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Painters of the East End

Many of the European avant-garde artists who arrived in New York during World War II found themselves reaching out for a less expensive kind of living, and discovered larger studios in a rural landscape and waterscape on Long Island’s South Fork.

Dora Maar

The old fear that the camera could steal one’s soul is a reminder that to be dispossessed of one’s image is to risk losing agency over one’s narrative.

Olga Balema: brain damage

Like the condition to which it refers, the exhibition brain damage does not just invoke a locus of injury, but also the diffusion of its effects.

Ghost in the Ghost

Beyond complacent categorization or stereotype, these objects ask us to look closely at the possibilities produced when human, thing, and environment fuse in collaborative and enigmatic ways.

Nine Iranian Artists in London: THE SPARK IS YOU

Channelling the influence of Iranian culture through an eclectic array of artistic approaches, curator Ziba Ardalan unites nine early to mid-career artists born in Iran but in several cases, living across the globe.

Janet Biggs: Overview Effect

Among recent artwork and global exhibitions addressing precarious migration, Janet Biggs’s Overview Effect, debuting in the U.S. at Cristin Tierney Gallery, is especially seductive.

Ghost in the Ghost

Unlike many other exhibitions that have engaged race and feminism through explorations of the body, Ghost in the Ghost lets nonliving materials—their patina, glow, and grime—speak in the body’s place.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Earwitness Theatre

Comprised of three sections, Abu Hamdan’s exhibition lays out, methodically, how sound can be used to reconstruct the invisible and what crimes against humanity exist in these unmonitored places.

Tony Cox: Shadow Bathing

At first glance the works appear graphic, with bright swaths of color laid down on flat backgrounds. There are few immediately recognizable forms with the exception of two compositions resembling genitalia.

Doing What Comes Naturally: Seven Painters in Their Prime

The boldly cliché title of this show is turned inside out in the introductory paragraph to curator Robert Storr’s catalog essay in which he clarifies that “art, by definition, is artificial and unnatural.

Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds: Surviving Active Shooter Custer

At this point it may be obvious to say that history is usually written by the victors, but other histories are also always being composed, and there are innumerable forms this writing can take. During the past forty years, Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne/Arapaho) has created work addressing the ignored and suppressed histories of Native people in North America.

The 33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts: Crack Up - Crack Down

Works by Xiyadie and Amanda Ross-Ho are displayed at Galerija Equrna, and in particular confront the communicative nature of the graphic. Xiyadie's intricate papercuts are at once objects which harken to vernacular graphics (papercutting is a form of folk art popular in the artist's native Shaanxi Province in north-western China) and narrative scenes which, interpreted alongside their titles, suggest moments from the life and imagination of the artist.

Downtown Painting

As I write, the nonagenarian artist Alex Katz, long a mainstay of downtown painting, is involved into two major shows: the one he has curated at Peter Freeman’s gallery and the other is an extraordinary show of recent work at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in Harlem. The first exhibition establishes him, very quickly, as a curator of repute, while the second makes it clear that Katz is moving into a territory wholly his own, particularly in the wonderful scenic studies that pass on, completely successfully, his love of nature.

Curating Brexit

In January of 1973, Great Britain joined the European Union after its third petition for membership. The event inspired an array of celebrations entitled “Fanfare for Europe.”

Gina Beavers: The Life I Deserve

The lighting for Gina Beavers’s exhibit The Life I Deserve is Instagram perfect. That seems only fitting for paintings based on social media posts and aware that they will return there as #art #museum #artselfie or even, in a potential throwback to 2015, #museumselfie. The artist’s #Foodporn series from 2014 gets particular attention, though the newer series based on makeup tutorials had some snapping pics as well. All this begs the question, what are we looking at?

Joseph Elmer Yoakum

The 60 works on paper by Joseph Elmer Yoakum (1890–1972) assembled here automatically make us wonder who this bizarre artist was. Yoakum's picaresque life and his late embrace of an artistic vocation call to mind traditional myths that assume artists are born, not made.

Crack Up - Crack Down

Befittingly, the 33rd Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts assumes satire as its central theme under the curation of Berlin-based art collective Slavs and Tatars, who have long subverted despotic decrees of power with open-ended wit and an array of transcultural references

cart, horse, cart

This exhibition proves, first, that nowadays there is no down time in the art world and, second, that abstraction is not only not dead but has also risen phoenix-like to new heights in the twenty-first century.

Neo Rauch: Aus dem Boden (From The Floor)

In Aus dem Boden (From the Floor) at The Drawing Center, one is presented with the opportunity to delve deeply into the artist’s mode of conjuring up his symbolical derivatives with a series of drawings (not quite studies) for his larger paintings which are helpfully organized by the show’s curator, Brett Littman, into six groupings under the loose headings of absurdist drawings, architectural and landscape drawings, character studies, scenarios and figure drawings.

Nicolas Carone: What Matters

What happens when we embrace mistakes as eternal mutations? / Apparition fractures rationality.

Painters Reply: Experimental Painting in the 1970s and Now

On some timely occasions, we get the true pleasure to be reminded of T.S. Eliot’s “historical sense” (from his famous 1919 essay Tradition and Individual Talent). This historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past but of its very presence, which simply implies a co-function of simultaneous existence and simultaneous order before reaching the synthesis of time being timeless and temporal all at once.

Nothing Succeeds Like Excess: Camp at the Met

Camp: Notes on Fashion can’t seem to make up its mind about what Camp is. The wall text that opens the exhibition puts us on notice: “This exhibition might raise more questions than it answers: ‘Is camp gay?’ ‘Is camp political?’ And, ultimately, ‘What is camp?’”

Sonya Clark: Monumental Cloth, The Flag We Should Know

Sonya Clark illuminates the profound entanglement between our current moment and the Civil War by putting her body on the line.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Untitled (1989)

Several blocks downtown, at the intersection of 7th Avenue and Christopher Street, a billboard presides over Sheridan Square, Pride’s epicenter. At first, it seems a vacancy; the billboard is black with two stacked lines of simple white text running along the bottom edge.

Tamara Gonzales: Bo Yancon

Gonzales’s efforts to transform both the emotional raw material of her research, as well as actual patterns and motifs found in Shipibo textiles, result in compositions that seek to retain the freshness and urgency of her experiences, while opening up a space in contemporary artistic practice for a non-exploitative relationship to pre-Colombian cultures.

Abbas Akhavan: cast for a folly

In the cavernous front gallery of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, Abbas Akhavan has reconstructed the eerie scene of the National Museum of Iraq’s lobby after its looting following the American invasion of the country in 2003.

Fiona Connor: Closed for installation, Fiona Connor, SculptureCenter, #4

Fiona Connor’s exhibition at SculptureCenter is composed of three pieces—two installed or taking place in the museum, and the other in the surrounding neighborhood, away from the spectator’s involvement. Connor’s bronze sculptures are exhibited in the lower-level galleries, catacomb-like rooms that have been repurposed from former industrial zones.

The Hugo Boss Prize 2018: Simone Leigh, Loophole of Retreat

The tension between forced confinement and self-designed sanctuary lies at the heart of Leigh’s art-making, which spans sculpture, installation, video, and social practice: the show takes its name from the 1861 memoir of slave-turned-abolitionist and writer Harriet Jacobs

Harmony Hammond: Material Witness, Five Decades of Art

Curated by the Aldrich’s Amy Smith-Stewart, Material Witness, Five Decades of Art includes more than 50 works, dating from the early 1970s to 2018, culled from public and private collections as well as the artist’s own holdings in Galisteo, New Mexico, where she’s lived since 1989.

Jeff Wall

Silent figures and charged landscapes abound, but true to form, this is an exhibition of singular works, not a thematic outing. Connections can be drawn, but ultimately it is each image which begs to be considered intimately.

The Power of Intention: Reinventing the (Prayer) Wheel

The Power of Intention: Reinventing the (Prayer) Wheel brings together contemporary artists making work about intention, belief, and prayer with historical prayer wheels and related images from the history of Himalayan arts.

Simone Fattal: Works and Days

The sculptures in Simone Fattal’s exhibition Works and Days at MoMA PS1 appear freshly dusted off from an archaeological dig, artifacts or parts thereof wrested from history. The retrospective, curated by Ruba Katrib, is the artist’s first in the United States and presents more than 200 works including paintings, works on paper, and sculptures from the last five decades of Fattal’s production.

Anne Samat: Greatest Love

Samat’s six unorthodox weavings, depicting three generations of her family members, hang in an upstairs loft the size of a two car garage. She made the work near the museum, during a three month residency, using a combination of materials she brought from Kuala Lampur and pieces she found in stores around Peekskill, NY

Hannah Black and Juliana Huxtable: Penumbra

As the audience filed into the space, sounds of nature—squeaking, mooing—filled the air. Once we were seated, Black and Huxtable entered the room in taupe suits, acting as prosecutor and defense attorney, respectively.

Emanation 2019

Glass is a seductive, scary medium: it’s hot, it breaks; it requires artists to toss their creative visions into molten infernos, and to collaborate. Independent curator Julie Courtney felt no hesitation whatsoever when she invited eight visionary artists to play with fire;

Renaldo Kuhler: Rocaterrania

Renaldo Kuher invented the fantasy world of Rocaterrania as a teenager and inhabited it all of his adult life, which stretched from the mid ’40s until his death in 2013. By a bizarre confluence of its creator’s fixation on pin-ups, Fritz Lang, spy novels, and late Bohemian, Hapsburg, and Prussian fashion/architecture, his dystopian land of make-believe, situated on the border between New York State and Canada, turned out to be a demesne of steam-punk aesthetics and rockabilly swingers.

Tim Zercie: Regenbogenscherben

Viewing Tim Zercie’s cycle of occult-themed stitched fabric wall hangings in his current show, Regenbogenscherben, brought back memories of recent trip to Paris, where I saw the “Lady and the Unicorn" (ca. 1500) tapestries at The Musée de Cluny.

Colored People Time: Quotidian Pasts

A group of white sculptures sit atop glistening aluminum pedestals. To the right, two TV screens flash images of dancers, ritual objects, and footage from a post-war game show. An adjacent wall has been painted green to mimic the palette of a natural history museum and bears a single photograph.

Heather Dewey-Hagborg: At the Temperature of My Body

Our very existence, a tower built of cells amassed, jostling, exchanging, is a war with intruders to determine the information that will write the next generation of who we are.

Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys: Mondo Cane

An animatronic cast composed of craftspeople in traditional European peasant garb populate the pavilion’s central space, each imprisoned in their own shoddy, sinister loops of repeated activity.

Arshile Gorky 1904-1948

During the 1920s and ’30s Arshile Gorky and his New York fellow painters slowly and with real difficulty worked their way through European modernism.

Gorky in Venice

For decades art historians have worried over whether Arshile Gorky was the last Surrealist or the first Abstract Expressionist. They need not have done. The artist was, of course, always his own man.

Venice Biennale

If you attended the Salon of 1863 in Paris you would remember Manet’s Olympia which caused quite a stir.

I'm lost at the Biennale Arsenale and I can't find my parents

I’m starting a band called Doug Dimple and the Simple Pimples or maybe The Brazilian Pavilions and everyone’s waiting for this limp black cord to become electric and so am I and here it goes building up to a cacophonous staticky thrashing

Frankenthaler: History Returns to Venice

In his luminous essay “The School of Giorgione” (1877) Walter Pater, asserting that painting “must be before all things decorative, a thing for the eye, a space of colour on the wall,” describes the art of Giorgione, as he imagines it.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2019

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