Friday, September 29, 2023

 A conservative politician walks out on stage to Rage Against the Machine. He is said to "not to get it." "You are the machine" someone dunks. X erupts. Bruce Springsteen is sought for comment.The cat is hit in head with a large mallet. This repeats every election cycle - it is our annual scientific experiment in the field of aesthetics. The loudspeakers pump meaning to a large sample size. Last year we selected "Born in the USA." The conservative politician wins. This is how art means. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

I have left the three emojis. There in the cradle beneath your image. These three emojis are the legal representation of the cornucopia of my care. Three hearts, the tithe and taxation of my attention. This one has an arrow through it. Curator, do you see these three plums of my engagement? They are my soul, my tender. Three diamonds, three magi bearing at your manger. This is not a panopticon, I promise I love. These three lightning bolts I have carved for you represent your Zeus like stature. That is why I carved them for you. You are not balding. Your lipstick trustworthy. You should consider wielding, a trident. I meant to say you posts are redolent and insightful, but instead I have left the three emojis from the icebox we share.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

We have grown tired of critique. Grown past it. Grown into something more agreeable, more contrite, more pleasing to the eye. Just pleasant to be around. To be liked. Not so much respected. No one respects the wind, but a cool breeze is necessary. To be the wind at our backs making steps easier. To make our positioning amiable. That's what we're here for today. A more colorful world. The crunch that sells the candy. What is there left but instagram posts of artist portraits celebrating birthdays, smiling and excellent whites. We're all so friendly, all friends, this is friendly smiling. I am not imagining blood. I am not trying to kill you with my mind. I am not speaking through gritted teeth a preferable opinion. I am not lamenting the ass kiss that you are. I have never once at the bar said unkind things about your artists, never spoken ill of his collecting. Never seen the nepotism. Never held tongue of another to make it speak something I wanted to hear. This bowl of cherries is cadmium and doesn't require press release. I have instagrammed it to show I believe in beauty despite my gallery roster. The following things are bad:

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Michaela Eichwald at Neue Galerie Gladbeck


Has Eichwald gone pleasant? Surely there could be some critically interesting reason for the turn.. but what is it? A flower has grown from the mud? All that previous gasping intestinals, mud men, and tube brown were only mulch, to grow this? When Oehlen made his turn from swamp butt to the smeared super Crest contemporary there was something something kept, the stupidity of smearing paint. But these are pure handsome, brushed hair and all. 

See all: 

Monday, September 18, 2023

Hamishi Farah at Maxwell Graham / Essex Street


It's a hard press release to beat. One can only be more explicit. In gaming, "the meta" is the strategy created by players using knowledge of the inner workings of the game mechanics. For something like chess, "playing the meta" is axiomatic to the game, whereas for a role playing game, a certain suspension of disbelief is required, and "playing the meta" is frowned upon. Since Art is our collective cloud based MMORPG, it is a game requiring its players to pretend like they aren't playing the meta - like they didn't lick the curator's cheeks clean after dinner. Like their abstractions are of conceptual merit. We know art's function and follow that to its form. Broodthaers aside, artists acknowledging the meta is tongue in cheek - Krebber or contingent painting or whatever. But Art's meta was basically laid out by Bourdieu and everyone kind of just steps around this like they stepped around the rich but racist patron until recently it became more meta advantageous to call them out publicly. The meta is always up for debate. The point is, "black portraiture has been through an intense though not unprecedented revaluation in recent years" and that was white's first move. Black to move next. And since we know art's inner function can predict the form, and lo: Farah makes that obvious move, Black Painting. Farah does what he does best, the politics self represent. The exchange in chess, in art, is a foregone conclusion. It's the stupid, brazenly open transaction, of seeing the pawn offered, being taken, that makes it fun.

See too: Hamishi Farah at Fri Art

Friday, September 15, 2023

Ibrahim Mahama at Kunsthalle Osnabrück

Dressing the city building in the linen of "forced laborers" - it's.. a metaphor for sure. But putting a dress on a building interestingly Venturi-Scott-Browns it’s architectural identification. The building could display its intention, signal its function. The building should work for us, even if the linen's historic symbolism is a bit... But its the only way symbolism works, you explicitly tell people what it means. 

Thursday, September 14, 2023


"... the closer it can be to being without qualities, is its psychedelic quality. The paintings warble in closeness to a reality that they fail to produce. " "the asymptotic approach to image, falling towards the ground it aims at and missing, closer, closer, closer, feel vertigo.

Click: Jesse Benson at Michael BeneventoJesse Benson at Michael Benevento (2)

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


... that images exist because someone somewhere, regardless of skill or self-awareness to conceptually edit their mental garbage, had the desire for garbage. Paintings like a physical wish, and these ones just happen to be kinda gross. Someone cared enough to make these. This desire "speaks" - has meaning, a subject appears, however abject, the grey slime of the human, in paint form. 

Read full: Mads Lindberg at C.C.C.

Nicolas Party at The Modern Institute

As Party hues desaturate the underpinning becomes clearer: banality. It was always there it was just masked by Party lighting. The Disco turned off, the overhead lights reveal your unpleasant face. In the other room of the paintings of the world burning? That's your friend reminding you you've got work tomorrow, now today. The world is on Fire! Thanks Nicolas! Gosh sure wish we hadn't taken all those Party drugs yesterday. I might be able to feel something about this impossibly lackluster apocalypse of today. But this is how the world ends, incredibly mediocre paintings. 

Past: Nicolas Party

"...a buoy softening the blow of their initial banality. But first hating these paintings is the point. The crucial moment comes when you give it up, criticality, and let the nicities of them wash over you. They want you to accept them as they are, to require nothing more. God they're so horrible, take some pleasure in the perversity of liking them."

Nicolas Party at Gregor StaigerNicolas Party at The Modern Institute

Tuesday, September 12, 2023


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

"artistic-commodification of one's own body as an object for psychological projection, for MEANING. Everything is reflected back into the object of one's displayed-not-displayed body. Hannah Wilke but now dancing its inkblot in front of you. To interview a human is not enough you must find a way to paint yourself red into it."

Monday, September 11, 2023

A.L. Steiner at 80WSE


Tillmans can be oppressive with his cloying sentiment, that Sontagian moribund, everything mementos, everything matters, everything porcelain, precious. Show me a Tillmans photo of people having fun and know its death. Opposite Steiner's photo suites: that no one matters - that you can discard any of these photos - replace them with any other moment of life. Ignore the politics: here there's actually people having fun. People smile, people jest. This is not the search for the perfect embalming light. It's not people in the societal bondage gear of photography or Cindy Sherman cruelty. There is no distant connoisseurship. Just what collectivizes in the fringes of your eyes at night. 

See too: Wolfgang Tillmans at Galerie Buchholz Wolfgang Tillmans at Maureen PaleyAmalia Ulman at The Gallery at El Centro


'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."


 "Emergence is known for producing some of the most spectacular feats in nature - snowflakes, bird flocks, Giant's Causeway - and in Capital it causes our workers to turn orange."

Full: A.L. Steiner at Koenig & Clinton

Friday, September 8, 2023

Past: Timur Si-qin

"The techno-conceptual ... presents today’s shopping experience as yesterday's pagan rituals, the work’s ostensible entomopathogenic function serves to force its host, the luxury goods system, to self-expose. This is the Koonsian fantasy of the gallery, that objects put under its disenchanting light will perform a sort of auto-dissection. ...
Ostensibly this is using the machine to kill the machine. Or at least a publicity project for a new religion to destroy the machine. A publicity campaign to end publicity campaigns. ... confused with what floor of irony we are intended to exit on..."



There was the Affect Theory Reader and then there was what the kids called "vibes." It wasn't what you advertised it was the fact that skateboarding dog growled it. Previously the hipster had mocked this with a discombobulated semiology of PBR truckers and really expensive denim. Rachel Harrison. The object was meaningless vessel to the light. Hahaha, we all collectively admitted, groaned, or smiled. But now we're here, in the sunken place serious with our mood lighting and artifacts from several genre of past wreckage. Alien, Roman, or cousin Greg. This is the acceptance stage of grief. The lighting has already done the airline crash assessment for us. There is nothing outside of mis-en-scene. 

See too: Josh Kline at Modern Art, Adrián Villar Rojas at MOCA Geffen

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Victor Fotso Nyie at P420


Abstraction, surrealism, while maintaining prickly specificity. Old parable: Forms are not made more identifiable through vague anatomy. Rejoice, your figuration need not be doughy! The crippling loads of generic figuration current is not human but sales figures. To look at someone and not see art! Underneath it, a person! Even crushed by it. The relief!

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Jürgen Klauke at Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman


The luggage scanner was more free of political baggage in the 80s. Sorting the internals of an object- it's a metaphor for interpretation, understanding, for meaning. But as Heji Shin has shown, the internal can be as useless as the face of God, Kanye. It's all visage, mirage, inkblot. Giving the inkblot a shape at least relieves the viewer full culpability to meaning. The artist shares in the guilt of creation. This is small kindness.

See too: Heji Shin at Reena SpaulingsHeji Shin at MEGA Foundation

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Past: Julia Scher

"The security camera, early exemplar of our proprioception lost to digital realms. Magritte's Not to be Reproduced no longer surreal but our reality, walking into department stores. Your body could be distended in mirrors sent through ethers appearing before you, behind you, and on facebook to poke, instagram to heart, 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..."

Katharina Wulff at Galerie Buchholz


We could group Wulff in with the History Bruise/Forgetful Surrealists painters - there's that feeling of painting's artifacts resurfacing, of paintings misremembered. Because everything seems unplaceably not quite nameable but too familiar. This is how a cluttered genericness becomes somehow specific feeling. Walking through a museum that doesn't exist. 

 see too: Forgetful Surrealists 

Friday, September 1, 2023

Theory of the Silly Putty person


Theory of the silly putty person. Of our figuration with tubes for arms, dough for hands. Common to most figuration today, no?  Lacking anatomy, musculature, skeletal structure, bordering on alien grey. Fallout from our cartoon moment? That fully embodying the character with blood, skeleton, vasculature, with shit, piss, blemish would prevent the everyman? If the character becomes too realized we won't identify with their blank anonymous vessel? To remind us we live in a realm of unreal people?