Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Monday, June 1, 2020

Writing about art doesn't feel particularly compelling at the moment. Read the news, read something compelling. Art seems doomed to be particularly suggestive tarot cards. Clue board games. Building interfaces for interpretation that is abyssal, sinking.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Tom Król at Neuer Aachener Kunstverein


"Artists have such a strange relation to the face, to our lumpen forms. ... No matter what gratuitous things they do it, whatever fingers clawed through it, we recognize it. Perhaps reason to hate it, through the violence it remains, you can get a smile."

And the face is a surface display, a graphical user interface, like a particularly nuanced iPad, so why not peacock its plumage, blast it with painting.

see too: Chloe Seibert at MickeyThe violence against faces.Nathaniel Mary Quinn at Rhona Hoffman & Genesis Tramaine at Almine Rech

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Josh Smith at David Zwirner


Wow.. this press release is practically bulging with self-pleasure:
"First" "Infinite" "instantly" "absolutely everything" "A whole new world" "immediate" "now" "the spirit" These are the words you can buy with blue chips. The artist is pure experience, sensation. Plugged into the raw. So, it doesn't matter they look like bad post-impressionism, the point is that the artist is electric - is channelling. Dancing around saying the word Truth.
Past: Josh Smith
"Guyton, Walker, Price, a group for whom production was theme: recycling, automation, dispersion and Smith's prolificacy spamming himself into consciousness with grotesque versions to prove the mass, beating his name and himself in the head."

"now they sorta look just like any other painting made today. The wild importance of Fordist speed (and its in-distinction) creating busywork spam into cultural consensus..."

"the final internment of line between critical and sellout"

"Maybe what Smith actually provides is relief. Against paintings overdetermined ... Smith's is an interminable vacation to fields of ever stupid flowers. None of these painting individually matter. Functional. Require zero attention. Just exist like idiotic specimens of a genus Smith...."

Read full: All posts tagged Josh SmithJosh Smith at David ZwirnerJosh Smith at at Eva Presenhuber, Josh Smith at Bonner Kunstverein, Josh Smith at STANDARD (OSLO)

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Jacqueline de Jong at Rodolphe Janssen


Stylistic violence never registered strongly in painting. Like Picasso or de Kooning ripping and rearranging people, it's often mere composition. I've never found Guernica all that horrific. Abstraction's pulling reads less like the horror of war and more like the whims of painter. Ambiguous violence - of someone like Miriam Cahn - forces a viewer to complete the picture in their head, imagine their own violence.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Louise Sartor at Le Consortium


Images are worthless. Painting is made rare and thus valuable for its support, its anchor to reality. But the canvas was also intended to disappear behind the image. So that support starts to hyperbolize, exaggerate. Placing stakes to claim existence, location tethering, against images lost on networks. Materiality self-sites, claims an objecthood. Painters protecting their domain. "today’s painting, after all, has to contend with iPhone screens."

Past: Eric Wesley

"Wesley's ability to mock what contains him, a laughable institutional crit whose assault is the brilliant dumbening of art dialect. The Burrito is hot right now. You've got Murillo's 300k one, Flame's mockery of, Bader's continual replenishing it as category, and Wesley's endless one. The difference here is Wesley's insistence of the burrito not its signifier ... to actually work with the burrito, which morphs to Taco Bell here, to force that most base of architecture to reflect on the walls..."

Read full: Eric Wesley at Midway Contemporary ArtEric Wesley at Bortolami

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Past: Magnus Andersen 

"It's impossible to measure earnestness. Time de-ironizes and jest is made serious by attention. Saying one is more authentic, or by comparing hierarchically these two is a set-up for defeat. You could say (with a long enough timeline) 'the necessities of circumstance turn to virtue.' Andersen knows that to survive is to triumph. And so with defeat you must accept its march into visibility. [...] Thus Andersen straps a bomb to his chest walks into the vault of images, which we his visual hostages, on a long enough timeline, learn to love, and pied man leading children to their deaths."

"An exhibition titled "Stockholm Syndrome" ... 'a condition in which hostages develop a psychological alliance with their captors during captivity.'... a decades long acclimatization to certain types of aesthetic abuse, where an artworld begins to actually like the Jeff Koons, or Josh Smith.  On a long enough timeline they begin to appear quaint, lovable, despite their demonics. To deny it would simply place you outside it. ... and as always with hideous painting, 'half the fun is learning to love it.'"

Friday, May 22, 2020

Roman Signer at Martin Janda


What is with the Swiss? Jean Tinguely, Signer, Fischli&Weiss... the list goes on. Mechanics and a comedy denied, like claiming you didn't fart, that the sculptures aren't inane, ridiculous with a straight face. You see it later inflated in the steroided dumbness of Rondinone or Urs Fischer. It finds interest in the discovery that you can steroid stupidity. That people will enjoy it, stacking colored shit into the air.

See too: Urs Fischer at JTT

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Miranda Fengyuan Zhang at Halsey McKay


It'd be nice if art could find a way to bestow its halo without requiring the frame of painting, the shape of abstraction. The PR reminds that knitting is an old art. Tapestries were once the more expensive object, more labor embedded. Eventually labor became cheap, automated, and culturally shabby. So we invented the chic, the mythic art of genius, financialized its abstraction. Markets soared. Became the mold.

See too: Diedrick Brackens at Various Small FiresAnn Cathrin November Høibo at DREI

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Julia Haller at Meyer Kainer


The elusive hunt for more gestures, more brushes, textures, styles. Hijacking the doodles, graffiti, adolescent scratchpads, the painter explores. Different brushes signal something different. This tautology is not nearly a problem. They start to scratch at what we crave: not looking like art. Because art is mannered, stillborn, cliche. Looking like something else would require a thought, and not an interminable hall of mirrors.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Trevor Shimizu at Kunsthalle Lissabon


, which the inept can be lovable or painful, the bumbling either funny or eye-rolling, and Shimizu's an extended question of which.
Past: Trevor Shimizu

"satisfying like a sign painter's numbers, a dumbness relieving against the muddled intentions of more artistic means."
"...so long as it is painted, so long as it is painting, it is already done."

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Group Show at From the Desk of Lucy Bull


, a social gathering, alight with friends, you decorate yourself with those on your arm, all gathered around the thing that presents it, a gallery in your front room. Exploit what you have, brandish what got. Ornament to each other.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

“EARTH BODY” at Essex Flowers


It seems honest, no? a photograph as evidence to our return to Mendieta, our desire for figures of crust, our pilgrimage back into history for what is current. How much art today is looking for means to accumulate body. Here it is.

Ann Greene Kelly at Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles


Think of it as a product in a store, what would this be used for, who wants a drain in a bed, for what is there such a need? Imagining the need allows associative potentials release, minds to the gutter. Kelly's things seem to acquire a body they shouldn't, an inference that feels slightly like innuendo, always something else.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Steven Parrino at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein


Eventually attitude dissipates and there is a museum of very well attended to objects. Attempting to maintin the attitude of angst and destruction with white gloves and acid free cotton swabs and lighting like the heavens they've been beamed into. All the silvery veils. All punk eventually sells Cola-Cola, becomes nice, attempting to discern all the difference between this and Pollock.
Past: Ann Greene Kelly

"...a more crustacean form ... the gooey soft center threatens to exteriorize, spill its soft innards from something black, and objects tension a possibility of their biomorphing, like loosing ones bowels in the bed your body is said to "go lumpy," threatens structure, inside out, cream interiors, liquids draining in the bed."

Read full: Ann Greene Kelly at Michael BeneventoGroup Show at Michael Benevento

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Tanja Widmann at FELIX GAUDLITZ


The decontextualized image, packed in into a perspex box and sent back through the internet. Perspex to prevent it from becoming just an image again, so that it will always contain the frame, aura, of having once been real, not just any image. One with a halo and a tomb.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Don Suggs at L.A. Louver


The doodles of artists are often their most interesting, so why not find a way to make that automatism the concrete jewels themselves. Far more interpretable than diamonds.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Lothar Hempel at Mehdi Chouakri


Lothar is of the old school, when it was cool for the artistic torture of any signified and culture and its signs were mere vast plane for conquer, or wall trophy. And there's at least one thing on CAD that for which Hempel would today be lightly cancelled. Hempel like Goshka Macuga: the precursors to today's fritzed sculptural signage, of well a lot of art today that looks like this the exploded shed of culture, wasteland post Genzken/Harrison. Everything treated as a kind of homogenous line, a mere material, not only nothing to believe in, but nothing quite means.

See too: Goshka Macuga at Rüdiger SchöttleHenning Bohl at What PipelineHenning Bohl at Karin Guenther

Past: Peter Wächtler

"... an Edenic earnestness as if unspoilt by social awareness, and reattempting it through the mistakes of a Forest Gump or incompetent detective still winning the hearts if not criminal with immaculate sincerity, which of course isn’t true, but the interest lay in ascertaining the discrepancy, the disorientation of its irony."

Past: Peter Wächtler at JoseyPeter Wächtler at Reena Spaulings

Monday, May 11, 2020

Ree Morton at Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Terminal clusters are flower bunches at the end of a plant. But it also sounds like your diagnosis. It doesn't quite congeal. And lit up like a homemade carnival, wonky, exposing your investment/care as greater than talent, and this feels raw. The sleek store purchased Mother's Day cards instead provide assurance that your sentiment is socially acceptable, capital proves it. The inscription approved by committee, and the floral front by an artist who cools his care with talent. Has a mother ever really preferred Hallmark?

There's a tonal dissonance to Morton. It doesn't quite add up, the visual trumpets in lights and banners fail against a phrase falling flat. This failure to arrive at the promise is its pathos. Something we can all get behind.

see too: Careworn: Susan Cianciolo at Modern Art;Andrew Norman Wilson at FuturaJames Lee Byars at VeneKlasen/Werner

Past: Ree Morton at Alexander and Bonin

"Usually art's sentimentality comes as a latent or numb form, like Gonzalez-Torres whose catatonia in place of speech is its pathos, articulates it as loss, distance-from as its means. This a common theme in art; expressions come pre-packaged with their antidote and us all walking around quite well medicated by it and in the face of such desensitization Morton's explicit sentimentality is overbearing, with a theatricality almost comforting..."

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Penny Goring at Campoli Presti


The ubiquitous tarot design by Pamela Colman Smith is proof that clear design is still ambiguous, interpretable. Even without painterly mystery. The icons of an iPad grid are a mystic pool. Saturday morning cartoons seers to a future; Lisa Frank a biblical text. The dolls of childhood show stigmata. The difference seems to be what lacks or has systems of interpretations.

See too: Diamond Stingily at Freedman Fitzpatrick, “Sylvanian Families Biennial 2017” at XYZ collective

Friday, May 8, 2020

Antoni Tàpies at Almine Rech


Precursor to some of the worst excesses of paint as expressionist mudphilia and painting as the scatalogic napies of men - say Anselm Keifer or Schnabel - you can see primordial the later male existential angst that would encrust itself so thick in history, ego. These are the late paintings of Tapies, after all that, painting in the ruins of it.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Nathaniel Mary Quinn at Rhona Hoffman & Genesis Tramaine at Almine Rech

“Flesh was the reason oil paint was invented," said de Kooning before violently rearranging his women. Tearing scalp from skull, Picasso invented the modern. Does the coroner's justice. Now with cubist battle damage. The face to be toyed with, drawn on. They conflate their liquid material for our flesh, treat you like an assemblage, middle fingers raised rebellion to it. (It is both legal and common practice to pour the entirety of a corpse's blood into the sink, into municipal drains.) Here’s the thing: No matter what gratuitous things artists do, whatever fingers clawed through bloody abstraction we recognize our smiles beaming through gore. Perhaps this is the reason to hate the face, through all the painter’s cutting, reassembling, stitching, the liquid face shows through red, see a smile. 

See too: The violence against faces.
Past: Laure Prouvost

You're always entering a tunnel with Prouvost. Always ending with an argument on the exact definition of mis-en-scene. ... Prouvost's is a sort of dental office maximalism. You always leave Prouvosts feeling lightly diddled ... Like if an Apple commercial grew tentacles entered the real and manipulated you.
"Prouvost treats everything and me as an infant, so radically in awe of all equally, dust, shit, flowers babies, nipples, in resin or celluloid cast together. Like advertisements working on the desire for you to return to the infantile placental state, into some affective hypnosis, impressionable like goo."

Read full: Venice 2019, Laure Prouvost French PavilionLaure Prouvost at Carlier Gebauer

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Past: Ian Rosen

"Rosen is to art what golf is to sport. Removing its physical aspects to magnify its mental stressors and fine muscle finesse of putting the ball in its proper hole with the least sweat. A methodical game for Rosen's name sunk in the proper places of art's social field..."

"A game of gathering artworld credibility... in which you are a pawn with one distinct choice, of saying yes or no, but after that the moves are all already preloaded into Rosen’s game."

Read full: Ian Rosen at The Finley, Ian Rosen at Kristina Kite
Past: Sophie Thun at Sophie Tappeiner

"Forensic or creepy photo lab guy, you implicated in eyes looking back, our hands all over these eyes ... Uncertain, our relation. .... the ever slight variations in a human face are alone more than enough for an artwork, face's ability to crumple, wither, and smooth itself in expression. Hand manipulate them to be so."

read full: Sophie Thun at Sophie Tappeiner

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Olivier Mosset at MAMCO


"Erotic sexual denial is the practice of refraining from sexual experiences in order to increase erotic arousal and/or tension. The prohibited experience can be narrowly or broadly defined and banned for a specific or indeterminate length of time depending on the practitioner. The experience withheld can be any favored or desired activities, such as specific acts or positions, provided it is something the practitioner wants. Erotic sexual denial is commonly used as sex play between intimate partners, but it can also be indulged in as an individual practice."

See too: Olivier Mosset, Karin Sander at lange + pult, “Seven Reeds” at Overduin & Co.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

“Beyond the Black Atlantic” at Kunstverein Hannover (Sandra Mujinga)


The design that inflects a character. Supposedly people booed the first big screen presence of Darth Vader, his mere appearance made his operatic badness understood. The clown is scary because his costume signals that he isn't structured, social codes are not his, the clown is above law. The cues that speak to the inhuman.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

May 2nd, 2020


Spindly wire sculpture day.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Yoshitomo Nara at Charles Moffett

It seems cruel to hate the work of Nara. It's saturated with an innocence we are asked with wet eyes to be sympathetic to. How could one hate an innocent? This is like retribution for the Massacre of the Innocents, their ghosts now haunt us interminably, multiply with each exhibition.
"The crowd of extremely young visitors yearning to possess models of Nara’s figures as if they were in a department store and the realization that this generation already feels nostalgia for its own quite recent experience of childhood imbued these works with a subtle melancholy.—Marco Meneguzzo"
This is what are attempting to purchase, your innocence back, trying to maintin it like a departed loved one, but it's dead and gone, and you are washing a corpse that Nara continues to produce in porcelain flesh. The haunted Precious moments factory product.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Hannah Weinberger at Nicolas Krupp


Since Weinberger's generally seem to be about establishing some sort of social/relational intimacy of living breathing art slugs, it is a odd turn now to have an exhibition of video of stone people, an intimacy that, like all of us communicating through televisual monitors, leaves no real intimacy at all. Just statue and flesh, becoming similar material under glass, the mere shapes of human we're all pantomiming on Zoom, indistinguishable from any sufficiently complex animatronic.
Past: Paul P.

"...There shouldn't be this much desire, resting on the surface, as if the surface itself exuded it [...] And P.'s structure become excuse to hang painting's flowers, blooms, cause shimmers in paint. Look how the painter's hand trembles. ...  they become factories for desire. The steam is hung by painter. ... Do these men sweat, or does the painter sweat for them? The glass of fashion. Desire placed on like a mask. ..."

Read full: Paul P. at Lulu & Queer ThoughtsPaul P., B. Wurtz at Cooper Cole

Past: Tony Conrad

Tony Conrad's Glass
Past: Isa Genzken

"To make one of those statements that art writers have tendency to make based upon an inflated assessment of their own opinion's import feeling significant though ultimately isn't: Bruce Nauman has passed the torch of most influential living artist to Isa Genzken. It happened in field about 4 years prior as part of a much unpublicized ceremony 28 miles due south of Santa Fe. Without fanfare, neither artist even leaving their respective vehicle, handed through lowered windows, Nauman reported to have said "Best of it." The two made eye contact and somewhere off a small goose was made to fly along with several terse press releases from the agency that assess such matters. It was said that Genzken's speed finally attained escape velocity from the crushing gravitation of Nauman's iron mire."

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Atelier E.B at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art


How many artists/art projects have started, or started as, a fashion brand? It's almost a genre at this point, the "art" fashion brand. (This one is the slightly more material-historical project of Beca Lipscombe and Lucy McKenzie.) Fashion is a perhaps more honest about its object, which is really the brand, the effort to construct the aura that anoints its objects. And honesty about what backs the work allows for a more complete control over the gesamtkunstwerk, the ads, the displays, the showroom itself. The walls don't even need to be white, the production line of aura. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Caroline Bachmann at Kunsthaus Glarus


The waypoint between today's digital surrealism and the pre-renaissance's religious devotion, with paintings that treat space with the depth of an iPad and organized with halos for its icons. I'm convinced the way spirituality has been rendered over the centuries has a direct influence on our computer interfaces. Organization of symbols to access higher planes.

See too: Emily Mae Smith at Rodolphe JanssenAlexandra Noel at Freedman Fitzpatrick, AtlantisOrion Martin at BodegaRay Yoshida at David NolanSascha Braunig at Kunsthall StavangerAlice Tippit at Night ClubLui Shtini at Kate WerbleSascha Braunig at Rodolphe JanssenMathew Cerletty at Office BaroqueAnne Neukamp at Greta Meert
Past: Rebecca Morris at 356 Mission

"feel less composed than organized, here a patchwork quilting clarity, holds its parts in distinct textures and color, like swatches, or a sample catalog, display system proffering an endless variety available."

link: Rebecca Morris at 356 Mission

Monday, April 27, 2020

Past: Heimo Zobernig

"[The work's] extreme banality incites questioning [as disinteresting objects must expel interest elsewhere], and exposes its stage to skepticism wrung [institutional critique]. The inanity of such an operation might seem at the limits of humane interest, but Zobernig's magisterial ability to continually wrest insipid rabbits from hats irrupts a comedy at the depths of that hat.

"The dizzying aspect of its practice: the ability to lack any particularness whatsoever, terrifying blankness as genericness as phantasmagoria, projecting ghosts of modernism on the backs of our brains."

Read full: Heimo Zobernig at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Heimo Zobernig at Simon Lee, Heimo Zobernig at Indipendenza, Heimo Zobernig at Petzel, Krupp, MUDAM

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Andrea Bowers at Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst


Taking a public phrase, created and upheld by the multitudes who echo it, and giving the
the privatizing glass of artistic glitter reeks of bad faith. This was the tone deaf fiasco of Bower's public black eye: taking something that was given to a public and collecting it as her work. Art, despite all its PR and back patting as a common good, is a privatized endeavor.  Museums are behind paywalls, is a pony show of the elite. Art is not medicine, it is only sold as such. The monuments of art will never be as public as an actual class consciousness, as the public itself, which the phrase already was.

See too: Andrea Bowers at Capitain Petzel
Past: Andrea Bowers at Capitain Petzel

"Surely the protest sign is a means of a populace's ability to steal back the language of advertising for its own self [...]. No one likes advertising, the brusqueness of messages to amplify through clipping of thought, but the protest sign attempts to recoup a voice that has been disenfranchised by a powerful who can drone it out with the turn of a monied knob. [...] When the protest sign already has all the coronating volume of white walls and press packets and being sold in a blue chip gallery as a commodity it may no longer be protest sign."

read full: Andrea Bowers at Capitain Petzel

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Petra Cortright at Team Gallery, Inc


The art dads who thought artists interacting with youtube was revolutionary are back and they're interested in printing the computer in physical space. "Post-internet art" as become the Kinko's avant garde, all the substrates and inks you can print. The issues for Cortright, and the virtual progeny as whole, seem at odds with the demands of art which - despite all the Lippardian lip service otherwise - requires physical coins to be traded, the friction of so much "post-internet" art struggling to erupt the virtual as unique meat. The PR says as much: "Cortright’s challenge [...] is conveying the distinctly digital navigation of an endlessly evolving visual terrain resistant to a singular final state or form." Everything that makes virtual space unique is lost in order to give you, prospector, something to bite. The "diaphanous textiles" function only a primitive allusion to the high clouds of photoshop, like deploying a cardboard cut out replacing someone famous. Cortright's just straight digitally printed "unique" "paintings" are perhaps a more interesting tensioning of the digi-physical divide in that they don't metaphorize the digital, they just press print and call it painting, asking collectors to believe it.

See too: Petra Cortright at Société
Past: Sam Falls at 303 Gallery

""process-based abstraction"'s ability to create souvenirs of experience you didn't have is premised on some vestigial trait of conceptual that may never have existed. I.e. does On Kawara painting "January 22nd 1988" actually mean anything outside a finger toward it.  Does an artist in the forest placing native plants on a canvas actually contain its sound?  The signifier does not actually contain its signified, I thought we understood that. No cares seems to care where the canvas is wove, where the pigment is made; no we only care for the image which ostensibly means something, stupidly."

Read full: Sam Falls at 303 Gallery

Friday, April 24, 2020

“Kasten” at Stadtgalerie Bern


Culture loves continually reimagining if Hitler had won the war. And art too could use some speculative histories where Judd was merely a megalomanic loon left to the desert, where painting weren't trading cards for the rich (maybe tapestries were still en vogue because communal labor was still too instead of neoliberal myths of genius) and one where "boxes" (Kasten) are the pinnacle genre of art.* Imagining alternative histories are important in articulating that our, or any, history isn't rational, ours are not natural forms, painting is not natural form, that other realms are plausible. Speculative fiction writer Ursula K. Leguin's acceptance speech for National Book Awards: "...the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings." So did the right of so much of our cultural monoliths. Why isn't the world built for people in wheelchairs. Does MoMA really need to get bigger.

*Spec script is something like this: At the end of WWII, Russia is given credit for defeating axis powers and economic recovery is well supported by the allies and emerges global hegemon, emerges victorious in the cultural cold war with a lauded series of traveling exhibitions of Fabergé eggs and the publicity of a Nicolai Pollack who deconstructs the egg into an expression of the contained, drips dye in place of diamonds, is given spread in Zhizn magazine, and eventually transmutes into a postcontemporary situation where global exhibitions of boxes are posted on a website called "sovremennoyeiskusstvoyezhednevno.com." Painting is limited to houses and the remedial Sunday types. The film is dead serious which goes over a lot of heads.

Past: Keith Farquhar

"Things become embedded with connotation like a gym locker room is embedded with naked men. Conceptual austerity becomes filthy-with. Like content that can be applied, sticky. Clung to Chris Wool, like you peeled it off. How children are sticky, their plastic like grime accumulators. Wood to absorb ass sweat. [...] a goo spread."

"...painting in need of laundromats, content viral, wash basins, outlets smeared with paint. [...] we fear getting it on us because we fear its indistinguishability between us, and Farquhar's [...] spreads the fear that we could get some painting on us."

Read full: Keith Farquhar at High ArtKeith Farquhar at Cabinet

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Josh Kline at Various Small Fires


The PR states this "explores the catastrophic implications of America’s political dysfunction." No, it doesn't. For the students in the room this is called "puffery" "a promotional statement or claim which no 'reasonable person' would take literally." A generous read is that it is simply an anti-display, inverse to the usual ebullient displays of US nationalism, the equivalent of how in high school I wore a t-shirt with an inverted flag and thought that was cool. This is Piss Christ but with a flag in a TV and stained. A perhaps formally interesting technique (like, how did all those clowns fit in that car) this should have been one of those quiet shows you use to make a buck in a new city but now boom it is on CAD and mildly soiled underpants for everyone to see.

see too: Josh Kline at Modern Art
Past: Josh Kline at Modern Art

"... Enemy or ally to its strategies, everyone wanted to Instagram Kline's militarized Teletubbies, proving them valid in an economy of attention, the high-production gloss of mass culture virtually demands it."

Read full: Josh Kline at Modern Art
Past: Darren Bader

"Possibly the reason a lot of artists hate Bader, besides the general impishness, is the refusal to perform any sort of critical consolidation of his practice, that moral underpinning of art, "criticality." Instead, at the cost of any "critical" structure a near incessant expansion.  Any of Bader's "good ideas" are buried in an avalanche of "any idea." Darren Bader is exhausting. A lot of artists - despite whatever art's claims to freedom and ostensible rejection of cultural values - wouldn't let themselves behave half this stupidly. The criticism is perhaps that acting stupidly isn't really freeing, but really neither is what most artists do anyway. "

"...on the internet you would see mugs printed with inane images auto-designed by algorithms. It dredged everything available to place it onto a mug. Walmart selling an iPhone case with an adult wearing diapers. Everything onto everything. A tornado of reference and attachment, and the audience in the whirl attempting to see anything to relieve the anxiety of so much garbage, vertigo in feeling one's toes sense the full ocean of production."

"that if we're going to take seriously the idea of dead fire bricks arranged gravenly on floors, or water become tree, then too so we must accept with it its ideological twin, shrimp tossed in a foosball table or muffins arranged. To argue the importance of bricks/floor vs shrimp/game is to already enter into Bader's standoff, and lose to the man brilliantly willing to lose everything to win."

See Full:
All posts tagged Darren Bader
Darren Bader at Franco Nero
Darren Bader at Blum & Poe
Darren Bader at Andrew Kreps
Darren Bader at Sadie Coles
Darren Bader at Radio Athènes,
Darren Bader at Kölnischer Kunstverein
Darren Bader at Andrew Kreps

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Lily Wong at Kapp Kapp


The sweet potato people, the enflamed, those afflicted with the Botero. Trying to reclaim our bodies from a culture that has so streamlined it for its productive forces, so we imagine them in ways that are not easily fit into its machinations, inflated so they can remain human and not advertisements.
Past:  Luchita Hurtado at Hauser & Wirth
"Hurtado has recently experienced a rise to fame that has been thrilling to witness — albeit maddening in its lateness. Later this month, Hauser & Wirth will dedicate three floors of its gallery [...] the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London will mount a solo exhibition [...] Hurtado’s first international [...] Museo Tamayo [...] then travel to a series of art institutions in the United States.
"Albiet maddening in its lateness." Maddening in its pretense to an artworld omniscience. As if a lot of artists haven't been left off. As if mere oversight. [...] thankfully the tastemakers, the overlords, have finally selected her for accreditation, get to join the ball. The Disney story we all believe in, the rescue we're all waiting for, recognize the good in us.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Tishan Hsu at Hammer Museum


Obvious forebear and yet something else entirely; today's surrealist melting icons are kept distinctly separate from our biomorphic goop. Hsu's technology acquires a bulge; the inanimate congeal a Cronenbergian "new flesh." 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.


"...defeatist humor mocking not just the male tool but deflating the hard language of conceptual art: telling the joke over and over again on larger and larger sheets of paper, the high rhetoric of big egos reduced to a bad joke - Cue: Beyonce '♪♫ Cause he's got a big 'ego.' ♪♫' Bernstein: 'it wasn’t funny.'"

"...speculating the difference then that occluded the work and now what allows its flourish. [...] And for Bernstein painting what had always been repressed as explicit - the large male "personality" embedded in art's very culture - of course couldn't be acceptable, art despises the frank open, [...] the great irony that Boone is showing these now: think of a giant crusty cock painting hanging in the same room as Schnabel, asserting maybe just where all that great thick paint on large canvases was coming from, the Yale professors of course uncomfortable by this exposing, like totally classic Freud. And so now 2016 this is for many reasons acceptable and but we should be nervous again about now what isn't..."

Read full: Judith Bernstein at Mary Boone, Judith Bernstein at Kunsthall StavangerJudith Bernstein at Studio Voltaire

Past: Michael E. Smith

"A google search says no one has used to word tumor in any online writing about Smith. Which seems odd; his objects seem awfully affected by a lot of lumps, red dots, growths on institution and inflated with resin crusts. Teratomas: the classic hair and teeth of your twin in your tummy. You can google pictures of these, they actually look a lot like Smith's more "bodily" objects. Of growths without cause, find a potato in our eye, the "categorically promiscuous." Things sliding into new subjects like bare knees across asphalt..."

"Threat of bodily violence (a body to become goo as any other) is implicit to art that treats materials as categorically promiscuous (surreal), e.g. if you can put puffer fish under the table's summer sky, 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."

"It's a cliche at this point to say that Smith makes the mundane object estranged. And in a sea of so many surrealists currently operating, less than helpful. Estrangement is today's go-to strategy. Smith's is individuated, each object set off so that we can no longer "know" the sculpture, eroding a complete vision, and opening a distrust. A psychological sliver. We cannot know the object, its relation to other objects is broken, either categorically (there is no category to place the object within, surrealist) or psychologically (the unknown threat). The rocking chair I project from the two elegant bones still in contact with the substrate of the real is not the same as the one in your head. This unknown destabilizing of our ability to conceptualize the objects in equitable terms to exchange with another -both objects and other people - (eroding the material semio-substrate with which our exchange is based) breaching a distrust, is its sinister quality."

"You can never be certain you've seen all the butterflies, their artwork is everywhere."

Click for full: Michael E. Smith at AtlantisMichael E. Smith at 500 Capp Street Foundation, Michael E. Smith at Sculpture Center, Michael E. Smith at Michael Benevento, Michael E. Smith at Zero, Michael E. Smith at Lulu, Michael E. Smith at Susanne Hilberry,

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Kathleen Ryan at Ghebaly Gallery


Encrust things with jewels, add a few art historical references to the nature of our mort and you got yourself a stew. The mold adds a delightful balance to what would have been all too saccharine wealth. Previously Ryan's had been less explicitly bejeweled even when they were explicitly jewelry. (Though the material confusions/substitutions that Ryan has a knack been themed throughout.)  But here the material question is less of clever substitution and more reminiscent of Tara Donovan where a certain quality is quantity: the compositionalizing of such an amount seems more like the excuse to amass such a quantity. A reason to put so many gems together. NYT magazine called "critiques of excess" which I find delirious. Excess does not inherently critique excess. Dutch vanitas were also a means for the wealthy to signal their humility through ostentatious displays of said humility. A car that belches exhaust to critique global warming.

See too: Ana Pellicer at House of GagaRoger Hiorns at ELI Beamlines CenterRoger Hiorns at Annet Gelink

Friday, April 17, 2020

“HOOKS & CLAWS” at Gregor Staiger - Bruno Gironcoli


Ask and any Austrian artist will roll their eyes at how famed Gironcoli is and everyone outside of Austria wonders who the fuck you are talking about. Seems to be the general vibe. Gironcoli has been dead ten years but you could confuse them for a Jordan Wolfson, Marguerite Humeau, Helen Marten or whatever. Just enough for the surrealist soup'dujour.* They are modernist sculptures that abscess with the wrong thing: what is supposed to be the clean lines and  modern ergonomics of say Henry Moore or di Suvero tinges a little too dumb, fecal, stupid, wet. Like Mike Kelley paintings made into sculpture, the abject mess of high/low. The way Children's toys always seem one vibration button away from sex toy. Every one of them somehow far more uncomfortable than a Paul McCarthy buttplug on your plaza.

*As how H.R. Giger was in the past considered campy at best for his blend of Machino-sexual organisms, Gironcoli's blending of hulking pop-sculpture with tinges of Actionist entrails was similarly a bit too on the nose. Similarly having mild resurgence. 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Albert Mertz at Croy Nielsen


Variations and permutations of style are the most bludgeoningly tiresome aspects of contemporary art; artists implanting their "subject" in mass produced canvases, themselves into little Fordist factories, producing the worst thing an artist can, a "series." Some finding "criticality" in an ironic exhaustion like Josh Smith or Ann Craven. Then the whole zombie painting deal. It leaves us exhausted for an artist like Mertz. It becomes hard to articulate a difference without rimshoting around some basket of the "authentic." Though he was before all that.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Sam McKinniss at JTT


People hate McKinniss, possibly be the most polemical painter not being spanked for absurd auction digits. The hate against McKinniss's hamsters seems incommensurate. But maybe his continual painting of hamsters, or making hamsters of his subjects, that cloying adorbz of the neotenic focus-group-tested rodent/celebrity, is what drives the want to wring the necks of those oh so vulnerable and useless. Everyone so cute, loved, like the adored really needed a court painter. How rare that McKinniss paints someone that isn't massively completely almost annoyingly loved.

The point being, at some point, desire itself became "critical." Your teenage bedroom becomes a "site," a "presupposition" of "critical vanity," the art terms attach easily. Putting cultural touchstones on display you obviously vampire their cultural relation if not their capital, forming a portrait of culture through its blood. Consumption becomes a form of value. Relation has value. And post-kitsch understands that no amount of kitsch is not recuperable by artistic "criticality." The invisible framing of art does that. The way On Kawara paints "9 JAN.1973" McKinniss paints a more adorned version, pointing to Prince or JTT, whatever celebrity moment, the cultural object is a signifier, a blank date hung on its readymade coatrack with an affect of cultural valorization: painting, the embellishing act that makes them proper in the silver gilt halls of art. The act could seem redundant to celebrity itself or simply inevitable. Your becoming a heavily trained marker of culture.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Katherine Bradford at Adams and Ollman


There might be less menace than Miriam Cahn, the color less abrasive, but the lighting still portends. For both, color can appear as cruelty, threat. Heatmaps for vitals, sensitivity.  And paint is substance these things wear. It's why painters love pools, water, excuse to cover their subjects in. What we came to be deluged with: nostalgia for painting.

see too: Miriam Cahn at Meyer RieggerMiriam Cahn at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina SofíaMiriam Cahn at Jocelyn WolffMiriam Cahn at Meyer Riegger

Monday, April 13, 2020

Christopher Williams at David Zwirner


Williams' institutional mirroring - reusing walls, indexing the gallery, reflecting and marking the gallery - its ostensible critique also simply multiplies and reiterates its institutional halos.

Christopher Williams at C/O BerlinChristopher Williams at MoMA

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Past: Gene Beery

"Beery toys with this functionality, a slight haywire version sparking in the walls, threatening to burn the whole thing, meaning, down.

"no wonder the surrealists and conceptualists loved Beery - words can perform in a way that art doesn't, forming an address almost inherently surreal, a transmission between people, infiltrative, allowing its horsemen direct access to your head, to say whatever it wants, and already there, words standing around inside you."

"The trueness of statements, their ability to make sense, becomes if not beside the point, a thing to torture. Not the treachery of images, but the treachery of saying anything at all. "

Simon Fujiwara at Dvir


Among those trying to reassemble meaning in the fallout of Genzken and Harrison's cultural TNTing, Fujiwara's accumulations of content are not the endless permutations of cultural arrangements that make culture "speak," ala Danny McDonald et al. Instead they seem a return to narrative invested in its display systems that constructs that cultural story, history, myth, not just our garbage. Whether or not it actually assembles meaning, it at least looks a little more like it, by rebuilding the structures that construct it.

See too: Gertrude Abercrombie at KarmaDavid Lieske at MUMOKSimon Fujiwara at Dvir (1)

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Past: Simon Fujiwara at Dvir
Fujiwara: "I was teaching in Amsterdam and wanted to take the students to see the house as we were discussing monuments and how ideology translates into material language."
"The Anne Frank House [...] is one of the few places where every mundane detail of a home—door handles, wallpaper, floorboards—transcend their material status and become symbols of tragedy and hope."
"Inside the house, I was told by the guide that almost nothing of the original house remains except for the structure. That the house was only purchased after the making of the first Hollywood film about Anne Frank"

Full: Simon Fujiwara at Dvir

Friday, April 10, 2020

Lea Von Wintzingerode at Jacky Strenz


Despite the depths of figuratives that we're in, rare to just be painting someone. Like an actual person. The painters using people's bones to hang or inflate abstraction. (We're abstract enough aren't we.) But here reminiscent of Quintessa Matranga's toilets. Just painted. Maybe paradoxically by inventing characters you have to actually paint that person. You don't suddenly have an excuse to throw paint at them, rearrange their features for your whims.

See too: Quintessa Matranga at Freddy

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Artworld getting fast and loose with the term "online viewing room," with these "platforms." These are websites. They're not even shops. They're flash webpages you have to submit a fake email to get into.
Thus we're announcing THE  CONTEMPORARY ART WRITING DAILY "ONLINE VIEWING ROOM & PLATFORM" CONSULTANCY. Get individualized professional consulting on your online room. Simply enter your email below to sign up.

Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures


Obvious paradoxes of' "erasure" in objects intended to endure as art. Which, obvious, is allegory for the racist caricatures themselves, history preferred to erase but endure. Not quite erasure at all. Erasure is a fantasy of white imagination surely. But who buys these things?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Moyra Davey, Peter Hujar at Galerie Buchholz


And art often feels like a process, technology, for imprinting nostalgia. Casting banality in bronze, silver, with a halo of rose. "Nostalgia a toxic substance used to preserve our memories in formaldehyde's rose tinted veil." Photography provides "immediate packaging: that inherently elegiac medium also promises preservation of someone's sight of you." So you get to preserve your recognition like pickled pigs and call it romantic. Nostalgia's artistry becomes its own technology. I don't think this is implicit to art. Against this someone like LaToya Ruby Frazier's grayscales confuse time and conflate eras, make chronology slippery, and deny a continuum of progress, inherently anti-nostalgic.

Past: Moyra Davey

"a gloss of preemptive nostalgia. Like instagram filters made to affect 70’s grain on crystalline microlenses - an artificial warmth on the cold of its technologic clarity - Davey [...] pre-placing that touch on the photographs, mailed to package the touch that preceded them."

"It's alluring to attach the psychology of money to feces."

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."

Pedro Wirz at Longtang

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

April 7th, 2020


What an excessively visual day. It's like a sci-fi movie in here.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Everyone rushes to produce "content." Noticing a captive and assumed bored audience the attention economy flexes, pulsates; you begin to the feel the capitalistic end of content's tentacle. What was intended as the fill for little crevices in the bricks of our day at some point became our day. Chatter becomes the content; Instagram becomes the business. And everyone microtize their content, becoming viral capable, themselves the droplets. Content starts to hurt. People mistake our convalescence as opportunity, our boredom as their docking point. The line between extraction and compassion becomes thin.

Past: Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys

"Against Venetian statuary, against marble gods with triforks, JdGHT's 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. "
"Painful, de Gruyter and Thys' 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 Cane
Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys at Kunsthal Aarhus,
Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys at Gavin Brown,
Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys at Wattis,
Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys at MoMA PS1
Past: Reena Spaulings at Chantal Crousel

"Reigning champions of the dumb art gesture so profoundly, inertly, token as to rupture any semblance of hope for meaning; it found comedy in the malignant stupefaction of the "art gesture." ...  The work actively attacked the insider: anyone who understood Spaulings game did not receive art's usual self-congratulations but the unloading of 40 foot soldiers of uncommon stupidity inside your head. A virus affecting only those in-the-know while the blissfully unaware remained free of its belittling folly.
"Writing this, I've actually needed a thesaurus for "dumb."
"...the more you get it the more it evacuates."

Read full: Reena Spaulings at Chantal Crousel

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Past: Marc Camille Chaimowicz

"Art like pieces of display catalog, Ikea presentations of what your home could be, as images of potential, like all those pantone grids we all find so pleasant in organizing the full mess of choice into something pleasant, choosable."
"We find this wanton sensitivity almost unnerving in art, we fear the institutionalization of its form, the hospitalization of 'sensitivity.'"

Read full:
Marc Camille Chaimowicz at Kestner Gesellschaft
Marc Camille Chaimowicz at INDIPENDENZA

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Ebecho Muslimova at Maria Bernheim


Cartoon characters are only cartoon when they are cut from their world and pasted into the real. In their natural inked setting cartoons are simply flesh, however elasticized. Floors, feces, body are of the same stuf and there was some inherent truth.
When the cartoon now does its Who Framed Roger Rabbit thing, the duck finally becomes a cartoon duck, the visual promiscuity is lost, his flesh is now not of the the surrounding world and forces him to become more singularly himself.  Fatebe becomes a character, no longer a natural feature of her reality but a style cut and pasted into. And her world becomes simply a grab bag of digital effects to encounter. It was always bound to happen, drawing must eventually be valorized as painting. Madani gets away with it because her painting is drawing. And Who Framed Roger Rabbit was most interesting when the softness of cartoons were hit with hard reality, forced to take its shape, "flatten the duck with a frying pan and he becomes a frying pan" and the worlds again begin to seamlessly blur in the green glow of the Matrix, our imagination's virtual plane, and the cartoon naturalizes again.

see too: Tala Madani

Friday, April 3, 2020

Friederike Feldmann at Barbara Weiss


It would be so nice if we could just have some drawing without requisite need of deploying it like a big factory of gesture, magnified swatches of what had been human. The just plain ol' drawing has everything already. This is the fault of the world. We need more drawing.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Cyprien Gaillard at Sprüth Magers


This is the language of advertising: upstairs you view the commercial and in the showroom the products. The film, which is beautiful and affective like all good ads, ostensibly provides a confusion/detournment to the process of commodity affectation, but not sure language can talk itself out of the language. Cynicism about the process is still the process.
Past: Liam Gillick

"...The forebear to today's Simon Dennys and Anne Imhofs, the weaponizing of corporate and cultural tropes as a banality, ambivalent to its corporate manipulation of emotive capacities..."

Read full: Liam Gillick at CAC Vilnius
Past: Pati Hill at Essex Street

"... that while the Pictures gen treated the world as image (available for all forms of permutable misdeeds), Hill's 1:1 copying seemed far more interested in the objects and their traces, not inherently its theft. Far more Gonzalez-Torres than Sherrie Levine."

Read full: Pati Hill at Essex Street

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Koak at Altman Siegel


People bent like pipes for their decorative purposing. The painter demands composition, extraction, humans repurposed for painting's ends, how modern. Arabesque motifs get harsher until the ballet seem inhuman doll-like, Picasso rips apart models and we find this intoxicating. Our runway models and their own body's El Grecoing. Etiolated for the consumption. There is discrepancy between what things represent and what they are: beautiful.

see too: Julien Nguyen at Modern ArtLisa Yuskavage at Contemporary Art Museum St. LouisLouisa Gagliardi at Open Forum

Charlotte Posenenske at Konrad Fischer


PR states "she erased all gestural traces avoiding and dimishing [sic] any kind of subjectivity." which while not entirely true the attempt does feel apropos to our current scratching at the glass, less to feel something than touch its borders as well as mark it. Scratched glass tends to reveal itself. This is the edge, the limit. Posenenske found it. And then Posenenske, tellingly, left the artworld. Yet we keep dragging her back, out. Why does art love and mythologize the people that leave it? As Herbert recounts one of her last acts was handing out broadsheets at Documenta stating "You culture vultures, so here you are all gathered together to chat and lie and talk crap so as to gain the upper hand." Us all loving our artists while not listening to them, an exhibition like a condescending smile.