Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Nicolas Party at The Modern Institute


The world is insane so act like it. The decor turned to 11, become lurid, horrible. Isn't that our world currently? The berating of sense. Have you come to enjoy your pummeling? And is Party's really what others have called "sincerity and joy"? "Polychromy" states the press release, as if maybe we thought of Greek statues colored as they were, this would be our world now. But our eyes experience exhaustion, our cones cannot handle, biological imprints on our art a certain taste as barrier against a visual depletion, but maybe we would learn to love this chromatic pain.

Ann Cathrin November Høibo at DREI


Materially in excess, it condenses through glass, perspires its objecthood through the glazing. Painting we can feel through the window, that has replaced feeling. CAD is a window in an abyss of many windows. Everyone trying to feel something through. Our personal panopticon.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Dana Hoey at Petzel


A project of perhaps post relation aesthetics, even serving up another form of Thai. "Ms. Hoey’s is a gloves-off statement arguing for women as powerful and ready to rumble against discrimination or historical stereotypes" says Schwendener succinctly. The work becomes a service announcement and overall community service with high end commodities as backdrop. An exchanging moral stakes for aesthetics that critics have in the past lamented (with various levels of harrumphing) since ostensibly if you agree with the politics you agree with the art, amplitude is what matters, adding another form of song and dance performed in front of objects to spellcast meaning in them; they are like high end souvenirs of action. I'm not totally ready to throw out the potential conflation of moral/aesthetics, but art does have a pretty poor record in said ring, particularly when telling the stories of others or universalizing its own. The recent Andrea Bowers thing for instance. Unsure whether the normalization of black eyes is necessary, though that's not my story.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Lukas Quietzsch, Philipp Simon at Kunstbunker Nürnberg


All art institutions are funhouses aren't they, to see ourselves in warbled mirrors, objects torn from the world and made alien, that stage for observer's performance in seeing, so why not make it literal.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo) at Balice Hertling

(link) (top photo)

Again a public-domaining.  Or what the we'd call "appropriation" or the "readymade." But the PR, which is good, is right in persuading away from language like the readymade; it noting that, elsewhere in the gallery, the triggers hung on the wall have been removed (and permanently disabled) from US firearms which is not precisely reproduction or repetition of the world since it effectively "castrates" their noodley bit. This against the readymade reminiscent of D+G: "Mimicry is a very bad concept, since it relies on binary logic to describe phenomena of an entirely different nature.  The crocodile does not reproduce a tree trunk, any more than the chameleon reproduces the colors of its surroundings.  The Pink Panther imitates nothing, it reproduces nothing, it paints the world its color, pink on pink; this is its becoming-world". Again the PR: "Puppies Puppies has always fiddled with the broken membrane between imagination and the experience of reality". That we can rearrange the world for us to fit into, remake it to our desires, have every right be as legitimate a Spongebob as Nickelodeon, and write our own as canon. Be the Carpenter you want to see in the world.

See too: Puppies Puppies at What PipelinePuppies Puppies at BFA Boatos

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Tom Allen at Lulu


Flowers after all are the lighted landing strips of insect air travel. The Vegas strip sign advertising sex and nectar to bees, birds. What did Zizek say about tulips, "an open invitation to all insects and bees, 'Come and screw me.'" Flowers perform better in the UV light of the sod's eyes. So paint them as such, in all their lurid arbitrariness. PR:"a maniacal inquiry into color, form and space."
CAWD earlier: "No one really certain why flowers are beautiful to humans... some believe in primeval human's use in marking where fruit would later be while others going so far to state flower's cross-species interest as evidence for an innate and low-level hardwiring of a concrete biological concept of beauty independent of any productivity. Marking food sounds truer. And perhaps this crass evolutionary productivity substantiating floral pulchritude might be why flowers are called "the lowest of the genres," gaming the system with hardwired desire. However what artist has ever been above cheating?"
Flowers are "an object as experimental-constant through which an artist may perform tortures on a cultural concept of beauty." Vegas; Zizek again: "I think that flowers should be forbidden to children."

See too: Willem de Rooij at Arnolfini“Miranda” at Anat Ebgi & “A Change of Heart” at Hannah Hoffman,  Jenine Marsh at Lulu

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Miguel Cardenas at Metro Pictures


As reference to Rousseau's "Sleeping Gypsy," homage here feels more like haunted. Who was Rousseau stealing from anyway?  (Who exactly, were they all stealing from?) Stories of Rousseau's trip with the "French expeditionary force to Mexico are unfounded." However Rousseau referred to them as his "Mexican Pictures." "He likely never left France." "His colleagues’ adventures in Mexico inspired him." "This story seems to be a product of his imagination." Isn't that haunted? "Mexican pictures." Who's ghost? Where do these apparitions float in from? Where do we form ideas of the "Pre-Columbian" and their mixing European lineage. Endlessly misinterpreted until the original is a mistranslation. A image that feels if not without ownership, partially destroyed.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Olga Balema at Bridget Donahue


Last time talking about the demands for artwork, like pornography, to photograph well; it must be able - in an age of everyone communicating through glass - to connote itself through image. 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 seems to miss the fact that A, the gallery is full of things and B, empty galleries (even most full exhibitions) 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.) The press release even first sentence states: "100% sculpture." If anything the closest counterpart would be something like Dawn Kasper's forest of mic'd cymbals, tense to scream presence with misstep. 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. I wonder if Kronz was thinking of Irigaray when writing the PR, writing about "absolute terms" or tautness, which sounds like history and its compartments (empty galleries), and the inability for artworlds like science to easily account for these less "rigid" categories, the "physical reality that continues to resist adequate symbolization" and "necessary to minimize certain of these features of nature, to envisage them, and it, only in light of an ideal status, so as to keep it/them from jamming the works of the theoretical machine." Irigaray.

*Perhaps the connection to minimalism is Michael Fried's objecthood "stage presence" made prickly.

See too: Dawn Kasper at David Lewis, Tony Conrad's Glass, "But so much humanity isn't iron."
Olga Balema at High Art (2), Olga Balema at High Art (1), Olga Balema at Croy Nielsen

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Alexandra Noel at Freedman Fitzpatrick, Atlantis


Of the kids today raised on cartoons and adopting surrealism, Noel's slightness is a psychic mess, more pollution than collage, tinged with repression. The shadow of a plane is the specter haunting here, but throughout is an "offness" that is more motion sickness than fear. Like Gertrude Abercrombie, or Goodnight Moon, an unease in desolate scenes in omnipresent sourceless light. Or Ken Price's drawings, his own harsh light of LA, ominous in shadows looking like oil, a lack of light which threatened to become physical thing, ink, creep from the cracks, precipitate from the air, cover everything. Noel's light too, toxic, the haze as permanent fixture, everything feeling smogged, poisoned. Pollution as repression, spectacular sunsets, and black oil beneath feet. The 9/11 in everyone's bedroom.

See too: Gertrude Abercrombie at Karma

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Jacob Kassay at von ammon co


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.
Now if these paintings come sold with the flickering light and are only art designated "artworks" when installed with such, can't be brought from under them at the end of the exhibition, then color us wrong and this is funny. But doubtful, the installation has becomes the means of lifestyle branding, advertising.

See too: “Seven Reeds” at Overduin & Co.Quarterly: Ei Arakawa

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Lisa Holzer at Kunstverein München

"The resulting images at once mock and celebrate legacies of abstract painting while also teasing cliches and the expectations related to the photographic medium itself. With humor and critical wit, her practice addresses conditions of labor, exposure, visibility, and power confronting artists, artworks, and the art system itself."
We're going to just cross out the second sentence.
You know what the market has shown every collector wants walled? Abstraction, and so art has become a giant machine mining sources of abstraction. And the endless ironizing of abstract legacies with its remaking in different modes (fire extinguisher, silvering, abjection, food photography) ostensibly acts as critique. Pollock was just spurting cum, symbolically accredited decoration, abjection whatever; the critique fails to, despite 40 years of it, functionally do anything. It's like battling a ghost with a longsword. Abstraction is the inkblot that acts like silver, that acts like mirrors, to place whatever you want to see in it. And we keep digging mirrors.

There's a cake and eat it too joke somewhere in here.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Shana Sharp at Nicelle Beauchene


Happening at Chris Sharp's Lulu was quaint, perhaps charming, endearing. It's a lovely gift, to give your mother an international art career. This feels different. Beauchene does actually show other artists besides Lulu family, they just rarely show up on CAD (4 in 5? (depends how you count)). So the layers here are complicated, enlarged by our magnifying glass to show this one texture. And charges of nepotism would of course be met with all other, more closeted, forms of nepotism that pretty much structure the art world. Transparency could feel like fresh air. Instead this weird magnifying glass.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Amy Sillman at The Arts Club of Chicago


Maybe Sillman's paintings are uglycute in the way fetuses are ugly, there's not enough drawing to hold the shape nor body to give it viscera, which is why they have that newborn quality of looking like pink pencil erasers more than human, painting and fetus both. A confusion of painting and drawing (within painting specifically, the processes distinct from their materials we could say) that give them that uncanny modern nubility. Abject, sure. About to realize some full state if never completing it, the continual caroming off reaching full maturity.
Past: Will Benedict

"Thinking of Benedict like a gothicly depressed Baldessari is helpful."

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

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Jörg Heiser:      Do you think there is anything ‘polemical’ left in referentiality today?

Willem de Rooij:     Rather the opposite. It has become a completely mainstream convention. I’m amazed by the flood of art pieces I’ve seen lately that consist of a photograph of a book that the artist finds interesting. Or a book in a showcase. Or sculptures that consist of a bookshelf on the wall with a number of books on it. Or a photo of a bookshelf. Or a photo of a book in a showcase. These books might be interesting, but the photos and sculptures are usually not. I find it so unfair to art that the form of the work gets ignored in that way.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Josef Strau at Francesca Pia


These are much uglier, which is an improvement I suppose. And Straus's text begins with an almost apology for the exhibition, which reminds how endeared we all were to artists failing ten years ago. The "I prefer not to." or Manfred Pernice's ongoing struggle to get erect. or The performed hesitance in every painting made. Remember that time? But then Strau's text turns it around.  Attempts to incant and imbue some earnestness into the enterprise. Calls it Sutering, or the process of invoking something earnest, Vivian Suter, meaning, into the paintings. Remember the wacky wild inflatable arm men who danced in front of their paintings to imbue some some [criticality] into bland abstractions?  This is like that, hunched over its making and saying a prayer.

A hail mary pass to capture, touch down, on some meaning.

See too: Josef Strau at House of Gaga (2)Josef Strau at House of Gaga

Friday, July 12, 2019

Anthony Pearson at Marianne Boesky


A lot of art makes the process of getting paint onto the canvas itself the problem of art. Going back to Stella's auto-flex on the canvas, an excuse for the painting. Reason without reason. Simply was. Which was the point then, but however many decades later we suddenly had "process orientated abstraction" whose own tautological reasoning spread infectiously as a means to manufacture object meaning. Pearson - who has been around longer than the process dead - has been inventing all sorts of means to get art to semi-auto-materialize. The "paint" here is poured and peeled, and the others grated with rococo lines, etc. So what you see is what you see, a process in getting the materials to self-expose. But the image is beside the point, the point is simply materialization, sediment something that is elegant, pretty, capable of walls.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann at Noah Klink


interest in primitive subjects (cave walls and prehistoric flora) as well as Hollywood staging finds its waypoint in the cardboard mockup's DIY version, not tricking anyone. But the gesture towards mimesis is there. It's low grade magic, like cave paintings once were, premised on the same belief of movie suspension. These and their smells (there's smells) aren't suspending disbelief, their stupidness is there to provides that distance. (To say one of those annoying things art writers tend to say:) they're more to do with our desire to be tricked, playing our fascination with the machines of verisimilitude, creation. Perhaps easier to believe in magic when it's primitive: an iphone is not magic but a rock certainly is.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Susan Te Kahurangi King at Robert Heald


A sort of exquisiteness, corpse of culture kaleidoscopic. Things rearranged in a twirl. Liquid, like images turned back to ink and spun.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Kathryn Andrews at KÖNIG GALERIE


The postmodern philosopher said America needed Disneyland to prove the rest the country isn't already. The world already feels like a cartoon, making one within it feels redundant, painfully. Maybe the best thing about Andrews is that, like John Miller or Armleder the work is as off-putting as the culture it draws from is. We just need to admit the pain, that this isn't fun.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Amalia Ulman at The Gallery at El Centro


From the first lightning bolts of Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Stills: the artworld continuously electrified by depictions of women in societal bondage gear. Artists depicting the strictures that force women to conform to cultural mores; images of women made, if only momentarily, powerless or complicit, which whose artistic doubling, or performance of, is the critique. (And as these mores and roles mutate in time so too the art updates alongside the new chain.) And despite the critical intention's now obvious powerlessness to successfully confront or diminish such roles - as evidenced by its 40 years of continuous updating and still ringing true - Sherman et al. enjoy success in the market, press, and critical etceteras. (Successful critique would ostensibly outmode itself to that culture?) A success slightly ominous in comparison to the seeming lack of success of practices and images depicting women that oppose dominant hierarchies or act to provide fertile turf outside it, say A.L. Steiner. A culture, say a magazine or a museum, that can purchase an absolution to the images it wants through an art that gesticulates critique. But that its success is simply a culture that likes seeing - culturally approved - women in bondage.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Dena Yago at High Art


"the ancient ritual of making an object of basic utility for the purposes of transparent exchange begins to promise relief. The commodity in itself offers a level of commercial purity that feels, to some, less complicit or exhausting than the highly mannered and baroque tapestry of brand narratives and leveraged networks on which creating and exhibiting even traditional forms of contemporary art—like paintings, sculptures, or photography—have come to rely. "

Friday, July 5, 2019

Group Show at The Kitchen Aufderhoehe


"...the ubiquity of installation views today (over the very obsolete taste for images of the paintings cropped of which here there are presented none) merely today's fashion, or is it a use of its authority. ..the empty whiteness surrounding paintings today is the latent frame replacing yesteryear gilt. Instead white walls wreathing its images in the symbolic wealth of hundreds of dollars per square foot of galleries, or museums. Gold leaf is redundant to white walls..."

"[but] in fact sited documentation seems to be on the rise, and emphasized to dramatic effect, highlighting the gallery’s architectural ticks, absurdly so. That Berlin’s Tanya Leighton gallery, of which Sanchez highlights, despite performing the neutral painted grey floors and glowing white walls, is one of the more architecturally memorable galleries. All around images of the object’s site, the installation shot, generally outnumber if not replace entirely the image of the object, even to the detriment of understanding the object. The site as the producer of the art object’s “aura” was established in different way by Boris Groys take on Benjaminian aura in “Art in the Age of Biopolitics” in referring to documentations (in terms of artifacts of conceptual art) need for the site.
" The surrealist vernacular of most contemporary is predicated on this aura for its totems, its mysterioizing, its unknowability, this distance between the object and the viewer. Sontag: "Distance seems built into the very experience of looking at photographs..."

"a fear of vertigo of a white space sent into hyperspace the gallery-space will need to self-locate, architecture will appear as a watermark to keep one foot on the ground avoiding the spins tumbling through non-space."

See too: Brian Calvin at Le ConsortiumSophie Nys at Crac AlsaceZoe Nelson at JDJCAD

Yngve Holen at Modern Art


Commodities made permanent. Are we to put some social science program toward this? some anthropology towards bronzed culture. The PR seems to think so: "one of the questions posed [...] is, what kind of concepts are introduced to the developing brains of children, and in what way does this guide their understanding of the world around them?" Art becomes (has become) a process for turning culture into artifacts of that culture, sediments of it, wiped across paintings and assemblaged in sculpture, like flypaper art collecting the carcass of. Preloaded with content for walltexts or children's television. Collectible too.
If the dominance of mass culture includes threat to diminish art that we could call castration, then art's turning that culture into a fetish item is classic Freud: "a token of triumph over the threat of castration and a protection against it." You can't cut off what I own of yours.

See too: Yngve Holen at Fine Arts, SydneyYngve Holen at Kunsthalle BaselYngve Holen at Modern ArtDavid Lieske at MUMOK,

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda at Koelnischer Kunstverein


It's important to note the artists' strategies in mise-en-scene. These photos tell you nothing, give you no information but they connote an affect, one of literal and metaphorical velvet ropes. What, after all, is this photograph of? Of the air, in the impressionist sense. That emptiness they love. Cold like sharks. It'd be something if the artists didn't have at least some hand in the documentation. Or maybe there is just that much air. Like John Knight, the strategies of withholding generate power. In forests we imagine predators, in confusion invent gods, or artists.

See too: John Knight at Greene NaftaliYngve Holen at Kunsthalle Basel

Monday, July 1, 2019

Cosima von Bonin at House of Gaga & Magasin III Jaffa

(Gaga, Magasin)

The first show of Cosima von Bonin in both Mexico and Israel the press releases with trumpets. Which feels more colonial than culturally humanitarian, proffering the west's hegemony further into the world. New outposts everywhere. How dreary it would have to lack proximity to these objects of capital. A tooting symptomatic of our belief in art as a beneficial if not outright moral substance in need of spread, of announcement. The commodity is the form we now think in, and these are teh "good" commodities.