Saturday, October 31, 2020

Cindy Sherman at Metro Pictures

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"Renowned for her depictions of female stereotypes" says the PR.

"From the first lightning bolts of Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Stills, the artworld continuously electrified by depictions of women in societal bondage gear. Artists depicting the strictures that force women to conform to cultural mores; images of women made, if only momentarily, powerless or complicit. Which whose artistic doubling, or performance of, is the critique. ... And despite the critical intention's now obvious powerlessness to successfully confront or diminish such roles - as evidenced by its 40 years of continuous updating and still ringing true - Sherman et al. enjoy success in the market, press, and critical etceteras."

Critical etceteras amounting to mostly, "haha women are constructed."

Art needs to contend with the fact that - if its cultural critique was successful - it would outmode itself to that culture, make itself irrelevant. So what is 40 years of Sherman's critique? That not only is Sherman still successfully mocking the mores of "woman" but also the  re-regurgitations of Sherman-esque in younger careers. That, maybe, there is no critique at all, maybe culture just enjoys the befuddlment of women.

See too: Amalia Ulman at The Gallery at El Centro,

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Past: Danh Vo

"allows legend to become perfume, an adornment mystifying its objects. Like an unironic Jason Rhoades, exhibitions become spaces for the process of mythification. Whereas for Rhoades it was a comic process of figurative trash becoming hokey possibility for art, for Vo the pre-christened becomes involved in the permutations of further embedding it in objects. ... The aura of art, of objects, is somehow smeltable, is made able to be repoured into new objects.... Vo is a factory for this witchcraft, for the production of belief in these ghosts. ... that somehow (through conceptual art) we've equated the aura of art with the mythologizing of objects with a narrative, a press release. Replaced something's raison d'être with any reason for being whatsoever."


Read full: Venice 2019, Danh Vo, & at kurimanzutto

Past: Vincent Fecteau

"Fecteau's like architectural navels, the "complicated pockets" like ears or industrial labia. They resemble, brandish resemblance... morph in sinuous exterior/interior unsecured, twist in like an ouroboric muscle car. Like cutting open your abdomen to reveal a cathedral. These turns are important, they mirror our body's soft points, the vulnerable pink cusps." "Notice your body shifting from exterior to interior, your lips, eyes, anus, ears, urethral opening, these twilight moments rolling into."

"The muscle car was - if by name alone - intended to resemble a body. Exuded the "muscle" it contained, sleek and rippling with. The image seeped into culture and the fast cars took on different appearances, insectoid, technical. But those muscled images remain latent, in the cultural ether, and Fecteau seems to pluck and rearrange some subconscious forms of these chopped and reassembled [...] Like a google algorithm trying to invent a car part, like a human recalling some vague sexual attachment to a physical object.."



Past: Vincent Fecteau at greengrassi, “Magic Ben Big Boy” at Matthew Marks, Vincent Fecteau at Misako & Rosen, Read all posts tagged Vincent Fecteau

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Pieter Slagboom at Bridget Donahue


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Like, whereas outlines illustrate, designates (instructs), the contour line caresses, warms its figure with all its touch, not so much states its figure as rubs it. Probably why these look closer to surrealist frottage than drawing: the whole thing must be touched to make it appear. This is a metaphor. Humans aren't so much plumbing and cartoons as little haptic nubs that touch and feel and bone. "...your fingers developed small wounds from the pressure exerted on the pencil." "PS: I was disappointed because I could not feel the pencil anymore. The tenderness disappeared. [...]when I press down every day for a whole week.  Between the skin and the bone, finger padding begins to vanish, and the pencil makes contact with the bone, which is very very painful." You do not think the subject, but physical touch to manifest it. We get sick, a pandemic exists, and proximity feels like physical air, no meniscus, no barrier at all, everyone sharing each others heat. Spirituality seems to emerge as an any-alternative-to-this, escapes the restrictive cookie outline of "the normal" cartoon. And which, see here figuration too jettison the general cartoon delineation, drawing's outline becomes instead its Red Studio absentia, line its ghost.


See too: Miriam Cahn at Meyer Riegger

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

 Past: Victor Man at The Central Pavilion

"..brooding tinctures in the hieroglyphs of a new puzzle form of painting, the explicit clarity of subjects, revealed flatly, become illustrations of a mysterioized subject withheld. The more overt the “subject,” the harder we fall into its promise of illustrating something, meaning..."


Read full: Victor Man at The Central Pavilion


 Past: Gedi Sibony

"It had been exciting then, its barely-thereness, so slight, that "unfinished too soon" look we all at that point had craved, the provisional existence we felt stood in for life ... There was something so charming about its lack of artistry, the almost not art that it now just sorta looks like."

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


Read full: Gedi Sibony at Greene NaftaliVenice: Gedi Sibony at The Arsenale

Monday, October 26, 2020

Jacolby Satterwhite at Mitchell-Innes & Nash


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The Matthew Barney libidinal excess launched it into the limitless - into the psychic space, the virtual as fantasy stage. A closer representation of fantasy in etherous technology. The virtual space is both new and the same - it the blank canvas or the chunk of marble - mere projection screens, space to manifest, desire. It is art itself that is the realm that allows for this, our fantasy mmorpg; and it is the gallery that is the true virtual space, both everywhere and nowhere, excess in its ascetics. The gallery provides the fantasy of fantasy, that this is all somehow new, or even progress, that we're actually inventing something, simply because it exists. But objects are not invention. Even in virtual fantasy. The pathos of Satterwhite is that it is old. 



 Past: Hélène Fauquet at Edouard Montassut 

"And we get pristine jpegs of bad ones, printed. En abyme, we tumble"


 Full: Hélène Fauquet at Edouard Montassut 


Friday, October 23, 2020

K8 Hardy at Reena Spaulings


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The seemingly obvious in art shouldn't itself be a criticism since, well, Greenbergian abstraction was itself pretty obvious confrontation with some psychoanalytically blank wall stained with all those painterly headbutts of a phallic order. "less surface, perhaps, than receptacle" the press release nails. Just like all those stiff socks for male expression.

Sure it's yet another inkblot test for endless interpretation, but at least it's got a frame to shape it. Like tea leaves, like expression's seminal drips, this at least owns the navel it gazes with.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Past: Henrik Olesen

"the filthy human Olesen has, for a while now, been stuffing in crevasses" "flakes like your dead skin collecting under beds with dirt as dust, the cells that Olesen keeps adhering like wet toilet paper to everything, and the hangnails sticking out from walls, an imitation game of filth, waste failing to crystallize packagability, use, the matter of bodies that meaninglessly accumulate, failing representation."

Read full:
Henrik Olesen at Schinkel Pavilion
Henrik Olesen at Cabinet
Henrik Olesen at Reena Spaulings
Gerry Bibby, Henrik Olesen at Sismógrafo


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Past: D’Ette Nogle at Bodega 

'manifesting pedagogy and social reproduction in object form was never going to be exactly 'fun,' and the soft-authority is deployed with a humor so dry as to almost be nonexistent... and even when the stand-up exists it is deprecated to near loss, fury, all but calling the whole thing, whole project, the teacher that Nogle is as 'fucking losers.'" 

"And Nogle's interest in this loveably unfun thing we call bureaucracy seems to be for its hairy, ensnaring and otherwise tangly qualities. Enjoyment seems less important than the slowly painting and then identifying one's hands, yours and hers, with a faint perfume of red, so that 'you're going to regret clapping in the end.'"


Read full: D’Ette Nogle at Bodega 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Emily Sundblad at Campoli Presti


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Will these become that asterisk you see in history books: "Sundblad, a 00s gallerist known for launching the careers of [vaguely still alive artists] also exhibited her own paintings at [several galleries you faintly recall.]" Betty Parsons Gallery exists more as myth now, and her art floats down to today as rare and impossible fragments. The PR already attempts something like mythos: Sundblad as an "exile" painting "plein air on a marble balcony of the Hotel Negresco in Nice." But wait! A romance we are warned against: "the Negresco’s owner once told Bill Gates that purchasing the hotel would be well beyond his means. This moldiness has no price, she meant: a time zone inaccessible to a contemporary technocrat." But I guess these paintings can purchase it, or attempt to own some of it. Why else tell us the vintage? Romance like a wine purchased on vacation and sold to your friends. Now you can own a bit of that french villa, a piece of the world before it sinks, paintings made before the world became techno. Souvenirs of history, however artificial. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Sung Tieu at Emalin


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Astrology like tarot cards finds alliance with art since the artwork has mutated to be less an object of beauty than a fount for interpretation. Art having gone from object to oracle. The point of art begins to be setting the spheres to rotate so they may occasionally align, a machine for semio-recombination we could call meaning. Artists become not merely the recombinators of signs, but the producers of machines to do this, to be turned to on, set to run. Endless interpretiblity becomes their function. This is art, possibly. 


Astrology: Ei Arakawa at Kunstverein Dusseldorf 
Tarot: Juliette Blightman, Dorothy Iannone at Arcadia MissaCaitlin Keogh at Bortolami

Past: Ei Arakawa

"turning an artwork to an interpretable state and blinking, tea leaf divination in sporty Vegas-odds inkblots. We're primed to see meaning in information, in art, particularly when so bright and shiny, and thus lots to be said, interpretation to be done, they'll pour forth all you are willing to extract from them. Perfect analysands. Like the wacky inflatable arm man drawing eyes to dealerships, Arakawa understands the qualifiers for "art," performing them with wacky panache, theatricalizing the artwork as a caricature of attention..."

"a system in which the production of artistic meaning is itself made clear as a series of gestures and movements that encode work with whatever aura is distinct to contemporary art separate from the objects subsumed."

"Arakawa's funneling of history into technologic codes (1959 Gutai represented on arduino Lite-Brite) [...] expressionist rendered binary, computational, circuitry and cells. History reappears, history still shines through, you get to exist as it...."


Read Full: Ei Arakawa at Kunstverein DusseldorfEi Arakawa at Taka Ishii & Peter Halley at Modern ArtKarl Holmqvist and Ei Arakawa at Overduin & Co.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Trenton Doyle Hancock at James Cohan


A lot of artists have taken a lot from Guston with less honesty than this. Call those thefts the affect of Guston, the style stuck to painting. Very rare that someone goes to the sources themselves, the storytelling devices Guston himself stole from, comics or de Chirico. But it's a more interesting painting when you aren't just stealing painting en abyme. Things lose definition in endless mirrors. There are a lot more interesting things than painting. Perhaps Guston's cartoon point. The point of a politics, a concrete thing. And the comics are great.

Friday, October 16, 2020

 Past: Sylvie Fleury 

“Fleury suggests art can be liberated from its reliance on constant innovation and complex physical formulation and relax instead into a sort of ne plus ultra of laissez faire “whateverism” which ups the ante on American “Slacker” culture’s aesthetics of resignation.”
-Adrian Dannatt

read: Sylvie Fleury at Karma InternationalSylvie Fleury at Karma
Past: Paul Mpagi Sepuya

"It's why so many photographers are want to document the youth, embodiment of the photograph's eternal nubility as we all die...

"The bodies work for the camera who is the master to be satiated. Which explains their machine-like affection. It's a more Hans-Breder-like photographic attitude, any sympathetic Tillmans-esque is fractured, the body formalized, turned to abstraction, which is a gore, a machine of equivocation, skin becomes fingerprinted glass becomes magazine flesh cut and pasted.  This is ostensibly fun but play and its dalliance gets close to frivolousness, becomes dangerous when you are machine shredding bodies



Read Full: Paul Mpagi Sepuya at DocumentPaul Mpagi Sepuya at Modern Art hosting Team Gallery

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Carolyn Lazard at Essex Street

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"Heat as a replacement for warmth." A band-aid to stand in for mother's compression. "a world we must continually attenuate." We design a "humanity" and it reappears in alien forms. You can't redesign warmth; you design its substitute. Technologies of the human. Of "care." The Journal of Technologies of Care. Because we don't, or can't, care. Aliens emerge. Colby Chamberlain channels Marta Russell: the Americans with Disabilities Act that G.H.W. Bush "signed into law to trim welfare rolls." Neoliberal care, freedom for the "uncompensated labor necessary to reproduce oneself day after day." Adorno channels Tocqueville:  "tyranny leaves the body free and sets to work directly on the soul. The ruler no longer says: ‘Either you think as I do or you die.’ He says: ‘You are free not to think as I do; your life, your property – all that you shall keep. But from this day on you will be a stranger among us.’" Care made equivalent to function. Efficacy equivalent to its efficiency.

So much art currently deploys and compostionalizes medical/insitutional aesthetics but rarely cares for its material conditions. And so what happens when Gober sinks are stripped of their touch and we are left with a stainless version- scientifically designed to shed the human. A world that won't purify on its own. We continually design a world that is hospitable in all ways but human.




Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Past: Lin May Saeed

"Making art that expresses care for animals by carving it in material that - if left uncared for - would quickly degrade and release poisons to harm those animals depicted is sort like selling live grenades in a puppy shelter. Why not take a grenade home, why not take back some of this asbestos to protect the earth if not your home, these animals need you. Sort of expressing the suicide games pretty much everyone believes we're playing now in the anthropocene's foot-to-the-pedal towards brick walls type of time period."


Full: Lin May Saeed at Jacky StrenzLin May Saeed at Studio VoltaireLin May Saeed at Lulu

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Yong Xiang Li at Emanuel Layr


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The returns of overt sentimentality chimes with our nostalgic times, its longing, wistfulness, or its hate filled "again." Building apparatus to suspend this ephemeral world: a wallpaper's pleasance like a tissue against fire. 
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 [...] 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."

"Genzken founded strategies rather than objects, an artistic down-shifting, a speed that could overtake. "the most influential living artist not because everything looks like it, but because it predicated a conglomerate speed absorbing any last vestiges of particular attention to individuated objects" i.e. When we see Genzken we react to the deployment or manipulation/alteration to its strategy, the means of attending the object rather than object itself. Weirdly deny the consumptive act of looking by permanently existing in a state of limbo.."

Monday, October 12, 2020

Keren Cytter at Kunst Museum Winterthur





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"In a more recent video, Killing Time Machine, a bunch of friends are sitting around, eating Chinese takeout food, talking about a deceased parent, reading old letters, communing, and so on, but everything is very flat—the dialogue, the energy. There’s no emotion. I was interested in literally making a machine that kills time, in seeing how I could make a movie become something physical, like a machine. Watching it, you’re aware that you’re wasting your time—it tells you that in the title—but you keep watching it for some reason."
The limits of our connection to the power of video narrative tested.
Past: Josef Strau

"The way butterflies seem garish and unnecessary to a world and inspire our wrath so children crush them and artists crush them against canvas, looking for ways to bejewel our production, steel it against the unpleasant taste of mouths eating coin. They're fine in that way of pleasantness, pinnacle of subservience that is the crux of high dollar abstraction, submission to their surroundings by letting it walk all over them."

"These are much uglier ...  And Straus's text begins with an almost apology for the exhibition, which reminds of how endeared we all were to artists failing ten years ago."
"A hail mary pass to capture, touch down, on some meaning."

 "Strau’s concurrent rise with the hegemony of the art's image (say, CAD) makes a sense. Strau attaching text to image, delaying reception by giving words to its arrival at the moment it made it consumable without giving it away. This was huge."

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Josefine Reisch at Noah Klink

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Organization and display systems become the forms we think in, render the world, Tufte et al.  Google images, the iPhone, the interfacization of everything becomes predominant, and children swipe at books. Approach paintings as if they too are systems of information, signs, or, worse, informative. Reisch confusing these aspects of decoration. The decoration becomes the sign it always was. Composition trades its fine line with organization.


Friday, October 9, 2020

Past: Pieter Schoolwerth at Miguel Abreu

"... the stylistically performative running the permutations of their look. ... aptly describe the loss of your viewer-self within, metaphor for the free floating body that everyone everywhere is at pains to describe but not touch. So we’ll say it here, it hurts to touch nothing. So when looking at the coldness and feeling the stylistic chrome they contain know it’s a real possibility."


Thursday, October 8, 2020

Past: 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. ... the mere shapes of human we're all pantomiming on Zoom, [humans] indistinguishable from any sufficiently complex animatronic."


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Austin Lee at Peres Projects


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Part of the fun of bad painting is learning to love it. Same reason why some people like pictures of gore. To have an authority over the repulse. An enjoyment to finding the next level of trash, a little further to the new bedrock of stupidity. This is enjoyable. Just when you think painting can't get any worse, it gets a little worse. Vertigo in bad taste. Now here we have representations of bad taste. The difference between painting badly and making paintings of bad things. It would seem to absolve the painter, who blames the world for his representation, as if to say, "I am merely the recorder." "Look how well I have painted the dead clown" In the evolution of the dreadfulness in art, is the next step bad paintings that tries to pass themselves off as proficient? Truly awful, yes.


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Kate Spencer Stewart at Park View/Paul Soto



Slow paintings seem like one of the old white male professor ideas alongside Truth to materials or content or whatever. But we are in fact all scopophiliacs. We like looking at things. And things can be nice, and they can be slow and that doesn't have to be antique. And these all look like water and all feel like sitting by the river watched slow.

Monday, October 5, 2020

assume vivid astro focus (a.v.a.f.) at Hussenot


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This really was a thing at one time wasn't it. Art was more like a technology designing a machine to fill space. And artists became the machine, symbiote to the institution. This was before the Museum of Ice Cream and Meow Wolf and just as the art industry was shifting to more populous modes of representation, leading to an installationism everywhere suddenly "fun" which hung precipitously over the entertainment "experience" industry it then immediately fell into. This machinic symbiosis with institutions is sometimes described as careerism, professional assimilation, but the careermay simply be the shell protecting the soft inner art, the machine instead adopts itself to the space it can fill, modulates to the institution, a service performed, rendered, filling art space.


Friday, October 2, 2020

Past: Richard Hawkins

"collage becomes important as the collisions of the world's disparate systems become increasing violent, and the Surrealists and Frankfurters were wrong that irrational juxtapostion would spark any mass as the world world became the biggest surrealist juxtaposition of all, and that collage in the larger sense - the sense that Hawkins has practiced since the beginning - was meant instead to make "alternative forms of touch" as soft touchdowns, as a sort of pathos? The decrepit sexual patina grown over Hawkins work wasn't always so. There were once clean young men paper-clipped to fields of bright fabric, and anyone was yet to be beheaded."