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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever crawled in New York, but being that low to the ground, you experience all kinds of things,” says Pope.L. And he would know — the 64-year-old performance artist has decades of experience crawling at this point. For his latest piece, “Conquest,” the Newark native recruited some 140 strangers from various boroughs, walks of life, ages, and abilities to crawl, in a relay format, the 25 city blocks from the Corporal John A. Seravalli Playground in the West Village to Union Square.
This Saturday, 140 New Yorkers will get down and seriously dirty in the filthy streets of Manhattan as they crawl on all fours for the sake of a bizarre performance piece about “physical privilege” by veteran “crawl artist” Pope.L. Participants will provide onlookers with an unsettling scene as they slither along a winding, 1 1/2-mile route that starts at Cpl. John A. Seravalli Playground in the West Village and ends on the south steps of Union Square Park, according to a press release.
The interdisciplinary artist Pope.L is the creator of several now-legendary performance-art works that explore the conditions of abjection, black masculinity, and racism with bracing irony. On September 21, 2019, he will orchestrate his latest iteration of these pieces in Lower Manhattan: Entitled Conquest, this performance will involve 140 participants.
As New York’s museums and galleries gear up for their fall and winter rosters, there’s a seasonal sense of anticipation that accompanies all these interlocking proceedings. You never know who or what will emerge from the flurry of offerings to produce something truly essential, and it’s clear that the Whitney Museum of American art, MoMA and the Public Art Fund are confident that “Instigation, Aspiration and Perspiration,” their collective exhibition with the interventionist performance artist Pope.L, will prove to be a deeply thoughtful project. Born in Newark, NJ, Pope.L has spent decades making art that interrogates what cities can produce and who metropolitan areas can disempower.
A new show at the Neubauer Collegium asks viewers to consider the work that goes into flowers from industrial to domestic contexts through the work of Martha Rosler, a conceptual artist and avid gardener who rose to world renown for her feminist art in the 1970s.
Since the 1970s, the artist known as Pope.L has made works that explore racism, poverty, class inequality and consumerism in ways that are sometimes satirical, often biting, but always strangely moving. He is best identified by his “crawls,” in which he drags himself, positioned on his stomach — occasionally dressed in a business suit or as Superman, either alone or with a large group of participants — along the path of a city street. His most ambitious performance of this nature will be on Saturday in New York City: More than 100 people will crawl a one-and-a-half-mile-long route from the West Village to Union Square, passing through the arch of Washington Square Park.
A performance piece in which 140 people will crawl through Greenwich Village is set for Saturday — recreating the artist Pope.L's iconic crawling pieces in New York City.
The performance piece, called "Conquest," forces hand-selected volunteers from a variety of professional backgrounds to crawl through Manhattan's sidewalks, "abandoning their physical privilege, embracing their vulnerability, and expressing the power of collective expression."
Pope.L: Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration, an ambitious triumvirate of exhibitions by the Public Art Fund, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Museum of Modern Art, erupts Saturday with Conquest, his biggest group performance, involving some 140 to 160 people representing the city’s diversity in every manner from race and socioeconomics to range of mobility.
This sensuous group show brings together works by Pope.L, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Cheyenne Julien, and Tschabalala Self to explore the various ways the concept of “corporeality” can be captured in two-dimensional spaces. The options are plentiful: there are the highly personal physical experiences of the body (in play, at rest, at work) in the creations of Chase and Julien alongside Self’s powerful depictions of the black female form that challenge and engage society’s role in constructing identity with one’s own body, as well as those of others. This sense of physicality need not even be visually manifest—Pope.L’s absurdist text series “Skin Sets” employ nonsensical phrases to reference people of color (blue, green, brown, black, and gold), which play with mental associations regarding race and visibility.
Pope.L will give a Public Art Fund Talk on Fri., Sept. 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at The Cooper Union, Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Union Square, at E. Sixth St. Visual artist and educator Pope.L’s lecture coincides with a major moment for him, when three New York City arts organizations — Public Art Fund, Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art — will co-present “Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration,” the title of a singular concept linking a trio of complementary exhibitions: “Conquest,” “Choir” and “member,” which explore Pope.L’s boundary-pushing practice.
Strap on a headset and enter a VR realm of voguing ball dancers, figures in gimp masks, and leather daddies on spaceships. This is the world dreamt up by the artist Jacolby Satterwhite, who has been on a roll since emerging as one of the stars of the 2014 Whitney Biennial. In 2018, he brought an extension of Blessed Avenue (2018)—an installation with a VR component first shown at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York—to Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland, for a booth with Morán Morán.
On September 12, Mitchell-Innes & Nash unveiled “Embodiment,” a new group exhibition of work by mixed media painter Tschabalala Self, intervention artist Pope.L, and painters Cheyenne Julien and Jonathan Lyndon Chase. An investigation into the unbounded potential of corporeal representation, “Embodiment” explores these four talents’ approaches to portraying the human form.
“’Embodiment’ came together about a year ago, when I started thinking about the exaggerated body [in relation to] architecture and familiar public spaces in urban neighborhoods, like the bodega, for example, or the stoop,” Blair explains. “I’ve always been really interested in the expression of figuration, and I love language, having worked with it [as a writer].”
Jacolby Satterwhite: “You’re at Home” (Pioneer Works; 10/4–11/24) Promises a millennial-nostalgia house of horrors, or at least submerged longings. He’s building an immersive installation of video projections, virtual reality, and “a retail store styled to resemble a defunct Tower Records” to lose yourself in once you’ve made it all the way to Red Hook.
After winning the Whitney’s $100,000 Bucksbaum Award in 2017, Pope.L hits the New York institutional trifecta with an extravaganza of three upcoming shows. The Museum of Modern Art will mount a retrospective of the activist-sculptor-painter-provocateur’s work from 1978 to 2001 — including videos of the epic crawls he did on his belly through the streets of New York City dressed as an African-American superhero. Also stay tuned for a mass performance of over 100 volunteers of all races crawling together through the Washington Square arch to Union Square.
We’ve already put together guides to knockout institutional shows to see across the US this fall and what you need to check out in Europe, so now it’s time to take a look at what’s going on this season in museums in New York, where you’re never far from a great exhibition.
This September, as galleries and museums hope to kick off the fall art season with a bang, African-American artists are leading the most highly anticipated openings. Betye Saar has a show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, followed by one next month at the Museum of Modern Art. Pope.L will be triply honored in New York, with exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and, in October, MoMA; he’ll also present one of his grueling performances, organized by the Public Art Fund.
Following a two-year artist residency at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Jacolby Satterwhite will present new digital animation works, a virtual reality experience, and multi-media installations that give physical form to objects that featured in his six-video piece Reifying Desire. Made using 3-D printers and CNC routers, Satterwhite’s sculptures will include larger-than-life figures inspired by The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio (1601–02) and Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907). The artist also has an upcoming show at New York’s Pioneer Works, “You’re at Home” (October 4–November 24, 2019).
ART IN THE 2010S… IS IT EVEN ART? WHAT WILL BE REMEMBERED? WHAT’S BEING REAPPRAISED? WHAT’S COMING NEXT? WHAT MUST WE SAY GOODBYE TO? FOR THE LAST TIME THIS DECADE, LET’S WELCOME A NEW SEASON OF SHOWS IN NEW YORK.
This group show of all-stars from the gallery roster explores the concept of the body, how it is envisioned, lived, and depicted through two-dimensional art. Each of these artists approach the body in a distinct way, underscoring the fundamental sameness of every body.
In 1991, the artist Pope.L dragged himself and a potted flower through Tompkins Square Park (Tompkins Square Crawl). The next year, while wearing a Santa hat, he spent three days trying to lift a bottle of laxatives with his mind (Levitating the Magnesia). In 2000, he gorged on copies of the Wall Street Journal and then puked them up (Eating the Wall Street Journal). In 2015, he raised a giant US flag in Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, where it flew until it began to fray (Trinket).
The album has been a long time coming. Satterwhite has been trying to make it since 2008, but it was only upon meeting his collaborator, Nick Weiss, that he was able to realize his vision. Two years in the studio followed, including cameos from musicians and friends. The record will be released on streaming services and “critical pipelines of that genre,” including a forthcoming Pitchfork review of one of its singles.
Multi-disciplinary talent Jacolby Satterwhite and the enchanting Teengirl Fantasy's Nick Weiss have been working together on a project that they're finally ready to share with the world.
The duo, coming together as PAT — a name taken from Satterwhite's mother, Patricia — created an album and book, entitled Love Will Find a Way Home, dropping October 25. It's shaping up to be an intensely interconnected web of visceral vignettes, drawings, audio clips, and abstractions dedicated to, made by, and inspired by Patricia Satterwhite, who suffered from schizophrenia throughout her life before passing away in 2016.
Jacolby Satterwhite announced his latest project today, hot off the heels of working as a contributing director on Solange’s video album When I Get Home. The New York-based artist bridges the full range of his practice—video, animation, performance—with “We Are in Hell When We Hurt Each Other (ft. Patrick Belaga)”, the first single off of his full length double LP, due to drop in October 25.
New York’s Public Art Fund will present Pope.L’s most ambitious participatory project yet. Pope.L: Conquest will involve over one hundred volunteers, who will relay-crawl 1.5 miles from Manhattan’s West Village to Union Square. According to the Public Art Fund, participants will “give up their physical privilege” and “satirize their own social and political advantage, creating a comic scene of struggle and vulnerability to share with the entire community.”
This fall, Manhattan’s most prestigious contemporary art spaces unite to celebrate the career-to-date of the renowned (and underappreciated) artist known as Pope.L.
There’s an artistic renaissance afoot at the Vans US Open of Surfing this year, and the ever-colorful Chris Johanson is building something awesomely weird right there on the sand. If you’ve paid any attention to the worlds of skateboarding or art over the past few decades, chances are Johanson’s work has struck you with its colorful and humorous tongue-in-cheek impressionism, which has graced the bottom of skateboards and the walls of prestigious galleries alike.
In a little less than two months, you may see a squadron of New Yorkers slithering through the triumphal arch of Washington Square Park on their hands and knees.
Prepare yourself, because William Pope.L is coming to town.
Pope.L Wants You to Crawl With Him – The storied performance artist Pope.L is looking for 100 volunteers to crawl a 1.5 mile course with him across New York, from the West Village through the triumphal arch in Washington Square Park to Union Square, on September 21. The artist says the performance, titled Conquest and organized with the Public Art Fund, is “an absurd journey to an uncertain goal.” Pope.L has been doing his physically demanding crawls since the 1970s as a way to evoke the extreme exposure that homeless people experience on the streets of the city.
Leon Kossoff, whose expressionistic portraits and images of urban life made him one of the most important painters of postwar Britain, died on July 4 in London. He was 92.
The artist Pope.L, who has a trio of shows opening this autumn at three major New York Museums, will put out an open call this month for 100 volunteers to take part in a 1.5-mile performative crawl across the city, presented by the Public Art Fund on 21 September.
On a recent afternoon in June, T Magazine assembled two curators and three artists — David Breslin, the director of the collection at the Whitney Museum of American Art; the American conceptual artist Martha Rosler; Kelly Taxter, a curator of contemporary art at the Jewish Museum; the Thai conceptual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija; and the American artist Torey Thornton — at the New York Times building to discuss what they considered to be the 25 works of art made after 1970 that define the contemporary age, by anyone, anywhere. The assignment was intentionally wide in its range: What qualifies as “contemporary”? Was this an artwork that had a personal significance, or was its meaning widely understood? Was its influence broadly recognized by critics? Or museums? Or other artists? Originally, each of the participants was asked to nominate 10 artworks — the idea being that everyone would then rank each list to generate a master list that would be debated upon meeting.
A big question about art is the artist’s intent vs. what the consumer takes away from it. Much of your work is autobiographical. Given that personal quality, what side do you come down on? "I have this thing that’s like a temperature for how I think about my work: I know I’m finished when I’m in a place where I can sleep at night when it goes away. It has its own life. It’s like a child or a teenager — someone you raise, and then you get to see how well you did and how it’s going to be affected by the world."
In June, as part of Pride Month, ARTnews hosted a panel titled “Picturing Herstory: Queer Artists on Lesbian Visibility,” in partnership with the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, at Spring Place in New York. For the panel, ARTnews convened artists Joan E. Biren (JEB), Lola Flash, and Tiona Nekkia McClodden to discuss how they began making art, why it’s important to center people who have historically been excluded from the mainstream, and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.
Born in Austria, Kiki Kogelnik (1935–1997) moved to NYC in 1961, just as Pop Art was starting to take off. While her oeuvre is generally associated with that genre, it wasn’t about the cartoons, product brands, celebrities, advertising and other subjects associated with Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rosenquist, etc. Rather, her paintings and sculpture bounced off of couture design for sly observations on gender and the constraints imposed on women by culture and commerce. Bodily silhouettes in punchy colors were a frequent motif, whether they were painted into overlapping compositions that combined figures and geometric patterns, or cut out of vinyl sheets before being draped on hangers or pipe racks like so many pieces of shmatte or flayed skin to suggest the ways that culture uses up and disposes of women’s bodies. During her lifetime, Kogelnik struggled to be recognized, but as this show proves, her work has begun to earn posthumous acclaim for its piquant feminist commentary.
This first presentation by Mitchell-Innes & Nash of Kiki Kogelnik’s work at their Chelsea space includes several of the artist’s colourful, large-scale paintings of women from the early 1960s and ’70s – many of which also feature the circuit boards and wires of the new technology that she found so fascinating. A later sculpture, Divided Souls (c.1986), extends the paintings into real life: female silhouettes cut from vinyl dangle from clothes hangers on a metal garment rack. Evoking the flayed skins of martyred saints, like Michelangelo’s depiction of St. Bartholomew in The Last Judgement (1536–41), they’re a reminder that, despite its Pop sensibilities, the late Austrian painter’s work was always marked by ambivalence.
To marvel at a work by Jessica Stockholder is not only to examine her unorthodox assembly of the world’s kit, but to wonder where on earth she shops—where she gets such good deals? Her unconventional art supplies seem to either descend from outer space, or crawl up out of dumpsters. It’s as if junk—be it new or used—has no other purpose than to animate her dystopian sculptural choreography.
One imagines Stockholder stocking up, as it were. Like a chef instinctively sniffing out the freshest ingredients (the tackiest kitschiest artifacts), she’s confident that in time the right idea for their incorporation will come.
Don’t miss Mitchell-Innes and Nash’s first solo show for artist Kiki Kogelnik (1935–1997), whose feminist take on Pop art often reduces the human form into colorful silhouettes. Paintings and sculptures from the early 1960s to the late ’80s reflect the post-war era, with all its technological advancement and political instability, as experienced by an Austrian artist who spent most of her life in New York City.
This Austrian artist, who spent most of her life in New York—she died in 1997, at the age of sixty-two—brought the ebullience of Pop to her Cold War critique of advertising culture. The result is serrated gaiety. This delightful show gathers works from the early sixties to the late eighties, including a wealth of colorful canvases, a cartoony ceramic bust with enormous sunglasses, and a rolling clothes rack hung with silhouetted figures cut out of vinyl. The painting “City,” from 1979, retains the glamour of the fashion spreads from which it probably borrowed its chic women in green ensembles. Nothing seems amiss about the models, who are set against an expertly unfussy trompe-l’oeil marble backdrop—until, that is, you notice that they have glowing voids in lieu of eyes. The sculpture “Bombs in Love,” from 1962, is pointedly saccharine: two brightly painted missile casings adorned with plastic heart baubles snuggle up together, as if to say, Make love, not war.
Art Basel’s Unlimited section for large-scale works provides one such platform for major video installations, and several film works stand out this year. They include Birds in Paradise (2019), a new, two-channel animation and neon installation by breakout digital artist Jacolby Satterwhite, whose work is included in New York’s Museum of Modern Art exhibition New Order (until 15 June), presented by Mitchell-Innes & Nash.
On the mezzanine, Jessica Stockholder’s brilliant monumental sculpture “White Light Laid Frozen” is like a painting pushed into three dimensions. Acquired two years ago, it is having its MOCA debut.
A horizontal white pedestal 23 feet wide and topped with white carpet supports 40 portable heating units, lined up like white sentinels beneath the icy white of a double row of fluorescent lights. Hovering above all that hot-and-cold purity, two ordinary metal office shelving units are suspended in space, held within a taut network of deep green bungee cords. Painted screaming yellow, the workaday world is elevated.
For his two-channel video Birds in Paradise, Satterwhite imagines a future where BDSM soldiers and queer warriors are prepping to take over in a post-apocalyptic world.
The sound of Bonvicini’s Breathing is not the sound of breath, but it beckons viewers to the kinetic installation all the same. Above the din of Unlimited’s crowd, an overhead array of pistons whirr and snap like the jaws of some iron dragon. What they control is a hydra of black-leather, silver-buckled “men’s belts” (as they have been described in past installations) sent swinging, clinking, and slashing across the space in irregular patterns. Simultaneously playful and threatening, the work converts what could be read as a symbol of toxic masculinity—husbands and fathers have too often used belts as makeshift bullwhips for domestic abuse—into a tongue-in-cheek totem of feminist power: the witch’s broom.
What differentiates the work in “New Order: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century” from much of the art elsewhere at the Museum of Modern Art is that the objects here are made with technologies most of us already know and love (or hate). Flat screens, computer interfaces, video games, digital animation, 3D-printing and photography are transformed here into sprawling installations, canny video art or interactive sculptures.
Kiki Kogelnik, who was born in Austria and who, before her death in 1997, was active in New York, liked to put the human body in silhouette. In her painting “Friends,” a handful of bright figures, some missing a head or limb or with large circles cut right through their torsos, are thrown across a jazzy background. In “Hands,” she painted a group of dismembered arms and legs spread out like letters in a printer’s tray, and for “Divided Souls,” she cut figures out of black and white vinyl and hung them on a garment rack. The woman striking a pose in “Dynamite Darling,” the highlight of Kogelnik’s first show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, isn’t technically a silhouette because she isn’t a monochrome, but she’s definitely flat.
Chic, colorful, and undeniably contemporary, the paintings and sculpture of this Austrian artist could easily find a broad audience beyond the insular art world. Crackling with feminist wit and energy, the works are enigmatic yet accessible. Josephine Nash, of Mitchell-Innes & Nash, has been heartened by reactions to Kogelnik’s works at fairs like Frieze New York; she’s gearing up for the gallery’s first solo exhibition of the artist, opening May 23.
Teaming up with the gallery What Pipeline in Detroit, Chicago-based conceptual artist Pope.L created an installation, performance and artistic intervention that called attention to the Flint Water crisis using funds from his Kickstarter campaign. Water, contaminated with lead, E.coli and listeria, was purchased from the homes of Flint residents to be bottled and sold at the gallery as part of a performance installation educating audiences about the ongoing crisis.
This widely beloved L.A. sculptor and performance artist, who stands six and a half feet tall and weighs north of three hundred pounds, uses his body to bemuse and delight—one previous memorable piece tested how far he could throw people—and employs delicate craft to disarm. The intricate wall reliefs here, which incorporate jigsaw-cut record-album sleeves, traffic in nostalgia for musical tastes, both good and bad, of the past seventy years.
Martin Kersels characteristically splits the difference between performance and objects in his exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. Cut-up and collaged record album covers are hung as relief wall sculptures... Part comedy, part homage, Mr. Kersels’s work is a reminder that, despite the emphasis on art as business, there is still room in Chelsea for the absurd.
The Chicago-based artist Pope.L has been known to stage wild, eye-opening stunts in the streets. “By bringing his performances to the streets,” wrote Nick Stillman in the Brooklyn Rail, “minus the hanging-on and hullabaloo of the art world, Pope.L promises the potential to connect directly with pedestrians.” In 1991, he had a cameraman film him crawling through the gutters of Tompkins Square Park, and for his piece The Great White Way (2001–09), he crawled down all 22 miles of Broadway.
Hypnotically repellent, the picture prompts speculation as to the effect it might have had if enlarged to poster size and displayed at antiwar protests. Some of the show’s most memorable work was designed for exactly that purpose. Martha Rosler intended the color photomontages in her now-classic “House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home” series to be photocopied in black-and-white and passed out at demonstrations.
In New York, these bodies of work are now on view in “Nancy Graves: Mapping” at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, and “Shape Shifter,” a solo exhibition of work by Mary Beth Edelson at David Lewis Gallery. With Graves taking a scientific approach while Edelson a more spiritual path, the exhibitions show two women grappling with these ponderous questions at a critical historical moment.
In a new show titled Is This Tomorrow? the London institution has paired together 10 international artists and architects to explore some of the 21st century’s most urgent issues. Two of these collaborators are Andrés Jaque and Jacolby Satterwhite. Jaque is an architect. In 2003 he founded the Office for Political Innovation, a transdisciplinary agency focused on architectural projects which bring “inclusivity into daily life”. Satterwhite’s artistic practice combines video, performance, 3D animations, and archival material to create multi-layered afro-futuristic environments. Most recently, he was a contributing director for Solange’s When I Get Home.
It’s not often an artist sees the launch of three major exhibitions in the same city at the same time. This fall, though, Pope.L, a performance and installation artist known for his scathing and unsettling critiques of race and power, will see it happen.
His long-overdue major MoMA retrospective opens this October and will focus on 13 performance pieces made between 1978 and 2001. Pope.L will simultaneously present a newly-commissioned installation for the Whitney Museum of American Art this fall and execute his largest and most ambitious crawl performance yet for Public Art Fund. Pope.L says he also plans to produce a special version of the play Rachel by Angelina Weld Grimke.
stablished in 1999 by artists Sarah Braman, Suzanne Butler, Phil Grauer and Wallace Whitney, Canada Gallery was, as they told Observer, “born out of a kind of necessity.”
“This was the late 1990s,” they said in an email. “So we just banded together to do it ourselves.”
Twenty years later, that has proven a successful business model. Their roster has grown to encompass close to 30 artists, including Katherine Bradford, Katherine Bernhardt and Marc Hundley. The four put their good fortune and ability to stay in business in a sometimes-volatile arts market down to collaboration (“As it turns out, sharing responsibilities and making decisions by committee has helped broaden our influences”) and a certain flexibility.
n 1959, British scientist and novelist C.P. Snow, struck by the inability of intellectuals and scientists to communicate and thereby to make sense of and tame nuclear weapons, delivered a lecture at Cambridge arguing that the divide between the sciences and the humanities was intensifying world’s problems. Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution, the book encapsulating his ideas, became one of strongest post-World War II influences on Western public discourse. Nancy Graves (1939–95), whose paintings and works on paper are now on display at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, took Snow’s ideas to heart by creating art that was at once aesthetically challenging and intellectually probing – the humanities and the sciences all rolled into one. The root of her inspiration, however, was endearingly humble: “I was born and raised in Pittsfield, Mass., where my father worked as a guard in the Berkshire Museum of Art and Natural History,” Graves told the New York Times in January 1979. “In that way I came to think of art and natural history as one.”
The sculptor and painter Sarah Braman creates abstract artworks from Minimalist, no-frills materials like bits of furniture and plywood. She is perhaps best known for her sculptures that, like those of John Chamberlain, fuse scrapyard metal from cars; but she also spray paints many of her objects and sculptures, creating a Rothko-esque feeling of color-field painting upon her sculptural medium.
On view through April 6 at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York, her current exhibition, “Growth,” includes many of these kinds of works; but, more widely, her artistic practice is philosophical, evocative of quotidian pleasures. Her car sculptures are redolent of road trips; her works with furniture bring to mind being cozied in a living room. Braman’s most pressing interest, as she told Modern Painters, however, is light, the concept of which informs everything she creates. “It’s hard for me to talk about color without also talking about light,” she said, adding that many of the artists to whom she most looks up, “felt that painting the way that light fell onto the earth was a way to describe the spiritual.”
Nancy Graves’ art explores the connections between art, science, technology, and geography. Her early 1970s conceptual paintings and drawings inspired by technological progressions in cartography, such as satellite imagery of the Earth, Moon, and Mars, are currently on view at Mitchell-Innes & Nash‘s Chelsea location in New York City through April 6, 2019.
The Camp Fire began on the clear morning of November 8, 2018, which made it eerier still, a radiant sky that turned black. Through the pines and cedars came the persistent sound of crackling foil. Propane tanks exploded like bombs. Most people in Butte County had lived through multiple fires before—this is northern California, this is wildfire country—but no one had seen one like this, so fast and enveloping. No one had experienced the unique horror of watching the hospital burn, or the Safeway, as flames lapped at the sides of their own cars on the one main road out. No one had witnessed a whole town go.
The majority of the visual is centered around footage shot in Texas, but animation takes over the screen at the 28-minute mark, as album standout "Sound of Rain" plays in the background. Arriving at a pivotal moment near the end of the film, the surreal segment features flying horses, dancing figures, a cameo from Trina, and layers upon layers of symbolism. The scene is the work of New York City-based artist Jacolby Satterwhite, who animated, directed, and produced it under the guidance of Solange.
The dramatically shot piece opens and—spoiler alert—closes inside the Rothko Chapel in Houston, and, in between, includes majestic animated portraits by Robert Pruitt (who was born in Houston, like Solange) and delirious computer-generated dance scenes by Jacolby Satterwhite, who’s a contributing director on the project.
In 1926, the historian Carter G. Woodson instituted Negro History Week. The second-ever African-American recipient of a Ph.D. from Harvard (after W.E.B. DuBois), Woodson wanted to acknowledge the vibrant cultural achievements of African-American individuals that were rippling through the country. At the time, Harlem was brimming with poets such as Langston Hughes and Claude McKay, while Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller were developing Chicago’s jazz scene. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially transformed Woodson’s initiative into the month-long celebration we honor to this day: Black History Month.
Nothing pulls you into a gallery like a six-foot chicken giving you the side eye, nor keeps you in front of a work longer than giving you something to do, even if it’s just reading text. With these two strategies Karl Haendel introduces Masses and Mainstream, not with a curatorial hang that pulls you into the center of a space and lets you wander, but by arresting the viewer at the entrance. There is a compulsion to use the works there as a lens through which to see and interpret the rest of the exhibition. How Do I Sell More Art pairs with Chicken within direct line of sight from the door and the two are impossible to ignore, melding into a single piece: A framed text piece operates like a word-bubble in such close proximity to the terrifying and terrified giant chicken, in graphite on cut paper stuck to the wall from the floor up.
In the fall of 2015, myself and my then-partner were bobbing through Chelsea for the perfunctory NYC gallery hop. Driven by that pretentious, guileless swagger of recent art school graduates, we were anxious to consume. Consume what? It’s difficult to explain that insatiable hunger. A hunger for that glimmer of a swoon, that seraphic electricity that certain artworks can inspire—in other words, that bombastic and elusive sense of meaning. My partner, an abstract painter herself and a devout planner, had prepared a hefty itinerary beginning with Ferris’ show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash.
It takes a lot of chutzpah to be an artist, to labor over something in the privacy of your own studio and then unveil it to the world, expecting total strangers to pay attention—and maybe even love, purchase, and live with what you’ve created. While artists may talk fondly of the glories of failure—its unexpected silver linings, its teachable moments—they’re not too good at publicly expressing vulnerability and doubt. After all, success in the art world can often come down to how convincing and memorable one’s personal brand is; I’m Not Sure If This Is Actually Any Good™ doesn’t make for the most rousing slogan.
A second show, a career survey of the African-American artist who now goes by one name, Pope.L, has the potential to put a welcome crack in MoMA’s high-polish veneer. In the past, this artist has belly-crawled the length of Manhattan, ingested entire issues of The Wall Street Journal, and created odoriferous installations from baloney and Pop-Tarts. Abject matter — stuff that rots, stinks and oozes — has historically been MoMA’s least favorite medium. I look forward to seeing how Pope.L, who once billed himself as “The Friendliest Black Artist in America,” will fare here.
Pope.L and Adam Pendleton are two artists creating powerful, political works in very different media, but with shared goals and approaches. As a new show opens of their work, they tell us more about working together and why language is “both a mechanism of escape but also a trap”.
Since the 1970s, Pope.L (b. 1955 in Newark, New Jersey) has created a multidisciplinary oeuvre, including performance, installation, painting, drawing, sculpture, objects, and writing. Pope.L creates scenarios and poetics in order to address issues of category and identicalness usually parlayed via his interest in language, nation, gender, race, and class. In his “crawls,” one of his best-known performance sets, Pope.L literally crawls – alone or with other participants – through the hallways of buildings and city streets. In doing so, he draws attention to marginalized positions in society, and to the contradictions and double-binds through which we perceive ourselves and others. His performances often involve local citizens and thus build temporary communities who share the experience and struggle.
For almost four decades, Pope.L has challenged us to confront some of the most pressing questions about American society as well as about the very nature of art. Best known for enacting arduous and provocative interventions in public spaces, Pope.L addresses issues and themes ranging from language to gender, race, social struggle, and community. Adam Pendleton is a conceptual artist known for his multi-disciplinary practice, which moves fluidly. His work centers on an engagement with language, in both the figurative and literal senses, and the re-contextualization of history through appropriated imagery to establish alternative interpretations of the present.
Although "Irrespective" is a remarkably fresh, thoughtfully curated overview of Martha Rosler’s art from the past fifty years, it does not aspire to be exhaustive. The exhibition features around seventy works, with not a single extraneous piece. Still, there is a wide selection, spanning from collages Rosler created in the late 1960s and early ’70s, when she was in graduate school at the University of California, San Diego, to a recent film about the Trump administration. Her long, productive career makes it difficult to categorize her practice. Conceptualism, feminism, appropriation, and relational aesthetics convey aspects of what she does, but none of these terms seems fully apposite. They leave something out, pigeonholing her into rubrics that simplify her concerns. As a kind of recourse, some commentators use the generalized label of “political” to describe Rosler’s approach. Politics is a thread that runs through everything the artist does; it is the baseline from which any activity commences. The diverse range of work in “Irrespective,” which viewers encounter in galleries filled with the background audio-wash of her videos, makes it clear that what really underlies her art is actually a kind of moral erudition.
A good conceptual art piece is not very different from a joke, and Karl Haendel’s got a million of ’em. His show “Masses & Mainstream,” at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, is a torrent of pencil drawings large and small, and all of them revolve, in one way or another, around the artist’s ability to make anything in the world into a kind of punch line merely by pointing it out.
Painting might be summed up as a process of accretion: You start with a blank canvas and end with a covered one — unless you are Eddie Martinez, for whom the act of adding and subtracting remains in play throughout the making. Mr. Martinez’s assertive-but-sly approach is on view in “White Outs” at the Bronx Museum, a selection of recent, ostensibly white paintings.
Martha Rosler knows that a well-formulated suggestion is far more likely to change the world — or at least someone’s mind — than any command or decree. “Every single thing I have offered to the public has been offered as a suggestion of work,” says the 75-year-old Brooklyn-born artist. Whether it’s her photomontages or videos, her sculptures or her installations, each offering retains a lively air of possibility and buzzes with the connective creative energy of a sketch — a feat made all the more impressive by her choice of subject matter: consumerism, feminism, gentrification, poverty, and war. Floating free of cynicism and buoyed by compassion, Rosler’s work can be devastatingly funny or amusingly devastating, and often both.
Damals Nixon und heute Trump, früher die Frauenbewegung und heute #metoo: Die Retrospektive von Martha Rosler im New Yorker Jewish Museum beweist, dass Kunst die Welt nicht retten kann.
Martha Rosler hated the protest literature of the 1960s and 1970s. As she explained to Jewish Museum curator Darsie Alexander in a November talk, the messiness of the design was rivaled only by that of the messaging: no images, but jargon-heavy text more likely to be thrown out than to inspire action. Rosler thought, “Can I do better?” Could she show the horrors of war, of sexism, of the hidden and obvious ways women are looked down on?
In a working life spanning more than fifty years, Martha Rosler has made art that eschews medium-specificity, asks questions, offers propositions, and invites responses. While idea often appears to drive material expression for Rosler, she also considers, beyond a politics of representation, questions of visuality and aesthetics—a likely influence of her early training as a painter.
Mary Mary is pleased to present HURTS WORST, Amanda Ross-Ho’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. The show will feature a suite of new large scale textile assemblages, and a group of small text-based paintings.
Equally inspired by the New York School and street culture, Eddie Martinez has added a new element to his large-scale paintings by intentionally erasing parts of his compositions. This “white out” technique is informed by art history, as X-ray analysis of the work of the Old Masters often shows erased images hidden beneath the surface of the painting.
Martha Rosler: Irrespective, an exhibition of works spanning the astonishing breadth of the artist’s fifty-plus-year career, is a tightly curated, highly focused exhibition—a survey organized around a discrete set of themes Rosler engages (war, consumerism, domesticity, politics, and mass media, to name a few) rather than a full retrospective.
Though Martha Rosler has been working since the 1960s, her retrospective, Irrespective (until 3 March 2019) at the Jewish Museum shows how timely and timeless her new and old protest art is: she addresses gender roles, gentrification, US foreign war, police violence against people of colour, authoritarianism…subjects that might be familiar to any follower of the news today.