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Louis Block

Louis Block is a painter based in Brooklyn.

In Conversation

MARCUS JAHMAL with Louis Block

"They seem to be going somewhere, leaving you in a state of questioning, very similar to a film still."

In Conversation

MERLIN JAMES with Louis Block

Louis Block speaks with painter and writer Merlin James in his Glasgow studio in the lead up to his forthcoming show, River at Sikkema Jenkins Gallery.

In Conversation

JO SMAIL with Louis Block

Baltimore-based painter Jo Smail speaks with Louis Block on the occasion of her retrospective at the Baltimore Museum of Art, reflecting on her career in South Africa and the US, recovering from a stroke, painting emptiness, and the influence of Clarice Lispector.

Ed Clark

For the past half-century or so, Ed Clark has been making plastic paintings that live up to the name.

Shaun Leonardo: The Breath of Empty Space

Shaun Leonardo’s current exhibition posits a simple act of resistance: to excavate these optical memories, sifting through their noise. In his repeated drawings of news photographs surrounding violence against Black men, Leonardo builds a system that questions a singular image’s capacity for truth-telling.


It is this immeasurable space between visual belief and betrayal that Thomas Demand mines in his intricate photographs. For his new show at Matthew Marks, Demand combines stills, animations, and sound to consider the textures themselves of experience.

Vivian Suter

Suter’s work feels both settled in place and open to the possibility of change. Painted both indoors and outdoors, her canvases are subject to the unstoppable forces of nature—hurricanes, flooding, critters—but do not resist their effects.

Anne Truitt: Paintings

These paintings insist on the meditative quality of their content. Truitt intensifies the resonance of these fields of color not by doing away with form and line, but by pushing it to the periphery.


The largest painting in Andy Cahill’s new show spans over thirteen feet wide. In it, an androgynous creature points a finger-gun at a man crawling up an increasingly vertiginous path toward a house already out of reach, lost to the inevitability of one-point perspective.

Monumental Journey: The Daguerreotypes of Girault de Prangey

This exhibition at the Met gathers over 100 of his daguerreotypes, less than a tenth of his total production, focusing on his extensive travels east through the Mediterranean from 1842 to 1845. Though it only occupies a few small galleries of the museum’s photography wing, the collection is filled with small pictures of a vast geographic scope.

Proof: Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert Longo

Goya’s prints and Eisenstein’s 35mm films serve as an introduction to Longo’s massive charcoal drawings.

Purvis Young and Édouard Vuillard: Prophets and Angels

That these two pieces join subject and form through a harmony of image and support is not proof of any substantial connection between their author’s oeuvres, and the pair may not warrant extended consideration. But, faced with the work’s current proximity, why not revel in its strange, absorbing links?

Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet

The Metropolitan’s concise retrospective—an abbreviated version of what was shown at London’s Royal Academy—presents the printmaker and painter as a merciless interpreter of his environment and its characters.

Ralston Crawford: Torn Signs

The exhibition foregrounds Crawford’s projects in other media (photography, printmaking, and film) alongside the larger scale oil paintings for which he is known.

Deep in the Static:
Raghubir Singh’s Photographs

This generous retrospective traces the development of an extraordinary career in color photography, from the late sixties until Singh’s sudden death from a heart attack in 1999.

Sinéad Breslin

Seeing and remembering are at odds. Memories—if they are to be shared with others—are packaged in a specific way: flat, rectilinear, still. This fact is not contingent on photography; we have a natural tendency to break narratives up into stills.

EJ Hauser: Barn Spirits

In this show of nine canvases, all painted in 2018, EJ Hauser mines an ever-shifting vocabulary of form. The language here lies somewhere between literal and mythological, spoken and remembered.

Fixator (#2) (2017)

What is most disconcerting about Fixator is what it lacks. The voids between its structural elements seem to weigh more than the solid ceramic and metal structures  making up the imaginary body now resident in PS1’s creaky galleries.

Writing on Art and Muscle Memory

What brings me back to a painting is often a feeling, like a nagging muscle memory, of wanting not only to see, but to sense the painting’s facture.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2020

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