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. 

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.

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.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Jon Pestoni at Broadway


A name not heard in a while. The colorfields of cancellation. Perhaps wrongly associated with the post-Krebber neu-painters, e.g. Zak Prekop or Sergej Jensen or Værslev -  who in spite of Krebber's Bartleby assertion, instead preferred to - but with a big white flag of an excuse, generally, it was mostly some vaguely "conceptual" gentle abstraction. The overt cancellation provides this relief, an ostensible refusal at capital p Painting. At the same time the secret is that they are still pretty paintings, made with the signs, but not intent, of cancellation.

Thursday, February 17, 2022


"The artist performing the resurrection on the dead artists career. Developing it, from the negative an emerging artist. It becomes a performance. The conjuring itself becomes the promotion, generates visibility, is the career."

"Forensic or creepy photo lab guy, you implicated in eyes looking back, our hands all over these eyes ... Uncertain, our relation. .... the ever slight variations in a human face are alone more than enough for an artwork, face's ability to crumple, wither, and smooth itself in expression. Hand manipulate them to be so."

read full: Sophie Thun at Sophie TappeinerSophie Thun and The Estate of Zenta Dzividzinska at Kim? Contemporary Art Centre

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Zhiliang Zhao at Lulu & Hélène Fauquet at Édouard Montassut

(Zhao, Fauquet)

Two strategies in our current glass. One manifests an excess materiality as defense - declarative flag in mud. The other exacerbates glass. That we look through so much glass today has refracted art to implicitly shift around this invisible structure framing our experience: this why we see so much mud today, so many cartoons for instagram, so much iconographic surrealism with the depth of iPad. The world is viewed predominantly through these lenses, through lens, glass, 4k screen. Seeing Jasper Johns in person like viewing a woolly mammoth at the history center. "Oh they have art on computers now." We bend around and through it. We've been saying this for a while are you bored yet?

 Past: Hélène Fauquet at Edouard Montassut 

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

 Full: Hélène Fauquet at Edouard Montassut 

Monday, February 14, 2022

Maryam Hoseini at Deborah Schamoni


Ambiguity in flesh, always fun. We like destroying people. Bend their limbs like pipes for decoration, from Bacon to Matisse, Bellmer, Picasso, axe blades to the human doll. Gore from the 80s. To form a pleasure.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Portals Misako & Rosen, Tokyo


Goya painted some black paintings but even the well fed generals contain hell. A pallor in dough. Looking into the fire in a Night on Bald Mountain are nudes that burn. The Maja's autopsy. A fire vacant like Goya's eyes.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Emma McIntyre at Air de Paris

Amazing how far we've come. 10 years ago Josh Smith was ironically fucking himself on canvas, Joe Bradley's neanderthal nappies were thought the bedrock of low, stoopid fun. Kerstin Brätsch's fake import/export DAS INSTITÜT. But the ironizing of the sign only serves the delivery of what we really wanted: big juice, canvas, double gulp size. Irony allowed for cake and its excuse too: this was sugar free painting, a critique or whatever. But "the sign will always triumph through the screen of an ironic signifier." And eventually someone realized they didn't need a delivery vehicle for cake. And so now today here have it, full blown painting Tang.

Past: Emma McIntyre 

"is this an argument/ante/gambit for unambiguously pretty painting? Bogs of the saccharine, positively. Don't sleep on this... this PR uses no ironizing verb. ... This would all seem slight if it didn't feel like an opening readied for crowbars edge. The last line earns its dystopian threat, the window wrested open to the "new horizons in contemporary abstract painting."

Full: Emma McIntyre at Chris Sharp Gallery

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Past: Nairy Baghramian

"...bodily stones complicating the minimalist mantra that 'what you see is what you see' because what you see is sometimes sexually confusing, leather seats looking like the lap of a taught, tan and naked man. The cigar that just might be, or rocks that just might not. A “bodily” different from its post-minimalist reassertion: entendre produces uncertainty in polite company..."

Nairy Baghramian at Walker Art Center?Nairy Baghramian at Museo TamayoNairy Baghramian at Marian Goodman

Monday, February 7, 2022

Alex Olson at Park View/Paul Soto


A sort of lacking taste commendable, nice really, being this against grain: "explosion in a Harlequin factory"? in a flannel factory? Some kind of outburst in pattern manufacturing. Though the detonation is methodical, making the Jonathan Lasker-like gameboard of painting appear. The sort of sport of painting.  That these acknowledge. Because anything this incommensurate with elegance is about something other than pleasantries. 

Martín Soto Climent at Michael Benevento Gallery


Sprinkling charcoal through panties, you would think these would be sexier than they are. Gartered paintings instead cut and and framed to chaste design, to art. But what is sexy has been ruined by artists for years, bodies crumpled like cans for composition, for harmony among shape, among mind, and so these have a long lineage to work with.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Flaka Haliti at Kunstverein Friedrichshafen & Sreshta Rit Premnath at MIT List Visual Arts Center & Yuki Ikenobō at Tokyo Gallery

(HalitiPremnath, Ikenobō)

Metal, water, winter. A cold spring. The world blown apart and reassembled. A world compositionalized. Three distinctly different backgrounds give forth through a selection process something that resembles a general feeling acceptable. Because we're looking at the world through the same selective peephole. Or is it our pattern seeking monkey brain. But its gone from soft to cold right?

Friday, February 4, 2022

 Past: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at Serpentine Gallery

"...reminds one of the entirety of a historical lineage of failed attempts at it by white painters getting it stubbornly, wincingly, wrong, from orientalism to the particularly inept Dutch to Eric Fischl  and the spectacular failure of Elizabeth Peyton's initial foray into it.."

Read full: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at Serpentine Gallery

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Leslie Thornton at MIT List Visual Arts Center


Aren't these images such a soft paternal voice, a soft authority. The chairs gathered before. Balanced delicate image. Someone was paid to take it, to touch it up, to paste in the images which would otherwise be blown out. Not really a real image, they are a mockup of your experience. How you could, how you should. This is the water of our "contemporary art experience." All silver. Reflect.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Yui Yaegashi at Parrasch Heijnen


There's value in expunging. Calm, an app that "monetized doing nothing" recently valued at 2 billion dollars. Or Marie Kondo selling products to help you get rid of yours. But more there's value in making something noble, moral. Vices turned into connoisseurship: it's not alcoholism it's an appreciation for wine, now "natural" wines. And these sell temperance, withholding, from the big jouissance of painting. There's an analogy to certain kinks. Where painting out provides the pleasure.