Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Dozie Kanu at Performance Space


Art has no expectations anymore, there's no surprise, all subversion is already accepted. But furniture is a form with expectations and so allows for subversion. Too wonky, impractical, painful, these are the tools of the artist/designer. There's an air of relational aesthetics to the whole Open Room: art's questions are quietly traded for a function. Who needs beauty when you're being served excellent chili. Art's unicorn "criticality" gets replaced with being useful. Sort of like how Hirschorn passed off trash pavilions as utilitarian philosophy. A 100 years of critics inventing theoretical function for art, as MEANING, eventually confuses the issue. The old Indiana Jones slight of hand, exchanging heavy trash for gold. But Indy made that academic gaff, mistaking volume for weight, having never really held gold, didn't know the exchange rate. Then the temple collapses. 

The dust forms a question for archeologists. And then how you felt about the temple to begin with.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Sam Lipp at Derosia


The inherent eroticism of painting was somehow lost along the way. To reconstruct a person by wiping their visage with oiled sable, a recreation of them. Painting someone's portrait: totally cool; building a doll of them: yikes dawg. But Rembrandt's auto-erotica is bonkersly weird. Just because you were trained to masturbate really well doesn't mean 8 hours of masturbation is normal. Getting paid for it at least makes it a job. To really see someone's every inch. That's why you pay for it. But then Painting got big and abstract and screechingly seminal to repress the fay quiet of portraitists and Morandi. And then finally, Richter who embalmed it. But the point being Lipp attempts returning some of the erotics with a labor intensive painting process - a becoming-xerox-machine through sweat, and which these things do, sweat. An erotics similar to early Matthew Barney bdsm drawing restraints, drawing hindered with a jockstrap homoerotic hefting. The hindering provides the sweat to dew on the surface, the lip of Richter's corpse. 

see too: 

Friday, June 24, 2022

Leonor Antunes at La Loge


Some artists compress diapers into tractors. Other make lights whose "fixtures are a discreet reference to the concrete elements designed by Egle Trincanato, the first woman to graduate from the Venice School of Architecture." The point is the same, content pressed into shape, trojaned, smuggled, compositionalized, brandished. The difference is the size of the press release. 

see: Marc Kokopeli at Reena Spaulings Fine Art

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Marc Kokopeli at Reena Spaulings Fine Art

"Like the drug smuggler casting his contraband in the shape of Jesus to escape the prying eyes, [artists] recast trash as flimsy endearing objects that we are made to love. ... repackaging, a reincarnation, second life in the only way objects know how: camouflaging themselves as fresh commodities. "

"Composing it into art objects becomes a blessing for sending the objects into the "heavenly" afterlife, a means of delivering them to the majority white institutions to get them to care for them in perpetuity."

Diaper cakes. Why recast your gift as a cake? Because the content isn't nice enough to be product/gift. This is an apt metaphor for art. The form (cake) is pretty far from function (shit napkins). So you jazz it up. This is the compositionalization of art. The diaper giver and the artist (or drug smuggler) - they must stealth their package into a societally acceptable object. You abstract the content.  Of course this is actually the new form, a socially compressed oddity, but we don't treat it as that. We think, press release on, "ooh 'a German bucket wheel excavator, used for industrial coal mining.'"

Caspar Heinemann at Cabinet

"Cardboard like a sloughed flesh for transit."

"and soggy cardboard is like a rotting flesh"

"Your touch leaves a mark, sews a patch, you reproduce yourself in the objects you attend. Preciousness in warm cardboard, wearing touch, eroding to someone's love."

like a flesh, ornamented and stringed. Dripped pearls and a hole slightly greased.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Ser Serpas at Galerie Barbara Weiss

Americans spent the last two years tearing down monuments, so there is catharsis here in what was always implicit then, that our ideals were mostly trash anyway. So erect now what you previously pretended didn't. As important as land acknowledgements, a song to the tune of Kanye West's Runaway, "Let's have a toast for the douchebags." Let's have a toast to the trash hole. A toast to IKEA elegance, the shelf that everyone I know has. A toast to waste, yours. 


"A Pierre Hughye for the post-apocalypse, Budor's maybe a bit more invested in theatrics, the movies, and less in magic, instead in its dumbness, which is what we love those big sci-fi budgets for, the vast quantity of ash."

Dora Budor at Kunsthalle Basel

Monday, June 20, 2022

Ei Arakawa at Overduin & Co.


Assembles references as a series of gestures - not quite gathered but shrugged towards. A sort of breeze of its symbols, a perfume of content. The most interesting thing in Arakawa is the ability to be about something without saying quite anything about it. Parental painting turned to digital displays. Content exhumed and glitzed. Quote books. An "opera." A breeze. What is to be learned here is the ability to treat content with the lightest touch, to barely use it, to just sorta let it lift itself barely into air. 

Friday, June 17, 2022

Elizabeth Englander at Theta & Tahnee Lonsdale at Night Gallery

(Theta, Night)

At one end you have the trash reassembling to totem and at the other end the figure shredded into composition. They meet at the same point, our expectations of art, an object as cultural phantasm, cultural picasso. 

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Paul Mpagi Sepuya at Bortolami


You would think a harem would be sexier. Be fun. But the bodies look refrigerated. This isn't service to sex, to flesh, or fun, but to the camera to be bent around. That screaming art marker, composition. This is fallout of Picasso. Of art turned to manners. Turned to need for looking like art. A man waving his arms spinning a sign saying "COMPOSITION." To mark it as art. Market it as art. The camera is the merely the node for conceptual static. A photography exchanging the desires of people for demands of art. For color and composition as a bad ruler. "The studio" is a machine akin the office paper shredder, a function for limitless abstraction.

Past: Paul Mpagi Sepuya

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Kerstin Brätsch at Gladstone 64


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. 

See too: Kerstin Brätsch at Gio MarconiDAS INSTITÜT at Serpentine GalleryKAYA at Deborah SchamoniKerstin Brätsch at Gavin Brown

Paulo Nazareth at Mendes Wood DM & Pivô & The Power Plant

An exotic image for sale. That Nazareth is aware. But unsure what level of duplicity we've gotten off on. Intentionally meeting expectations of the [x] artist. There's too many tropes at play. Enduro walks, cardboard signs, blanket sales, crusty bricks and tin cans, THE CITY, wove leaf hats, cruddy nice paintings. Its got all the tropes. AlysPopeLOrozcoHammonsKuriMendietaCruzvillegasEtal. Maybe the closest is AI Weiwei, who exchange an understanding of politics for an understanding of art. An understanding the artist. Or, perhaps some elaborate triple agent irony? We knowing that he knows that they don't care.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Michael Rakowitz at Rhona Hoffman Gallery


Totemizing the debris of culture. Art as church for contemplation. We come to see the cultural oracle.

[Art] always look like you blew up a shopping mall, like its reassembly after catastrophe, like hangers categorizing airline wreckage. Trying to make sense in debris. Us, a cargo cult. Us, a primitive culture, drawing aurochs on our white cave walls. With the debris of culture. Our Mystic auto-anthropology. "

"art treats culture as a system of artifacts to be interrogated by its own white light certification process, a factory for meaning production." 

At least here the politics are clear. A giant trashbag in the other room inflates and deflates, turning a political act into performance. Press "on" to repeat history for audience. The PR asks a telling question about an artist who sculpted monuments to both Confederate and Union generals: "What does it mean that the same pair of hands made these two works?" But the obvious answer is telling. In cultural war artists are mercenaries. 

Martin Wong at Galerie Buchholz & Raúl de Nieves at Company Gallery


Recently received, a lovely email (yet responded, apologies), which among else broached a question of cheesiness, which long thought short: there exists an allergy to work that isn't actively in some way rejecting the viewer. Cheese cloys. And we're antagonists. Afflict the comforted and all that. At the same time, Art has an abusive history with commodifying pain and dispossession as late-stage heroism (generally after the halo reward is blocked by several feet of dirt.)  So a hard time reconciling an embrace of Wong's body-ill-at-ease on one hand, with personal jade over de Nieves celebratory excess. And no flies on fruit ever prevented the consumption of a little dutch vanity. Jewels past their expiration date are in fact are historically ripe for most riche taste. 

see too: Kathleen Ryan at Ghebaly Gallery

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Past: Raúl de Nieves

"Too much decoration... We call it 'gaudy' or 'garish' or 'lurid' or 'vulgar' no longer arranged but vomited in quantity, too much, like the clowns who baroque their face to comical levels, found frightening, a rupture of the socially decorous. Because these are ethnocentric terms, wielding the symbolic violence of 'taste,' and such it is rare museums didactic their greek statuary with 'this greek marble would have actually been caked in makeup, like a whore' preserving both the marble and myth of white antiquity."

read full: Raúl de Nieves at Freedman Fitzpatrick

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Siggi Hofer at Secession


Painting converting to sign systems, bastardizing the pure expectations; painting begins behaving more like a stop sign. Painters love the functional sign, the sign painter, but capital P Painting can't be given to such pedestrian work. Josh Smith actually painting stop signs proved the bad boy point: painting isn't intended to function. Smith's point negated itself as an eyeroll, expected bastardizing. But when painting fuzzes sign/painting territory the point becomes Math Bass clearer discomfort.

Math Bass at Mary Boone
"It makes for paintings that can be painful, sensitivity traded for force."

Shannon Finnegan Slower Deborah Schamoni, Munich


Carolyn Lazard has a similar show up with redesigned benches and transcribed artwork. And Park McArthur similarly alt-audio-texted the gallery spaces at MoMA. Which is less a critique than obvious parallels, a drippy paint for any expressionist. And less institutional critique than a softening the edges of institution, important work one could argue the institutions should be doing on their own. (A long artistic history, softening corporate facades.) Or Trisha Donnelly appropriating Robert Rosenblum's Picasso audio tour for her MoMA Artist's Choice exhibition. But oddly the audio here is kept from us, the objects/chairs disperse themselves protected by image's glass, but the audio which would digitally free itself instead seals itself in forms. Because words are cheap, and so the digital rights are managed, kept inside frames, a joke about non-accessibility possibly. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Chim↑Pom at Mori Art Museum


Our wreckage as Disney land. Amusement. The giant trash bag of earth. We delight in the impropriety, snorting badness by the line of "raising issues." You treat the world like a cartoon, write captions in the sky, to render the world "in comic book style." The world is a cartoon at least make yourself an artist entrepreneur. Start a business, tear it down, corporate dreams, etc. etc. etc. The world no longer a clay but an erector set with artist designed neon. Very very very fun.  

Monday, June 6, 2022

Past: Chim↑Pom at ANOMALY

"We have invented forms of wreckage we find enjoyable."

Past: Chim↑Pom at ANOMALY

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Nona Inescu at Peles Empire

"like bodily stones complicating the minimalist mantra that what you see is what you see, because what you see is sometimes sexually confusing..."  
"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, in bisphenol A, BPA's estrogenic symptoms to counteract the now "natural" amounts of viagra in rivers, our vessels leaded with a new Rome, our castrati and fears dispersed, everywhere and nowhere. These things are bioaccumulative, they add up in sediments in your blood, fat, balls..."
A lot of art brandish, monumentalize, these fears into nervous objects: In the ongoing surge of the bodily-lump these find some territory for the fear that asks for understanding, an abstract press release that is good, spells it out, these shrines to our apophenia. 

Angelika Loderer at Sophie Tappeiner


"The mycelium disintegrates the fibers of the prints, and images." This artwork that self-destructs. Sorta.  The non-secret in a long history of artwork auto-destruction is that doesn't. Like the Banksy half-shredded, it merely performed spectacle. Valorizes itself, processes its material to create brand. Like a mushroom, or an artist, or the point.  What we need is not this psuedo-suicide. What we need an artwork that destroys other artworks. A giant chomping crushing machine. What we need is writing.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Lauren Halsey at David Kordansky Gallery


Like Silly Putty to newsprint, like Orozco rolling gum across the City, the katamari of art accumulates its displays, content. Gathers the city, reroutes it back into the Museum. A cultural enrichment program for its whiteness.  With an appreciation for the sign painter, whose vernacular form 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. Not here of course, this is art. 

see too: Gedi Sibony at The ArsenaleDavid Ostrowski at SundogsMark Grotjhan at Karma

Trisha Donnelly at Galerie Buchholz

Donnelly's game is plain, obvious. The detractors points clear: it's mysterioized, basic obfuscation as easy enigma. And the art, just skylines turned, reflected, solarized, whatever. CAWD could label them another example of inkblot art. (They are.) But despite, there still remains. And it is this affective quality despite, that becomes their carapace. Attempting to tell the detractors the photograph looks like deep sea evil, rapture, and that despite the rudimentary workings there's something occasionally affective. Despite. Think Nairy Baghramian uncanny lumpen, her photos of clouds. Or Michael E Smith's cancerous suggestions. It is this ability of Donnelly to separate and divide and make evil our inability to share feelings, to see christ (or not) in the photograph. The innocent question of "what you see" in the cloud becomes apprehensive. Yes the game is dumb, plain, obvious, the quality is despite. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Michaela Eichwald at Reena Spaulings Fine Art


Giving new meaning to art that matched the couch. Painting like a potato, couch like an Erwin Wurm. They meet in handshake of our body - they both hold meat and brain, contemplation and weight. Becoming here an ouroboros, contemplating our own tail, head feast ass.

Erwin Wurm at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg