Thursday, October 31, 2019

Alexandre Singh at Metro Pictures


An "imagined dystopic future." Says every press release today. Dystopia ripples through the artworld with the Gothic, occasionally hand in hand. Though Singh has been invested in Dystopia for some time - you may recall 2008's "Hello Meth lab in the Sun" - which now does feel very 2008 doesn't it. (Breaking Bad and antagonism to relational times.) This was then at the waning moments of the US's 8 years of George W. Bush. We were only hearing about Hope then. "Dystopia" spikes in Google Search Trends in 2005 (a video game released under the name) and, well, January 2016, correlating with another shifting US Presidential epoch. Why were we searching for Dystopias if we hand one on our hands? Why do horror themes correlate to each age's neurosis; Nuclear fears: Godzilla; Climate Change: environmental cataclysm films. Latest research on dreams says we perform in sleep to practice duress, invent the situation to imagine our performance. Our anxieties are given the fantasy of horror, dystopia, to watch and say, surely it won't be that bad, make them feel like fantasy.

See too: Andrei Koschmieder at Jenny’s

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Paul Gondry, KAYA at Deborah Schamoni Paul Gondry


By Gwynne Hogan | October 21, 2016 1:24pm
EAST WILLIAMSBURG — The artist son of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" director Michel Gondry was questioned by NYPD hate-crime investigators after he hung a dummy from a tree on the same block where the film was shot — in what some neighbors considered a disturbing reference to lynching.

The dummy slung up by Paul Gondry, 25, Wednesday outside his Orient Avenue home was an effort to  "create some weirdness" in the days before Halloween, he said.

"I don't want it to be seen as a hate thing, it's not," said Gondry, 25, who was featured in three of his father's films, according to his IMDB page.

The artist's creation was the second effigy found hanging from a neighborhood tree in several weeks, though Gondry is not claiming credit for the first.

Following a DNAinfo report about the second dummy, police notified hate-crime investigators, who were looking into it, according to Deputy Inspector William Gardner of Williamsburg's 90th Precinct.

Paul Gondry, son of director Michel Gondry, didn't intend the hanging puppet to be a racist, he said. Gondry said he hoped his dummy — which had its head covered in cloth and its arms tied behind its back — would add to the suspenseful build-up to Halloween.

Because the dummy had a cloth around its head, police thought it might have been targeting Muslims in the neighborhood, Gondry said they told him during questioning. But the son of the Oscar winner had chosen the cloth for another reason.

"It was supposed to be more like a medieval peasant. The world we live in is reminiscent of medieval times," he said, pointing to the city's record homeless population. He hoped to "bring that back into an urban context," he said.

Gondry, who said he was "really into puppets," had some second thoughts about hanging the dummy, though he wasn't totally sorry he'd done it.

"I think I would do hanging clowns if I were to do it [again]," he said, adding, "It's always cool to create a bit of polemic."

Gondry added that there were "no Halloween decorations in the neighborhood. It's weird."

"I wouldn't go to Bed-Stuy and do it," said Gondry, who's lived on the block for seven years. "It's my own house."

Hate-crime investigators will determine whether or not to press charges against Gondry, police said.

The first dummy was found strung up around the corner, on Kingsland Avenue in front of the Cooper Park Houses, at the end of September, unnerving residents who called it a "spiteful symbol of lynching."

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Tess Jaray at Exile


 The history of western modernism is one of secularization, no longer higher powers commanding but instead argued for in manifestos, the age of critics who proclaimed the usefulness of aesthetics (or anti-aesthetics) in a society increasingly industrialized and pressurized to extract value from everything, including art, and putting Greenberg on tirade, espousing the paradoxical function of an art ostensibly for only art's sake. The critic pokes the painting, saying "C'mon. Do something." The need for painting to "function" so sublimates into art that it becomes naturalized, becomes necessary. (Even art that is destructive, anti-, or wanton is recouped and given function by its "criticality," by saying things like its "opposition to dominant order." Immediately closed back into.) But so, precursor to Tomma Abts, painting as configurations, organized. We like organized paintings, because organization implies meaning, a function, a higher order. We like function, a use. A well constructed painting like a chair begins to feel functional, a painting like a Swiss army knife, capable of many situations.

Past: Than Hussein Clark

"Staged theatrically, their vacancy becomes strength, hollowness holding a surface for eyes to move and containing whatever importance the narrative can attribute it, like a beautifully feathered bird you are required to know nothing about, or a Tahitian landscape unencumbered by syphilitic artists, a tie-dyed Heimo Zobernig.  Like Sci-fi as excuse to CGI a lot of shiny things, theater to reimagine some neo-Memphis-group for Petra von Kant."

"so the context, under new light, grow baroque, wilt new leafs, gilt themselves in preparation for their spotlighting, put little balls on their feet, weight their connection to it, the theater."

"Turning the house topsy-turvy, the curatorial address of throwing it all in and letting god sort 'em out with song and dance."

Monday, October 28, 2019

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster at Century Pictures


Reading a book in a commercial art gallery was a torture device invented for the late Medieval Era. A sort of mental flog, a public humiliation. The point being, you're not supposed to read the books. It is a show library. Like, you can call Strand bookstore and order a library by the foot, you can specify "classics," "law library," or spine color. You can reverse engineer this. What do the collected titles reveal about the impetus catalyzing it. You peruse a person's library to triangulate a subject, denote their reader, here an artist, an ostensible brandishing of an intellectual pedigree. A lot of people fake it; it's a form itself.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Group Show at Meyer Kainer


In which object becomes notes of music to showcase the gallery that coronates them.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Oscar Murillo at Carlos/Ishikawa


There's never been anything particularly subtle about Murillo's work. It's hulking metaphors writ in barn door sizes. A grandiosity that shadows whatever the work is "about," allowing a fleetingness, an evasiveness. Let's ask 12 people what Murillo's work is "about." What does a painting that says "Leche" mean? Or "coconut water"? "Maiz." "Yoga." The words function like fish hooks: something perhaps about class, but necessarily what about class. A few more in in this exhibition: Dirty bundles of bread and concrete. Black Vultures eating the black carcass of a black dog hidden under black tarp. Peformance, another tarp covering a body on the street shown in headlights is painted on by the artist. The arrows are huge, blinking, blinding, cover for what you want it to be about aboutness.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

David Ostrowski at Sundogs


Ostrowski had originally come up by returning the Krebberian moment to its Barre roots. Fay aersols perfumed on blank canvases. They looked a little crustier, which was nice on the iPhones they were mostly transacted on, this was the life of them. They looked real like reclaimed wood. And now Ostrowski continues this painting as excuse for stains, an interest in, say, the way say walls accumulate graffiti, Ostrowski's accumulate painting. Why do we like this. Because it doesn't look like "Painting." It coopts that vernacular hand you find on subway walls and alleyways. The grime accumulating in Parisian corners is not cloying the way painting is, with an artist attempting to woo, and thus its, the grime's, more sunset moments feel unsullied, natural. Remember all those Gedi Sibony stolen freight doors? Sibony simply lifted the vernacular. Which seems to be what is pressured out and deployed here. The owls are arbitrary (Ostrowski says as much), that's important to the realness, to grime, to sunsets.

"The small pleasure of [...] found paintings is their modernist uncanny... That those uncaring, underpaid to blot out corporate logos for truck's resale, might - through dumb luck or undiscovered brilliance - have painted something fine. Their unartful reason a pleasantly fresh breeze of non-art. [...] That brushstrokes without art intention always look best, and these just made to cover, to stop beer from selling itself, so painting could."

Read: Gedi Sibony at The Arsenale

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Judy Chicago at Jeffrey Deitch


At one point in our history, Anne Truitt's color on sculpture had Donald Judd railing. It is important to remember that for many years Judy Chicago's work wasn't taken seriously because it specifically affected associations (rightly or wrongly) with the feminine, or what wasn't serious high-cultural affect. There should be a history of these affects we don't allow to speak. Even if we let them in late, we should have a list of the things that were unacceptable then. And a list of what deemed acceptable, why.


The question of how could CAD expand yet retain the power of its single panoptic window, its Borgesian aleph.

The question is, does adding more towers, more bastions to the territory further legitimate the eyes. Ostensibly the reflection should be more complete. But somehow this ruptures the myth: CAD sees all things through the panopticon's prisoners, us, remaining uncertain whether/when they are being viewed, manifesting a permanent suspicion for the surveillance, artists seen, manifesting sympathy to the system, its code, aesthetics, a guilt under omniscient god. This is, humbly, CAD, a stand in for the system itself. The funny fabrication is that there weren't contributors before. But now the eyes in the Forrest will bear names, and while they always did, we've entered this distinct land labeled "curation."

CAD harbored power through the - however distant - implication of providing a true full survey. While this was not the case, CAD was closest thing to, providing a, however warbled, singular reflection for everyone to latch like curmudgeonly barnacles upon. (I can think of no other image blog placed on CVs as "press.") And so too the warbles and hotspots in CADs mirror became charming if glaring. (I know of at least one collector whose entire collection is itself a representation of this CAD mirror.) A large and uncanny mirror was something we had deep down hoped for, to see ourselves reflected back in. A large glaring mirror that was ultimately unfortunately usurped by the atomization of mirrors into our hands and instagram as the new form of glass, etc. a new glass further catalyzing capital's individuation and fracturing the social mythos and accelerating postmodernity's collapsing of grand narrative, that CAD, for a brief minute, relit, CAD, arguably even unconsciously lit itself on this desire for this myth of narrative, progress, of even just keeping record. It was the biggest, shiniest glass.

This now transformation into a tentacled curatorial being exchanges its myth of linearity for curations construction of individualized "voice." No longer attempting consolidation of an "artworld" (however arrogant) but instead giving curators a chance to attempt their opposite, build their names "voices" for their vision. Again however flawed or doomed a singularized vision is, it stands out amongst the massive fractalization of pretty much everything else. CAD was reliably two shows daily, Sunday only one. 8 years ago that had felt like drowning. Now it is a welcome relief against further orgiastic image hydrants, put your lips toward. And it is noteworthy that these new curatorial names come with CV attached, "Tenzing Barshee is an..." "Erin Christovale is the..." Interesting because CAD arosen without credential, for whatever reason we gave attention.

Questions for your bookclub:
1.While Clement Greenberg ushered and reigned in an era dominated by chauvinist white language, could CAD be said to herald an era where no language exists, is instead negated by the sheer multiplicity of image, "given over to the visibility apparatus itself"?

2. Are Curators generally attempting to survey the field, or they are instead creating their own individualized territory or "voice"?

3. Is CAWD always a bit of a spoof of that clean white subjectivity-less authority?

4. Does CAD risk fracturing? After how many spigots? In the deluge, can more ever be a solution?

5. Would then the ultimate solution be a map as large as the territory is big?

6. Does CAWD place an inordinate amount of capital and importance in CAD? Is this a symptom of Stockholm Syndrome?

7. Since those with pedigree and institutional accreditation are the only players with power to legitimize and make visible, shouldn't we be paying attention to this pedigree, to those with this coronation anyway? Wasn't that CAD's great insight?

8. Why could CAD becoming over 10 years the major holding of artworld documentation and de facto bearer of the mirror without any previous pedigree be an important distinction?
Past: Ramaya Tegegne at VIS

"the little territories as blanket of wares meaning Artistic Turf that Tegegne attempts to keep frayed with discombobulated exhibitions of historical process's detritus, found appropriated and reproduced, as palliative against, or occasionally with, art's boxification..."

full: Ramaya Tegegne at VIS
Past: Judy Chicago at Jessica Silverman

As ambiguous abstraction and bio-innuendo makes a stunning return to art, it would make sense Chicago comes with.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Mai-Thu Perret at Barbara Weiss


At what point is it an "archaeology of modernism" "about its vanished, unredeemed visions" and at what point is it recasting its forms in more precious materials, as designer souvenirs of that history? Kobro is deeply underrepresented, sure. I've got t-shirts for sale:

Monday, October 21, 2019

Mathis Gasser at Ginerva Gambino


"illustrate his thesis: that the collective unconscious’s anxiety—of the end of capitalism, the end of the world—has emerged in sublimated form as spaceships." Hovering "Big Dumb Objects": "They [Big dumb objects] function as science fiction’s equivalent to a MacGuffin, plot devices which serve to awe the viewer with mystery and intrigue yet bear little to no narrative explanation. The objects we face are visually so striking that they quash further inquiries into their exact raison d’être." The big dumb object, be it tumor or bubble, manifest fear as a physical object so it can be overcome, defeated by the plot. It is an effigy, a device to allow our dream-selves to create a monster that we can see defeated, turned over in hand, felt, and thought.
The big dumb object is painting.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Group Show at Balice Hertling Project Space


Prediction, this is what the next 2 years will look like. Rita Ackerman rococo with all the little pointy bits you can muster. Plus fashion. "a series of 32 posters, a collection of objects, a collective mood, a discarded film-set, a ritual ground -and a platform for a community"

Friday, October 18, 2019

Wilfredo Prieto at Annet Gelink

Whereas these image do well transacting through networks, individuals well conformed to images, the modern philospher stone held in your digitally connected hand for a moment of contemplation as you go about your day.

Kate Newby at Cooper Cole


Detail views. An enforced sight, enforced noticing. An almost moral underpin, asking for sight, a penance in attention.

see too: Kate Newby at Kunsthalle WienKate Newby, Daniel Rios Rodriguez at Nicelle Beauchene

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Past: Anne Collier at The Modern Institute

"'appropriation' post-internet is different indeed, no longer political or even contentious... It was perhaps the youtube era of Supercuts, garnering millions of views, tumblr collections, pinterest boards, the age of aggregators and the lines outside the door for Marclay's Clock, arrangement itself became meaning, content, "appropriation" went full populist. In the absolute deluge of images as the doors of internet opened it made sense for the archivist impulse to popularize, as safety, as people tried to make sense of the mess, of the overstimulation of everything all once, that could be divided arranged, made into little groupings of sense."

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Latifa Echakhch at Dvir


These occasional perspective oddities, switches to god's eye view. Exchanging the usual viewing experience for a maximum the information. A maximum information which stands in for the viewing itself, a purely fictional realm made for documentation. "Like a cartography on the ground" like god arranging his terrain, the pins on the map arrange the world, only the overseer, the omniscience we crave.

See too: Jessica Vaughn at Martos

Monday, October 14, 2019

Julian Stanczak at Diane Rosenstein


OP art never seemed to get its due. An alter history to Minimalism. To which Op art was anathema, a reliance on our immanent biology instead of grand truth, axiomatic objects, specific objects. Op art was fucked up in comparison. Slippery, psychedelic, subjective. But with the current legitimation of  psychedelia like the neosurrealism before it, we can expect the retroactive rise of its forebears.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Ben Schumacher at Weiss Falk


Trading one techno for another, all the gloss of server racks, acrylic and glass exchanged for a roughdraft music fest. The success of fail of this artistic gamble, trading laser cut aluminum for cardboard, is placed on whether people cared for your ideas or that your art had looked like a new idea. It is a proposal.

See too: Ben Schumacher at Musee d’art contemporain de Lyon, Ben Schumacher at Bortolami

Daan van Golden at Micheline Szwajcer


Wasn't the promise of van Golden's some eternal nubility, a candy whose wrapper never left it.
A sort of perenniality. Old paintings that don't look it. van Golden died in 2017, but paintings fresh. Wasn't that the promise of art. You physically cannot remove the wrapper.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Juliana Huxtable at Reena Spaulings


Difficult to write a history of the internet without mentioning its catalyzing a complete restructuring of identity that had been then slow simmering. The early dictum "No one on the internet knows you're a dog" had its counterpart: "No one on the internet doesn't know you're not a dog" and thus the furry. This was a miracle. Be who you were. An immaculate conception the IRL has yet to absorb and thus the Brillo pad friction when it irrupted in. We binged cartoons as Disney children to manifest them later in Goofy costumes, the Saturday morning cartoon education we devoured alongside hyper-processed cereals mapping our internal worlds in the same malleable cartoon goo. The world a cartoon, at least make yourself an artist.

See too: Juliana Huxtable, Carolyn Lazard at Shoot the LobsterEva Fàbregas at Kunstverein MünchenLisa Yuskavage at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Since the Venus of Willendorf's tiny talisman, 30 thousand years of humankind's representing fetishizing, totemizing the maternal. Leading today to Yuskavage's ambrosial hazes. The feast of the Vanitas' balanced by looming overripeness. For Yuskavage this balance to its too-sweetness is made through its subtle representational violence against the women depicted, who in attaining this otherworldly ripeness are subject to subtle deformities, missing arms, noses, butts like egg sacs, breasts manipulated by invisible strings, contorted and culled to the desires of a culture. And Everyone wondering whether Nicki's butt is real, furry porn grown from Saturday cartoons given bodies like overinflated water-balloons, and subsections of violent pornography where the maternal is extracted and policed by the programmatic systems of capitalist production, in bondage and milked called human cow - there is a lot proving our cultural relation to maternal is at least a little fraught, and Yuskavage's paintings are a very tasteful representation of that.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

J. Parker Valentine at Misako & Rosen


Lines, they delineate. So, failing to produce the object, the quasi is given to viewer, an inkblot, a form they construct.  "difficult to articulate" the PR says, becomes painting of a mirage, handing the goo to a viewer left to sort spaghetti formed lines like tea leaves in you all along. Pareidolia.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Jeanette Mundt at Overduin & Co.


Of gymnasts, the paintings lack their subject's deftness. Motion is given to a square smear. Instead Mundt's exude something permanently flat, dry. A relation to their subject is ambivalent despite their load. Mundt often targets content that is full of juice, yet is left on canvas to fall apart. A gap that reviewers seem unable to fill with their own: Travis Diehl seemed to conjure the process of glaucoma's blindnessTess Edmonson said about the film on which a painting was based: "the gallerist warned me not to watch it"; and Zoë Lescaze aptly called it "ready for viewers and critics to plot their opinions onto her body." Her body of work which fails to deliver on the subject. Failure isn't an interesting painting strategy in 2019 - we did that ten years ago -  but maybe a generous read is that these aren't so much failing as crumpling, like car hitting its subject.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Shimon Minamikawa at Lulu Annex


"fraught tradition of painting and repetition. One thinks of everything from Morandi’s heartbreakingly beautiful depictions of vases and bottles to On Kawara’s dry, no frills paintings of dates. The German painter Peter Dreher’s commitment to painting the same exact drinking glass for decades comes to mind."

would like to think of CAWD in this way, repetition, attempting to bracket something, everyday looking at the same glass. 

See too: Glass

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Tom Humphreys at Christian Andersen


While Hupmphrey's gang has gone onto bigger better things, Humphreys doubled down on the stupid. Paintings like found in the bins of art school. The revulsion we feel at "bad painting" becomes proof of at least some internal power of painting. The Kippenberger game of self-infliction without the personality panache to recoup it, instead, again, paintings that don't relieve their stupid, but rub their face in it, even yours. This could be a Vittorio Brodmann or Nolan Simon situation, in which the slacker ruse eventually decurtains its prowess, reveal eyerolling deft brushwork, but Humphreys seems like someone who might commit to mud.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Margaret Honda at Carnegie Museum of Art


A press release that leaves nothing to the imagination. The firstly described "enigmatic" is quickly revealed from under the rug as reference. We get it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Lucie Stahl at Queer Thoughts


Stahl's PR placing in it, in the lineage of a romanticism, darkly what we have come to. No longer the romantic era representing ourselves as fathomless depths, standing in front of nature's crashing; we are now better feared as plumbing: oils, flows, pumps, fluids directed, misunderstood as monsters. The human body is indistinguishable from any sufficiently complex sewer. And while the gothic has had a resurgence in style, [see: Digitalat Centre d’Art Contemporain La Synagogue Delme] there is an undercurrent of a few who find gothic horror in mere reflection of the world. [see: Morag Keil, Georgie Nettell, Gili Tal, Will Benedict, Merlin Carpenter] This is our modern not southern gothic. A world already dripping black nightmare, that we pump from the earth, have constructed our world out of; Stahl:"the fluid fruit of their labor allows us to express the feeling we got used to calling freedom."  to which Henning Bohl states earlier: "Lucie Stahl has become the oil." That this all's apparent freedom may have only just come to feel like. A product pipe-capable. Art as fluids, pipes, same as any other product. We all are forced to become fluid, make a product for channels, be pumped. Morose in banality, yes.