Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with those affected by generations of structural violence. You can help »

Search View Archive

ArtSeen

The National 2021: New Australian Art

The National 2021 is the latest in a biannual series of survey exhibitions initiated in 2017 showcasing new Australian art in major venues across Sydney. This year, The National is staged at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and Carriageworks, Sydney, with a separate curatorial team at each location.

Hypnose

The exhibition Hypnose (Hypnosis), curated by Pascal Rousseau for the Musée d’arts in Nantes, is a chronicle both compelling and comical. Although submerged in a stream of spiritual consciousness tied to artistic principles of universal connection, the exhibition also flirts with certain kitsch clichés, most notably the iconic hypnotic-disc that by spiraling supposedly sucks suggestible cerveaux down a somnambulist whirlpool.

Alice Neel: People Come First

Curators Randall Griffey and Kelly Baum gather more than 100 of the artist’s paintings, watercolors and drawings in Alice Neel: People Come First, a retrospective of the 60 years Neel spent transposing New York and its citizens into work that bears witness to the struggles of everyday life in the city as much as it dignifies the individual.

Liu Xiaodong: Borders

Known for his massive paintings of people around the world living at the edge of contemporary society, the neo-realist painter Liu Xiaodong was commissioned by the Dallas Contemporary to create a series of paintings on the US-Mexico border.

Rebecca Warren: V

Primeval and metamorphic, this language is a departure for Warren, and represents a new way of engaging with the body. Where her former sculptures were concerned with the grotesque, and touch was an incessant reminder of the distorting gaze transforming every bulbous outcropping into breast or phallus, these forms are more intimate.

Estamos Bien: La Trienal 20/21

Curators Rodrigo Moura, Susanna V. Temkin, and Elia Alba have composed a wild mélange of Latinx art, one that connects the viewer directly to the complexities of Latinx heritage in the context of the United States.

Kennedy Yanko: Postcapitalist Desire

In the historic landmark townhouse housing Tilton Gallery on New York City’s Upper East Side, Kennedy Yanko presents her latest exhibition and first solo show with the gallery, Postcapitalist Desire.

Kate Millett: Terminal Piece

A palpable feeling of suspense suffuses the space of Kate Millett’s Terminal Piece (1972). 46 wooden chairs are installed in two long rows behind a parallel series of vertical wooden bars that span the length of the gallery. The lighting is dramatic, with seven light bulbs suspended from the ceiling illuminating the space within the cage-like structure, while the territory of the viewer remains dimmed.

Matthew Schrader: M. Obultra 3

Matthew Schrader’s solo presentation at White Columns explores the complex symbolism of an iconic piece of American flora. Symmetrical pairs of curved leaves give ailanthus altissima an instantly recognizable silhouette, but Schrader’s work also speaks to the ways that this plant is actually a thriving immigrant entangled in the matrix of race and power that structures this country.

Monique Mouton: Inner Chapters

The title of Monique Mouton’s current show at Bridget Donahue, Inner Chapters, evokes something of a trance: the state that a novel creates when the plot accelerates but the end is not yet in sight, when the gamble of picking up the book has paid off.

Wilhelm Sasnal: New Paintings and One Film

Wilhelm Sasnal’s paintings are sometimes described as “photorealistic,” but that’s not strictly the case. As his film Paintings and Bikes (2019) makes clear, the images in paintings occupy their own spaces and are preoccupied with their own concerns, not ours.

Kim Juwon: The night, the past recalls the past

The night, the past recalls the past (Edit 1–2) (2019), is a video by South Korean artist Kim Juwon (b. 1981) about the artist’s personal life from the years 2007 to 2019.

Nour Mobarak: Logistique Elastique

The first impression made by Nour Mobarak’s solo debut in New York is celestial: several roughly spherical objects are scattered throughout Miguel Abreu’s Orchard Street gallery, like an eccentric solar system in miniature.

Tariku Shiferaw: It’s a love thang, it’s a joy thang

Tariku Shiferaw’s It’s a love thang, it’s a joy thang embodies Black joy—but not in the sense that people might think. In his latest exhibition, the artist pays homage to quotidian pleasures: those often referenced in the jazz era, a time when the greats sang about their daily lives.

David Row

David Row’s third exhibition at Locks Gallery is a testament to the evasive, liminal, and arbitrary elements of vision on which the artist focuses our gaze. Shifting from canvas to wood panels, Row has continued his use of irregular-shaped substrates, deeper color combinations and contrasts, and layered geometries, interstices, corners, and two- and three-dimensional space.

Alessandro Pessoli: Carousel

The surfaces of Pessoli’s paintings teem with a diversity of mark making, which is part of what gives them their sketchbook quality. He uses pencils and stencils, oil sticks and spray paint, pastels and oil paint; all of them come together in an elegant play of texture which is especially charged when the viewer moves around the wooden panels and the gallery light rakes across the matte and reflective zones.

Julie Mehretu

This exhibition, although a midcareer retrospective—Mehretu is far from done yet—gathers an impressive corpus of works. It arrived at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York after iterations at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Atlanta’s High Museum of Art. The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis will be the final venue this coming fall.

Jo Messer: Knees to Navel

Moving between the works on display at 56 Henry, one might be tempted to construct some kind of narrative that unites the paintings. Messer, however, favors an engaged act of decoding that emphasizes time spent with each individual work. Multiple visits provoke new and evocative experiences, and further probing is richly rewarded as images and themes manifest themselves only after sustained scrutiny.

Rose Salane: C21OWO

The objects Salane has amassed function quietly and intently towards the preservation of an ideal. I leave the show cognizant of their quiet solitude, a negative space formed by the absence of both worker and body. Each object is a mere starting point for a thick web of information and history that includes fingerprints and leaning elbows, boredom and the buzz of commerce.

Still/Live

As expressions of mortal transience, commodity culture, or composition, still lifes make us pause. Across photography, video, mixed reality, and a variety of digital arts, the 15 artists in Still/Live at the Katonah Museum of Art find new methods for modernizing the genre. Curator Emily Handlin brings together a selection of works that exhibit an interest in the history of still life in order to expand its range of meanings and expression for our own time.

ADVERTISEMENTS
close

The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2021

All Issues