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Melissa Vogley Woods

In Columbus, Ohio, Vogley Woods turned her house on a thoroughfare into an interactive installation, during a time of dissipating social contact. Countering this encroaching anxiety, Always transpired to communicate a historical perspective on the cyclical nature of pandemics, while attempting to raise consciousness and care on a micro level.

Taney Roniger: Never The Same River

Consistent with Roniger’s interest in the philosophy of Heraclitus, Never the Same River offers a contemplation of oppositions. There is a reversal in value, the white paper ground of the source is now the velvety black of layered charcoal, a deep space from which volumetric, tonal forms emerge.

Peter Doig

Nothing in Doig’s work is ever left completely to the mercy of what memory can do to what we always try to call the past, and nowhere have I absorbed this more than I have in Japan. I would like to think that the absent presence of this exhibition will linger for me to take in the next time I am there, or at the next Doig exhibition I see, wherever it may be.

Toyin Ojih Odutola: Tell Me A Story, I Don’t Care If It’s True

Tell Me A Story, I Don’t Care If It’s True is comprised of portraits of Black people made from colored pencil, graphite, and ink. These are not images of capture—no one seems to acknowledge the viewers.

Grayson Cox and Joan Waltemath: Apparatus

Apparatus, curated by the artist and writer A.V. Ryan, gathers together Cox and Waltemath’s work in a contemporary yet timeless setting, as it takes its main inspiration from the current global crisis surrounding COVID-19 and a Giorgio Agamben essay, “What Is an Apparatus?”.

An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain

Lê’s pictures are about intense desire, which draws us to make form in this world. They seem to say that the weight of history is omnipresent, but shifting—each reiteration sutured together from more disparate sources, lit from a dustier sun.

Suzan Frecon & Patricia Treib

Good painting gives us pause because it is so absorbed in a proprietary language that we must approach it on foreign terms. We cannot begin to shape our own words without our bodies becoming enlisted in the object’s way of making meaning in the world.

Luchita Hurtado: Together Forever

Together Forever gathers more than 30 self-portraits—predominantly works on paper—that Hurtado created between 1960 and 2020. Viewed in succession, they read as pages in a diary, with each drawing or painting suggesting a single entry, an assessment of physical and emotional states, made along an extensive timeline.

Lily Stockman: Seed, Stone, Mirror, Match

Under deceleration’s magnifying glass, our deliberate politics of self-care is extended, in Stockman’s hands, to the odds and ends that surround us. The artist’s meditation on these circumstances in the Moffett paintings takes her work in a new direction, while still tethering it to her familiar language of softened geometric forms.

Joan Snyder: The Summer Becomes a Room

Snyder wraps this body of work in an overwhelming sense of acceptance and gratitude for the cycles of nature: the seasons, life and death, day and night, morning and dusk. Overall this seems a positive reckoning; her palette is bright and harmonious, and it’s hard not to get a boost from looking at it.

Lauretta Vinciarelli: Intimate Distances

The irony of a lot of architecture is that it’s meant to be looked at but not physically interacted with. We, the viewers, are expected to take in the symmetries, shadows, and rhythms of the structure from a privileged viewpoint. Lauretta Vinciarelli’s watercolors depict spaces created from this curated perspective. Her work is a conversation with, but ultimately a concession to, the frozen requirements of the architect’s eye—yet this is not necessarily a pejorative trait.

Duke Riley: Welcome Back to Wasteland Fishing

Riley’s concept here is straightforward: he shows anglers how to up-cycle plastic waste into sport-fishing equipment. Part of what Riley illustrates is that fishing, like just about everything else, is dominated by capital. The lures are a pun; they nod to the fish that is fatally hooked to commercial desire.

Léonie Guyer and Rebeca Bollinger: Threshold

This latest, and last, exhibition at Interface Gallery arrives as we feel ourselves on a precipice: we risk encountering what lies beyond the unraveling of our social fabric. A threshold signals a material change or activation, abandoning what is left behind to confront, embrace, and to become something new.

Claudia Hart: The Ruins

Hart travels in hyperreality, thinking through media archeologies and post-photographic practices, but is also a draughtsperson and painter. All of this merges forcefully in bitforms’s exhibit, which recognizes the failures of so many Eurocentric utopias, and yet engages modernism in a way that releases any hold those artists, designers, political and cult leaders once had.

Jesse Chun: SULLAE 술래

Jesse Chun interrogates systems of power, which necessitates an interrogation of language. English, the “common” or “universal” tongue, is often at the forefront of Chun’s practice.

Suzan Frecon: oil paintings

With the nine oil paintings currently on view at David Zwirner, Suzan Frecon moves into what we might call the classical phase of her career: the moment when she marshals, with supreme ease, every aspect of her previous work into a grand summary.

Joanna Pousette-Dart: Floating World

Pousette-Dart’s painting, in general, is decidedly uncool in that its aggressively-shaped, chromatically bold canvases adumbrate the liminal space between painting and sculpture with an irrepressible jouissance.

Ferrari Sheppard: Heroines of Innocence

Having attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ferrari Sheppard brings his formidable intellect and passionate engagement to this series of acrylic, charcoal, and gold-leaf portraits of Black girls and women spending time together and offering themselves moments of contemplation or repose. Sheppard constructs these figures out of kinetic bursts of color, scrabbles of charcoal stick, and weeping drips of paint.

Alvin Armstrong: This Place Looks Different

Even when they are supposed to be still, Armstrong’s figures keep moving: heads leaned towards each other, gossiping or observing, bodies out of the frame, partaking in mundane dramas only illustrated by their feet, staring plaintively with gazes that go on and on.

Joiri Minaya: I’m here to entertain you, but only during my shift

“I’m not the motherland. I’m not a landscape. I’m framing this conversation. I’m not a flower. I’m only here to work,” declares a woman whose monologue acts as the soundtrack to video documentation of performances from 2017 by artist Joiri Minaya. The woman’s refusal of identities which connect the feminine to the landscape is emblematic of Minaya’s exploration of the female subject, in particular the construction of the tropical woman.

Jim Shaw: Dad’s Drawings

For more than 40 years, Jim Shaw has been a guide to the American optical unconscious, exploiting and exploring the popular forms of representation that have shaped many Americans’ perception of everything from nuclear war and organized religion to sex and domesticity—and, it almost goes without saying, beauty.

Will Ryman: Dinner III

This is Will Ryman’s first New York gallery exhibition in five years, and his first with CHART. Formerly a playwright, Ryman applies a particular kind of philosophical and formal enquiry, rooted in his interest in the Theatre of the Absurd, to sculpture. From this basis Ryman seeks to examine and explore, with humor as well as seriousness, our existential search for meaning in a clearly indifferent, at best contingent, world.

Andy Goldsworthy: Red Flags

The appearance of Red Flags in this annus horribilis in the capitalist heart of this country, that Grand Experiment looking brittle at 244 years old, forms a palimpsest of hope in our recovering city.


Life in 2020 is starting to feel like one big can of worms. That is how David Shrigley seems to think we might be feeling about it in any case. For his largest solo exhibition to date, DO NOT TOUCH THE WORMS (2020), the Turner Prize-nominee known for his distinctly wry British humor has filled a gallery of Copenhagen Contemporary’s industrial warehouse on Refshaleøen island with twenty, larger-than-life, inflatable replicas of the pink, writhing creatures.

Berlin Biennial 11: The Crack Begins Within

Against the backdrop of the pandemic and global anti-racism protests, the show’s impassioned screed against patriarchal capitalism, settler and extractive colonialism, and Western and neoliberal temporalities and material realities feels urgent and timely.

Silky Shoemaker: Billboard Project

If art is to play a role in political change, the first step is to get it out of the galleries and into the streets. Silky Shoemaker’s Billboard Project, a series of four graphically striking anti-Trump billboards installed in rural Pennsylvania, is one example.

Josh Smith: Spectre

Josh Smith has done it again. With a palette favoring lilac, tangerine, lime, and citron, he has transformed a relatively bland subject into a fevered dreamscape.

Erik Lindman: Fal/Parsi

The sandwiched matter of Lindman’s images oozes its way to the surface, often leaking out and dripping in translucent rivulets. The artist makes his acrylic paint earn its keep, transforming it into something surprisingly rich, impastoed, and creamy.

Julia Phillips: New Album

With delicate ceramic body fragments on armatures of steel and stone, Phillips beckons viewers into an ambiguous physical and psychological space, where agency and desire meet subjugation and violence.

Vantage Points

Individually, the artworks by Letha Wilson, Sonia Almeida, Heidi Norton, and Claudia Peña Salinas offer much to appreciate. Collectively, they enjoy lively correlations of color, texture, materials, techniques, and imagery. They also raise questions about the relationship between nature and artifice, a pairing that has only become more complicated with the climate crisis. Sussing out how these artists connect and at times diverge on that topic is the real pleasure of Vantage Points.

Christo: Show Cases, Show Windows & Store Fronts, 1963-1966

Christo’s exhibition, situating art as a material process, presents a selection of his historic covered cases, all hidden behind a covered vitrine.

Gabriel Orozco

Gabriel Orozco, now close to 60, is a permanent part of the contemporary art landscape. Coming out of conceptualism, often working with photography (but also with other mediums), Orozco is offering at Marian Goodman paintings large and small made in Tokyo. One can only wonder at the unusual facility of the artist: somehow, he has turned these paintings into innovative, exploratory statements, even while working within the by-now-established history of abstract art.


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2020

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