Friday, March 31, 2017

Past: Nancy Lupo at Swiss Institute

"Ivory towers protruding from wet mass of human gum that had been intended to be scrubbed polished and sanitized. We believed in the pure autonomous body. More than 600 bacterial species comprise the plaque microflora that exists on surfaces within the oral cavity and, like belly button's lint, bacterially so diverse it is more unique than fingerprints. Your Ivory teeth are more like timbers green in the ocean. A journalist testing his belly-button discovers bacteria not found outside the soil of Japan. The man has never been to Japan. And Japanese sake is poured by researchers down lab rat's noses to introduce lactobacillus into their artificially bacterially amok sinuses."

Lonnie Holley at Atlanta Contemporary


Our continual and insistent desire for assemblage, Bruce Conner retrospective or Yuji Agematsu, 2007's unmonumental resurgence, and our weird collective desire for our own detritus repackaged. Why we desire our ruins? proffered answers by psychoanalysts as well as Nazis. Why aesthetic pleasure in our death, the flotsam of our cultural wreckage netted, the gore of culture. The inherent violence in this, to which Holley seems attuned.

See too: Yuji Agematsu at Real Fine Arts

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tony Oursler at Redling Fine Art


Yesterday's Priests and Painters, creators of metaphysical interfaces, to today's digital corpus artists invested in Alien Abduction, beamed to the sky, hypnotized to recall, their fleshy meat bags generally stuck with probes, investigating "subjectively real memories of being taken secretly against one's will by apparently nonhuman entities."  According to Wikipedia. There's some complex point to be made here about our artists/priest/app-devs/conspiracists and networking us like an IT department to whatever etheric plane choosen. What's the difference between a dark theater and an alien abduction beside the cylindrical insert? "The contents of the abduction narrative often seem to vary with the home culture of the alleged abductee."

See too: Andre Pierre at Central Fine

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Andre Pierre at Central Fine


Devotional paintings, with the spatial depth of the iPad's home screen, allusive uploading to metaphysical planes, and all those icons arranged across that plane, an interface for that extra-dimensional locale that we plug into - "projections broadcasting their qualities onto this plane" - as our discarnate selves: "the priest, like the painter, is perhaps the manager of both realms," which, like app developers, are the most contemporary paintings.

See too: Emily Mae Smith at Rodolphe JanssenJulien Ceccaldi at Jenny’s“Äppärät” at Ballroom MarfaJana Euler at Galerie Neu & PortikusJulien Nguyen at Freedman Fitzpatrick
Past: Ida Ekblad at Herald St.

"What was once the artist’s distinct color-forms clearly delineated and arranged, what was composed, composure, has been melted into a miasma of stringy spaghetti, fallen out of pockets in embarrassment. A dried-scab cartoon characters appears to mock your desire for some return to good taste. Of course half the fun is learning to love it, this next step of gross painting."

Monday, March 27, 2017

Thomas Bayrle at Institute of Contemporary Art Miami


The visual abhorrence is a disregard for normal ordering systems replaced with the horror vaccui: terrifying abuses of space. The clown is terrifying for his costume and false smile's replacing the social order of emotions with its hysteria, used repeatedly in horror genres, and these are the clowns of composition, of space. These are not kind things.

see too: Thomas Bayrle at dépendance, Rob Pruitt at MOCAD

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Leidy Churchman at Koelnischer Kunstverein


"Heterogeneity" in painting, the lack of identifiable style, of painterly identity, that has become increasingly common, shifting subjects, means and themes, we find still neurotic - still being mentioned in PR. It's conversant spectacle, finger to the viewer, who is asked to sort it out. This avoidance of identity, could be argued as an abdication of responsibility, but like the fish before left well enough alone, the distance asks for understanding that we aren't required to, and can't, know, take each painting as individuals rather than as groups of things we already presume to understand.

See too: Allison Katz at Gio MarconiAdriana Lara at Algus GreensponAnnette Kelm at Gio MarconiLeidy Churchman at Rodeo

Friday, March 24, 2017

John McCracken at Venus


The invisible paronychia surrounding these, our inability to fully codify them. Project all you can into it for it to dumbly refuse, it instead sloughs to the floor at ankles around it, eternally nubile and pink. Obelisk, monolith, or megalith: blankness a form we find itchy, the conceptual vacuum we abhor, their flat refusal to be anything but a thing outside ourselves. We find it difficult for something to not mean. Objects which do not conform to us we find uncanny, describe them as otherworldly.

See too: “Seven Reeds” at Overduin & Co.Richard Rezac at Isabella Bortolozzi

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Matthew Zivich at What Pipeline

Models already treated the world as virtual, its plasticity, which is why we are seeing them everywhere as sculpture today, proving virtuality always existed: the world abstracted by money, power, plans, and the children grown on building blocks eventually see the world as such. These made in the 80's, when wealth and abstraction was apparent enough people made blockbusters of it. Wasn't this the point of all those vertiginous Burden models later, the megalomania of children grown to find their imagination fueled and justified by capital. Children's fevers eventually grow and sediment as reality, the fantasy we carry with us, reality as abstraction underneath, toys.

Mathis Altmann at Halle für Kunst LüneburgChris Burden Metropolis II at LACMA

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Will Benedict at Gio Marconi


The strong scent of banality, the groan you feel escaping, The alienation these so cherish to conjure, Their hyper-ennui, a dissociation. Desensitization occurring "emotional response is repeatedly evoked in situations in which the action tendency that is associated with the emotion proves irrelevant or unnecessary." Arbitrariness is a terror. You can't even remember what it felt like to be healthy.

Will Benedict at Overduin & Co., Will Benedict at Bortolami

Monday, March 20, 2017

Past:  Lynn Hershman Leeson at Vilma Gold

"her forecasting much of the renderstentialist video and robot art of today's youth."

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Ei Arakawa at Taka Ishii & Peter Halley at Modern Art

(Ei Arakawa at Taka IshiiPeter Halley at Modern Art)

Arakawa's funneling of history into technologic codes (1959 Gutai represented on arduino Lite-Brite) isn't so interesting a metaphor for whatever societal technologic umbrella* as it is for artists use of history as content pre-legitimated, as a caricaturesque. And CAD's comparison to Halley here today is apt: expressionist rendered binary, computational, circuitry and cells. History reappears, history still shines through, but you get to exist as it. "Contemporary Art, a system in which the production of artistic meaning is itself made clear as a series of gestures and movements that encode work with whatever aura is distinct to contemporary art separate from the objects subsumed."

See too: “Room & Board & Crate & Barrel & Mother Vertical” at Midway Contemporary ArtKarl Holmqvist and Ei Arakawa at Overduin & Co.

*e.g. PR's "Furthermore, the digitalized and re-appropriated paintings question how our current digital condition and networked society influences the state of painting"

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sascha Braunig at P.S.1 & Foxy Production

(Foxy ProductionP.S.1)

Plasticity. A smoothness we associate with Surrealism, Tanguy, Dali or whoever: liquidity representing conscious malleability, the subconscious, appearing like those renderings covering everything in digital plastic. Braunig's, while decidedly not digital, contain all the smoothing, goo and rubber and wireframes come to stand in for our bodies. You used to have to be a serial killer to sew a flesh suit, now it seems one represents you always, peel yourself, reveal your wireframe undergirding you. Braunig the painter of this sweat.

see too: Sascha Braunig at Kunsthall Stavanger, Sascha Braunig at Rodolphe Janssen, Sascha Braunig at Foxy Production

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Ellen Gronemeyer at Karin Guenther


Chagal for Dubuffet fans, smiling manically. History is filled with men behaving stupidly, the ape-theater praised interminably for it, the assumption that painters, no matter how hamfisted, are only acting stupidly, acting ostensibly different than being.  Amy Sherlock in Freize relates Gronemeyer's anecdote, learning ballet: "She didn’t know the steps, but something stuck with her: the teacher telling the dancers to ‘grin as stupidly as possible’, to imagine they were totally idiotic. To be relieved of the tell-tale responsibility of her own expressions, to abdicate the need for the correspondence between outer appearance and psychological reality, was, Gronemeyer found, totally liberating." The mania of today, of history so laughable we may, Toufic relates, die from it; the modern paradox of whether to laugh or cry related well by Lloyd Wise in Artforum, the question, "Is that a grin or a rictus?"

See too: Judith Hopf at MuseionRob Pruitt at MOCAD
Past: Ellen Gronemeyer at greengrassi

A response.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Michael Sailstorfer at KÖNIG GALERIE


If the brutish conceptual art of today has an overt concern with nihilism, cyclical destruction, and the darkly sublime - of which Sailstorfer is exemplar with objects so frequently spinning, rutted, towards their own exhaustion and but also this exhibition here with the auto's pollution return to woodfire heat that once blackened London (or recently Greece in recession) and then also the teardrop destruction, oldtime erosion replaced with today's more efficient wrecking-ball that appears as a sort of its-all-the-same cycnicism- it may be an inherent trait of the genre, a spinoff of romantic roots and Ono's Grapefruit whose "event scores"'s main event was a kōan-like mind-wipe, an erasure of logic, forecasting the poetic as an inability for meaning to complete, (conceptual art premised on an internal logic that need not "make sense" and this logical failure having close ties to poetic nihilism) and art guys now building vast machines to prove the destruction of object and meaning as a big grand gesture of.

See too: Sean Raspet at Société,  On Kawara at the GuggenheimJason Dodge at Franco NoeroTrevor Paglen at Metro PicturesJohn Baldessari at Marian GoodmanMungo Thomson at Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver

Monday, March 13, 2017

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February 13th, 2017

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Vikky Alexander at Downs & Ross


I mean we get this, its apparent now this explicitness we see repeated now in Berlin Biennials, DIS magazine, and so why couldn't we see it then?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

“May the Bridges I Burn Light the Way” at STANDARD (OSLO)


Our growing attraction to garbage makes a psychologic sense as we become hostages to the trauma of dealing with it, the deranged images of garbage spewing, animals asphyxiated, learning of its intravenous networks sprawling across the landscape in unstoppable yet leaky pipes, garbage moved though our veins, beginning to see trash everywhere, even the paintings on view seem about the accumulation of detritus, cultural historic or otherwise, there's just stuff everywhere, stuff here a technical term for the quasi-differentiated mass, confusing a tarp, a trash bag and a tent.

See too: Chadwick Rantanen at Essex StreetOscar Tuazon at Le Consortium & Paradise Garage

Saturday, March 11, 2017

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February 20th, 2017

Thursday, March 9, 2017

David Diao at Postmasters


At its base, Diao's work appears as information. The work could be "meaningless" - contextually barren - and still retain a power by its ability to look decipherable, like ciphers, like things that denote a meaning with or without you.

See too: Vern Blosum at Kunsthalle Bern

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Rirkrit Tiravanija at Neugerriemschneider


Except Freedom can be simulated. It's simulated all the time. It might be a fundamental aspect of our world. This statement so completely vacuous as to neuter thought. Are we missing something here? Whose freedom? Of course its attributed to Stanisław Jerzy Lec, polish aphorist. He also quipped: "Satirists be careful. In the 1931 film by René Clair Vive la Liberte a song says, "Work is freedom." In 1940 the sign on the gates to Auschwitz said: 'Arbeit macht frei.'"

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Michael E. Smith at Michael Benevento


"Blood is sticky, often surprising people newfound to emergencies who encounter only bodies at pains to remind them of clean superficial images, but you can cut off your hands and glue them to your shoes." Bodily violence, its threat (a body to become goo as any other) is implicit to a work that treats materials as categorically promiscuous (surreal), e.g. if you can put Mario in the gallery sky or ocean's puffer fish under the warbled blue of summer tables, 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.

See too: Michael E. Smith at Sculpture Center, Michael E. Smith at Zero, Michael E. Smith at Lulu, Michael E. Smith at Susanne HilberryTony Conrad's Glass,

Monday, March 6, 2017

J. Parker Valentine at Juan and Patricia Vergez Collection


The artifact provides imaginative potential. It's why we love them. Fragments implying a world we can only imagine, possibility outshines concrete reality, it never relinquishes its breadth of eventualities to actually becoming-something, thus delimit potential, of which both Stephen King and Ben Lerner describing power of the fragmentary always far outshining its limiting through description, poems or monsters. Art functions this way too, as artworks exists as fragments inferring the world of their subject, the artist, and these in their glyphic schematics like all the Surrealist automatism that dredged slides of their subconscious we see here too pieces of an artist, works "only partially provided in terms of sight occludes or interrupts any complete understanding."

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Beverly Buchanan at Brooklyn Museum


The total sympathy acquired in building miniature home after home, impossible to not feel sympathetic toward them. Many of Buchanan's symbols and methods, painfully obvious, homes and self portraits, inspire sympathy for the basic means of construction, like Maureen Gallace, the simplest means to construct/render the desire, objects like vessels for want, for a home, for recognition: "that’s the idea behind the sculptures … it’s like, ‘Here I am; I’m still here!’”"

see too: James Lee Byars at VeneKlasen/Werner

Friday, March 3, 2017

Ken Okiishi at Reena Spaulings


Untitled 2016, We're serenaded to a drive's Concerto in D (major), in prosaic's extreme, until the camera zooms onto a skeletal billboard stripped of the flesh that should sell, its meat, before the camera pans over to yet another billboard through bones showing the heavens behind it that should be eclipsed by content. The metaphor seems apt. It's nice to not have content. Blankness. For there sometimes to be nothing at all.

Then there's Okiishi's PR'd concern for his "bubbles" and "tubes" forming the "linked-together aggregations of masses of actors" sharing the angst of both Gaugin's "D'où Venons Nous / Que Sommes Nous / Où Allons Nous" and, perhaps more apropos to the bubble and tubed, the Smashing Pumpkins' hamster, trapped in a maze despite all his Je nes sais...  The better you can pronounce the issue seems only to aggravate the problem, of painters writers and musicians finding new rhymes for "cage."

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Autumn Ramsey at Park View


As painter of things, and cat butts sensuous, the combed marbling and sumi-esque, akin Bill Lynch, embed a materialism into the styles assembled, things out of techniques, an odd partitioning of means that, like Amelie von Wulfen, earn small surprises. According to the PR we're supposed to look past these styles "into a realm of circumstances that challenge common beliefs and examine bias"  maybe so we don't call the teary eyed black face painting a black face painting. Perhaps excellently enough its hard to know what to make of the cultural references, and then a blooby green star hovers ambiguously, like a presence to obscure.

Autumn Ramsey at Night ClubAmelie von Wulffen at Barbara WeissBill Lynch at Tanya Leighton,  Bill Lynch at White Columns,

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Marepe at Max Hetzler


Awkward sculpture and its attendant vernacular methods, what Peter Eeley called Marepe's "workaday ingenuity" loaded with Brazilian references whose"neo-Concretist intimacy" elides the "opaque mirrors" of cultural difference, here attempted to be smoothed by a PR's explication of symbols. Instead the press's hermeneutic attachmenting only underscores the bricolage, its endearing clumsiness. Performing all the necessary jury rigging to make functional an object with what's at hand.

See too: “The Crack-Up” at Room East (B. Wurtz) , Robert Grosvenor at Karma