Thursday, September 29, 2022

Past: Olga Balema

"images, unable to be tactile, to make sensuality palpable irrupts strange fetishes: pornography must materialize its sensitivities by finding visual equivalents for touch. " "Bodies that photograph well." "Our touch, now more than ever, comes from sight, comes from packages of it in the high definition of images and advertising, we feel through sight"
"over-inflated carcass of rotting whale PVC fetishists"

"the demands for artwork, like pornography, to photograph well... Now, here a show that doesn't photograph well. Instead, like tires danced through by hulking men on tiptoes, your body staged in tripwires. Connections others have made to the history of empty galleries miss the fact that A, the gallery is full of things and B, empty galleries do not require such care where you step. (The read of "empty" seems, again, evidence of our perception now dominated by sight rather than haptic presence, proprioception, etc.) ... This is another means of making the body appear, nervous, a perhaps long theme of Balema, but without resort to the "excess body", the biomorphic, lumpy, intestinal. ..."

Full: Olga Balema at Bridget Donahue, Olga Balema at High Art (2)Olga Balema at High Art (1)Olga Balema at Croy Nielsen

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

John Lindell at Corvi-Mora


There are just certain curves that imply. That we will relate to. Not tell mom about. "The most direct rules of inanimate erotics are first- that the object be becoming flesh, and second exemplifying the curve of inside into out. These turns are important, they mirror our body's soft points, the vulnerable pink cusps. Your lips, eyes, anus, ears, urethral opening, these twilight moments rolling into... an expression of explicit vulnerability. They resemble, brandish resemblance, which morph in sinuous exterior/interior unsecured - aortic openings hint interior chambers, others skeletal - they twist in on themselves like an ouroboric muscle car. Like cutting open your abdomen to reveal a cathedral. ... but the transitional state of the objects isn't so much a becoming-subject of the abject, but instead a faint pubescence of gender, objects just arriving at a split, a fork budding a semblance of female or male possibility..."

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Sophie Reinhold at Fitzpatrick Gallery


"Aporia" industrializes the poetic - it is the rupture in understanding, the internal disjunction, a preventative against relieving meaning its burden. You read a sentence, understand it and move on. But the poetic aporia of a poem's line provides no conclusion. This is the life support of art, meaning eternally suspended from conclusive death. Ever further "meaning," ever longer wall texts. But as we've gotten better at corralling interpretations, butterfly pinning beauty to theory - the artist must gather from further ends in the fields of elusivity. Eventually the canyon becomes large enough and field once again becomes meaningless and we get to enjoy flowers again. Sink into the bubble's bath.

"...the only thing left to do is to produce greater and greater gulfs of meaning": Carissa Rodriguez at WattisAdriana Lara at Algus GreensponHenning Bohl at What Pipeline

Past: Maggie Lee

"coolness is an affect ...  the subject expresses through the grate of social coding, is its pathos. [...] self-expression immediately confronted with the terror of self-consciousness. 'Gigi is me in 2006.' A teenage self-conciousness..."

"The bedroom as terrarium, the girl as experiment."

Monday, September 26, 2022


"humor in searching for spiritual value in commodic life ... juxtaposed with the day's small tragedy turning over a can of beans to read its ingredients"

"endless mockery of her subject's desire to appear ... bullying our desire for comfort in recognition .... somberly kicking us when we're down with a medical donut strapped to our ass"

"You've got to actively believe for the things to have effect: the point was the power was inside you all along... The placebo effect so strong in the US that drug manufactures have difficulty time creating new painkillers that are stronger than sugar pills. The effect is not seen in Europe, or pretty much any where that does not allow pharma advertising."

"That this mass inculcation might be the strongest effect of all, like we're all living in a theater in mass suspension because thats what gets the crystals like art to work."

Click full: Shana Moulton at Kunsthaus GlarusShana Moulton at Gregor Staiger

Thursday, September 22, 2022

 Past: Hana Miletić 

"(Because knitting is so laboriously outmoded it can only be care, i.e. not capitalism, more love hours than can ever be repaid, etc. Knitting is the province of excess time, and attention, which translates to -anticapitalist- care)"

"...that labor itself returns as a literal fetishism, stitches mark this labor, look compelling, can be brought out onto white walls, as aura, as artwork. Labor itself becomes auratic, the look of it. Simulacra. Because every cheap objects is an equal tapestry. The stitches in time are smoother, hidden. Hold up your child's plastic toy and feel another at its end.

Full: Notes on StitchesHana Miletić at Basement Roma

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Past: Ghislaine Leung

"...the gradual creep of its suspicion, the John Knight cold cut ominousness in staging. Why must the light be blackout? Why the floor silenced? Why does the carriage require staves? The creep builds suspicion: a house haunted under glistening sterile light. A crime scene scrubbed, we, detectives."

"...increasing modern "miracle" conveniences and the then latest "smart objects" is hard not to read as a fear of these conveniences, submissiveness, actually infiltrating us, until we became, if not kitchen appliances ourselves, at least frighteningly subservient molded to kitchen surrounding us. The fear of our kitchen as a mold. Such that options for expression become limited by the cultural detritus available in stores.  You join in union, with a multitude, a choir, signing "THE BOSS." Whether or not highlighting these cultural walls with a gloss is helpful, it does make for good scary. "

"Important:  a meaning not generally associated, a meaning dissociated. 'an emotional response repeatedly evoked in situations in which the action tendency that is associated with the emotion proves irrelevant or unnecessary' causes desensitization. 'WELCOME'"

Read full: Ghislaine Leung at CabinetGhislaine Leung at Chisenhale & Essex StreetGhislaine Leung at Künstleraus StuttgartGhislaine Leung at Museum Abteiberg

Past: Shimabuku at Nouveau Musée National de Monaco 

"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."

Past: Shimabuku at Nouveau Musée National de Monaco 

Monday, September 19, 2022

Past: Jutta Koether

"but whereas today’s puzzle painting exists as a kind of confounding delay of symbol's comprehension, Koether's over-saturation never a maze but a hyperlink version..."

"what you're looking at isn't what you're looking at: what you're looking at is cultural baggage, garbage piling your sentience. It floating to the surface like diapers, the noise of signal and symbols. You can't see purely, you are clogged with reference."

"Well these are as ugly as they come. There is almost weight to the ugliness, like it sags off the picture ... continuously giving painting an excess content, the hyperlink references, the hung on glass, adding layers until it's gluttonous, unwieldy, here: bloated.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

 Past: Martin Wong & Aaron Gilbert at P.P.O.W

"Which against this dull light, Gilbert's figures grow etiolated, leggy, soft. They bend in strange ways. Squishy vulnerability. For all the bad situations they still manage to find a lot of pleasant lighting, lovely pastel color."

Full: Martin Wong & Aaron Gilbert at P.P.O.W

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Past: N. Dash

"swatches of touch, the anthropological preserves of our dissolving physical world. These are like catalogs for its remains, our once sensual pleasure distributed over digital networks."  
"The Kunstkammer conveyed the patron's control of the world through its indoor, microscopic reproduction" "but no one is that hubristic today, these are about the loss of that, mourning it, our desire to once again touch things again, like all those salvaged wood paneled Brooklyn bars, churches for mourning"

" at base they are still the butterflies, material, pinned behind glass, catalogs of physical sensations you see but cannot touch. Materiality porn. " is the world's development project in all the ways to [build] a materiality so strong it visually empaths itself, feel something through glass.""Our touch, now more than ever, comes from sight, comes from packages of it in the high definition of images and advertising, we feel through sight"

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Stella Zhong at FANTA


Hard to make fetish baroque. Baroque require excess, a quantity which supersedes the detail-attention of the fetishist. The fetishist doesn't want a thousand feet, he prefers one exquisite foot to totemize, as mother. This exhibition's attempt to make sculptural fetish an ever expanding orgy relies continually segmenting space and scales which fractally segments and conceals. So you can be alone with your feet and still have them in the hundreds, precious held each. 

Less Pumhösl than a Wurtzian Cronenberg sort: B. Wurtz

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Ulala Imai at KARMA


They are skulls, cultural memento mori, a vanitas post plastic, already going out of style, soft with the sugar of sentiment (and fondant flowers), passé, hints of fading photographs, like a 70s spread left to the light, going blue with that ultimate death, cliche. 

Past: Ulala Imai at Nonaka-Hill

"... 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."

Full: Ulala Imai at Nonaka-Hill

Monday, September 12, 2022

Notes on Stitches

(Clockwise from top left, ektor garcia, Diedrick Brackens, Brendan Fowler, Helen Mirra)
Why does "stitching" make a comeback? ... Do we need proof of work? ... like the ornately etched lines of paper currency prove scarcity: the labor of reproduction becomes more expensive than the bill it represents. Time equates to money. Thus representation equated to money. But now we have copy machines, CNC routers, childlabor and interns. Perhaps proof of work is just nostalgia for an era before there was infinite time, for when there was time. 

A stitch had correlated to time, it is a labor visible. While brushstrokes may have been the impressionist equivalent of stitching, later modernism seemed orientated toward removing the marks of labor (first for a performative "expressive," ...painting not labor but expression, sprayed) before culminating in Minimalism and Conceptual art, two legacies infatuated with things springing from ether. (The instructions being the art, not the 40 museum interns drawing it.)

Minimalism's infatuation for the industrial process, of say Judd et al, was, in part, premised on these industrial processes deletion of the body and its "expression" (if not a promise of subjectivity lifted entirely) in looking "pure," like objectivity, removing the human. Of course this was the lie of any commodity: that the clean aluminum sheets comprising boxes or laptops weren't simply wiped of their indentured sweat.

...but it's still a desire today, no wants want to imagine fingerprints on their new iPhone. So the workers hands are latexed. Work, labor, sweat is the parcel of something we denigrate to the great purity of "good design," that cerebral craft we revere, which should be clean, elegant, and without a trace of sweat.

Commodity fetish was, confusingly named, our mistaken relation to capital's objects as an economic relation rather than a human relation. It was a concealment: the aluminum clamshell of your laptop being seen as economic product of capital innovation itself, rather than the hand-sweat of laborers distanced beneath gloves. A price tag for a face. Almost nothing is this world is actually automated - everything you touch is hand-made by workers.

This separation of our social relations we've so completely assimilated that labor itself returns as a literal fetishism, stitches mark this labor, look compelling, can be brought out onto white walls, as aura, as artwork. Labor itself becomes auratic, the look of it. Simulacra. Because every cheap objects is an equal tapestry. The stitches in time are smoother, hidden. Hold up your child's plastic toy and feel another at its end.

 Past: Diedrick Brackens at Various Small Fires

"A stitch correlates to time, it is a labor visible. While brushstrokes may have been the impressionist equivalent of stitching, later modernism seemed orientated toward removing the marks of labor (first for a performative "expressive," ...painting not labor but expression, sprayed) before culminating in Minimalism and Conceptual art, two legacies infatuated with things springing from ether. (The instructions being the art, not the 40 museum interns drawing it.) I'm not sure what this meant for them, desiring to wipe the sweat from their aluminum, their desiring to be capitalists, but it's still a desire today, no wants want to imagine fingerprints on their new iPhone. So the workers hands are latexed. Work, labor, sweat is the parcel of something we denigrate to the great purity of "good design," that cerebral craft we revere, which should be clean, elegant, and without a trace of sweat."

Past: Diedrick Brackens at Various Small Fires

Past: ektor garcia at Cooper Cole

"...a very modern problem, our world, mediated by screens .. 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

Friday, September 9, 2022

As we near the 9th anniversary of Contemporary Art Writing Daily, we haven’t had a donation drive in three years, not since we built Contemporary Art Writing Quarterly, a free public service of research after bleeding eyes at 500,000 pieces of documentation. In the year since CAWQ launched we’ve been inundated by requests to explain ourselves, in addition to the ongoing work of writing Contemporary Art Writing Daily. We’re thrilled to see the Anti-Ligature Room grow so quickly, but each archive takes time and labor, and for that, we need your help. Please make a not-tax deductible donation to our no-profit work here.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Past: Liz Larner at Regen Projects

"'Painted trash' sounds like an insult, but it's what we have here. A decorate filth. ... a self-inflicted wound, pointing out that the jewels too are just mud with a glaze. Eventually the plastic disintegrates, washes away, and inside the [x] remain." 

full: Liz Larner at Regen Projects

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Adam Martin at Galerie Buchholz


Think of the promotional image and its parallel to art documentation. And then around 2011 they became the same. Where documentation had generally lagged behind the object/exhibition, the image now preceded the object. Then replaced the object. And this was useful to art's promenade - the Matthew Barney effect. 

"[Cremaster was a] Levi's ad campaign of artistic hubris. Cremaster succeeded, regardless any filmic merit, on its ability to manifest excitement and intrigue as a promotional vehicle, a cultural mythos that mirrored the mythos within. At the time you could almost talk about Cremaster without having seen any of it, the image was so omnipresent. Seeing was of less import than having being able to have an opinion, know of it. Having gained traction ever since, this form of promotional vehicle cannot be understated in importance post CAD/insta etc. when pipes and what they can funnel is tantamount."

The image allowed an opinion, allowed the chatter, fostered the spread. At the same time the promotional image mirrored the structure of art - it refused resolution, instead creates a hole, a lack, that need to be filled. A gap mirroring art's life-support of eternalized "questions." Consumable without destruction, depletion. What is salesmanship in advertising, is the poetic in art.

Which is all to say (in the current vogue for promotional stills of people wearing 3D head sets staring off like Galileo into space) Martin's very lofi promo documentation is somehow alluring and perfectly opaque.


"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."

"...appear as from some distant past because surely we can't believe it's the present; photos from last year seem in some nebulous era ... of historic tumult."

"a question of why today can look like 30 years ago, and  30 years ago look like today. Antidote to nostalgia photography. "We have facial recognition tech in the palms of our hands and water we can't send through pipes.""

LaToya Ruby Frazier at Gavin BrownNostalgia photography

Past: Wong Ping at Kunsthalle Basel

"Comedy in anxiety over the bile we all believe lurking beneath surface norms... The candy shell animation serving coprophilic chocolate just below. Ping's protagonists narrate their chocolate predicaments with a general numbness. Mama died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know. ... This is all believable because the world is already a cartoon."

Full: Wong Ping at Kunsthalle Basel

Friday, September 2, 2022

Leonor Antunes at Taka Ishii Gallery


Antunes is the link in the fossil record from Eva Hesse to Hague Yang. Hanging stuff like flypaper in the air to accumulate reference, innuendo, feeling. The materials change but the vibe remains the same.

Christmas trees to capitalism: Haegue Yang

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Past: Lily van der Stokker

"Lisa Frank feminism posits an ironic fuck-all to neurotic questioning of gender paranoia's possibility of stereotype, of pink; e.g. “Parenting the non-girlie girl,” “Loving Pink for Boys, Haiting it for Girls,” “Pink and Blue,” “Toemageddon 2011,” “In Praise of Pink Polish,” “When did girls start wearing pink” “Saving our Daughter from an Army of Princesses,” and “What’s the Problem with Pink Anyway?” A baseline existential question: how am I not myself? I can be who I want to be, but will everyone know that I am being who I want to be? recursive mise-en-abyme into self’s abyss..."

"The cute design abutting flat footed niceties. That despite greeting card's insistence of overflowing sentimentality, van der Stokker’s skepticism over the clean pre-packaged prose instead inserts the more human version of awkward phrasing, misguided explanations and childish self-congratulation.."

Read full Lily van der Stokker at Koenig & Clinton, Lily van der Stokker at Air de Paris

Todd Gray at David Lewis


Land acknowledgements become the prayer before meal. An expression of gratitude, humility. Our original sin. God is replaced with another adjudicating sin. Forgives the mechanized reaping from an overseeing eye, guilt. (The material substrate underpinning increasingly abstracted.) There exists no similar expression for houses built by slaves, the wealth extracted from under the feet of dominated peoples. Though Armand White did call out 12 Years a Slave for allowing white people to self-congratulate for feeling aghast at slavery. Art becomes a similar guilt release valve, an acknowledgment as prayer, talisman, a badge to prove we thought about it, and found ourselves humbled in East Hampton.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Past: Andrea Bowers

"Surely the protest sign is a populace's stealing back the language of advertising for its own self [...]  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."

"..."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."

read full: Andrea Bowers at Capitain PetzelAndrea Bowers at Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst


Are these not bondage devices for tourists? .. Art is the new form of penance. A form of entertainment as self-flagellation, "of repentance for having done wrong." The doctor's table and the movie theater converge. 

"enjoyability in the mastery of lubricating forms of cultural massage, mediums of libidinal and candied fun."

Venice 2019, Neïl BeloufaNeïl Beloufa at Balice Hertling

Monday, August 29, 2022

Fergus Feehily, Günther Förg at June


At first an odd duo. But time deironizes, dissolves the difference between stupid and reason to a painting leaden before you. Though Förg may be lineage in the neanderthal abstraction to Joe Bradley or Josh Smith avant-nappies, in the end Feehily's seemingly less industrial more underdog engine may be no differently dead. 

See too: Fergus Feehily at Misako & RosenGünther Förg at Barbel Graesslin

Past: Günther Förg at Barbel Graesslin

 "the slightly stupified version of Forg's modernism..  it didn't speak to anyone, becoming a stone in the modernist pathway, a weighing down ideals of transcendence... the work refuses to lift one beyond the limits of your earthly human presence, the usual higher pleasures instead hamstrung to leave you right where you already are."

full: Günther Förg at Barbel Graesslin

Past: Veit Laurent Kurz at Kunstverein Nürnberg

".. anachronistic period aesthetics misremembered, like retrofuturism, or steampunk. Call this look post-apocalypse primeval. Cosplay nostalgia for time that was not. 
"Steampunk clung to the Cartesian, mechanistic, [a nostalgia] comforting against the opacity of neoliberal globalism, market algorithms, and subprime CDOs that no one understood until collapse. Then it made sense that [Star Wars] and Apple commercials began setting their products in lush green forests, envisioning the technology so advanced it appeared natural, magic, indistinguishable; today: Artisanal baguettes and iPhones."

Read: Veit Laurent Kurz at Kunstverein Nürnberg

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Ser Serpas at LC QUEISSER


a particular type of flesh, between medical and Barbie, a plasticity of morgues or dough. The way students paint, ineptitude that comes out as violent smoothness. Or like dolls, we're all genderless beneath the outfit. Which is its own violence. New in the way that fresh infants resemble old corpses. 

becoming flesh: Martín Soto Climent at Proyectos Monclova

tender flesh Nicola Tyson, Miriam Cahn

Past: Ser Serpas

"Hoarding as a sort of extended compassion for the derelict neglected of culture ... Composing it into art objects becomes a blessing into the "heavenly" afterlife ... Hooking the hose from the expelling parts of our cultural body to the part that feeds, getting it to eat its underwear."

full: Ser Serpas at Galerie Barbara WeissSer Serpas at LUMA WestbauSer Serpas at Karma International

Saturday, August 27, 2022

 Past: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster at Century Pictures

"Reading a book in a commercial art gallery was a torture device invented for the late Medieval Era. A sort of mental flog, a public humiliation. The point being, you're not supposed to read the books. It is a show library. ... You peruse a person's library to triangulate a subject, denote their reader, here an artist, an ostensible brandishing of an intellectual pedigree."

Full: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster at Century Pictures

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Jongsuk Yoon at Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder


Eventually the referent points of painting get so soupy and all over that there is achieved an almost transcendental genericness, all that is common in painting, like you have reached bedrock. Without the identification marks of modernist genius, instead an everyone, everypainting, that starts to feel like those big claims to the universal again. 


" the rearranged parts of the cultural casino, cut from and placed into its altars..  The PR says as much: 'Our Clement Greenberg in TMZ sauce.' The culturally accredited mall."

"Timishcl's sculpturification of photography is on one hand full of cheeky moments of puncture - the objectification, fetish, and bejeweling of hyper-beefed men who unwittingly take part - as well as the need to sediment the more transitory elements of photo and video in an object original.  ... About the level of risk involved and who bears it in what situations. ... our carefree objectification."

full: Philipp Timischl at Neue Alte BrückePhilipp Timischl at LAYR Coburgbastei

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

 Past: Susan Te Kahurangi King at Robert Heald

"like images turned back to ink and spun."

Full: Susan Te Kahurangi King at Robert Heald

Kembra Pfahler at Emalin


As art becomes identity - not that it ever wasn't - this overloaded branded version begins to make sense.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Cooper Jacoby at High Art


"the surface veneer of this illusion has cracked as it runs up against climate catastrophe, confronting humanity" - great we've cracked the symbolic hieroglyphs. What the PR doesn't answer is why this doomsday is so fucking sexy - there's even a bench to tell you how hot your ass is. But hadn't we just realized global cataclysm was actually pretty fucking banal, refrigerated semis full of corpses just another byline in the inexorable spread of stupidity. This is like the hotrod version, the hollywood version. Lesson:  There is money in making the interior of our doom fun. 

Death Drive Designer: Cooper Jacoby

"Apocalypse fabulous. Our world's end, celebrate it with a commemorative lamp, a luxury mirroring your wealth's participation in it."

- Read full: Cooper Jacoby at Freedman Fitzpatrick

"...recasting the bee houses as foreclosed slums, a critique predicting the ends of these best intentions as in the hive of Detroit - a production colony experiencing its own collapse - the ends of manufacturing utopias, if the art weren't so sexy too. ... critique of power often comes with the fetishization and deployment of it..."

- Read Full: Cooper Jacoby at Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden

Andrei Koschmieder at Jenny’s

"But I sculpted the banality so accurately!" cries the painter of life. "A mimesis so exact it enacts the drear it represents!" They look like turds, the expellings of capitalist markets finally manifesting all those environmental externalities of the jet-set as piles of shit we imagine their tons of exhaust to be. Like the nightmare of our coming dystopia. ... know at least that we could envision our own demise. ... and all the questions as to why in moments of our dire circumstances further manifest visions of it. "Target fixation" a psychological phenomenon when the "individual becomes so focused on an observed object (be it a target or hazard) that they inadvertently increase their risk of colliding with the object" and the motorcyclist intent on avoiding the guardrail cannot look aways, sends himself flying over it. Or an airplane pilot, understandably.

full: Andrei Koschmieder at Jenny’s

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Evidence at Mercer Union


In one breath children's art is celebrated. The crayon marks as an unspoilt freedom, eden not yet subject to the cultural regulatory capture. This is the raw art, ore for artistic refinery, later on scatlogic nappies of adult canvas wipes, ART. Which this exhibition is at pains to distance itself, by bringing the raw stuff itself to market. But this is the paradox of how art means. Because the exhibition still begs the light, needs legitimation, the names of consecrated artists to perform the ritual of valorization. This is like asking artists to make flowers mean. And do flowers mean?

Friday, August 19, 2022

"...the fetishistic attachment to raw material unpainted was hard not to see in purview of that time's explosion of bars with reclaimed wood everything and newfound reinterest in brass and stone and a sort wish for a return to materiality and sensitivity... and reviewers describing Jensen's paintings like their high-thread-count bed-sheets ... "the natural" that Jensen acquired through accumulating accidents (nature) and so the "painter without paint"(!) ... stains and bleach and dust were patinas that referenced age ... but they're still stains in that they are ghostings of history's painting and still totally vintage."

Past: Sergej Jensen at dépendance

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Fred Sandback at Galerie Thomas Schulte

 "What kind of aesthetic experience can be admitted by a hardcore, uncompromising, materialist, sociologically informed “institutional critic” like myself?

"We are all here members of cultural fields. We carry, each of us, our institutions inside ourselves. There’s a museum in here, inside of me, with the Corinthian columns, the grand staircase, and the mezzanine. There’s a system of organization: the way I see things. There are objects and images, and there are texts, and there are voices explaining. There’s an archive that also contains my memories. And there’s a basement where I keep the things I don’t want to show."

Andrea Fraser - Why Does Fred Sandback's Work Make Me Cry?

One of the great essays on art, attempting to mend two halves, a contradiction, art. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Kasper Bosmans at WIELS


The Visitor's Guide takes the symbols at face value, making the painting hieroglyphs to which the guide is Rosetta Stone. Which implies an inner to be translated, implies a hidden meaning, which implies myth that art is pedagogical and museum as intrepid archeologist caretaking meaning for the lay. Put the bilingual dictionaries down. The idea of translation at all. 

Past: Kasper Bosmans at Gladstone Gallery

Painting in the virtual space ... Reflecting the increasing prevalence of the interface over image. Space becomes an information deployment system, and layout becomes highly organized studied and manipulated.  

 The symbols ability to store and dissipate information, hyperlink icons and broken links, and paintings with all the navigable space of ipads, littered with icons. The look of information, the pleasure of useless maps. ... cast across the gulf of meaning, the fissuring of symbol from its signified, this distance of the rift the interpretable space we call poetic.

Zelmira Rizo-Patrón at CENTRAL FINE

The aura becomes overpowered, illumination at 600hp. Everything begins to blow out, dissolve, etherealize, until paint becomes markings in virtuality. The mechanized halo becomes the ground to reality, its connection to power.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Rebecca Horn at Galerie Thomas Schulte


We should all be paying better attention to Rebecca Horn.
"If you believe art to be some abstracted form of sexual plumage it would make sense that all art is a form of "love," shimmering objects like peacock's tail. It is perhaps why Chuck Close could assault by mistaking an interest in his object as an interest in him, the conflation of art with its sexual extension. We don't speak of art as love - Gonzalez-Torres had to all but force the issue - because we fear this sublimated form of desire bubbling back up its primordial grease. Art is an extension of us, our selves, our home, sometimes as an innuendo at the end of a rod."

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Hiromi Nakatsugawa at Franz Kaka


The roiling surface of Solaris. "We don't need other worlds. We need mirrors." This is the function of the inkblot planet, returning in your reflection something in the seaweed beneath surface, it is only you. This is why painting is incredibly popular. 

Past: Max Brand

"If you rolled a piece of silly putty across the newspaper of Painting's history, you'd have Brand. everything adolescent, sticky."

"Seeing the soup for its referents. ... hazy memories of once distinct tastes roiling in the surface. so clarified as to not single out any one flavor, any one referent, everything so blended, you could just keep naming ingredients. Which is where we're at today. Soup is easy to mass produce: a base prepared in advance can be used to a support a wide and readily available ingredients on its surface."

Full read: Max Brand at Off Vendome, Max Brand at Galerie Bernhard

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Past: Nancy Lupo

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

"Stuf becomes subject. Curdles a skin, a flake to slough. Contaminates, spreads. "Disposable." "Flushable." Problems in city pipes, amassing with congealed human grease to create clogs from hell. "Behold The Fatberg: London's 130-Ton, 'Rock-Solid' Sewer Blockage" A world unable to contain our disposability. Reamasses elsewhere.. in nightmares"

Read full: Nancy Lupo at SydneyNancy Lupo at Kristina KiteNancy Lupo at Swiss InstituteNancy Lupo at 1857Nancy Lupo at Antenna Space
Past: Lonnie Holley

"Our continual desire for assemblage.. Why we desire our ruins? answers proffered by psychoanalysts as well as Nazis. Why aesthetic pleasure in our death, the flotsam of our cultural wreckage netted, the gore of culture. The inherent violence in this, to which Holley seems attuned.

"the psychotic level of things touching in culture, diamond ads next to Syrian bodies, perhaps reason for our assemblage catharsis"

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Phillip Allen at The Approach


Like a food scientist at the forefront of taste, on the eve of the Dorito, artists' approach to consumability is a less direct rod to dopamine receptors yet no less disinterested in creating Fruit Loops.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Rinella Alfonso at Project Native Informant


You can't tell the difference anymore between young and old art. Is this an artist of the 20th century reemerging, or is this someone who doesn't remember Francesco Clemente  or 9/11? Today's paintings emerge from any age. Previously, you had been able to tell, you would say this is the forefront, made by a 20 something in Berlin, but today painting emerges antiquated. Today we like the old things, it gives the appearance of being longlasting. 

Paleototemism: stonehengification

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Jessie Homer at Various Small Fires


The self-proclaimed “regional narrative painter” who honeymooned at Elizabeth Taylor's estate and lived at "an idyllic 2½-acre estate in Beverly Hills." Grandma Moses or Clementine Hunter style depiction of rural cemeteries inflects differently painted from the window of wealthy LA county. "Self-taught" but in a Beverly Hills estate sense. None of this would matter if folk traditions weren't generally class traditions. 

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Kinke Kooi at Lulu


The coastline paradox: any increase in measurement's accuracy produces a commensurate increase in length: better measuring only moves a coastline's mileage towards infinity. Similar a hyperbolic geometry like green leaf lettuce and frill and Kooi's superfluity - increases in a descriptive power only release further metaphor, an excess of reference, description becomes the watering can, flowering a loaded lettuce content, a power for suggestion, leaving you, pervert, with pesticides spread against tumescence. 

committing language: Kinke Kooi at Lucas HirschRon Nagle at Modern Art

Liz Deschenes at Fraenkel Gallery


 Like a more bejeweled question of On Kawara: does the index/signifier retain anything of its original? The question is repeated ad nauseum throughout contemporary art. Like all worst aberrations of art, its a question on life support, unanswerable and asked for affect of evoking it. 

conceptual art as one hand clapping: Yuji Agematsu, On Kawara at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ-VOUSOn Kawara at the GuggenheimKirsten Pieroth at MathewSam Falls at 303 GalleryJames Hoff at VI, VII

Friday, August 5, 2022

Past: Liz Deschenes at Miguel Abreu

"A career spent negating the photographic window, viewer left at surface, like looking out a window and seeing only glass...

...The photograms now are the result of a photograph without a lens, no focus but collecting all the light it touches into its photo-sensitive halides fixed as silver, photographs that feel like the information paradox of black holes: does the light that falls into the traps retain any of its information? Could you put back the time or place? ... it doesn't matter, the point is to accumulate the gleaming of pressed diamonds."

Full: Liz Deschenes at Miguel Abreu

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Stephanie H. Shih at Harkawik

Like Silly Putty spread across the City, the katamari of art picks up its displays, content. Gathers the city, reroutes it back into the Museum as a cultural enrichment program.  

An appreciation for the sign painter, whose vernacular does what Painting cannot: communicate without pretense, anxiety. The sign painter functions, the artist does not. "They start to scratch at what we crave: not looking like art. Because art is mannered, stillborn, cliche." The long history of artists wanting to be anything but. 

They become totemic or omen-like, mystified, connote but do not mean, become hieroglyphs of a culture lost.


Sign painters: Mark Grotjhan at Karma, Lauren Halsey at David Kordansky Gallery 

David-Jeremiah at Meliksetian | Briggs


The inkblotification of art meeting its stonhengification. Luckily they ironize each other. Turning trope to monument. Turning the trope theatrical. An overwrought materiality one can appreciate. Like Pope.L, a joke that dissipates instead into the punchline of expectation, blackness for your projection.

see too: stonehengification, InkblotPope.L

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Deshaun Price at Neue Alte Brücke


Glass holds the juice, painting, the signifier of art. Held aloft in white air. Floats in glass, canvas, gallery, as the invisible structure for what we really want, the markers of art liquidity. "...Drawing ripples in surface to activate [painting], tap the vast depths of painting's cultural wealth"

The juice theory: Anna Zacharoff at Neue Alte Brücke

COBRA at LambdaLambdaLambda


There's a joke in here somewhere about a caged bird as a metaphor for art, not singing but fried as painting. All creativity must be caged, painted. Or maybe it's just a couch painting for your song bird, happy he isn't a worker forced to factory production for eggs. Why the caged bird...

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Past: Daniel Rios Rodriguez

"You can't paint a flower without ironizing its loveliness... Sentimentality drips into its performance ...and we blush for the artist having fallen into the trap of their own subjectivity for them. Thick paint helps. It  ... expresses materially the same excess as the subject is. Confidence in clumsiness, endlessly endearing..."

Monday, August 1, 2022

Evelyn Taocheng Wang at KAYOKOYUKI


"fragile candy, soft and hard shell, capturing its affect in an art lozenge. Swallowable. .... affect is captured, the feeling, packaged."

It's a personal bias - associating sumi with chintzy prettiness, a touristic souvenir art. "takeaway objects of little import but hold significance. ...tchotchkes are transactional objects made for the transference of the buyer's desire. The souvenir acts as a placeholder for tourist's urge.. likely some vestigial expression of our sexual selection's wiring, which is why so many of them are cute. "

Alexa Hawksworth at Theta


Giger is hot again so maybe YA book covers - Animorphs via Francis Bacon - seem proper art fodder. A biomorphic carnival. One would wish we could treat illustration as a proper art form - experiments in the commodity aesthetic. Experiments in looking cool as hell. A less disinterested form of connoisseur. "Connected such that our higher faculties have no defenses against. This is not tasteful consideration at a distance but thrall of slumber, dreamed emissions, sick drawings."

Illustratively sick: Kennedy Morgan at Delaplane and Cushion WorksKye Christensen-Knowles at LOMEX

Past: Lena Henke

"... their genericism becomes strength. A low poly mesh provides metaphorical possibility [because of] its low resolution. ... Even looking digested, worn at by smooth muscle of artistic intestine... Because the turd is a form morphing in a viewer.   The dimensional Rorschach, the sculpture everyone makes to turn down and see themselves reflected in the water at, a picture of you for your interpretation.

"Ambiguousness as a means for the simultaneity of image, of surrealism. A tree sort of looks like a horse so we can put them together; a cloud can look like anything, much like a turd, some will see interest."

"...apparent in those like Henke for whom physical things act as moments of duplicity, locus for multiple apparencies.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Lili Reynaud-Dewar at Layr


"I invited men into my hotel room and asked them very personal questions about their lives" - making for the most overloaded artwork ever.  Sophie Calle by way of Ryder Ripps. Or Leigh Ledare. A conceptual gesture precluding/eclipsing its subject. An art as a set of procedures. It's a way of making sure you end up with something "interesting" - the program defines it. The psychoanalytic baggage becomes super saturated, too many rung bells to define a tune. Lest you forget, there is a hidden-not-hidden object here under all this red flag. Which is less the paradox of art's "contractual obligation to display freedom" than it is artistic-commodification of one's own body as an object for psychological projection, for MEANING. Everything is reflected back into the object of one's displayed-not-displayed body. Hannah Wilke but now dancing its inkblot in front of you. To interview a human is not enough you must find a way to paint yourself red into it. Self-immolate into it. Wilke was forced to get cancer to prove it.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Past: Lili Reynaud-Dewar

"Tom Cruise dancing in underwear and socks in parents' vacated living room performed a magnificent version of freedom despite imprisonment by the script contractually obligating his "freedom" dancing "unwatched" in stark white briefs before an audience of - who really could have predicted then - hundreds of millions. This tension of contractually obligated freedom...."

Click here to read Lili Reynaud-Dewar at Clearing

Past: Pope.L

"but the joke dissipates and the punchline, lost, disperses the energy of its expectation to an audience as nervous flatness. This type of joke flips the roles, the performer now audience to their reaction, making the best of such jokes just complex enough to contain within the possibility of real punchline hidden and thus doubt, a heightened consciousness of where exactly it lay, the blankness of its meaning a projectable void that you can stand on many sides of..."

"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... Aggravating an unspoken racial relation of a violet people."

Yuki Kimura at Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen


"Photos of brandy glasses usually are shot in the white cloud of virtuality to reduce the room, whereas these are built to hold it." Objects to hold a room. Its a compelling idea. a mirrored sphere like cupped hands turned inside out. An aleph holding all points in one stupid ball. You don't see yourself. 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Past:Yuki Kimura

"Glass which we don't really see but for its reflection, or flaws, it only warbles a world surrounding it, refracts what we put through it. Photos of brandy glasses usually are shot in the white cloud of virtuality to reduce the room, whereas these are built to hold it."

Yuki Kimura at Jenny’sYuki Kimura at Wattis

"...a celestial beauty, a man of so much public weight it begins to accrete its own egg-like shell, his image..." 

"Eyes phosphene in darkness, in vacuity your mind alights. It's called "prisoner's cinema," a useful term for art. Writing about blank art you are confronted with the theater of your skull, your dome's skeletal movie screen.  Blankness rewards the already full mind, handing the viewer back to themselves, allowing all the self-satisfied self-congratulations they can self-muster. The philistine sees checkers; the learned, chess; the PR wonders about the things that aren't there, and the aesthete, Sherrie Levine, Rosalind Krauss's Grid, the whole history of Modernism to fill whatever text space allowed: art abhors vacuum. The tension here: whether this beacon actually broadcasts idea or simply clears space for fill, me, this, now."

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Matthew Angelo Harrison at MIT List Visual Arts Center


Compositionalization, as an artistic strategy, might have born out a Broodthaers' insight that "the arrangements of display [were] credence to meaning, institutional or otherwise." Highlighting museum display absurdity, a department of eagles. Oddly meaning still worked, stupidly. The meaning was in the display's pedagogical function, implicitly stating "meaning, here, now." Somewhere along the trickle of this history things got confused and now press releases are written now where objects once again "speak of" histories or "examine" the great big. But its a function of display, of compositionalization, of rearranging signs in picasso-like forms, until an inkblot appears in the sandbox of culture, art, where we move playthings around to feel control over them, wizards of a fantastical land, us. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Past: Kerstin BrätschKAYA

"The point is, the production is product. The machine you create to create. This replaces meaning. The machine does. No one knows why Pollock dripped anymore, that knowledge is lost. What is important is that he created a machine that dripped."

"Genzken [is] the most influential living artist not because everything looks like it, but because [she] predicated a conglomerate speed absorbing any last vestiges of particular attention to individuated objects. And whereas others used this to produce "series," Genzken extrapolated, used this as a means of acceleration in which speed and production was the communication, amassing product and centering production as the point. That the production of itself became the product."

Adam Kleinman in TZK: "as many artists have learned to feed this desire with work made quickly, but with enough conceptual acrobatics to make them acceptable as part of a canon of their own oeuvre—or that of a supposed canon on the critique of modernity. And here, the artist has found a way not only to maximize the circulation of his/her work, but also to reduce the budget in terms of both time and materials—the original shady business of “skimming”, although one that is justifiable considering the low rate of artist fee’s. Within this particular loop, a potential critique of excess is ensnared as another symptom of that very excess. And it is with this dual farce of today’s production and related branding activities, namely the desire for the curator to collect and justify an artistic industry of prefab and ready-at-hand esoterics, that one should enjoy DAS INSTITUT’s irreverent something for everybody with a little for everyone approach."

"WHO says by 2020 depression will be the second most prevalent medical condition in the world. Rats pleasure themselves to death. ...use of beauty as a deployable assaultive thing, prolific- likely what critics refers to as the artist's "advertising strategies" - exhausting..."

Click here Kerstin Brätsch at Gio Marconi
Click here DAS INSTITÜT at Serpentine Gallery
Click here KAYA at Deborah Schamoni
Click here Kerstin Brätsch at Gavin Brown

Saturday, July 23, 2022

 Past: Hadi Fallahpisheh

"the virtualization of our white space made manifest with a blown out shutter. Letting the light in. That vertigo you feel when the floor falls out, little rooms traded for infinite white void, us floating. This is the world Fallahpisheh draws in photographically, would be the read here."

Friday, July 22, 2022

Past: Autumn Ramsey

"... the 4th cat butthole - this one with lips of thighs to attend a sort of mollusk rear. ... the butt is the nexus where the world goes abstract, the fur whorls, the thing, like a Klein bottle, turns in on itself, disappears. Self empties. Self decorates its hole hallucination. Like all the roses. 

"decorative embellishments adorning the subject like Christmas tree, a structure for the hanging of means, that while Moreau's wreaths of ornamental doodadery shimmer with objects and riches... an object that has more or less lost its meaning to act the tradition itself, history painting glitz."

"lovely and sensuous cat butt"

".. the decorative itself becomes an object. It's not the shimmer to a space, but the sculpted out affect. You're not looking at a lion, you're looking at a hallucination..."

Read full: Autumn Ramsey at CrèvecoeurAutumn Ramsey at Park View, Autumn Ramsey at Night Club
Past: Ida Ekblad

"Paint coagulates, a crust like Kellog's Cornflake Scab stuck to fine surfaces. Scabs are excess of bodily presence, we want to pick them, peel them from our elbows, remove the corpsing exuberant. It's itchy [...] 

Like Lasker's stupid strokes, a clownishness, an exaggeration of the painterly ... forcing painting to speak with a mouthful of bubble gum."

Click for full:Ida Ekblad at Herald St (2) Ida Ekblad at Max Hetzler, Ida Ekblad at Herald St (1)

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Past: Klara Liden

"At best Liden's 'examinations of the anxiety of urban space' demonstrates the fraughtness on which society rests: flippantly publishing the keys to city, (e.g. bolt cutters and flashlight); implicit threat bashing a bicycle to death (see too: real violence); or the small smile of this exhibition's theft of things that delineate private property (i.e. stealing the things that make private property possible). Bristling the small hairs separating us from chaos. Feel the rush of anarchism from the safety of the institution...""At worst, wonder whether the rich whose wealth rely on this power don't feel some sort of safety in the irony of owning these"

 Klara Liden at Reena Spaulings (1)Klara Liden at Reena Spaulings (2)Klara Liden and Karl Holmqvist at Kunstverein BraunschweigKlara Lidén, Alicia Frankovich at Kurator

Monday, July 18, 2022

Zak Prekop at Galería Marta Cervera


Prekop has notably remained unphased, almost unchanged, for the last decade. There's a sense of - like fractals - any one Prekop painting already contains every other Prekop painting, you just need to change the level of vantage. Even the color has remained a consistent off-crayola. A palette called Millennial Realtree. (Camo for the average Brooklyn apartment.) The pleasure of these paintings, succinctly stated, is abstraction turned to labyrinth. Not Stella's "what you see is what you see." But painting the puzzle before assembly. "obfuscates any sequence of steps that were taken." Which we are Jack Torrance and painting the boy sweeping away footprints in snow, us hunting for the meat, for the tender innards of poor painting. Painting must build defenses, attempt to elude apprehension, axe. 

See too: Charline von HeylTomma AbtsZak Prekop at Shane CampbellZak Prekop at Essex Street

"The preponderance of overly tasteful paintings today is, in one sense, critically justified through its “reexamination” of modernism, particularly looking towards the forgotten’s more decorative tendencies, Delauney, Munch, Jawlensky, Hantai...."

"... revealing painting's construction that Prekop turns into a game, all the jazz hands of "how's it made." It’s easy to say what is good about these. There's a level of illusionism defeating their ostensible lineage - abstraction's - matter-of-factness. We have a trust in abstraction that it isn't attempting to "hide" anything from us, its paint merely there, that these utilize against us as bait. Set the parameters and run. To mess the usual temporal signifiers of painting ... Flat Cubism. Painting as the interesting display of its information ... interesting conditions."

Past: Zak Prekop at Shane CampbellZak Prekop at Essex Street

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Past: Alexandra Noel

"... a psychic mess, more pollution than collage, tinged with repression. The shadow of a plane is the specter haunting here, but throughout is an "offness" that is more motion sickness than fear. ...  Noel's light too, toxic, the haze as permanent fixture, everything feeling smogged, poisoned. Pollution as repression, spectacular sunsets, and black oil beneath feet. The 9/11 in everyone's bedroom."

Full: Alexandra Noel at Freedman Fitzpatrick, Atlantis, Alexandra Noel at Antenna Space

Friday, July 15, 2022

They come three, four, at a time. Zebra hard to chase not because the stripes provide camouflage but because the predator cannot single a specific focus, i.e. with overabundant choice the selector's (predators) cognition malfunctions; in nature videos you see lions, surrounded by cheeseburgers, acquiesce, lay down, stupefied by movement, flow, numbers which disrupt the ability for sense, sensation ruins, the surface effect which short circuits our ability for recognition, to choose, to see individuality for a moving surface of pattern and stripe across a broad plain of thing. Eventually the lions that do not starve in the face of such are selected for reproduction.

originally published November 15, 2017.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Past: Jana Euler

"The image today a total malleability. Photoshop makes surrealism quaint, Magritte's entire practice premised on its most basic tools, transpose, cut, drag and drop; and today phone apps like magic mirrors to show you elderly, replace your face with your dog, barf rainbows at will in a world that is totally virtual. "

"and we revel in its mud. ... paintings more like a mirage, shifting muck of material images, and so uncertain about whether that shark officially looks like a cock or if that's just you."
"Against our wishes for clean aluminum concepts and graspable truths, a "conceptual abstraction" is like having mud in your mind. And Euler's feel loose, threaten spillage, a filth inside. 
"like an opened lid and staring into the bait to unpack the whole, pulling one referential string and the whole thing deluges like clowns out of cars, only guessing at the number of clowns in the office.  The thread pulls endlessly, and the sweater never comes."
"Do not open them up in here. It will get everywhere. I am not the cleaner, I cannot keep up with this level of dust."

Monday, July 11, 2022

Past: Lucie Stahl

"the specificity of their slick digi-crust-materialism and resolution-as-sex, we loved, the scanner trash prints: what everyone else was at such pains to display with existential and overwrought, like, expression, Stahl had turned into cheap easy and fast slacker products that got closer to the existential dread of that material-reproduction by embodying all its cheap easy fast sexy disposability."

"No longer the romantic era representing ourselves as fathomless depths ... we are now better feared as plumbing: oils, flows, pumps, fluids directed, misunderstood as monsters. The human body is indistinguishable from any sufficiently complex sewer. ... A world already dripping black nightmare, that we pump from the earth, have constructed our world out of... A product pipe-capable. Art as fluids, pipes, same as any other product. We all are forced to become fluid, make a product for channels, be pumped. "

full: Lucie Stahl at Queer ThoughtsLucie Stahl at Cabinet, Lucie Stahl at Halle Für Kunst Lüneburg