Daily Postings
art : review

History and Its Marks: Kahlil Robert Irving's Streets:Chains:Cocktails

by Amelia Rina

Smashing high and low.


Porcelain, like culture, emerges from a series of transformations. Different complementary and contrasting elements combine with changing environments to produce something that is wholly different from its original state, yet both versions are forever connected. Kahlil Robert Irving’s porcelain sculptures blend the medium’s lineage with Irving’s inherited cultural history to reveal a contradiction of beauty, oppression, value, and waste.

[ Read More ]
art : interview
art : review

Sculpting Space: Ruth Asawa at David Zwirner

by Osman Can Yerebakan

Mixing ardor ethereality.

Ruth Asawa’s artistic career endured the regrettable fate shared by many twentieth-century women. The late Japanese American artist never enjoyed a solo exhibition at a New York institution, and for the most part she remained eclipsed by her predominantly white, male peers. The last few years, however, have signaled a noticeable recognition for Asawa’s composed sculptures in tandem with a growing engagement with the legacy of Black Mountain College, partly provoked by Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957, an in-depth group survey dedicated to that alternative institution’s teachers and students. After announcing exclusive representation of the Ruth Asawa estate earlier this year, David Zwirner contributes to the burgeoning conversation around the artist’s work with a concentrated survey, which includes painting, drawing, and photographs of her and her work in addition to Asawa’s preeminent hand-woven wire sculptures.

[ Read More ]
art : review

William Pope.L Navigates the Flint Waterways

by Jennifer Junkermeier

Not fit for human consumption.

Flint, Michigan, nicknamed “Vehicle City” for once being a leader in U.S. auto manufacturing, is the birthplace of General Motors. It went from a thriving city in the late 1970s to one in financial distress when GM drastically reduced its workforce from 80,000 to 8,000 over 20 years. Today it has a population of 100,000 people, with 57% black residents, 37% white residents, and 42% living below the poverty line. In 2014, in an effort to save money, the state-appointed emergency manager (not an elected official) made the decision to switch Flint’s water supply from the Great Lakes Water Authority to the Flint River. After the switch, residents began getting sick, developing rashes and other symptoms that could not be explained. Complaints were routinely dismissed, and although a few boil water advisories were put into effect, Flint residents were repeatedly assured by city and state officials that it was safe to drink and bathe in the water. [ Read More ]

art : review

Between Then and Now: on Kara Walker and Ta-Nehisi Coates

by Rabia Ashfaque

Reminding us of what should never have been forgotten

“White supremacy has always had a perverse sexual tint,” Ta-Nehisi Coates declares in his essay “The First White President,” published in the October 2017 issue of The Atlantic. Coates’s words, which offer a bracing assessment of America’s perturbing present in relationship with its contentious past, are in perfect sync with Kara Walker’s current exhibition, floridly titled Sikkema Jenkins and Co. is Compelled to present The most Astounding and Important Painting show of the fall Art Show viewing season! The grotesque images she creates with Sumi ink, charcoal, and watercolor depict the ugly reality of an America that both Walker and Coates see clearly: a fractured, bigoted society haunted by a past it dare not accept, collapsing under the burden of its own stubborn blindness.

[ Read More ]
art : essay

One Piece: The Old Bars (after M.H.)

by David Salle

The artist talks about the genesis, composition, and execution of a recently completed work.

Old Bars (after M.H.) began as a little wager with myself. As everyone knows, putting two more or less equal masses on either side of a painting's centerline is, compositionally speaking, instant death. I bet you can't make a painting with that structure. So what the hell. The painting is saved from certain death by three upright forms, the stakes or staves, the old bars, which, in their original appearance, were part of a split rail fence edging the flinty coastal landscape of Gloucester, Mass., courtesy of Marsden Hartley. The three forms, along with the smaller diagonal "legs" and the horizontal post, are big, and assertive, and they solve a lot of problems, compositionally speaking that is. Thanks, Marsden, for the assist.

[ Read More ]
art : review
art : essay

One Piece: There's a bright side somewhere

by Alteronce Gumby

The artist talks about the genesis, composition, and execution of a recently completed work.

When I was ten my grandmother had a jigsaw puzzle on her dining room table and I was infatuated with it. I remember spending hours working on that puzzle instead of doing my homework. I liked to challenge myself by not looking at the image on front of the puzzle box. Currently, I'm assembling paintings in the same mannerism, composing their chromatic comparison and directing the mind's eye to another space.

[ Read More ]
art : portfolio

Four Memories

by Jonas Mekas

Disastrous screenings, Nam June Paik's meeting with Bill Clinton, and time spent as a dog.

A Day in My Life as a Dog

I don't know how it really happened, but one day in 1967, I decided to try a dog's life. I mean, to live like a dog among dogs.

I was helped in this idea by the fact that I was staying at the house of Minnie Cushing—actually it was an old mansion, in Massachusetts, and there were many dogs in it, big and small, old and young, and they seemed to be all of a family, a family of dogs.

It was not really my idea. It was an idea of Peter Beard who often gets such crazy ideas. But I liked it.

[ Read More ]
art : essay

On the Clock with Amanda Ross-Ho

by John Yau

The gallery as studio.

1.
After spending the morning talking with Amanda Ross-Ho, who during the month of August worked in the spacious gallery at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in Chelsea in preparation for her upcoming exhibition, MY PEN IS HUGE, I go home and begin searching the internet for things I might use in this article. I come across an interview with Steel Stillman that appeared in Art in America back in 2010. In it Ross-Ho says: “an exhibition is a time and place where objects and images can perform together like characters in a drama.”

[ Read More ]
art : essay

Gender Trouble in Queer Paradise

by Tavia Nyong'o

The perils of queer conformity in Alexandro Segade's sci-fi epic Future St.

Future St. is set in an America in which homosexuality has triumphed over heterosexuality, cloning has replaced sexual reproduction, and California has seceded from the mainland United States to form the gay male state of "Clonifornia." A one-act play performed recently at Bard College in New York and at the new Broad museum in Los Angeles, Future St. bucks the art world trend of embracing performance while dismissing theater. Segade is one performance artist unafraid of the word "rehearsal," and his comfort with theatricality extends a genre some in the art world dismiss too hastily out of an anti-theatrical prejudice.

[ Read More ]
art : review

What Objects Can Do: on Jiro Takamatsu

by William Corwin

A new look at the actions, drawings, and sculpture of the late Japanese artist.

Takamatsu's approach to sculpture can be summed up by paraphrasing John Lennon: sculpture is what happens when you're busy looking at other things. This survey of the artist's sculptural works made between 1961 and 1977 presents an obsession with the things that objects can do, rather than the objects themselves. Takamatsu starts at the very edge of our acknowledgement of the sculpture's presence, and then slowly penetrates the layers of observation and the sensual experience of the sculpture's behavior and its medium in space. There is really never any there there: everything is shadows, perspective, and viscerality—it's all about us, the viewers, and our reflection in the world.

[ Read More ]
art : portfolio
art : from the editor

Fall Arts Preview

Upcoming shows, retrospectives, and museum openings highlighted by Maika Pollack, Ratik Asokan, Alex Zafiris, Gideon Jacobs, Michael Barron, Wendy Vogel, Zack Hatfield, and Legacy Russell

[ Read More ]
art : portfolio

From Liquidation

by Joey Yearous-Algozin Holly Melgard

We'd just gotten married and ended up in Atlantic City, where our friends Macy & Allison got us a night stay at a hotel casino.

After playing video poker and walking the boardwalk all night, we stopped by Trump Taj Mahal on our way out of town to gawk at the business our president ran into the ground.

[ Read More ]
art : portfolio

Portfolio

by David Gilbert

Suburban sprawl and craft-store spree meet creeping apocalyptic bleakness.

In David Gilbert's studio, odds and ends appear and reappear through the revolving door of his many temporary sculptural constructions. Process, mutability, and the space of solitary play are central subjects. Recycled pieces of fabric, drapery, scraps of wood, wire, cut cardboard and paper, other photos, painted motifs, yarn, cord, ceramics, and stickers come and go, speaking not of Michelangelo but of a latter-day tween-on-a-budget twist on Giacomett'’s emaciated sickly figures—suburban sprawl and craft-store spree meet creeping apocalyptic bleakness on the one hand, and tenderness with a sweet attention to detail on the other. Gilbert's photographs gathered here represent his portrait mode: a set of singular if fleeting figures, both ridiculous and touching, poignant and exposed and devastated and silly, posing and vogueing for the camera in a rather formal, even proud sort of succession.

—Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer

[ Read More ]
art : portfolio

Portfolio

by Gabriela Vainsencher

 

"At once it struck me, what quality went to form a Man of Achievement, especially in literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously—I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties. Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason."

—John Keats, Letter to George and Tom Keats, December, 1817
[ Read More ]
art : portfolio

Portfolio

by Walter Robinson

The bed sheet as metaphor for the continuous field of consciousness

"Bed sheets serve as an almost universal accessory to elemental manifestations of desire. Also amusing is the thought that bed sheets are horizontal in the dark and hung vertical to dry in the sunshine. Nature is horizontal and culture is vertical, and a patterned bed sheet introduces the whimsical curlicues of the social imagination into the horizontal biological realm. The bed sheet is also a metaphor for the continuous field of consciousness."

[ Read More ]
art : review

Gallery Crawl: Chelsea

by Wendy Vogel

The Mall-ification of Manhattan

Summer in New York makes me languid—and not in the sexy, rooftop-party way. Once the temperature consistently gets above 80 degrees, I plan my days around the best air-conditioning this city can offer (cafes, libraries, museums; movies if I want to splurge). My gallery-going stamina plummets, especially for the unforgiving concrete expanse west of 10th Avenue in Manhattan. So, before my brain turned to mush and the galleries rolled out their breeziest summer shows, I devoted an afternoon during Art Basel week to Chelsea. The heat wave had burned off and the majority of the art world had left for Europe. With its empty streets, the neighborhood felt like a strange mix of ‘90s throwback and a post-art future.

[ Read More ]
art : interview

Morgan Bassichis

by Katherine Brewer Ball

"What's the point of being queer, or an artist, or a radical, if you don't veer?"

Morgan Bassichis is a comedic storyteller and songstress. I met Morgan through my friend Jibz Cameron (aka Dynasty Handbag), and then again at a protest or a party. The first time I saw Morgan perform I remember laughing so hard my cheeks hurt. I leaned against the brick wall of the Creative Time tenement space, thinking I'd finally found pleasure. Morgan's performances are conversational fairytales that take the audience into the steamy underbelly bathhouses of the self-help and tincture-obsessed mind. Over the past three years, I've become a diehard Bassichian, studying the political activism and irreverence of Morgan's work with care. Yet when I find myself explaining it to my students or friends, my voice tends to trail off, not wanting to fix something that feels ethereal, resistant, and alive. Instead of saying much, I send people Instagram links to Morgan's songs on the longue durée of resistance. Or I tell them to watch a Lily Tomlin movie from the '80s.

[ Read More ]
art : interview

Kayapó Chief Tuire

by Pinar Yolaçan

"I won't open my palm for those wanting to dominate."

The body has always been at the center of my photographs, often covered with materials such as meat, liquid latex, body paint, and fabric, all of which mimic the models' own skin, or the impression of skin found on ancient fertility goddesses, such as Venus of Willendorf. Archeology is interesting for the same reason the human body is. Both register the passage of time. Wrinkles and deformations are marks of the body going through puberty, giving birth, and eventually reaching old age. Through these investigations of form and material, I became interested in the question of whether we can use the body—especially the female body—as a measure of time and civilization.

[ Read More ]
art : review

Louise Lawler's Why Pictures Now

by Zack Hatfield

The institution of institutional critique

Photography is, of course, permitted in the new Louise Lawler retrospective. If you attend MoMA's expansive yet sparse survey, titled Why Pictures Now, you'll surely see visitors taking photographs of photographs, posing and producing selfies with their phones. These images will later be hashtagged accordingly. These visitors are, perhaps unwittingly, engaging in what Lawler has been practicing for over forty years: creating images that expose how cultural systems and economies shape how we perceive art. A member of the mischievous Pictures Generation, Lawler has largely dedicated her career to photographing artworks within their usual ecosystems, from the bleached walls of museums to the living rooms of the 1%, from storage facilities and backrooms to aristocratic auction houses. Why pictures now. The question doesn't need a question mark. Why pictures then? The answers are the same, though the issues the Pictures Generation addressed in the '70s and '80s are amplified now. Still, compared to recent, more instructive insurgencies mounted against powerful art spaces, the institutional critique pioneered by the Pictures Generation feels neither quaint nor harmless, but rather like an institution itself, complete with its own exclusive references and codes. By including her own past works in photographs, Lawler invites us to appraise her paradoxical strategy.

[ Read More ]
art : review

Fletcher Williams III's City Block

by Chase Quinn

A Tale of Two Charlestons

From inside the Historic Reynolds Ave Fire Station, the street looks almost deserted. You can see a barren parking lot, the broad backside of a white-steepled church, and lots of chain-link fencing. Up the block is a barbershop and next-door is Emily's Delightful Banquet Hall with a colorfully painted sign that reads "IF GOD DIDN'T FORGIVE SINNERS HEAVEN WOULD BE EMPTY." Only minutes by car, this part of town feels a world apart from the iconic single-style homes, verdant gardens, and two- and three-story piazzas of Charleston's historic district. Literally framed by the garage windows of the fire station, it's clear that this landscape is as important to Fletcher Williams III's current exhibit, City Block, as the sculptural structures on the walls.

[ Read More ]
art : review

Cynthia Daignault's There is nothing I could say that I haven't thought before

by Ted Dodson

The ethics of curating as an ethics of care

Cynthia Daignault's There is nothing I could say that I haven't thought before, now on view at the Flag Art Foundation, collects three separate series of paintings. Together, they continue her signature conceptual methodology, expanding on previous considerations of viewership, representative painting, and existential feminism to include a new imperative—ethics. All art has an ethics of sorts, but not many artists intend to detail the specific boundaries, freedoms, and covenants of that ethic through organizing phenomenological case studies that, in this instance, act as agents of care and consent, contending to where certain limits should be ethically upheld or breached.

[ Read More ]