Friday, May 3, 2024

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..."

"Carpenter knows this is dumb, and knows that we know he knows this is dumb. But us all gripping chins wondering on which floor precisely the middle finger is resting. Our cerebral assessments of navel's swirl that 5 years ago couldn't have been less interesting now return in way that feels apt to the political moment. Because we're exhausted. And perhaps what Carpenter is actually trading in is the feeling of exhaustion. Can you imagine being forced to explain these to someone? Explain politics now to someone?"

Read all posts tagged Merlin Carpenter
Past: B. Wurtz

"...the details aren't trivial. They are the attachments of care, sewing buttons to close coats around a warmth when another can't.  Wurtz's more homely space is all about knots tied, and buttons threaded, plastic bags hung to dry. They're dumb objects rescued by so much care like a responsibility shown for them."

" longer just trash clogging our excretory paths but hopes clogging our recycling. Headaches as evidence of anxiety at the hands of trash, of which the Wurtzian model provides a relief in seeing the objects cared for, not amassed in landfill graves but given the second life in carousels. Our aspirations finally lets them levitate, holding them off the ground, where they would become trash. Which they are suspended from."

"The American Gym Sock. Tied to teenage boys, normally repositories of filth, seed, and feet, normally locker room attire. a pubescent attire. Pimples and athletics, is here given a fastidious clean, highlighting its cotton and comfort, restoring purity, virginal phallus and receiver of course."

Full: Paul P., B. Wurtz at Cooper ColeB. Wurtz at Lulu“The Crack-Up” at Room East (B. Wurtz)B. Wurtz at Metro PicturesB. Wurtz at Richard Telles & ICA LA

Thursday, May 2, 2024


" green leaf lettuce and frill and Kooi's superfluity - increases in a descriptive power only release further metaphor, an excess of reference, description becomes the watering can, flowering a loaded lettuce content, a power for suggestion, leaving you, pervert, with pesticides spread against tumescence."

Kinke Kooi at LuluKinke Kooi at Lucas Hirsch

Past: John Armleder

"Everyone loves the smell of their own brand, and the miasmia wafts in with a laugh of its aesthetic impropriety. A fart joke. The bastardization of the proper. Stray paint and design faux-pas.  Paintings which look the way 'oopsie' sounds. Whether or not anyone else loves is it in relation to how deeply trapped they are with it. Flatulence aesthetics in the high speech."

read full: Group Show at David KordanskyJohn Armleder at Fernand Léger Foundation

Friday, April 26, 2024

Gene Beery at Derosia


An "elemental usefulness" to signage.  We evolved to interpret signs, and there should be mutual respect in harnessing our primeval wiring. This is what the advert does. To speak to someone is an intimate thing. To have their ear. To be inside their head, my words. We should treat it delicately, erotically that it is. We were made to interpret this. To interface. The painter controls volume that poet does not. Treat it with respect, a mutual suspicion. Beery and I invent a third thing together through the handshake of the poem. Not a cruelty of font size.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel at Antenna Space


Can't help but think of the memento mori of Fischli and Weiss hand-carving trash. It was about "abusing time," the waste of labor, the clock. Here labor is venerated, monuments slow carved to it. Seating whittled with a snails pace. Again, the trend for stitching. Knitting that is engraved, like, do you get it? The look of craft, of labor, of farming. Concepts so alienated to us that they return as aura, as art. Nostalgia for a time that never existed. Now labor is a fun haycation. A thing for people who don't do it to experience as a novel other. 

" was a concealment: the aluminum clamshell of your laptop being seen as economic product of capital innovation itself, rather than the hand-sweat of laborers distanced beneath gloves. A price tag for a face. Almost nothing is this world is actually automated - everything you touch is hand-made by workers. 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: Stitching LaborDaniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel at Portikus, Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel at Micheline SzwajcerPeter Fischli and David Weiss at Sprüth Magers

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Nora Turato at Sprüth Magers


Scream! Yell! Weeee! Bang, bang, bang the pots of language! Feel the emptiness. Feel hollow in indiscriminate wailing. A child in a grocery store deprived, is, yes, this is the sound of our world, adverts, attention, corporation. You have described our terror, armed the artist with these weapons of mass language... now what? This is the point where I turn, I'm not interested in being made numb anymore, in this classic form of desensitization. It was fun for a little while. Now it just gets bigger? The arms race was already won, we have demilitarization programs in place. The artist need not a bigger billboard to prove large emptiness. 

See too: Desensitization, Modern GothicNora Turato

Past: Nora Turato

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. 

...language, propelled with advertorial oomph, instead deadpans with its empty cymbal crash; understand the words but, devoid of context feel a little haunted, disembodied, ghosts of something far."

....Language adrift from meaning. There's always more meaning. Like crap to chewed gum. Our pink lump that attracts the dirt, any interpretable speck of concrete information. Something will stick to it. And hold it for contemplation... Both advertising and poetry leverage our interpretable bits to their advantage, opening us like a can - I'm not sure if we are meant to enjoy these or feel once again dispirited by their abuse of our good nature - our tender top, berated."

".. The garbage of the 'infosphere.' ...politicians having clipped the sound bite down to two word phrases, the fun of creating your own haunting version, headlines like haikus, is fun. Cut the ends off a sentence and be left with a poem."

Monday, April 22, 2024

Christine Tien Wang & Ken Lum at Galerie Nagel Draxler


At root both artist's text/image relation is a vibe ambivalent, cynical(?) The reproduced memes, the ironic signage. The story in the PR is telling. A European artist at dinner casts designation: "oriental." Surely one can understand an apathy with words, surely empathize a distrust to identification, "organization."  In relation to words a vibe that might be described of white knuckling, teeth gritted, smiling, polite laughter. The detachment in relation to words might be one of self survival. Of cool rage. We ask for violence to be turned to comedy to make it palatable. For trauma turned to NPR bites, the "asian" section of grocery store. For both its served cold and you get to turn it over on your palate and question whether learning to like it makes you a better liberal. It is fun for the chef. I like it. 

Sunday, April 21, 2024

John Riepenhoff at Broadway


Yesteryear's zombie movie pulled a punch: all this boring abstraction was actually a process! of [x]! Cue the conceptual gong. Riepenhoff extended the thought, "what if all that process orientation went toward making paintings that looked marketable, looked like the candied past. That looked like so many things your rapid fire reference uzi couldn't debrain the hordes. They have fast zombies now. This was akin to interest. It was always how zombies win, a press release to explain it.

Art has become a giant machine mining sources of abstraction.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Claude Rutault at Federico Vavassori


"two canvasses mounted on stretchers, of identical size and shape, painted the same colour as the wall on which they hang,"

Rutault, as if painting were some side project of interior design. An object springing from walls, architecture's mushroom. Whether or not this is true, the thought is better. You don't have to think about Painting, instead you get to think of air. You get to think of a painting that serves something else. It is pleasant to watch painting be useless like this. 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Raphaela Simon at Oldenburger Kunstverein


Like that adolescent obsession with Tim Burton, the dripping red and wimpy skeletons, there's interest in so clearly -earnestly- wearing your heart on the sleeve. What could it mean, doodling myself in cage? Only a Freudian could answer to such riddles. Mystery is beside the point to the teen whose angst seeks symbol, to the painter who parades it. Being blatant is its own pathos. Directness. Guston's bowl of cherries, or Cahn's color indicating pain. It's hard to be mean to someone handing you their painfully naive heart. These are stop signs for it. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2024


Surface so much surface. Skim coat it. Plating like gold the content. Thin but meaningful? This is the paradox of art's closing the door and everyone knowing it is still, sigh, just another window. The closed door already contains the content of the world. Eventually you come to love doors being closed. Appreciate candy for its wrapper. Only the shallow don't judge by appearance. In the stage of art, it doesn't matter if actor's jewelry is costume. It's all real surface. That's interesting. 

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Sibylle Ruppert at Project Native Informant


We've run out of Giger works to flip so we dig a little further into the basement. A better basement perhaps. Less interested in the surface displays of a HD leathery seduction - than the intermittent potions of past styles, the Ernst, the Moreau, her Giger friend, into some flavor more disgusting than its parts. Hans Bellmer with better graphics, a better refresh rate. Giger had the the good luck to have his monster trophy become icon. These are more acid to dissolve the past into a possible formula. The formula is what most are searching for today. But these have more fun than running the endless permutations, seem devious in the idea. And a ray tracing way ahead of its time. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

 Past: Christopher Williams 

"But [Williams'] en abyme of institutional/self reflection requires discerning 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."

All: Christopher Williams 

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Ruth Laskey at Altman Siegel


A stitch denotes time, expenditure, so labor becomes a sweat condensing on its image, commitment to the geometric bit. You burn time to consecrate your image. Engrave it in the stone of labor. Lend time to meaning, to proof its beauty. 

"This separation of our social relations we've so completely assimilated that labor itself returns as 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." - Read full: Notes on Stitches

Monday, April 8, 2024

Amelie von Wulffen at Barbara Weiss

The mud monster is real, is painting, boogeyman of the artworld, hiding on everyone's mind - it is the imago haunting art. "Painting is filled with horror, the calls coming from inside the house." Von Wulffen is drawing in the mud our repressed object. The diamond of painting remains in the rough. The best painters today, Euler, Eisenman, Churchman, von Wulffen, are cartoonists are heart. They are not in service to the church of painting. It's means to draw the world. In our mud of mirage. Painting is a stupid ghost to be haunted by, facet diamonds of. 

See too: Nicole Eisenman at Astrup Fearnley MuseetAll Amelie von Wulffen

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Lena Henke at Aspen Art Museum


Henke's usual proliferation of meaning is here made through the ventricles of framing, drawing a silhouette to alter the view. This isn't a turd morphing question of what the sculptor ate, (the diet exhaustively listed in the PR.) Rather it's framing. Even if it is relic stolen from cultural vegetable farm.

Past: Lena Henke -"Ambiguousness as a means for the simultaneity of surrealism. A tree sort of looks like a horse so we can put them together; a cloud can look like anything, much like a turd, some will see interest."

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Ross Simonini at François Ghebaly


Painting's seminal rag congeals life, sentience, a progeny looking up at you pleading with neoteny, with those large watery eyes beg like babies swaddled for identification, for your care. A baby is a blackmail - you are its hostage: you wouldn't let anything this cute die. You wouldn't talk shit about art so helplessly adorbz, so needful. Would you? 
"Konrad Lorenz argued in 1949 that [cuteness] triggered nurturing responses in adults and that this was an evolutionary adaptation which helped ensure that adults cared for their children, ultimately securing the survival of the species. Some later scientific studies have provided further evidence for Lorenz's theory." 
So give your painting eyes, a face, a rattle, a googoo gaga. Oh look it's talking, the press release translates. Bring this artistic reproduction home with you today.

See too: Jon Pylypchuk at Petzel, Calvin Marcus at Clearing, "the scatalogic nappies of adult-child-brutes"

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Valie Export at MAK Center for Art and Architecture


So much art demands the flesh obey, the body must be compositonalized. Picasso rearranges women into angles and we declare modernity. Higher powers command women El Greco, and several generations etiolate into pale heroin chic. You serve a higher purpose: conforming to beauty. There's a healthy dose of skepticism in the air, that the demands of art may serve no other purpose than watching people conform. 

 Past: Bernhard Schobinger at Martina Simeti

... when so many artists are working to backfill their materials with "content" the press release elucidates as ingredient lists, it's become an unironic Pearoefoam so prevalent. ....

Full: Bernhard Schobinger at Martina Simeti

Reina Sugihara at Arcadia Missa

Ode to the oyster. To the folds and frill. To innuendo, guessing. To the suggestive aphrodisiacs. The thing we all see but can't say. The unmentionable. Us all slurping at what's underneath table. That what you see is not what you see. A toast to the suggestibility of the viewer, who holds this oyster in head. Whose head is an oyster, making sense of oysters. Painting isn't a wall, it's a suggestion, interpretability. Inkblots and oysters, they spill the shape of meaning inside your head.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Petra Cortright at Société


Cortright of the internet. Of the self in the matrix, trying to express through the grate of industrial filters. It was all too ahead of its time. It is simply now the world we live. "The Naumanian axiom of, as an artist whatever I do in the studio is art [is] updated as: whatever an internet artist does on the internet must be art. The difference is that, today, everyone has this studio, and privileging the play of those who call themselves artists as somehow more self-aware or capable is a crumbling distinction."

So a return to painting, to flowers, to the categorically undeniable marker of art. In the action movie, the matrix conjures guns, lots of them. In art, we conjure our own tropes. In genre, the delivering of expectation doesn't kill satisfaction. No, in fact getting what is expected is what people pay money to see. Guns and flowers. You just want more of it. Because then shooting can begin. You line the henchman with squibs, oh god it will be good, so much plate glass, but here they never go off. We just get flowers, memento without mori. Painting's goon, praying to be released from his hell, his existence, trope.

See too: "Post-internet art" as become the Kinko's avant garde - Petra Cortright at Team Gallery, IncPetra Cortright at Société

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Dora Budor at Nottingham Contemporary


The less things are sci-fi, the more they get drab. Sci-fi, even at its most dystopian, portends a certain hope: there is a future we can think. But as things turn, they become more minimal, more mud, you become more present, grounded, which is dull. Surely this is point of experience. To be here, interminably. 

This cardboard thing reflects piss onto your shoes, your thought onto your shoes, your blood pounding in your ears, your tinnitus at 11. The world becomes so beige that your functional biology becomes of interest. Boredom is when you most feel alive. Again, again, again, the artist shows, the world turns, heart beats. The press release redirects thought like piss towards the 19th century, pissing on your shoes for you. I feel alive being peed on. This is life, but let's do science fiction as dystopian: imagine you can pee on the gallery. See, hope. Territory marked with thought, piss.

"...which is what we love those big sci-fi budgets for, the vast quantity of ash." Dora Budor at Kunsthalle Basel

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Life in Hell

Explaining the artworld to your therapist.

" oscilloscope of various pitches of language: the high speech of disinterest against the low grovel of complaint. A comedy between the press release and what is said at the bar after. Therapy. Of art. And its interpretation. Of critique Vs complaint. Of trying to explain the artworld to your therapist, or mum..."

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Zoe Leonard at Galleria Raffaella Cortese


Like the Calendar's mechanization of time, photography too asserts its frame as an artificial blocking. Of the world it renders like little cubes of meat, morsels. Of life that it embalms. Real geopolitical borders if you know what I mean. So the attempts to blur these lines with the filmic language of frames, with TIME, an attempt to give artifical motion, motion, life, is an admittance or benevolence, to the world butchered into cuts. Suppose you were about to be executed, which size axe would you choose for your piecemealing?

 Past: Zoe Leonard at Whitney Museum

Stuff, decay, waste, time; data visualization has become hot button for business, the ability to represent comes the ability to wield it, and not necessarily inhuman, around for ages with the question: how to mark time. ... In attempts to see subjective scales of time, we see wear on shoes, stores closing, passports stamped, fruit rotting in vain. Leonard's practice seems in establishing marks to gauge the rise and fall of water, the rising and falling breath of the city. Stores close, cities revitalize, we pack and move, the body wears, the books become obsolete, our fruits into the floor, the water changes but the falls are still the same, is the point seemed to be made.

Full: Zoe Leonard at Whitney Museum

Monday, February 12, 2024

Peggy Ahwesh at Photography Exhibit


A myth that art should "speak for itself." So art always attempts hiding the text that it has become reliant on. Surreptitiously holds up the newspaper that acts as "proof of life," that there is thinking, that its corpus is still product, producing, useful. But admitting to the hostage situation is structurally more interesting than pretending it's simply class photo day, that artworks aren't at gunpoint of meaning. 

Sunday, February 11, 2024

"Monkkonen's box-trucks literalize the metaphor: painting as commodity vessels in transit. What were rectangular become parallel grams sent for accelerating markets. The vessels are moving fast, the trucks skull cab and silver toothed grill portend their too-fast-too-young market crash. The flow of brand. Graffiti, produce, logos, brushstrokes, artistic identities all competing for recognition.  Like many interested in the cheap plastic promise of fantastical playthings, it is found perfectly in the toy-form’s commodic pleasure whose projectable fantasy's complete dissolve of use-value mirrors art’s ostensible own."

"The package as product, medium masseuse, the vessel which projects its internal object, which here isn't anything, instead the subject of art, the artist."

"That like childhood figures of action, producing their jism all over town to heroic ends, painting an identity placed over a muscular blank, the vessel, creating a subject."

"...Painting as advert for its claim to avert chaos. Pretending, like me, to, against a law of the universe, produce order worth burning."

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Friday, February 9, 2024

Past: Jef Geys

If Geys' work is confusing, ever shifting, it is because it voids itself of the general markers that usually demarcate its sense/use/meaning.  Geys' don't necessarily ordain a use, something "used to finish our homework" but instead images which flight in and out of an ability to read them for information. A language we are not necessarily tasked with translating but ascertaining whether meaning at all. 

"...the bluntest blankest things forcing interest everywhere besides the art, is for Geys more a process of stuffing your navel elegantly full of mirrors to gaze en abyme into it, packing them tightly, pristinely, to see a hall of navels winking like eyes, the rules of Gey's objects - well indexed in the PR - redirecting you through this hallowed hall of art..."

Click for full: Geys at Essex StreetJef Geys at Air de Paris

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Art is the scissors. The canvas is the petri dish. The gallery is the imbecile's microscope. The artist is dead. The Press Release incants. The mall to explode again. You need a lot less bronze, with scissors this big. With wreckage this cool. All these Hot Topics to cut and crop meaning, from air. A bronzed trash purchased meaning from culture. It is my daily routine. My childhood. Manifesting a picture book of existence. For the blue not yet having had it. For have you heard of these cabinets they contain curiosities, I have cut from Life, this meaning. Which is French. How do you say Souvenir in French? Because, I painted it, you are required to care. A butterfly kill jar. Running on fumes. Composition to taste. Oh with scissors this big, I can cut an airplane, in half. Having invented a new cubism, can cut anything in half. In quarters. There is nothing art cannot quarter. Except interest, which is the cutting part.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Nika Kutateladze at Modern Art


What is it with painters and the wastelands? Is it that the plains mirror the virtual plane of imagination, the blank void of painting, ready for projection?

The Wasteland: Gertrude Abercrombie at KarmaAdrian Morris at Galerie NeuTala Madani at David KordanskyTala Madani at 303 GalleryAlexandra Noel at Freedman Fitzpatrick, AtlantisMaryam Hoseini at High Art

Monday, February 5, 2024

Michael Andrew Page at Project Native Informant


If you stack enough tents, do you get a glass stained cathedral? Preferably it is arbitrary methods to render an agnostic psychedelia. Rather than using a kaleidoscope to retroactively put a halo on its "content." It's a question of which direction we're looking, back towards the dwelling that loosely underpins these or towards the painting we should be dwelling. Cloister or Claustrum. Rendering its symbols into neuter meaninglessness seems more interesting than making something of folding tents. The confusion of church and tents, its a metaphor for painting, sure, but let's separate church and technology of lead solder.

Friday, February 2, 2024

Anselm Reyle at Tick Tack


This is just the epitome. The window display to.. what were already window displays? Reyle got blue chip on the petri-dishization of the flashy facade - a taxonomics of our shiny attracted culture. Turned iridescence into "contemplation." Simply by cutting it out and placing it in art's frame. It was way ahead of our current mass culture cargo cult art. But in an era of "experiential" Van Gogh, Ice Cream Museum, Meow Wolf, this seems either criminally lagging or dear please no future.


It's an old advertising truism that a every consumer, even the jaded, buys the emotions associated with a product more than the product itself. The buy-in being a broad sense of any investment, monetary, social, symbolic or otherwise. When selling a chair from a glossy mail order catalog photograph it on a beach to associate a lifestyle. Imagine these objects without this backdrop.
And so is CAD a lifestyle mail order catalog? No, but Kassay sorta makes it look like one. Which is funny. Using the imbuing qualities of setting/documentation to perform its totemisms.

Technologic performance, installation awkwardness, actual dance etc., it's an increasing strategy to imbue art commodities with some sort of gesticulated spell called aura, symbolical capital, etc. "An action to the conjure the documentation." Which then the documentation won't document too closely.

Full:Jacob Kassay at von ammon coJacob Kassay at Fitzpatrick-Leland House

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Adam Shiu-Yang Shaw at Towards


Words like "investigates," "interprets," "studies" are the satanic ritual for invoking art's eternal torment. Art's perpetual state of doing, art must never be done - instead a death-in-life mule generating MEANING. Meaning which has become itself a verb, its throbbing false pulse, kept alive for the sucking of more PR fodder. No PR will tell you it is done, what has been done, only the hell of "contemplates" "addresses" "elaborates""questions" "synthesizes" - words which action but cleverly never finalize. A hole digging but never dug. Thus art too becomes compositionalized stuf (reassembly of the mall), a Frankenstein corpse of culture look at it lumber, it is walking toward. Look at it walking toward.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Naoki Sutter-Shudo at House of Gaga


From the detritus of our semio-catastrophe we re-erect old forms: the wreckage is placed back into the shape of airplane, or of the critic and its painting. (Of a world still generating meaning.) The ability to re-erect it stands in for it, a literal strawman, the wreckage magically invokes its whole. If it can be recreated surely it can be understood. A social ritual to create a collective conscience that this once existed. There used to be people and not just cave paintings from the mall. 

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. "

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

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Georgina Treviño at Embajada


Both Rachel Harrison and the 00's hipster were responding to the shopping mall, which had exploded, semiotically, into chaos of sign systems. A tweety bird tee, Louis Vuitton boots, and a struggle mustache - and everyone was confounded. It was the aughts, you were intended to adhere to the rules that kept meaning rigid, in place. We all performed the ritual of dress to keep meaning ordered. Until someone didn't. The horse girl and the whale tail merged. Post this semio-apocalypse everyone was left scrambling in the detritus to assemble totems, and we had a lot of cargo cult art in the 2010s. Now we've sifted the rubble and collected enough signs we've agreed have sentiment that the shopping mall is conscerated as jewelry of itself - cast in remembrance, the chaos of surface, symbol, nostalgia embedded within a silver relic. The benediction of sign systems. The highest order these relics can obtain is that they get put on Beyonce, as a Christmas tree of our sign systems, collective wreckage, past. The highest order of totems, shown back to us like a lighthouse reorganizing meaning.

Monday, January 29, 2024


"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

Friday, January 26, 2024

Barbara Wesołowskam at Silke Lindner


Painting is already a memory, all art is already monument, a moment of mori, an object which transacts through time its x. There is no art that is decidedly present (besides perhaps Tinguely's Homage to New York.) Art is intended as preservation. Art is already rosed glass fetal pigs, embalmed for interminable annual dissection. You need not smear the rose pig in dirt to feign archaeology. Though.. that would be kinda fun science project. Actually okay lets bury some fetal pigs, see what science brings us. 

Thursday, January 25, 2024

JJ Manford at Derek Eller Gallery

The artist inventing interiors. From ether, a decor not previously existing, and yet they are so quotidian? There's pathos to inventing something so normal. Stock photographs. Is this trying to fit in? To conform? Plugging into the Matrix with its infinite karate, cars, stunts, and the guy invents .. a red dressed blonde? Desire so built around nostalgia. Because we've all sat here. Which is comfort, and hard to invent new forms of that. That wishing small sometimes actually gets the sandwich they desire. Plug into the world of pure imagination and invent: a rug. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2024


"For years smartphones pressed to be seamless, this was the pinnacle of technologic interface, to lack the orifice that Hsu keeps pressing. A phone shouldn't look like it might drool, Instagram icons shouldn't look like a dank bathroom. Like Thek, or Lynch, the campiness is part of the grotesque. You take your phone away from face, a smear of your human grease marring its perfect black pool. We don't like our tech to feel like us. The more we interact with it, the more it becomes us, the most we want it not resemble us."

"image, pure ethereal surface, desire, that could was given reality, body, skin. The practical SFX perfected the transubstantiation. It tapped some unconscious cultural anxiety to give body to what was only presented to us abstractly, remotely, a televisual war ... It's an old horror story- our dreams, manifested, bring actual nightmares. This is what we deep down know, why it's such successful plot trope: our desires are craven, you manifest the flesh on the screen and in reality you receive a really annoying supermodel. "

 Full: Tishan Hsu at Hammer MuseumTishan Hsu at Empty Gallery

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Past: Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys

"Against Venetian statuary, against marble gods with triforks - de Gruyter and Thys is wantonly provincial, the unsophisticate, the stupid it is: turns out, despite centuries of looking up at them, we don't actually resemble Greek Gods. "

"The groaning idiocy of the fringes, the plains of simpletons, us, you slurring, drooling everyone, the world, these things contained by the artworld's cranially polished, symbolically medalled, forced to consider farts."

"Painful, developmentally delayed style, filled with speech impediments, slow progress, and language drifting into nonsense, is, like von Trier's early film, an idiocy against social decorum, our socially vulnerable conversations, socially conscious films, replayed by the slow and impaired"

"They're funny, but they don't feel good to laugh at, no matter how stupid they are, they still reflect us. The doofus in film is guaranteed redemption by the contrivances of plot and will win out in the end. These characters get none."

Read full:
(Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys)
Venice 2019, Belgium Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys Mondo CaneJos de Gruyter and Harald Thys at Kunsthal AarhusJos De Gruyter and Harald Thys at Gavin BrownJos de Gruyter and Harald Thys at WattisJos De Gruyter and Harald Thys at MoMA PS1Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys at KIN & Gladstone Gallery

Monday, January 22, 2024

Nancy Lupo at Veda


Amnesia is state of the world, object permanence reconstructed by its disposability, a spoon that is "one time use" and an entire machine is created to make that true, wastebaskets, garbage trucks, hulking green men, heaping landfills, oil rigs. Each plastic spoon is unique - one time use - and replaceable, infinite. Every sighting Capital has made the chocolate bar anew while paradoxically they are the same one. This is the anxiety of capital's stuf. We purchase not the object on the shelf but a myth we buy into - the ghost of spoon, complex carbon chains of signification pressed into its shape - the belief of this being a spoon. Pressed into shape of our belief carries us so far until the FDA must define the amount of sawdust as no longer meeting the definition of chocolate. So it's a "chocolatey bar." "Prepackaged one bite confections, when sold individually, are exempt from the labelling requirements. A hard candy is considered to be a one bite confection when it is sold by itself, however, a roll of 10 of these candies is not." Stuf only has value en mass - a single spoon is free, given, cost buried dispersed into oblivion, but 50 spoons has a price. The Burger King wears the crown given to him freely, but the crown in mass disperses responsibility amongst the birthday party and someone must pay for all that cardboard scenery. We all do. The wastebasket is technology for making true that stuf is opposite of art's monument. 
Past: N. Dash

"swatches of touch, the anthropological preserves of our dissolving physical world. These are like catalogs for its remains, our once sensual pleasure distributed over digital networks." 
"The Kunstkammer conveyed the patron's control of the world through its indoor, microscopic reproduction ... but no one is that hubristic today, these are about the loss of that, mourning it, our desire to once again touch things again, like all those salvaged wood paneled Brooklyn bars, churches for mourning"

" at base they are still the butterflies, material, pinned behind glass, catalogs of physical sensations you see but cannot touch. Materiality porn. " is the world's development project in all the ways to [build] a materiality so strong it visually empaths itself, feel something through glass.""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"

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Arthur Okamura at House of Seiko


Okamura is probably too weird for the artworld, too elusive, slippery in content, not in a conceptual way, in a professorial painter way, too many ugly paintings, too much seasick gray, too much risk for jewels too complicated to sit easily behind desks. Content drifting between academic and symbolist, surreal, abstract. He worked with poets, a huge mistake. He represents an interesting case of what is allowed. He is interesting. He will be forever probably monikered an artist's artist. He will disappear. In five years time someone will take all this, streamline it for production, add some hue, and get their return. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Paul Levack at Bodenrader


Levack's commitment to the greasy surface - not the juicy pleasure of painting but a leather film. Voiding the photograph's neutral glass, replaced with a repulsive vaseline lens, the soft focus of vintage pornography and sellotape handling on corporate landscapes, all a bit begrimed. 

Antoine Catala, Erika Landström at Christine Mayer


We require that art "do something". So this one "breathes." A parody of life, animatronic meaning. All composition is motion artificial. A ventilator for Kandinsky. 


"A dance to do nothing, an alphabet respirates. ... Made to jitter, on life support, the electrified corpse of symbolism. A gesticulation to command the attention, get the breath it demands. 

Read: 2019 Venice, Antoine CatalaAntoine Catala at 47 Canal

Monday, January 15, 2024

Toru Otani at XYZ collective


As art becomes its meaning, graphic design's "information" becomes tension and lure. Signs symbols and apophenia. 
Humans are information processing machines with leg systems to move us toward the carrot of new information. Dopamine, long mythologized as the "pleasure center," instead creates seeking behavior, which, at the roulette wheel of digital feeds, scrolling news, and authoritative lists, causes all the odd psychological problems of lab rats given access to their own dopamine levers in humans. "After only a few days of training, the monkeys showed a clear preference for choosing the informative colored target." ...with paintings that prize information-as-legibility, that the usefulness of the information matters none: the complete arbitrariness of it here still invokes its authority.

Past: Josef Strau

"The way butterflies seem garish and unnecessary and inspire wrath so children crush them and artists crush them against canvas, looking for ways to bejewel our production... They're fine in that way of pleasantness, pinnacle of subservience that is the crux of high dollar abstraction, submission to their surroundings by letting it walk all over them."

"These are much uglier ...  And Straus's text begins with an almost apology for the exhibition, which reminds of how endeared we all were to artists failing ten years ago."
"A hail mary pass to capture, touch down, on some meaning."

 "Strau’s concurrent rise with the hegemony of the art's image (say, CAD) makes a sense. Strau attaching text to image, delaying reception by giving words to its arrival at the moment it made it consumable without giving it away. This was huge."
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 high definition 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

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Group Show at Istituto Svizzero


The language of neon advertises the possibility, transgression. An interesting image even if it voids its own fragile possibility, that we could. Of course we can't. But we could. The predicament of art is the predicament of us, our failure to act, only allowed to think it. But fantasy is fun. Advertise the fantasy enough you get stochastic terror. 

Justin Fitzpatrick at Seventeen


The victorian era surgery of Gross Clinic, HR Giger, The Thing. Stitching mutant art together with premodern surgery? That is most contemporary surrealism, Frankenstein juxtaposition of zombie culture. But the artist today seeks new medical procedures for our content's facelifts. This is genetic mutation, assimilation, a steam punk CRISPR, a Deco horror.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Rasha Omar at Jan Kaps


Paintings of the memory an 11 year old boy killed by bomb during the Syrian war. The uselessness of painting tragedy to duel the tragedy of useless death. Or is it to try and void the uselessness of both. Protect the paintings protect the memory. Your beneficence becomes an act of preservation, intertwining memory with show, purchase. For only the price of cup of coffee a day you too can keep this boy's memory hanging. Intertwining or conflating painting with a candle in darkness.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Past: Markus Oehlen at Karma International

"No doubt their painting is just another kind of performance, but it leaves behind a deliciously smelly residue. It is this odor of garbage that attracts us. We sense that the artists are trying to set painting right after it has betrayed us by pretending that it can become attractive flesh hanging in museums and apartments. Garbage must be garbage, in the name of the honest truth; this claim of authenticity is a traditional one, like many others around today, but it’s harder to resist than the others, for history and art history’s pile of garbage continues to grow." 
-Kuspit, 1985 Artforum

Read full: Markus Oehlen at Karma International

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Tony Hope at von ammon co


"What is true about our world is that the teenage years return as powerful forms of commodity."

They're remaking everything these days. Monuments to our childhood, sold back to us, bigger more iridescent with nostalgia. Hope's previous exhibition at von ammon co. presented an interesting allegory for the problem of art's "content" - replacing the prestige framework of painting with the more aesthetically neutral minigolf. Both host content but no one pretends mini-golf has anything to say about its Nightmare - its content is merely the lure to get you to play mini-golf. If Art's prestige genres doesn't have some magical property rendering its content "critical," and painting/golf/sculpture's image is all viewer lure, then what is art's attraction to ICP adorned PlayStation character sculptures? There is a  correlation in the price of vintage autos' manufacturing dates with adolescence - peaking when those teens later in life have money to buy back their childhoods, place them in showrooms.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Tina Braegger at Société


Is the cultural totem a "critical" experiment, an artifact for the semiologic theology of art? Or is the cultural totem merely the container that smuggles painting through the door, under an assumed Visa stamp of criticality? A MacGuffin driving the plot of Press Release? Are these merely formalist exercises posing as some grand statement about the content? i.e. just paintings? These are all questions that the PR is happy to lead up to asking, but which of course, does no answers. No, as always, these answers are left for you to parse dear viewer. (Art writing's "questions" is the death-in-life life support of art afterall - this art's true meaning, providing the ritual of questions.) All I can think of is George Condo and how pastiche excuses a painting strikingly associable to Picasso pricing. Pastiche permits mediocrity to pass, as "critical," until eventually it normalizes as "greatness" as "painting" or at least prices that denote it.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Group show at What Pipeline


"heightening the contrast of edges" "appearing larger" - blurring their boundaries, that dirty smudging edge, crust filth excess. Nice. But you don't want to get it on you. 

Friday, January 5, 2024

Emily Barker at Sentiment

This is a good press release.

Leave the world designed for your body and encounter "terrain." Recognize now how much of this world been groomed for you, molded for you. This is called Bushwacking and it is incredibly energy expensive, both physically and psychologically, and the explorer is encouraged to carry a machete, as removing the offending material is often less demanding than pushing through. 

You saw the Picabia retrospective. You've heard of David Salle. James Rosenquist exists. Now, in 2024, get ready for...

Thursday, January 4, 2024


We - despite all - trust art to tell us something about subject, and Katz's "self-portraits" make this mirror between painter and self-subject anxious by threatening this trust: ...competing styles that delay any coherence in its subject, the painter, our trust for the text to tell us something...

Content becomes the lure to questions. PR: "the viewer is compelled to seek out connecting lines running through the apparently disparate subject matter... in order to complete the circuit." But content is the red herring. Questions are Frankensteinian death-in-life of art. The actual meaning is in this means to distribute meaning. To make it feel like there may be some. A meaning-feeling metaphor that's apt to life. There may be none!

Click for full: Allison Katz at MIT List Visual Arts CenterAllison Katz at Gio MarconiAllison Katz at BFA Boatos

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Megan Plunkett at F

The anxiety of observing, the anxiety of art, the anxiety of being unable to produce "meaning." Feeling others eyes at "not getting it," a social panopticon appears and hex at it: "surely this is a joke."
Is this not haunting? A third presence?

"Haunting" and the paranormal share with art the expectation of a ghostly other. A presence that flits recognition and which we actively search. For art this is MEANING, the ghost we invented that now haunts all artwork. An expectation that preterrorizes the artwork. Mike Kelley inferred as much with his ectoplasms. And stating: ‘Occult rituals interest me because they are akin to art-making.’ Because for paranormal and art both begin with search.

Past: Diamond Stingily

"...forever ambiguous until looked upon which like the quantum cat's vitals inside a box, a physical attribute achieves a superposition in culture, a sort of walking contradiction as a symbol of power at the same time it leaves open the wound for the bitter slight, Becky with the good hair.'"

Diamond Stingily at Queer ThoughtsDiamond Stingily at Freedman FitzpatrickDiamond Stingily at Wattis

Past:  Megan Plunkett at Emalin

Dear grad students: a history of the "Mona Lisa effect" - "paintings' eyes that follow you" - literalized in the trope of "portrait painting peephole" - villain's eyes peering out at meddling kids. Essays on Sherrie Levine explain the feeling of being observed. Michael Fried's viewer/actor stage. The anxiety of observing, the anxiety of art, the anxiety of being unable to produce "meaning."

Full:  Megan Plunkett at Emalin

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Manuel Solano at Peres Projects


Solano's might seem cloying because its sleeves are so obvious with themes and questions. A painter who can't see their paintings, like dutch artists dying before their fame, a childhood lost through the sieve of VHS decay. Is memory the same thing as seeing? Does the memory exist better the mind of the painter than the paint, than the VHS? Does the record recall better than what we contain? Is the painting always a failed handshake? Our paintings ostensibly live on past us, past our eyes. These only catalyze the already running processes of time. Like painting beyond your death.

Not sure our paintings need to be so cultivatedly disinterested, nor esoteric in questions. These are fine illustrations of the problem.


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...

Full: Manuel Solano at Carlos/Ishikawa

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

Monday, January 1, 2024

Lena Henke at Marta Herford


Stardate january 1st 2024. The new year. An unexplained cubical object blocked our vessel's path. A large mass of rubber tires. The cubes have been awarded the Marta Award by the Wemhöner Foundation. On the bridge, Mr. Spock immediately ordered general alert. My location – sickbay. Computer analysis: "This interplay of kitchen furnishings, sculpture, and display becomes an ambiguous object in the museum space." 

Further analysis:

The fallout of the semiotic manicism/collapse/supernova, of the 00’s assemblage (Harrison, Genzken, Pernice et al) and the exploding of Unmonumental’ detritus, left the next generation picking cultural rubble. Artists became post-semio-apocalyptic cargo-cult, artists, still wanting to believe, began to reassemble totems of cultural meaning. Staedelschulites rehashing a form of ready-made-marxist-surrealism, societie's tchotchkies made to “speak” the tongues of the Invisible Hand's gods who must be crazy. Post-Lieske - the real rabble rearranging/collaging/juxtaposing the signs of capital as some sort of anti-altar to them - the whole "arrangements" phenomenon, tableaus of cultural artifacts, seen again and again and again on the rugs of art fairs everywhere - finally hitting bedrock in the strip-mine of Darren Bader just arranging capital’s objects on the floor.

Art is the cargo-cult to a mass culture whose droppings they rearrange as totems to stand in for understanding. In cave paintings the mystical prey were made many times larger than the people. The ancient people were thought to trek to the rooms to be extolled by the PR about the significance of. 

Star maps reveal no indication of habitable planets nearby. Origin and purpose of the cube still unknown. We've been here, held motionless, for 18 hours. 

Captain's Log, Stardate 1514.0. The cube has been destroyed. Ship's damage, minor. But my next decision, major – probe on ahead or turn back.

Past: Lena Henke

"Ambiguousness as a means for the simultaneity of surrealism. A tree sort of looks like a horse so we can put them together; a cloud can look like anything, much like a turd, some will see interest."

"... their genericism becomes strength. A low poly mesh provides metaphorical possibility [because of] its low resolution. ... Even looking digested, worn at by smooth muscle of artistic intestine... Because the turd is a form morphing in a viewer.   The dimensional Rorschach, the sculpture everyone makes to turn down and see themselves reflected in the water at, a picture of you for your interpretation.