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Codes can appear in a multitude of forms: letters, numbers, symbols, metaphors, and complex visual cues. Their covertness depends on the infinite range of possible types and combinations, and there are no external rules to their logic or limits to their idiosyncrasies. In his fourth solo show at On Stellar Rays, New York-based artist JJ PEET draws on this boundless spectrum, extending his madcap style of enigma to intimate scaled sculptures—ad hoc assemblages gently embellished with a miscellany of scruffy, clue-laden objects.

Dina Brodsky: Cycling Guide to Lilliput

Dina Brodsky has a love affair with the miniature. She was nineteen when she made her first miniature paintings. However, it was after exhibiting at the Micro Museum (Desert Places, 2013) that she began painting in oils on two-inch Plexiglas circles. Her recent exhibit Cycling Guide to Lilliput, based on her solitary travels across Europe, displays over fifty paintings, largely consisting of landscapes.


New York didn’t get the Albert Oehlen survey it deserved. Although there are plenty of strong paintings among the twenty-five or so included in Home and Garden at the New Museum, and for the most part they are installed to sufficient impact, this show short-changes Oehlen’s crucial relationship to the legacy of New York painting since the 1940s, without which he would be far less the critical painter he has been for some time.


The recent re-installation of paintings at the new Whitney Museum provides a natural context for Alex Katz’s show of thirteen large landscape paintings at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, and inspires reflection on the combination of European modernism with indigenous tendencies ranging from regionalism to the sublime in American landscape painting.


Torbjørn Rødland’s exhibition, “Corpus Dubium,” is a warmly felt look at body-oriented insecurity. It is a modest show, including only ten color photographs, but the impact of each image is undeniably potent, perhaps because Rødland’s subject is such a universal aspect of the human condition.

Pearlstein/Warhol/Cantor: From Pittsburgh to New York

The pleasures and perils of studio visits at provincial art schools are not unfamiliar to us critics. When you see what talented students have learned by imitating faculty artists from a previous generation, you recognize that these young people must move to an art center and radically innovate if they are to find an entry point into the contemporary art world.

RICHARD TUTTLE Both/And Richard Tuttle Print and Cloth

One could associate the crease of his octagonal clothes / With Georgia O’Keeffe’s and Agnes Martin’s facial geography / Evocative of Santa Fe’s dry topography. I came just / To treasure the imperfection of corners meeting, / To engender each of their physiologies.

ANICKA YI: 6,070,430K of Digital Spit

Like much of Anicka Yi’s work, the artist’s current solo exhibition at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, “6,070,430K of Digital Spit,” manages both physical restraint and sensory overload. A slim disc of light radiates in the center of the dimly lit gallery, whose floors are carpeted a dusty salmon tone and walls painted the color of dried blood.


What do the likes of Sir Edmund Hillary, the famed mountaineer credited with the first conquest of Everest, and the scribal mystics of medieval Judaism have in common? Nothing,

WAEL SHAWKY The Cabaret Crusades

The widely celebrated Egyptian artist Wael Shawky has finally received the attention he well deserves in America. “The Cabaret Crusades,” the artist’s most ambitious, layered, and successful work to date, is currently on view at MoMA PS1.


One enters Tamara Zahaykevich’s exhibition on a small ramp that leads down to a set of differently sized rooms. It is a dynamic space and requires a thoughtfulness that is repaid: encountering these interconnected rooms, one is encouraged to take stock of their relational qualities and the particular proportion of each room to its neighbor.


The understated, abstract sculptures in Carolyn Salas’s first solo show at Koenig & Clinton are imbued with a lively formalism. The ten new, human-scale pieces are just right for the size of the gallery, and their thoughtful arrangement facilitates a sense of conversation between and within the individual objects.

YOAN CAPOTE Collective Unconscious

The Cuban artist Yoan Capote is an embodiment of the archetypal Hephaestus, the Olympian god of the hammer and forge, so undervalued in today’s art making. Capote builds much of his work using classical sculptural techniques, and represents the best of a Communist worker tradition.


The Guggenheim’s powerful group show of over 100 recent contemporary acquisitions examines narrative in myriad forms. The exhibition deftly extends beyond the realm of visual art—pairing sculpture, photography, film, performance, etc. with writers’ responses that encompass short form essay and poetry.

Latin America in Construction: Architecture, 1955-1980

You might be tempted to walk past Development equation, the first piece in the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibit Latin America in Construction: Architecture, 1955–1980. But don’t. Hanging unobtrusively to the left of the main entrance, the roughly five-foot-square metal-and-wood contraption sets the stage for the exhibit.

Not A Painting

It’s a group of work united by something outside the group: painting. But we see and approach, each of the pieces in “Not A Painting” as if that’s what they are, because that’s what some of them look like. Everything is wall hung, and though most of the work might be classified as sculpture, the exhibition ultimately undermines such categorizing.

Seeds from DiDonna

With the advantage of being mounted, the 6-foot-tall Untitled (pdn63) (1976) dwarfs me. It’s a dark and unyielding expanse of blue-green, with thousands of miniscule dots horizontally positioned along an invisible grid, each dot the amber color of a sun setting behind viscous pollution. I stand for a minute in alienated silence before I have any verbal thoughts at all about the work. The scale speaks of grandiosity, the form of objectivity and restraint.

A Sense of Place: Ellen Phelan’s Kenjockety

Ellen Phelan’s exhibition of twenty-four prints, “A Sense of Place: Ellen Phelan’s Kenjockety,” at The Adirondack Museum, is a visual tone poem for the digital age.


Andrea Galvani’s seven-channel video installation, The End, occupies the sixth floor gallery of Art in General. Projected onto walls and vertical plinths, seven synchronized video loops show the sun—rising from the sea and disappearing into the sky—as a set of glimmering orbs oozing upward like vapor, all wavy edges and soft pixilation.

Old Truths & New Lies

It is not fully evident upon entering Rachel Uffner Gallery which of the bright, playful artworks are telling “old truths” and which “new lies,” or what those truths and lies might be. The works by nine artists run the gamut from textile, silkscreen, digital printing, and collage to mixed-media sculpture and painting, photography, and found objects, but nothing’s quite in its place.


When I was a child, I had a set of forty colored pencils that I arranged, rearranged, and then rearranged again in a seemingly endless parade of color sequences, or “rainbows,” as I called them. This play brought me great joy.


he New York School persists in the lively abstractions of New York painter Serena Bocchino. Inevitably, her work calls to mind the 1940s and ’50s, when gestural abstraction governed the art scene.


Painters tell themselves stories in order to keep painting. In the case of Mary Weatherford, a Los Angeles-based artist, the stories are connected to specific places and her visual memories of them.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2015

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