Monday, August 31, 2020

Pedro Wirz at Marc Selwyn


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Souvenirs of our demise!


See too: Pedro Wirz at LongtangCooper Jacoby at Freedman Fitzpatrick

August Review Index 2020



Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo) at Balice Hertling
Torey Thornton at Moran Bondaroff
Maren Hassinger at Tiwani Contemporary
Guan Xiao at Antenna Space
Brandon Ndife, Diane Severin Nguyen at Bureau
Solange Pessoa at Mendes Wood DM
Juliana Huxtable at Reena Spaulings
Sandra Mujinga at Kunstverein Hannover
Tishan Hsu at Hammer Museum
Bri Williams at Queer Thoughts
An-My Lê at Marian Goodman
Hadi Fallahpisheh at CENTRAL FINE
Ser Serpas at Karma International
Simone Leigh at David Kordansky
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

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Tetsumi Kudo at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art


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Before CAD the largest vault of images were catalogs, expensive, locked in coastal university libraries. Acquiring them you would get maybe one good image of an installation and a lecture, essay. This is how we learned about art. The "contemporary" you had walk to see. Sending it around meant describing it to friends. What was going on in Zurich was a faint smattering of bad images on a website like steam engines. Then, around the cusp of the 2010s, suddenly enough everything changed. The most ephebic artist's exhibitions were each documented in 40+ crisp images in pornographic lighting that could be sent instantly, everywhere. And in the center, in the palm of your hand, the campfire CAD. I have no hard statistics about actual numbers in the increase in documentation but the difference is total. There are more images of many 30 year old artists exhibitions circulating than Bruce Nauman's entire career. There is a Before CAD and an After Daily in this history of art. The deluge of contemporary images, simply by mere quantity, threatens an occlusion. Bruce Nauman or Eva Hesse is safe, but the early-career 90s artist might be completely lost. Early/Pruitt, or Art Club 2000, for ones we actually remember.

The Artworld has always been attempting "rediscovery."How many times is Kudo himself going to be "rediscovered." But the term seems more loaded now, like pulling things out of an oblivion. It had been that books rested on shelves for long terms next to each other, discovery was there, all lined up right next each other. But the attention economy changes the shelves' equalizing nature into a quicksand in which viewing must be continually renewed, pulled up into the top of the feed, refreshed at the top of the page, requiring a publicity, an action, a press. The ideology of the institutional acquisition gets replaced with the ideology of attention. "Rediscovery" might not be a limited action on historical subjects but the act that we are now engaging with constantly, eternally, daily, asking to be seen.

This was all originally to say thanks to the Louisiana Museum for putting the full catalog online, and to CAD for hosting it. Though PDFs are brutally cumbersome, they feel more sane than the disenfranchised images that circulate online. Hopefully someday the artworld invents something better.

Friday, August 28, 2020

AR: Simone Leigh at David Kordansky

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Originally Posted: June 22nd, 2020

Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

AR: Hadi Fallahpisheh at CENTRAL FINE


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Originally Posted: February 11th, 2020

Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Jochen Lempert at Contemporary Art Centre


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When the new Planet Earth (II) came out there was a critique that the tiny slivers of the planet in exquisite 4k and presented on 70 ft screens made those tiny glimpses appear larger than they were. Most of "planet earth" didn't look like that, that most of the world burns. They were right, the "documentary" had increasingly become escapist television. The "reality TV" that is a fantasy of a world that isn't on the edge, that still safely harbors flora, breath, life, isn't choking. Securing some fantastical turf for the "natural" we ostracize to parks and behind 4k glass.
So maybe Lempert's moribund nostalgia is actually a sci-fi, of our present from the future, as it wrinkles and curls and blows out. Tragedy.


See too: Jochen Lempert at Between Bridges

AR: An-My Lê at Marian Goodman


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Originally Posted: February 17th, 2020

Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Scott Benzel at Bel Ami

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Art's shared aspects with games manifested in tableaus. Think 3 Standard Stoppages: the arbitrary and the meaningful and the arbitrary-made-meaningful. This with all sorts of correlations to art. On Kawara's One Million Years versus here's dice roll over a Million Random Digits. You could write a paper on both books' similarities and differences . Thus art becomes the casino of picking digits, making meaning, manufacturing rarity.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Carmen Argote at Commonwealth and Council


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Large Pepperoni Extra Cheese 2020, Pizza oil transfer on paper.
Oils weep, seep in our guts. Haunt our upholstery. Our intestinal distress. The contaminants of the human. The Turin shroud of gluttony. I think it's important that we hang our stains on the walls. (Art is a series of stains, tho a particularly peacocked version.) That we know ourselves. And we should know them all.


Friday, August 21, 2020

AR: Bri Williams at Queer Thoughts


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Originally Posted: March 13th, 2020

Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Derek Fordjour at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis


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Maybe its people become decoration, subsumed to the overarching command of DESIGN.
There is a predicament of individuality, as people become uniforms, bodies become composition. Hands up comforts those in power. "The repair and disrepair of the canvas reflects the conditions of abandonment and scarcity present in the artist’s upbringing in the South." The hardship that is reclaimed like wood for collectors.


See too: Purvis Young at James FuentesDerek Fordjour at Night Gallery

AR: Tishan Hsu at Hammer Museum


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Originally Posted: April 20th, 2020

Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Hanna Hur at Feuilleton


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The optical gets a bad rap, subordinated to painting's other bigger brothers, say, the haptic, the impressive, the totalizing, or big. Visually informed sure, but not particularly optical. Perhaps even Abstract Expressionism despite its broad exclamation of color wasn't a particularly optical movement, more concerned with presence, a bodily feeling. (Against Abstraction Expressionism "Op-art was a cheap imitation of the purer form's sanctity; Op-art rested on physiologic parlor tricks rather than the more strict and thus universal forms of abstraction that could [ostensibly] communicate with dolphins and gods.") We lack language for the physiological, for the glass of our eyes attempting to apprehend something that breaks its system, like these, like a computer trying to understand the frission of Bonnard.


see too: Larry Poons at Michael Jon & Alan

Monday, August 17, 2020

Susan Philipsz at Tanya Bonakdar


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An opera of objects. An internet of things. The lullabies, found. Sounds emanate from an elsewhere, from culture, from barrels - this is important, suggesting a different intelligence, a possibly objective intelligence - the objects play us, the tool with a heart. It won't be true; the suggestion is somehow enough.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Erwin Gross, Ross Bleckner at Bernd Kugler


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Omg these photos. You would think - with the recent rise of an embodied abstraction - Bleckner would primed for some type of resurgence, but then you're reminded with photos like this, and a nytimes headline or two will fill you in on the rest, Bleckner never really desurged, just one of the big painters quietly filling rooms like this. Where little bit of taste becomes a deluge of it. Gross's paintings looking like flowers in a trash bin nicely better at annealing the heat.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

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


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Originally Posted: March 23rd, 2020

Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.
Past: Rute Merk at Gallery Vacancy

"...New style on old themes, as the world struggles to self-represent. Here's the process: the world, culture, attempts to manufacture a synthetic version of itself - CGI, video games, American cheese - and the artifacts, struggle, of this process is its own aesthetic, a sediment of its age. Eventually artists package this aesthetic, create 8 bit indie video games, airbrush paintings, Velveeta cheese product."


Read full: Rute Merk at Gallery Vacancy

Friday, August 14, 2020

Anne Wilson at Rhona Hoffman


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Tensioning the labor we value and the labor we don't. The communal labor of the hand, the weaver, the worker/laborer, versus the drip, the stain, which is seminal, authorial, and thus rich, valuable. (Which of course stains your grandma's tablecloth and teenage bedsheets.) We don't want hands, we want the mark of the hand. Hands are a mass product, but the drip is neoliberally genius. This is why there may be a healthy skepticism at the framing of communal labors in a realm of art, because generally art isn't great at spreading its rewards.

See too: “Kasten” at Stadtgalerie Bern

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Tony Just at Efremidis

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"Tony Just, for example, makes ironic paintings that are never sure if they wouldn’t rather be transcendentalist paintings." -Mark Prince, Frieze

"It is my understanding that a Rorschach test isn’t so much about what you see, as long as you do see something." Tony Just

Art as a great goose game.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

AR: Juliana Huxtable at Reena Spaulings


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Originally Posted: March 23rd, 2020

Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Past: Charlotte Posenenske at Konrad Fischer

" 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."


Read full: Charlotte Posenenske at Konrad Fischer

Monday, August 10, 2020

AR: Solange Pessoa at Mendes Wood DM


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Originally Posted: March 23rd, 2020

Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.
Past: Kaoru Arima

"Drawing was at one time a knowledge. Sketching fetuses cut from cadavers were cutting edge science. The limits of knowledge were defined by looking at something really hard. When science and tech jettisoned oils and pencils from its repertoire modern artists got mad and crushed representation into something resembling a crumpled Coke can, seeing all sides at once, and this violence was lauded. "

"...human features bludgeoned to bloom bruise, bouquets, or apply rictus like geometries, portraits of a stroke. On and on painters rushing to injustice portraits... Here, the face is more figurative idea, an outline, a Jawlensky like framework for which to hang wanton libidinal paint. ...We find its horror almost playful, cute, even interesting, a learned tolerance for pain."

Read full: Kaoru Arima at Misako & RosenKaoru Arima at Queer Thoughts

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Rute Merk at Gallery Vacancy


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Cue Radiohead, "Fake Plastic Trees," angst over our coming cling wrap lives. Emo polygon living. We spray representations of this anxiety in physical goo on material canvas. New style on old themes, as the world struggles to self-represent. Here's the process: the world, culture, attempts to manufacture a synthetic version of itself - CGI, video games, American cheese - and the artifacts, struggle, of this process is its own aesthetic, a sediment of its age. Eventually artists package this aesthetic, create 8 bit indie video games, airbrush paintings, Velveeta cheese product.


See too: Louisa Gagliardi at Open Forum


Friday, August 7, 2020

AR: Brandon Ndife, Diane Severin Nguyen at Bureau


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Originally Posted: Mar 10, 2019

Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Past: ektor garcia at Cooper Cole

"...a very modern problem, our world, mediated by screens, the totality of which becomes enshrined in gallery or touch screen glass, and art is the world's development project in all the ways to surmount it, a materiality so strong it visually empaths itself, that we could actually feel something through glass. A "supernormal stimulus," exaggerated materiality that begins to look like fetish for."


Read full: ektor garcia at Cooper Cole

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

AR: Guan Xiao at Antenna Space


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Originally Posted: June 12th, 2020

Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.
Past: Nancy Lupo

"Like eye goo, stuff's service is its waste, a continual sloughing, so we can remain fresh, clean. Stuff accumulates, piles, is shed. Stuff is quasi things, is transient, transactional. A disposable fork is, like, quintessential stuff.."


Read full: Nancy Lupo at Kristina KiteNancy Lupo at Swiss InstituteNancy Lupo at 1857Nancy Lupo at Antenna Space

Monday, August 3, 2020

AR: Maren Hassinger at Tiwani Contemporary


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Originally Posted: November 5th, 2019

Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.
Past: J. Parker Valentine

"expectations of legibility, depictive of some tip-of-the-tongue subject within a library of means detailing the amorphous thing it circles but fails to produce. There is the lure of subject object, the thing that will at any moment manifest itself in the definitive lines of drawing"

"a viewer left to sort spaghetti formed lines like tea leaves that were inside you all along. Pareidolia."


J. Parker Valentine at Misako & RosenJ. Parker Valentine at Juan and Patricia Vergez CollectionJ. Parker Valentine at Park View

August Review 2020

Today we initiate our sixth annual August Review. Every year we reflect on the exhibitions that were especially memorable to us since the previous August. We will re-publish one show each day, marked by “AR:” in the title, while continuing to cover new exhibitions daily.

At the end of the month we will provide an “August Review Index.” The previous five seasons’ selections are available here: 201520162017 2018, and 2019.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

“A Love Letter to a Nightmare” at Petzel


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Group shows always look like you blew up a shopping mall, like its reassembly after catastrophe, like hangers categorizing airline wreckage. Trying to make sense in debris. Us, a cargo cult. Us, a primitive culture, drawing aurochs on our white cave walls. With the debris of culture. Our Mystic auto-anthropology. Sexy legs made in wheat aren't surreal but reality when a world sells children cereal with fat assed bee, then sells adults figurines of that bee. This is reality, a sexy hotdog is practically a readymade. Merely exploded.

AR: Torey Thornton at Moran Bondaroff


Click here to read

Originally Posted:January 5, 2018

Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

AR: Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo) at Balice Hertling


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Originally Posted: July 26th, 2019

Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Group Show at Kunsthal Charlottenborg


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We all thought DIS was responding to the internet but were actually getting in line with the turn toward aestheti-tainment. Museums and galleries, no longer solvent on symbolic capital, with a relevancy we could call dusty, turned toward audience engagement, and realigned with missions with populist modes. They invited celebrities for ad campaigns, made memes and light of their own once stiflingly prestigious collections, having lost distinction between low and high the museums to middle brow with a budget, a sort of consumerist factory of light experience. A prediction for our future.


See too: “Stories of Almost Everyone” at Hammer Museum