Joan Jonas’s current exhibition What Is Found in the Windowless House Is True, on view through June 11 at Gavin Brown’s enterprise, is the artist’s first in her hometown since 2010—and thus also the first since her acclaimed work for the U.S. Pavilion at the fifty-sixth Venice Biennale in 2015, They Come to Us Without a Word.
The brutally systematic, though still empathetic works of Los Angeles-based artist Walead Beshty are undisguised elucidations of specific active systems. Often hinging on frameworks of social or commercial labor, such as the day-to-day activity of gallery staff, X-ray machines, or FedEx shipping operations, his photographic and sculptural works are each indexical products of transactions—whether initiated by, or exposed by the artist.
From the moment I moved to New York City in the fall of 1986, I’ve associated Joan K. Davidson and the J.M. Kaplan Fund with Westbeth Artists Community—one of the first examples of the adaptive reuse of an industrial space, a complex of thirteen buildings that comprises a full city block bounded by West Street, Bethune Street, Washington Street and Bank Street in the West Village, which were the headquarters of Bell Telephone Laboratories from 1898 to 1966 before they were converted into their current form by the architect Richard Meier between 1968 and 1970.
I went to school on 96th Street and 5th Avenue, which is right across the street. The real experience, the more subconscious thing, would be the Studio Museum. It originally was in Harlem and my father had been going there. Because of that experience, it’s always something that’s there and accessible.
For various reasons, some of which you’re responsible for and some of which you aren’t, you often get talked about as a cartoon character. So I would like to get more of a sense of you as a person. Perhaps we should start with your early life: when did you first become conscious of art and decide that you wanted to be an artist?
On a Saturday in November of 2016, during his exhibition Continuous Services Altered Daily at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut (May 1, 2016 February 5, 2017 and on view at the Bemis Center in Omaha June 1, 2017 August 26, 2017), David Brooks, an artist recognized for his commitment to illuminating our complex human relationship with the natural world, sat down with Greg Lindquist to talk about his current show, ecological activism, and scientific fieldwork.