Friday, May 13, 2022

Joshua Abelow at Baader-Meinhof


So I realized that being with my family is more important than being cool
Dad, what you just said was powerfully uncool
You know what this song says, it's hip to be square
That song is so lame
So lame .. that it's cool?
Am i cool kids
Good I'm glad. And that's what makes me cool? not caring right?
Oh how the hell do you be cool? I feel like we tried everything here.
Wait Marge maybe if you're truly cool you don't need to be told you're cool 
Well sure you do. 
How else would you know?

We're told there is a spectrum between "based" and "cringe." And also that binaries are insipid. That there is a third option, the only true "baseness" is through "cringe." A zoomer divide analogous to GenX's authentic/corporate divide (grunge fully Hegelianated into hyperpop, Pop 2.) But so, point: interest comes from synthesis. And here we have an emerging artist's retrospective. Artistic puberty as heralded mythos, before mythos. Most artists think its bad luck to say "Famous Artist" out loud but here we have all the credentials: the childhood drawings, 3rd place ribbons, rejections and recommendations - this is usually the post-mortem, the detritus for the historian's magnifying glass. Usually in the museum bearing your name. Here the receipts adorn a house gallery in Omaha. Which makes for exhibition as puffed as it is sniffling. It's intensely personal. Cardboard not corporate. The paradox of coolness is that one must "go one's own way" while maintaining sightlines with the status quo. Abelow has walked this tightrope exceptionally well. In a certain sense CAWD and Abelow are opposite mirrors to same problem: identity construction as aversion to Walmart purchased coolness. Whereas CAWD basically deleted self and thefted the corporate, Abelow and his (originally quasi-anon) projects have doubled down on exurban paths to cool, like rural even. It's what we euphemistically refer to as an artist "not impacted by current market trends." Because it's never true. They know, despite. If there is transcendence in Abelow's path, it is in happily showcasing underpants, saying out loud "famous artist," (as Oehlen put it, "really hanging your head out the window and letting it hit you") hanging out to dry your teenage self-portrait, basically exposing yourself for all to see, without real mythos armor, nothing more cringe than that. 

"The wider artworld came to know Abelow through his Art Blog which -coming to prominence against the sterile facade of CAD's hegemony - felt human, resistant, and no-qualms subjective key to a very specific NY scene, felt warm in reestablishing the local against the global, like grocery co-op charm to Walmart's efficiency. It felt NY again. And as interest increased for those looking for the freshest produce Abelow became, if a not a ringleader, then a purveyor of visibility, a figure of some small access in a scene, that everyone knew, all the while and for like ten years before making scruffy hamhanded paintings that purviewed the doubt of the painter, the doubt morphing over many years, the paintings changing over the course of Abelow's character development from unknown, from entendres of suicide ("HANG ME") to flat laughter ("HARHAR") and as the painter character grew to show himself, to paintings of a man running full speed with his erection before him, to today that same man cloaked in the facade of a powerful witch, and all lovely abstractions along the way, still running."

 Joshua Abelow at Freddy

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Ezra Tessler at Hudson House


Let's stop talking about surrealism, let's start talking about the new little crustie. Approaching, but never quite, shellfish. This is what we tried to describe as "Lulu-core," or "the crustables." A natural evolution of Materialphilia. See too:

Miho DohiIsabel Nuño de Buen at LuluSophie Barber at Alison Jacques, Zhiliang Zhao at Lulu & Hélène Fauquet at Édouard MontassutMiho DohiGina BeaversMaterialphilia

Tuesday, May 10, 2022


"...defeatist humor mocking not just the male tool but deflating the hard language of conceptual art: telling the joke over and over again on larger and larger sheets of paper, the high rhetoric of big egos reduced to a bad joke - Cue: Beyonce '♪♫ Cause he's got a big 'ego.' ♪♫' Bernstein: 'it wasn’t funny.'"

"Bernstein painting what had always been repressed as explicit - the large male "personality" embedded in art's very culture - of course couldn't be acceptable: art despises the frank open, [...] the great irony that Boone is showing these now: think of a giant crusty cock painting hanging in the same room as Schnabel, asserting maybe just where all that great thick paint on large canvases was coming from, the Yale professors of course uncomfortable by this exposing, like totally classic Freud. ..."

Read full: Judith Bernstein at Mary Boone, Judith Bernstein at Kunsthall StavangerJudith Bernstein at Studio Voltaire


"No one packs up a van without reason... precisely one car load, kept, allowed into the future. The amount one can carry. What can be preserved as our possessions-as-selves eroding in time streamlined against current's abrasion. Which amass more in new homes. What will be the last object of yours finally cast into waste by your children? Objects carry briefly into tomorrow, but the artist is allowed attempts to loft their objects onto the generational ships of museums, while entire histories of others are and have been lost. Like Dahn Vo's attempt to carry Martin Wong's possessions, or even Cianciolo's corrugate time vessels, we allow a certain amount of artistic provenance into the future, and all the hope for it."

"relevancy in the instant availability of the digital panopticon red water requires constant change, adapt or be obsolete, things lose whatever luster they had quick, and though not every exhibition is required to be a hit, everyone is immediately aware of a bunt."

Full: Ken Okiishi at Reena SpaulingsKen Okiishi at Reena SpaulingsKen Okiishi at Mathew

Ulysses Jenkins at Hammer Museum, Los Angeles


We're not meant to see these photos. Which explains their useless. (I mean the above image is a photo of a halo, not art.) They're meant for editorial, press photos, meant to accompany some review, to supplement what has become The Museum's online cavalcade of docents, saltzes, cheerleaders. Ostensibly me. Weirdly hard to view the work, and now words to stand in for; the foregrounding to replace ground. It's a strange turn for art. Reviews have become the information broadcast mechanism of the museum, its education wings. Which begins to eclipse the work itself: an artwork covered in newspaper clippings about itself. "We are just a mass of images you've gotten to know."

Monday, May 9, 2022

Past: Moyra Davey

"Sontag pointed out photography as inherently elegiac, and Davey further expresses its moribund nature-morte with a gloss of preemptive nostalgia. Like instagram filters made to affect 70’s grain on crystalline microlenses - an artificial warmth on the cold of its technologic clarity - Davey pre-placing that touch on the photographs, mailed to package the touch that preceded them."

"art often feels like a process, technology, for imprinting nostalgia. ...  Photography provides /immediate packaging: that inherently elegiac medium also promises preservation of someone's sight of you.' So you get to preserve your recognition like pickled pigs and call it romantic. Nostalgia's artistry becomes its own technology. "

"It's alluring to attach the psychology of money to feces."

Omari Douglin at Theta

Blow up the pages of adolescent sketchbooks and access the id. Puberty in painting. The remains of a cultural explosion, TNT sears the shadows of coyotes into the walls our skulls. This is the imprint of culture, the massive hot branding of our brains. As you get older the projections get bigger, the canvas becomes a better receptacle. 

Friday, May 6, 2022

Shabahang Tayyari at Delgosha Gallery


Painting converts to interface, the iconization of content. The practice of stylization and production of  "series" become obvious. Content on the swirl setting. Information is converted to its image then compositionalized. But that doesn't nerf it. The interface is strong, it causes our reading which we cannot prevent. Icons are meaning even when they don't. and we are like hypnotized. We are made to read space, and here sign systems converted to labyrinth make puzzling. 

see too: Shabahang Tayyari at Balice HertlingMath Bass at Michael Jon & AlanAntek Walczak at Jenny’s

Past: David Lieske

"Lieske was of the first of the cargo cults reassembling the totems of meaning in the desert of it, picking detritus. The issue was resolved not by necessarily by making objects mean again - which they couldn't - it's hard to make an empty bottle mean in arid land - but by situating objects so that they connoted meaning despite whatever inscrutable blankness. Like hieroglyphs. What was important was exuding the affect of meaning, regardless of whether there was any and that it didn't matter anyway was what we were all beginning to pick up on and what the commercial world had known for decades (that you can create "meaning" at will with attitude, aura) which while Lieske pondering whether this was a problem was suddenly flooded and drown by more ephebic artists already having decided for him it wasn't and now this is the water we live in, a flooded terrain of objects imbued, over-saturated "meaning."

"If so much art looks like Broodthaers today, it is because Broodthaers was of the first invested in the arrangements of display as a credence to meaning, institutional or otherwise."

"An ambivalence at the heart of much of art today displayed as presentations of objects left to the viewer with a "deal with it" coolness, figurative sunglasses donned."

Click to read full: David Lieske at MUMOKDavid Lieske at Lovaas Projects

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Past: Josephine Pryde

"... Pryde uses Pop's function, the saccharine of instant recognition ... whose comfort allow defenses dropped and desire for disposable sweets, a populist bent to criticality ... a shutterstock imaging of normalized categories.... People didn’t enjoy Lichtenstein they enjoyed comics, and within its soothing fantasy. Pryde delivers within the pre-existent of Trojan genres..."

"Genre is the capsule that allows immediate swallowing: "They're about touch." What Isabelle Graw called "straightforwardly thematic." And so we understand them like a trojan horse, internalize with ease. Ostensibly later spring forths the latent soldiers, medicine. But it might be the gulping was the trick. Getting you to immediately get them. The cuteness of gerbils, the joke of consumption."

Mohammed Sami at Modern Art


Painting is affect nailed to content. A vibe sewn to image. Internally, the content withdraws to mystery, creating a distending space where paint floats above a darkening void. An interface of brush and flowers, in foliage a search for clues, a search for where to lay meaning. This is what painting must tension as its interminable life support. This is what we prize painting for, the mud writ question

See: Shannon Cartier Lucy at Hussenot 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Hana Miletić at Basement Roma


Knitting being an embodiment of care. (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) And so, now using knitting as a medium representing other forms of care/repair. Like hand grinding paint to depict a pencil sketch or whatever. A sort of redundancy, or analogy? Homology? Tautology? The point is there is effort-over-time in reproducing others attempts at care. Effort invokes effort. (The stitch marks time.)
"Why does "stitching" make a comeback? Impressionism's strokes showcasing its painterly labor. It had been that eventually genius embedded itself into the canvas, itself signifying "art," and blankness was fine. Does canvas no longer back painting's monetary value a priori? Do we need proof of work? Like the ornately etched lines of paper currency, making the labor of reproduction more expensive than the bill itself - proof of scarcity, value. Time equates to money. But now we have copy machines, CNC routers, childlabor and interns. Perhaps proof of work is just nostalgia for when there was infinite time, for when there was time. "
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. 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.

see too: 

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Cudelice Brazelton IV at Murmurs, Los Angeles


Maybe its nostalgia for late aught's unmonumentality, for Donnelly mystery, for E. Smith estrangement, for that single image of Hammons' little radio on top a brick or whatever, or maybe this is finally just art that's hard to parse again. Not even knowing what you're looking at type enjoyment. In the last ten years art has become appallingly clear. Instead this more like "The rocking chair I project from the two elegant bones still in contact with the real is not the same as the one in your head." Searing your brand into the wall, an amorphous inkblot, but an amorphous that's more, already gone. For Donnelly, E. Smith, for that little radio it is less about the object more about altering the air. Book title: Arts of Suspicion. 

see too: Michael E. Smith at Sculpture Center

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Past: Pedro Wirz

"We all fear for lumps inside us, unchecked growth, a malignancy, 'matter out of place,' 'the contaminated diversities that proliferate in the dump.' Fear of toxins, poisons, heavy metal build-up, of heavy concentrations of micro-plastics in the great Pacific beverage, in parts per million, in tumors, cysts, bio-cucumlative, they add up in sediments in your blood, fat, balls, monuments, these fears into nervous objects, art."

Souvenirs of our demise!

Pedro Wirz at LongtangPedro Wirz at Marc Selwyn

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Julia Scher at Kunsthalle Gießen


As art has begun to look ever more sci-fi without acknowledging sci-fi, it's nice here to have overt admittance. Appreciate Scher for finding metaphor in the obvious, explicit. The security camera, the space port. Items that are overdetermined to point of banality, yet the obviousness of the operation does not lessen it. This cardboard spaceport is no more inane than regular airports. The TSA is mostly cardboard. And CGI flights to Corsucant have become as regular as Indiana. Gary Indiana is probably weirder than Corscucant. I've been on a Greyhound bus and it was far more interstellar than any Star Wars movie. 

see too: Julia Scher

Past: Julia Scher

"The security camera, early exemplar of our proprioception lost to digital realms. Your body could be distended in mirrors sent through ethers appearing before you, behind you, and Magritte's Not to be Reproduced no longer surreal but our reality, walking into department stores. On facebook you reach out to poke, instagram click to like, your body a ghost appearing in other's mirrors. You appear everywhere. Like deafferented monkeys in lab experiments we lose control of limbs at the researcher doing studies on our psyche attempting to maximize engagement, a word which now means clicks, their hands in our gloves. Animals living with open brains..."

Read full: 3 Shows, Julia Scher at DREI, Lin May Saeed at Studio Voltaire, Fernando Palma Rodriguez at House of Gaga


"beneath table settings, the underneath, the legs become the portal, cavern ... in the nocturnes, in the maw, against mother's legs clutched, we found worlds in forts constructed, in makeshift boxes, a certain heat to the darkness."

Full: Doris Guo at Bodega

Monday, April 25, 2022

Alighiero e Boetti at Sant'Andrea de Scaphis


1993 was a very strange year for figurative sculpture. You've got the above (which "must have come as a surprise.") But then, same year, you have Paul McCarthy's Spaghetti Man (guess where the spaghetti is), Charles Ray's Family Romance, Janine Antoni's Lick and Lather as well as Mike Kelley's seminal survey exhibition (alongside the Boetti at Sonsbeek) The Uncanny. Kelley's "experiment took its cue from the rise of 'mannequin art,' a term he coined to describe artists like Charles Ray, Kiki Smith, and Jonathan Borofsky, whose life-size sculptures—not, in fact, all mannequins—evoked anxieties about the role of the human body in a time wrought by the AIDS epidemic, the growth of plastic surgery procedures, and advances in biotechnology. In addition to artworks, however, Kelley gathered religious statues, inflatable sex dolls, ventriloquist dummies, wax figures, and medical anatomical models into crowded clusters to eerie effect." 1993 being today. 

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Emilia Wang at A MAIOR


Horoscopes broadcast amongst commerce, hosted as art. Astrology is particularly well situated to fit between both. (see: Art's Astrology: Sung Tieu at EmalinEi Arakawa at Kunstverein Dusseldorf, "[art,] 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 interpretability becomes their function.") The stars down to Earth. It makes sense, feels comfortable, reminiscent of artist-made commercials in the 60s. Wresting open a space for its message, for your interpretation. 

Friday, April 22, 2022

Past: Roger Hiorns

"You, a machine, a corruption of the sublime, in repetition awe becomes bullying mocking the human for its meat. ... We are but flesh objects, barely cognizant stupid creatures, morons in search of hope, and nailing us to crosses of our trash seems a brave act but it is impish, pornographic, unneeded."

"The Jewel-crusted success of Hiorns' sulfate almost eclipsed the less fabulous concoctions-as-representations for the surfaced body. ...the goo and strata of flesh and bone, and the machinic body ejaculating foam at the mouth, Hiorns wild material divergence always expressed in dualities, steel and perfume, machine and foam, boy and fire, boy and gratuitously hulking aircraft engine, the bodily soft always set against its cold hard master, rigid and pliance, occasionally providing a mild erosion of that order, a strange and insistent fetish that we all seem to enjoy."

Full: Roger Hiorns at ELI Beamlines Center, Roger Hiorns at Annet Gelink

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Past: Liz Craft

"could wish our communicado could find space for ethereal content, walls to text become brick to evoke a feeling rather than language, emoji mise-en-scene."

Liz Craft at Real Fine ArtsLiz Craft at Jenny’s

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Past: Lu Yang at M Woods

"... whether this is a critique of culture or fantasy doesn't matter anymore, trying to out-absurd culture is impossible but look how far it's gotten us, Genzken too"

Past: Lu Yang at M Woods

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Stefan Tcherepnin at Meredith Rosen Gallery


Is this the tasteful turn, Sesame street puberty blossoming an arabesque adulthood's cash in? This flying spaghettis bear resemblance to the monsters both: the muppet eyeball becomes painterly logo, brand to the artist, because stitching alligators to cotton improves la cost. And the noodle monster to prove there is no god. 

Past: Stefan Tcherepnin

Monday, April 18, 2022

Eliza Douglas at VI, VII


Culture/commodities valorize their objects with simple bludgeons: the celebrity holds the product, the commercial assigns attitude. Our knowledge of its arithmetic does not cancel it. The code still functions. Brand is the level we fight on. The Whitney Biennial weathered months of protest until the attacks came at their identity, a rebranding "The Teargas Biennial," and suddenly softened their militancy. (CAWD wrote an essay about this here.) Museum brand in turn forms its signet in the installation view, architecture watermarks the photographs, walls as the celebrity hands cradling the art. Why else would Christopher Williams be shipping walls across continents? More celebrity hands. These celebrity hands have been chopped off, stolen, dead hands made to hold. Like as teen you photoshopped yourself kissing Johnny Depp. It would be interesting if a lawsuit developed. Like when the Guggenheim sued Paul McCarthy and Mike Bouchet (again the attack was at brand level.) But Douglas's theft is probably flattering, who doesn't want people stanning for them, building at home reliquaries to them, Johnny Depp, The Whitney, they live off our reverence to them.  

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Past: Eliza Douglas

"The setting as the halo, the performance as the backer to the souvenir. Literally. Swirl the cultural object. The symbolic processes of art become literal, literalification."

 "These aren't paintings of the t-shirts, these are the t-shirts."

Read full: Eliza Douglas at Neue Alte BrückeEliza Douglas at Overduin & Co.Eliza Douglas at Air de ParisEliza Douglas at Overduin & Co. and Tina Braegger at Friends Indeed

Valerie Keane at High Art


We haven't had a Valerie Keane solo since 2016 when formal adventure seemed fun and the garbage was reassembling as totem, content, rococco. (see too: Chadwick Rantanen at STANDARD (OSLO)) In the years since our formalism as gotten less cyber-baroque and more goopy materialist, the photogenic mud wresting which makes Keane's seem chaste. Thing looks different against different backgrounds. And against the ever shifting micro-genres of the last ten years not changing appears new.

Chadwick Rantanen at STANDARD (OSLO)

Friday, April 15, 2022

Jorian Charlton at Cooper Cole


Photography's harvest of youth, an ongoing thread:  Robert Kulisek at VI VIIJustine Kurland at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Sean Patrick Watters at Galerie Praz-DelavalladePaul Mpagi Sepuya at DocumentMichael Smith at Richard TellesWolfgang Tillmans at Galerie Buchholz

That said, a good press release gives pause. A firmness invokes disagreement, opening. What is a photography agreeable between model and maker. Between society and art. Orchid become wasp. Is this possible? Not photography only as extraction for others. A model may contort themselves to the desire of camera, but ostensibly photographer bends too. A handshake between them in the form of a photograph. 

 Past: Valerie Keane at High Art

"capitalist equivalent of objects coughed up in the night, the night terrors of Haegue Yang shopping spree, they assemble the technologies of display... Sharpening the garbage of post-ford CNC driven custom-ordered world, the grosser parts of the capitalistic buffalo, amassing the plastic neurosis..." 

Read full: Valerie Keane at High Art

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Rachel Rose Enclosure Pilar Corrias, London


Weather you can turn on and off, affect detached from reality, a sunset in vial. The preservation of feeling. The embalm of sentiment. Painterly effects, a sun you unplug. Art, like the dandelion, becomes a tool for the storage and display of moonlight, sensation.

see too: Steve Bishop at Kunstverein BraunschweigPamela Rosenkranz at Karma International

"surface effects of our emotive connection, they play like enchantments into us ecstatically, eroding any affective links with what is seen, hyper numbing, leaving the viewer estranged, cold as the real is endlessly manipulated like weather you can turn on and off."

Past: Rachel Rose at High Art

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

 Past: Raoul De Keyser

"reminding us why we liked all those modernist paintings to begin with."

Raoul De Keyser at Inverleith House

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Yalda Afsah at BAR & Kunstverein München


"examines the blurred boundaries between affection and identification with animals on the one hand, as well as submission and human domination on the other."

Monday, April 11, 2022

Arnold Joseph Kemp at M. LeBlanc & The Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society

(M. LeBanc, Neubauer)

A peculiar fact that humans have empathy, emotional connection, identification with their others. With a sack with some holes in it. These are "masks" but only in the most reduced sense. The face as it childhood parts. The emoji as signifier. You face is barely distinct a bowling ball, in a semiotic sense. What's wrong with us. 

See: Jon Pylypchuk at PetzelSarah Lucas at CFA Berlin

Friday, April 8, 2022

Tomory Dodge at Philip Martin Gallery


Damn, maybe Vitamin P Painting returns as the patchwork quilt of itself. Or maybe its just our memory of that time... Jules de Balincourt meeting Amy Sillman, a painting assemblage of painting. Shaking the box that contains it, your horoscope appears abstract in its depths.

see too: Tyler Vlahovich at Lulu and Marc Selwyn

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Bradley Kronz, Jessi Reaves at High Art


Nice to see these things in a crust of a space. Not the ethereal nowhere of white walls but within the detritus of life, your cluttered lived in home. Objects which remind you of your animal-strapped body in your already bodied halls, your keys in dish and a nasty lamp to echo it. Your life isn't perfect and your artwork won't try and disprove that. The opposite of Muji, Ikea trying to sell you an commodified idea of order, and nor the white walls to aura your disarray as totem, just crust all the way down.

"like all that stolen Ikea elegance whose eventual blown out corners reveal its making of all but compressed trash, underneath everything we desire to be is an intestinal makeup of sponge replacing its weight with rumors of dead-skin and dust-mites of a body threatening to turn fungal"

See too: Jessi Reaves at Bridget Donahue

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

BANK Status Quo Galerie Neu, Berlin


BANK is CAWD's father. There's no secret around this, and no need for patricide. BANK was there in the primordial reptile brain of CAWD's stewing formation. BANK's Fax-Bak white hot brilliance. The Press Release as decree - and the returns on that decree. Speaking back to the decree. The way Will Smith deterritorialized comedy. This is not filling out a comment card at The Museum of Modern Art, but actually finding a place to speak. Wedging open a space for return.
"Well the whole inside/outside thing is kind of theatrical," suggests John Russell, "I thought we were kind of hypocrites in a way, which is a pretty interesting position - or an unavoidable one. The 'critique' was kind of fun. And we did sort of dislike quite a lot of people."

Erin Calla Watson at Larder


Art's alchemical processes on cultural signs to conjure "meaning." Usually the process is some technological (or painting) hoo-ha that the press release incants the recipe of. /r/malelivingspace is a cultural symptom that we could perform "meaning" on for days. This meaning is useless. Meaning is the mere lure to silver surface, the experience of a coldness, a loss. Empty bed as pareidolia stimulus.

Friday, April 1, 2022

Hans Bellmer, H.R. Giger at Schinkel Pavillon


Because our moment is so filled with tortures on the body, with stringing our puppet goo, experiments on flesh? Half of portraiture today looking like medical eviscerations (see: The violence against faces.) - our more genetically modified Picasso, not dismembering the ear/nose it but growing it there. So the lineage for these two - current figuration is medically experimental, grotesque, alien, et al - is here. But at some unconscious base is sexual violence, and the women who suffer at that. (It wasn't until Dan O'Bannon and Alien's brilliant reversal that the sexual violence threatened captains.) I like both Giger and Bellmer much, but acknowledge "the artworld [is] 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 ... that its success is simply a culture that likes seeing - culturally approved - women in bondage." 

The Giger Chair trendAmalia Ulman at The Gallery at El CentroCindy Sherman too, H.R. Giger on CAWD

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Lub Poeem at Baader-Meinhof


Frames make the interface, UI, the UX of painting. That we interact with, are informed through. We look through frames through frames through glass, and glass. Institutional critique is merely the remarque on the passe-partout. En abyme. Like looking the wrong way through a telescope, near friends waving far way, the aperture widens, widens, making painting appear distant, embedded in so much UI, even this, these words' wreath, dear U.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Allison Katz at Camden Arts Centre


"A mystery! A mystery! Where can I lay meaning?"
"[Art] is a cultural structure such that its prize is "what it is about." ...  there is something to be unlocked, understood. There is something to be won. This is the belief. ... Painting begins to be prized not for painting but for this mystery. And a mystery, should it not spoil itself, cannot tell you its answer. A mystery instead must load its objects with intent, clues, an ambrosia of noir, an affect of meaning."

Content becomes the lure to questions. PR: "the viewer is compelled to seek out connecting lines running through the apparently disparate subject matter; associations, and conversations that must be imagined and elaborated in order to complete the circuit." But content is the red herring. Questions are Frankensteinian death-in-life of art. The actual meaning is in this means to distribute meaning. To make it feel like there may be some. A meaning-feeling metaphor that's apt to life. There may be none!
Past: Allison Katz at MIT List Visual Arts Center

"We - despite all - trust art to tell us something about subject, and Katz's "self-portraits" make this mirror between painter and self-subject anxious by threatening this trust: painting that feel like fibs, competing styles that delay any coherence in its subject, the painter, our trust for the text to tell us something"

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Sergio Sarri at Fitzpatrick Gallery


so thoroughly of and beyond our moment. Information turned kaleidoscopic mirage, tortured on the rack of art. Things being their surfaces. A car commercial all at once.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Past: Julien Ceccaldi

"what had been Ceccaldi's bright branding of commercial trinkets, hangbags, fashionable shirts, comics, has instead become a brand of art flexed, making art objects, like, rather than saleable commodities (hand)painted to retension their exchangeability as brand, these recent objects are painted onto to place signature on fungible blanks that painting has always been. Painting onto a handbag dug something out, into its own face as facade, rather than the brand saturation going on here, place your dots on a car for charity, placing your icon on everything, whatever franchising you can get. You can place your face on anything it turns out."
"I've never been a Disney Princess, but I have been a corpse."

Julien Ceccaldi at Jenny’sJulien Ceccaldi at LOMEXJulien Ceccaldi at Koelnischer Kunstverein

Friday, March 25, 2022

Sula Bermúdez-Silverman at Friends Indeed


the cultural detritus pressed into reverential windows. Let the light in. The highlighter attracts thought. The flypaper of civilization. Our cargo cult now building advanced architecture to prayer: please let this waste our world have meaning. 

See too: “Flat Neighbors” at Rachel Uffner“Breathing Through Skin” at Antenna Space“A Love Letter to a Nightmare” at PetzelDavid Lieske at MUMOKRachel Harrison at Whitney Museum

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Kennedy Morgan at Delaplane and Cushion Works, San Fransisco


being a young lad looking at snowboard graphics and feeling something navel in the drawings sinuous metal hands. I hadn't yet seen Bellmer's liquid flesh. Or Giger's carapace sex. Ballard's cum drizzled chrome. Tactility is a strong force, bent and harnessed to express urges that only exist visually. Like Lozano's tool drawings for our more pornographically sensitive age. Through the glass of art we now conjure feeling. This is how pornography works. This is what Sontag argued against: "Pornography has a 'content' and is designed to make us connect (with disgust, desire) with content. It is a substitute for life. But art does not excite; or, if it does, the excitation is appeased, within the terms of the aesthetic experience." Current pornographic materialism indicates a shift in art; the overt identification with an object/image is useful means for accessing its viewer. 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.

see too: nagle MaterialphiliaRon Nagle at Modern Art

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Karla Kaplun at House of Gaga


As predicted here, but our backing into the future has come incredibly fast, past Shimizu's waterlilies, Manet, Degas, now our regression accelerated to "eighteenth-century academicism and seventeenth-century Baroque." It was Gaga showing these in 2020, ahead of being behind. Towards the neo-win, the new renaissance. 

Past: Naoki Sutter-Shudo

"The souvenir acts as a placeholder for tourists urge...  desire, likely some vestigial expression of our sexual selection's wiring, which is why so many of them are cute."

"The trinket functions like a flower, a desirous other, holding some promise. We don't know what it is for, but it feels for something. The flower was beautiful before we knew its sexual radish. "

"The break in between what something is and what something suggests: a function, poetic fissure."

Full: Naoki Sutter-Shudo at Bodega (1), Naoki Sutter-Shudo at Bodega (2)Naoki Sutter-Shudo at Crèvecoeur

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Samara Golden at Night Gallery


If you placed a Daniel Spoerri in a Kusama Infinity Room does it beco- whatever. I can't believe these things haven't exploded as the hot new lobby bait. Museums need a product to fill their atria, search for reflective, and thus inclusive, possibility. Wasn't the artist present also just a mirror? Occasionally leaking goo, guts. Golden is good at mirrors, there's no doubt about that. But maybe the thing about Golden mirrors is they never reflect us, we become vampires before the lobby of art, which is too apt a metaphor for museums.

See too: Attempts to reach out

Monday, March 21, 2022

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Sean Patrick Watters at Galerie Praz-Delavallade


We're in a strange moment where art and fashion photography are, at least temporarily in alignment, attempting the same ends, a representation of soul. This is particularly hard for anyone ambivalent to commercial desire as well as anyone distrustful of photography to actually display anything like an inner. There is a mysticism at root to both in a belief that the image is inherently capable. It is a fair acknowledgement to say the commercial world wields the great cultural club here, since it controls the beacon we all see through. At the same time we have Heji Shin big inkblots of Kanye West - and we know these say nothing about him. Photography is perhaps really only capable of editing its own mirage?

Friday, March 18, 2022

Past: Martin Soto Climent

"charcoal through panties, you would think these would be sexier than they are."
"The gesture given frame, cradle for its image, able to be sent, transacted.  The packaging lends a sentimentality, a hope for stasis, permanence, removed from the chaotic world into an order, like butterflies pinned to boards"

"enrapture of sensitivities, enwrapment, a container allowing movement, transaction. The Amazon box that allows its sales; cardboard a larger problem than the items it contains....  Shouldn't we be speaking more of wrapper than "content" ... enshrine odes to our hurt"

"the curve of inside into out, curving exterior into insides, an expression of explicit vulnerability distinct to the anthropomorphic... a faint pubescence of gender, objects just arriving at a split, a fork budding semblance of gender possibility, blushing blues and corpulent pinks.

Past: Martin Soto Climent at Michael Benevento & Yuji Agematsu at The Power StationMartín Soto Climent at Proyectos MonclovaMartín Soto Climent at DREIMartin Soto Climent at AtlantisMartín Soto Climent at Michael Benevento Gallery

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Past: Lutz Bacher

 Every Bacher work is its tombstone, the thing which represents its end, the last person remembering their name.

The framing is contextually ambiguous ...  a viewers attempts to position themselves in relation to the subjects feels instead their meaning transpire and fade.

In "Entropy and the new Monuments" Smithson described his artistic cohorts' inadequacy in the grand scales of time and entropy, the culturally catatonic monuments in human "progression." The absurdity and nihilism of cosmic scales entering the personal ones, which Bacher recurringly recalls... cosmos xeroxed into the noise... spilled across expanses like baseballs or sprawls of sand ... Mountains dissolve in grains that resemble liquids in geologic time. This recurring theme. The biblical "for dust you are and to dust you will return" is, as far as we know, scientifically accurate.

Read Full:
Lutz Bacher at Galerie Buchholz and Sarah Rapson at Essex Street
Lutz Bacher at 3320 18th St
Lutz Bacher at Daniel Buchholz (3)
Lutz Bacher at 356 Mission
Lutz Bacher at Statens Museum for Kunst
Lutz Bacher at Daniel Buchholz (2)
Lutz Bacher at Daniel Buchholz (1)

Monday, March 14, 2022

New trend: forgetful surrealism

(Jeanette Mundt above)

New trend: forgetful surrealism, a sort of traumatized historical painting. Bleeding through. You memory of painting clouded, convoluted themes. Less the vitamixed collage of say Juliano-Villani and more like Picabia with a head injury, amnesia allows the soap opera to continue again, repeat its plots in new ways. 

Artists include: Amelie von Wulffen

"almost like the history ... bruising into paintings. How images transact through time...  Our memory of Matisse is like seeing the past in bad dreams, crushed into the present. We have memory of how painting was, how history functioned, how impressionism was painted, but it's wrong, [historical] hangover, a painting full of malfunction, its shipment through time arrives damaged. The hematoma is fine."

"Painting is its ghost - not so much has cultural baggage as is cultural baggage. A history [these] paintings stir reflections on its surface. And you see something in it."

"... using your memory of history's painting against you. These paintings feel like being gaslit: isn't that what's his name in new colors? No, these are entirely new paintings. History flows through the bejeweled eye of the beholder's digestive endpoint, already chewed and expelled for us."

See too: Amelie von Wulffen,

Jeanette Mundt at Overduin & Co.

...A relation to their subject is ambivalent despite their load. Mundt often targets content that is full of juice, yet is left on canvas to fall apart. A gap that reviewers seem unable to fill with their own: Travis Diehl seemed to conjure the process of glaucoma's blindnessTess Edmonson said about the film on which a painting was based: "the gallerist warned me not to watch it"; and Zoë Lescaze aptly called it "ready for viewers and critics to plot their opinions onto her body." Her body of work which fails to deliver on the subject.

Read full: Jeanette Mundt at Overduin & Co.

Friday, March 11, 2022

 Past: Tyler Vlahovich at Lulu and Marc Selwyn

"deftly avoiding any specific painting reference - not quite any particular - but being obviously loaded with it... Kaleidoscopes of image that sift though. They accumulate reference and abandon it, as if the abstraction of reality wasn't enough... abstracting the abstraction... our current phantasmagoria"

Full: Tyler Vlahovich at Lulu and Marc Selwyn

Johnny Pootoogook at Daniel Faria Gallery


Jesus. While painting decorates its subject, drawing is the schematic for its construction inside your head. Imagination, where the image blooms, your brain the fertile garden that grows what exactly is "The Rose."

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Kirsi Mikkola at Galerie Nagel Draxler


30 years before the future was female merchandised and Beyonce haloed herself a 30 foot font Feminist it seems Mikkola had already tensioned this feminism and commodification, the bronze Fearless Girls, and the activism of posture. There was apparently success. Then she left it. Which seems foreboding. Because as the PR states, "It's time for a new toy!"

See too: Andrea Bowers at Capitain Petzel

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Past: Morag Keil

"Keil's knack for pinpointing and amplifying the dreck comprising our doldrums would seem cruel if masochism hadn't become so fun as means of at least owning it: the if-I-am-going-to-feel-depression-I-may-as-well-inflict-it-upon-myself feeling of control. So if you're looking for a hit of coal black drudgery Keil is it. Almost baroquely morose."

"the new psychedelic experience .. updating conceptual art for a new generation of well-versed conceptually-high-tolerant semionauts, the new drug the complete meltdown of conceptual sense."

full: Morag Keil at Project Native InformantMorag Keil at Jenny’sMorag Keil at Real Fine Arts,

Caroline Mesquita at Blaffer Art Museum & Soshiro Matsubara at Bel Ami, Los Angeles

(Mesquita, Matsubara)

Today two theatrical sculpture exhibitions, itself remarkable, but further both detail two stories of women accosted by objects. We need a Freudian for what's in the air. Dreams and desire and uncanny dolls, in our white theaters, skulls projected. We need a doctor, and not just one who plays one on this screen. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Past: Caroline Mesquita

"Giger for whom the mechanistic and biomorphic found waypoint in the skeleton, [...] the crabs and muscle cars who share the PVC fetishist's interest in shiny bulges; it wasn't hard a move to the erotic. ...we can anthropomorphize steel so long as it reflects our own curvature. 

"Suggesting an interiority. A beneath, the inside, indoors, the soft pink innards you imagine. An igloo is crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. "

full: Caroline Mesquita at T293Caroline Mesquita at Kunsthalle Lissabon

Monday, March 7, 2022

Louise Sartor at Crèvecoeur

It used to be that tapestries were the most valuable, we prized labor which each stitch proved, then genius was invented and we prized painting as its creative embodiment, value. Now painting fears replacement, desperately nails its aura to the wall. We spent 30 years whinging in big journals that painting was dead, or dying (or unnaturally resurrected braindead seeking brains, electrified by market) but what if what kills painting isn't the turgid laments of the cranially shined, but simply that it looks too much like the image in the age of its hyper-inflation, they start to look cheap. Defenses agains it: object and aura, but also, skill? Stay tuned.

Past: Louise Sartor at Le Consortium

"Painting is made rare and thus valuable for its support, its anchor to reality. ... So that support starts to hyperbolize, exaggerate. Placing stakes to claim existence, location tethering, against images lost on networks. Materiality claims an objecthood. Painters protecting their domain. "

Read full: Louise Sartor at Le Consortium

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Alice Neel at Xavier Hufkens


There is no more ecstatic comedy than Alice Neel painting a face like a car accident, all shrapnel and torqued metal, and borderline flesh hanging from crumpled undercarriage. Painting a mirror in the slow process of shattering. (Zoom in on brushwork better rendering shucked oysters than lips.) Neel is a master of angles that shouldn't human - instead the frog spawn abstraction of late Rembrandt. Faces are funny, a cruelty that Neel somehow doesn't make painful. Instead micro-events of painting blasted across and endeared to our gumlike faces. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Stanley Whitney at Galerie Nordenhake


"sunsets [are] the near endless regurgitations of saccharine accident. Incidental returns on arbitrary conditions, each completely unique and endlessly the same. A triple-point of beauty, arbitrariness, meaning." Do sunsets mean? 

We want to see the human through the bars of its conditions, a contest of life whose winner grants freedom, acceptance. We prisoners who make art in attempt to prove we have souls. Live forever.

Past: Stanley Whitney at Karma

"Whitney toys with arbitrariness. Caroming off the totally indiscriminate to float in some nether zone of baroque frivolousness ... Opposing Gunther Forg's true flippancy."

Stanley Whitney at Karma

Past: Julia Rommel

"and so Rommel makes the object structurally flaunt itself, give paint a stage upon which to display itself, paint, stripped and naked before us"

"The overt material presence is at the same time the "accidental" means of composition, providing reason for the material to be there, i.e. they're artifacts of a process so we're not reading into the color field emotions of the capital P Painter (of say Marden, Diebenkorn, Rothko) but as the residuals of painting's means which provides relief from capital M Meaning (Parino, Hesse), the great relief of things just being, or trying their hardest to."

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Josh Faught at The Wattis Institute


After the post-apocalypse of the sign, in the wasteland, we began picking up the rubble. We needed meaning, which was old, vintage, possible authentic. We started storing it in reliquaries, placing it in altars. Aura by the altarfull. The relics were asked to speak. We pressed fragments to foreheads and contemplated skulls. Which was a very old pastime. 

Rochelle Feinstein at WORLDWIDE

(Campoli PrestiFrancesca PiaNina Johnson, Bridget Donahue, Candice Madey, Hannah Hoffman )

Our powers combined we form, WORLDWIDE, the power of friendship.

We forget we enjoyed modernism, led by hand, school group, through Art's hallowed atria into the heart of painting, children learning to look up to it. Socially engineered by cadmium at scale. Our love for painting so ingrained that of course artists tortured it. Rooting the modernist corpse for one more magical rabbit of identity, a painting. The magic trick of Zobernig's corpse step - but there's less modernist meaning at stake than a painter's ability to renege on signature, identity, to evade it. This is so instead of recognizing a painting, we have the painful obligation to look at it. A painting as opposed to a signature. 

See too: Amy Sillman at Sikkema JenkinsJoanne Greenbaum at Crone

Monday, February 28, 2022


"None of it quite makes sense, adds up, and that's the circumnambular point .. to elide easy critical attacks. The fun is watching the boxer dance around the grab while you get punched in the head."

"Style excuses painting; it is the 'logic' that makes this process seem rational, makes it 'make sense' why there is a rainbow on the wall, some higher value to its spill.  (Somewhere along the way painting and art became valued for 'what it says/means' rather than what it was, to confusion of everyone.) 

"All paintings today are 'process paintings' because the artist is the harbinger of 'meaning' making their studio the factory of this imbuing ..." 

Read full: Rochelle Feinstein at Francesca Pia

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Winner Takes All at Marianne Boesky Gallery

What a title for gathering similar art, it sounds like a highlander battle,"There can be only one!" Like there's going to be blood. Who will win? Who will be cast as the ornament of history. Stay tuned to find out on Winner Takes All. 


"35 of the most Hauntingly Beautiful Urban Ruins" "Urban Exploration Tourism" " Beauty in Decay; A visually stunning book" showcasing the wider appeal of our desperation, of our ruin.

"our desire for a materiality comes at the hands of world we increasingly do not touch. And so art must become a hyperstimulus; art must make us, perverts of novelty, feel something through glass, by sight, because our hands have been removed to a world we touch only through electrified track pads, through eyes, through a world like advertisement."

"We now compete with actual images of dead oiled fish. Art excesses itself, crusts, proofs its real."

Full: Rebecca Brewer, Rochelle Goldberg at Oakville GalleriesGroup Show at Commercial Street

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

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Mary Obering at Bortolami


God minimalism looks good. You want to own a house to design it around these things. Egg tempera's matte provides a gentle clean sheet, cathartic to eyes in the digital. Aged just enough, the slightest patina of history. Like cute animals begging to be hung on walls, you gotta do it for them.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Past: Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)

"...Like oral traditions whose stories allowed modification to fit the moment’s ethos, PP’s public domaining of intellectual properties proposes the, e.g., Chiquita banana as open source material. [...]  pre-established content for its storytelling, inhabiting the corporate/commercial sign systems that have come to determine our world. Harry Potter is the new Iliad for better or worse...."

"..Behind a hostage of the forcibly public-domained. You get to disappear behind others'. ... the dirty and cruel world of bodies forced to adopt the identity and means of the larger cultural empire that oversees it, i.e. Adorno’s conform or perish..."

Read full: Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo) at Balice HertlingPuppies Puppies at What Pipeline, Puppies Puppies at BFA Boatos

Monday, February 21, 2022

Karla Black at Modern Art


A career of post-candy minimalism.  If it "makes [you] wish [you] were a jellyfish," it's because it belongs to an order of "certain gelatinous members," what only a Ctenophore's primitive nervous system - lacking the higher order judgement of brain - can feel. This is the raw stuff - the snortable stuff - the stuff pastry companies and instagram rearrange your subject, your taste, an entire generation of Millennial Pink on. Physical embodiments of color swatches gone sculpture. 

See too: Karla Black

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Theodora Allen at Blum & Poe


I've been trying to think through this style of painting for half a decade at this point.

see here: 

Caroline BachmannEmily Mae SmithSascha BraunigRay Yoshida at David NolanAndre Pierre at Central FineJulien Ceccaldi at Jenny’sJosefine Reisch at Noah KlinkAlice Tippit at Night ClubLui Shtini at Kate WerbleAnne Neukamp at Greta Meert

Call it, Byzantine icon influenced iPad Tarot painting. Maybe just, iPad Surrealism. Interface Astrology. 

"the priest, like the painter, is perhaps the manager of both realms"

Altarpieces similarity to modern GUI space makes them somehow anachronistically the most relevant from of painting, pre-renaissance painting systems matching those of the mass systems we interface with daily ... supplanting figuration with codes: image as icons broken into frames and grids of information with a skeuomorphic impression of religious wonderment. It is no coincidence that devotional paintings contain the same figurative depth as a iPad screen.

The interface, the organization of symbols to access higher planes.

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.

... 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 jewel 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 interpretability becomes their function. This is art, possibly.

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

your level of trust in the celestially telling matters less than the overall strategy: 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 here's lots to be said about these works, 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, art played to show its now quite standardized set of rules.