ANN MCCOY is an artist, writer, and frequent contributor to The Brooklyn Rail. She teaches in the Yale School of Drama, graduate design.
FEB 2018 | Art
“I believe language as song and as text possesses a kind of quietness, a space that allows words’ power to evoke and move emotions. I’m interested in the soft space behind language.”
APR 2018 | ArtSeen
It is affirming to see an exhibition like Stations of the Cross, based on a Catholic pilgrimage and devotional practice, in a world plagued by attacks on both Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism.
JUNE 2018 | ArtSeen
Helen O’Leary’s work, which has its formation in Irish linguistics, gives us an inspired version of an Irish art rooted in a sense of place in rural Ireland. The late nineteenth century Gaelic revival (Athbheochan na Gaeilge), advocated for a return to the Irish language, and O’Leary’s psyche is firmly planted in that tongue. O’Leary’s art originates from a life lived on a farm in rural Ireland, and a spiritual connection to that land and rural way of life. In a time when many younger Irish artists have adopted critical theory, digital technology, and international styles severed from their cultural roots, O’Leary’s work possesses a life-lived authenticity and hands-on craftsmanship that sets it apart.
FEB 2017 | ArtSeen
Creation myths provide blueprints for their respective societies, on both a conscious and unconscious level. Lenore Malen, whose past work on utopian societies traverses history, in this exhibition takes us back to biblical Eden to ascertain where things went off the rails.
JUNE 2017 | ArtSeen
Making Space: Women Artists in Postwar Abstraction has work by many of the same artists as its 1995 predecessor Elizabeth Murray, Modern Women (1914 – 73)—work by seventy women from the MoMA collection.
NOV 2017 | ArtSeen
The latter part of the Victorian era was a romantic age of celebrity archaeologists: Howard Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb captured the public’s imagination, as did Leonard Woolley’s excavations of the burial pit at Ur. Sir Arthur Evans unearthed and restored Knossos, and Heinrich Schliemann excavated Mycenae—rescuing Homer’s lost civilizations from the mythological mists of time.
FEB 2016 | ArtSeen
Recycling Religion represents a missed opportunity for a necessary discussion of a complex subject. “Recycled Thinking” would be a more appropriate title for this mishmash of tired Pop art, simplistic religious clichés, gadgetry, and scatology, that comes across as a traveling promotional for Marat Guelman’s stable and his new museum complex in Montenegro.
SEPT 2016 | ArtSeen
Tony Oursler: The Imponderable Archive consists of 680 items culled from 2,500 photographs, news clippings, books, and assorted objects from the artist’s collection.
DEC 16-JAN 17 | ArtSeen
In this time of war and uncertainty, Carolee Schneemann, the best artist embodiment of Aphrodite we have, has brought us two exhibitions that take us, with her uncompromising authenticity, into places rarely visited.
FEB 2015 | Art
Kristin Jones came by the Rail to discuss her collaborative project TEVERETERNO for the revival of Romes Tiber River with Ann McCoy. The artist has been working to adopt an 1,800-foot long stretch of the river, and turn it into a site for contemporary art, a first for Rome.
MAY 2015 | ArtSeen
To capture the encyclopedic scope, breadth, and dimensionality of Joyce Kozloffs exhibitions, a magic carpet is a prerequisite.
SEPT 2015 | ArtSeen
The monumental Living Pyramid rises from the lawn of Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City like a futuristic mirage, with a base thirty feet on a side. It marks a return to New York public art for this eighty-three-year-old artist.
DEC 15-JAN 16 | ArtSeen
What a celebration! Have we forgotten that before Nancy Spero was shown at MoMA, in 1976 she was picketing the place, demanding that an exhibition include fifty percent women?
FEB 2014 | Art
Ann McCoy met with Krzysztof Wodiczko at De Robertis Pasticceria & Caffe in the East Villagewhich has functioned since the 80s as his studio and officeto discuss his video projections on statuary and some of the psychological aspects of the work.
MAR 2014 | ArtSeen
There is nothing new about the idea of symbolic space. Doug Wheelers second installation at the David Zwirner gallery brings to mind the French Enlightenment fantasy architectural monument spheres of Étienne-Louis Boullée.
SEPT 2014 | Art
Fresh off the plane from New Mexico, Eve Andrée Laramée sat down at the Rail headquarters with Ann McCoy to discuss art, science, alchemy, and the nuclear legacy they share.
SEPT 2014 | Critics Page
At 68, I was part of the second feminist charge in Los Angeles. I was among the first group of women to gain anything resembling an equal share (thanks to Marcia Tucker) in the Whitney Biennial of 1973.
FEB 2013 | ArtSeen
1966 was a hard time to be a woman at Yale. There were perhaps three women students in a class of men, and no female professors.
MAY 2013 | ArtSeen
The Artful Recluse: Painting, Poetry, and Politics in 17th-Century China opened in the midst of the mercantile Armory Show madness.
JUL-AUG 2013 | ArtSeen
Subliming Vessel is the first major exhibition devoted to Matthew Barneys drawings. Vessel references the alchemists flask, a container for the incubation of images and processes rooted in the unconscious.
SEPT 2013 | Art
Michelle Stuart and Ann McCoy met at the Rail headquarters on a recent August afternoon to discuss the intersections of art, archaeology, exploration, and animism. Both daughters of the West, they also spoke about riding sidesaddle, synchronicity, and stupas.
NOV 2013 | Art
Nalini Malani recently flew to Japan to receive the Fukuoka Arts & Culture Prize and to open her solo exhibition at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum. A book about her dOCUMENTA (13) installation: Nalini Malani: In Search of Vanished Blood with essays by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Arjun Appadurai, and Andreas Huyssen was produced by Hatje Cantz last year.
FEB 2018 | ArtSeen
Lisson Gallery has mounted a stunning, historically important, museum quality first New York solo exhibition of the work of Channa Horwitz, an artist who died in 2013 at the age of eighty.
APR 2018 | ArtSeen
An elongated, “keystoned” vertical projection, updated daily and made from ash adhered to a slide, fills the gallery’s first wall.
JUNE 2018 | ArtSeen
The intangible mystery of this work transports this viewer to an archaic place in consciousness when nature and mankind were inseparably fused in peaceful coexistence and respect.
MAY 2017 | Art
Helène Aylon sat down with Ann McCoy at the Brooklyn Rail’s Industry City headquarters to discuss her upcoming traveling exhibition, Afterword: For the Children (Hadassah-Brandeis Institute and Kniznick Gallery, Waltham, Massachusetts, March 20 – June 16, 2017; Jerusalem Biennale, October 2017).
SEPT 2017 | ArtSeen
Joséphin Péladan’s (1858-1918) portrait by Jean Delville (1895) as “Sâr Mérodack,” white robed and posed like a Byzantine Christ Pantocrator “ruler of all” with an arm raised in benediction, greets the exhibition’s viewer.
DEC 17-JAN 18 | ArtSeen
Strange Muses I (2017) is remarkable on multiple levels. It was created not to show the here and now, but to take us into what could best be described as a liminal space...
MAY 2016 | Art
William Kentridge’s Triumphs and Laments opened April 21 22, 2016, in Rome. On a 550-meter-long, ten-meter-high section of the Tiber embankment wall between Ponte Sisto and Ponte Mazzini, eighty figures, pulled by power washing from the grime on the walls, depict Rome’s greatest victories and defeats from mythological times to the present.
NOV 2016 | ArtSeen
Slavs and Tatars, perhaps the smartest artist collaborative around, have returned for their first New York exhibition since Beyonsense at MoMA (2012).
FEB 2015 | ArtSeen
Two stunning simultaneous exhibitions by the Scottish artist Lucy Skaer give New Yorkers their most comprehensive view of the artists range to date. Skaer represented Scotland in the 52nd Venice Biennale, was a finalist for the Turner Prize in 2009, and has had solo exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, the Kunsthalle Basel, and the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh.
APR 2015 | ArtSeen
To explore the profound impact of Shadows, one must begin with Alfredo Jaar, the architect. Jaars site-specific spaces at Lelong have no equivalency in contemporary architecture.
JUL-AUG 2015 | ArtSeen
The Cuban artist Yoan Capote is an embodiment of the archetypal Hephaestus, the Olympian god of the hammer and forge, so undervalued in todays art making. Capote builds much of his work using classical sculptural techniques, and represents the best of a Communist worker tradition.
OCT 2015 | ArtSeen
Entering the main gallery of Sperone Westwater, the viewer is dwarfed by Red Gravity (2015), a stunning, two-story-high, circular red clay drawing filling the height and width of the main wall. A suspended glass balcony allows the viewer to see the top half, which enhances the work’s scale.
DEC 15-JAN 16 | Theater
William Kentridge and his South African collaborative team have landed in New York City and New Haven this fall, leaving us with remarkable opportunities to see their work.
FEB 2014 | ArtSeen
Ann McCoy discusses Michael Zansky's show, A Vacation on Mars with God, on display at Stux Gallery.
JUNE 2014 | Editor's Message
The idea for this issue of the Brooklyn Rail came from a conversation I had with Donald Kuspit regarding his book The End of Art, as well as discussions I have had with artist Michael Zansky, whose art begins with a Freudian perspective and travels into uncharted realms.
SEPT 2014 | ArtSeen
The museums façade and lobby vinyls of The One and Only Madinat New Museum Royal Mirage luxury hotel are by G.C.C., a collective of eight artists with roots in the Gulf.
NOV 2014 | Art
Ann McCoy met with Raquel Rabinovich at her Rhinebeck studio to view her work and archives. Rabinovich discussed her life in Argentina, a country she has had to leave twice for political reasons, her life as a world citizen in Paris, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, and New York, and her afternoons with Jorge Luis Borges.
MAR 2013 | ArtSeen
Paul Laffoley and Suzanne Treister are two rare artists who dont fit into the current art discourse focused on politics and critical theory. Laffoley and Treister are more suited to a gathering in the Samovar Tea Room at the Museum of Jurassic Technology than a Whitney lecture.
JUNE 2013 | ArtSeen
Hermes is a cattle thief, messenger, trickster, boundary crosser, and a god who represents a lot of artists.
SEPT 2013 | Critics Page
When I think of art the Kwakiutl come to mind. The Kwakiutl had no word for art but art was everywhere, in all aspects of their lives. Every utilitarian object was a work of art, whether it was a grizzly bear or otter bowl, a whale spoon, or a heron fishhook.
OCT 2013 | Critics Page
Vulnerability implies that a greater force will threaten a more fragile one. As a woman I have been acquainted with the word since childhood. Women, small kittens, and sparrows fit the definition of the vulnerable.