Jack Tilton Gallery January 6–February 10, 2007
Thomas Kiesewetter’s new small bronze castings from cardboard have a fine, waxy, almost edible surface, which, combined with their black patina, led one viewer at the opening to compare them to “licorice.” They are likable works; in fact, delicious. Until recently Kiesewetter’s work consisted of sturdy pieces banged—almost wrestled—together out of sheet metal and painted in the grayed-out pastels of toy cars from the 1930s, and like some serious-minded toy, they had an intense but joyful feeling without ever reminding one of anything but self-contained, formal objects; in their gestalt they did not seem to refer to anything but sculpture itself, with roots in constructivism and David Smith.
The most interesting thing about the current show, which also includes examples of Kiesewetter’s sheet metal work, is the way the bolts and joinings from their fabrication is translated differently by the different media: the careful little serrated lips of the cardboard originals turned to metal, and the sheet metal tacked together like cardboard. There is something distinctly pseudo-mechanical, even nostalgic, about the older work, referring to a period in which the industrial object might have had a kind of integrity in its manufacture, before the era of plastic surfaces and built-in obsolescence. Their size emphasizes their direct relationship to the person who constructed them, the way he would have moved around them. In contrast, some of the newer pieces have an anthropomorphic appearance, with (perhaps too many) limbs all in motion, like a Greek portrait of an athlete from the Severe period. It’s hard to tell by looking whether this was intentional or if the use of cardboard, in its nature, invited experiments with appendages and verticality. Or maybe it was the other way around. One of the hammered sculptures has a turd-like rope of cotton balls dangling from it, a bridge, as it were, from one medium to the other; a negligent and charming concession to something other than the rugged and utilitarian look of these rough little works.
John Tursi: New WorksBy Andrew Paul Woolbright
APRIL 2023 | ArtSeen
In John Tursi's New Works at Ricco/Maresca, the artist cultivates a sense of movement and psychedelic animation through dense repetition. Simple shapes are plaited into larger patterns that Tursi combines into machinic bodies. Each figure evokes pulsating Broadyway Boogie-Woogies of movement, that systematize the body into reeling conveyor belts of synapse.
Cora Cohen: Works from the 1980sBy Alfred Mac Adam
OCT 2022 | ArtSeen
Cora Cohen: Works from the 1980s is a time capsule, and like all time capsules it is an enigma. Time capsules are supposed to provide people of the future a sample of things typical of the moment when they are buried. Which raises the critical issue of perspective: are we to understand these eight glorious pieces according to what we think they meant thirty-five years ago, or should we understand them according to what they say to us today? Even if we lived through them, the 1980s are as irrecoverable as the 1880s: an abyss separates us from that decade even if human timememorymay trick us into thinking we actually know that remote moment perfectly.
Leiko Ikemura: Anima Alma - Works 19812022By Jonathan Goodman
DEC 22–JAN 23 | ArtSeen
Born in Japan, Leiko Ikemura left for Spain to study language and art before moving to Switzerland and eventually to Germany, where she currently works. An artist of subtle feminist assertion, Ikemura has chosen in most paintings to represent women and in some instances children. Ikemura is well known in Europe and has shown extensively there, but this is her first exhibition in America. Her painting style tends to be diffuse and sensuous, in a manner not so distant from the art of someone like Marlene Dumas. Her training directed her toward a compelling mixture of figuration bordering on abstraction, even when she is rendering people.
Aaron Angello’s The Fact of Memory
MAY 2022 | Books
Aaron Angello’s new collection of lyric essays, The Fact of Memory, is the result of a daily practice stemming over some four months. It consists of one short meditation for every word in Shakespeare’s twenty-ninth sonnet (“When, in disgrace with fortune and mens eyes”), written every morning for 114 consecutive days. Alongside its emphasis on structure, Angello’s collection revels in the gap: the open space without a railing, the leap readers must make on their own, without the help of explication or transition.