ArtSeen

IN MEMORIAM
Thoughts about Jane Freilicher (1924 - 2014)

We lost Jane Freilicher two days before a planned public celebration of her 90th birthday on December 12th, which poignantly turned into a memorial honoring her life and work.

ZIN HELENA SONG: Beyond Color

Zin Helena Song is a painter of real precision and technical acuity. For the past few years, she has been painting on wooden sculptures, whose angles and structure reach out from the wall in the direction of her audience. In this very good show she continues to make similar pieces, but adds to her repertoire flat pictures, also done on wood.

LOUISE BOURGEOIS Suspension

Irremediably we became members of the rebellious children seminar. / Beehives, intestinal cocoons, Rembrandt’s “Carcas of Beef” / (That inspired Soutine’s) precede our rebellion.

Letter from Copenhagen

I am indebted to the Louisiana Museum for sparking my interest in emerging Nordic art. Starting in the mid-1990s, my visits provided first encounters with the work of several artists who have held my attention ever since: Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Olafur Eliasson, Elmgreen & Dragset, Nils Erik Gjerdevik, Henrik Håkansson, Superflex, and Tal R.

LILIANE TOMASKO Into the Darkness

Normally, there’s a visually obvious distinction between figurative and abstract paintings. John Constable shows English landscapes, while Jackson Pollock’s large late-1940s abstractions depict nothing real.

JAMES HOFF Skywiper

James Hoff makes paintings with a printer. He does not engage in a tug-of-war with the machine, like Wade Guyton, whose means of creating paintings centers on forcing a canvas past ink jets.

GILLIAN WEARING We Are Here

Tranquil, sunny scenes of a British town fill the first frames of Gillian Wearing’s latest film, We Are Here, showing at Maureen Paley’s landmark gallery in East London.

CARY SMITH and DON VOISINE Orthogonal and Diagonal

Interspersed in a two-person show in San Francisco, the work of Cary Smith and Don Voisine is heavy on black and white, with notes of color punctuating in concert and alone.

NEO RAUCH At the Well

Neo Rauch has all but cornered the market on post-modern historical painting. While his histories don’t overtly present as such, he does thread a specific temporal narrative (German, idealist) through what one might describe as the hangover dream of the repressed nation-state.

ANETA GRZESZYKOWSKA Selfie

In using her body as both the image and site of her work, Aneta Grzeszykowska continues the dialogue and tradition of such artists as Cindy Sherman, Hannah Wilke, Ana Mendieta, and, most obviously in this exhibition, Alina Szapocznikow—another Polish sculptor whose work traffics in bodily fragmentation.

MICHELLE GRABNER

For Michelle Grabner, there is no distinction between her life and her art. She is a consummate artist with a conceptual agenda: to what degree can the domestic and the artistic be fused?

CHRIS OFILI Night and Day

Night and Day is the first major U.S. retrospective of the work of British artist Chris Ofili, mounted just four years after his major retrospective at the Tate.

TOM OTTERNESS Creation Myth

You’ve very likely seen Tom Otterness’s trademark figures—a carnivalesque collection of mischievous characters—without even knowing it. His permanent installation entitled Life Underground (2004), which fills the 14th Street/8th Avenue subway station, often prompts hasty New Yorkers and tourists alike to stop and snap a picture, or watch tenderly as their children attempt to converse with a statue.

RICHARD POUSETTE-DART

Spotting, scratching, pressing down, building up marks that / Radiate from the central orbit. / As though the wattle and daub structure beneath has allowed / For his journey to the center of “Cerchio Di Dante.”

BETTINA BLOHM

German-born, Berlin- and New York-based artist Bettina Blohm paints gouache and acrylic works that rely on their lyricism to affect the viewer. Her designs are simple but never simplistic; the resolutely abstract works may stem, as she puts it, from “something seen,” but she takes care to “collect visual ideas” and produces colorful, emotionally compelling paintings through rhythm and repetition.

FRANCESCO VEZZOLI Teatro Romano

Francesco Vezzoli is an artist whose work telescopes time. His needlepoint pieces starring actresses and models as Madonna with child, created in Italy in the late ’90s, collide classic tropes with a more familiar, dynamic modernity.

THE SECRET LIFE OF A FAKE UTOPIANIST DAN ALLENDE Humans: The Secret Life of Martin Handford

It’s unlikely Dan Allende, the artist behind Humans: The Secret Life of Martin Handford, follows ant research. His clothing-optional show at Three Four Three Four, however, a nomadic gallery run by the artist Nick Fusaro, indicates he’s imbibed the science of mass decentralized action and the potential for using living entities as building blocks.

XU BING Phoenix: Xu Bing at the Cathedral

Since last winter, a formidable presence has resounded across the cavernous interior of The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Upper Manhattan. It is not that of the divine, although that too is surely there.

RICHARD JACOBS: SOUL DELAY

The work of Richard Jacobs reaches us slowly. For many years, this Yale MFA graduate has painted in the seclusion of his Vermont studio. Although Jacobs’s paintings immediately reference the urgency of AbEx gestures and even Arp’s early chance collages, there is an indirectness in his process that literally requires the paintings to take time to develop, not so unlike an analog photograph.

JULIAN STANCZAK From Life

Julian Stanczak’s solo show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash coincides with the 50th anniversary of his first New York exhibition at Martha Jackson Gallery in September 1964. Titled Optical Paintings, the young artist’s show was reviewed in Arts Magazine by Donald Judd, who offered a concise summary of the artist’s biography.

ALEKSANDAR DURAVCEVIC

Endless emptied buckets in a vertical matrix that evoke / Both his ancestors’ action to honor those soldiers / Who defended Târgu Jiu and Kafka’s cryptic fable of / The rider who came away empty from a coal merchant.

MOURNING HABITS
Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire

One hundred years ago saw the beginning of World War I and the end of the elaborately codified tradition of “wearing mourning.” As the phrase indicates, the word “mourning” had by that time become synonymous with the apparel worn, mainly by women, during the formal mourning period, transforming the internal process of grieving the dead into a codified expression and performance of this process.

MOBY Innocents

As a photographer, Moby’s efforts have been predominantly autobiographical. His 2011 book of images, Destroyed,offered a view into the life of a travelling musician: empty hotel rooms, paparazzi lying in ambush at the arrivals gate, and fans in ecstasy, viewed from the stage.

SADE Attacking the Sun

No better time than the present, considering the parlous state of the world, to create an exhibit as audacious and ambitious as Sade: Attacking the Sun. With a focus not on the man and the scandals but on his range of influence and continuing pertinence, it mounts a considerable array of visual works that includes many from iconic figures not usually associated with the customary Sadean triad of sexual excess, violence, and perversion.

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DEC 14-JAN 15

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