Gideon Appah is a Ghanaian artist living and working in Accra. His paintings feature dream landscapes and times that imbue elements of fantasy. According to his bio, he “prioritises atmosphere and the exploration of memory over faithful reproduction,” lending his works a surreal and expressionist feel. He is a painter aware of the potency of symbolism and references, and he intelligently deploys them in his paintings, scouted from sources as varied as personal memories, pop culture, film, black portraiture, colonial archives, Western classical art, and religion. His work has been shown in Accra, New Mexico, New York, Toronto, and has been acquired by the Absa Museum in Johannesburg, the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden in Marrakesh, and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
In the opening essay of filmmaker Nora Ephron’s 2006 book I Feel Bad About My Neck, and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, she reflects on the experience of getting older in her signature, cleverly confessional style: “That’s another thing about being a certain age that I’ve noticed: I try as much as possible not to look in the mirror. If I pass a mirror, I avert my eyes. If I must look into it, I begin by squinting, so that if anything really bad is looking back at me, I am already halfway to closing my eyes to ward off the sight.” Few would disagree that Ephron, as a perfector of the rom-com and the personal essay, is as sharp-eyed an observer of women’s experiences as they come. But rarely has her name been invoked in relation to feminist art of the 1980s, with its emphasis on deconstructing “woman as image.” Nevertheless, as I was walking through Mary Kelly’s show at Vielmetter—an installation of her work Interim, Part I: Corpus, 1984–85—the comedienne, to my own surprise, immediately came to mind.
Twenty-two best art exhibitions in the Kanto area and beyond to look forward to in 2023. Care is an essential element of our society. Featuring a diverse range of works, from expressions born out of second-wave feminism to the reading of private childcare diaries, this exhibition will seek the possibilities of empowerment through works of contemporary artists and the placemaking that strengthens the connection between the public and care. Participating artists are Ryoko Aoki, AHA![Archive for Human Activities], Miyako Ishiuchi, Mako Idemitsu, Yui Usui, Ragnar Kjartansson, Kento Nito, Maria Farrar, Young-In Hong, Mei Homma, Martha Rosler, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, and Yun Suknam.
Even in 2023, works by female artists are still underrepresented in the Kunstmuseum Basel collection in Switzerland. Its new exhibition "Fun Feminism" presents some forty pieces, dating from the 1960s to the 1990s, as well as a selection of more recent works by contemporary Swiss and international artists. This includes Guerrilla Girls, Pipilotti Rist, Martha Rosler, and Rosemarie Trockel. For more than half a century, artists, art historians, gallerists, collectors, and curators have been working to represent female perspectives in the visual arts within exhibition spaces, museums, publications, and archives. This exhibition has chosen a feminist prism, deliberately irreverent and sometimes provocative, to break the stereotypes usually associated with women.
As Jonathan Horowitz's powerful special exhibition -- which addresses antisemitism, racial violence, immigration, women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights -- grows in relevance, Philadelphia's Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History (The Weitzman) announces that it has been extended through July 4, 2023. Originally scheduled to run through December 2022, "The Future Will Follow the Past: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz", is a transformative art exhibition that explores the significant changes America has experienced since 2020 and issues it has been grappling with for decades. "Jonathan Horowitz's exhibition continues to grow in relevance since the Museum reopened in May," said Dr. Josh Perelman, The Weitzman's Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions and Interpretation.
Looking for your next culture fix? Susan Gray explores the must-see exhibitions that need to be on your radar for the coming year. Soutine-Kossoff at Hastings Contemporary in East Sussex, running from April 1st to September 24th -- the first show to explore the relationship between Leon Kossoff, whose impasto (thickly applied paint) landscapes of post-war London are well known, and Paris trained artist Chaim Soutine. Kossoff discovered Soutine’s work in the 1950s and was greatly influenced by it. The two artists shared an Eastern European Jewish heritage, and both created transcendent works from the stuff of everyday life. Contains over 40 significant loans from collections in the UK and USA and beyond.
Describing the early 2023 arts calendar as “stacked” feels like an understatement. Consider this your grab-bag guide to the can’t-miss exhibitions of the season, and check back often—we’ll be updating this list as more events roll in. 52 Walker is kicking off the new year with Gordon Matta-Clark & Pope.L: Impossible Failures, an exhibition pairing the work of the site-specific artist Gordon Matta-Clark and the visual artist Pope.L. The TriBeCa space helmed by Ebony L. Haynes will unveil on February 3 an examination of the two artists’ careers—specifically, their shared fixations on the problematic nature of institutions, language, scale, and value. Running through April 1, Impossible Failures will also feature a new site-specific installation by Pope.L, presented in collaboration with Mitchell-Innes & Nash. Personally, we can’t wait to see the Newark, New Jersey native’s take on Matta-Clark’s preferred medium.
The British art information website ArtLyst has named Toronto-based artist AA Bronson to its 'Alt Power 100' list for 2022. The annual compilation acknowledges artists and curators from around the world who work to "enrich our communities." Bronson was a member of General Idea, an artist collective that also included Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal. They produced over 100 solo exhibitions, countless group shows and public art projects focused on themes related to queer theory and AIDS activism, amongst others. ArtLyst cited the retrospective last year at the National Gallery of Canada for General Idea, active from 1969 until 1994, when both Partz and Zontal died of AIDS. The exhibition, which Bronson played a key role in organizing, explored the group’s 25-year history as it evolved from humble beginnings producing videos, photos, posters and mail art to its later days of tackling the AIDS crisis through paintings, sculptures and installations.
Curated with sensitivity and wit by Adam Welch, this comprehensive survey of General Idea, the largest to date, began in an unexpectedly understated way: Visitors traversed a small octagonal space, whose walls were adorned with a faint pattern in green, orange, and white. It took the viewer a moment of repose to find the titular acronym repeated throughout White AIDS Wallpaper, 1991—its ironic design based on Robert Indiana’s LOVE insignia—and, in the process, (re)consider how that disease affected the many communities and publics in which the collective operated, sometimes through subtle infiltration rather than splashy provocation. Rightly refusing to give in to sentimental memorializing, the exhibition treated the illness—which claimed two of the group’s three members, Felix Partz (1945–1994) and Jorge Zontal (1944–1994)—as a thing meant to be sliced and diced by the Cuisinart of their imagination, turning the word into a specious brand logo, a punching bag, and a semiotic treasure trove.
There is a chill in the air of a disused nightclub in Roskilde, about thirty kilometers outside of Copenhagen. The floors are sticky, as if the dance floor has only just been vacated. For the American artist Jacolby Satterwhite, the club is “a strange cave, where intellectuals come together when they are the most unintellectual, but [also] the most beautiful and kindred.” Satterwhite’s exhibition in Roskilde, hosted by the itinerant Museum of Contemporary Art, centers upon the healing powers of dance and the nightclub, where marginalized groups have the freedom to transgress, inhibitions are lost, artists incubate, and Satterwhite spent so much of his youth. His digital universe is occupied by countless bodies, which gyrate, dance, and vogue to a pulsing soundscape. Satterwhite takes on the role of voyeur, observing the contemporary Zeitgeist, as he fuses the influences of video games, Afrofuturism, queer theory, West African spiritual tradition, and personal experience. The result is a dreamlike vision of the club that is primal and ritualistic, as if dance might have the ability to change our reality.
In “Painting in New York: 1971–83,” a two-part exhibition that occupied Karma’s 188 and 172 East Second Street locations in Manhattan’s East Village, curator Ivy Shapiro resisted the usual strategies that insist on seamless historical flow and cohesive unity. She selected a group of thirty women artists, highlighting their shared agendas as well as their glaring differences. Sylvia Plimack Mangold’s Untitled, 1972, a small, Apollonian, immaculately executed Photorealist painting of an empty corner of a room, was installed mere inches away from a very large, busy, and steadfastly Dionysian diptych on canvas and Masonite by Nancy Graves: Librium, 1975–76 (its title is also the trade name for an anti-anxiety drug introduced to the market in the 1960s). Graves’s dreamy work is speedy and scattered with whimsical bits of patterning, random marks, pieces of gold leaf, and lots of bright color. In sharp contrast, Mangold’s meditative vision is sustained and cleansed of hyperbole, overt sensuality, and gestural flourish.
The Stedelijk will lend its spotlight to the collective, made up of Canadian artists Felix Partz, Jorge Xontal, and AA Bronson, who were active under the moniker between 1969 and 1994. The exhibition is the most comprehensive retrospective on the trio to date, and charts the group’s witty and eccentric output through more than 200 works. From major installations such as the 1987 AIDS sculpture, which riffs on Robert Indiana’s “LOVE” motif—both Xontal and Partz contracted HIV in the 1980s—to archival materials, publications, painting, and sculpture, the exhibition showcases the group’s playful commentary and critique on mass media, consumer culture, social inequality, queerness, and the art economy, tracing its impact on both their own moment and milieu.
Videos, photo collages, and installation works from the sixties and seventies convey the restless invention of this feminist Conceptualist’s early career, as well as the tumult of the era. A partial reprise of Rosler’s 2018 retrospective, at the Jewish Museum, this dense exhibition shows the artist honing her incisive, acerbic strain of media critique, informed by the antiwar, anti-imperialist stance of the women’s movement. “House Beautiful: The Colonies,” a collage series from 1969-72, juxtaposes imagery of the space race with spreads from home-décor magazines, dramatizing the twin forces of American expansionism and consumer culture. “Diaper Pattern,” from 1973-75, is a hanging grid of cloth diapers, each bearing a handwritten quote reflecting the dehumanizing, racist rhetoric fuelling the Vietnam War. In this deceptively airy work—as in Rosler’s iconic performance-based films “The Semiotics of the Kitchen,” from 1975, and “Martha Rosler Reads Vogue,” from 1985—the artist zeroes in on connections between gendered labor and geopolitics. Sadly, though the images from the vintage women’s magazine appear dated, Rosler’s message is as relevant now as ever.
In the mid-1960s, Martha Rosler began creating photomontages exploring women’s material and psychic subjugation, manipulating popular advertisements from news, fashion, and home magazines to unearth their nefarious ideological operations. Rosler made this body of work, “Body Beautiful, or Beauty Knows No Pain,” (1966–72) alongside painting, sculpture, photography, video, and performance, stitching together a variable array of Conceptual art practices attuned to feminist politics. This set of critical tools informs “martha rosler: changing the subject…in the company of others,” a survey of the artist’s work currently on view at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York through January 21, 2023.
Ghanaian artist Gideon Appah made his US institutional debut with ‘Forgotten, Nudes, Landscapes’ at the Institute of Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University. His paintings hum with a surreal energy. His figures, Simon Wu writes, come across as ‘ghosts of clubbers in some primordial land’; certain paintings draw on myth, and incorporate symbols that evoke tarot or shamanic imagery. The influence of Black portraitists is palpable: men clad in white suits recall figures in the paintings of Barkley L. Hendricks, for example. ‘Produced quickly and at high volume,’ Wu writes, ‘the works have a provisional, immediate quality reminiscent of digital engagement.’ Indeed, Appah has drawn on a rich array of demotic sources for the newly-commissioned works in this exhibition, with characters culled from Ghanaian movies and Appah’s friends, set in locations that are sometimes ambiguous – as in the constellation-cum-nightclub of Remember Our Stars (2020) – and sometimes specific, as in Ghana’s famed Roxy Theatre in Roxy 2 (2020–21).
Which artists are doing the most exciting work? We asked the 35 trailblazing artists, dealers, tastemakers, and entrepreneurs on the 2022 Artnet Innovators List that question as part of this year’s report. We’ve gathered some of their insights here, in one collective interview. Take in their tips and learn more from individual members of the list on Artnet News in the coming weeks. "I don’t like much art because I’m competitive, but if I had to choose I would put my money on Andra Ursuta or Jacolby Satterwhite because, whether you like it or not, they are real artists. Trust me, I can tell the difference," says Jamian Juliano-Villani.
From provocative video installations to engaging virtual-reality exhibits, Kate Taylor takes the pulse of the visual-arts scene across the country. Best Retrospective: General Idea at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Revisiting the career of General Idea, that cheeky trio of the 1980s and early 90s, proved to be the year’s most refreshing experience. In an era where the visual arts are filled with earnest sermons, GI’s work about the AIDS crisis reminded viewers that AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal kept their satirical edge to the bitter end. Meanwhile, their earlier assaults on art world celebrity proved as pertinent as ever.
LA3C, an upcoming two-day culture and creativity festival launching later this month, will feature installations by a group of celebrated artists, including Jacolby Satterwhite, For Freedoms, and Patrick Martinez. PMC—the parent company of ARTnews and Art in America, as well as Rolling Stone, Variety, Billboard, and SheKnows, among other publications—launched LA3C Culture & Creativity Festival last July, but had to postpone the event due to the pandemic. The festival is a celebration of culture in Los Angeles. The festival will run from December 10 to 11, and will also feature performances by touted musicians such as Megan Thee Stallion, Maluma, and more. The full lineup of artists includes Jacolby Satterwhite, Amanda Ross-Ho, Patrick Martinez, Edgar Ramirez, Tiffany Alfonseca, Abi Polinsky, Abi Polinsky, Rogan Gregory, and the collective For Freedoms. Information about each individual work is available on LA3C’s website.
American multidisciplinary artist Martha Rosler describes her art as “a communicative act, a form of an utterance, a way to open a conversation” – and she has undeniably done just that throughout her politically and socially charged career. Now, at Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery in New York, you can witness the enduring power of Rosler’s work for yourself, including her acclaimed early series of collages Body Beautiful, or Beauty Knows No Pain, which offers “often-derisive critiques of the pressures and fantasies brought to bear on women and girls”. In a dedicated screening space, meanwhile, you can discover a still-urgent selection of Rosler’s rousing films and videos from the 1970s onwards.
From Dec. 8 to Jan. 21, 2023, an exhibition of conceptual artist Martha Rosler’s work from the 60s and 70s titled martha rosler: changing the subject… in the company of others will be on display at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. Mediums include videos, photomontages, and sculptures that explore the perception of feminism through Rosler. Most of the photomontages on display come from the Body Beautiful collection that Rosler composed, beginning in New York and ending in California in about 1972. The inspiration came from seeing ads after attending feminist lectures during her schooling in the mid-60s, with Rosler calling the demonstration of women “bedroom appliances.” She created to expose the rampant control and objectification, particularly in the fields of domestic labor, food politics, colonial appropriations and the service industry. Her approach to art entangled feminism and politics, countering the belief at the time that they must remain separate.
Kelly first came to prominence in the 1970s with a practice that was both highly conceptual and unapologetically political. Though she was known as a socialist who tried to unionize artists alongside factory workers, and as a boundary pusher who brought feminism to the testosterone-driven realm of conceptual art, arguably the most radical aspect of her work, especially in its early years, was its insistence that maternity and domesticity were worthy subjects of serious creative expression. At a time when many conceptual artists were focused on violence and transgression — Chris Burden dragging his half-naked body across a parking lot strewn with glass; Paul McCarthy smearing himself with paint, ketchup, mayonnaise, raw meat and feces — Kelly’s early work was almost understated and excruciatingly intimate, with an emphasis on motherhood, pregnancy and reproductive sexuality.
It’s a delight to encounter such a meticulously curated show that amplifies the importance of art fairs in rewriting art history. Moreover, last night’s Benefit Preview in support of the Henry Street Settlement, which also celebrated the ADAA’s 60th anniversary, raised more than $1 million for the 130-year-old charity. Over more than three decades, The Art Show has collected over $36 million for the Henry Street Settlement. We’re transported back to the Brazilian and Latin American art scene through the symbolic work of Antonio Henrique Amaral featured at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash booth. Best known for his series of paintings of bananas that have been mutilated by forks and ropes, As Time Goes By (1993) depicts contorted daggers flying below various moon phases as three hyper-stylized ratlike creatures with fierce fangs skulk to the viewer’s left.
Currently celebrating its 60th year, the Art Dealers Association of America opened this year’s edition of its annual fair, the Art Show, last night at New York’s Park Avenue Armory. Mitchell-Innes & Nash is presenting the work of Antonio Henrique Amaral, whose estate it has just recently began working with. Amaral’s work shows a debt to the surreal paintings of Tarsila do Amaral, a pioneering Brazilian modernist who happened to be a distant relative. Having come of age in Brazil during the country’s dictatorship, Amaral, who died in 2015, filled his art with fierce but subtle political stances. Many of the works on view here are from the ’90s and show the artist’s turn toward environmentalism, advocating against the deforestation of the Amazon. These are powerful works that feel as timely as ever.
Two hundred and fifty charming, campy yet serious drawings are on view in “Ecce Homo,” a focussed retrospective devoted to this three-person collective, formed by the artists AA Bronson, Felix Partz, and Jorge Zontal, in Toronto, in 1969. (The trio moved to New York City in 1985, where most of these pieces were made.) All the drawings were made by the quick, fluid lines of Zontal’s hand, but they are signed with the initials “GI,” for General Idea, because they resulted from a group process and reflected a common lexicon. Recurring images—poodles, magic mountains, amoebas—are rendered in graphite, watercolor, and gouache. Some display a gestural, cartoony economy; others are constructed from doodlelike scrolls and frenetic crosshatching. The show has a deceptively playful air: the spectre of the AIDS epidemic is ever present. (Both Partz and Zontal died of H.I.V.-related causes, in 1994.) A wall of cockroach drawings, in which the insects seem to crawl over speckled abstractions, had a special significance for Zontal: they represented the floaters that impaired his vision as he went blind. Intimate and born of a daily practice, the material in “Ecce Homo” is a profound counterpart to the trio’s better-known works, notably their activist update of Robert Indiana’s iconic red, green, and blue “LOVE” statue, reimagined to read “AIDS.”
“I’m finding it difficult to be 76 and busy,” says the artist AA Bronson from his Berlin studio, where he also lives. “The two don’t really go together.” Though he’s not currently focused on producing new works, Bronson, who has devoted his career to pushing against negative queer representation through the production of confrontational, easily reproducible art, has been spending much of his time planning international exhibitions of his unapologetically political oeuvre. General Idea, the collective he formed with his late life partners Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal — together, the three Canadians were responsible for some of the most striking AIDS-related compositions of the late 1980s and the 1990s — is currently the subject of its biggest retrospective to date, at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.
Although the playwright Michael R. Jackson, 41, and the visual artist Jacolby Satterwhite, 36, work in different genres, they have some things in common. Both are queer Black New York-based artists who address trauma, secrets and stigmas. And both have spent most of their careers feeling overlooked and misunderstood. “As the Black gay man in the room,” said Satterwhite, “I was seen as some sort of weird exception and dismissed.” Satterwhite, whose work has been shown at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, hopscotches across mediums — photography, performance, painting, 3-D animation, writing — to create art that raises questions about self-mythology and expression, consumerism, labor, visual utopia and African rituals. His practice defies easy categorization. This year, the South Carolina native has been building multimedia installations around the world, including at the Format music and art festival in the Ozarks, the Front International triennial in Cleveland, the Munch Triennale in Oslo and the Okayama Art Summit in Japan.
Located about an hour from Paris, the Château de Boisgeloup is a Norman residence bought in 1930 by Pablo Picasso to devote himself to sculpture. For three exceptional weekends, this confidential place hosts the “Hymn” exhibition by Gerasimos Floratos, organized by the Almine Rech gallery and Fundación Almine Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte (FABA). This presentation brings together a selection of clay sculptures by the artist based in New York. Made without firing and abused by the sculptor, these pieces are shaped with a certain disdain for the material, until they lose a head, arms or other parts of their body. The series presented explores the search for imperfection present throughout the repertoire of Gerasimos Floratos, in a desire to reflect the current era rich in contrasts. “Hymn” takes its name from these brightly colored sculptures, which appear to be singing and shouting.
Lincoln Center, which does not typically work with visual artists, partnered with the Studio Museum in Harlem and the nonprofit Public Art Fund to commission two pieces by Nina Chanel Abney and Jacolby Satterwhite. They will be displayed for 18 months before being replaced by new commissions. “I wanted to figure out how to make a digital quilt inside this landscape inspired by Central Park, to be a love letter to New York and its creative output,” said artist Jacolby Satterwhite. The digital piece, titled “An Eclectic Dance to the Music of Time,” features 120 dancers and musicians from the city’s performing arts schools, personally choreographed by the artist. They dance on platforms and outdoor stages set against an imaginary backdrop of sculptures, foliage, and skyscrapers. “What would it be like to allow them to see themselves as future performers of the Philharmonic in Lincoln Center?” Satterwhite posed on Saturday.
Public art commissions are tricky. The creator has to make something that’s accessible but enduring, relevant to the site but also able to stand on its own. Still, Jacolby Satterwhite and Nina Chanel Abney, tapped by Lincoln Center, the Public Art Fund and the Studio Museum in Harlem to celebrate the reopening of David Geffen Hall with a pair of major new installations, make it look easy. Satterwhite, 36, a Brooklyn-based artist, works in performance, 3-D animation and sculpture, often incorporating drawings by his mother, Patricia Satterwhite, into elaborate installations. Abney, 40, best known for painting, also lives in New York and is a public art veteran. They were chosen from a short list of nominated artists after submitting proposals. Between them, the artists incorporate the history of the Lincoln Center and its performing companies, and also of San Juan Hill, the largely Black and Puerto Rican neighborhood displaced by the performing arts complex, into deeply thoughtful pieces that are also joyful and welcoming.
The collectors who rank on ARTnews’s annual Top 200 list are often avid travelers, heading to various locales around the world to see—and buy—great art. While the pandemic’s lockdown in 2020 brought all that to a halt, this summer’s loosening of travel restrictions in many countries saw these collectors go on the move once again. Long a supporter of video art, Julia Stoschek recently added three new works—one by Cauleen Smith, two by Jacolby Satterwhite—in the medium to her collection and quickly put them on view at her Berlin exhibition space in a show titled “at dawn.” Of the latter artist, Stoschek told ARTnews, “The CGI-generated worlds Jacolby Satterwhite’s series Birds in Paradise (2019) as well as Shrines (2021) confront us with feel reminiscent to the worlds Hieronymus Bosch created, only in a faraway future. They are fantastic!”
Before Lincoln Center was a place, it was an idea. San Juan Hill, a bustling neighborhood with large Black and Puerto Rican communities nestled between 59th Street and 65th Street on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, was already teeming with artists—great ones, in fact, who were in the process of shaping some of the 20th century’s most distinctly American forms of creative expression. New York City planning commissioner Robert Moses had the entire area demolished to make way for the construction of Lincoln Center, which broke ground in 1959, displacing more than 7,000 families and 800 businesses. The story of how San Juan Hill was effectively razed is one that resonated deeply with both Nina Chanel Abney and Jacolby Satterwhite. Last fall, the artists were each invited to submit proposals for public-art installations to inaugurate the reopening of David Geffen Hall, home since 1962 to the New York Philharmonic orchestra.
The influential US performance artist Pope.L has teamed up with the streetwear brand Supreme in one of the art world’s more unusual partnerships. Images from Pope.L’s work The Great White Way: 22 Miles, 9 years, 1 Street (2000-09) appear on a T-shirt and skateboard designed by the uber-trendy clothing brand, bringing to mind the artist’s best-known work when he crawled all the way up New York’s Broadway from Battery Park to the Bronx wearing a Superman costume. Pope.L has said that he started his crawls after seeing so many people living on the street, and imagining: “What if all these people en masse began to move as one? But at the time I could only convince one person to do it and that was myself.”
Throughout the pandemic years, Queer art has become a lifeline for the Queer community. In my opinion, one of the best examples of Canadian Queer art is the General Idea AIDS exhibit currently on display at the National Gallery of Canada. It takes the dark and deadly history of the HIV epidemic and turns it colourful. It’s a breath of life that tells the story of the victims of the HIV plague. General Idea was made up of Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal, and AA Bronson. These three Canadian artists invoked change worldwide by challenging controversial queer ideals from 1969-1994. Important themes included throughout the exhibit are corporate greed, discrimination, and androgyny. “The Great Polystyrene Cold,” “Miss General Idea,” and “Pharmaecology” are the three pieces that stood out for me regarding these themes. These pieces encompass androgynous themes, which is essential when discussing a multi-faceted issue like HIV.
If variety is the spice of life, the world’s museums are perfectly seasoning things this fall with an expansive range of exhibitions from LGBTQ artists, exploring myriad motifs like queer motherhood, Afrofuturism, positive indecency, disposable consumerism and gay history. From Miami to Melbourne and from Houston to Helsinki, here are the exhibitions to catch this fall. Canadian trio Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson, collectively known as General Idea, were witty and wacky provocateurs who challenged the established art world and addressed themes like consumerism, queer identity and the AIDS crisis (complications from the disease took both Partz and Zontal in 1994). This most comprehensive retrospective of their still-influential 25-year career features more than 200 works.
“I invested in a particular, severe elegance that I wanted to come through with the composition,” says artist Tiona Nekkia McClodden, reflecting on her latest curatorial presentation, The Trace of an Implied Presence. Now on view at The Shed, the exhibition dives ambitiously into the history of contemporary Black dance through the archives of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Tiona’s research on their 1983 festival, Dance Black America. With two additional shows currently on view this month — MASK/CONCEAL/CARRY, a solo exhibition at 52 Walker Street, and The Brad Johnson Tape, X–On Subguation, an installation at MoMa showcasing her newly acquired work — audiences in New York have an expansive opportunity to see the breadth of Tiona’s conceptual approach.
It is the mark of a truly successful artist that her work may feel forever contemporary. Corpus, restaged here at Vielmetter Los Angeles, is no less provocative than it was in 1990, when this first installation in Kelly’s larger Interim series debuted at New York’s New Museum. Finished ten years after her seminal Post-Partum Document (1973–79), Corpus examines the condition of women after motherhood. The 30 silkscreened and collaged panels, shown in the us for the first time in over 30 years, propose a rigorous, striking examination of ageing women and the fraught history of psychoanalysis. Kelly structures Corpus around nineteenth-century neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot’s five-part classification of female hysteria, pairing evocative images of clothing with a scrawled, diaristic narrative by a first-person speaker contemplating the social experience of older women. In an American summer stamped by the reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision, Kelly’s work explores the vast territory beyond reproduction, challenging our focus on the young.
Over four nights and three days, upwards of 10,000 visitors flowed through Bentonville, Arkansas to attend the inaugural edition of FORMAT. Event producers describe the flashy new affair as a blend of “art, music, and technology.” Home to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville has, over the last decade, gained momentum as a site of interest on the art world’s radar. Each of the participating visual artists engaged the space with their signature approaches. Jacolby Satterwhite chose the occasion to debut PAT, a new performance piece developed in partnership with Performa. He remarked that the event’s production quality was of the highest quality. “I was attracted to the lineup,” Satterwhite admitted to Artnet News, adding that FORMAT also provided a good testing ground for the new “tone” of his work.
The Drawing Center, in partnership with Musée d’art moderne et contemporain Geneva (MAMCO), will bring together the drawings of General Idea authored between 1985 and 1993 for the first time in the United States, and again in Geneva in February 2023. Investigating motifs in the group’s multimedia works such as poodles, stiletto heels, masks, heraldry, and metamorphosed genitalia, these drawings were primarily produced by Jorge Zontal during group meetings. However, given General Idea’s mandate for co-authorship, as well as the circumstances under which they were executed, the drawings are considered to be collaborative. Although they are done entirely by hand, the repetition of specific motifs follows a viral logic that is akin to General Idea’s own penchant for mass reproduction. Seen together, these drawings are a fascinating window into General Idea’s distinct artistic vision as well as their unique notions of collaboration and co-authorship.
It has been more than half a century since General Idea – the irreverent collective consisting of Jorge Zontal, Felix Partz and A.A. Bronson – came onto the art world stage in 1969 with their zany, pop-inflected socio-political critique and tongue-in-cheek antics. Organized in collaboration with Bronson (General Idea’s sole surviving member) some 28 years after they were last active, the National Gallery’s retrospective – and its hefty accompanying catalogue – encapsulate a quarter century of the collective’s influential practice as post-modern pioneers whose work integrated high-minded conceptualism with mass culture and new media.
The unsettling, contemplative show “Mask / Conceal / Carry,” at 52 Walker, is the most complex of three exhibitions by this Philadelphia artist, now on view across New York City, which are thematically distinct but united by their conceptual rigor and their interweaving of emotions, erotics, and politics. At MOMA (in a selection of contemporary works from its collection), McClodden exhibits a B.D.S.M.-inflected video installation from 2017, in which she is seen reciting the poem “On Subjugation,” written in 1988, by the late Black gay poet Brad Johnson, while she hangs upside down. At the Shed, a sprawling sculptural installation pairs four portable dance floors with big screens showing films of Black performers.
“Black men loving Black men is the revolutionary act,” says the filmmaker Marlon Riggs in his 1989 documentary, “Tongues Untied.” For Riggs, who would die of complications from AIDS five years later, the film — made during the darkest days of the epidemic — had “a singular imperative: to shatter America’s brutalizing silence around matters of sexual and racial difference.” More than three decades later, Riggs’s everyday portrayal of queer Black lives feels just as potent, particularly among a generation of young, multidisciplinary creatives who view the director and his crew as ancestors: “It’s been a key inspiration to my journey in film and visual art,” says the 33-year-old artist Shikeith,⁵ who first gained notice as a photographer, although he works across many media. “It was a huge lesson in how I approach community and collaboration.”
In Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s 2017 work The Brad Johnson Tape, X — On Subjugation, the artist revives the presence of poet Brad Johnson as a posthumous mentor, activating her body as a medium through which his words, gestures, and ideas survive in the present. This room-sized installation comprises dozens of found objects that reference McClodden’s meticulous research into Johnson’s archives and biography. Among the elements is a video projected through a peephole in the gallery wall that depicts the tenth in a series of VHS-recorded exercises in which the artist recited Johnson’s writing while performing acts of BDSM on herself. On the occasion of installing this work at MoMA, McClodden and I spoke about “the body as a poem,” the limits of kink, and the unique balance of tension, pain, and care that runs throughout the artist’s work. (And be sure to read the first part of this interview series.)
The relationship between the archive and dance, particularly Black dance in America, is a slippery one. In The Shed’s second-floor gallery, four dancefloors – one made of black Marley (a thin, roll-out vinyl), another of white Marley and two of hardwood – form individual stages for black and white videos of Black performers rehearsing, improvising and performing. Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s exhibition weaves portraits of artists such as Audrey and June Donaldson, two revivalists of Philly Bop, a Black dance form originating in Philadelphia, and Michael J. Love, a tap dancer and scholar, to create a network of contemporary Black dance that runs counter to ‘official’ narratives codified by predominantly white institutions. The empty dancefloors were activated at the exhibition’s opening by a Philly Bop class, led by the Donaldsons, and will host additional performances by Love, Leslie Cuyjet and the Rod Rodgers Dance Company throughout the exhibition’s run, underscoring how embodied presence on the dancefloor connects us to the past in a way the archive alone can’t.
Sculpture in the Garden 2022: Sam Moyer and Eddie Martinez includes 14 sculptures by the married couple, with 11 by Martinez and three by Moyer. The works date from 2016-2022, and several are monumental in size. Moyer’s work is installed at the center of round arbors or “rondels” crafted from locust wood harvested from the property. Martinez’s Half Stepping Hot Stepper is installed in a garden room hedged by Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) at the end of a long view. A second large untitled sculpture by Martinez is installed at the center of a large flowering bed, near a Linden allée. Smaller works by Martinez are installed near the subterranean grotto, a slightly below-ground gathering place on the south side of the garden.
The fall art season has arrived, with its manic harvest of exhibitions, and also The Armory Show, the major art fair in New York City that shifted its schedule and venue last year, moving to this early-September date and the Javits Center. As my colleague Will Heinrich and I wandered the floor to pick these 13 favorites, we were drawn to work that seemed to move against the currents. Joanne Greenbaum’s abstract paintings — colorful and obsessive but with plenty of white space — are the eye-grabbers of this unusually coherent three-artist presentation. But Jessica Stockholder’s wonky mixed-media sculptures, sitting in the corners like mysterious forgotten projects, reward more thoughtful attention, as does the unrelenting contrast of red and blue in Brent Wadden’s loom-woven textile “paintings.” Large Rorschach blots painted directly on the booth walls by Stockholder tie it all together.
Currently, in New York City, Tiona Nekkia McClodden has not one, but two exhibitions on view. Each is distinct in its message and represents the powerful nature of her dynamically widespread practice. At the art space 52 Walker, “MASK / CONCEAL / CARRY” (open through October 8), approaches its titular themes from a more personal standpoint. And at The Shed, the artist looks at Black joy through the lens of dance by highlighting the 1983 Dance Black America festival in a presentation titled “The Trace of an Implied Presence” (on view until December 11). The exhibition was crafted with the insight of the event’s original producer, former Executive Producer of the Apollo Theater Mikki Shepard, along with a featured cast of dancers, some of whom were participants in the original festival.
Fall is (almost) here, which means it’s time to really start dressing. If you are someone who is looking to add some statement pieces to your wardrobe, there are some great drops this week that you should be paying attention to. Supreme is reportedly dropping its leather jacket collaboration Jeff Hamilton along with a series of items with artist Pope.L, Denim Tears has joined forces with Stüssy and Our Legacy for some all-over print Levi’s denim sets, and Kith has some solid fleece jackets coming as part of its Fall 2022 lineup. Other notable projects include an Awake NY x UPS capsule celebrating the Latinx community and the debut of Matty Matheson’s workwear brand Rosa Rugosa. If you’re planning your next vacation, consider copping some luxurious luggage from the Casablanca x Globe-Trotter collab.
Coinciding with the week 2 drop of the Fall 2022 collection, Supreme presents its collaboration with U.S. artist William Pope.L. Born in 1955 in Newark, he is currently a professor in the visual arts department at the University of Chicago, the city where he precisely works and lives. Pope.L owes his notoriety primarily to his performances that began to interest him, as well as experimental theater, while attending Rutgers University. However, he is not limited exclusively to performance-art but works indiscriminately with photography, video, sculpture and writing. His works are described as provocative, absurd, and disruptive, showing a particular interest in the role of objects in contemporary society and in our daily lives, unearthing their symbolic power.
Accompanying its Nike SB Blazer Mid Fall 2022 collaboration, Supreme will also be releasing a team-up with American artist William Pope.L to mark its Fall 2022 Week 2 drop. Born in 1955, the Newark, New Jersey native developed his interest in experimental theater and performance during his graduate studies at Rutgers University. Referring to himself as “a fisherman of social absurdity,” Pope.L put together displays in public and municipal spaces in New York. Tompkins Square Park, outside of a midtown Chase Bank, and more served as the location of showings that launched conversations around complicity, power, race, class, gender, and embodiment. The artist’s work in theater, intervention, painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, writing, and video has been described as provocative, absurd, disruptive, and vulnerable.
Marcus Leslie Singleton highlights the joys, routines and challenges of daily life as a Black man in contemporary America, navigating brutality and fetishization alike.
Artist and filmmaker Tiona Nekkia McClodden is on a journey to speak to her ancestors. Not blood ancestors, but queer artistic predecessors. From 2014 to 2017, McClodden completed a series of works that revived the contributions of Black gay artists active during the 1980s AIDS crisis. McClodden’s 2017 work The Brad Johnson Tape, X — On Subjugation, which examines the life of the Black gay poet Brad Johnson (1952–2011), is currently on view at MoMA. Johnson, who was based in Philadelphia, where McClodden has lived and worked since 2007, is best known for his contributions to several groundbreaking anthologies of Black queer literature. While McClodden never met Johnson, who died in 2011 of AIDS-related complications, the poet’s life, papers, and writing are evoked throughout McClodden’s installation. The artist recently spoke to me about her interest in the archive and how she came to rediscover Johnson, her adopted ancestor.
To understand the real beauty of New York, look no further than its inclusiveness. There is something for everyone in this great metropolis. My suggestion is to go out and see it all! This guide is focused on the art institutions that help make this city great, and it highlights the breadth of venues throughout the boroughs, as well as a few beyond in the Greater New York region for those adventurous enough to go on a day trip. Art in New York is truly unlike anything else in the world. Founded in Toronto in the late 1960s by AA Bronson, Felix Partz, and Jorge Zontal, General Idea was a collective guided by a radical queer politics and a performative orientation. Drawings executed in the spirit of mass reproduction between 1985 and 1993 spotlight motifs like poodles, stilettos, and masks.
Young New York based Chinese painter and sculptor Yirui Jia has a lively way of sets imaginary characters into dramatic interactions with their environments. Here she seems to ask how many hands we’d need to deal fully with social media, while leaving it unclear whether he alter ego is feeding off her outsized phone or attacking it… From Mitchell-Innes & Nash’s stand at Frieze.
This Labor Day weekend, take in some culture that honors the work behind the work of art. An immersive audio installation vibrates at the body’s frequency, a bespoke soundtrack activates an artful fashion show, an audio installation digs into the past lives of historic architecture, an array of world-clock activated light sculptures tune to planetary time, paintings help keep their maker sane, set-piece photography out-tropes art history, multimedia video work highlights sacred forest energy, and more. Mary Kelly: Corpus restages Kelly’s ambitious 1984-85 installation, originally made as the first part of a larger project titled Interim. This will be the first complete installation of Corpus, including all 30 panels, in the U.S. since 1990 when the entire Interim project was exhibited at the New Museum to broad critical acclaim.
Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s The Trace of An Implied Presence features an ambitious multimedia installation that follows the living history of contemporary Black dance in America. Upon entering the gallery, one encounters a massive multichannel video installation in a large, darkened room. Custom-made dance floors are paired with each video screen, corresponding to the dance style being presented. Their surfaces are reflective and open—mirrors are placed on two of the dance floors, all illuminated in spotlights, and screens float above the floor hovering in space. Inspiration for this project came from McClodden’s time spent researching in the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Hamm Archives, specifically BAM’s historic 1983 festival, Dance Black America (DBA), curated by Mikki Shepard and Patricia Kerr Ross. Shepard’s presence floats in and out of the videos—cutting into scenes unexpectedly to discuss the 1983 DBA festival and its celebration of over 300 years of Black dance.
In an ambitious new exhibition at The Shed in Manhattan, artist Tiona Nekkia McClodden presents a survey of contemporary Black dance, including a large-scale video portrait of Audrey and June Donaldson, a married couple who are prominent teachers of a dance that was once central to social life in Black Philadelphia: the Philly Bop. A form of swing dance that evolved from the Lindy Hop, the Philly Bop emerged in the 1950s alongside Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, one of the most popular television shows in the country, which was filmed in the city. But Bandstand’s discriminatory admission policies created a predominantly white show, forcing Black teenagers to find their own spaces. That led to an evolution in style that was distinct from what white dancers were doing.
Tiona Nekkia McClodden, who first garnered recognition for her work as a filmmaker, is experiencing a moment of well-deserved praise within the art world. Perhaps most notably, the artist amassed critical acclaim for I prayed to the wrong god for you, her contribution to the 2019 Whitney Biennial. Now, with a solo exhibition at David Zwirner’s outpost on 52 Walker Street, an extensive curatorial presentation at The Shed, and an installation on view at MoMA, McClodden’s momentum and impact are more palpable than ever. McClodden’s commitment to deciphering society’s complexities through visual mediums was sparked at an early age, and her love for filmmaking and mining history in various forms can be traced back to a source that’s familiar to many: public television.
It has been more than half a century since General Idea – the irreverent collective consisting of Jorge Zontal, Felix Partz and A.A. Bronson – came onto the art world stage in 1969 with their zany, pop-inflected socio-political critique and tongue-in-cheek antics. Organized in collaboration with Bronson (General Idea’s sole surviving member) some 28 years after they were last active, the National Gallery’s retrospective – and its hefty accompanying catalogue – encapsulate a quarter century of the collective’s influential practice as post-modern pioneers whose work integrated high-minded conceptualism with mass culture and new media.
For Tiona Nekkia McClodden's latest work, The Trace of an Implied Presence, currently on view at the Shed in New York, the artist has installed four dancefloors in the second-floor gallery, each tailored to different specifications. Two are covered in Marley (one black and one white). Two are made of hard wood. Suspended above each dancefloor is a screen, onto which are projected color and black-and-white filmed portraits of Black performers. Here McClodden presents Michael J. Love, a tap dancer and scholar, striking complex rhythms against the floor; Kim Grier-Martinez, current artistic director of the Rod Rodgers Dance Company, talking about Rodgers’s legacy and Black expression in modern dance; Audrey and June Donaldson—two revivalists of Philly Bop—demonstrating their practice of this Black social dance from Philadelphia; and performer-choreographer Leslie Cuyjet mining her own personal dance lineages through improvisation.
It's hard to overstate the longstanding impact of Black dancers on all genres of movement that we know today — from contemporary and jazz to hip-hop and ballroom styles. Unveiled earlier this month at The Shed in New York City, The Trace of an Implied Presence exhibit by filmmaker and curator Tiona Nekkia McClodden revisits archival footage to showcase the legacy — and living contributions — of contemporary Black dance. On display now until the end of 2022, the multichannel video installation anchors on McClodden's research into archival footage Dance Black America, a three-day festival celebrating 300 years of African American dance that took place at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in April of 1983. Working in collaboration with cultural worker and presenter Mikki Shepard, who produced the festival, McClodden aims to showcase four vital forms of dance that have been shaped by Black dancers.
As early as the 1970s, Pope.L (Chicago-based visual and performance- theatre artist and educator who makes culture out of contraries) drew attention to the brutality of social decline in a country with little to no basic social security in his legendary Crawls through the streets of American cities on his knees and elbows. His interdisciplinary practice moves between performance, text, painting, installation, video, and sculpture. For the Between a Figure and a Letter exhibition at the flagship of Berlin’s culture Schinkel Pavillon, (which was on view until July 31st) Pope.L creates a new, space-filling as well as a site-specific installation. This is presented in artistic and contextual dialogue with the Skin Set Drawings (1997-2011) from his earlier creative period and the video work Small Cup (2008), exhibited in the basement.
Is language an affliction? The exhibition’s title quotes theorist Judith Butler’s response to a question about why ‘language is hurtful’, excerpted in Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric (2014). For Butler, language is one distressing result of sharing a world with other people. We are exposed to each other and create categories (race, sexuality, gender) that constrain unique subjectivities. These categories, for guest curators Marcelle Joseph and Legacy Russell, appear in the strange, violent collisions of language and visual life, uniting 25 international, intergenerational artists in this exploration of identity, visibility and power. Photography and video contends with how omnipresent technologies both enable and negate the representation of the body: in Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s The Backlight 5.10.2016 (2016), a smartphone camera flashes at the artist’s lens. The bright light illuminates a white jacket, throwing the rest of the image into dark contrast and rendering the photograph’s Black subject inseparable from the background.
In the last three years, Tiona Nekkia McClodden has emerged as one of the most singular artists of our aesthetically rich, free-range time. She announced her presence with a standout piece in the 2019 Whitney Biennial — which received its Bucksbaum Award — and has continued her rise with two impressive gallery solos, one at Company, a gallery on the Lower East Side in late 2019, and another currently at 52 Walker Street in TriBeCa. Like any true artist, McClodden’s work derives from the complex, multifaceted nature of her identity, who she is and has become: a Black woman, a lesbian drawn to weight training and BDSM play, a priestess of Santeria. She studied film in the early 2000s, becoming known as an underground filmmaker before turning to video installation and sculpture.
Hadres and Satterwhite make for natural collaborators: not only are they two of the most interesting queer artists of their generation, their work shares a certain sensibility. It’s a kind of defiant fragility, or, in Satterwhite’s words, the sense of “flesh being flayed, spread apart and put back together gracefully and monstrously.” Working within the mediums of 3D animation, immersive installation, and virtual reality, Satterwhite’s work explores themes of queerness, the body, consumption, and the idea of utopia. The visual accompaniment to Ugly Season was the culmination of two years of conversations between Hadreas and Satterwhite, and deeply informed by their shared love of certain pop culture references, including David Lynch, Lana Del Rey, Madonna and 90s sitcom Family Matters. “Pop culture, for me, is this space that is simultaneously frivolous and happy, but with a lot of melancholia residing within. Trying to negotiate that is something that both Michael and I have in common,” says Satterwhite. Here, Hadreas and Satterwhite discuss their collaboration, the significance of dance, the anti-LGBTQ+ backlash currently sweeping the US, and more.
The artist Tiona Nekkia McClodden hit the gun range on a sweltering Monday in July. The air was sticky inside the facility, but her routine would not be denied. She shoots every week and avoids weekends, when the range gets crowded and loud with men firing off assault-type rifles, inviting sensory overload. It might be a familiar activity for some Americans. Less so for an artist. But McClodden, 41, a star of the 2019 Whitney Biennial who has three major presentations of work now up in New York City — at 52 Walker, the Shed, and the Museum of Modern Art — didn’t purchase guns and get her carry license two years ago with art in mind. At least at first. She did it — like many other Black Philadelphians, she recalls — after the pandemic drained the streets, and then the George Floyd protests and counter-protests filled them with interlopers and a sense of swirling violence. Safety and self-defense were her concerns.
Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s artistic practice resists categorization. The talent excels as a painter, sculptor, writer, filmmaker and curator. She is the founder and director of Conceptual Fade, a micro-gallery and library centered on Black thought and artistic production. Her work explores shared values and traditions within the African diaspora, the “Black mentifact,” as she calls it. Now, with a solo show on view at David Zwirner’s Tribeca outpost 52 Walker, and another opening August 3 at The Shed in New York, McClodden has firmly established herself as a leading voice in contemporary Black culture.
The picturesque summer manor Frank Lloyd Wright designed on a cliff in Derby is the setting for two contemporary outdoor sculptures and several more on both floors of the recently restored 1926 Graycliff estate. The outdoor sculptures provided by Albright-Knox Art Gallery for the exhibition "Sarah Braman: Finding Room" will be on the grounds until October 2023, with the indoor pieces on view until March 2023. "This exhibition is unlike anything Graycliff has ever hosted," said Anna Kaplan, Graycliff Conservancy's executive director. "It is a real opportunity to invigorate our now restored historic grounds and interiors with brilliant contemporary art that is sure to challenge perspectives, and allow us to experience our historic site in an entirely new way."
The Trace of an Implied Presence meditates on the living history and influence of contemporary Black dance in the United States. The exhibition centers on a multichannel video installation inspired by the artist’s research into the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 1983 landmark festival, Dance Black America, a dynamic presentation of American dance that featured legendary Black dancers, choreographers, scholars, and dance companies. In The Shed’s Level 2 Gallery, the installation features four individual dance floors that function as stages for projected images of archival dance footage, film portraits of key figures involved with the festival, and the artist’s own documentation of the Philly Bop, a Black social dance from her native Philadelphia.
The night the newest edition of the FRONT International opened in Cleveland, the show’s curator, Prem Krishnamurthy, could be found at karaoke bar called Tina’s, belting out a beery rendition of Britney Spears’s Toxic. Before him was a rag-tag crowd of local barflies, goth kids, rust-belt cowboys, baseball bros—as well as a cadre of the international art world there for the show. Everyone was singing along. Tina’s wasn’t one of the official sites of the triennial exhibition (which is funny, because seemingly every other venue in Northeast Ohio is), but Krishnamurthy called the event the “crux of the show.” “Karaoke,” he said, “can be such a leveling force. There, in that big room, there are all these different people you don’t know, but everybody’s cheering each other on. When somebody sings, everybody else claps for them and everybody else joins in. To me, that is beautiful.”
Gideon Appah is a master of romance. The Accra-based artist creates landscapes full of atmospheric elements: clouds, stars, expanses of desert—realms that have been described as “primordial” and “post-apocalyptic.” He populates these spaces with contemplative and unknown figures, perfectly poised members of the canvas who hang out or drift through. Appah first started working with Ghanaian newspaper clippings, but now he paints on layered canvas, a technique that sees him coloring from dark to light rather than from light to dark. The result is a muted, strangely disembodied color palette, one that seems to exist somewhere between heaven and earth. The modest and affable Appah, now 34, is making a splash in the art world. In 2022, he’s received solo shows at Ghana’s esteemed Gallery 1957 and the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University. With an exhibition of Appah’s recent works having opened last week at the Triennale in Milan, AIR MAIL catches up with Ghana’s hottest young artist.
"MASK / CONCEAL / CARRY" is a new show featuring work by Tiona Nekkia McClodden, a 41-year-old multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker and curator based in Philadelphia. McClodden is familiar to lots of New York arts audiences — she's got works in local museums, and she's been involved with programming at places like The Kitchen. Her show is at 52 Walker, the new Tribeca outpost of David Zwirner Gallery that's directed by dealer and curator Ebony L. Haynes. The space is run by an all-Black staff, and it's intended to offer something different than the conventional gallery experience. Shows here will stay on view for months, rather than weeks. And while you're free to snap pictures and post them on your social media feeds, the gallery doesn't share images from its shows on its website — the idea is that you're meant to come in and have the experience yourself.
Across the harbour from Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, where yachts can be spotted gliding out to Lake Erie, two water spouts shoot skyward like whale exhalations. This fountain is part of To Those Who Nourish (2022), a three-year project by London-based duo Cooking Sections that addresses low oxygen levels in the lake caused by agricultural runoff. Organised by Spaces gallery and commissioned by the Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, whose second edition opened 16 July after a one-year pandemic delay, the work is a tribute to nine Ohio farms committed to eliminating chemical fertiliser.
The exhibition considers a proliferation of art concerned with the marginalized state of being socially and culturally invisible or, conversely, hyper-visible. Work by queer artists, women and artists of color is on view. Twenty-five artists from multiple generations have been assembled by Marcelle Joseph, an independent curator based in London, and Legacy Russell, executive director at the Kitchen, an experimental interdisciplinary art space in New York. They worked with ICA L.A. curatorial assistant Caroline Ellen Liou. Paintings, photographs, sculptures, installations and videos are included, with one and sometimes two pieces per artist featured. Things kick off in the parking lot with a brightly colored, four-panel wall mural by Argentine artist Ad Minoliti, its flat but snappy mix of suggestive geometric and organic shapes said to describe an “Aquelarre no binario / Non-binary coven.” Loose suggestions of interlocking limbs, heads and other human or animal body parts dart in and out of view among graphic signs, so you can’t be quite certain what you are seeing.
When General Idea first started making art in the 1960s, the older generation was already getting its share of shock from the sex, drugs, and rock and roll that defined the era. But nothing could prepare them for what was coming courtesy of artists AA Bronson, Felix Partz, and Jorge Zontal. In a first, the National Gallery of Canada is acknowledging the group (don’t call them a “collective,” Bronson, the only surviving member, said) with a massive survey of their work from its very beginnings. After its run in Ottawa, the show is set to head to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. What started as an experiment grew into a powerful force in the Canadian contemporary art milieu. Up to that point, no one talked much about non-normative sexual and gender identity. General Idea wanted to talk—and so they did, starting a conversation that might not otherwise have happened in polite, middle-class society.
“It’s pretty rare for two artists to succeed in a relationship together,” says Sam Moyer, in the front seat of her car alongside husband Eddie Martinez on a recent summer morning. The two artists have just dropped their young son off at camp and are sitting side-by-side to discuss their joint show at the South Etna Foundation in Montauk, where they were soon headed for the recent holiday weekend. The pair have welcomed two dual exhibitions out east: in addition to South Etna, which opened the first weekend of July, a sculpture show at Landcraft Garden in Mattituck, curated by Ugo Rondinone, opened in June. “It’s serendipity that they were the same summer,” says Moyer. “We were laughing about it, that we were gonna have the North Fork and the South Fork covered this summer.”
When asked by Martha Wilson about the affinity for contradiction within his work in a 1996 BOMB magazine interview, artist Pope.L pointed to his own family experiences as one clue, noting how the “desire to keep things together,” kept coming in conflict with “this tendency for things to fall apart.” Rather than accept these impulses as mutually exclusive and in opposition, Pope.L, who is known for his gonzo interventions into art and life, dives into the tensions, curious as to how one makes meaning within such a shifting and unstable environment. He embraces contradiction and nonsense as but one method of engaging with our social realities and understanding how those realities are structured by ideologies like racism, consumerism, and more.
A standout artist in Cecilia Alemani’s marvelous “The Milk of Dreams” exhibition in this year’s Venice Biennale, where she has a whole wall full of paintings, the Austrian painter and sculptor Kiki Kogelnik got her start as an abstract artist in Vienna. By the 1960s, however, she had found her way to New York, where she added Pop Art references to her colorful canvases, and later took another turn toward more feminist subject matter in the 1970s.
In his practice, Pope.L engages modes of demonstration, obfuscation, protestation, and, in his words, masturbation, to infiltrate systems of language, culture, and oppression. For his first solo exhibition in Berlin, “Between a Figure and a Letter,” the American artist presents Contraption (2022), an enlarged, analogical wood chipper dominating the Schinkel Pavillon’s main floor. Lining a shelf on the room’s right side are wooden models –– architectural elements of Berlin’s controversial Humboldtforum and the Schinkel Pavillon itself –– that are periodically extracted and fed to the titular contraption by a performer carrying a pizza paddle. Borrowing its name from the US Capitol’s iconic cupola, the film Small Cup (2008), shown on the Schinkel’s lower level, shows farm animals grazing and stamping upon a miniature reproduction of the same building in Washington, DC. Selections from Pope.L’s text-based Skin Set Drawings are presented such that they remain just out of reach, enshrined within custom-made metallic frames that reflect distorted images back at the viewer. Resigned to partial legibility, these works formalize the gulf of “un-meaning” alluded to in the exhibition’s title: that between a figure and a letter.
From 20th-century master painters to contemporary icons, prominent Hamptons artist couples have long captivated the imagination: Elaine and Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, Rashid Johnson and Sheree Hovsepian, April Gornik and Eric Fischl. This weekend, Eddie Martinez and Sam Moyer join the list of East End heavyweights when their pas de deux exhibit opens at the South Etna Montauk Foundation, founded in 2021 by Amalia Dayan and Adam Lindemann on the tip of Long Island’s South Fork. The show juxtaposes Moyer’s latest stone paintings—made from marble slabs and slate the artist sources from local quarries with a plaster underlay that references classic fresco and stucco walls—against Martinez’s recent paper-pulp works in his signature, electric language of abstract patterns and shapes, butterflies, flowers and mushrooms. Ahead of the show, the husband-and-wife talents reveal the secret to coexisting art practices.
An upcoming exhibition of the works of Christo and Jeanne-Claude at Aspen’s Hexton Gallery (opening August 1), as well as the current and impressively monumental survey of French duo Les Lalanne at London’s Claridge’s and Ben Brown Fine Arts both offer the unique chance to better understand the gender dynamics of working married couples in the arts. However, as of Christo’s passing in May of 2020, all four have already left behind this mortal existence. But the new and concisely titled exhibition Eddie Martinez + Sam Moyer – opening tomorrow, July 2 at the South Etna Montauk Foundation – allows for a very different opportunity to view how those dynamics are playing out IRL in a very different, 21st Century context.
Pygmalion’s Ugly Season (2022) is the 28-minute visual adjunct Satterwhite created for Ugly Season (2022), the latest album by Mike Hadreas, a musician who performs under the stage name ‘Perfume Genius’. The video opens with Satterwhite’s body disintegrating into a network of worlds situated at his joints and chakras. Ever the builder of fantastical dreamscapes, Satterwhite overlays the avatars of pirouetting men in bondage wear with footage of an evangelical Christian congregation overcome by the holy spirit. In another scene, two cyborgs lashed to a travelator made of bike chains convey a bare-chested man, who is cradling a limp Hadreas, through intergalactic space. These vignettes, as wild and attention-seeking as they may seem, are cloaked meditations on desire, human nature, healing and finding utopia.
Enigmatic artist Pope.L works across performance, installation, and video to explore race, identity, language, and material culture. For his second solo show at Vielmetter, he has transformed the gallery into a series of sheds through which viewers must navigate. They will encounter four video works characterized by their unsettling tone, and a sculpture, I Machine, that is composed of two stacked overhead projectors and a contraption that drips liquid into a bowl, the sound of which is amplified. Also on view will be elements from “The Black Factory,” an ongoing archive since 2004 of “black objects” gathered from the public, that have been secured in compression boxes.
Mitchell-Innes and Nash’s second solo presentation of Kiki Kogelnik comes on the heels of the artist’s posthumous inclusion in the current Venice Biennale. It features 10 of her graphic, boldly colorful paintings and 21 works on paper, dating from 1962 to 1985. Kogelnik’s depictions of women seemingly in search of personal determination were inspired by her own struggles as a woman artist, such as when she and her fiance, artist Arnulf Rainer, moved in together and she was relegated to the attic, while he got a whole floor as a studio.
Earlier this month, the multimedia artist Jacolby Satterwhite was mingling at the Guggenheim Young Collectors Party. He’s perhaps best known for his maximalist 3D animations, and a preview of his latest video project was to be projected on the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed rotunda. He’d been doing final edits up until the event. “It’s the biggest labor of love I’ve had by far,” he said. “The magnitude and dynamism in the piece was a feat that I thought I couldn’t handle.” Pygmalion’s Ugly Season is Satterwhite’s 27-minute symbiotic companion to Ugly Season, the just-released album by Mike Hadreas, who performs and records under the moniker Perfume Genius. The collaboration grew out of mutual fandom; after the two were introduced and embarked on a yearlong phone relationship, the project germinated organically.
General Idea was a collective of three Canadian artists — AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal — that formed in 1969. The trio was anti-establishment, queer and punk. Most importantly, they made art with a wink and a smile, becoming known for cheeky projects like staging a beauty pageant for artists and sending strangers mail with intimate questions. General Idea proved that art could be provocative and fun while still tackling issues that matter, like the AIDS crisis, which had a huge influence on their work. Sadly, AIDS led to the deaths of two of the group's members. Bronson is the sole surviving member of General Idea. He joined Q's Tom Power from his home in Berlin to discuss the National Gallery of Canada's massive new retrospective celebrating the group. Follow along with the conversation using this visual companion guide.
Jacolby Satterwhite is a postmodern video artist and unparalleled green screen wizard. His latest, Pygmalion’s Ugly Season, is a companion to Perfume Genius’ surreal avant-garde pop masterwork. Satterwhite’s images emphasize both the madcap goofiness and tenderness of Perfume Genius’ music: elements often overshadowed by the album’s unnerving passages of orchestral brood. The film imagines a queer utopia represented in landscapes of 3D saturated and computer-generated artifice. Eroticized male bodies dance across synthetic architecture and communities form through touch and movement. Satterwhite’s film presents a queer utopia divorced from all notions of purity, aesthetic or otherwise: a liberating rapture of hyper-digital images.
Informed by a biography that bespeaks binary tension—imagine dividing thirty years of your life between crawling in Manhattan and schooling well-to-do students in rural Maine—Pope.L, working with the curator Dieter Roelstraete, opens his first solo exhibition, ‘Between a Figure and a Letter,’ in the darkened octagonal basement of Berlin’s Schinkel Pavillon. Most visitors to the exhibition are likely anticipating the installation located in the sunlit hall two floors above which is, on the arrival of an audience, activated by a dramatically loud performance. Curiosity thus permeates the bifurcated space as one wonders what the acutely sarcastic critic of contemporary culture has drawn up or, rather, torn down for Berlin.
As the weekend getaways to the Hamptons begin to fill many art-lovers calendars, a garden in Mattituck promises the perfect stop in North Fork to enjoy another husband and wife’s joint show. Organized by New York-based Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone and Landcraft Garden Foundation, Sculpture in the Garden 2022 features works by Sam Moyer and Eddie Martinez who are both primarily celebrated for their two-dimensional art. The show however invites visitors to explore the third dimension in their practices, featuring eleven sculptures by Martinez and three by Moyer. The elements of energy and texture in abstraction have been critical for both artists’ approach to surfaces, and with the outdoor sculptures, they further their experiments on similar notions with the vistas of a lush garden.
When I looked at Gideon Appah’s paintings in his solo exhibition Forgotten, Nudes, Landscapes at the Institution for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, I found gestures toward many things – with the dourness of his palette, the figures in suits smoking, the shy front-facing nude, the nude woman wielding daggers with her back turned to us, the dying (or dead) figure. In these portraits and other figurative paintings, there are allusions to Ghanaian cinema, with references to films like The Boy Kumasenu (1952) and I Told You So (1970). Paintings of landscapes and neighborhoods evoke the heyday of entertainment and film in Ghana, which spanned the 1950s to the early 1980s. And paintings of nudes leave us more than a little curious not only as to their stories but to the place of the individual against the disintegration of cultural memory.
Julia Child and Craig Claiborne are sitting in a small wine bar at the Pittsburgh airport, luggage at their feet.
Martha Rosler utilizes various media in her work, primarily video and photography, and also installation and sculpture; she also writes about art and culture. Her work has for decades considered matters of the public sphere and mass culture; war and geopolitical conflict; housing, urbanism, and the built environment, and systems of transportation—especially as these affect women. Many of her projects have been extrainstitutional or developed and enacted with groups of people. Rosler sees her work, her teaching, and her writing as continuations of a broader engagement with the currents of cultural critique and social and political change. Her work may best be summed up as both a conceptual art and an activist practice—focused on questions of representational form but joined, however uneasily, to a commitment to political agitation. Video, which she adopted in its infancy, presented itself as at the crossroads of both.
General Idea, an art group that pioneered a queer aesthetic, is celebrated in a retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada (opened during Pride Month and running until 20 November 2022). Surviving member AA Bronson speaks about their origins, and impact on art and social justice.
Formed as part of the 1960s Toronto counterculture, General Idea was a radical artist-led group founded in Toronto by AA Bronson (b. 1946), Felix Partz (1945–1994) and Jorge Zontal (1944–1994). Together they invented a ground-breaking and provocative multi-disciplinary practice that challenged social and artistic norms and altered the development of postwar art over 25 years – from the group’s formation in 1969 to the deaths in 1994 of both Partz and Zontal from AIDS-related illnesses. This major retrospective of General Idea will bring together more than 200 works, including installations, paintings, drawings, videos, sculptures, publications and archival material, to explore the crucial role General Idea played in developing art and activism in Canada, the United States and Europe. The exhibition will also chart General Idea’s influence on future generations of creators, informing new ways of reimagining and changing our world through art.
The Canadian artist AA Bronson was one of founding members of the art collective General Idea along with Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal. The artists lived and worked together for twenty-five years, exploring themes ranging from mass media and popular culture to queer identity and the AIDS epidemic. Since the death of Partz and Zontal in 1994 from AIDS, Bronson has become increasingly interested in the practice of healing and often incorporates healing processes into his artworks, focusing on specific historical and contemporary traumas. The work of General Idea is the subject of a retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, from 3 June to 20 November.
The eclectic Canadian trio General Idea, who attained international acclaim during their 25 years of practice (1969-94), are about to hit the heights again as the subject of a blockbuster exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. The show, opening this week, will feature around 200 works, including major installations, publications, videos, drawings, paintings and sculptures. Although the exhibition’s curator Adam Welch admitted surprise that such a retrospective had not come until now at the National Gallery (Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario did stage one a decade ago), the group has hardly gone unnoticed in the Ottawa-based museum. As Welch told The Art Newspaper: “We have outstanding works in the collection and this exhibition has allowed us to delve much more deeply into those holdings, and, of course, to engage in close research with AA Bronson.”
A new show of Marcus Leslie Singleton’s work opens at the Journal Gallery in Manhattan today. I talked to the artist about one of the included paintings for T Magazine’s On View series. “This work shows my sister’s 8th birthday party. She’s front and center getting ready to blow out the candles, and next to her is my grandmother Helen, who passed away last year. My cousin Daniel and I are to my sister’s right, and behind her is my cousin Zealand...That garland in the background here, that actually was a mistake — ‘happy’ has three Ps in it — but I made an artistic choice to leave it. I was painting this when people were getting the P.P.P. loans for coronavirus relief, so I thought I’d keep it as a tongue-in-cheek joke.”
For his first institutional solo show in the US, ‘Forgotten, Nudes, Landscapes’ at ICA VCU, Ghanaian artist Gideon Appah presents a series of newly commissioned, large-scale canvases. In the first gallery, Red Valley and Ten Nudes and a Landscape (both 2021) depict hazy, magma-like landscapes onto which the silhouettes of various figures – dancing, reclining – have been lightly superimposed. They might be the ghosts of clubbers in some primordial land, or visions of future party-goers in a post-apocalyptic world.
Gideon Appah’s “Forgotten, Nudes, Landscapes” at the ICA looks at death, myth and reality impacted by the pandemic. “Gideon started his career thinking about the rise and fall of culture, leisure and democracy in Ghana,” says Amber Esseiva, curator at the ICA. “He was looking at how that is reflected in news media.”
For his first institutional solo show in the US, ‘Forgotten, Nudes, Landscapes’ at ICA VCU, Ghanaian artist Gideon Appah presents a series of newly commissioned, large-scale canvases. In the first gallery, Red Valley and Ten Nudes and a Landscape (both 2021) depict hazy, magma-like landscapes onto which the silhouettes of various figures – dancing, reclining – have been lightly superimposed. They might be the ghosts of clubbers in some primordial land, or visions of future party-goers in a post-apocalyptic world. Alongside these works hang three smaller paintings of mythic nudes: gods to occupy these otherworldly scenes, perhaps. Appah’s figures are usually composites of friends, characters from popular Ghanaian films and chance acquaintances. These paintings, which mark a departure from his earlier work about Ghanaian nightlife, increasingly incorporate shamanic or tarot-like symbols: The Young Minotaur (2021), for instance, who looks pensively off into the distance across a stormy sky, two fleshy skin-tone horns sprouting from his head.
In a partnership with the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Public Art Fund, works by Nina Chanel Abney and Jacolby Satterwhite will help reintroduce Geffen Hall this fall. When David Geffen Hall reopens on the Lincoln Center campus this fall, two new artworks — by Nina Chanel Abney and by Jacolby Satterwhite — will be splayed across the 65th Street facade and a 50-foot media wall in the renovated lobby. These highly visible pieces, commissioned by the performing arts center in partnership with the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Public Art Fund, are positioned to help reintroduce the longtime home of the New York Philharmonic to the city and will inaugurate a rotating program of visual artists invited to put their stamp on Lincoln Center.
Jacolby Satterwhite’s video The Matriarch’s Rhapsody (2012) draws upon sketches created by the artist’s late mother, Patricia Satterwhite, while she was contending with schizophrenia. For more than a decade, Jacolby Satterwhite has created 3D animated video works, sculptures, and immersive installations that explore themes of consumption, fantasy, and utopian desire. In works such as Country Ball 1989-2012 (2012) and Reifying Desire 5 (2013), Satterwhite’s surreal, bacchanalian image-scapes blend influences as diverse as queer theory, voguing, performance, and video-game fantasy genres.
In her latest works, conceptual artist Annette Lemiuex, a member of the Pictures Generation, mines TV, film, and literary history to focus on “isolation, division, and brokenness,” according to the gallery. In one work, titled Midnight Sun and made in part from a film still from The Twilight Zone, Lemiuex depicts an artist painting in vain amid a heatwave that melts the pigment off her canvas. In part a reflection on the difficulties of the vocation, the work also references wider looming troubles ahead.
How is the transient experience of being a young woman captured and preserved? The memories tied up in the experience of girlhood and how young women express their identity and autonomy are explored in the Henry Art Gallery’s exhibition, “Double Dare Ya: Burns, Kurland, & Ross-Ho.” Running Feb. 4 through May 29, “Double Dare Ya” is a new exhibit in the Henry’s ongoing “Viewpoints” series, in which members of the UW community are encouraged to join the discourse on the artwork being exhibited. The “Viewpoints” series is organized by Nina Bozicnik, the assistant curator, and Kira Sue, a graduate curatorial assistant.
Schinkel Pavilion presents “Between A Figure and A Letter”, the new exhibition by American artist Pope.L, curated by Dieter Roelstraete. Known for his provocative interventions in public spaces, the artist is addressing issues and themes ranging from language to gender, race, social struggle, and community. The exhibition is open from April 8th until July 31st, 2022.
This Wednesday, 6th April, from 6:30-8pm, the Tate Modern will present Jacob Satterwhite’s Birds in Paradise—a six-part, two-channel film installation—which will be followed by a conversation with the artist. Birds in Paradise is a suite of films, titled after a key record that speaks to the visual motifs threaded throughout the work, is scored by a conceptual folk record the artist made from a cappella recordings written and sung by his late mother, the artist Patricia Satterwhite. Generating its narrative from an archive of borrowed anecdotes, personal mythologies, drawings and experimental dance performance footage accumulated by the artist throughout his life the work is a juxtapositions of queer Boschean tableaus decorated with performances by artists, queer activists, dancers, sex workers and actors from his community. Together, the six works depict the resilience of collective bodies in a time of existential crises, grief and post-apocalyptic fantasies. The suite of films have recently been exhibited at MoMA PS1, Haus der Kunst, the Athens Biennial, the Gwangju Biennial, and the Miller ICA at Carnegie Mellon, among others.
For its second edition, the Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art will feature more than 75 artists whose work meditates on the notion of healing and its many meanings. The triennial will run from July 16 through October 2, and will be curated by team led by Prem Krishnamurthy, who has titled the exhibition “Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows,” a quotation from a poem by Langston Hughes, who lived in Cleveland as a child. As with the first edition, staged in 2018, this year’s Front International will be staged across sites in Cleveland and the nearby cities of Akron and Oberlin.
In New York City, hand gestures speak much. They talk about our ethnicity and our gods. “Praise New York,” an exhibit of Karl Haendel’s large-scale drawings of the religious hands of our city, is taking place from March 10th to April 16th in Chelsea, Manhattan at Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery, 534 West 26th Street, open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM. The artist Haendel explores the world with his own hands by drawing portraits of other people through a close look at their hands. The drawings are larger than a human being is tall which in the gallery creates the feeling of hands as living fashion models standing in poises of praise and offerings of grace. He says, “It’s a novel way to make a portrait, allowing people to express themselves with gesture and nuance” using hands rather than faces, which moves too quickly in our day and age to invoke standards of beauty rather than portraits of the soul.
Haendel’s nearly nine-feet tall, wow-inspiring realist depictions of the hands of some of New York City’s Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Christian and Sikh faith leaders on exhibition at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery in West Chelsea, is certainly a fresh way to create a group portrait. On view until April 16, “Praise New York” honors a diverse group of pastors, imams, rabbis and priests who helped New Yorkers cope throughout the worst days of the pandemic.
The first painting greeting us in the Mitchell-Innes & Nash exhibition is, aptly, a self portrait. Smaller than the other pieces in the show, monochromatic, it packs the power of dynamite. The man represented closeup looks aghast, terrified even. His eyes stare down with dismay at something off canvas, an abyss? Hell? Malleable, the face is agitated by a chaos of brushstrokes. The boundaries between the head and its surroundings are unclear, as if everything was made of the same substance: mud. Mud, here, is nicely symbolic not only for its biblical intimation — Man being dipped, thrown, trampled in and yanked from the “miry mud” — but the muddiness of mind is also equally appropriate. While his portraits often halted at an opacity in the sitter, Kossoff had a pretty good idea of what he was about: uncertain about everything. He could, he tells us, hold onto nothing solid, either on the outside or the inside. “The important thing is to somehow keep going. This is ‘the straw to which we cling.” This credo, shared in a rare interview, could serve as caption for all of his mature paintings.
Artists who do the most interesting work with digital media often start elsewhere. Auriea Harvey studied painting at the Parsons School of Design before learning web design and then, with Michaël Samyn, founding the game studio Tale of Tales, which released experimental interactive experiences that expanded notions of what video games could be. Jacolby Satterwhite earned an MFA at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also studied painting, and only after graduation he began teaching himself Maya, which he used to create the engrossing, multidimensional hybrids of animation and video he’s known for today. Both artists still work in multiple mediums. Recently Harvey has focused on physical and virtual sculpture, blending 3D prints with natural materials and building digital models. Satterwhite returned to painting and showed the results in a recent exhibition at MoMA PS1. He is currently building an interactive virtual world for Cleveland’s FRONT International, a triennial that opens this summer. Harvey and Satterwhite met to discuss their shared love of video games, their interest in virtuality as an enhancement of the real, and how they achieved mastery through total dedication to craft.
Big Apple native Karl Haendel's "Praise New York" exhibition, inauguarted Thursday at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash art gallery in the West Side Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea and scheduled to run through April 16, pays homage to rabbis, priests, imams, pastors and other faith leaders who have shared vital resources and boosted the city's morale over the past two years.
In recent times, Gideon Appah explored the Ghanaian cultural memory through a series of portraits expressed through paintings, drawings and media ephemera. The primary source of inspiration was the legacy of the country’s film production from the 1950s to the 1980s. By employing entertainment posters, newspaper clippings, and films from the period, Appah has created a vibrant tableau that commemorates the cinema and leisure.
Ascendent Ghanian artist Gideon Appah is currently enjoying his first institutional solo show at The ICA at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. A plethora of new paintings, drawings and media ephemera make up the display, which aims to “chronicle the cycle of Ghana’s cultural memory – from heyday to bygone”. Appah has drawn on archive newspaper clippings, posters and films for the purpose, resulting in a series of dreamy, gesturally rendered tableaux that consider “the rise and fall of Ghana’s cinema and leisure culture”.
London modernism doesn’t get the same credit as its Paris or New York counterparts. That only means the work of the richly expressive painters of the London School—not just Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, but also Frank Auerbach, Michael Andrews, and R. B. Kitaj, among others—continues to surprise. “Leon Kossoff: A Life in Painting,” at New York’s Mitchell-Innes & Nash, provides a deep dive into the thick impasto of this British painter.1 Born in London in 1926, and focused on the lives of its working-class neighborhoods, Kossoff imparted the weight of experience in the thickness of his line and heaviness of his brush.
A survey of paintings by the celebrated postwar British artist Leon Kossoff, who died in 2019, is timed to the publication of the Leon Kossoff: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings. On view are 16 paintings, ranging in date from the late 1950s to 2016. Kossoff was part of the “School of London,” a postwar movement that included artists such as Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, and Frank Auerbach. The show includes Kossoff’s main themes—family members, nudes, and London landscapes—which are at once poignant and mundane. The Mitchell-Innes and Nash show is part of a three-gallery effort and is the first posthumous and largest exhibition of Kossoff’s paintings in a commercial setting to date. Annely Juda organized a show in London in September, and L.A. Louver in Los Angeles has a concurrent exhibition through March 26.
There was something unintentionally fitting about seeing Kossoff’s complex, sobering art under our currently disrupted circumstances. The show’s earliest painting, “Seated Woman” (1957), is a 5-foot-tall panel laden with pounds and pounds of thick, dark paint. Kossoff dragged his brush through the chocolate brown mud, exposing rich tones of purple, crimson and forest green buried within, literally carving out the linear form of a dozing figure, hands clasped in her lap, mouth a hooked slash.
Kossoff’s greatness lies in the extreme way he pits the two basic realities of painting — the actual paint surface and the image depicted — against each another. First there is the startlingly heavy, even off-putting, impasto of his oil paint, which sometimes seems more ladled on than conventionally applied with a brush (even a big one), and which gives his surfaces an almost topographical dimension. Then there is the reality of his images, initially swamped in paint, that ultimately battles its way to legibility through a process that thrillingly slows and extends the act of looking.
Julian Stanczak: The Light Inside at Diane Rosenstein Gallery. Exploring the artist’s intuitive use of color and geometric abstraction to create a sense of radiant light, this historic series of paintings resonates with the themes of the California Light And Space movement. According to the late artist, his minimal compositions are emotional landscapes that express his desire to transcend the surface containment of the painting as object and connect with the viewer through perception.
Mitchell-Innes & Nash is presenting the group exhibition “Olvido, Sombra, Nada” (“Oblivion, Shadow, Nothing”), featuring work by the artists Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Lucas Samaras, and Paul Mpagi Sepuya. Open from February 3 until March 5, the show follows the tension in portraiture between acts of revelation and concealment, named for the poem Espejo (“Mirror”) by Octavio Paz, which looks at understanding and misunderstanding in relation to self-reflections. From Samaras, ten works from the artist’s Sitting series (1978—1980) reveal the artist himself photographed into the shadows of his portraits. Sepuya’s featured works use methods of exposure and props like black drop cloths, translucent screens, and smudged mirrors when capturing indirect or partial portraits of human figures. And from McClodden, viewers will find a suite of black polished leather objects and a series of 65 prints seen for the first time, which come together to create a self-portrait of the artist that at once reveals and challenges elements of identity.
“Leon Kossoff: A Life in Painting,” Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York (through March 5): London modernism doesn’t always get the same credit as its Paris or New York counterparts. That means the richly expressive painters of the London School—not just Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, but also Frank Auerbach, Michael Andrews, R. B. Kitaj, and others—continue to surprise. This month at New York’s Mitchell-Innes & Nash, “Leon Kossoff: A Life in Painting” provides a deep dive into the thick impasto of the British painter Leon Kossoff (1926–2019). Born in London, and focusing on the lives of its working-class neighborhoods, Kossoff imparted the weight of experience in the thickness of his line and heaviness of his paint. This exhibition of sixteen works ranging from 1936 to 1993 is timed to the release of the 640-page Leon Kossoff: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings by Modern Art Press and is curated by its editor, Andrea Rose. A west-coast version of the exhibition also opens this week at California’s L.A. Louver gallery.
We are born to recognize faces. But by 1969 Kossoff had worked on a number of portraits in which the faces never cohere (bodies, as figures, are easier to read, because more abstract to begin with). His Seated Woman (1957) is a good example. Self Portrait No. 1 from 1965 may be a better one. In this work, one can strain to make Kossoff’s or any face appear, but it would just be an affirmation of one’s own credulity, akin to seeing Jesus in a water stain or a slice of burnt toast.
In Portland, California-native Chris Johanson’s swirling “abstract flows of colour” also reference mandala paintings. “I focus on not knowing what I am doing while my body carefully and slowly paints these colours next to each other,” writes Johanson in Considering Unknow Know With What Is, And (published by New York gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash). “All the while, I think about everything else – past, present and future, myopic and hyperopic.” Working on raw canvas slows down the painting process. “You think about things slowly, too,” he says. “The process is perfectly time consuming; it just mellows me out completely. They’re peaceful paintings to make. And I think you can see it. That’s why they resonate.”
Artist Gideon Appah’s story begins with homemade comic books of dinosaurs living among people and the adventures of Night Man, his very own masked crusader. "He fought for justice, kind of like Superman or Batman," Appah says via teleconference from Ghana.
In a relatively short career, the West African painter has gone through many different stylistic phases, exploring — and combining — surrealism, nature scenes and portraiture. The 35-year-old rising star will have his first solo U.S. exhibition at the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU this year from Feb. 11 to June 19. More than 30 of his paintings, most of them new works, will be showcased on both sides of the museum's upstairs gallery.
The New York–based gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash now represents Tiona Nekkia McClodden, a closely watched artist whose work recently appeared at the Prospect New Orleans triennial. The gallery presented work by the artist in its booth at Art Basel Miami Beach last month. Mitchell-Innes & Nash will include McClodden’s work in a group show at a seasonal space in Mexico City next month, with a solo show to follow in New York in 2023.
How does one capture a sense of time bedeviling itself? Experimental filmmaker and artist Pat O’Neill’s show here, “The Decay of Fiction,” interrogated this notion. The first time I visited, I felt as if I were witnessing a palimpsest of hauntings—decades of ghosts sealed inside a building’s many surfaces roaming freely. Yet the second time around I experienced an additional sensation: a sustained feeling of displacement caused less by the spooks’ presence than by an uncanny sense of their being both stuck inside a specific historical moment and forever pushed outside it.
In our current state of ever-evolving social and ecological catastrophe, we find ourselves needing not just inspiration, but examples of best practice – and the septuagenarian performer, installation artist, healer, zine publisher and activist AA Bronson weighs in on both counts. As one of the founding members of the art collective General Idea, Bronson was an important early responder to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Then, following the deaths from AIDS in 1994 of his life partners and General Idea co-members, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, he has had to find ways of making work that make sense within the context of ongoing and devastating grief.
The conversation on documentary photography often comes with leitmotifs as “giving voice”, “raising awareness”, and “making a change”, which are unquestionably honourable aims, but with minimal effects, if the act is limited to freezing the “decisive moment”, suggesting that producing images is the summit of the photographic event. Instead, it is our engagement with pictures through discussion, consumption, and reaction, which defines the power of photography to fuelling change. This research focuses on the participatory photography potential to set the environment for taking collective action; starting from dismantling the idea of single authorship and leading to the definition of photography as the democratic tool for excellence.
This long-awaited catalogue raisonné brings together the paintings of Leon Kossoff, one of the most important 20th-century British artists. Kossoff was part of the School of London along with other figurative painters including Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach. He returned to familiar subjects throughout his career, including London landmarks such as Christ Church Spitalfields and Kilburn underground station, creating numerous works inspired by Old Masters such as Nicolas Poussin. The author Andrea Rose curated Kossoff’s exhibition at the 1995 Venice Biennale when he represented Great Britain. “As part of the catalogue raisonnéproject, he gave her a level of access to him, his archive and his studios that, as an intensely private person, he had withheld from all others,” according to the publisher. An accompanying exhibition, which first opened at Annely Juda gallery in London, tours to Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York (13 January-5 March 2022) and L.A. Louver Gallery in California (26 January-26 March 2022).
One might presume that a collection of Pope.L’s writing spanning the artist’s decades-long career would be, itself, a performance. My Kingdom for a Title enlivens the artist’s fascination with language as a core mode of inquiry. An artist known for his strenuous public crawls that often include pedestrian and volunteer participation in a mixture of rehearsed and spontaneous study, such as “The Great White Way” (2001-09) and most recently “Conquest” (2019), My Kingdom for a Title is equal parts a peek at the artist’s sketchbook and a career retrospective through Pope.L’s iterative textual analysis.
Teaching was a way to earn a living that intersected with and was supported by my own artwork. I’ve grown to appreciate that the conversation supported by the University of Chicago embodies values that are distinct from those of the commercial art world; the intersection of the two yields richness not found in either alone.
For a presentation as part of Mitchell-Innes & Nash’s booth, Tiona Nekkia McClodden presents several new works that build off her 2016 work Se te subió el santo? (Are you in a trance?), which served as a “disclosure” of parts of her identity that she had previously kept private. “This is me—the first way I see myself,” she said. The other works on view stem from a series of photographs from related performances and film works as well as a recently completed leather lineman harness, titled A.B. 4 88B.
A key figure of the London School, Leon Kossoff (1926–2019) captures the life force of the British capital—his birthplace and lifelong muse—in all its dolorous splendor. Never has a palette perhaps best described as “shades of gloom” (the dried-blood reds and rusts of postwar Victorian tenements, the gray-brown murk of the Thames) seemed so vigorous.
Surveying six decades of production and organized together with Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York and L.A. Louver in Los Angeles, “A Life in Painting” opens with a series of Kossoff’s portraits.
Art Basel Miami Beach has twice been disrupted by seismic world events. In 2001, what was to be the inaugural edition of the art fair was postponed a whole year in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. Last year, the coronavirus pandemic was the culprit, though the live fair was replaced with an online viewing room.
In the intervening years, the fair became the linchpin of a booming Miami art scene and a larger cultural economy.
Now, as Art Basel returns to the Miami Beach Convention Center from Thursday through Saturday with 253 galleries from 36 countries and territories, it meets a pent-up demand — you could say that the supply chain for a certain kind of prestige fair has been unclogged.
These gloomy reflections were, however, quickly dispelled by Jacolby Satterwhite’s Birds in Paradise (2017–19), a video installation weaving footage of the artist being shrouded and baptised into a digitally animated world that is Boschian in its scale and imaginative scope. In building a new reality, Satterwhite’s dream-logic weaves together Yoruba rituals, rodeos, classical architectures, extraordinary flying machines and the artist’s own dancing body. The sheer vitality of the work is a reminder that disaffection in art is inherently conservative, more typically a sign that a bourgeois creative class is mourning its own obsolescence than a harbinger of the end of the world.
I was in the grip of despair. I had arrived to interview the artist Leon Kossoff at his home in Willesden, North London, for the Independent on Sunday, but when I arrived, after toiling long and hard uphill by bicycle, I found him to be profoundly unenthusiastic about the prospect. I explained to him that he had already agreed to talk to me, and that I had come all the way from South London. Finally, grudgingly, he let me slip, side-on, into the rather under-lit front hall — but only into the hall.
Yes, he would do it, he said in the end, still havering, but he had never anticipated such consequences of having his work shown at the Tate and the Venice Biennale …. I soon discovered that this gentle, wary, vulnerable man of 75 possessed a will of steel.
Centered in the gallery rests a motorcycle, a relic of someone whose absence has been palpable since she left the realm of the living in 2019. Barbara Hammer is the subject of a museum-quality show, albeit in a gallery, curated by Tiona Nekkia McClodden. Marking the opening of Company’s new space on Elizabeth Street, this exhibition is steeped in rigorous research and careful preparation on par with any large institutional endeavor. Acutely aware that she herself would no longer be here to witness it, Hammer chose McClodden, without the latter’s knowledge, as a possible curator for this show. Viewing exhibition-making as an art practice in its own right, McClodden has long been invested in research-based projects that use installation as a kind of portraiture. Primarily focusing on Black queer genealogies, the artist is known (among many other things) for her curatorial interventions focusing on the poet Essex Hemphill (Affixing Ceremony: Four Movements for Essex, 2015) and the composer Julius Eastman (Julius Eastman: That Which Is Fundamental, 2017).
For the inaugural show at its new space, Company Gallery has mounted the first solo show in New York dedicated to the feminist filmmaker Barbara Hammer since her death in 2019. Titled “Tell me there is a lesbian forever…”, the show is curated by artist and filmmaker Tiona Nekkia McClodden, who delved deep into Hammer’s archive to gather videos, photos, and drawings from the first few decades of her practice starting in the late 1960s, when she came out as a lesbian, rode off on a motorcycle with a Super-8 camera, and started creating her experimental films, such as Dyketactics in 1974.
Satterwhite has explored the boundaries of new media throughout his prolific decade-long career, drawing on the visual language of video games, art history and queer theory to create futuristic landscapes where science fiction and personal narrative intertwine. Both political and deeply intimate, his immersive visual worlds operate with their own internal syntax and logic—a dense symbolic lexicon that has continued to grow in both scope and ambition over the years.
Though they maintain separate practices, Chris Johanson and Johanna Jackson regularly collaborate on hand-hewn pieces that are subtly autobiographical.
Los Angeles filmmaker Pat O’Neill had only ever been inside the Ambassador Hotel once in his life before he began work on a project about the building that would absorb him for years. It was the 1950s. He was a boy. And his great-grandfather was visiting from Kansas.
“He was a grand sort of person,” O’Neill says of his great-grandfather. “He stayed there, and we went to visit him and have dinner with him.” At that point, the Ambassador, which had opened its doors in 1921, was more than three decades old. “It already was quite worn,” he recalls.
He hardly could have imagined then what would become of the building — or that he would spend years in the 1990s working on a film that would take place within its walls.
The National Academy of Design (NAD)--the venerable New York-based association of artists and architects established in 1825--has announced the induction of eight new National Academicians. The artists Julie Mehretu, Rashid Johnson, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Joanne Greenbaum, Joanna Pousette-Dart, Gary Simmons, Peter Halley and the architect Andrew Freear join more than 400 international NAD members.
On September 20th at Art Basel Unlimited, Mitchell-Innes & Nash (New York), Mai 36 Galerie (Zurich), Maureen Paley (London) and Esther Schipper (Berlin) will jointly present AIDS Cross (1991/2021), the most recent of General Idea’s history of AIDS works in various media. All four galleries will additionally present works by General Idea in their respective fair booths, alongside a suite of works by their other represented artist.
For many, existential uncertainty can be paralysing. Quite the opposite goes for Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist Jacolby Satterwhite, though. In fact, it’s a force that’s driven his practice forward over the past decade, through illustration, music production, performance, painting, sculpture, photography, virtual reality, video game design, writing and more. Restless as that may seem, all of these strands braid together in Jacolby Satterwhite: Spirits Roaming on the Earth, the first major monographic survey of his work that just opened at the Miller Institute for Contemporary Art at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
On the occasion of the three solo exhibitions dedicated to the drawing of Silvia Bächli, Allyson Strafella and Jessica Stockholder in the spaces of the Galleria Raffaella Cortese in Milan in via Stradella 7, 4 and 1, we interviewed one of the most important and influential protagonists of the international art scene.
AA Bronson: We moved here eight years ago, on Valentine's Day 2013. I was invited to participate in something called the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program (German: Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD), which is a fellowship program by which they invite artists to come and live and work in Berlin for a year. They give you a studio and allow you to bring your family, whoever that might be. It's an amazing program.
During his more than 40-year career, Chicago artist Pope.L has explored power disparities in language, gender, race, community and the environment across many mediums and disciplines. His exhibition with Modern Art centers on Skin Set, an ongoing project involving a number of text-inflected works that consider the construction of language, identity and stereotype as notation, holes and— frequently— humor.
MARIO PÉREZ: Curators are supposed to elaborate a kind of narrative discourse on the works shown at an exhibition but, did it happen that your work was included in any exhibition and you though the curatorship had nothing to do with the image you made?
ANNETTE LEMIEUX: If I am understanding your question correctly – a very long time ago a curator wanted to include my work in an exhibition that was about abstraction. I refused to be part of the exhibition, as my work wasn’t abstract in my mind. the relationship ended badly.
On August 14, Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Institute for Contemporary Art will debut Jacolby Satterwhite’s “Spirits Roaming on the Earth,” the first solo survey of the artist’s work. It’s one of several projects that Satterwhite — who incorporates animation, performance, drawing, and other mediums — has coming down the pipeline: Along with the Miller ICA show, he’ll return to painting with a group show at MoMA PS1 and is at work on his first public art project for the Cleveland Clinic.
Artist Jacolby Satterwhite’s first large-scale monographic exhibition is opening at Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Institute for Contemporary Art on August 14, marking a major milestone in the artist’s career.
But big shows like this aren’t all glory. Satterwhite now counts dozens of exhibitions to his name all over the world, including at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, the Gwangju Biennale, and Pioneer Works in Brooklyn (where he lives), and they take a ton of work.
Pope.L’s exhibition with Modern Art centers on his ongoing project, Skin Set, a constantly growing and shifting group of text-inflected works across many media that consider the construction of language, identity and stereotype as notation, hole and frequently absurdity and humour. The show, installed on both floors of the gallery, contains video, silkscreen, assemblage, floor pieces and paintings made between 2015 and 2021. On view are several medicine cabinets originally shown at the University of Chicago’s Neubauer Collegium earlier this year.
One of the most promising young artists working today is Marcus Leslie Singleton, a Brooklyn-based painter whose work depicts the intimacy of Black communities in daily life. His figures, often joyful and familiar with one another, lounge on living room sofas or play cards beneath the shade of a mammoth patio umbrella. They shoot hoops in a sun-filled neighborhood basketball court and chat with friends at the local deli, mulling over buying a lotto ticket. In his work, Singleton distills, down to the moment, the parallel realities of Black joy and hardship with a kind of immediacy that is at once poignant and hopeful, love-filled and close-knit. Artnet News recently sat down with Singleton, who describes his work as an ongoing examination of “time and the Black body,” to hear about his new show at the Pit L.A., what he needs in his studio to make his work come together, and more.
For a long time, if anyone ever asked for his contact details, Pope.L would produce a business card proclaiming him to be “The Friendliest Black Artist in America”. Sure enough, when he pops up on a video call from his ramshackle studio in Chicago, the performance artist and painter is amenable and thoughtful. In trucker cap and checked shirt, he shifts between smiles and pensive frowns as we track his journey from “difficult” childhood to one of America’s foremost artists, whose work deals with race, economics and language.
We've been enjoying the editions coming through the newly launched platform Variable Editions, and are happy to see them putting out another release, this time with Marcus Leslie Singleton. Aiming to offer unique, yet more affordable works by the sought-out artists while having a charity side of their efforts, their next drop with the Seattle-born and NY-based artist will benefit Nazareth Housing NYC. "Currently, my work is a reflection on reality," Singleton wrote in the statement accompanying this release. "The thinking behind the work is to make something that has occurred at a certain point, specifically this strange, clouded time we’re all experiencing, atemporal. I don’t wish to make the memories, however painful, joyful, or graphic outlast time, my aim is to be truthful and as transparent through my art as I can so that in effect the thought inscribed in the work outlasts the constraints of time, and maybe that gets us somewhere." And such an approach to creating imagery seems to be fitting perfectly with Variable Editions' concept of creating unique works based on the same, screen-printed image.
Down the street, in the posh, wood-paneled drawing room of the Neubauer Collegium gallery, Pope.L framed out a scrappy room-within-a-room to display five small paintings. The floor was covered in rolls of construction paper taped together at the seams; the walls and ceiling were made of two-by-fours; mirrored medicine cabinets, their doors hanging open, housed the canvases and still wore cling film, which quivered in the breeze generated by tower fans. Also fluttering were hundreds of disposable face masks dangling from the rafters, like festive paper banners—but not. The overall impression was of a medical construction project riskily abandoned halfway through.
In the gallery’s third exhibition on the late Op Art innovator Julian Stanczak, Mitchell-Innes and Nash has honed in on 10 large-scale, multi-panel paintings that capture the artist’s proclivity for working in series. A rare approach among other standard-bearers of the movement, seriality reflects how Stanczak’s entrancing abstractions were grounded in observation of natural phenomena, such as the way light gradates from dawn to dusk or autumn shifts to spring. This connection takes the show’s sensual pleasures beyond the realm of good vibes and grounds them in something more knowable, tangible, and memorable.
Each of the 12 large-scale paintings in Keltie Ferris’s exhibition “FEEEEELING” is set within a handmade frame, and all of them were made in the past year. Considered together, the paintings act as an inventory of the innovative techniques the artist has used over the past decade. A series of looping monochrome compositions made with graphite give way to compact geometric assemblages, which are interspersed with multilayered paintings made by imprinting canvas onto canvas. This is Ferris’s trip down memory lane, but the works still feel fresh.
After more than a year without art fairs, Frieze New York is back. But this highly anticipated pandemic-era edition looked a little different. Rather than setting up shop in the usual sprawling tent on Randall’s Island, some 60 international galleries occupied the Shed, the multidisciplinary performing arts space in Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s West Side.
Founded in 1969 by the artists AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, the collective General Idea made heady but playful work that dealt with sex, art, money, and the AIDS crisis. This solo presentation offers a scattershot but substantive introduction to the group’s oeuvre. Their signature poodles appear both in cheerfully self-aware drawings with mounds of pasta-like curls and on canvas in a discreet ménage-à-trois.
The cross-Atlantic partnership between New York’s Mitchell-Innes & Nash and Berlin’s Esther Schipper has resulted in an excellent booth devoted to the output of
General Idea, the collective formed in 1969 by AA Bronson, Felix Partz, and Jorge Zontal. The presentation features some of their most distinctive works, like their paintings and drawings of frollicking, frilly poodles (priced between $15,000 and $168,000), and their darkly comic 1992 group self-portrait Playing Doctor (priced at $150,000). The work was created at the height of the AIDS crisis that would ultimately claim Partz’s and Zontal’s lives. The booth’s centerpiece is the set of nine abstract panels El Dorado Series (1992), an abstracted interpretation of 18th-century Spanish caste paintings that sought to establish a hierarchy among ethnic groups in South America.
“Being a part of the circus is being born into this world,” said Marcus Leslie Singleton regarding his first solo exhibition, “Circusland,” at Turn Gallery in 2019. Across a series of twelve oil-on-panel works for this new show, Singleton traded the spectacle of acrobats and unicyclists for pointed yet subtle observations about contemporary Black life. Each of Singleton’s “Bubble Paintings” (2020–21) features ovoids—which double as cocoons, apparitions, or entrapments—set against colorful backgrounds with willowy leaves and branches. The forms evoke the visual language of comics and graphic novels: a world within a world, but with Black figures inside. In the press release, Singleton articulates this formal choice as reflecting a kind of exhausting duplicity—“how you could be physically somewhere and mentally in a different space.” Moreover, his approach highlights the anxieties of the African American experience, in which one is “policed and praised in the same breath.”
This article appeared in the April 26, 2021, issue of New York Magazine.
Thomas J. Lax: AA, Thank you for speaking with Christophe and me. Can you tell us where you are—and, perhaps a more complex question—how are you?
AA Bronson: Greetings, always a pleasure! I am in Berlin, with my husband Mark, in our rambling Berlin apartment on Fasanenstrasse—before the Wall came down, and even before that, this was the heart of Berlin’s art and culture world, but now it is pleasantly old-fashioned, with gas street-lamps, small auction houses and galleries, spreading chestnut trees, and a generous population of Russian expats. And despite the pandemic and the almost constant lockdown, we are okay here. To be truthful, my life—as an old man—has not changed that much. Except that my occasional forays into Berlin nightlife regretfully have come to an end.
In 1942 Ben Shahn, employed by the United States Office of War Information to create propaganda in support of the Allied cause, borrowed imagery from his fellow artists for a series of five posters depicting the “methods of the enemy.” “Suppression” was represented by Edward Millman’s We Must Win!, 1942–45, a rendering of a gaunt visage gagged by a swastika-emblazoned cloth; Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s Torture, 1943, featured a scarred muscular figure whose hands are bound behind his back. Käthe Kollwitz’s 1923 lithograph of begging children allegorized “starvation,” while Bernard Perlin’s exquisite lifeless female head provided an unsettling emblem for “murder.” For his contribution, titled Slavery, Shahn adapted his own 1935 Resettlement Administration photograph of Sam Nichols, a white tenant farmer in Boone County, Arkansas. In the illustration, the artist deepens his subject’s skin tone and fences him in with barbed wire. Conveying the war effort as part of a universal struggle for human dignity and liberation, the posters—deemed too challenging for their conceived purpose—were never reproduced. All five, however, are depicted side by side in Shahn’s gouache-and-tempera painting We Fight for a Free World!, ca. 1942, and appear as though they’ve been tacked onto a brick wall graffitied with the canvas’s title.
This work inspired “We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz.” Invited by the Jewish Museum in 2017 to respond to the resurgence of anti-Semitic violence in the US, Horowitz, following Shahn’s example, expanded the curatorial scope to embrace broader movements against racism, oppression, and ethnonationalism, presenting his own art in heteroglossic congress with work by more than seventy contemporary and historical artists.
Winding through a one-mile stretch of the University of Houston’s park-like campus is a series of colorful, bright, large-scale sculptures, offering visitors an emotional lift and escape to fun. Lace up your most comfortable shoes and feel the joy of color in “Color Field,” open to the public through May 31. Presented by Public Art of the University of Houston System (Public Art UHS), “Color Field” is an outdoor temporary exhibition featuring 13 works of art by seven contemporary artists.
After nearly a full year of closure, the University of Chicago’s Neubauer Collegium will reopen its gallery to the public—doing so with a new exhibition from acclaimed artist Pope.L.
On display through May 16, My Kingdom for a Title features recent work by Pope.L, a scholar in UChicago’s Department of Visual Arts. The show contains allusions to the COVID-19 crisis with a degree of directness that is unusual in Pope.L’s work, which is often elusive and ambiguous.
The art world of today is an arena of confrontation, encounter, conflict, and also imagination for Black people. This is true in relation to questions of representation in contemporary art itself as well as in relation to the politics of the spaces where art is gathered, collected, and shown. After all, what we call visuality is not neutral, it is not simply looking, it is a regime of how to see and where one is located on that scale of seeing and being that is founded in the logic of the plantation. La Tanya Autry, cofounder of the advocacy initiative Museums Are Not Neutral, writes succinctly about museums and this power.
Meaty and heady, Eddie Martinez’s densely packed paintings, rich with associations and imagery—all in the form of quotidian objects, sports paraphernalia, kitchen and dining items, art-history fragments—refuse to commit to a specific time or style. Martinez’s sensibility is part of a diffuse modernist past—Dada, Fluxus, Neo Realism, Cubism, Surrealism, food art, and so on—as well as a huge sampling of the contemporary zeitgeist, including skateboards and graffitied walls. In a canvas titled Embarcadero 88 (2020), frightening black-outlined, ghostlike faces stare out at us like terrified immigrants or victims of a natural disaster, while organic shapes punctuate paintings in the company of board games, lots of flowers, and playing cards.
It's sometimes unfair, as an observer of art, writer or (gulp) a critic to project onto an artist when it comes to intention or what you want from their work. I've tried to avoid it, but sometimes you have to recognize when you have borrowed a thought, or an observation, from an artist. I had this with Eddie Martinez a few years back, in the midst of an interview with him for the magazine. We were talking about his famed blockheads, but mostly we spoke about volume and process; this idea of "exhausting compositions." I loved it; the phrase felt so visual. He said, "But someone like Picasso, not only was he making all kinds of work in different mediums all the time, he was also exhausting the same sort of compositions and imagery because he just felt like they were always variable. That's something that has hit me. That's something I just respond to with his work right away because it feels natural to me anyway. And seeing someone who did it their whole life sort of gave me more confidence to do it."
Portland, Oregon-based artist, musician, skater and surfer Chris Johanson has teamed up with Vans for a sustainable capsule that encourages you to “Be Cool to Your Living World.” Consisting of five sneakers plus several pieces of apparel, the offerings from Johanson and the California-based footwear behemoth practice what they preach thanks to mindful materials like eco-rubber compounds, organically grown cotton and much more.
Jonathan Horowitz’s art has long turned a critical eye toward American politics, but it took on new urgency in the Trump era. His altered photographic image of the former president golfing into a fiery hellscape became an instant symbol of our apocalyptic political era, with critic Jerry Saltz suggesting it become Trump’s “official presidential portrait to hang in all federal buildings, courthouses, and post offices.”
Most recently, Horowitz organized a timely exhibition at the Jewish Museum, titled “We Fight to Build a Free World” (through February 14), which looks at artistic responses to authoritarianism, anti-Semitism, and racism throughout history, including work by artists such as Kara Walker, Judith Bernstein, and Glenn Ligon.
Tiona Nekkia McClodden is both an artist and a Santería priestess. Also known as La Regla Lucumí, this Afro-Caribbean religion is, like Haitian Vodou, an amalgamation of Roman Catholicism and Ifa, the religion of the Yoruba people in West Africa. McClodden is American, and much of her work centers around being dispossessed of, and later reclaiming, her religious heritage.
The most difficult thing to do is to make art during civil unrest and the collapse of capitalism in the world,” says artist Jacolby Satterwhite. And yet he has still managed to make art —a lot of it. In 2019 alone, Satterwhite, who specializes in the creation of futuristic, Hieronymous Bosch-like dreamscapes, held two solo exhibitions: one as the artist-in-residence at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia (a title previously held by the likes of Louise Bourgeois, Carrie Mae Weems, and Chris Burden), and another at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, a showstopper that featured expansive works reworking recordings and drawings from his late mother, who suffered from schizophrenia.
Originally made 20 years ago, Justine Kurland’s captivating series Girl Pictures was this year made available via a publication from Aperture. Inspired by girl bands like The Runaways, Kurland brings us into an idyllic world where her “standing army” of teen girl runaways have decamped across the United States to create their own utopian community built on living in harmony with nature and one another. “If you simply refuse to grow up and toe the line – why would you want to, anyway? – you can create a world for yourself, one that’s bearable to live in,” Kurland said.
The multimedia artist Jacolby Satterwhite’s magnificent first show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in October was an engulfing sci-fi pastoral that included a large digital video projection densely populated with sexy androgynous avatars and other groups of creatures and humans performing Mr. Satterwhite’s angular choreography, smashing disco-ball meteorites or just standing around looking cool.
Since learning how to make films in a basement at Spelman College (where she was not enrolled), Tiona Nekkia McClodden has found her way from the editing room to the studio, making work that has garnered her both a Guggenheim grant and a place in the 2019 Whitney Biennial—for which she won the exhibition’s top honor, the Bucksbaum Award. As McClodden’s practice has expanded into sculpture, installation, and performance, her background in film and the medium’s attendant concerns with time and narrative have remained central to the work she makes, while allowing her to examine content as diverse as BDSM, Santeria, Autism, the erasure of Black queer artists from the canon of art history, and the multiple potentials of readymades.
EACH DECEMBER, Artforum invites a group of distinguished critics, curators, and artists from around the world to consider the year in art. Ten contributors count down their top ten highlights of 2020, while three others select the single exhibition or event that, for them, rose above the rest.
Cecily Brown’s new paintings, Sam Gilliam’s sculptures and monochromes, Gideon Appah’s otherworldly vistas, Tishan Hsu’s first museum survey and works from the Purvis Young trove.
Gerasimos Floratos lives and works near Times Square, in the diverse and vibrant neighbourhood of Hell’s Kitchen. His Greek-American parents run a Deli there; the artist has set up his studio downstairs, connected to the outside world only by basement windows through which he can just perceive the feet of passers-by and bustle of the city.
As both an internal production tool and observation point of the outside, the studio has become the matrix of his work, which oscillates between the private and the public, between isolation and togetherness.
Patricia was the first member of the Satterwhite family you met upon entering the Chelsea location of Mitchell-Innes & Nash. You heard her singing over the speakers and saw her handwriting transcripted into bright neon signs and handwritten notes hung with archival care. You interacted with Patricia’s ideas before you saw the work of her son Jacolby, whose innovative work in sculpture, video, and music transferred Patricia’s visions into the digital age in his recent exhibition We Are in Hell When We Hurt Each Other.
From Los Angeles to New York, thousands of Americans took to the streets to celebrate Joseph Biden’s victory in the US election on Saturday, as his slowly growing lead in Pennsylvania finally secured him the necessary Electoral College votes to win the presidency, and remove Donald Trump from office after a single term. There was a similar outpouring of positive reactions from the art world for the new President-Elect and his running mate, former California senator Kamala Harris—along with caveats that there are still pressing issues that need to be resolved across the country. “The frogs have managed to jump out of the boiling pot just in time,” the artist Martha Rosler told The Art Newspaper, sharing the photo collage she made, above.
Marcus Leslie Singleton’s paintings use color and space to make the events of contemporary political life atemporal; to investigate the enduring emotional, intellectual, and experiential conditions that lie beneath the stories of our lives. Singleton is interested in the emotional and energetic resonances that his expressionistic use of color and shape can create. He elicits an affective response from the viewer, and prioritizes the imagining that art makes possible: he aims to step from the familiar Black monolith and define Blackness from an unknowing, atemporal space, as blank canvas. Aiming to ‘widen the peripheral of what this time means to us and our spirits,’ in his own words, the artist sets out to begin conversations and inquisitions not only for his audience, but within himself.
“We Are In Hell When We Hurt Each Other,” Jacolby Satterwhite’s latest solo exhibition at Mitchell-Innes and Nash, marks a beginning, a continuation, and an ending for the 34-year-old Brooklyn-based artist. It is Satterwhite’s first show with the gallery. But this new body of work represents the third and final iteration of a sprawling, five-year project for him: a concept album that fuses visual and sonic elements through performance, video, virtual reality, drawing, and sculpture. Satterwhite’s genre-transcending work has always been ahead of its time. But now, released during this period of social isolation, civic unrest, and technological transformation, it has never felt more appropriately of the moment.
Artists Pope.L, Catherine Sullivan, and I work together at the University of Chicago where we have each spent many hours engaging with the artwork of our students. The following conversation grows from my great respect for their thinking as I have come to know them over the past nine years. Both allow themselves to be vulnerable as they orchestrate with affection and humility encounters with others in search of their subjects. I am moved by their bravery. In contrast to their training in theater, mine was focused on visual arts. This contrast, like dye added to cells in a petri dish, makes visible the ways in which our formative experiences influence the contours of our thinking.
My own work is heavily influenced by psychoanalytic theory and practice, in which I find openings to understand how meaning accumulates in flexible layers. I wondered if theater methodology provides a similar architecture for making sense of the complexity of human being. Perhaps all three of us are engaged in an effort to build a shared infrastructure that is in contrast to the rigidity of propaganda and our current polarized political situation.
Former Solange collaborator Jacolby Satterwhite shares a special edit of his new film, an homage to Breonna Taylor in which cyber matriarchs fight oppressive orbs. The artist talks to Playboy about surviving 2020 and concluding his queer utopian trilogy.
When Justine Kurland first started staging photographs of girls play-acting as runaways and castoffs in the late 1990s, setting them loose in woods and beaches and highways to do what teenagers do, she had Holden and Huckleberry on the mind. She was activating an alluring yet flawed mythology of exploration and self-sufficiency, recasting it with girls as the protagonists for once. Her subjects are puckish adolescents at a precipice in their lives. They come in twos or threes or tens; they wear tank tops and baggy jeans, hair loose, sometimes shoeless, their very own band of lost girls fleeing from adulthood itself.
As a retrospective opens at Tate Modern, we speak to Rashid Johnson, Jacolby Satterwhite and Adham Faramawy about the enduring appeal of the 78-year-old artist's work
At Mitchell-Innes & Nash, new media artist Jacolby Satterwhite offers a tribute to Taylor via an immersive video installation that posits a post-pandemic, post-revolution world in which fembots use ritual and movement as tools of resistance to oppression.
New York’s Studio Museum in Harlem has announced its 2020–21 artists-in-residence, the New York Times reports. The prestigious program, which was established in 1968 and typically fosters rising talent, will take place remotely this year, and will for the first time include a mid-career artist, in an attempt to provide mentorship and cultivate generational exchange.
The four participating artists are photographers Widline Cadet and Texas Isaiah, painter Genesis Jerez, and established artist Jacolby Satterwhite, whose work combines video, performance, and animation.
The Studio Museum in Harlem’s artist-in-residence program is renowned for identifying talented emerging artists and helping them achieve wider recognition. This year, the program, which will take place digitally, is expanding to include a mid-career mentoring resident in addition to the usual three residents.
Joining the program in 2020–21 are Texas Isaiah, Genesis Jerez, and Widline Cadet, as well as Jacolby Satterwhite in the mid-career role. Satterwhite, who enjoys a level of institutional support already, will work in a mentoring capacity to the other residents.
This year, as the coronavirus scrambles the landscape, the museum is leaning into change. Its 2020-21 residencies, announced Thursday, will take place remotely. Two of the selected artists, Widline Cadet and Texas Isaiah, are photographers; another, Genesis Jerez, works in painting and mixed media. And there will be a fourth, midcareer resident, Jacolby Satterwhite, adding a veteran component to a residency known for announcing — and anointing — new talent.
Pope.L has worked in painting, performance, installation. An incisive cultural observer and artist of intervention, he may best be known for his performance pieces with people crawling on sidewalks and streets. His recent solo exhibitions include “member: Pope.: 1978-2001” at the Museum of Modern Art (2019), “Conquest” with the Public Art Fund in New York (2019), and “Choir” at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2019-20).
There are few artists whose work is more in demand right now than Eddie Martinez. The Brooklyn-based painter’s large, thickly impastoed canvases—some figurative, some abstract, and most somewhere in between—have been winning over dealers, collectors, and curators for the better part of two decades. In the last three years, that deep-rooted support has metastasized into a rapidly accelerating and global market.
Pope.L’s I-Machine (2014–20) has a handmade, provisional appearance that conveys a sense of a thing in a state of ongoing and perhaps hopeless becoming. The artist describes the work as a “self-blinding contraption… self-blinding because its function is to encourage unknowledge or ignorance or, at best, reflection on ignorance and doubt. by encourage, i mean, when one is in the presence of this assembly, one should feel prodded toward opacity, uselessness, dumbness and incompleteness rather than transparency, smarty-pantsness and wholeness.”
In this new series, The Artists, an installment of which will publish every day this week and regularly thereafter, T will highlight a recent or little-shown work by a Black artist, along with a few words from that artist, putting the work into context. Today, we’re looking at a piece by Pope.L, who’s known for his paintings, performances and installations that often explore themes of endurance alongside the history of race in America.
To accompany the release of their latest album, ”Notes on a Conditional Form,” The 1975 and director Ben Ditto commissioned 15 artists to respond to 15 tracks. The animator Jacolby Satterwhite was one of those artists, tapped to create a video for the song “Having No Head.”
Welcome to Ways of Seeing, where two artists sit down to discuss the nuances of their work, trade industry secrets, and fill each other in on their latest projects. The only catch? One of them is on staff at W magazine. In this week’s edition, visuals editor Michael Beckert chats with Justine Kurland. Originally from Warsaw, Poland, the photographer now resides in New York City. Her book Girl Pictures, which hit shelves in May, depicts young women she shot while road tripping across the North American wilderness in the Nineties and early Aughts.
Just before New York issued its shelter-in-place order in March, I attended the closing of Pope.L’s exhibition “Choir” at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Entertainment justice adopts a rhetoric of Black empowerment similar to that of the Black Arts Movement in the ’70s. But, as critic Aria Dean writes, Pope.L has reacted to that position over the course of his life as an artist, developing a “hole theory” that posits Blackness’s relationship to trauma as a powerful creative force.
This October, the traveling exhibition “Color Field” will unveil (and run through May 2021). The must-see, highly engaging show comes to the UH campus from its originating museum, the vaunted Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, in Bentonville, Arkansas, which this scribe likens to a Guggenheim of the South.
Between 1997 and 2002, Justine Kurland travelled across the North American wilderness, capturing teenage girls in a series of staged images that express freedom and a new kind of utopia. She looks back on the project’s significance here
Much of our current global situation feels unprecedented. However, COVID-19 is not the first disease to send shockwaves through our communities. The AIDS epidemic of the ‘80s and ‘90s, like COVID-19, hit indiscriminately but affected vulnerable members of society the hardest. At the time, amidst an inadequate public response largely rooted in homophobia, many artists felt compelled to create work aimed at raising critical awareness about the crisis. With AIDS (Installation), General Idea did this with a resounding impact, which continues to echo today.
As part of a three-venue tribute to Pope.L, the Public Art Fund produced Conquest, the latest installment of the artist’s long-running “Crawls” series, in which he dragged himself facedown through urban environments in a potent metaphor for struggle against a backdrop of homelessness. Pope.L made his first “Crawl” in 1978 and over the years did versions carrying a small potted flower or wearing a Superman costume.
Girl Pictures (1997-2002) -- in which young women confidently occupy the forests, open highways and roadsides of America that belong, by default, to men -- recently became a book, inviting fresh appreciation for the relevance of its themes 20 years after being made. The images published in this article, much like those in Girl Pictures, and ones that can be found in the public collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Guggenheim Museum, and International Center of Photography, New York, revel in “the double-edged nature of the American dream”, an intoxicating mix of freedom and darkness. Here, Justine talks us through a few of the pictures.
Locking eyes with a cowboy through the cinema screen is perhaps our most familiar insight into the North American frontier. Gunshots, gloomy saloons and stony-faced outlaws form the bedrock of the ‘wild west’ in our imagination, thanks to its feature as a recurring backdrop to some of Hollywood’s classics. While the cowboy quest might continue to thrive on the cinema screen, photographer Justine Kurland turns her lens to this dramatic landscape for a wholly different purpose. There are no cowboys in her work. Instead, the South Western plains become the realm of another kind of adventurer – the runaway teenage girl.
I will likely have to teach online in the fall, so I have a keen interest in how they're doing. It's been interesting… I think that there [have been] some good things about it… One of my colleagues expressed yesterday that the students are able to make themselves more emotionally available online than they tend to in the classroom… I've been doing online studio visits with some of the MFA students; some of those conversations are really great. And I think that there's something about people being sort of slowed down and having to take stock and develop a new relationship to what they're doing that is productive.
What would a photographed utopia look like? While the origins of photography coincided with the birth of various nineteenth-century utopian schemes, human society has never seemed further from realizing them, in part due to developments in technology—including the production and distribution of images—that seek to solidify social surveillance and control.
Graduating college students at The New School's Parsons School of Design in New York are getting a matriculation gift from Solange Knowles. Through her creative agency, Saint Heron, the award-winning musician and performance artist has partnered with the school to launch Here and Now, a digital festival that will act as a virtual celebration of the Class of 2020, who have been placed in “an unique and unexpected position” due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, says Jason Kass, the school's interim dean of fashion.
In addition to showcasing the students’ end-of-the-year projects, Here and Now will also feature Metonymy, a 3D installation created in collaboration with Saint Heron’s creative team, artist Jacolby Satterwhite, and over 300 graduating students from the School of Fashion at Parsons.
In the late 1990s, photographer Justine Kurland imagined runaway girls roaming the American landscape -- gathering in the woods, along highways and in open fields. Instead of encountering danger, these wayward spirits would form a sylvan utopia where girls could make their own rules.
American painter Eddie Martinez has been busy in his Brooklyn studio working with both traditional and unconventional materials. “I have been working like a maniac, in fact, in my home studio, which I’m lucky enough to be able to do,” he says. Martinez has exhibited works from a series called White Outs over the past few years; in lockdown, he has continued to make drawings and paintings, fueled by emotion and anger.
"I've always believed that people become artists because of a compulsion to endure like a stone castle or temple," he explains. "There's this desire to tie down certain moments in history and make them last. That certitude is written on their faces."
When we think of wild America, it’s likely it conjures masculine, rather than feminine, visions – from John Wayne cowboy tropes roaming the desert to truckers pulling into dinners nestled on a long-stretch of road. It’s a cliche that photographer Justine Kurland was all too aware of when she began shooting her series Girl Pictures in 1997. For five years, until 2002, Kurland travelled the North American landscape, staging images of girls as “fearless and free, tender and fierce”.
We asked 24 of our favorite creative minds—including Thom Browne, Dua Lipa, Desus & Mero, Robert Pattinson, and Ottessa Moshfegh—to tell us what they’re discovering about art, and about themselves, in this age of isolation.
Kurland’s series of images of teenage American girls, taken between 1997 and 2002 are now featured in a 20th-anniversary book by published by Aperture. Justine Kurland: Girl Pictures – includes newly discovered and previously unpublished images. All photographs by Justine Kurland; story by Rebecca Bengal
Kurland started out on her quest in New Haven’s semi-industrial hinterland before travelling further afield over the next five years on a mazy road trip; if the girls were on the margins, then she would be too. She loosely choreographed the groups of teenagers that she found, but mostly invited the girls into a promising setting and let them do their thing. She took this photograph of four girls in an abandoned car in the millennium year, and called it Shipwrecked. The girls she chose invariably understood the idea of the pictures. “I can always spot people,” she has said. “It’s, like, really one of my superpowers. I can always tell which teenage girls would love living in the woods with their friends.”
Around the time she started working on a 2018 gallery show for Girl Pictures, a set of gorgeous portraits of teenage girls at play, shot between 1997 and 2002, the photographer Justine Kurland did something that proved just how much she had changed in the past 20 years. Long associated with road trips and an Edenic view of the American West, Kurland sold her van and called it quits on the quasi-nomadic life that had fueled her art for years.
“The mothers in my photographs live in a world without men, in maternal bliss, embracing the pleasures of an animal existence. But when I look at Oneonta Gorge, Log Jammed Crevice, I see Casper instead, balanced on my hip as I manoeuvre my camera on its tripod. He had made up a little chant, something like, ‘We photograph mama babies, we photograph mama babies, we photograph… .’ and sang to me as I made pictures. The original utopian impulse of the work now bends toward the memory of that sound.”
Justine Kurland admits to having “terrible timing” when it comes to publishing photography books. “The first book I made with Aperture, Highway Kind, was released the day Trump was elected, and now Girl Pictures comes out in the middle of Covid-19,” she writes to AnOther over email as her latest book is published. The photographs in Girl Pictures were taken 20 years ago, and depict unruly teenagers in the equally wild landscapes of America. Kurland staged her “standing army” of teenage runaways as independent, unapologetic and fearless. “My runaways built forts in idyllic forests and lived communally in a perpetual state of youthful bliss,” the New York-based photographer writes in Girl Pictures, this new Aperture edition of which includes previously unpublished images from the series. “I wanted to make the communion between girls visible, foregrounding their experiences as primary and irrefutable.” A short story by Rebecca Bengal entitled The Jeremys is published in Girl Pictures, and encapsulates this longing for rebellion.
The multidisciplinary artist’s practice has long been informed by his most personal experiences, including confronting his own mortality. In an exclusive interview with Art21 filmed in February, ahead of his solo show at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, Satterwhite explained that video games like Final Fantasy were escapes for him while he underwent cancer treatments as a child.
I am self-sequestered at home, as ordered by the people with a clue. That’s a rowhouse in Greenpoint. My studio is most of the house, so I don’t have to leave to go to work. I try to maintain a fairly healthy diet, mindful of the fact that I am getting far less exercise. I also want to support one or two of my local restaurants, so I occasionally get take-out.
Soup, soup, and more soup. I find this to be the most comforting kind of food in any crisis. I make generic French vegetable soup often, just puréed mirepoix and good stock, or Italian spinach and Arborio rice with broth and sautéed onions.
This is good news for an artist like Jacolby Satterwhite—whose work is being shown through the gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash at Art Basel Hong Kong. “I wish I would have known about it earlier,” he laughed, speaking over the phone on a recent afternoon. “I mean, that’s a really weird thing to say, but if I’d known about it, I would have prepared all of my augmented-reality works.” The artist’s medium is almost exclusively digital, and at the moment, he’s focusing on virtual reality, render farms, and the use of a super computer for his new projects.
In the early 1940s, the artist Ben Shahn created a painting for the Office of War Information with images depicting suppression, starvation, slavery, torture and murder. He called it “We Fight for a Free World!” The painting was supposed to lead to a series of propaganda posters, but the government rejected the project. Still, the original painting survived and has a new life today as the heart of a show at the Jewish Museum in Manhattan: “We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz.”
The exhibition, which is to run from March 20 through Aug. 2, examines the ways that artists have taken on issues like oppression, intolerance and authoritarianism, and raises questions about anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia. With about 80 works in a range of media, the Jewish Museum covers a great deal of ground in sometimes startling ways.
The day after his thirty-fourth birthday, I called up performer and artist Jacolby Satterwhite. He had just wrapped up a fantastic year of work and collaboration—co-directing with Solange, where he contributed a video for her visual album When I Get Home, and partnering with Nick Weiss of Teengirl Fantasy to produce an LP entitled Love Will Find A Way Home. The album release coincided with the opening of Satterwhite’s multifarious solo exhibition at Pioneer Works, entitled “You’re at Home.”
What do you discuss when talking to a painter’s painter, the artist everyone cites as their favorite or an influential force? Well, you obviously talk about painting and painters. And, in the instance of sitting down with Brooklyn-based painter, Eddie Martinez, you chat about tennis, strategy and the art of collecting. There is an energy that emanates from Martinez’s work, something hypnotic that whirs in constant motion. In a way, his idea about “exhausting compositions” does not feel like defeat but instead, a powerful indicator that a life in art isn’t just one work, but about decades of output and practice. Martinez is fascinated by speed, but also comfortable in volume, as he explained throughout an early morning winter conversation. We talked about his massive 65-foot painting recently shown in Shanghai, a newborn altering his schedule, and how his flower pot works will show up in an upcoming show with his wife, Sam Moyer, in San Francisco.
Jacolby Satterwhite uses digital sculpting and world-building techniques to create computer-animated characters and immersive environments. Across these virtual landscapes, Jacolby copy/pastes live-action footage of himself, creating an intimate visual universe that brings together art history, “expanded cinema,” and the pop-cultural worlds of music videos, social media, and video games.
The freedom she feels is palpable as you wander through “Digital Thoughts,” Jessica Stockholder’s laser-sharp exhibition at 1301PE gallery in L.A. Each of Stockholder’s 11 inventive assemblages is out of this world — if not from another planet then at least from far out in space. Some of Stockholder’s constellations of unrelated objects and materials are no bigger than notepads. Some are large, about the size of tents or picnic tables.
When Yugoslavia broke with the Soviet Union in 1948, it jettisoned Socialist Realism in favor of its ostensible antithesis, modernist abstraction. The de facto state style of the 1950s and ’60s was what the literary critic Sveta Lukić called “socialist aestheticism”: an art-for-art’s-sake modernism that stressed formal experimentation above all else, projecting an image of enlightened liberalism as a counterpoint to Soviet dogmatism. Croatian artist Julije Knifer (1924–2004) responded to this affirmative milieu with black irony, riffing on geometric abstraction in “anti-paintings” characterized by a deliberately meaningless monotony. Knifer spent virtually his entire career painting a single motif: a meander pattern formed from interlocking right angles.
Twenty-four monumental drawings of exquisite detail will be divided into two exhibitions at Vielmetter Los Angeles, with the second chapter of Karl Haendel's presentation opening on 15 February 2020. Each drawing captures the intimate interlocking of hands, between Haendel and his ex-wife—an alternative to portraiture that he expresses as having a powerful, 'embodied sculptural presence', which he eventually expanded to include the hands of his friends.
The very ethics of entering a dynamic work come into question with Jacolby Satterwhite’s Vintage Paradise, a 360-degree video in which viewers are treated to a repository of the artist’s personal images and objects, decorated with numerous sketches of proposed inventions by the artist’s late mother that have been extruded into 3-D.
POPE.L WALKS INTO A ROOM. Hair looks good. Everybody knows Pope.L’s hair be looking dry and wild but maybe Pope.L’s supposed to be unkempt. Pope.L walks right up to me, has something to say important, not conversational, not in a conversational tone he starts talking in an urgent manner. I do take note of people’s appearances, most everybody’s in the way when they come up to me to say something, I don’t pretend not to look. Pope.L starts talking to me like we’re familiar so I figured I forgot and knew Pope.L from before but I never forget a face even though since I gave birth I can’t remember shit I can’t recall words like I used to.
AMONG THE VIDEOS ON DISPLAY in “member: Pope.L, 1978–2001,” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, many of which are grainy documents of Pope.L’s experimental theater works, is Egg Eating Contest (Basement version), 1990, a piece first performed in East Orange, New Jersey, in which the artist appears as a sort of emasculated black nationalist strutting around a cellar in a tattered black tunic.
Artists often adopt personas in their work — master painter, trickster, savant — and you can see this in the 13 performances of the maverick artist William Pope.L at the Museum of Modern Art. And he uses the characters in his show, “member: Pope.L, 1978-2001,” to critique race and class in the United States.
800 gallons of water is an abstract concept, until you see its volume cascade before your eyes into a cavernous holding tank. Then, that amount of water becomes visceral. It’s mesmerizing to sit before a specific amount of water, and contemplate the ways we use, exploit, and waste this most important of resources on a regular basis. This is the experience of witnessing Choir (2019), artist Pope.L’s gallery-filling installation currently on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Wadden trained as a painter, but he has been working exclusively as a weaver for almost a decade now, producing textiles by hand. Ten new examples were on view in his recent exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, “Second Life.” All but one were variations on a single theme, consisting of vertical compositions bisected by diagonals formed by transitions between different colors of yarn.
Rosler’s unmatched ability to wield consumer culture’s opulence against itself made for a visually festive retrospective. But sober critique unites the Semiotics of the Kitchen star’s half century of uninhibited Conceptualism; her early photomontage series “House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home,” ca. 1967–72, with its plush interiors and window views of carnage, still stuns.
Lefcourt’s apparently ice-cold, algorithmically rendered paintings paradoxically unearth vital questions about formlessness and uncertainty. A plotter-guided line, dragged by machine across the surface of the canvas, extracted and extruded delicate tonal information about embedded mineral deposits—that is, paint stains. Like the vast landscapes of the Hudson River School, but with the human–God axis replaced by a material–digital one, these works probe the limit of any attempt to appropriate nature’s generative and entropic behavior.
By bringing together oil paint, acrylic, water-soluble pastel, and magic marker to make her images, Greenbaum collapses the distinctions between painting and drawing; "artisanal competence" and casual mark-making; and fine art materials and cheap hobbyist supplies.
A pirate wench with the head of Martin Luther King Jr hangs upside-down from the ceiling, her bosom partially exposed, on the stand of Mitchell-Innes & Nash at Art Basel in Miami Beach. The ghostly figure also leaks a chocolate substance mixed with the paint thinner Floetrol. Altogether, the statue A Vessel in a Vessel in a Vessel and So On (2007), by the artist Pope.L, is a comment on the toxicity of black stereotypes. The technician who installed the eye-popping creation says that the dangerous-if-consumed liquid seeps out for three seconds at a time. Best to seek refreshments elsewhere.
“I got my own cultural anorexia,” the performance and visual artist Pope.L (formerly known as William Pope.L) wrote in his 1997 manifesto, “Notes on Crawling Piece,” declaring what he deemed a binge-and-purge relationship to modern art (despite the clinically inaccurate metaphor). “It’s kinda racy, / I get down on my belly and crawl till I’m reality.”
This 1988 installation by the artist collective General Idea, founded in 1969 by A.A. Bronson (pictured), Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, serves up a critique of the rising influence of mass media on culture on a set of 144 porcelain sushi plates. The colour bars printed on the plates are based on the trademarked test pattern found on television screens.
I’m dramatic,” artist Jacolby Satterwhite tells me, tearing up, one Monday afternoon in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn. Two weeks before the opening of his solo show, You’re at home, at Pioneer Works, we’re sitting behind a desktop computer in his temporary studio, a floor above where his digital performances and 3D-printed sculptures will be exhibited.
Pope.L has perfected crawling as his particular kind of disruption. He has traversed a substantial portion of New York City (and parts of Europe) on his hands, knees, stomach, and elbows, wearing everything from a Superman costume to a sports jersey and Nike sneakers. For his inaugural crawl, in 1978, the artist slowly made his way down Forty-second Street, passing Times Square, wearing a pin-striped suit with a yellow square stitched onto its back.
Imagine that all the works of Jacolby Satterwhite are the suspirations of a single, continuous world. A world in which everything flows and reality has assimilated the smooth transitions, bends, and breaks of dance music. A world where all things touch ends if you change their tempos enough and there are no hierarchies of scale or value.
In 1978, Pope.L got on his hands and knees in a suit and safety vest, and made his way through the bustling crowds of Midtown Manhattan. Titled Times Square Crawl a.k.a. Meditation Square Piece, his performance combined a disturbance in public space with abjection and perverse humor, setting the tone for his subsequent experiments with what it means to make art and move through the world as a black man.
Patricia Satterwhite, too, was an artist without a public, without a means of access to the infrastructure and institutions that would have made her the star Jacolby says she dreamed of becoming. Before she died in 2016, she had lived with schizophrenia. Throughout her life she incessantly wrote pop lyrics in big letters on unlined white pages and sang them into a cassette recorder; she drew pages and pages and pages worth of inventions that she wanted to fabricate and sell on a home-shopping TV network.
Joanne Greenbaum is a New York artist who has been painting abstract compositions for over 30 years. Her work, which ranges from playful to chaotic, cartoonish and sometimes architectural compositions, which are always a conundrum to decode. Recently, the artist has turned to making works on glass for her latest solo exhibition at Rachel Uffner Gallery in New York City, I'm Doing My Face In Magic Marker.
Pope.L deals in place, space, and traces. Since the 1970s, the artist has created provocative interventions in public spaces and work that experiments with language and material. With an affinity for the trope of the “trickster,” his work often provokes reconsiderations of societal conventions through an adjacency with the absurd.
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, artist Jacolby Satterwhite spent his formative years traversing the virtual reality of 90s pop culture. He owned numerous games consoles, among them a Game Gear, Sega Genesis, SNES, 32X, Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation, and was obsessed with the music videos of Janet Jackson. At 11, he got his first computer, and by 13, Satterwhite was building websites.
Pope.L's absurdist exploits are the focus of an important new retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue are worthy testaments to the artist's unique talent, while also inspiring the viewer to consider how Pope.L's provocative interrogations of economic inequality and racial prejudice can be models for political engagement more broadly.
Monica Bonvicini: I was a student at the Berlin University of the Arts in the West when the Berlin Wall fell. That night, I went with some fellow students to Brandenburger Tor, where I stayed all night long. At some point I went home but I could not sleep so I went back out on my bike. From the western districts of Wilmersdorf through Tiergarten, everything was crowded with people—it was maybe Berlin’s first Love Parade.
Before turning to weaving 15 years ago in Berlin, the Vancouver-based artist Brent Wadden trained as a painter at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Now his large-scale woven panels are the subject of his third exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. The works exude a painterly air, showcasing dimension and movement with linear lines and subtle variations in thread colors that imbue precision with personality.
‘I feel crazy,’ joked artist Jacolby Satterwhite after opening his first and second solo museum exhibitions, in two different cities, just two weeks apart. To realize his labour-intensive, hyper-baroque vision in ‘Room for Living’, at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, and ‘You’re at Home’ at Pioneer Works in New York, Satterwhite had disappeared for several months from the New York queer scene in which he is a prominent fixture.
You are hit first by the contrast. The clinical white of the gallery walls behind the black leather and paint draw in and repel—equal and opposite forces. Within the freeing constraints of the gallery space, we are invited to explore an artistic vision of other types of freeing constraint: physical and psychological kinds, based off leather and trust and, most importantly, balance in pain and pleasure.
The relationship between architecture and patriarchal systems, and how the shaping of public space has been impacted as a consequence, has long been at the core of Monica Bonvicini’s work. Curated by Nicola Ricciardi and Samuele Piazza, ‘As Walls Keep Shifting’ comprises a plain wooden prefab structure simulating a typical Italian villetta (semi-detached house) furnished with works by the artist.
At the end of August, Gerasimos Floratos came out to stay with me on Fire Island, where I’d been spending the summer. We’d had similar vacation encounters before – at my home in the California redwoods, and on the Greek island of Kefalonia, where Floratos occasionally lives and works.
‘Black people are the window and the breaking of the window,’ reads Pope.L’s 2004 text drawing of the same title. ‘Purple people’, according to another work in his ‘Skin Set’ series (1997–2011), ‘are the end of orange people’, who elsewhere are defined as ‘god when She is shitting’. At Documenta 14 in Kassel, a selection of these works raised the dilemma (acute for the exhibition’s predominantly white European audience) of how to respond to the patent absurdity of such statements as White People Are the Cliffand What Comes After or Black People Are the Wet Grass at Morning (both 2001–02). The irresistible impulse to laugh is quickly overtaken by a commingled shame and anxiety. Isn’t it true, after a moment’s reflection, that historic injustices have been perpetrated in the name of racial definitions no less preposterous for having been supported by pseudosciences like phrenology or, let’s not forget, racist histories of art? And that equally imbecilic statements underpin the strain of identitarian politics that seems not only to persist in Europe and the United States but to be in the ascendant? And that people are dying as a consequence? So why was I laughing?
Since the late 1970s, Pope.L has worked in performance, video, drawing, installation, sculpture and teaching, troubling facile readings of the machinations that govern the relationships between race, labour, capitalism and materiality. His practice traverses genres in an attempt to reckon with everything from the tenuousness of Black masculinity in public space to the lingering economic effects of post-industrial America.
On Love Will Find a Way Home Jacolby Satterwhite spotlights his very first collaborator: his late mother Patricia. A former party girl and Mary Kay salesgirl, she became a shut-in as her schizophrenia developed, resulting in extended periods of creation. Jacolby remembers growing up in rural South Carolina as a three-year-old, assisting her in diagramming couture gowns and tampons embedded with artificial intelligence, which she drew while binge watching the Home Shopping Network.
Chicago-based Pope.L participated in the 2017 Whitney Biennial and won that year’s Bucksbaum Award. Following his project focused on the water crisis in Flint, Mich., he has created a new installation that further explores the use of water. “Choir” is “inspired by the fountain, the public arena, and John Cage’s conception of music and sound.”
Last Thursday, art enthusiasts gathered at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for “An Evening with Great Women Artists,” a panel discussion moderated by Iria Candela, curator of Latin American Art, between Ghada Amer, Sharon Hayes, Deana Lawson, and Martha Rosler.
At first glance, the placid seascape might blend in with the paintings around it, were it not for the tarlike substance clinging to the panel. The neon sculpture could be mistaken for a similar piece just down the road at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
And it’s hard to look at General Idea’s “Great AIDS (Ultramarine Blue)” stretching 10 feet across a gallery wall without seeing the resemblance to Robert Indiana’s “Love” a block away (sans photo-snapping tourists).
The Chicago-based adept Pope.L is a triple threat in New York this fall, with concurrent shows at the Whitney and moma and a recent Public Art Fund performance for which some hundred and fifty participants put their bodies through punishing paces, re-creating one of his legendary mile-long crawls. Pope.L’s Manhattan gallery pays homage to his body-centric concerns in this dynamic exhibition, which combines text works from his series “Skin Sets” with paintings by a trio of young rising stars: Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Cheyenne Julien, and Tschabalala Self.
You may know Jacolby Satterwhite through his video animations that create immersive, queer, afro-furturistic worlds, or even from his collaboration with Solange earlier this year. However, his most recent exhibition “You’re at home,” a film installation revolving around the artist’s digitally animated series Birds in Paradise, gets more personal.
In the latest video opus of the artist Jacolby Satterwhite, titled Birds of Paradise, sequence after animated sequence delivers a tapestry of fantastical images that, like puzzle pieces, coalesce into a hypnotically intricate yet fully harmonious whole.
Be prepared for sensory overload when you step inside Jacolby Satterwhite’s new show at Brooklyn's Pioneer Works. Centering around his multi-part, digitally animated series Birds in Paradise, You’re at home is an immersive experience that includes video projections, virtual reality and sculpture. It even includes a retail store that sells records by PAT, his collaborative music project with Nick Weiss (of Teengirl Fantasy) which utilizes recordings by Satterwhite’s mother Patricia.
Jacolby Satterwhite has spent the past decade making highly wrought digitally animated science-fiction worlds and irreverent modern dance pieces that draw on vogueing and martial arts. But he considers his two current shows, in New York and Philadelphia, to be “the final draft, conceptually, of what I was trying to say for years.” While Satterwhite has long been known as an art-world generalist, his fall exhibitions show him at his most direct
33-year-old Jacolby Satterwhite, known for channeling biography, eroticism and queer-disco-party energy in his work, is fairly entrenched in New York’s art scene; his late-aughts arrival paralleled those of other DIY, digital-forward entities like early Tumblr, Fitch-Trecartin or DIS mag. But in light of an outpouring of new material, in which Satterwhite revisits and up-scales long-percolating themes, his years of creation seem to have been in service of a larger, now-unfolding artistic crescendo.
The sci-fi fantasias of Japanese video games, the pulsing bodies of E.D.M. raves, the mystical spaces of Nigerian shrines, and the bygone music chain Tower Records all figure into the wildly ingenious new work of the young American artist Jacolby Satterwhite (pictured). On Oct. 4, Pioneer Works, in Brooklyn, opens “You’re at Home,” an exhibition of digital projections, performances, sculptures, and music by the artist, who recently directed an animated music video for the singer Solange.
In artist Jacolby Satterwhite’s digital universe, the possibilities are immense. His decade-long practice has paid tribute to subjects as diverse as the Harlem ball scene, European art history, daytime tele-shopping, queer sexuality and African rituals, merging them into phantasmagorical fuchsia-colored dreamscapes where heaven and hell coexist. The Brooklyn artist’s intricately-crafted universe in 3-D animation, multimedia installation and digital print mixes his deeply personal ties to his mother and circle of friends with a large pool of references that are fascinating, seducing and triggering all at once.
Jacolby Satterwhite, the multimedia artist who recently collaborated with Solange, has long created intricate virtual worlds that burst with a vibrant vision of queerness. For a new exhibition, titled “You’re at home,” at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood, on view until November 24, Satterwhite is debuting a new work, Birds in Paradise, that puts onlookers into a kind of uncanny valley between the recent past and near future, fabricating a music shop in the same vein as the now shuttered Tower Records but that pulsates with larger-than-life dancing Afro-futuristic figures.
Jacolby Satterwhite doesn’t abide by contemporary rules of space and time. In “Blessed Avenue” (all works 2019), he leaps from Philly to Louisiana, from live action to animation, from sex party to Shanghai noodle bar in a single jump cut. Since almost a decade ago Satterwhite taught himself Maya — a 3D animation program that allows him to import video of himself and others into any landscape, any room — he hasn’t stopped moving. Or maybe his pace began before that.
In New York, verticality is the definitive modus operandi. Both buildings and people perpetually strive skyward, driven by tenuous dreams of upward mobility. “But, let us imagine,” the American artist Pope.L proposed to fellow artist Martha Wilson in 1996, “a person who has a job, possesses the means to remain vertical, but chooses momentarily to give up that verticality?”
I lowered my blindfold and got on my hands and knees. Walkie talkies beeped and clipboards clacked. “We’ll be right here if you need anything,” a staffer assured me, stowing my belongings in a rolling cart. “We want to make sure you are safe and comfortable.” I did feel relatively comfortable, considering I was about to crawl along a New York City sidewalk—blindfolded, holding a flashlight, and wearing only one shoe.
Five men and women, each missing a shoe and encumbered with a flashlight in one hand, came belly down to the ground. They began to crawl along the gritty, unsavory New York City sidewalk, led by a marshal perfuming the air and sweeping the ground before them — and serenaded by a trumpeter playing melancholic riffs. The procession stopped traffic and drew people out of shops and restaurants, wondering what was going on.
The crawlers knew where to go by following the sound of a trumpet.
It was bright and early in New York at Corporal John A. Seravalli Playground when a group was congregating to kick off Conquest, artist Pope.L’s performance in which participants would drag themselves across a predetermined path. Organized by the Public Art Fund, this was a new work in a lineage of past “crawl” pieces by Pope.L, who was on hand on Saturday to tell the crowd that he hoped to cause a stir.
Conquest, Pope.L’s most recent performance project, engages his largest and most public cast to date. Commissioned by the Public Art Fund (PAF), the September 21st “crawl” is also more procedurally detailed, and more apparently and explicitly mocking, than previous crawls. When I spoke with Pope.L in late summer, he insisted he was not participating in the crawl, but just as soon acknowledged that he has never been able to keep himself from crawling, at least a little bit, alongside the participants.
Starting at 9:45am on Saturday, winding up in the gutter will take on literal meaning as 140 complete strangers get on their bellies to crawl in the street while fellow New Yorkers cheer them on. No, this isn’t some mas[s]ochistic exercise: It’s a performance piece orchestrated by the multi-media artist known as Pope.L. Conquest, as it’s called, is part of a series of crawls that Pope.L has undertaken over his 40-year career, though it represents something of a departure, since he previously conducted them on his own.
Jacolby Satterwhite has described his current exhibition at Fabric Workshop and Museum as “a dream come true.” You should know that Satterwhite has very strange dreams.
For the last decade, he has been conjuring up complex digital visions that seem at first to be silly and ebullient, like big old-fashioned movie musicals, though with aggressively homoerotic imagery. Naked men fly through the sky on winged horses above realms that change in a flash from fairy-tale candylands to urban hellscapes.