Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Amelie von Wulffen at KW


Ghosts in our garbage, [x] in our things. Nightmares in the waste repressed, under the rugs, stuffed into hills, called landfills. Our history. It accumulates. In corners, on paintings. The mud of culture. The brown of painting's history hides a lot; we'd prefer not to remember.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Shimabuku at Nouveau Musée National de Monaco

Because of the hegemony of image, we don't see art like this much anymore. Shimabuku requires a time that no longer exists, the lazy day, a time for wasting on clouds. Long videos without much a clear point. It's that Bas Jan Ader, Francis Alys sort of breezing conceptual art. Gentle myth making.  You glean as much, or more, from the generous press text accompanying the the exhibition as you do the images, which in true poetical-conceptual fashion, don't mean much, but instead provides a lovely illustration. It's easier to recall a myth if you have an image of it. Recall a time when we had time for this.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Masaya Chiba at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery


The zany installation needs to make comeback. That science fair exhibit gone wrong of the 90s/00s. Jason Rhoades, Cloaca, Hello Meth Lab in the Sun, Christoph Büchel, etc. Everything looked like a laboratory, an industrial factory, used conveyor belts. Rhoade's PeaRoeFoam predicted the late 2010s process orientated abstraction as a giant comedy - art's industrialized factory of charisma, a caricature of the production of aura. It was also enjoyable. Something about the science fair animates and comedies the ideologic process of art's chambers. The conveyer of viewer, the turtle munching mulch, the paintings aloft, the didactics and visible/invisible arrows. Look here, learn this. "You can sit in this chair." Thanks. That the imprisoned turtle is the stand-in for us isn't even that far fetched, just like Foucault said, society is a...

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Alex Heilbron at Meliksetian | Briggs


An explosion in a Hello Kitty flannel factory. A John Wesley from hell. Organized, but not necessarily reasonable. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Pope.L at The Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society & Mitchell-Innes & Nash

(Neubauer, Mitchell-Innes & Nash)

Language abstracted to near illegibility would be frowned upon as a cake-and-eat-it-too cop out, the affect of meaning without having say anything at all. But Pope.L makes the illegibility unnerving, like a joke whose punchline we aren't sure we get, the language's refusal to be clear instead affect uncomfort. Aggravating an unspoken racial relation of a violet people.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Caitlin Keogh at Overduin & Co.


Clue board games. Painting converted to iOS, and graphical icons to redistribute sense. Building interfaces for interpretation that is abyssal, sinking. Art seems doomed to be particularly suggestive tarot cards. 

 Past: Caitlin Keogh at Bortolami

Illustration is meant to bring clarity, to denote, delineate, resolve. So when it draws surrealism there's a tension in the elegant lines not necessarily clarifying. But we feel something is being told, illustrated. Like if John Wesley designed Tarot cards ... The Tarot illustration provides its own oracle, meaning. ... Its less the digitalization of painting than its conversion to iOS. Clarity and "recognition is a visual strategy used by the advertorial (logo) or systems (icons) that has reached saturation with touchscreens, GUIs, facebook... [Clarity and recognition become their own force, violence.] Painters begin adopting this as their history, the Magrittean version of objects as linguistic symbols."

Read full: Caitlin Keogh at Bortolami

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Ken Taylor at Simchowitz


What the artworld attempts to disavow always comes back to haunt it. (Andrea Fraser wrote about this well.) Disavowal "rejects a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept" - i.e. the artworld unable to accept some uncomfortable truth that doesn't agree with the self-image it needs to project. So for instance, Simchowitz is the artworld villain of the 2010s -  I can't even remember what the villainry was - maybe saying the quiet part loud - his name basically synonymous with "evil dealer."  But as new villains emerge evolving greater forms of evil, Simco seems tame, his methods all but accepted, and the artworld acclimates to the uncomfortable fact about itself. That people use it to make money. The lesson here being the ultimate adjudicators of [vitality] in art are not justice. It is the merely the ability to self-replicate - to procreate, survive, spam yourself into consciousness with press, sales, money. Power in the artworld is simply the ability to leverage ones assets into more.. well assets,  which eventually becomes visibility. Until it's non-ignorable. Until they all absorb the evil, still pretend something else. 

Same w/ the Cucchi/Clemente thing here - despite all the last 20-30 years warding against neo-expressionism, guess who is back. 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Alastair Mackinven at Reena Spaulings


The Spaulings shift happened around 2014. Josh Smith was painting palm trees. Klara Liden took dance lessons (instead of bashing bicycles with a pipe in an empty apartment.) Koether showed painting on canvas. Even Carpenter painted paintings. Claire Fontaine's revolution stopped being given several exhibitions a year. Seth Price decamped for Petzel. It was like everyone had kids. And then two years later, a second home, and suddenly tasteful paintings on the walls, many exhibitions of them. Had we all just become adults? This was everywhere. Even Mackinven's 2013 paintings seemed more with old Spaulings. But everyone's teenage hopes of criticality and middle fingers given over to colorful walls, given over to the mere apparatus of visibility (2014 was one year after Sanchez's question on digital transmission, is this the aftermath?) to just keeping the symbolic lights on for fluorescent symbolist moments. So that there are two kinds of nostalgia operating now. 

see too: Alastair Mackinven at Reena Spaulings 

Past: Alastair Mackinven at Reena Spaulings 

"Something on our faces."

This one is mostly images, so you gotta click to see: Alastair Mackinven at Reena Spaulings 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Simone Fattal at Karma International

Part of being amorphous, blobby, is that it gives nothing to hang on to. Vagueness becomes shield, defenses, an outer wall to climb like glass, nothing to hang onto, where are the suction cups, what words can you append. Attempts describing rocks, they seem impervious to all general description. We individuate them by saying they look like other things, otherwise they're just rocks. This is somehow meaningful. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Past: Bob van der Wal at Neue Alte Brücke

"...the mad attempts at extracting some actionable knowledge from [art]. As it's said, Conspiracists, like fetishists, like theists, find comfort in the underlying belief that someone is in control, at least someone is pulling the strings that manipulates the world that would otherwise feel so painfully arbitrary. We attempt to make sense, our Hominid brains are excellent at seeing patterns. We extract meaning from nothing. We become paranoid of a silent informed minority. Attempt to read the subtext in everything. Like art."

Full: Bob van der Wal at Neue Alte Brücke

Monday, March 15, 2021

Ulala Imai at Nonaka-Hill


Sufficient to portray, not anything more - its own aesthetic. They depict the thing. There it is. The sign painter's pleasure. Paintings that feel sort of worn in, faded, like your life. The things ready to date themselves, the air exposed fruit, the bordering passé culture - it's all so ready to expire. Which makes them skulls.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Naoki Sutter-Shudo at Bodega


The PR's meter relates them to sun - "Sunshine made physical" - and not that dark shameful interior - the abyssal logs we pass like intestinal ropes, attaching us our immanence. The difference between what something is and what something represents. They are but sticks. Sunshine made physical. But oiled with elbow grease. Which makes them sensitive. Opens pores for interpretation. The break in between what something is and what something suggests: a function, poetic fissure. Tea leaves, turds, or sticks, when placed against porcelain, it's open. Suggestive and, more importantly, moistened.

See too: Yuji Agematsu at LuluRichard Rezac at Isabella BortolozziNaoki Sutter-Shudo at Bodega

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Mathew Cerletty at The Power Station


As "photography" becomes ever more processed by virtual machines, and "realism" so abstracted beyond anything concrete, the term "photorealism" becomes meaningless against our cartoon stuf. The new plastic real. The protagonists of Toy Story are not representations of cowboys or Space Rangers, their being is rendering: "YOU ARE A TOY," screams the sheriff of this reality. But through the power of movie magic, they are suspended between. Their image is the real, the world around them is made false, a rendering in comparison. When you buy the cartoon sponge off the shelf, you don't purchase the one in your hand, you purchase that higher order of its affective image, its grease scrubbing sorcery. This higher order that arranges us. Originals without origin. Which rubber duck is this? Where is this image located?

"the closer it is to reproducing its sign that maybe reality starts to panic. Painting feeling like object smoothing into their icons," "Depictions all but untethered from physicality [the bespotted "real"], and Cerletty has seeming captured the balloons adrift. These are fake images, but inability to determine the level of artificiality makes them unnerving. ...stripping the metadata turns everything into clues pointing as interpretable evidence to a time that never took place"

"painting's cultural valuation for meaning turned into a puzzle game of clue boards, of symbolist rubik's-cubeification, bright figures twisted and turned for you to puzzle over, man's search for meaning gamified on the board of painting."

Read full: Mathew Cerletty at STANDARD (OSLO)Mathew Cerletty at KarmaMathew Cerletty& Julia Rommel at STANDARD (OSLO)Mathew Cerletty at Office Baroque

Monday, March 8, 2021

 Past: Gerold Miller

"a genre, "Problems in painting" which we could trace through a legacy of modernism and concerns with flatness, frames, and for-art's-sake, ... endless ways to begaze your navel, painting. Weren't Stella's black paintings just navels-en-abyme. ...How many ways can Dr. Frank reassemble the corpse and we still call it painting?.."

"severity of its blankness softened by form massaged to the shape that becomes the content of its extreme legibility: graphic and squealing. Extreme legibility; insta icons semio-traverse space to possess recognition, without it, the psychoactive element of Miller: getting struck in the face with blankness."

Gerold Miller at Cassina ProjectsGerold Miller at Kunsthalle Weishaupt

Saturday, March 6, 2021

“De Por Vida” at Company Gallery


Painting is important because that scrotum only exists in oil. Of another dimension, a substance that has never existed before. It looks nervous, like a game of "got your nose." The Manet-like fracture that keeps the whole hind in its own ampul. A fearul gum that competes with heavy stare. I am reminded of Autumn Ramsey's painting of a cat butt, the torso's "ivory white revealing hind's cool pink turning over into the warm autumn of anus." A brush had to touch every part of, every color was constructed, every curve was a choice, and someone shaved it.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Emma McIntyre at Chris Sharp Gallery


The lead at the eponymous, opening with, questions abound, is this an argument/ante/gambit for unambiguously pretty painting? Bogs of the saccharine, positively. Don't sleep on this.
The PR's first paragraph is more classical- appends only minor conceptual hedging: "lyrical recapitulations of the history of abstraction" (lyrical) or the more time honored "historical engagement." These are negligible clauses compared to our decades long cliche, of painters "investigating painting" "rehistoricizing painting" "avoiding-at-all-costs-saying-just-painting." And this PR uses no ironizing verb. Instead the second paragraph spends its juice, arguing "lack of allegiance" "refusal to be limited," "languages to be liberally borrowed from." Until finally, "her articulate frank and unfettered incidents of a body thinking on canvas" which translates almost perfectly to "just painting." In a Merleau-Ponty sorta way. Drips that aren't even ironic. This would all seem slight, so inconsequential, if it didn't feel like an opening readied for crowbars edge. The last line earns its dystopian threat, the window wrested open to the "new horizons in contemporary abstract painting." It may come flooding. An ocean blue strategy eventually coalesces an ocean red with.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Haim Steinbach at Tanya Bonakdar


"the artifacts of a future civilization.”-Germano Celant
It perhaps should come as no surprise that Haim Steinbach’s practice has seemed increasingly relevant during the past decade, a period in which the rituals around commercial objects have become all the more pervasive and resolved in their choreographies of desire. Indeed, the heightened attention to design in mass culture—its near-total application in commerce, from the making of products to the construction of display space, at the service of rendering life itself more a matter of lifestyle—would seem an immediately resonant context for an artist long interested in the ways in which our subjectivity is inflected by the things with which we choose to surround ourselves. One might even productively compare corporate focus groups, which seek to articulate and refine the emotional and intellectual associations consumers have with their belongings... But whereas the focus group is steeped in a kind of mercenary anthropology, Steinbach’s endeavors hold up a mirror not only to the symbolic operations attending the creation of exchange value but also to the real psychological dynamics that underpin such identification.  - Tim Griffin
If desire is what Steinbach’s work produces, it arrives with blunt, unexpected force. That might be because our drive to acquire and organize things is, in part, a conduit through which we understand ourselves. Less a comment on capitalism than an investigation of the production of the self, Steinbach’s work acknowledges the fragility of subjecthood—that our funny, fragile egos are bound up in the unexpectedly rich terrain of the knickknacks and bric-a-brac we collect and covet.- Johanna Burton
Whether his manipulations of anticipation and desire produce a unique psychological space or are merely clever remains in question. -Joshua Decter

Monday, March 1, 2021

R. H. Quaytman at Serralves


Quaytman is forebear to today's painting puzzification. Like any good mystery, it's rife with clues. Painting becomes signs and signals, turn painting into information, the little motifs become points of reference, repetitions to build resonance. A resonance that feels like meaning. They are endlessly elsewhere. We are told "every detail... is subject to careful control." Careful control presuming purpose for such, but surely there can be anality without purpose. Or, anality itself is the purpose. The careful control of avoiding anything so specific as to be finally graspable, a very very finely tuned house of mirrors. "a novel without conclusion." Already in 2014, Quaytman asking "What are they adding up to—or, to put it bluntly, what is the “book” about?" The question becomes that of all painters, painting, how long can Quaytman keep the mystery without end interesting. How long can one delay? How to resist saying anything while still appear to be speaking. Enough mirrors and the ventriloquist need not speak at all?