90s. There's a Before CAD and an After Daily. We used to like art until it became its image. But it's a necessary project, a good one possibly. 

I walked into Micheal E. Smith's show at Clifton Benevento, ten years ago exactly, where Mr. Clifton himself greeted me and gave me a tour. It ended with him grabbing the car console and spinning out the whole world around us. Him still smiling. 

Past: Michael E. Smith

"A google search says no one has used to word 'tumor' in any online writing about Smith. Which seems odd; his objects seem awfully affected by a lot of lumps, red dots, growths... Teratomas: the classic hair and teeth of your twin in your tummy. You can google pictures of these, they actually look a lot like Smith's more "bodily" objects. ... find a potato in our eye, the 'categorically promiscuous.' Things sliding into new subjects like bare knees across asphalt..."

"It's a cliche at this point to say that Smith makes the mundane object estranged. And in a sea of so many surrealists currently operating, less than helpful. Estrangement is today's go-to strategy. Smith's is individuated, each object set off so that we can no longer 'know' the sculpture, eroding a complete vision, and opening a distrust. A psychological sliver. We cannot know the object, its relation to other objects is broken, either categorically (there is no category to place the object within, surrealist) or psychologically (the unknown threat). The rocking chair I project from the two elegant bones still in contact with the substrate of the real is not the same as the one in your head. This unknown destabilizing of our ability to conceptualize the objects in equitable terms to exchange with another -both objects and other people - (eroding the material semio-substrate with which our exchange is based) breaching a distrust, is its sinister quality."

"Threat of bodily violence is implicit to art that treats materials as categorically promiscuous (surreal - a body to become goo as any other), e.g. if you can put puffer fish under the table's summer sky, inflate them like footballs with whale ears, aren't you as wiling to place skulls at your knees. The disregard for the categorical order is like gore, crushing bodies."

"You can never be certain you've seen all the butterflies, their artwork is everywhere."

Click for full: Michael E. Smith at AtlantisMichael E. Smith at 500 Capp Street Foundation, Michael E. Smith at Sculpture Center, Michael E. Smith at Michael Benevento, Michael E. Smith at Zero, Michael E. Smith at Lulu, Michael E. Smith at Susanne Hilberry,

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Nora Turato at Sprüth Magers


What Nauman did for neon, Turato does for motivational posters, bus adverts. The contemporary illuminate manuscript to nonsensical ... sadness? - that empty pang after finding yourself having read the billboard before even knowing you were reading the billboard. Your brain wants to "make sense" of its surroundings, and you read it for clues, end up reading the billboard that has commandeered your evolutionary wiring to sell you a half naked woman in socks. It's not your fault you read it, not your fault it barely makes sense. You were not intended for spaces like these. Nothing is rational in art or advertising, for both there is only that same distending space that creates a void, a meaning that must be filled, consumerist or otherwise. 

Friday, November 3, 2023

Masato Kobayashi at ShugoArts

Paintings that barely stand on their own. That's .. a position. "What I can say about freedom is, perhaps, how I go about making my frames." - the artist. The PR: " fixed forms, but are free and flexible. His style of painting while stretching the canvas is unprecedented." Artforum: "It’s hard to like Masato Kobayashi’s exhibition." You can't say "bad," you say, "an apparent act of apostasy against 'taste.'" This is About Freedom. Reminded of a meme: 
A chad says to a monkey in a zoo, "You are not free."
The monkey responds, "No, it is you who are not free."
"But you are in a cage" replies chad.
The monkey then begins to publicly masturbate.
This is about freedom.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Past: Lin May Saeed

"Making art that expresses care for animals by carving it in material that - if left uncared for - would quickly degrade and release poisons harmful to animals is sort like selling live grenades in a puppy shelter. Why not take a grenade home, why not take back some of this asbestos to protect the earth if not your home, these animals need you. ... the suicide games pretty much everyone believes we're playing now in the anthropocene's foot-to-the-pedal towards brick walls type of time period."

"Its forthrightness would seem naive if it wasn't so endearing, handing it right to you to care for its fragility."

Full: Lin May Saeed at Jacky StrenzLin May Saeed at Studio VoltaireLin May Saeed at Lulu


"... Paintings that feel sort of worn in, faded, like your life. The things ready to date themselves, the air exposed fruit, the bordering passé culture - it's all so ready to expire. Which makes them skulls."

"..already going out of style, like a 70s spread left to the light, going blue with that ultimate death, cliche." 

Full: Ulala Imai at Nonaka-HillUlala Imai at KARMAGroup Show at High Art