Monday, March 30, 2020

Thomas Hirschhorn at Chantal Crousel


Hirschhorn provided fantasy. Conflated the constructions with construction work, of a philosophy being useful like plumbers, a pragmatic attitude that "fans" of philosophy armed with nothing but his packaging tape could assemble some good in the world. In hindsight much of it was tone deaf and not really useful. But it looked utilitarian. That was important.
This exhibitions "conversations" are a clever way to commodify another's thinking in a neat package AND provide a fantasy, of our communication being clever. Making your fandom pay through resale.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Özgür Kar at Édouard Montassut


Our twitching little bodies. Cramped into screens, boxes, glass, chopped into talking heads, dismembered in little windows, in corners. And asked to fit in these broadcasts of personal nightly news, to loved ones, alone and connected. Excessive tech to just prove we are still twitching, murmuring night lights, stand ins for comfort.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Barbara Bloom at Capitain Petzel


Displays themselves become uncanny; they are the living dead, lacking human they were designed for. They are stage without actors, so when we seen them we see death. (IKEA displays create anxiety that must be counteracted, feeling our homes could feel like death if we don't fill them with otherwise.)  This exhibition comes with a packet explaining which exact ghost haunts each.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Rodney McMillian at Petzel


This seems to be Petzel's first solo exhibition of a someone black?  Is that possible? 25 years. The press release seemed odd.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Kayode Ojo at Praz-Delavallade


Fashion/perfume advertisement setting, sedimented as sculpture. Awaiting moistened Drake to pour and offer, not just a drink but a life. They traffic in advertising's same lifestyle projection. We've forgotten this because no one opens Artforum anymore, it's sent out as hamster bedding and subscriber inflation, but a distant memory of its filler comes back in these sculptures, an air we would call nostalgic. The smallest narrative allows the biggest projection. We like chintz, and better any excuse to play it as ironic, look down upon it. How much artworld glitz comes with heavy justification, armor against actually liking it. Excused glamor are why artists were invented. The surgical/esthetician set barely register as an anomaly. Maybe the Snook Hook. A lot of Tom Burr.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Marie Angeletti at Carlos/Ishikawa


Seduction, eroticism, through glass. What a time for it. Pornography is sex through glass, like our isolation, like our galleries, please remain six feet away from the
Both pornography and art must find visual means to sensate through this barrier. So you adopt its methods. Live through the window of her, ordering distant contact online. This is our prophylactic erotics.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Benjamin Echeverria at Parapet Real Humans


At one end of the artworld we the rendered and ecstatic, at the other end the scrappy material and careworn. These could seem worlds apart. But they begin to feel in the same way affected. You apply a video filter, you belabor the painting. Both become search for means to make "residue" appear, of time, of warmth we're after. A weathering effect you can turn on and off like rain.

see too: Moyra Davey at Institute of Contemporary Art

Monday, March 23, 2020

Solange Pessoa at Mendes Wood DM


I think we find some comfort in dirt smeared not because of its primeval "truth" but because it seems like it can't obsolesce, it can't be superseded, blown away as dust, which we mistake for being eternal.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Calida Rawles at Various Small Fires


I think the reason you can google "underwater realistic painting" and see it's a popular theme is that a photograph of people shattered in water intrinsically appends the abstraction we want and associate with painting while giving the value of the photographic, it does the work for it. It's already painting even without it, the mechanistic process of representation doesn't ruin it.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Johannes Wohnseifer at Meliksetian | Briggs


Our paintings collect culture like a surreal flypaper. Like seeing phantasms, after-images with your eyes still open. At night in bed from dark currents in your brain emerges a decade old jingle.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Federico Herrero at Lulu


In our fishbowl isolation we look out through so much glass. Through your monitor through a photographer's camera lens. Through the gallery's look-but-don't-touch air imitating glass and, in the distance, a painting's stained glass, zoomed pixels. Which are material turned highly-tuned images, windows, more glass compressed into a final glass, a code, a jpeg, our vitreous body. We try to polish this glass further and further, correct for it, so it seems like we aren't just seeing it, a fishbowl. If you move a fishbowl does it experience a different part of the world? Do you see glass? You can purchase Christmas through it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Magnus Andersen at Neue Alte Brücke


An exhibition titled "Stockholm Syndrome" which is "a condition in which hostages develop a psychological alliance with their captors during captivity." Which CAWD called Andersen's last Neue Alte Brücke show: "which we, [Andersen's] visual hostages, on a long enough timeline, learn to love..." Stockholm Syndrome is thought to happen because "the victim’s need to survive is stronger than his impulse to hate the person who has created the dilemma." In order to survive one must begin to identify and find compassion for the captor: people held captive for decades will defend their captors in court. An analogy could be made for 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 so, "Andersen knows that to survive is to triumph. And so with defeat you must accept its march into visibility." You will be seeing more of these, and as always with hideous painting, "half the fun is learning to love it."

see too: Ida Ekblad at Herald St.Josh Smith at David ZwirnerMagnus Andersen at Neue Alte Brücke

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Jan Kiefer at Swiss Institute


You're on lockdown, staying in. The Swiss Institute is closed. The food only being delivered. You log on to to find some interest, to find a snowman mocking you, enjoying his pumpkin headed freedom. The joke is on him; soon he will be dead, melted like the glaciers he skis. This is what you come here for, the beautiful vistas, windows, cruelty.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Tam Ochiai at Soft Opening


Ochai's painting collect their painting like a window sill collects dust. The only requisite might be time passing and its loss sedimented of whatever accumulate. You might write your name in the dust, but these collect places as dust. We could just be happy it doesn't look like painting.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Bri Williams at Queer Thoughts


What a time for an exhibition about soap. What is the history of cleanliness in art, the drains of Gober, the Purell of Puppies Puppies... Under certain conditions old paintings exude soap. Your body itself is barely not-soap, and soap opens your body to becoming not body, cleanses you by blurring self with soap, which goes down the drain, leaving you clean, dry.  Milk congeals skin, becoming subject, but soap is flesh become object, stuff. Classic Kristeva:
...under the cunning, orderly surface of civilizations, the nurturing horror that they attend to pushing aside by purifying, systematizing, and thinking; horror that they seize on in order to build themselves up and function? I rather conceive it as a work of disappointment, of frustration, and hollowing-probably the only counterweight to abjection. While everything else-its archeology and its exhaustion-is only literature: the sublime point at which the abject collapses in a burst of beauty that overwhelms us-and "that cancels our existence." (Céline)

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Kelly Akashi at Tanya Bonakdar


Our touch cast in glass, is there a better image for today? Visual metaphors for feeling. Porn is metaphor for sensation, the internet is our aquarium and the world is a kunstkammer, we look but don't touch, preserve it in zoos, on swatches, designated scenic lookouts. The world is covered in glass, we now find sensuousness in glass, rubbing erotically on the aquarium. Eventually we prefer glass.

We've been talking about this for so long: Materialphilia

See too:  Kelly Akashi, Cayetano Ferrer at PP,

Monday, March 9, 2020

Past: Gracie DeVito at TIF SIGFRIDS

"Like Bonnard's rags, we like paintings looking picked from studio floors, rubbed with, spilled on, rather than painted ... sentience from captured artistic sneezes. Though these are a lot nicer than the usual strains of scatalogical nappies of the idiot-savant, of say Joe Bradley, of the real base impulses collected.
"the frame had once aggrandized its painting haloed, now redundant to white walls, to the cost of real estate, the frame cartoonifies, ironizes, self-deprecates in the goofy expense of custom routed framing: each an individual like a thumbprint or a mess. Frames are dumb if necessary, and these admit to that, a sort of excusing itself by way of clown. "Oh this red nose?, no."

Read full: Gracie DeVito at TIF SIGFRIDS
Past: Ann Cathrin November Høibo at DREI

"Materially in excess condenses through glass, perspires its objecthood through the glazing. [...] CAD is a window in an abyss of many windows. Everyone trying to feel something through. Our personal panopticon."

Ann Cathrin November Høibo at DREI

Sunday, March 8, 2020

“No Joke” at Milieu


Groups shows look like if you blew up the mall and then cleaned up pretty well.

Friday, March 6, 2020

François Curlet at Micheline Szwajcer


Darren Bader, Bertrand Lavier, Baldesarri, Martin Creed, Mungo Thompson, François Curlet. Not quite pop art, not quite conceptual art, derived from each, a cartoon of both.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

New Red Order at Artists Space


Important for performance to begin to swallowing its own promotional material. The relevant info being self-contained is part of good documentation. Everything there, apparent. Punctured back in, the reason we're here, promotion. The website being pretty good.
Past: Sturtevant

"Dynamo for so much of the 1960s art world, Oldenburg was also, at times appallingly, no cartoon. (Séance Hannah Wilke.) Did an artist with such psycho-aesthetic investment in the invagination of commercial space ever stop to consider what might happen if, courtesy of a wildly inverting repetition, the phantasmatic derangements of capitalism or branding embroiled in his concession shoppe and its merging of philosophical and commercial notions re-rendezvoused to, vagina dentata-like, bite him in the ass?" - Bruce Hainley, Under the Sign of [sic]

"Literalness in Sturtevant's work is always a sword's doubled edge, a trap - that many fell into seen in early writing on the artist - literalness was staged obviousness acting as a foreground which blinded with its hamfistedness. The dark thing next to the bright light. "

Read full: Sturtevant at Freedman Fitzpatrick, Sturtevant at Air de Paris, Sturtevant at MoMA, Sturtevant at Thaddaeus Ropac,

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Nicolas Grenier at Bradley Ertaskiran


Infographics given 70s gloss, retro and surreal. We like information, we've basically been evolutionarily programmed to find its stimulating, it feels like meaning, and given nostalgia's candy coating. This painting shows a scene from the new Indiana Jones where Jones uses the Staff of Ra to reveal a map on of the interior of Ed Ruscha's The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire before it sinks into the tar pits beneath Zumthor's black eyesore, all illuminated by a Kanye/Turrell floating stage.

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,

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Birke Gorm at Croy Nielsen


Materialize has become a word of extra meaning in art, a new process akin to electroplating, anodizing, or gilding. Artists "materialize" things like text into substance, into a material with weight, turd like figures, objects which feel material. Distinct from artistic objectification (which merely turns the virtual into the concrete to make it transactable), materialization is the patina of objectification, an excess. As if the content was inherent to the material object itself, as if it speaks.

see too: MaterialphiliaBirke Gorm at Croy Nielsen (1)
Past: Sam Anderson at Rowhouse Project

"There is rarely an object of Anderson's we don't look down at, that you don't watch where you step, a presentation whose, like early Wilkes or Aran's tables, dust settled marks this instance and foreboding its wind. A little dog rolling over exposing belly's soft pink skin veiling easily destroyed guts." There is a fragility.

Click for full: Sam Anderson at Rowhouse Project

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Merlin Carpenter at Reena Spaulings


Irony was fun about a decade ago, seemed to have its peak in about 2010 before the political discourse shifted abruptly and boots on the ground politics seemed pressing. But now, recoil, irony is back with people wearing clown makeup and being disingenuous online. Irony is a scapegoat for so much. A means for someone to deflect and quagmire conversation by being deeply unclear. Carpenter feels like a game of "well I know that he knows that I know that he knows..." en abyme. 

Carpenter knows this is dumb, and knows that we know he knows this is dumb. But us all gripping chins wondering on which floor precisely the middle finger is resting. Our cerebral assessments of navel's swirl that 5 years ago couldn't have been less interesting now return in way that feels apt to the political moment. Because we're exhausted. And perhaps what Carpenter is actually trading in is the feeling of exhaustion. Can you imagine being forced to explain these to someone? Explain politics now to someone?

Because people often don't think this is dumb:
"Interactive art, of which this is, like Web 2.0's [...] the system shifts from content generation to interactivity itself, turning itself into interface for the user themselves to self produce, the turnkey-op entrepreneurial dream, in which as long as the structure is up and running "content-revenue" will self-generate, [...] because like Scanlan on Sehgal, even mediocrity is acceptable to a public so long as it has a hand in it."Read full Urs Fischer at JTT

Read all posts tagged Merlin Carpenter