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Landscapes of the South

Landscapes of the South, a group exhibition on view at Mendes Wood DM, presents 27 compositions in which creators respond to natural settings. Diversity is found not only in artists’ origins, eras, and intents, but in their formal choices; the landscapes exhibited are nostalgic and deadpan, impasto and serenely smooth.

Richard Long

For many, Richard Long stands as one of the truly visionary artists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Long’s activities range from stone installations and calligraphies in mud to photographs of wilderness landscapes accompanied by poetic, numerical inscriptions, both derived from his walks in the Sahara, the Adirondacks, or elsewhere.

Arlene Shechet: Skirts

With an intense emphasis on color, the multi-tiered, often column-like structures achieve a fresh synthesis of painting and sculpture. This is more than it may at first seem: Shechet has long been interested in ideas from the West and the East—both Freudian psychoanalysis and Buddhist teaching—a practice that allows for the invention she excels at to encompass non-formal factors, or rather to integrate idea, desire, and process.

Joanna Pousette-Dart

Joanna Pousette-Dart’s work is a visceral experience. Organic and warm forms embrace one another just as they do the viewer. Similarly, the paintings’ colors are sweet and seductive and actively engage one another in often indefinable and unexpected contrasts.

Georges de La Tour: L'Europa della Luce

Georges de La Tour. L’Europa della luce—the artist’s first retrospective in Italy bringing together 16 works out of the 40-odd ones that survived to this day—sheds further light on de La Tour by placing him side by side with other artists who made the 17th century “the golden age of nocturne.”

Angela Fraleigh: Sound the Deep Waters

Circling the gallery, I felt bolstered by the communities of women the artist assembles. Fraleigh does not show them “at work,” but relaxing together—something I, like so many women, feel guilty admitting I need.

Jutta Koether: 4 the Team

These small paintings, made between 1983 and 1987, are superb. Their role in Koether’s oeuvre is reminiscent of Eva Hesse’s expressionistic “spectre” paintings of 1960 in that they also show the artist taking control of an Expressionistic style reminiscent of Soutine’s still lives or even Philip Guston’s figural paintings—but a style she will jettison.

Julian Schnabel: The Patch of Blue the Prisoner Calls the Sky

Out-of-context quotation in art and architecture is characteristic of the postmodern condition, but Schnabel’s relationship with antecedents is complex. Here, he alters a line to fit his intentions, but elsewhere he shows himself to be a past master of painterly parody.

Rita Ackermann: Mama '19

Her whole approach is an impressive refutation of a technical world. The gesture of the hand, with all its imprecision, is so very human. The messiness is a surprising oasis.

Jordan Casteel: Within Reach

If the works contain a commentary on representation, it is not in the vein of Las Meninas (1656)—whose art historical significance is tied to Velazquez’s willingness to destabilize the representational façade—or more contemporarily, of work like Kehinde Wiley’s Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps (2005), but of a deeper, essential, and more documentary humanity.

Jana Euler: Unform

In Jana Euler’s painting practice, the medium’s conventional rectangular format is often acknowledged by the figurative imagery within, and frequently with visible discomfort. In Euler’s treatment, the rectangular painted image is neither illusionistic window nor impenetrable mirror.

Jennifer West: Future Forgetting

Jennifer West’s exhibition Future Forgetting, curated by David Matorin and currently installed at JOAN Los Angeles, is an ode to the iconic Los Angeles Sixth Street Bridge. It is also West’s first solo show in her hometown in nearly eight years.

Kelly Akashi: Mood Organ

Akashi’s installation is mesmerizing, taking on an almost fetishistic significance. The hands cradle and explore the surfaces of her glass objects without regard for whatever pathogen might be lurking in this moment of rabid hand-sanitizing.

Nicole Eisenman: Sturm und Drang

Sturm und Drang, a solo show from Nicole Eisenman that’s on view at The Contemporary Austin through August 16, features representative examples of her art. No matter the medium, she excels. Besides her skill at making things, she forcefully expresses herself with aplomb, conviction, empathy, bravado, and a gift for visual storytelling.

Zsófia Keresztes: Glossy Inviolability

Eerie, yet seductive, amorphous, but arranged by the grid of multicolored glass tiles, the extraordinary sculptures of Hungarian artist Zsófia Keresztes are on view for the very first time in the United States.

Jennifer Bolande: The Composition of Decomposition

Now more than ever, we are faced with news that rapidly turns into history, having to instantly make sense of and adapt to the current state with which we are presented. Bolande’s decades-long practice probes this process as we experience the proliferation of online news outlets.

Christopher Wilmarth: Sculpture and Drawings from the 1970s

A new exhibition at Craig F. Starr Gallery presents a rare opportunity to revisit Christopher Wilmarth's serene glass and steel sculptures of the 1970s. No drama, no mess, no rough edges, nothing but the Apollonian perfection of flawless, hydrofluoric acid-etched translucent glass surfaces that attract and hold the light, reflecting in their layered depths tonal ranges from frosty white to pure aqua.

Alison Rossiter: Substance of Density, 1918-1948

Density 1947 (2020) brings together in a neat grid six pieces of gelatin silver paper drawn from the same box, each exhibiting different levels of oxidation and loss of light sensitivity. The almost uniform copper and gold silhouetting at the edges of five sheets, which frames the nearly bleach-white quality of the papers after Rossiter processes them, is contrasted with the more advanced oxidation of the sixth and topmost sheet from the box, which absorbed the brunt of time’s weathering effect. The result seems an almost organic abstraction, a static-like ripple of gold and white shimmering across the paper.  

Totally Dedicated: Leonard Contino, 1940-2016

Like a retablo in electric hues, a wall of 17 abstract paintings (1966-1977) by Leonard Contino arranged in three tiers, towers over the viewer and echoes in the reflection of the polished floor of the Dorsky Museum.

Donald Judd: Maker, Baker

Crisp, clean, cool, no-frills, matter-of-fact—these and similar adjectives constitute a familiar lexicon for the work currently on display in Judd, the appropriately tight, monosyllabic title MoMA has given its Donald Judd retrospective, the first in New York in over 30 years.

Against, Again: Art Under Attack in Brazil

What happens when nostalgia and the future collide? A very complicated present, befitting a group show. Against, Again: Art Under Attack in Brazil presents the work of more than 30 artists whose practices respond to the seemingly cyclical waves of authoritarianism brought back into full swing in Brazil with the election of the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.

A Delian Mode: Dear Delia

The British science fiction TV show Doctor Who, which has aired intermittently on the BBC since 1963, is such a staple within British culture that one might consider it an institution

Robert Frank: After The Americans

In The Americans, Robert Frank may have appeared as a revolutionary photographer, but beyond The Americans, the real revolution in photography was taking place elsewhere.

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The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2020

All Issues