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Alex A. Jones

ALEX A. JONES is a contributor to the Brooklyn Rail.

In Conversation

HANNE TIERNEY with Alex A. Jones

Twenty years ago Hanne Tierney founded FiveMyles, a non-profit art space in Crown Heights. To readers of the Rail who go back a long time in New York, perhaps those have a shared history with Tierney in the SoHo art scene, FiveMyles is a familiar and highly regarded establishment.

In Conversation

ELLEN BERKENBLIT with Alex A. Jones

Once a part of the East Village scene, Ellen Berkenblit has been showing in New York since graduating from Cooper Union in 1980. Her earlier paintings had an affinity for the tubular, economical figure-style of vintage cartoons and comics, but have since sharpened, featuring pointy, angular forms and contoured intervals of explosive color.

In Conversation

SHARA HUGHES with Alex A. Jones

I met with Hughes before the opening of In Lieu of Flowers to discuss the evolution of her work and her relationship to the landscape genre. Hughes is quick to confirm that her paintings aren’t really about “nature,” which begs the most interesting question: what are they about?

Ivy Haldeman: The Interesting Type

Since 2016, Ivy Haldeman has been exhibiting erotic paintings of feminine, anthropomorphic hot dogs. These ladylike link-sausages, with pouting lips, svelte human limbs, and Cinderella-heels are seen lounging seductively inside pillowy hot dog buns.

Ella Kruglyanskaya: Fenix

The most revealing painting in Ella Kruglyanskaya's show at Gavin Brown's Enterprise is Painter, Discontented (2018). The seven-foot-tall oil depicts a painter in messy negligee sitting before a canvas, onto which a few marks have been splashed from the brush in her hand.

DARREN WATERSTON:
Ecstatic Landscape

These paintings invited the joy that is particular to landscapes, allowing us to experience the panel not as a mere decorated surface, but as an imagined place.

JONATHAN MONAGHAN:
The Disco Beast

Monaghan’s show investigates the unicorn as a symbolic being, demonstrating in surprising ways its historical richness, multivalence, and relevance to the digital age.

MARY REID KELLEY and PATRICK KELLEY:
We are Ghosts

Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley’s films This is Offal (2016) and In the Body of the Sturgeon (2017) approach the grim mysteries of death with madcap humor.

Viktor Timofeev: God Room

Upon entering the apartment gallery, the resonant sound of a slowed-down clock pendulum conjures a sensation of time slipping slowly away, similar to the attenuated experience we may associate with waiting.

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg: Delights of an Undirected Mind

The forest and the house are two psychologically-charged domains in the Western imaginary, both ruled by the play of light and shadow. When we can’t see the far edge of the trees, a forest becomes an unfathomable mystery, and its secrets take on a more threatening character with the fall of night.

BLINN & LAMBERT:
New Grey Planet 

Blinn & Lambert’s multimedia exhibition New Grey Planet feels as much like a theoretical experiment as an aesthetic experience. Presenting still life and video works that juxtapose the effects of CGI and 3D imaging with material forms, the artists invite us to participate in exercises of perception that complicate the ontology of objects through technological vision.

Michelle Handelman: LOVER HATER CUNTY INTELLECTUAL

Michelle Handelman’s body of work Hustlers and Empires, of which a new installment currently appears at Signs & Symbols Gallery in the Lower East Side, is a symbolically-layered, operatic examination of “the hustler.” Here the label encompasses those who transgress society’s norms as a way to survive, and those who must survive in spite of their transgressions, including the sex worker, the pimp, the drug dealer, the addict, the queer outsider. The newest film, LOVER HATER CUNTY INTELLECTUAL, focuses on a character who is in fact a “layering of persons,” portrayed by the queer feminist artist/activist Viva Ruiz, whose performance is partly autobiographical and partly inspired by the libertine 20th-century novelist Marguerite Duras.

SUMMER WHEAT:
Swamp Hunters (2018)

This painting appeared in a solo show at Andrew Edlin Gallery called Gamekeepers, a title which refers to those who manage land to ensure proper conditions for hunting wildlife. It is a paradoxical stewardship, nurturing life to prepare for the hunt.

ANGELA HEISCH:
Resting Position

The thirteen paintings in Resting Position, all completed in 2018, range from 16 to 36 inches square, a modest scale that invites contemplation rather than immersion.

JOHN McALLISTER:
cymbals of sleep uncurtain the night

Despite the humming palettes of pink, orange, violet, and indigo, it feels chilly in these paintings. Maybe it’s because now, in late March, we enter the gallery from the frosty street with ever-more impatience for the turn of season that these images predict.

A Wild Ass Beyond: ApocalypseRN

Surveying the national cultural landscape of doomsday preppers, survivalists, contemporary homesteaders, and “tiny house” enthusiasts—communities within which notions of self-reliance and apocalypse can appear as driving fantasies—these four artists of color inject a counter-narrative into a predominantly white—and in some sectors overtly nativist—conversation about the nature of survival in “the end-times.

Pen + Brush

Pen + Brush was founded in 1894 as a private club for women artists and writers. This makes it older than any other professional women’s organization in the United States.

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The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 19-JAN 20

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