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MICHAEL PORTNOY 27 Gnosis

Art is at its most truthful when there is a paradoxical sense of open completeness.

Wait, Later This Will Be Nothing: Editions by Dieter Roth

Dieter Roth’s interests span a range of themes between which it may seem difficult to connect the dots.

GORDON MATTA-CLARK Above and Below

Among the films, photo-collages, and drawings in Gordon Matta-Clark’s exhibition is a sculptural stone fragment of praying hands.

SANFORD WURMFELD Light & Dark

I had imagined that by now the world would have seen the best of black-and-white, that antithesis of all antitheses.

JOEL SHAPIRO Sculpture and Drawings, 1969-1972

Using their uniquely laid out space in a characteristically effective manner, the gallery selected two major bodies of work from this period to spotlight.

ZHANG XIAOGANG

Zhang Xiaogang’s recent exhibition captures a singular moment within the four decade-long stretch of China’s Post-Maoist history.

DANH VO’s Portentous Art
 Mother Tongue and I M U U R 2

The titles of Danh Vo’s recent exhibitions I M U U R 2 and Mother Tongue at the Guggenheim and Marian Goodman Gallery provide the perfect entree to his practice and worldview.

Art Criticism That Made A Difference

There is one striking counter-example to the recent skeptical claims about the reach of art writing.

Words To Live By

Art requires a framework. The value of criticism when it is allied to a great social issue within a given constituency is that it records, discusses, and introduces audiences to art that was intended to transcend or bypass museums and markets and connect with multitudes.

Jean-Michel Basquiat Commented On Your Status

The overwhelming success of Gagosian Gallery’s Basquiat exhibition earlier this year (a gallery insider told me that an approximate 80,000 people visited the exhibition on 24th Street) led me to daydream about the drastic paradigm shifts of our time versus the 1980s New York art scene.

Criticism After Utopian Politics

There has been no lack of talk, for the past 10 or so years, of some kind of “crisis” in art criticism.

Criticism on the Spot

“I’m not going to be your father figure, I don’t want you to put your tiny hand in mine.” Thus spoke Jan Verwoert, Berlin-based art critic and one of three featured speakers at the opening-day talk for Painter Painter, the Walker Art Center’s first show on contemporary painting in over a decade

DAVID DIAO TMI

Just as we would not confuse a bowl of apples with its appearance in a painting, we ought not to mistake the information on display on any of Diao’s monochromatic surfaces for the painting itself.

12 Paintings by LAURA OWENS

While messing around with the procedures of painting for the past 20-or-so years, Laura Owens has rebuilt the category of painting into something not to be messed with. Right now, she is on a tear.

BEN LA ROCCO Fugue State

Like his toddler son, Ben La Rocco spends a lot of time trying to understand how things fit together. In the case of the father, it’s not stacking cups, but bigger things, like the cosmos, or form and color. His recent show is the manifestation of this struggle.

JOHN MOORE Portals

John Moore’s new paintings depict urban, in some cases disused, manufacturing sites in parts of Philadelphia where you’d least look for visual pleasures.

SERGEI TCHEREPNIN Ear Tone Box

There was an offbeat classicism to Sergei Tcherepnin’s recent exhibition at Murray Guy.

The Artful Recluse: Painting, Poetry, and Politics in 17th-Century China

The Artful Recluse: Painting, Poetry, and Politics in 17th-Century China opened in the midst of the mercantile Armory Show madness.

CORDY RYMAN Adaptive Radiation

Intentionally or not, Cordy Ryman’s use of the biological term “adaptive radiation” suggests the rhythmic relationship between his radiating patterns of paint and materials and their underlying, obdurate physicality.

MARY LUCIER New Installation Works

Lucier’s recent installation is a pared-down, elegant affair, which in its apparent simplicity belies a wealth of layered perceptions.

CLAES OLDENBURG The Street and The Store and Mouse Museum/Ray Gun Wing

An American born in Sweden in 1929, Claes Oldenburg is a true pop-surrealist. Of his early work, contemporary critics variously classified it as pop-expressionism, installation art, and “Happenings’ props and sets.”

POIGNANCY ON VIEW Giosetta Fioroni: L’Argento

Novelty consorts with nostalgia, fashioning the enchanted atmosphere that suffuses the Drawing Center’s latest exhibition.

SUSANNA HELLER Phantom Pain

The concept behind Susanna Heller’s affecting and evocative exhibition at MagnanMetz is based on her husband Bill’s suffering.

Edo Pop: The Impact of Japanese Prints

Edo Pop: The Graphic Impact of Japanese Prints is the Japan Society Gallery’s remix of an exhibition of historic ukiyo-e woodblock prints from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, interspersed with new selections of 10 contemporary artists.

KATE TEALE The Sea Is All Around Us

Kate Teale’s work, in her first one-person show in 10 years, looks and feels, at first glance, to be quietest in its tonal reduction and insular subjects. Her works on paper and rice paper affixed to canvas are modest in scale and play the middle range of contrast.

TED STAMM Paintings

It’s no longer popular to believe that art follows a single trajectory, but the truth is that certain artists follow clear paths. The painter Ted Stamm is a good example.

SOMEDAY IS NOW: The Art of Corita Kent

Sister Corita Kent neatly bridges the gap between contemporary art and mainstream culture.

ANDREW KUO You Say Tomato

Andrew Kuo paints hard-edged color fields that turn out on closer inspection to double as charts.

Painting Advanced

Painting Advanced, a group show at Edward Thorp Gallery, gathers together a number of abstract painters under the always-tricky premise of envelope pushing.

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MAY 2013

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