Search View Archive

Lyle Rexer

Lyle Rexer is the author of The Critical Eye: Fifteen Pictures to Understand Photography. He teaches at the School of Visual Arts.

In Conversation

DAWOUD BEY with Lyle Rexer

Dawoud Bey speaks with Lyle Rexer about his life, influences, and deep thinking around portraiture and landscape photography.

EMIL ALZAMORA Random Mutations That Work

Alzamora’s sculpture, concept meets craft at a very high level, a union as rare as the teeth of the proverbial hen. With the general de-skilling of art and the rise of conceptual strategies, which have gone hand-in-hand since the early 1960s, it has been too little noted that what amounts to an old-fashioned, Henry-Fordish division of labor has taken over in the art world.

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.

Donald Judd

From a distance of decades, it’s easier to see Judd’s veiled polemic for what it was: opinion masquerading as analysis and intuition supported primarily by his own practice. At the same distance, through two major exhibitions, it’s possible to see and feel intensely what Judd accomplished.


Is there such a thing as outsider photography? The term “outsider” has come to mean either self-taught, outside the art establishment or, in the more extreme version, cut off from many forms of social intercourse by mental illness or incarceration.

Gayleen Aiken: Interiors

A Vermont native, Aiken mastered a luminous color palette, often composed from colored pencils, that could evoke the seasonal landscape with vivid freshness.

Hector Leonardi

There is a story about how Bonnard, as he grew older, became increasingly obsessed with the juxtaposition of color, to such a degree that when he was working with a pigment, he would walk among his canvases and see where the color might be applied in anything he was doing, to get just the effects he was after.

Fritz Vogt Drawings: A Sense of Place

Fritz Vogt, an itinerant renderer who worked in five counties west of Albany, left behind hundreds of drawings in graphite and colored pencil that give a glimpse of a world that no longer exists, when towns were growing and farming was prosperous.

Sally Mann: Proud Flesh

Several years ago in conversation, Sally Mann said that once she adopted the wet collodion process for taking photographs, she became aware of making “graven images.” This exhibition is her most vivid demonstration of the truth of that idea.

John Wood and Paul Harrison: Bored

In their first solo gallery exhibition in the United States, English artists John Wood and Paul Harrison arrive just in time and too late.

The New Woman Behind the Camera

This revolution is the insertion into the archive of a very large group of women photographers, many of whom have been virtually unknown to contemporary viewers.

Luis Camnitzer: Towards an Aesthetic of Imbalance

Luis Camnitzer’s work has always confounded me with the way it speaks so critically while assimilating seamlessly into architectural space, including the quasi-sacred but increasingly consumer-friendly temple of the museum and the white cube gallery.

Mike Kelley: Timeless Painting

It was upsetting and exhilarating in equal measure to see a selection of those paintings extracted from the detritus of Kelley’s sprawling artistic career and made to stand for something important in the cold confines of Hauser & Wirth. Separated from the stuffed animals, videos, sculptures, and architectural models that crowded MoMA PS1 a few years ago, Kelley’s paintings become an uncomfortable retrospective, inevitably shadowed by the artist’s suicide in 2012.

Ken Grimes: Alien Variations

Although the exhibition at Ricco/Maresca contains mostly smaller works on paper—drawings and gouaches—it may be the most revealing presentation about the motives of this prolific artist. It is illuminating as well, not only about Grimes but also about the strategies of a range of artists on the visionary spectrum, from Alfred Jensen and his obsession with Mexican pyramids to Johannes Itten, who founded the Bauhaus design program, to Emery Blagdon, the outsider who created a barn full of healing machines.

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.


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 21-JAN 22

All Issues