Friday, November 30, 2018


We've become so slowly steeped into contemporary surrealism it doesn't even register anymore. The cartoons we swim in, the schematics and icons that we now accept as denoting us, it's just us, for granted.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Thea Djordjadze at Portikus


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We’ve invented some kind of Stockholm syndrome to the architecture we are hostage to. An art in supplication to the building's wings that embrace it. We see a vitality, a benevolence in the architecture, like a generous god's embrace. We build to it totems, in it reliquaries. The several photos of the light in the space. Art that literally reflects its light as halos. Any architecture that will host it, a gift to it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Ricky Swallow at David Kordansky


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Cast the world in bronze, make it an image, a trophy. People like permanence. And these are an act of making-permanent, of embalming. Stupid, but permanent. We like permanence. The aesthetic of permanence. The Tuttles will melt but these will stay until our endtimes. A Tuttle made by Charles Ray. Mark Mander's Nocturnal Garden Scene, a slackness of rope converted to "a three-dimensional photograph." Against the Wurtzian resurgence these feel megalomanic.  A cartooning of the world rendered plastic. Casting your desire for forever.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Henrik Olesen at Schinkel Pavilion


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Dirt collects where there are no eyes, this is surely a saying somewhere. Culture has its own rheum. It accumulates in street corners, behind hedges, in dark clubs. Opened to the light society finds these areas repulsive, "Social phobias that reinforce the pathologies of abnormality." And so control must expose everything to light. Social reproduction is premised on this exposure, the normative society you are judged against, must assimilate to. For instance Chickens peck any limping young to death by using words like fag or sodomy laws. This way the cast-off internalizes the panopticon as an ever carried guilt. So the newspapers in alleys will know they are out of place. We prefer clean streets, our families nuclear. The overt reference to Thek here fits as an artist frustrated with minimalist cleanliness, the art of power desiring the removal of fingerprints, subjectivity and labor for grand notions of autonomy that only function when you can function in the light. Which now of course Olesen standing occupying the garde position of Art's Schinkel panopticon.



See too: Melvin Edwards at Daniel Buchholz, Henrik Olesen at CabinetHenrik Olesen at Reena SpaulingsGerry Bibby, Henrik Olesen at Sismógrafo

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Past: Etel Adnan at Sfeir-Semler

"...removing the decisions that brought it to be, clarity is edited and terseness a political strategy that is inarguable. It strips the handles of which one could control the thought. Making a sleek delivery belying its concealment..."


Click for full: Etel Adnan at Sfeir-Semler

Richard Bosman at Freddy


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A lot seems to have been made of Bosman's discrepancy of paint and image. People referring to the images as "annoying" and "bad metaphors" and "empty signifiers" and "numbingly stalemated" and maybe closest when Roberta Smith called them "parody-homage". The theme throughout seems that Bosman's "masterfully casual" brushwork would be better suited to more noble subjects. Wanting paint, not subject matter. An uncomfortable understanding that Paint is more noble than this surely. But then already back in 1982 Kate Linker called them "melodramatic tactics," said "Richard Bosman’s scenarios, for example, are depicted with irony, in thick and frenzied strokes which suggest the impossibility of evoking the “authentic” sentiments they once conveyed." Which sounds a lot like today. The affectual torture of signs and pathways, aren't sure how to relate. Like a bad writer pointing out they're closed doors and saying Brechtian.


See too: Andrew Norman Wilson at Futura

Friday, November 23, 2018

Mai-Thu Perret at MAMCO


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Painting is the ultimate art commodity but these still feel like the commodes of home catalogs and design-porn magazines. Souvenirs of a high-end experience. Perhaps Perret predicting the craft object trends. The pottery on everyones shelves. The neon signs somehow trending in summer cottages. Perret originally created a narrative of a fictional utopia which "produced" the artworks. Which is 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.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Forrest Bess at Modern Art


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There's nothing worse than reading someone heaping praise on Bess, it doesn't work, the paintings deflect it like steel pans, which is why there's so much writing that resorts to retelling the life that was strange and mad and made for a script. The paintings just don't take it. Bess's paintings are artless, direct, and without affect. They are, as Bess stated, more diagrams than self-expression. He called himself a copyist, assuming a representational adherence to the forms. He thought New York Ab-Ex was overly affected: "He suspected that they thought him a hick, while he adopted a disparaging view of what he regarded as their stylistic conceits." Bess was styleless. Forms rarely repeat, each painting seems its own specific unit. Explicitly drawing something but not necessarily that we know what, we look at Bess's with all the perfect inscrutability of art, its search for meaning. A hurricane came through and blew away Bess's home late in his life and he was left to search through the Gulf's mud to find everything in it.


see too: Raoul De Keyser at Inverleith House, Gertrude Abercrombie at Karma

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Sue Williams at Skarstedt


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You'd think as it softened Williams innuendo would get deeper, more latent more unnerving, but instead abstraction becomes lotion, a relief to hard content. Not even really orifices anymore. A distinct lack of buttholes. The paintings do the blushing for us. There's moments. When the brown takes on the fecal umbers of the gastro-figurative of Michaela Eichwald.  Or the only occasional red really engorged with "content," filling out like lips with blood. More frequently colors seem arbitrary like flowers, attracting insects with saccharine stuff. Butts only attract flies, we're trying to harvest gold. At a time when Williams previous hard brush and comic 'tude should be meeting up with the cartoon kids of the day, an interesting choice to take fabric and wipe it away.



See too: Ivy Haldeman at Downs & Ross, Michaela Eichwald at Silberkuppe, Michaela Eichwald at Maureen Paley

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Eva Koťátková at Convent


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The aesthetic of Medieval Torture, of rat cages, of sharp objects you're not supposed to run with. Art has a masochistic love, an attachment to things that hurt us, it makes them swell to monumental. Mona Houtom or Jeff Koons. So much power art is so violent. Its purchase providing some capitalistic transcendence of the threat, which you now own, you now exert control over, can threaten with. In marketing this is creating a problem to sell the solution. The artist offers nervous uncomfortable objects, an anxiety the collector relieves himself of by buying, the writing through understanding, the common man by crying.

Monday, November 19, 2018

“Verlörung” at Art Berlin


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Why not maximize the product, increase the wallspace into a complex, non-Euclidean like lettuce, a surface area excessive of space. Like lettuce. Make it baroque, grotesque, caricature of the exhibition. It's the same but more. Frilled with lettuce space. This is interesting, this is a cartoon, the one we live in, a maximization, like an efficiency, like an apartment, hoarded toward labyrinthian conditions, scraping everything we can get out of it, to make stone soup.
Past: Deana Lawson at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

"And not necessarily treating her subjects kindly, the best light remains Lawson's, photographic adeptness bending subjects to her. [...] These are what photographs live for, the construction of a subject, here a person. At least these curtains seem properly adhered."


Click to read full: Deana Lawson at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Past: Anna Ostoya at Silberkuppe

"[The office paper shredder's] futurist and Sheeleresque overlay a quasi-destructive act that reviews of spend most space ignoring to tell you about the images buried because its usually easier to elucidate history than art."


click to read full: Anna Ostoya at Silberkuppe

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Leda Bourgogne, Ida Ekblad at Kunstverein Braunschweig


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The excess physicality in painting, the scabs one end and wall vents on the other, perhaps because we're so beholden to virtual environs that we need a new harder visceral materiality to reach across screens, so we can feel like we're feeling something other than glass.


see too: Ida Ekblad at Herald St (2) Ida Ekblad at Max HetzlerIda Ekblad at Herald St (1)Tony Conrad's Glass
Past: Ida Ekblad

"Paint coagulates, a crust like Ekblad's Mr. Kellog's Cornflake Scab stuck to fine surfaces. Scabs are excess of bodily presence, we want to pick them, peel them from our elbows, remove the corpsing exuberant. It's itchy [...] Like Lasker's stupid strokes, a clownishness, an exaggeration of the painterly ... forcing painting to speak with a mouthful of bubble gum."


Click for full:Ida Ekblad at Herald St (2) Ida Ekblad at Max Hetzler, Ida Ekblad at Herald St (1)

Friday, November 16, 2018

Diamond Stingily at Freedman Fitzpatrick


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The transition from handmade dolls to mass produced Teddy Bears had to be meaningful for the unconscious of humanity. All sorts of issues for what it would mean with children grown on loving sweatshop objects. Units of CareBears moved. To move you. Shouldn't the Toy Story characters speak Chinese? Dominant culture gets to force its cast to speak its language, dub them against their natural speaking voice, force adoption of its language. It's called localized for a market. It's called acting white. It's called "he's eloquent." called AAVE, a vernacular nonstandard but "equal." They surely will speak whatever when localized for market. Giving commodities to children so they learn to love their master. Because really they'd speak Mandarin. Klaus Biesenbach's apartment has nothing in it and is entirely white, which is a lie since minimalism is basically predicated on closeting the workers you're standing on, but we'll give him several architectural and NYT magazine spreads anyway, a new advancement in whitewash interiors. Because pretending the working body isn't there, pretending everything spontaneously generates on store shelves clean, without indentured sweat, is important to our culture. Corporate production gets so massive it takes pains to relocate itself, force adoption of itself, anything outside it gets the searchlight, brought back under eye that is pretended as benign with total market share, control.


see too: Melvin Edwards at Daniel BuchholzDiamond Stingily at Queer Thoughts

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Han Bing at Night Gallery


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Maybe what was so great about Richter's squeegee is proving that abstraction was asinine, it could abused. How maddeningly dumb it could still survive as. These are stated as not abstract since they from photographs of abstraction, and thus "evidence a tenuous balance"of getting cake and eating it, and looking like it, cake, too.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Lucy Dodd at Sprüth Magers


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reminiscent Amanda Ross-Ho's big-ass tie-dye T-shirts - the cosmic/comical scale of psychedelia amped. Into sizes everyone has to mention in reviews. And Anicka Yi's antidepressant and palm essence elixirs.  Elixir and kaleidoscopia spread across canvas to make a painting as potion for the "spiritual" that has returned so strongly and forces belief once again.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Augustas Serapinas at Basement Roma


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The gallery's neighbor is pet groomer. And neighbors and previous tenants are sorta what Serapinas seems into, using neighbors. Past instances include a locksmith's keys melted into sauna buckets and curtain rings, as well as a neighbor's pen getting into into some bread. In behaved conceptual art fashion is engorges its signifiers with a vitality, allowing the life of writers and press to extrapolate until a blue that's on brand. But this exhibition is much funnier as a literal attempt at represenatational act, attempting to see through walls and well envision the neighbor that everyone writing think-pieces about how we are so disconnected from. A gallery exists next to a pet groomer. Wipe enough fat on the walls and eventually they becomes transparent. People like to see their neighbors in themselves.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Past: Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho

"directly asked in the PR like a book club edition's questionnaires for sparking conversation and us looking to find answers, searching at all the beauty of totem poles."


Read full:

Friday, November 9, 2018

Gili Tal at Cabinet


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the question of what outside your window could be less interesting than this. You draw the shade on the world just to be mocked by this, a curtain that won't let you escape banality. If the photos are by no means good, would it not be fault of the world they depict? It is your city that is ugly, and you should be forced to buy one of these as reminder that your castle not separate from. This mindset allowed for the suburbs, its devolution into ugliness, people moved in personalized containers, personal vehicles in trajectories to their big boxes sheltered, their home, their work, moved in submarines of personalized climate, protected in white walled towers. Curtains are a weak force against the world that these posit perhaps someday someone will invent something to break glass, and the world will flood in.


Modern Gothic is a mode or genre prevalent in Contemporary Art from the early 21st century to this day. Characteristics of Modern Gothic include the presence of banal, irrational, and transgressive thoughts, desires, and impulses; grotesque settings; dark humor, and an overall angst-ridden sense of alienation. While related to the Southern Gothic tradition, Modern Gothic is uniquely rooted in contemporary Capitalism's tensions and aberrations. During the 21st century, the everywhere-nowhere setting of today's post-industrial cities became “the principal region of Modern Gothic” in art. The Modern Gothic brings to light the extent to which the idyllic vision of the progressive, collectivized City rests on massive repressions of the region’s historical realities: capitalism, class, and patriarchy. Modern Gothic texts also mark a Marxist return of the alienated: the region’s historical realities take concrete forms in the city's banality of power structures that highlight all that has been unsaid in the official version of Modern history. Because of its dark and everyday subject matter, literary scholars and critics initially sought to discredit the gothic on a national level.


Modern Gothic: Morag Keil at Project Native InformantGeorgie Nettell at Lars FriedrichGeorgie Nettell at Reena SpaulingsGili Tal at Jenny’sWill Benedict at Overduin & Co., Merlin Carpenter at Overduin & Co.
Perhaps the worst of art is paying attention to artists circulating on, I guess, someone's dollar as an update to the bohemian-chic lifestyle we've been culturally fed as the artist's way now updated with easy first class tickets and diaspora of art centers all needing to be curated and shown the same art, the same names and everyone playing along at home from their TV screens which broadcasts the fantasies of their bohemia back at them.


See too: Ian Rosen at The FinleyIan Rosen at Kristina Kite186f Kepler at Contemporary Art Daily
"Clifton Palace," “Pho Viet Huong” "Vzszhhzz," "Astro 5," and "Tes Yeux" at 186f Kepler

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Jacqueline Humphries at Modern Art


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the more vulgar excesses of Humphries's paint always excused by its obliviousness to the demands of "making a painting." Humphries's almost without-composition but still composed, paintings like an accident, car or bed sheet. And these are readymade, the previous paintings reduxed with the latest deployment: ASCII printing. And so Humphries' drip, brushstroke, mark, neither expressive nor quotational of expression, paint is instead already perfectly dumb. This separates them from the hordes of zombies: no search for brains. Instead the cannibal-without-purpose seems pleasant after so many decades of painting's conceptual juicing. Like Richter whose painting exists in the netherworld of a stupid transcendence, instead just give us what we want, paint, flesh, dumbly.


see too: Jacqueline Humphries at Carnegie Museum of Art

Past: Henning Bohl

"Bohl is the indeterminate horror that knot guy fears."
as quoted in full the PR here


Past: Henning Bohl at What Pipeline, Henning Bohl at Karin Guenther
Past: Jacqueline Humphries at Carnegie Museum of Art

"The thin distinction of Humphries from the song and dance of all those other silver abstractionists is that the well worn jazz hands of "expression" aren't, for Humphries, totally choreographed yet by Dr. Frankenstein. While the corpse may have its fluids replaced in technicolor, paraded around in chromes and newfangled chemiluminescence, it's the activation of this new deployment of means, materials, not just silver paint but making the silver paint shine like candied yams."


Click for full: Jacqueline Humphries at Carnegie Museum of Art


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Kerry James Marshall at David Zwirner


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The paintings everyone's talking about because it's easier to talk about prices than art. That's the hegemony of price. It is the abstraction allowing exchange, both monetary and conversational. Everyone can talk about it, even if poorly.


see too: Kerry James Marshall at MOCA Los Angeles
Past: Alice Tippit at Night Club

"Between the anthropomorphic and the pareidolia is the seeing ghosts in images that contain a sort of liquid content, innuendo, form to the container-viewer"

See full: Alice Tippit at Night Club

Monday, November 5, 2018

Diane Simpson at Herald St


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Simpson's is like watching objects preening for their digitalisation, become icons. Begin from "from flat printed matter, renderings of material culture discovered in used bookstores, university libraries, and online archives—pictures of medieval clothing, Art Deco patterns, or commercial packaging design." Which as our relationships between 2 and 3D, virtual space and physical space become ever more fraught, (see the ability of IKEA insistence on flat pack, alleviating the physicality of distance and reduce shipping to basically reign over low-end furniture) the details become hardcoded, organics are put into firm boxes, codified, cubicles, far easier to measure pack ship and thus virtualize, it of course feels apt to Simpson's resurgence today: that we enjoy our detached contemplation of our oppressor. We move real world problems into aesthetic fields, which feels like control, they're lovely.


*Kate Nesin, Artforum

Sunday, November 4, 2018

B. Wurtz at Richard Telles & ICA LA


(Richard TellesICA LA )

There is now a waste issue called "aspirational recycling" in which "people set aside items for recycling because they believe or hope they are recyclable, even when they aren’t," no 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 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.


see too: Paul P., B. Wurtz at Cooper ColeB. Wurtz at Lulu“The Crack-Up” at Room East (B. Wurtz)B. Wurtz at Metro Pictures

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Past: B. Wurtz

"that the details aren't trivial. They are the attachments of care, sewing buttons to close coats around a warmth for when another person 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."

"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."



Paul P., B. Wurtz at Cooper ColeB. Wurtz at Lulu“The Crack-Up” at Room East (B. Wurtz)B. Wurtz at Metro Pictures

Friday, November 2, 2018

Mary Obering at Kayne Griffin Corcoran


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It seems there's become a scramble to repair art history, reweave the tapestry's holes left by the moths hungry for the limelight. The omissions all pretended never happened. There is a problem with revisionist history in omitting that we did need to revise it. It would feel better if hadn't come so late, come after women artists finally also flying towards the moon with prices, the galleries tinting theirs with suspicions of market plays and generally not at all fair to the artists. KGC has a better track record, having always looking at least partially back, and so suspicions should maybe be muted, there's no fluorescents here. Though it does kinda look like a beach in moonlight.
Past: Allison Katz at MIT List Visual Arts Center

"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: painting that feel like fibs, competing styles that delay any coherence in its subject, the painter, our trust for the text to tell us something about the author."


Click for full: Allison Katz at MIT List Visual Arts Center