Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Isabella Solar Villaseca at O—Overgaden

Artists take note! The t-shirt is an honest signal. Unlike for so many artists who must subsume their signs/fandom into craft objects as value, the lowly t-shirt attempts no artistic bruhahaha. The t-shirt is stupid, democratic, it is your vote - which is why we like it - and why so many bad artists attempt to leverage their tastes as "art," monumentalize their like into statues, little fascists that artists are. 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Group Show at House of Gaga


Recognizing art is different from seeing it. We experience registry rather than sight. It's not a camel, it's a Heji Shin. It's never more noticeable than in group shows of a certain age(?).  Becoming recognizable as an artist is a certain type of death. Which many experience as unfortunate success. This is important recognition. 

Poppy Jones at Overduin & Co.


The receding sign, withdrawal, threatening loss, like paintings in the rain. 🥺 sad. "art often feels like a process, technology, for imprinting nostalgia. Casting banality in bronze, silver, with a halo of rose. " The Sontagian elegy of photographs as an Instagram filter. "preserves your recognition like pickled pigs and call it romantic." Pre-attaching its loss, you can almost print it. Nostalgia turning into an industry for creating it. 

see too: Moyra Davey, Peter Hujar at Galerie Buchholz

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Alex Becerra at Karma International


IN 2014 Alex Becerra was titling exhibitions "problematic whores" and getting reviews in Frieze and LA Times. Lauding him for "the self-granted freedom ... that no white artist would dare put his name to.""clearly feel[ing] no pressure to self-censor, which is a rare thing today, not just amongst artists." Now almost 10 years later the paintings are tame and the "reviews" come from culture magazines. It's a classic shift of the painter entering midcareer yes, but also a measure of how the art world has childproofed itself. No more edge, is it growing up or growing old?

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Ishi Glinsky at UC Santa Barbara


For a century now art has been take x but big. Expressionist childhoods projected at meters square carried 50 years of art. Etc. So no foul here. (And we've said before, big jewelry, brilliant.) If you're going to put the sign on the wall, put the sign on the wall. The sign scales. And scale is a tenuous thing today, it may be the defining characteristic of it. The ability to scale. The loss of scale in image that consumes us. Richard Serra could not build something so big as a sign. 

See too: Ana Pellicer at House of GagaAmanda Ross-Ho

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Evian Wenyi Zhang at Lulu


The book page, the altar piece, the comic panel, cubism (ostensibly), Google Images, GUI space, the "F shape" web structure. Information design, every so often a new way of looking is invented, discovered.  The form creates the seeing, realigns the world. Not sure this is it, but it's a noble pursuit. 

Monday, January 23, 2023

"What hides behind the nicety is an insidiousness of attentional assault."

Past: Laura Owens at Capitain Petzel

Friday, January 20, 2023

Koichi Enomoto at Nonaka-Hill


This on the other hand is the Pollockification of figuration. The splatter gun school of content. The drips become sign systems, limbs, etc. Painting is the flypaper of culture. Collects its surreal. All forced into the depth of an Ipad, or again, Beckman. Painting as your punk jacket assembled and stitched with the cultural buttons you find neat. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Satoru Kurata at Tomio Koyama Gallery


Most of today's wild wacky arm figuration is limbs as an excuse for some Pollock. An abstraction excused as the narrative it isn't. (Like we still haven't gotten past Schutz. Or Beckman.) But here the narrative structure is stupid simple, effective. The trick gives subjects autonomy, the minorest amount of agency. We see them seeing. Instead of just the painter. Which we still always are. But we get to forget that for a brief edenic moment. Momentarily vicarious.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Reto Pulfer at Hollybush Gardens


This type of artwork may be the final boss of 2010s contemporary art. A book you can't read. Pinned to the floor. An object of infinite affect. Compare to this object from 7 years ago. The tied up text.

"The packaging - the design, the arrangement - is the object, the affective manipulation of its viewer: the object above all connotes. Connotes intention and therefore meaning. The documentation encircles and presents it." But also prevents it.

"It creates a hole for the projection of its potential, fun or meaning. ...  The art object must be an inexhaustible hole, an affectation of the toy never opened. Like the toy manufacturer who ultimately wins by having privatized access to object, the artwork privatizes its "meaning." [Both are locked in packaging. ] It "means" nothing outside of the inflection of its affect [advertsing]. Circulates its sign within the sign structures of art, it looks like art, like it means something."

The toy designer and the artist no longer design a toy, design an artwork, they design a transaction. 

Monday, January 16, 2023


"Notable to the migratory flocking, Henkel and Pitegoff decamped to Berlin and opened a bar. In business it would be called a "blue ocean strategy," i.e. with Berlin's art party become more Donner than dance, the artistically snowbound cannibalizing, a bone thrown to waters bloodying was respectable way to neutralize hungry dogs, demonstrate oneself a source of sustenance, feeding the hungry with cocktails, was no small ingenuity. The theater that came next placed the bar's social capital in the spotlight, literally on view, staged, showcasing the finer patrons on a pedestal and lit to be gawked upon. Before exhibiting the bar itself. Whatever institutional critique it held was mostly in the fact that it could do it better ... continually furthering of the Berlin trope of artist diasporas of song and dance routines to attend the paintings and objects..."

"'I’m leaving because this is bad. Because it’s really bad, isn’t it?'"

Saturday, January 14, 2023

New Space Show at Layr & The Old Greyhound Bus Station at Bortolami

New Space day at CAD. An old bus station, a fresh digs. The exhibition space is the thing we're meant acknowledge but also not supposed to really acknowledge. (It would be too base to talk about the space in a true art review.) But yet it's there, the cosmic radiation to art.  I'm not even sure we have a language for its criticism, we only talk about it as a whole, as the common cube, to everyone. The implicit gold wreath. That now occasionally self-acknowledges? The exhibition's space is the watermark for the gallery's brand. the identity - so of course there is desire to puff its chest. 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Cindy Ji Hye Kim at Kunsthall Stavanger


Saccharine counterbalanced with fragility in excess. Laser cut bones, graphite sandcastles. This will all be erased! Graphite drawing: granules in time, sand in the hourglass! It makes the chintz bearable knowing it will disappear. Why does our nervous systems resemble brambles? Our venous system roses? Our love all tinder in the long run's fire. As we desiccate. To the charcoal we will become. Art linked to our own bonfire.  It makes the sweetness temporary, endurable. Saying the same thing 3 times. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Adam Higgins at Chris Sharp Gallery


Drip paintings as hyper realist memento mori? A salad days preserved for years, preserved by "photography's inherent embalm and morbidity." Argument: "But youth should be wasted, sloughed into bogs of our own autumns. Instead [salad's] preservation, feeling always like photography flexing its own ability to do so, holding its pearl while we are like strapped to dying animals, timers and all. Like Imhof's Faust, subjects are forced into becoming advertisements for themselves [for painting], for the thing they cannot hold onto but [art] gets to reap." So you get your big abstraction, at a slight remove, and the humility flies upon it. They're vanitas, all art temporary, your Pollock rots, attracts vermin. This will all spoil!  But only in representation. "Dutch vanitas were also a means for the wealthy to signal their humility through ostentatious displays of said humility." The joke is you get your cake and display a humble cake too. 

Past: Mai-Thu Perret

"at what point is it an "archaeology of modernism" .. and at what point is it recasting its forms in more precious materials, as designer souvenirs of that history? "

"... as the commodes of home catalogs and design-porn magazines. Souvenirs of a high-end experience. predicting the craft object trends. The pottery on everyones shelves, neon signs trending in summer cottages. Perret originally created a narrative of a fictional utopia which "produced" the artworks. All the funnier since the trends that look like hers all premise themselves on the selling of hopeful futures, the crafts we will all already be acclimated to post-apocalypse, raku firing our dreams. Perret eventually got rid of the utopia fiction, and then they became just art, much less utopic."

Read all posts tagged Mai-Thu Perret
Past: Lucy McKenzie

"... the modern question of whether we should believe in the sign or not, the surface or not, like clue boards we're not sure to trust, as the PR states: presenting legal grey areas in culture’s appetite for the genuine."

All posts tagged: Lucy McKenzie

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Past: Henry Taylor at Eva Presenhuber

It's a odd property of most paint that you can't brighten black skin by adding white; brown's vibrance is muted by white. While the tonal value is "lighter" the chromatic intensity is lessened...  An artifact in history's poor representation of blackness ... in the paint itself.

Full: Henry Taylor at Eva Presenhuber

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Manuel Solano at Carlos/Ishikawa


The blind painter, it's like a Borges story, we see the creation the creator cannot. The preloaded failure in communication, the age old question whether the tree in my mind is the tree in yours. Why was it important for culture to keep dinosaurs lizard like - we were afraid of boys constricted by feather boas? Puffs with teeth underneath? If these dinosaurs are flamboyant then Jurassic Park's are alt-right. We're not even sure we're looking at the same thing. Different trees.

Past: Raimer Jochims

"There is analogy to be made in the sculptor as an intestinal tract: Freed from the structure and striations of skeletal muscle ... the smooth muscle sculptor digests like an intestinal tube that is artist's erosion in time... just rubbing, frottage until the rocks are tumbled to our gratification."

"Jewels or portals, the tension-confusion. A faceted sapphire is both; painting a jewel for your wall."

Click: Raimer Jochims at Jacky Strenz (1)Raimer Jochims at Jacky Strenz (2)Raimer Jochims at Jacky Strenz (3)Raimer Jochims at Jacky Strenz (4)

Monday, January 2, 2023

Rodney McMillian at Petzel


Connecting the dots between rooms we would assume those too are fake modernist "decoys" - not precisely art -which, in the longstanding modernist battle to end art, making a fake version seems as apt as anything. But fake art presents the real-fake-doors conundrum - that the fake requires an authentic. Which there wasn't. It's all in service to the trophy - the token as meaning. What is a trophy? And not even sure why we wanted to kill art - but this seems less an attack on art more like attempt at self-deletion, the trophy hunter capturing himself?