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.
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.
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 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.
There are few artists I have more reverence for than AA Bronson. In 1969, with fellow artists Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, Bronson co-founded General Idea, the legendary Toronto-based art collective that helped pioneer Relational and Mail Art. Over the course of their decades-long collaboration, General Idea’s multidisciplinary conceptual practice helped establish bold new directions for art in Canada and abroad.
...the eye of Martha Rosler has been and is equally direct and unflinching as her historic Spanish counterpart. Rosler is fearless in her social, cultural and political observations about the contemporary United States, beginning in the era of the Vietnam War. Her work—always brainy—courses through a variety of subject matter: war, gender, gentrification, domesticity, inequality, and labor, but—like Goya—it is not without humor. Rosler’s wit is sharp, penetrating and unsettling.
Rosler is fearless in her social, cultural and political observations about the contemporary United States, beginning in the era of the Vietnam War. Her work—always brainy—courses through a variety of subject matter: war, gender, gentrification, domesticity, inequality, and labor, but—like Goya—it is not without humor. Rosler’s wit is sharp, penetrating and unsettling.
The performance artist Pope.L is asking a lot of Art Institute audiences these days. His “experimental restaging” of a slavery narrative credited as the oldest surviving African-American play moves the few dozen attendees and performers from the bowels of the museum’s Rubloff Auditorium to its sound booth to, in one memorable, pungent moment, its women’s bathroom.
A multidisciplinary artist, writer and social activist, Martha Rosler has spent 50 years delivering biting feminist critiques on subjects ranging from gender to gentrification. But she is perhaps best known for her collages that juxtapose housekeeping ads with scenes from the U.S. wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Now the Jewish Museum is focusing on these works and others as part of its survey “Martha Rosler: Irrespective.” Recently, Rosler sat down with us at her home and studio in Greenpoint to discuss her work, her neighborhood and the real meaning of cooking shows.
Martinez’s distinctive color sense—primary tones that are interrupted and shaped by black and white and some in-between hues—also follows his gut, and so far, so good. “It’s completely instinctual,” he says. “I don’t know color theory, and I’m not concerned if I’m doing it right or if I’m doing it wrong. It’s just the way I do it.”
Trump is a familiar figure: a man who aspires to autocracy (after previously only aspiring to be a very rich and adored celebrity) and to the perks and privileges of kingship. He overcame his almost palpable shock and dismay at falling into the presidency, deciding to rely on others for advice while nevertheless opining and governing by whim. He makes no effort to represent all the people in the country and has refused to adopt the norms of modern governance by behaving in a civil and unifying way. His lies are overt and easily disprovable, his promises, insults, and threats are shocking, his self–interest and vindictiveness equally clear.
The title of her new exhibition, “Irrespective,” now on view at the Jewish Museum in New York through March 3, 2019, combines the words “irreverent” and “retrospective” and draws on her skepticism about having her work in institutions in the first place. A survey of her work since 1965, it is her first exhibition in her native New York in more than 15 years.
As Alexander said in her presentation, Rosler is, “an artist who’s always worked against the grain” – and we quickly realized we agree, as “Irrespective” is indeed filled with thought-provoking work that challenges the norm.
The first major New York survey of Ms. Rosler’s art in 18 years has opened at the Jewish Museum, and runs through March 3. For some, the show, “Martha Rosler: Irrespective,” may be an introduction to the prolific artist whose caustic work — in addition to photomontage and video, she creates installation, sculpture, performance and digital media — has been alternately admired and reviled by the public and the art world since the 1960s. Her exhibitions have focused on tenant struggles and homelessness; the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; public space; and — very often — the experiences of women.
Self-absorption at the expense of social awareness may seem like an Instagram-born epidemic, but consider the Emperor Nero’s theatrics as fires were ravaging Rome. Since the mid-nineteen-sixties, the trenchant Conceptualist Martha Rosler has been fighting art-as-escapism with photomontages, videotapes, and installations, targeting the hypocrisy of war, sexism, gentrification, and other concerns that remain disconcertingly relevant. Rosler is also funny—her montages, an ongoing project that began in the Vietnam era, anticipated the Internet’s viral memes by decades—and she understands the power of humor to drive a point home.
A retrospective at the Jewish Museum spans Rosler’s five-decade career. Featuring installations, photographic series, sculpture, and video, the exhibit probes far beyond “Semiotics of the Kitchen” to show us one of the most witty and dogged feminist artists of our time. In one photo collage, blond women snap selfies in a mod mansion as flames blaze outside the windows. In an installation, various women’s lingerie and sleepwear congregate around a white mattress. The cluster of thongs and spanx and granny panties alludes to the stories clothes tell about the women who wear them. Or perhaps just the stories we buy into.
Nuanced but uncompromising, the video pretty much says it all. But it’s only one of the scores of photographs, videos and large-scale installations, from the 1960s to present, in “Martha Rosler: Irrespective,” a new retrospective at the Jewish Museum in Manhattan.
Hieronymus Bosch, ball culture, Piero Della Francesca, BDSM, Josef Albers, and the video-game classic Final Fantasy are just a handful of the radically diverse influences that artist Jacolby Satterwhite has seamlessly synthesized into his own ravishing new world. In Blessed Avenue, the first part of his epic animated trilogy (presented at New York gallery Gavin Brown Enterprises in March 2018), the artist draws on his technical virtuosity to reclaim the video-game environments of his childhood, re-inhabiting them with his own community all through the sharp lens of art history. Under his direction, porn actors, performance artists, musicians, and dancers float together, intertwined in gravity-free sci-fi interiors that equally bring to mind shopping malls in Dubai and after-hours clubs in Brooklyn. Their design is directly informed by (and pays tribute to) the drawings produced by the artist’s late mother, Patricia Satterwhite. As it turns out, even PIN–UP played a small role in the development of virtual environments which Jacolby Satterwhite created as a home for his creative family. Just don’t call them nightlife people.
Influenced by gestalt therapy and phenomenology, Nauman began his work in the 1960s—the time that Donald Trump seems to identify as the start of America's decline and the height of the civil rights era. Black people in America were mobilizing to demonstrate their political agency. Much of the conversation centered on their right to occupy mundane public spaces—restrooms, schools, restaurants—without violent repercussions. This appeal for universal access penetrated the zeitgeist, and it continues today; equal access is still not secure, especially for transgender and queer people. Nauman's work can be understood within this interrogation of the banality of his white male body: its scale, identity, and relationship to his environs.
Martha Rosler’s first major New York museum show surveys her career by way of installations, photographs, videos, and sculptures. Among the themes addressed are war and consumerism, with a special eye toward gender norms and oppression. Curator Darsie Alexander said of the exhibition, “Martha Rosler’s direct, unvarnished take on current social and political circumstances is rooted in her belief in the capacity of art to teach, provoke, and ultimately motivate action in the people it reaches.”
Riding the crest of first-wave feminist art, Rosler initially crashed onto the shores of the art world in the ’60s with pieces noted for their firebrand politics. During that time, and continuing until today, she’s deployed videos, photomontages and installations against targets ranging from sexism and the Vietnam War to inequality and gentrification—conjoined fronts, in her view, in an ongoing battle for social justice. This survey brings her career into focus, with a selection of works spanning 1965 to the present.
‘The biggest hurdle we had to overcome was psychological: the belief that there never had been, and never could be, great women artists.’
This month, Higher Pictures gallery presents Airless Spaces, a selection of new works from photographer Justine Kurland, alongside still-life paintings by her late father, Bruce Kurland. The exhibition is intimately arranged, with Bruce’s small-scale paintings interspersed amongst Justine’s 4×5 inch prints. Viewed in this way, we are witness to an unspoken relationship between father and daughter, expressed in the ways that each interprets the world around them. Though varying in terms of aesthetic rendering, both Justine and Bruce’s work illustrates an interior world through an array of symbolic objects.
Justine Kurland’s monograph Highway Kind (2016) includes a short fictional piece by Lynne Tillman titled “Still Moving,” a collection of scenes that appear to be set in a single working-class town. Toward the beginning, one of Tillman’s characters finds herself struck with a moment of awe in an otherwise bleak world: “Estranged mountains bulged under the sky, the big sky, the endless sky. Anyway, no one could see an end to it, which reassured her, since so much seemed to be coming to an end. It felt that way.” This passage echoed in my head as I viewed “Airless Spaces,” an intimate presentation of Kurland’s new photographs alongside paintings by her late father, Bruce Kurland (1938–2013).
Feminist photomontage, “Martha Rosler Reads Vogue” and other pointed works — photography, sculpture, installation and video — from 1965 to the present, from an artist whose creations are both scathing and playful.
Pope.L has called the works on view at this show “a disgustingly neat pile of doubt, experiment, and denial shoved up hot against claim, leap, gambit, and caesura—your basic scrabbling about in the dark . . .” Included are works from the artist’s “RePhoto” collage series, for which he edited and recombined images of body parts to create “figural encounters,” as well as sculptures and an installation featuring versions of Pope.L’s video Syllogism. Titled “One thing after another (part two),” the show follows Pope.L’s recent winning of the Whitney Museum’s $100,000 Bucksbaum Award.
Given the ongoing political upheavals in the US, and the EU, what kind of artists’ work is relevant in an age of populist uprisings, when the far right is gaining power throughout the world? Martha Rosler and Hito Steyerl: War Games, one of the most important exhibitions of the year, offers compelling evidence in answer to such a question. This affectively and intellectually intriguing exhibition is noteworthy in demonstrating the surprising affinities and shared concerns across countries (US and Germany) and generations (’60s and ’90s) of two renowned women artists. Both are theoreticians and creative practitioners whose work reveals the capacity of art to understand and transform the violence which shapes our world.
As is true of many good painters, there’s one thing for sure that can be said about her work: it’s damn good painting! But we still find ourselves on the most bizarre terrain. For example, the controversial appointment of Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court Justice. Or the question that poses itself for big city dwellers who are no longer so young, but not yet old: whether that was enough city life, whether it might not be better to move to the country. Or the peculiarities of the German language.
At Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Kurland’s series, exhibited for the first time in its entirety, was cinematic in spirit. The sixty-nine vintage C-prints hung in a single line around the gallery. The narrative opened with a photograph taken in the postindustrial landscape of New Haven, Connecticut, and continued across multiple road trips that Kurland took over the course of five years. In these staged images, her subjects absorb themselves in activities by and for each other, from drawing on one another’s backs to killing small game. They could be plucked from sundry girl-centric films of the 1990s—think Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides (1999) or Gillian Armstrong’s Little Women (1994). Wearing threadbare, slouchy clothes, sans makeup, and often with no men in sight, these girls “act” more often than “appear”—to reverse the terms of John Berger’s famous phrase, “Men act and women appear.”
In this follow up to his similarly named solo show at La Panacee museum in Montpellier, Pope.L presents works—including a selection of “Re-Photo” collages, his Syllogism video project, and wall-mounted assemblage sculptures in acrylic boxes—that he describes as “a disgustingly neat pile of doubt, experiment, and denial shoved up hot against claim, leap, gambit, and caesura.”
The War Games proposed by Martha Rosler and Hito Steyerl in their new exhibition at Kunstmuseum Basel reflect the pitfalls of a war fought in the folds of media and technology in the present. The show, curated by Søren Grammel, compares the artistic research of the two artists, who are of different generations but nevertheless have many common threads.
Though there is an immediacy in film that feels particularly poignant at this time, the show’s significance is not dependent on our culture’s heightened awareness. The ideas these videos consider are neither new nor are they temporary. They remain critical to examine decade after decade.
Earlier this month, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh announced several new acquisitions, including “Fountain (reparations version)” (2016-17) by Chicago-based Pope.L. The sculpture is on view in the modern and contemporary galleries which have been re-hung to reflect the “depth, diversity, and eccentricities” of the Carnegie Museum’s collection.
The New York-based gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash has added Jacolby Satterwhite to its roster. He will debut his latest video piece, Avenue B,as part of the summer series “35 Days of Film,” with the gallery’s space in Chelsea devoted to the work July 20-24. Satterwhite will also have his first solo exhibition with the gallery this fall.
Martha Rosler thinks that Vietnam anti-war literature of the 1960s and ’70s was hideous. “It would be these long texts that looked like they’d been translated from a foreign language, and they didn’t have images,” the artist remembered during a recent conversation with Artsy. The pamphlets and other materials, she said, looked like they were made by people who were somewhat demented. Rosler decided the cause needed a makeover.
Starting in New Haven, where she was finishing her graduate studies at Yale, Kurland drove across the country (with a stint in New Zealand) photographing adolescent girls in scenes that are part bucolic idyll, part Lord of the Flies. A gritty, outlaw narrative connects scenes often photographed with the composition and soft light of 19th-century landscape paintings. (Kurland named her son Caspar, after all, for Caspar David Friedrich.) Three of the images have “Boy Torture” in in their titles, but unless the girls are tormenting one, boys seldom feature. Sex simmers under the surface, not to mention – and more importantly – self-sufficiency. These ad hoc communities of young women are precursors to Kurland’s series a few years later, Of Woman Born, pastoral photographs of naked mothers and their small naked children who seem just as self-reliant.
In recent years, on Instagram and in fashion magazines, a girl-centric aesthetic has taken hold. Young photographers such as Petra Collins, Olivia Bee, and Mayan Toledano have been capturing the private rites and practices of adolescents—in school, at parties, on road trips, alone in their bedrooms. The style, pretty and wistful, straddles fashion, fine art, even reportage. We might see a shapely young arm raised to reveal a hint of armpit hair; dewy skin dappled by disco lights; girls huddled around a mirror, putting on makeup.
The runaways of Justine Kurland’s Girl Pictures, 1997–2002—feral teens living in moody, thrill-seeking packs at the gorgeous outskirts of civilization—bear a more than passing resemblance to the Runaways. It’s as though the members of the legendary seventies girl band wandered away from their tour bus at a highway rest stop and just kept going. What would their raw rebellion and sexual self-possession look like offstage, without an audience, in the wild? Kurland answers with sixty-nine transfixing photographs.
“I staged the girls as a standing army of teenaged runaways in resistance to patriarchal ideals,” she says. “The girls in these photographs have gathered together in solidarity, claiming territory outside the margins of family and institutions.” Kurland would scout evocative locations, often with links to the 19th-century Western frontier, and recruit her youthful subjects from local towns and schools. “I never knew where I would end up or whom I would find,” she says, “so it was impossible to predetermine the outcome. I allowed my narratives to unravel as I constructed them. I wanted the pictures to contain both my projection and the actuality of the situation.”
Flaka Haliti and Jacolby Satterwhite reimagine the social systems of the world that structure our lives. Satterwhite takes his childhood’s domestic setting to build futuristic virtual landscapes. In his hands, the familiar environment becomes a stage on which to perform scenes of queer sadomasochistic role-play, which he sees as a metaphor for late capitalist domination and subjugation.
Jacolby Satterwhite’s exhibition at Gavin Brown’s enterprise transformed the gallery into a kind of nightclub—that ultimate escapist’s paradise. Visitors entered a hallway where they could pick up glow stick necklaces from glass jars on the ground, after which they emerged in the darkened exhibition space. Playing on both sides of a screen suspended in the middle of the room was a trippy animated film, Blessed Avenue (2018). A purple neon sign reading pat’s, meanwhile, beckoned visitors toward a back area and gave the room a soft glow.
Throughout her career, photographer Justine Kurland has trained her lens on divergent subjects both documentary and staged: young girls, nude mothers, men at auto body shops. Across her work, there’s a muted sense of romance, of both gritty desire and desperation. Kurland relishes gravel, fences, dead animals, cell phone towers, broken windows, and car engines. Now a mother herself, she’s ultimately outgrown the label that once reductively described her young, female cohort who captured even younger women on rolls of film: “girl photographers.”
The photographer Justine Kurland didn’t learn how to drive until she was 27, a year before she set off on a two-decade-long road trip. At the time, she was an M.F.A. candidate at Yale working on her now-iconic series “Girl Pictures” (1997-2002), staged portraits of adolescent girls cast as runaways wandering beneath highway overpasses and mucking around in roadside drainage ditches. At first she stayed close to home, shooting in and around New Haven, Conn., but eventually she began traveling farther afield; she wanted her own process to reflect the stories her images told. “If the girls were running away,” she tells T, “then it made sense that I should, too.”
This exhibition of paintings and drawings marks a bold and confident change in the working methods of Keltie Ferris. A significant departure has been made from the characteristically fuzzy and pixelated images taken and transformed from screens present in previous paintings. In their stead is an assertive—and risky—incursion of influence from high profile painters—George Condo, Christopher Wool, and Jonathan Lasker—but especially Wool, of whom Ferris has said, “I feel like Christopher Wool is so influential, he’s almost like our de Kooning right now. Everyone is copying him, or riffing on what he has brought to the table.”
Ferris can always be counted on to push the perimeters of her intensely optical abstract paintings, and this show finds her, now 41, experimenting, rethinking, slowing down, mixing marble dust into her oil paint, laying down stenciled polygonal shapes, wiping out areas of canvas, and leaving severe spray-painted black lines as structure.
Leather queens, club kids, and bare-breasted femmes writhe and vogue in crystalline enclosures overlooking churning purple galaxies. Bound to one another and to sinister machines by a network of multicolored intestinal tubing, pliable virtual bodies pleasure and punish each other in acrobatic scenarios, their mechanical gyrations powered by a sovereign libidinal clockwork. The factory and the dance floor, Fordism and fetishism, play and werk, collapse into undifferentiated opalescence. Across a torpid twenty minutes, titillation yields to monotony, anhedonia, alienation. In a rapacious feedback loop, alienation transubstantiates to kink.
Pick up a pink glow-stick bracelet on your way into “Blessed Avenue,” Satterwhite’s impressive début with the gallery. A large screen bisects the black-walled space, playing a hallucinatory video—a Boschian sci-fi tableau—which attests to the artist’s command of digital animation and 3-D-modelling software. In the endless simulated shot, dancers and S & M performers populate a gay mega-club, a maze of fragmented machinery apparently adrift in space. The dystopian scene has a surprisingly poignant twist: the action is set to an electronic soundtrack created from cassette tapes of the artist’s mother, singing a capella. In the accompanying installation, a conceptual boutique, the artist hawks affordable items from pill organizers to tambourines, all printed with dashed-off drawings and charming, handwritten notes.
The girls were rebelling. The girls were acting out. The girls had run away from home, that much was clear. They were trying on a version of themselves that the world had thus far shown them was boy. FLoating a raft downt he Mississippi. Tucking smokes into the sleve of a T-shirt. Having a rumble. Living off the land. Cowboys, sailors, pirates, hitchhikers, hobos, train hoppers, explorers, catchers in the rye, lords of the flies – you name it, all the dominion of boys. If you wanted a place in the narrative, you had to imagine yourself inside of it.
Between 1997 and 2002, Justine Kurland traveled across the United States photographing girls living vastly different lives, but all in the tenuous places between childhood and adulthood. Kurland printed all 69 pictures taken over the four-year period for the first time this year, two decades after the project began. This is the first time they appear as a complete series.
I’ve been a fan of Keltie Ferris’s hot Day-Glo spray-painted, structured, multi-matrixed large paintings since she emerged fresh out of Yale’s MFA program in the mid-aughts. Always to be counted on for pushing the perimeters of her intensely optical abstract paintings, this show finds Ferris, now 41, experimenting, rethinking, slowing down, mixing marble dust into her oil paint, laying down stenciled polygonal shapes, wiping out areas of canvas, leaving severe spray-painted black lines as structure. The results are less lively, even, and visually arresting than her previous work, and they fit more into a tradition that might include Fiona Rae, David Story, and Guy Goodwin — artists more dependent on visible structure, clearer geometry, and deploying a menu of marks and configurations on canvas, all to lesser effect than Ferris has already reached — but I will not stop paying attention to this live wire.
Among the seventy fascinatingly varied works on view in this decades-spanning show is an untitled piece, from 1973, that meets the barest definition of a collage—it’s a single rose, cut carefully from a black-and-white photo, floating on a white background. With this breezy, refined gesture, the artist, who worked in the San Francisco Bay area until her death, in 1989, conjures her most famous painting, “The Rose,” from 1958-1966, which, as a Sisyphean two-ton grisaille relief, could not be more different.
There is a lot to see, hear and buy in Jacolby Satterwhite’s “Blessed Avenue” at Gavin Brown on the Lower East Side. A pop-up store in the gallery is selling cheap bespoke items like pencils, pill cases and bottled water. An eerie, disembodied voice, singing in an R&B-inflected falsetto, filters throughout the space and you can purchase Mr. Satterwhite’s new self-described concept album, also titled “Blessed Avenue.”
DeFeo was after something other than a chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella. For her, surrealism was not a technique, but a state of seeing and experiencing everyday life.
You enter the gallery as though walking into a club. A darkened hallway opens up onto a room pulsing with music, dimly lit by a purple neon sign near the far back wall. The cool glow of a massive video projection reveals a scene from some futuristic S&M rave: young people in black leather dance, vogue, crawl, pose, whip one another and lead each other around on leashes. Jacolby Satterwhite appears among them, on hands and knees in a leather jockstrap and harness, while artist Juliana Huxtable playfully flogs him with a long, braided whip. These are his friends, his social world, whom the artist has captured in green screen video and transposed into this animated technofuture.
On the third floor of an unassuming Chinatown building, a dark hallway leads to Blessed Avenue, Jacolby Satterwhite’s psychedelic quest into queer desire and memory, a twenty-minute digital animation created with Maya computer software. In order to do justice to the film’s bizarre rituals performed by Juliana Huxtable, Lourdes Leon Ciccone, and DeSe Escobar alongside Satterwhite, Gavin Brown’s enterprise orchestrated the gallery similar to an underground club, from glow-sticks occasionally available at the entrance to the pitch-dark atmosphere elevating the film’s visual and audial impact. The exhibition's titular piece runs on a large, two-sided screen, which emanates enough light to let visitors inspect a pop-up retail installation that displays merchandise complimenting the film.
In dream analysis, it’s said that the familiar nightmare of one’s teeth falling out represents anxiety over the possible loss of control. Fading beauty, or an inability to communicate might cause such a dream, but so too might a more catastrophic event: an illness or an eviction, perhaps. For artist Jay DeFeo (1929-1989) any of these occurrences could have provoked such a night terror, and walking through Outrageous Fortune: Jay DeFeo and Surrealism at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, one can’t help but wonder if teeth dreams had plagued her. The exhibition takes as its premise the thrum of Surrealism that murmurs through DeFeo’s body of work, and the reappearance of teeth is one of several tropes that surface.
Blessed Avenue is a cornucopia of monsters, misfits and dancers including Madonna’s daughter Lourdes in imaginary dreamscapes in clubland and beyond. Satterwhite has said he is more concerned for his work to be shown in museums than private collections. In contemporary art in New York, the industry thrives much more upon knowing the names and M.Os of the most cutting edge creatives, rather than actually owning any of their work.
Much of the recent work of GCC–the group of artists whose eight members hail from various Persian Gulf countries, and whose name references the acronym for a regional political and economic alliance known as the Gulf Cooperation Council–has focused on the growing popularity in the area, among both governments and the wider populace, of the "positive energy" movement.
GCC: GOOD MORNING GCC uses the tropes of daytime television talk shows across the Arab world, alongside references to Nam June Paik’s [satellite broadcast] Good Morning Mr. Orwell , Glenn O’Brien’s [1978-82 public access television show] TV Party, Chris Burden’s commercials and other artists who have used television’s potential to communicate to a wider audience. Arab TV networks have popularised the talk show format—which ranges from political to conversational—and cover many of the topics we are addressing in our programme. They reflect the trends and interests of the region, while creating a sense of connectivity.
It is in the post-Rose period that DeFeo experimented with new techniques or applications, things like cameraless photography and collage. Bruce Conner, the Rat Bastard leader, had suggested that DeFeo take pictures of the “things [around her] and turn them into other stuff . . . collage things.”) As described in the exhibition’s catalog by Dana Miller, The Whitney Museum’s Director of the Collection, DeFeo’s experiments, which the artist described as play, “meant not only taking risks, but also, at key moments, sharing authorship with forces of nature, randomness, or accident.” The irony is how DeFeo would come to embrace chance after methodically working on The Rose—one work—for nearly eight years.
“I’m so nervous,” admitted Jacolby Satterwhite. artnet News was visiting the artist at his Brooklyn apartment ahead of the opening of his upcoming show at New York’s Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, and he was feeling some jitters. “My first solo show, no one knew who I was,” he added, noting that the pressure is way more “intense” this time around. Satterwhite’s first solo effort in the city was in 2013. “So much has happened for me since then, creatively, cerebrally, and critically. I hope of all of that comes through in what I’m showing.”
Like other mid-century Pop artists, Kiki Kogelnik became a brand. And while the Austrian-born artist should primarily be remembered for her innovative “Hangings” series and her bold feminist motifs, history hasn’t been kind to her. In the United States, Kogelnik’s legacy unfairly rests more on her fashionable image and vibrant personality than on her work itself.
At 62, Pope.L is inarguably the greatest performance artist of our time. This is exactly the kind of label he would find absurd, but over the course of the last four decades, no artist has so consistently broken down the accepted boundaries of the genre in order to bring it closer to the public, with lacerating, perspicacious and gloriously anti-authoritarian projects that play with our received notions of race and class and almost always cut more than one way.
Featuring over 70 of the Beat generation artist’s works, “Outrageous Fortune” will showcase paintings, photographs, collages, and works on paper from Jay DeFeo’s oeuvre over the course of three decades, from 1955 to 1986. In a similar way to how the Dadaists and Surrealists invoked various symbolic emblems through unlike subjects, DeFeo’s juxtaposition of forms and mixed-media approaches messed with the role chance plays in art-making. The show will act as a teaser for New York audiences who can’t make it to Dijon, France, for a major survey of DeFeo’s work at Le Consortium.
The latest show, "Stories That We Tell: Art and Identity," runs through March 3, 2018 and features the work of seven groundbreaking female artists, all of whom have been affiliated with the department over the years, but have never shown together. Eleanor Antin, Barbara Kruger, Faith Ringgold, Martha Rosler, Miriam Shapiro, Lorna Simpson and Carrie Mae Weems have created an assortment of works in varied media that explore the issues of identity, gender and race.
In the career of Jay DeFeo, her astonishing painting The Rose (1958–66) casts a long shadow. Spanning almost 11 by eight feet, it has a primordial-looking surface of oil paint mixed with wood and mica so heavily built up and excavated that it weighs more than a ton. This abstract, sculptural canvas, with radiating vectors that converge at a center point, occupied DeFeo for eight years—consuming her entirely for the last five of those. The Rose acquired mythic status when the artist Bruce Conner, her close friend, filmed it being cut out of the window of DeFeo’s Fillmore Street studio in San Francisco, in 1965, then hoisted by forklift onto a truck, and transported to the Pasadena Art Museum.
The exhibition was opened on the occasion of the Berlin Art Week in September 2017, and it is on view through February 26, 2018. The title of the show relates to the volume of the museum space occupied by the exhibition in relation to the volume of the artist’s body. Bonvicini, who is known for re-examining minimalism, conceptual art and institutional critique, took the gallery room as the first reference, and conceived the entire exhibition as an appropriation of the institution and its museological processes, commenting on the themes that she found outside its white cube—inclusion and barriers, subjugation and freedom.
This show introduces viewers to the group's less well-known paintings: hard-edged, fluorescent geometric abstractions that evoke the pixelated silhouettes of eight-bit video games. They also allude to the mystical and political significance of stepped architecture in ancient societies, from Mesopotamia to the Mayans, where such structures were thought to lead to the gods. Exhibited alongside the paintings are plans for the "The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavilion," an absurdist beauty-pageant venue that, per the artists' lore, had burned to the ground, leaving only the footprint of the ziggurat.
“There is no going back into a weaving unless you unravel the whole thing,” says Brent Wadden. “So I usually just keep all the mistakes, as it’s a total pain in the ass to remove them.” With a resume of solo art exhibitions in galleries spanning from Paris, London, and Berlin to South Korea and New York, the charm of humility hasn’t been lost on the autodidactic weaver. This self-taught naïvety may just be the warp and woof of Wadden’s work.
In the past few years, there has been an uptick in an expanded form of painting that presents itself as a hybrid. A few current examples of this tendency include the work of Laura Owens, Keltie Ferris, Rachel Rossin, and Trudy Benson — artists who have explored multi-media paintings that rival sculpture. These works feel constructed as opposed to made, and engage with several forms of tactility, illusion, and physical depth.
The real surprise of the show is a series of paintings in the main gallery. Covered in allover patterns of interlocking ziggurats, two rectangular compositions from 1968–69 neatly combine stain painting with systemic minimalism. Nearly textbook examples of avant-garde abstract painting concerns of their day, these canvases split the difference between seriousness and burlesque.
Then, compare and contrast Agnes Martin’s use of contrasting color values with the work of the painter Julian Stanczak, known for his Op Art style that also boldly plays with the eye. Op Art is a type of visual art that creates optical illusions.
Canadian art collective General Idea (1969–1994), made up of Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal, and AA Bronson, gets its first solo show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. The exhibition highlights their use of the ziggurat motif, an architectural form common to both the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica and to modern skyscrapers.
The following interview—my second with Pope.L—was conducted through email correspondence over several months. His responses are written with the freewheeling, contradic- tory energy of his art, with both stuttered emotional reac- tions and carefully parsed explanations.
In 2013, nine Khaleeji artists founded the GCC – an art collective – in the VIP room of Art Dubai, and this year they will return to their roots. The artists will transform The Room, an installation within the art fair, into a TV studio in which they will create the daytime show Good Morning GCC. This will combine segments on Arabic cooking and fair parties with art-historical references. Comprising Fatima Al Qadiri, Abdullah Al-Mutairi, Amal Khalaf, Aziz Al Qatami, Barrak Alzaid, Khalid al Gharaballi, Monira Al Qadiri, Nanu Al-Hamad and Sophia Al-Maria, the collective will examine power and economic relations in the Gulf – and how the area is perceived internationally – both mimicking and challenging stereotypes of the region’s young residents.
Handwoven panels of high-contrast stripes—pink and green, black and white—sewn together and mounted on canvas by the Berlin-based Canadian, split the difference between Op art and craft. In one small example, exposed seams and irregularities in the fabric create the same kind of visual stutters that another artist might achieve by painting sharp edges. Elsewhere, muted colors and diagonal lines suggest a range of allusions, from heraldry to upholstery. Wadden’s works also enlist the textures of the found and secondhand yarn that he uses: one rosy triangle, set against mixed knurls of oceanic blue and green, simultaneously brings to mind an endless beach, a scratchy couch, and the standard of a medieval army.
Formed in Toronto in 1969 by AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, the artist collective General Idea built its body of work on a strikingly diverse array of themes, constantly revisiting both the field of contemporary art production and the identity politics of the era that ultimately underscores so much of the artist’s act of world-making, critique and expression. No subject was safe from their intuitive and enigmatic lens, from the myth of the artist, the role of mass media, and the relationship between the body and identity, to questions of gender and sexual representation, and perhaps most famously, the HIV/AIDS activism of the 1980’s, a mode of critique that the group were pioneers of during an era of intense repression and governmental silence. Working in a broad range of practices, from paintings to performances, published editions to video, sculpture to installation, the group was almost constantly in a state of reinvention, speaking to the diversity and power of their collective vision.
The American artist is known for not being afraid to voice her political opinions. DW spoke to her about the state of the American Dream, the role of artists in turbulent political times and US President Donald Trump.
Born in New York in 1976, Karl Haendel currently lives and works in Los Angeles. He is known for creating meticulous, photorealistic pencil drawings, most of which are based on appropriated photographs. Haendel often works on a large scale, removing the images from their original context and playing with our relationship to familiar images, signs and signifiers.
Haendel’s work is in public collections in the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Guggenheim Museum, New York.
The prevailing memory of the 2017 Whitney Biennial will likely be the outrage over Dana Schutz’s painting of Emmett Till, but it would be a shame if that overshadowed Pope.L’s strange, complicated, and typically irreverent 2017 work, Claim (Whitney Version). A large, pink-colored cube, the installation was festooned with pieces of bologna, as well as small photographic portraits of what the artist claimed were Jewish people. (“Fortified wine” was also used as a material.) The enigmatic work proves especially complex amidst the current resurgence of identity politics, and in June, it netted the artist the coveted Bucksbaum Award.
The Estate of General Idea (1969-1994) had their first exhibition with the Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery on view in Chelsea through January 13, featuring several “ziggurat” paintings from the late 1960s, alongside works on paper, photographs and ephemera that highlight the central importance of the ziggurat form in the rich practice of General Idea.
The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles has acquired Mary Kelly’s archive, which includes various documents related to works the American artist made between 1968 and 2014. Those documents, along with various ephemera and materials, will be catalogued by the institute and then made available to the public.
Monica Bonvicini’s new exhibition at the Berlinische Galerie is an aural invasion. From most parts of the museum, the jangling buckles and leather tails of a 33-foot-long whip, titled Breathing, can be heard hitting the floor and walls. Along with the incessant slamming of a metal door, Bonvicini has crafted a jarring soundscape to house the rest of the museum’s collection of modern art from Berlin.
The importance of the ziggurat to General Idea’s practice cannot be understated. It is a central and repeated symbol in General Idea’s vocabulary, appearing (either implicitly or explicitly) in paintings, drawings, performances, photographs, sculptures, prints, videos and costumes spanning the group’s existence. An ancient Mesopotamian architectural structure of steps leading up to a temple, the ziggurat symbolizes as a link between humans and the gods. The symbol can be found in cultures ranging from Mesopotamia to the Aztec to Navajo Nation. General Idea appropriates this symbol of power and theism, utilizing the form as a framing device to examine questions of branding, architecture and spatial politics.
FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art announces the opening of Press and Professional accreditation and the Triennial's initial group of project highlights, which includes FRONT commissions and exhibitions that will activate unique and unconventional spaces throughout the city of Cleveland. These projects spotlight particular sites, buildings and locations in Cleveland that carry social, cultural or political significance in its history and current reality. In these unique spaces, FRONT artists will unveil a range of projects including site-specific works that engage the city’s rich identity, while allowing a broader contemplation of people and place to both residents and visitors.
Known for their unique approach to things and their meaning, General Idea appropriated the ziggurat as the icon of power and theism, utilizing its form as a framing device to examine questions of architecture, branding and spatial politics.
For them, the ziggurat stands, among other things, as an architectural device which communicates fame, money, success. The first series of Ziggurat paintings were created in 1968-69 by Felix Partz, but the group didn’t return to them until 1986, completing the sketches from the previous period that were never completed.
For 12 years, Kelly collected lint from her dryer to make the works, each of which is about ten feet wide. A “light noise” projected on each one appears as a kind of TV static, giving the illusion of movement while providing a nod to the historiographical importance of these three very specific moments in time, made universal by collective memory.
Kelly’s work first gained her both renown and notoriety in the 1970s as she made and expanded upon her Post-Partum Document (1973–79), a project that found her meticulously chronicling the first six years of her son’s life. The work was both an intimate record of a new mother’s unfolding relationship with her baby and an exacting account of the minutiae of childrearing that was, at the time (and still is), primarily a woman’s domain. Through Post-Partum Document, Kelly analyzed and exhibited everything from the child’s language development to the stains left behind in his diapers, revealing the (unpaid) labor, at once tedious and intense, that makes up much of so-called “women’s work.”
Three recent series by the veteran Conceptualist unite the personal and the historical using an unexpected domestic material: compressed dryer lint. “7 Days” re-creates covers of a defunct leftist publication; the jumble of early-nineteen-seventies headlines—“Germaine Greer Talks,” “Miners on Strike”—suggests a spin cycle of history.
The show premieres a film called “The Task,” plus a related installation. “The Task” runs two hours and presents the results of a three-day group relations conference organized by Ledare in Chicago this past spring. It owes its name and structure to the Tavistock Method, an approach pioneered by the British psychoanalyst Wilfred R. Bion, who in the late 1940s began to experiment with the notion that groups are greater than the sum of their parts. The task of a conference is to study group structures by studying itself: how authority is invested in leaders by others, the covert processes in operation, the problems encountered.
But there is a juxtaposition in the exhibition that saves me from the disappointment I’m left with, where Pope L. has interjected one of his text pieces. Most of these pieces by Pope L. are displayed in the entranceways between galleries, and they felt too editorial for me, like comments in the comment section of an online article.
Detroit and its surrounding areas present a case study in urban decline – one that has spurred many artists to work directly with local communities. In Flint, Michigan, for example – a once-thriving industrial city and now a symbol of post-industrial neglect and government corruption – an ongoing crisis over contaminated water has prompted several artist responses.
I had originally developed the lint medium to deal with war crimes. Over time, I thought perhaps it is also suitable for or evocative of the idea of historical memory, and maybe I can make an image, even though I don't generall work with images.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog with an interview between AA Bronson and Hans Ulrich Obrist. Formed in Toronto in 1969 by AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, General Idea is recognized internationally for work that concerns subjects as the myth of the artist, the relationship between the body and identity, the role of mass media, issues of gender and sexual representation, and famously HIV/AIDS activism at a time when even talking about it was a taboo.
This exhibition, titled “The Practical Past,” is a reminder that Kelly’s work is fundamentally useful and that Post-Partum Document proposed new motherhood and early childhood as firsts in a long series of traumas, extending to the world of political upheavals, to the promise and failure of revolutions past and present.
On view, through bodies of work both new and old, is Lemieux’s timely consideration of the longstanding but increasingly visible political and social divide that’s often characterized between urban and rural Americans. The works identify film as a medium that can uniquely serve as common ground for many populaces; it can transport stories and ideas while often locating reference points for diverse audiences, traversing political bubbles. The films, with their discussions of censorship, pathologization, racism, and class division, resonate today almost as if they aren’t, in fact, decades old.
The exhibition also included six aluminum sculptures of clock hands hung near the gallery's entrance and, in the center of the space, two broad white tables covered with all manner of paraphernalia one might find in a studio, or in a carry-on bag: coins, X-Acto knife blades, scrunchies, gloves, wine glasses, and sleep masks. As she had done in previous work, Ross-Ho played with scale in this arrangement by including exaggeratedly large or miniaturized versions of some of the objects, such as jumbo paper clips and tiny beverage bottles.
Flint Water Project, supported by the Knight Foundation as part of the Knight Arts Challenge and a Kickstarter campaign, came about when What Pipeline invited Pope.L to create a project in Detroit. The Kickstarter page states, “When Pope.L was asked by What Pipeline to do a commission for Detroit, he felt that whatever he did it should not re-victimize the city as had been done too often in the past. What if Detroit could be the hero and come to the rescue of another Midwest city in need?”
The exhibition, titled Ants at a Picknic, which is on view until December 17, 2017, includes a series of new, frenetic large-scale mandala paintings, 17 tabletop painted bronze sculptures and drawings on paper. “The works in Ants at a Picknic make plain that Martinez has hit his stride,” said Dr. Lisa Fischman, Ruth Gordon Shapiro ’37 director of the Davis Museum and curator of the exhibition. “The cosmic hooks, the summoning of spirits, the virtuoso line, the command of color and composition — it all adds up to its own kind of brilliance.”
Martinez doodles with a Sharpie, then blows up the sketch. The muscularity of his lines echoes his experience as a graffiti artist, and he walks a path between drawing and painting pioneered by Cy Twombly.
The black lines retain the doodle’s nonchalance, but the scale raises the stakes. Martinez fills in, paints over and around with self-effacing colors like avocado green and wan tomato red. He sprays, dabs, smudges and presses paint — his textures agitate, as do his rough, jagged lines. He tacks on bits of cloth. His signature, a bold “EM,” is part of the spiraling game board, too.
“The Practical Past” is a memoir from the artist’s current perspective on her life in the collective spheres she inhabited in the 1960s and ‘70s and their relation to events before and since. Much of this is writing made visual through letters from that time reflecting concerns and worries about how to live the engaged feminist life, These are transposed in digital projections that nonetheless reflect Kelly’s decision to do a kind of cottage-industry piecework. In a slightly mismatched gridded array, the overall text of handwritten correspondence renders originals as multiple iterations. What appears to shade and fade into historicism is also stuff.
Known for colorful paintings that recall midcentury abstraction, Martinez is plastering the Drawing Center with thousands of sketches that he will change throughout the exhibition’s run, a gesture that mimics his practice of keeping a wall in his studio reserved for drawings and studies. The show also includes paintings and large works on paper.
There are about two thousand drawings all told, from idle doodles to sketches for paintings, and the cumulative, very happy effect is of being inside the artist’s brain. The Surrealist technique of automatic drawing meets the chutzpah of a hand that’s been known to tag walls with spray paint. Martinez has been swapping in new works as the show goes along, upping the ante on drawing from life—this is drawing as living.
There is a peculiar, almost shameful, pleasure in visiting Mary Kelly’s laundry room. A pioneer of conceptual art, she is a model of precision in many ways. Her thinking is rigorous, her speech is eloquent, and her small home and studio up in the hills are sparsely and beautifully furnished with choice midcentury pieces.
Artists featured in “Women House” span continents and generations, including Martha Rosler, Claude Cahun, Zanele Muholi, Nazgol Ansarinia, Joana Vasconcelos, Cindy Sherman, and Laurie Simmons. Their work transforms domestic space into a public forum, entwines the female body within architectural design, and explores notions of exile and confinement in socio-spatial terms.
‘Even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day.’ That stoner koan from the 1987 comedy Withnail & I floated into my mind while looking at Amanda Ross-Ho’s solo show at Mitchell Innes & Nash. Twelve large clock faces, scrawled with colourful brush-marks, and pencilled notes-to-self, line the walls. The dials are missing their hands. These are hung in a forlorn line, each set to half-past six, near the entrance to the show. If the clock faces tell us that time is one subject of Ross-Ho’s show, then the dirty, outsized wine glasses, cups, forks, art materials and tools scattered across two big tables in the centre of the gallery tell us that scale is her other topic.
This summer and autumn, General Idea has posthumous exhibitions at MAMCO, Geneva’s museum of contemporary art, and Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York. Next spring, Esther Schipper and KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin will showcase works by Bronson and his collective, as well those created under his pseudonym ‘JX Williams’. Outside of the gallery and institutional sphere, Bronson is compiling the group’s catalogue raisonné with Fern Bayer and developing a performance project at the Siksika Nation Aboriginal reserve in Canada.
In some regards, size has always mattered to Amanda Ross-Ho. It’s hard to even recall a show of hers in which she hasn’t taken a common object and enlarged it to an uncommon size. In her 2012 show at MOCA’s Pacific Design Center, Teeny Tiny Woman, Ross-Ho even went so far as to create an oversize photo enlarger, underscoring her impressive sense of both scale and formal wit. With several years of practice under her belt since then, however, Ross-Ho’s simple enlargements have seemed to evolve quite considerably, perhaps best exemplified by My Pen is Huge, Ross-Ho’s new exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, which sees her adding to own work’s discourse by including life size objects alongside her oversized sculptures.
“Eddie Martinez: Studio Wall” at the Drawing Center
Painter Eddie Martinez is never without pen and paper, drawing as he goes about his day and hanging the resulting drawings—created on the subway, at doctors’ appointments, and even at restaurants—on a wall in his Brooklyn studio. The artist will recreate this wall of artwork at Drawing Center, adding new pieces for the duration of the exhibition.
And yet, the "Flint Water Project" cannot be separated from the potential impact it may have outside of the gallery or the homes of individual collectors. Three years after it became widely known, the Flint water crisis is, after all, ongoing, and the human costs are all too real. (The water being bottled and sold at What Pipeline comes from the home of Flint resident Tiantha Williams, whose young son was born prematurely due to complications from her consumption of Flint water during pregnancy.)
Los Angeles-based artist Amanda Ross-Ho has built a career focusing on the studio as locus, metaphor, and container for the creative process. Keeping her interests tethered to this line of inquiry has given her the freedom to cover a swath of art practices including sculpture, painting, photography, installation, and performance. In MY PEN IS HUGE, she gives us a book of hours aimed not at religious devotion but rather devotion to creativity, parsed into minute snippets of time.
“MY PEN IS HUGE” was absolutely perfect as a title because it did about 15 things at the same time. Language has this ability to do what I want my work to always be able to do, which is to have an elasticity and mutability. I loved the redundancy of naming what was actually happening in the show—which is about scaling my own mark-making larger. Also it’s obviously a piece of wordplay that’s supposed to fool you, this quick joke. And then it’s specifically about male arrogance, and the fallibility of it.
Last summer, around the time she lost the lease on her downtown-Los Angeles studio of nearly a decade, Ross-Ho found a collection of paper clock faces being unloaded by their manufacturer on eBay. These handless invocations of disorientation and eternity became her work surfaces and scratch pads until this past August, which she spent in the gallery painstakingly reproducing them as four-and-a-half-foot-square paintings. One is covered with doodled cubes, masks of tragedy, and hasty ballpoint notes like “Avoid grinding over steaming pots”; in another, the clock face is simply painted red. Along with an installation of novelty-sized objects both store-bought and custom-made—giant wineglasses, minuscule bottles of Evian water—the work suggests a powerfully unnerving vision of time as a procession of banal decisions adding up to something irrevocable. Six sets of large powder-coated clock hands hanging on the front wall make a fitting addendum.
As a summer full of marches and demonstrations draws to a close, with no sign that the mood in the US has become any less sour, the Whitney Museum of American Art has staged an ambitious survey of activist art. Through a selection of items from the museum’s permanent collection in a range of styles and media, the show offers a pointed reflection on art and protest over the past eight decades, from anti-war protest signage to abstract painting.
Interview with Steve Miller and Annette Lemieux from Issue 17. Enigma
Lemieux’s approach is generally cool, mechanical, post-modern — repurposing secondhand imagery to make new meanings. In this case, her themes are anxiety, censorship, surveillance and murder in the era of President Donald Trump.
Amanda Ross-Ho’s show, “My Pen is Huge,” is like jumping through a rabbit hole and into a world where the gallery, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, has become a mad theater. The oversized wine glasses, blown-up hands of grandfather clocks, and other random objects are feel somehow completely necessary in the room. Coffee stains and pen scribbles cover the canvas and tables in the middle of the gallery. This show completely captures chaos in its most whimsical form.
We’re pretty excited about this one, as it’s General Idea’s first solo show in New York City since an exhibition at MoMA in 1996. Founded by AA Bronson, Felix Partz, and Jorge Zontal in Toronto in 1969, the collective has consistently tackled taboo subjects, especially pertaining to sexuality. This exhibition will focus on the group’s tamer but still visually grabbing Ziggurat Paintings, which were made between 1968–86 and play with the ancient Mesopotamian form.
In the weeks leading up to her current exhibition, MY PEN IS HUGE, at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Amanda Ross-Ho prepared for the show in the gallery space in which her work would be on display. Poet and art writer John Yau visited her during this process.
Monica Bonvicini’s homage to Louise Bourgeois will be some of the surprises among many others
In an exhibition created within the walls of its display place, Los Angeles-based artist Amanda Ross-Ho installs (and creates) her latest exhibits at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery in New York. This hyperbole heavy exhibition, consisting of installations, sculptures and paintings, is called ‘MY PEN IS HUGE’.
A conceptual artist known for incorporating her studio activities in a theatrical, multidisciplinary practice, Los Angeles artist Amanda Ross-Ho created her latest exhibit, titled "MY PEN IS HUGE," right in Chelsea's Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery.
This will be the gallery’s second exhibition of these artists and the first time the two will be exhibited together. The exhibition showcases the relation between the works of the artists which are based on the process of making drawings.
Los Angeles-based artist Amanda Ross-Ho turned Mitchell-Innes & Nash into her studio for the month of August, working in the gallery to create new paintings and sculptures for her upcoming exhibition. The central motif will be the clock, featured in 12 large-scale paintings made last month based on drawings produced over the past year—compressing a year’s worth of work into just 31 days.
For her solo presentation at the Berlinische Galerie, Monica Bonvicini has produced a site-specific installation to be staged in the museum’s large exhibition hall—a move that is a hallmark of her decades-long practice, which often focuses on the institutional viewing space. Because the Berlin exhibition runs in tandem with the 15th Istanbul Biennale, in which Bonvicini is also participating, the show is influenced by both Berlin and Istanbul, and is said to feature elements of each major city.
“I decided to use these surfaces as a place to record the relentless conscious, and subconscious, mark-making and stenography that takes place within my immediate and intimate personal tabletop spaces.” While working within her impromptu gallery-studio, Ross-Ho says she is “forensically translating” some of these studies into a dozen large-scale paintings.
Martha Rosler calls it the “third-space effect”—a work environment so controlled that the “world shrinks to a bubble around myself, without the distractions of my daily life or environment or people.” One place she has this feeling is in airports. “I wrote one of my most-cited essays largely at the Atlanta airport way back in 1980 or ’81. I have often found myself able to concentrate in airports, but only if the waiting area isn’t packed, or if I can sit in a place that has tables,” she says.
From his earliest works made as an undergraduate, which include fiction, plays, song lyrics, etc., that were retroactively organized under the title Communications Devices, Pope.L has wrestled with language as communication, while illustrating a profound understanding that language is not a transparent medium. Neither is race, however often it’s looked through. Instead, Pope.L makes the surfaces of his work murky and obdurate, highlighting their visibility while also obscuring them.
Since the early 1970s, through her photomontages, photographs, videos, installations, and critical writings, Martha Rosler has explored what mass-media images and public spaces reveal about power and persuasion in late capitalist society. “In the Place of the Public: The Airport Series,” her photographic exploration of the airport as postmodern space, dates from 1983 to the present. While Rosler has not changed the focus of the series, which remains on the airports’ interior architecture, she has changed the photographs’ accompanying text to reflect alterations in how airports are designed and utilized post-9/11. Earlier this year, she talked with ARTnews about the evolution of the series
Chicago-based artist Pope.L, who recently won the 2017 Bucksbaum Award for his work in this year’s Whitney Biennial, is raising funds on Kickstarter for an interventionist installation and performance piece that calls attention to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. For Flint Water Project, the artist will purchase and bottle 150 gallons of polluted water from Flint residents. He will then sell the bottles as limited edition artworks in Detroit.
“When Pope.L was asked by What Pipeline to do a commission for Detroit,” the Kickstarter proposal reads, “he felt that whatever he did it should not re-victimize the city as had been done too often in the past. What if Detroit could be the hero and come to the rescue of another midwest city in need?” It adds, at another point, “The goals for his work are several: joy, money, and uncertainty—not necessarily in that order.”
I’ve chosen to focus primarily on works Kogelnik produced in the 1960s and 1970s. I find her preoccupation with technology, new materials, and body politics during that period way ahead of its time. I became really fascinated with her cyborgian works, such as Plug-in Hand (ca. 1967) and Human Spare Part (ca. 1968), both polyurethane hand sculptures with technologies embedded—a telephone handle and an electrical plug—as well as the vinyl Hangings, which allude to a future where bodies can be taken on and off.
Stemming from the group’s archives, the exhibition at MAMCO, conceived in close collaboration with AA Bronson, tackles the first ten years of their career under the specific angle of photography. The aesthetics of these early works borrows from Minimal, Conceptual, as well as Land art, and the regulars from MAMCO will certainly find an echo to works from Dennis Oppenheim, Franz Erhard Walther, or even Victor Burgin. However these photographs are also documents from the group’s life within the context of communitarian utopias which left their mark on the 1960s in Northern America.
In summer 2016, Ross-Ho found a collection of vintage paper clock face dials on Ebay, being liquidated from a clock maker. She acquired all of them, identifying the poetic potential and a vacant stage for activity on the blank clock faces, which were amputated from the mechanism and components, she started a series of works that evolved across her travels. She aggregated the surfaces of the clock faces with doodles, calculations, diagrams, lists, notes to self and other anxious scribblings, combined with the residue of her consumption of food and drink, as a visual documentation of her daily activities of life and art.
It’s an ironic development. Anna Mary Robertson Moses was the biggest American artist of the 20th century, thanks in part to her swimmingly successful “Grandma” brand, which headlined down-home paintings that translated well onto aprons, lampshades, and Hallmark cards. But time passes and brands calcify, even if the art remains alive and juicy.
Since the 1990s, Bonvicini’s works have circled around the world of construction. Industrial materials, tools, and construction site supplies have been used and transformed into large installations or sculptures. She reveals the close connections between architecture and public spaces, the world of labor, gender and sexuality, as well as control, politics, power and representation. In Bonvicini’s eyes, buildings as well as urban and suburban infrastructure are by no means neutral, but on the contrary obsessive, politically ideological, and sexualized.
When the curators began organizing “20/20: The Studio Museum in Harlem and Carnegie Museum of Art,” Barack Obama was still president. “It’s very interesting how things shifted over the course of planning the exhibition,” Mr. Crosby said. As they structured the show, they made changes in response to “the polarized political landscape we find ourselves in.”
Kiki Kogelnik, who passed away almost exactly twenty years ago, on February 1st 1997, staged her artificial appearance as part of a complex artistic overall strategy that focussed on the inseparable connection of life and art. Quite naturally, the multifaceted, versatile artist attached the same importance to the performative “self imaging“ and “self fashioning“ as to her artistic work, which explicitly cannot be reduced to disciplines and categories. “Kiki is an original. Her style is part bohemian, part film star, part intellectual” Robert Fulford stated in the “Toronto Daily Star“ in 1964.
The works on display raises questions about the self in relation to others, collective norms, and the built environment. Through their distinct process and subject matter, each artist points out the links and fissures in our lives and the larger systems that we attempt to grapple with from science to spirituality and spaces in between. O’Neill’s two-channel projection environment, ‘No Wonder - Two Skins’ (2013) and Fleming’s multichannel video installation, ‘A Theory of Everything’ (2015) creates a chronological bridge between the works, suggesting a comparison of American society of the past and present. Both artists use found collage and original to create new stories that are devoid of a straight narrative and cinematic convention.
For this performance piece that will run 24 hours a day for the entire course of the exhibition, artist Pope.L enlisted performers to wander around both Athens and Kassel whispering fictional texts penned by the artist, randomly generated series of numbers, and folk songs from the 1930s to themselves while publish audio speakers in both cities play similar content.
The esteemed multidisciplinary artist Pope.L is having a moment. His contribution to Documenta 14, the prestigious international exhibition in Kassel, Germany — and this year also in Athens — is the slyly subversive “Whispering Campaign,” featuring performers who walk the streets of both cities, confiding in strangers the artist’s elliptical yet biting aphorisms about race and color from his word- based “Skin Set” drawings. Last month, Pope.L’s “Claim (Whitney Version),” a beautiful vexing installation featuring an enormous pastel-colored room festooned with slices of baloney, received the Bucksbaum Award as a “boundary-breaking” work in the recent Whitney Biennial.
The conceptual artist, who was recently awarded the Bucksbaum Prize for his piece in the Whitney Biennial, is best known for confrontationally absurdist public performances. But this show of early work highlights his gift for combining text, found imagery, and evocative materials. In some of his assemblages, smeared peanut butter, like impasto pigment, frames magazine clippings, such as one that reads “Now You Can Bring Black History Home” and features a photo of African-American schoolchildren reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. In the sardonic, Rauschenbergian “Crawling to Richard Pryor’s House,” from 1994, a froglike, brown stuffed animal, sandwiched by paint and wood glue on a board, also bears a fragmentary, appropriated image of a child. Pope.L has a knack for drawing out the scatological qualities of gestural painting, the abject potential of collage, and the rhetorical power of color to expose the psychosexual substrate of American racism.
Pope.L's installation Pedestal, a Elkay drinking fountain deconstructed and hung from the ceiling, alludes to the segregated black and white drinking fountains installed throughout the South during Jim Crow. The work releases water into a hole in the gallery's floor every two-and-a-half minutes. The gesture alludes to Pope.L's "Hole Theory." In a book titled after the theory, the artist writes, "Hole Theory engages lack/Across economic and cultural/And political boundaries/[Lack is where it's AT]." Pope.L's theory is rooted in the social conditions of 1980s black life, the drugs that flooded the community, the jobs that left it, and the culture, like Hip-hop, that sprung from the era's black rage.
To wit: For the new work of the Los Angeles-based artist Amanda Ross-Ho, “Untitled Findings (ACCESS),” she has scattered enlarged replicas of keys across Basel.
Ms. Ross-Ho’s exaggerated keys, modeled after functioning ones that open doors to real locations around the city, are almost certain to be come across by passers-by who had no expectation of a run-in with an Art Basel installation that day — chance encounters echoing the imagined accidents by which the keys were lost.
“They reinvented the idea of artist activism,” Lucy Mitchell-Inness, a co-owner of the gallery, told ARTnews. “They took on ideas—those often demonized or ignored—with a boldness that was unheard of at the time. [General Idea] came of age in a period that saw pivotal changes in queer conceptualism and postmodernism. They led the charge in decentralization and intervention within the institutional framework.”
“I’ve been a big fan of Amanda Ross-Ho’s work for a long time. She makes large-scale sculptural interpretations of everyday objects, like gloves and trousers. In this vein, she’s made a keychain based on her own Carabiner keychain and a bunch of keys that seem to have fallen off and are lost throughout the streets of Basel. They’re large—maybe 60cm long. We partnered with people from the Parcours area and asked if they would You might find one down by the river, up the stairway on the other side of the road, in a private garden. give the artist a copy of their key. It makes a nice meta-portrait of the local community.”
“The visibility you get through Documenta, you can’t get anywhere else,” says Sven Christian Schuch of Galerie Sfeir-Semler, which is showing collages by the Lebanese- Dutch artist Mounira Al Solh at Art Basel. But a “quick sell” is not what the gallery is expecting, he says. Instead, he hopes that the institutional attention generated by Documenta could help to secure a possible future solo show for Al Solh. But the artist’s “moderate prices” can make this fair strategy a risk. “Every centimetre on the walls is very expensive,” Schuch says.
But among the questions it presents, Claim, more than other artwork in the Biennial, stresses the unique problems museums and collectors face as contemporary art grows more ambitious in its materials: how to conserve works made of substances meant to last for several days or weeks. After all, it’s difficult to imagine bologna portraits transcending millennia like a classical marble bust or centuries like a Rembrandt. Getting a sculpture made of deli meat to survive the decade could even be a stretch. While Claim may be an extreme case of perishable art, Pope L. is far from alone.
Walk through Kassel for long enough (which you certainly will if you come to to this sprawling exhibition) and you’ll find yourself spinning around at least once looking for the source of a disembodied voice. It’s most likely not a monster from the Kassel-born Brothers Grimm haunting the city, but instead a work by Whitney Biennial and now documenta favorite Pope.L.
“It’s a really large enterprise, and this go-around it’s even more difficult to encompass,” Pope.L, who shows at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York, said while sitting next to me at L’Osteria’s zinc bar with free pistachios. “But I’ve been making works for the past ten years, maybe longer, where my intent is to make something that even I can’t encompass myself. So it felt perfectly within that agenda.
Pope.L wins 2017 Whitney Museum Bucksbaum Award | Chicago-based artist Pope.L is the 2017 winner of the Whitney Museum’s annual Bucksbaum Award. The $100,000 prize goes to Pope.L, also known as William Pope.L, for his contribution to this year’s Whitney Biennial: Claim (Whitney Version) (2017), an installation containing 2,755 slices of bologna.
“The Bucksbaum Award recognizes extraordinary artists whose works are inventive, urgent, and promise to be enduring,” Mary E. Bucksbaum Scanlan—the daughter of the prize’s namesake, Melva Bucksbaum, who died in 2015—said in a statement. “I am proud that this tradition continues with the first Biennial in the Whitney’s downtown home by honoring Pope.L, a singular artist in a class of his own.”
The multidisciplinary artist Pope.L (also known as William Pope.L) has been named the recipient of the 2017 Bucksbaum Award, which recognizes an artist whose work was featured in the recent Whitney Biennial. Previous winners include Sarah Michelson and Zoe Leonard.
The painter Julian Stanczak died earlier this year in his hometown of Cleveland Ohio, at the age of 88. Prior to his death, Mitchell-Innes and Nash in New York had been planning what would have been the second solo exhibition at the gallery of his work. That exhibition opened on 18 May, less than two months after Stanczak passed, and it has became more than just another show. It is a celebration of the work and the life of a truly beloved and influential artist.
Leigh Ledare shot his 16mm film Vokzal (2016) in a square where the presence of three railway stations creates unusual patterns of foot traffic: neither linear, like that directed by sidewalks, nor ambling, as in a park, but combining multiple directions of strolling in an open space with multiple, specific destinations. Ledare would train his lens on particular pedestrians and follow them until they exited the range of his view...Like Ledare’s film, Pope.L’s work begins with surreptitious camerawork in public space, but the rigid ordering and smell of rotting lunchmeat suggest something less exploratory and more sinister.
Every two-and-a-half minutes exactly, Pope.L’s “Pedestal,” an upside-down water fountain bolted to the ceiling, releases a thin jet of water into a hole in the floor. It’s a disquieting meditation on the nature of time — endlessly replenished but endlessly fleeting — made more ominous by “Well (elh version),” a series of small ledges bearing water glasses that must be topped up with eyedroppers every day by gallery staff.
Best known for absurdist public performances, Pope.L has a history of dealing with the politics of race and identity—which the African-American artist doesn’t limit to black versus white: His installation at the 2017 Whitney Biennial, for instance, consists of a four-sided structure covered with rows of rotting bologna slices meant to represent the percentage of Jews in New York City. With a solo show opening in midtown, Pope.L talks about his fascination with the relationship between words and pictures, his fondness for quirky materials and the importance of truth in his art.
A friend and I recently had a conversation about the trend of galleries putting together shows of famous artist’s lesser-known works from yesteryear and writing a vague exhibition text to explain why they’re important. Here, that means “an exhibition of early work by Pope.L dating from 1979-1994 that demonstrates the function of materiality and language in his practice.”
While that sentence doesn’t really say anything, we’re guessing this show will be good because Pope.L is a genius and the racial politics he’s addressed in his work since 1979 are sadly still all-too-relevant today. We’re guessing “the function of materiality and language” will always be “relevant” until we’re all telepathically linked by some Elon Musk gadget.
On view at Mitchell- Innes & Nash will be Pope.L’s “Proto- Skin Sets,” made between 1979 and 1994 and never before publicly exhibited. Combining text and odd materials like semen, peanut butter, and hair, these works reflect on black history and how identity gets constructed. Also in this exhibition will be “Communications Devices,” a set of works form the 1970s in which Pope.L wrote on postcards from SoHo gallery shows, copied these promotional materials, and then left stacks of them in galleries.
I wanted Trespassing Light to appear effortless. I wanted to "hear" the red shout, and I am satisfied with the outcome.
Kurland’s “Of Woman Born” series (2005–06) takes its name from a 1978 text by feminist poet Adrienne Rich, which argues that women should oppose the restrictive maternal roles prescribed by patriarchal society.
Generally made with pen and ink on graph paper, Pope.L’s Skin Set works from the late 1990s and into the 2010s offer sharp, sometimes witty critiques of the absurdity of racial stereotypes and references to skin color (i.e “Black People are the Window and the Breaking of the Window,” “Blue People Cannot Conceive of Themselves,” “White People Are Angles on Fire”). This exhibition of early works executed on local newspapers, billboards, and advertisements anticipates the artist’s Skin Set works. In a series of works dating from 1979-1994, Pope.L explores issues including race and masculinity and the function of language and materiality in his practice. The artist is also currently presenting work in the Whitney Biennial.
For this exhibition, the Italian-born, Berlin-based artist Monica Bonvicini bisected Mitchell-Innes & Nash's main space with a temporary wall supported by two small, dildolike "sculptures" in Murano glass resting on the floor. The installation, Structural Psychodrama #2 (2017), succinctly encapsulated the central theme of her work over the last twenty years: the imbrication of sex and architecture through relationships between the body and its shelters, barriers, props, and frames. As Bonvicini put it in a 2004 interview, "You have something under your belt and something over your head. And you need both."
Living together for almost fifty-five years, Julian and I—and later our children, too—experienced many memorable adventures; we crossed the country by car from one national park to the next, from one unique experience to another. As I took in nature’s formations and found myself enthralled by America’s geology, Julian was registering everything within his mind’s eye.
In these works she literally covers herself in oil and pigment and lies on top of a human-sized sheet of paper. Depending on the print, the designs either obscure or highlight the artist’s gender. “I’ve always been looking for some sort of extremely indexical ‘I am here’ mark to put into my paintings,” she said.
English artist Anthony Caro left an enormous legacy when he died in 2013 at age eighty-nine. He was celebrated for his sculpture in Britain by the late 1950s, and internatinoally beginning in the early '60s.
The Brooklyn artist writes a new chapter in the history of painting as performance—a powerful update of Yves Klein’s infamous use of naked women as blue-dipped brushes. Ferris’s imprints on paper of her own painted form, clad in a button-down shirt and belted jeans, have a cowboyish gender fluidity. The results can evoke Warhol’s iconic Elvis series, especially when Ferris’s hands rest at her hips, as if poised at a holster. In the turquoise-and-crimson “Joan/Joni,” we see a sturdy stance and a blurred head; in “twinKtwin,” the figure is headless and symmetrical, a vision in yellow and silver. The novel self-portraits may surprise viewers who know only the artist’s rambunctious abstractions—they will doubtless earn her some new fans as well.
The artist’s subjectivity is literally inseparable from the work in Keltie Ferris’s latest exhibition of body prints, “M\A\R\C\H.” She made the twenty-eight prints in the show by dousing her body, usually clothed but sometimes nude, in oil and pressing it against paper, then covering it with pigment. While the layered pigment renders every crease and crevice of clothing and flesh, the colors also work to create vibrating relationships that define the mood of the figure they make. On one wall, fourteen prints hang in a grid, each one radiating an individual palette, often mirrored by playful titles.
Mitchell-Innes & Nash recently debuted a new exhibit in Chelsea, Manhattan, on view from April 6 – May 13, 2017. Chris Johanson: Possibilities showcases new paintings and works on paper that invite you to physically interact with the art.
Unlike her predecessors, Ferris’ body prints reject an easy gendered identification of the body, suggesting a fluid and performative state of gender identity. As no two prints are exactly the same, each work represents a multitude of forms, which when displayed together, present individual facets of the artist’s identity, both autonomous and dependent.
Mr. Stanczak’s art evinced a tremendous geometric inventiveness. He constantly elaborated on the possibilities of parallel stripes, both straight and undulant; squares, both checkerboard and concentric; and grids, usually amplified by contrasting saturated colors.
Keltie Ferris's current show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, "M\A\R\C\H," furthers the Brooklyn-based artist's experiments in exploring queer identity with recent selections from her ongoing series of body prints. Covering herself in oil and pressing her frame onto paper that she paints in beaming hues, Ferris triumphs over the surface and the very patriarchal ideology of her medium. The denim pants and shirts she dons in each print lend a distinct shape, challenging typical likenesses of the female nude.
On view are more of the artist's ongoing series of body prints, for which she covers herself in oil paint before pressing against a canvas on the floor.
Certainty is only a claim, like the title of another perplexing piece in the Biennial. A re-creation of an earlier installation at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, “Claim (Whitney Version)” by the artist Pope.L, aka William Pope.L, is a grid of 2,755 slices of bologna, each one affixed with a photocopied image, a blurry face, and corresponding, in total, to a percentage of New York’s Jewish population. The artist’s “claim,” made in an accompanying text, may be “a bit off,” he concedes. Such claims are bologna.
The curators, Mia Locks and Christopher Lew, have laid out a daring exhibition that is representative of a broad swath of the population. At its center is Pope.L (aka William Pope.L)’s Claim (Whitney Version) (2017), a pink box on the outside slathered mint green on the inside. Pinned with 2,755 slices of bologna, each slice has a photocopy portrait of a person affixed to it. PopeL. claims the slices are consistent with a percentage of New York City’s 1,086,000 Jewish residents.
Conceptually, the luscious degradation and lingering stink points to anxieties about identity at the heart of the exhibition and indeed the greater culture in the United States.
Possibilities, Johanson’s second solo exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash introduces his whimsical and easy-going West Coast style that has become associated with Mission Art School. Cartoonish drawings, symbols from pop culture, and figures that morph into abstraction appear in bright, sunny colors often times accompanied by text. The artist, who went into the radar of New York art scene with his participation in the 2002 Whitney Biennial, uses different found material he finds on the street, paying homage to his early days as a street artist.
Chris Johanson: Possibilities is an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper on view in an immersive installation at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash’s Chelsea space. Johanson’s work engages with the meditative qualities of art-making and the sincere direct communication through painting and sculpture.
Pope.L’s Whispering Campaign (2016-17), installed in various forms across seven Athenian venues, preserves and passes on fragmented narrative artifacts, reinvesting in the art of hearing and being heard. At the Conservatoire, the campaign takes the form of a turquoise safe, which stands unassumingly in a corner. Its door remains locked, its contents out of site, but, if you pass it at an opportune moment, you will hear the dulcet tones of a singer from the southern US emanating from within. The figure himself is absent, his voice distorted over time, but his story is there to be preserved, if you want it.
“I’m gonna grab my roller chair,” says Eddie Martinez. Which he does. We’re in Timothy Taylor in London looking at his new paintings. The very kind PR who has offered to get me a coffee has returned with it, but there’s nowhere to put it near us, with me standing and holding a phone as a mic, and Eddie sitting in his office roller chair, so the coffee sits slowly cooling on the side of the conversation like a gooseberry while we talk. I drink it on the way out and it’s still a nice temperature. If you get bored at any point reading this, think about the coffee.
Eddie is the kind of guy who gets himself a roller chair without asking if I’d like one too, but he also invites me to touch the paintings and explains them, and it’s all nice. He’s also apologetic about his self-professed inarticulacy and I should have told him that he didn’t need to be.
Multimedia artist Pope.L’s installation, Claim (Whitney Version), features 2,755 slices of bologna pinned to its wall, and each slice bears a portrait of someone who is supposedly Jewish. The piece raises questions of collective identity and how people turn abstract when reduced to numbers. Within the structure is a typewritten statement, with copy-edit marks from the artists, that ponders whether the rotting, dripping bologna represents “the flesh returning back to world” or maybe the slices are “mourning a haunted order.”
The opening-week program spans a list of performances too long to reprint, but some highlights will surely be provided by the likes of Sanja Iveković, who is creating a “creative oral document” at Avdi Square every day from 11 am to 9 pm; Pope.L, whose multi-part performance will happen across “five to six public spaces” over five hours; or sex activist Annie Sprinkle, who also participated in the pre-program in Athens with a lecture on the pleasures of water.
In Athens, the Documenta team is collaborating with around 40 local institutions, including the Benaki Museum, the Archaeological Museum of Piraeus, the Numismatic Museum and as the First Cemetery of Athens where, from 8 April, the American artist Pope.L will be performing his Whispering Campaign (2016-17) in which five performers will roam the city whispering their observations to the public.
Timothy Taylor‘s “Cowboy Town” exhibition—which opened to the public on Thursday—gathers a series of new paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Eddie Martinez.
Barbara Kasten and Jessica Stockholder, presented by Bortolami and Galleria Raffaella Cortese at the “Generations” section, miart 2017
“We are both involved in asking questions about the limits of the forms that contain our work,” writes Stockholder of this artistic dialogue. “At the same time, we care deeply for the inventive and evocative space of the picture, and how that space has the capacity to reify emotional life.”
Keltie Ferris’s disorienting, lambent abstractions—like a marriage between Albers and Oehlen, bathed in acetone—become even more physical with her current exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash’s Uptown space. For this grouping of works, started in 2013, the artist made prints from her body. Creases from clothes and flesh show up in these strange and playful images, Shroud of Turin–like.
Ferris creates her “Body Prints”—which recall the works of David Hammons, Jasper Johns, and Yves Klein—by applying oil to her own body (clothed or nude) and pressing herself onto paper on the floor of her studio. A stark contrast to her well-known abstract, spray-painted works, these prints retain a sense of self-portraiture that transcends gender identity, presenting fluid, dynamic bodies that provoke questions of artmaking and representation.
Keltie Ferris may be better known these days for her digital-looking abstractions, but this show will give her body prints a proper showcase. To make them, Ferris—sometimes clothed, sometimes not—covers herself in oil and presses her body against a canvas. The result is a figure whose gender is ambiguous, with an unreadable expression to boot. Drawing on a history of body printing that includes Jasper Johns and David Hammons, Ferris explores the connection between a painter and her canvas. How much Ferris’s identity comes through in the final product is always a point of inquiry.
Gay nightlife gave rise to the drag ball as an underground simulation of female celebrity. General Idea, the Toronto-based art collective, did something similar with its Miss General Idea pageant, though only one of the four winners of the annual event, held in Toronto from 1968 to 1971, was a man; the competition wasn’t about gender so much as it was about art as a system for producing value and fame. Playing on a monitor at the entrance to the retrospective exhibition “General Idea: Broken Time” at the Museo Jumex, Pilot (1977), which the group made for Ontario public television, is a thirty-minute deadpan documentary on the pageant that provides an introduction to the collective’s interests and sensibilities.
RE pleasure RUN” is Bonvicini’s first New York exhibition in 10 years. Fittingly, it could be thought of as a kind of mini-survey, bringing together all the predominant strains of the Italian-born, Berlin-based artist’s varied practice—namely wall-based installations, light and leather sculptures, found photo collages, works on paper, paints, and glass dildos. Over the course of her 30-year career, Bonvicini has explored through these projects issues around identity, structures of power, and the limits of language. And she has done so with her signature mixture of provocation, innuendo, and wit. The resulting message, if there is one, is often ambiguous.
Focusing primarily on solo presentations of artists, as in one artist per space, the show is well-curated with more than one canny juxtaposition (two personal favorites were Leigh Ledare’s 16 mm film Vokzal  of the public around three Moscow train stations with John Divola’s elegant “Abandoned Paintings” [2007–8] photos, which feature recuperated discarded student paintings in derelict domestic settings, and Henry Taylor’s big brushy paintings of black communities next to Deana Lawson’s elaborately staged, intimate portraits of black subjects).
Pope.L’s enormous room covered inside and out with a careful grid of embellished slices of baloney, embodies his usual sarcasm, even if the point about population breakdowns remains obscure.
Even before they enter the museum, visitors to the 2017 Whitney Biennial may spot, as they peer toward Renzo Piano’s industrial edifice from Gansevoort Street, a monumental object perched on the terrace. It has the form of a large melon, is inscribed with mystical markings, and sits at the center of a concrete circle like the statue in a traffic roundabout. A creation of the art collective GCC, it is inspired by an actual melon that appeared one day in the United Arab Emirates, where police destroyed it, documenting the process on social media, to neutralize its supposed occult force. Its reincarnation in one of the world’s most prestigious exhibitions suggests that state power couldn’t kill the magic.
For the Whitney Museum of American Art's first Biennial in its new home in the Meatpacking district, its curators chose quintessentially 2017 key themes: the formation of self and the individual's place in a turbulent society. As you might expect, traces of American political turmoil tinge much of the art.
One of the senior figures here is Pope.L, the consistently discomfiting Chicago-based African-American artist whose fifth-floor installation, a kind of free-standing room, is adorned with a number of actual, fleshy, putrefying baloney slices, nailed to its walls in grid.
A film split into three 16 mm projections assembled randomly throughout a space, Vozkal captures the social interactions of hundreds of Russian citizens loitering, working in, or passing through a Moscow train station. What is so fascinating about the projections is that while you watch the citizens go about their days, they at first seem like they are free to do what they want. But a creeping sense of dread builds throughout the piece as you begin to notice perilous looking men lurking about, perhaps policing or spying on the area. It reminds the viewer that a modern society falls into chaos and fear quietly.
All the while, the stomach-turning scent of Pope.L’s installation wafts across much of the floor. It includes almost 3000 slices of baloney, each imprinted with a portrait of “a purported Jewish person pasted at its center” and pinned to the inner and outer walls of a box-like environment. Within its chamber, a note typed by the artist in irregular font and scrawled over with a pen bemoans the racial and ethnic categorization of humans, “as if we are simply sets in a math problem.”
Leigh Ledare’s three film loops were made last year around Moscow train stations. In them, we see a possible ghost of America’s near future — people under autocratic rule, made numb, hailing from numerous social and racial strata, all barely interacting; the broken, homeless, and addicted existing but invisible alongside state workers, the wealthy, figures fighting, mothers helping their children go to the bathroom against walls. I saw a possible America in this almost animal society, its political house on fire.
There are plenty of exciting works at the museum's marquee event.
There are 63 artists in the Whitney Biennial this time around, and while individual results may vary, some of my personal favorites would include Pope L's "Claim (Whitney Version)," a giant cube covered inside and out with meticulously-spaced slices of rotting bologna, each one of which is embedded with a bleary, photocopied portrait.
Every Biennial contains a couple of did-you-see? popular hits. In 2017, the two are likely to be by Pope.L aka William Pope.L and Raúl de Nieves. “Claim (Whitney Version)” 2017, Pope.L’s large box room, is festooned on the outside with slices of real bologna dripping grease and arranged in a grid, mimicking round dots on a chart. The smell, surprisingly, isn’t unpleasant and the artist’s jibe at coldly translating flesh-and-blood beings into data spots registers immediately.
Among the 63 artists featured working in various media, are established artists like Americans Larry Bell and Dana Schutz, up-and-comers like Torey Thornton and Shara Hughes, and collectives like the Gulf-based GCC and the American trio Postcommodity.
The 2017 Whitney Biennial, the institution’s first since its move to the Meatpacking District, opens to the public later this week, but already the buzz is positive.
Written and signed by Pope.L himself, the text took on the absurd duty of explicating a work—titled Claim (Whitney Version), 2017—that is, among other things, about absurdity itself. The slices of bologna (2,755, to be exact) are said to correspond to a ratio relating to the number of Jewish citizens living in New York, and all the rest follows from that, from a methodical portrait-taking system to an ostensibly hyper-organized arrangement of objects in a grid with pencil lines to keep everything straight.
Squeezed into a prop-riddled balcony in Brooklyn's Spectrum dance club (or Dreamouse) on Wycoff Avenue, Jacolby Satterwhite is defying the laws of nature. Donned in vintage clothes that loosely hang on his nimble limbs, the artist is rapidly contorting his body into different pretzel-like poses, eventually holding one as he sinks into a pile of faux-fur pillows and garbage bags. While some might call it eccentric, the whole tableau is in fact quite minimalistic for Satterwhite, who previously, as seen in the pages of OUT and in exhibitions around the globe, has performed in spandex bodysuits covered with androgynous protrusions and digital screens. “I've moved away from that for a couple of years,” Satterwhite says. “I think right now I have a different message. My work is still gonna be 3D-animated and otherworldly and weird, but lately I feel much more satisfied with the conversation I'm having with my audience—it's about tactility and connection. I think it's more about realism for me.”
This spring visitors to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City will be greeted by a huge orange melon looming over the sixth-floor terrace. The work—inspired by a mysterious fruit covered in occult writings that washed up on a Persian Gulf beach last fall—is by the international artist collective GCC. And it's a highlight of Whitney Biennial 2017, the major survey of new American art, opening March 17.
One of the show’s senior figures is the Chicago artist Pope.L — who facetiously called himself “the friendliest black artist in America,” and whose views on race and self are wildly unfixed. Here he reworks a 2014 installation in which hundreds of slices of bologna are fixed with small, hard-to-decipher photos. Mr. Pope.L suggests in an adjacent text that the photos represent Jewish people — but then again, the sitters may not be Jewish at all. Take the pungent bologna any way you like it. Ms. Locks put it this way: “I love the idea that it’s this perfect grid, this perfect system, with the most false, sloppy data points you’ve ever seen. Literally deteriorating.”
The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, UK has announced that the four winners of its inaugural 2017 award are Jose Dávila, Eric N. Mack, Toni Schmale, and Shen Xin. Selected individually by Monica Bonvicini, Mike Nelson, Pedro Cabrita Reis, and Lorna Simpson, the four emerging artists will each be given a 13-week exhibition at the BALTIC (to open on June 30, 2017), £25,000 ($30,665) to create new works, and a £5,000 ($6,133) artist fee.
Over on 25th street, Monica Bonvicini’s solo show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, RE pleasure RUN, conflates erections with erection—construction—of architectural elements, including walls, in an S&M-tinted play on gender roles, production and displays of power and gratification. Mitchell-Innes & Nash is also showing at the Independent Art Fair, with work by Pope.L.
This year’s installment of the Independent art fair opened today, with a preview this afternoon and a public opening Friday, March 3. In Spring Studios in Tribeca for a second year, the fair gathers 52 exhibitors from 20 cities, with 15 presenting booths for the first time. Below, have a look around the fair.
Dealers this afternoon, a few hours into the opening, reported that the collectors who come to Independent New York are often looking to snap up quite specific objects—and that makes it easy to choose what you bring.
“This is a pretty low-stress fair,” said Mitchell-Innes & Nash director Bridget Finn. “We’ve done well enough that if it ended now, we’d be satisfied.”
The gallery had off-loaded several works by Pope.L, including nearly ten small sculptures priced at $10,000 each.
Certain large-scale pieces seem unlikely to find a home except with the most daring collectors, or at least the ones that don’t have kids. At Mitchell-Innes & Nash, a multimedia triptych by Leigh Ledare (Stalemate, 2017), culls found imagery from Russian fashion magazines, advertising, pornography, and other sources, along with material sure to delight any future conservator (cleaning fluid, foie gras, and human excrement). The gallery director Bridget Finn explained that Ledare views it as “a montage, a map to the current social and political climate,” which seems about right. The three-part work, which costs in the range of $40,000, is an oblique companion piece to a film shot in a Moscow train station that Ledare will unveil at this year’s Whitney Biennial.
The aggressively enigmatic works of the Italian artist suggest a lot and explain little, beyond dropped hints of erotic and political discontent. Walls are shimmed up on small glass-phallus sculptures. Clustered men’s belts assume a testicular shape. Fragmented syllables in white neon, on an aluminum rack, instruct “No more masturbation,” but they don’t say why. In a grainy photographic mural, workmen do something incomprehensible to a grimy brick wall. Scores of white L.E.D. tubes hang horizontally in tangles of wire. What’s it all about? Your call.
With NADA splitting some of the exhibitors from past years between fairs, this year’s edition seemed to tend slightly closer to the higher end of the market, as galleries frequently associated with Armory skipped that fair in favor of Independent, or doubled down on both exhibitions. Mitchell-Innes & Nash, for instance, had focused in on a booth at Independent skipping its usual place at The Armory Show and ADAA Art Show in favor of a booth here, showing works by GCC and Leigh Ledare, among others.
Surface Tension serves as the backdrop to a video projection of William Pope.L’s 2000 performance “The Great White Way, 22 Miles, 9 Years, 1 Street,” in which he famously crawled 22 miles of sidewalk from the beginning to the end of Broadway — Manhattan’s longest street — wearing a capeless Superman outfit with a skateboard strapped to his back.
AT THE HEIGHT of the Reagan-era culture wars and the AIDS crisis—a moment that shaped today’s battles over social values, over what is normal and what is not—General Idea decided to fit in. The group explored assimilation and transgression, convention and critique, biopolitics and style. They inserted their quixotic brand of activism, agitprop, marketing, and performance, virus-like, into the mainstream, with results that were anything but. On the occasion of the retrospective “Broken Time,” which travels to the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires this month, critic Alex Kitnick takes a new look at General Idea—and their reimagining of what art and life could be.
In Highway Kind, we see Justine Kurland's on-the-road photographs as if through a film of fantasy - a very masculine, very American fantasy, about freedom and self-reliance and the big wide open.
Bonvicini addresses power dynamics, effective communication, and even the structure of the gallery itself in this new show. Central to the exhibition is Structural Psychodramas #2 (2017), a large-scale installation of temporary walls that questions the architecture of art institutions. Neon text works, one of which reads “NO MORE MASTURBATION,” offer a cheeky commentary on the role of desire in the present moment.
It’s been ten years since Monica Bonvicini had a show in New York. This week, she’ll return with “RE pleasure RUN,” her first solo show with Mitchell-Innes & Nash.
There’s something undeniably seductive about Monica Bonvicini’s work. Whether it’s a neon sculpture or painting of a burned-out building, her (usually monochromatic) pieces have a vaguely S&M quality and wouldn’t look out of place in the background of a high-fashion editorial photoshoot. But beyond looking good, they’re subtly loaded with content. Bonvicini speaks to structures, both literally (as in the architectural sense) and figuratively (as in those of power).
Berlin-based, Italian conceptual artist Monica Bonvicini gets her first New York solo show in a decade. Her debut at the gallery centers on Structural Psychodramas #2, an installation of small Murano glass sculptures, as well as two of the artist’s monumental disaster paintings and large-scale, provocative neon works, one of which reads “NO MORE MASTURBATION.”
“I was excited about Obama, but at the same time I was wondering how the machine of conventional politics would nullify his impact. You could say I was suspicious. I’m the kind of person who sees clouds on the horizon. Or smoke. There’s always this sense that there’s more to do. And we became complacent. Otherwise I don’t think what happened on Nov. 8 would have happened. It’s almost as if we thought black people — or President Obama — could solve everything. It’s about some fantasy we had — this Caramel Camelot. And so now we are where we are."
Pope.L and Mia Locks discuss "Americanismo" in the 57th issue of Mousse Magazine.
There is an unmistakable ashes-to-ashes, dust-to-dust, circle-of-life quality, an equally youthful then mature balance of roughness and polish that only occurs at either end of life.
Another saying that comes to mind is, live by the sword, die by the sword. An old friend once told me, “You better hope what you did as a kid was good, because you always go back to it.”
Monica Bonvicini was born in the 60s in Venice and finished her studies at California Insitute of Arts and in Berlin in 1992. Her work since–dipping between installation, sculpture, video and drawing–has been influenced by architecture, exploring both public and private spaces, and is often noted to have sprung from the sex clubs that the artist found herself frequenting during the 90s.
In the excellent exhibition “Anthony Caro: First Drawings Last Sculptures,” which occupies both Mitchell-Innes & Nash locations, the pieces do a little of everything while adding something new: thick slabs of tinted or clear Perspex (acrylic sheets). The sculptures in Chelsea are especially powerful in scale and size. But as you walk around them, viewing their structures from different sides, noting the collusions of metal and plastic, human perception seems scrupulously accounted for.
In the early years of his career, Anthony Caro worked on a series of twisting, enigmatic depictions of human and animal figures, works that owed much to the spatial interrogations of Picasso and the broader canon of 20th Century European abstraction. The works are impressive in their understanding of the gestural and conceptual operations of the era’s avant-garde, but for Caro’s career, served in part as a starting point for his own engagement with space, not only on paper or canvas, but in three dimensions.
The Barnes Foundation will celebrate more than 50 artists’ engagement with different communities in “Person of the Crowd: The Contemporary Art of Flânerie,” opening Feb. 25. The artists Tania Bruguera and Sanford Biggers will organize performances in the city streets, and the Guerrilla Girls collective will create billboards. Additionally, Monument Lab (a group of curators, scholars, students and artists who aim to ask what kind of monuments the city needs) will mount a temporary work by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. In May, the Association for Public Art will bring the artist Martin Puryear’s largest public sculpture to date, “Big Bling,” to the city for six months.
Once a cartoonish vibe takes hold of the works, the weighty hunks of steel in them start seeming faintly comic as well. Some of Caro’s steel consists of repurposed found objects: a hopper used to cart sand; a chunk from some kind of gantry. Rather than being elevated from their humble origins thanks to Caro’s high art, these objects now seem to keep Caro’s art down-to-earth – almost like found anchors that keep his foofy acrylic from blowing away.
With an Anthony Caro show currently on view at Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery in New York, we turn back through the ARTnews archives. Because the show brings together very early and very late work from the British artist’s career, we have selected one old excerpt, by Lawrence Alloway, and one new sample, by William Feaver, who in 2014 wrote an essay following Caro’s death the year before.
This is the artist’s first exhibition in the US since his death in 2013 and his sixth with Mitchell-Innes & Nash, who has exclusively represented Caro in New York for 14 years. The exhibition features work spanning Caro’s 60-year career and highlights the artist’s fearless and constant innovation throughout his lifetime.
At the height of the Vietnam War, an artist named Martha Rosler started clipping pictures of the conflict from the pages of Life. She also collected images from adjacent pages showcasing luxurious American interiors. With a touch of glue, she merged the two, making up scenes that collided realities that mainstream media tended to keep comfortably separated.
In this interview with the art historian Alexander Alberro excerpted from Phaidon’s Monica Bonvicini, Bonvicini sheds light on her famously brash use of materials, the liberating nature of BDSM clubs, and how the personal is always political, even when we least expect it.
The show charted the flourishing popularity in the Gulf of "positive lifestyle" practices - encompassing anything from yoga and healthy eating to New Age spiritualties - as well as their instrumentalization by governments as technologies of control.
An anti-war protester at the time, Martha Rosler grew frustrated with the way such images were diminished when juxtaposed with trivial advertisements and inconsequential news items.
The exhibition brings together late British artist Sir Anthony Caro’s works spanning his sixty years career highlighting the artist’s fearless and constant innovation.
The Canadian artist collective General Idea found its drive in the AIDS epidemic, becoming aesthetically and conceptually refined in the in the 1970s and ’80s, after long forays into absurdity and performances evocative of Dada and Fluxus. A retrospective presented by the Jumex Museum elucidates the collective’s progression from troublemakers to activist artists calling attention to the epidemic, which ultimately claimed two of its three members and countless others in the queer creative community.
This is the New York-based artist's first exhibition in Brussels. On view are Ledare’s three bodies of works—Vokzal, The Walk, and The Large Group.
Miranda July speaks with fellow biennial alumni artists Edgar Arceneaux, Amanda Ross-Ho, and Catherine Opie to explain the survey and share their experiences with it.
After years traversing the U.S. in a van, the photographer and her son sit down for a candid interview.
For the first U.S. exhibitions of Caro’s work since his death in 2013, the gallery mounts two concurrent shows, at its Chelsea and Upper East Side locations, featuring works that bookend the great sculptor’s innovative, 60-year career.
There’s always more to discover in Antony Caro’s sculptures, miraculously refined compositions of sometimes scrappy industrial materials.
The work’s über-slick visual identity—and the very global and mostly digitally connected nature of GCC’s delegates—has placed GCC among the post-internet art movement’s greatest stars. “GCC keeps knocking it out of the park,” says the Whitney’s Christopher Lew of the collective, who he’s tapped for a new commission for the 2017 Whitney Biennial he’s curating along with Mia Locks. Referencing Positive Pathways (+), he adds, “As mindfulness and new age belief has been adopted by both individuals and corporations, GCC brings to light how the Gulf nations have brought these ideas into government. Their look at the theater and substance of nationhood is pressing now more than ever.”
With its Mitchell-Innes & Nash show, GCC has become like a healer, drawing on the healthy living and positive lifestyle trends currently taking the Gulf region by storm. Positive Pathways (+) (Version II), 2016, an installation similar to one that debuted at this year’s DIS-curated Berlin Biennale, features a sculpture performing the Quantum Touch technique, a form of non-contact touch therapy. (A few days earlier, the members could be seen putting down sand around the sculpture, which, when it was shown in Berlin, was at the center of a teardrop-shaped racetrack.) Nearby is a series of relief works based on stills from YouTube videos that, with their velvety red surfaces, recall fabrics in Titian paintings and over-decorated homes.
An exhibition of provocative, large-scale installations by Monica Bonvicini is on display at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead through February 26, 2017.
Three projects exploring human behaviour and pathologies intertwine in this exhibition of works by the American artist Leigh Ledare at Office Baroque, Brussels.
From its inception in the early 1960s, Pop Art was a boys’ club. Huge names like Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann
perpetuated the myth of the (male) artist-as-genius. The movement emerged amid the post-World War II explosions of capitalist consumerism and mass media, as artists explored new modes of mechanical production, often by taking commonplace consumer goods and pop-cultural icons as their subject matter. Associated with an unemotional, distanced attitude toward artmaking, Pop Art’s codified characteristics are, in turn, stereotypically male.
Alongside the current exhibition Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s: Works From the Verbund Collection at The Photographers' Gallery, the new issue of the quarterly publication Loose Associations takes feminism as its subject. In this interview, artist Martha Rosler considers the past, and the future, of feminist art practice.
This installation of the DeFeo's “Samurai” series, 1986–87, begins to redress this narrative, as many of these large-format paintings on paper refute the notion of a singularly careful and slow-working painter.
Italian artist Monica Bonvicini's practice has focused on two rather unusual themes: walls and sex. An extensive survey of the Berlin-based artist's work at Baltic Contemporary in Gateshead combines the two.
Fierce, mordant and confrontational, Monica Bonvicini aims to annoy at every turn in this bracing first UK survey.
Between the power drills, leather tassels and saucy builders’ humour, Italian artist Monica Bonvicini lets sadomasochism hang heavy in the air. But the audience frustratingly ends up neither master nor slave.
The Berlin-based artist has built her practice around interrogating the notion of identity through art, as her expansive new exhibition at the Baltic demonstrates.
“Left Right Left Right (1995), a piece by Annette Lemieux at the Whitney Museum that consists of 30 images of raised fists, has been turned upside-down at the artist’s request.
GCC is a collective of eight young Arab artists — their name refers to an intergovernmental body called the Gulf Cooperative Council — and their work in “Positive Pathways (+)” at Mitchell-Innes & Nash was inspired by the growing popularity, in the Gulf states, of Western-style New Age healing systems. A hypnotically confident self-help voice-over plays in the gallery, and a nearly life-size plaster figure of a woman wearing a head scarf bends over a figure of a boy. We learn from the publicity release that she’s practicing Quantum Touch therapy, a reiki-like practice that uses the body’s life-force energy to promote wellness.
“We wanted to make a work about the late-blooming New Age culture of the Gulf,” GCC explained via a group-sanctioned e-mail, “and how it is affecting everyone in the region, from conservative housewives to absolute monarchs toying with start-up culture.” The collective’s first Stateside gallery solo show is on view this month at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, in New York, reprising the Berlin installation alongside new work derived from YouTube videos of, among other things, modern-day healers on morning talk shows “making holistic remedies and products out of supermarket items.”
GCC’s first exhibition with the gallery, which features multiple wall pieces, a sculptural installation, and sound work, is concerned with the evolution of various holistic practices—such as alternative healing and life coaching—that are gaining significant influence in Arab Gulf states. The eight artists who make up the collective are all strongly connected to the UAE and the Middle East, and their acronym loosely references that of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Here, they examine the multifocused, multifaceted synthesis of philosophies that fall under the rubric of “Positive Lifestyle” and the implications such Western, New Age ideas have in the context of the Gulf’s ultramodern, constitutionally Islamic societies.
While the power of positive thinking—a popular if fuzzily defined lifestyle credo coined by author Norman Vincent Peale—is a familiar idea to most Americans, the slogan (if not the concept) is largely unknown in the Middle East. In its Mitchell-Innes & Nash debut, the six-member Arab artist “delegation” GCC (an allusion to the Gulf Cooperation Council) focuses on the growth of Cali-style personal realization in its part of the world—and what may get lost in translation. It’s an intriguing subject, but while this exhibition expands on a previous project for the most recent Berlin Biennale, it still barely scrapes the surface.
The gallery inaugurates its new uptown digs with a fine sampling of late-eighties works by a pioneer of post-Conceptualist painting, construction, and photomontage. Lemieux’s satirical content may be subtle but it registers with the snap of a major-league breaking ball.
“An ever-intensifying exposure to Western-centric global media has dulled the effect of existing taboos in the Gulf region,” the eight-member international art collective GCC — a tongue-in-cheek reference to the economic alliance known as the Gulf Cooperation Council — says in a joint statement. “As a result, a number of people there have become proponents of New Age lifestyles, whereas even 10 years ago, many would have probably disapproved of this and even deemed some aspects sacrilegious.”
“The idea of happiness is insidiously used to quell dissent,” GCC member Fatima Al Qadiri told me on the exhibition’s opening day on Thursday, at New York’s Mitchell-Innes & Nash. According to the party line among the powers that be, if you’re unhappy, never mind actual social problems, she said: “You’re just not being positive!”
Miss General Idea, the fictional character created by the Canadian artist group General Idea, will make her Latin American debut at the Museo Jumex in Mexico City this month. She features prominently in the group’s 1970s works, which parodied the art world and mimicked popular culture by appropriating mainstream magazine formats and staging campy beauty pageants.
Kitty litter and coffee mugs, painted fur and tyre scraps: the materials lists for Jessica Stockholder’s sculptures read like the home inventory of a mad packrat. For three decades, Stockholder has taken as provocation that cliché ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ – incorporating even plumbing into anarchic assemblages that resolve as astonishingly balanced formal compositions. Exuberantly colourful and formally promiscuous, her work is deliriously enjoyable to look at.
THE DAILY PIC (#1643): The new Elizabeth Dee space in Harlem opened on Saturday, and this piece is from the first exhibition in its new “research series” – in this case, a focused presentation of the work of Annette Lemieux, the neglected 1980s artist. According to the gallery, Lemieux’s 1988 canvas, titled Nomad, reproduces the footprint of her Boston studio at the time, and is “a play on the idea of how she could ‘re-enter’ painting, which she considered while pacing back and forth across the studio. The act is replicated here, and for the duration, she never left the canvas.”
In “The Guests All Crowded Into the Dining Room,” her show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in Chelsea, Jessica Stockholder playfully probes the intersection of edibility and sociability through a set of colorful assemblages.
The godmother of feminist art, Kelly is known for her provocative films and large-scale narrative installations that explore notions of sexuality, work, power, and politics by tapping into the more visceral aspects of daily life..."Kelly is one of the most important female Conceptual artists of our time,”says L.A. gallerist Susanne Vielmetter, who represents the artist along with New York–based Mitchell-Innes & Nash, and Pippy Houldsworth Gallery of London.
In The Guests All Crowded Into the Dining Room, Jessica Stockholder’s scattered arrangements of sculptural elements play with assumed boundaries to become a fluid meditation on space. Through a variety of materials and forms, Stockholder avoids overtly breaking down traditional artistic lines, so much as she highlights that they have never truly existed at all.
In her third solo exhibition at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery, Stockholder presents a multitude of studio pieces as well as a single “large-scale site-responsive installation.” By way of both found and bought materials, Stockholder reimagines the use and positioning of common objects in various bright colored displays. Think random, seemingly uninteresting items, like metal parts and yellow plastic pieces, curiously assembled to create a work that re-examines the relationship between materials.
Today, Jay DeFeo ranks among the better-known female artists of the era, but only after flying under the radar for many years. Best-known for her monumental painting The Rose, which is 10 feet tall, almost a foot thick, and weighs over a ton, DeFeo was the subject of a long-overdue retrospective organized by New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art in 2012–13.
In Jessica Stockholder’s first show at Mitchell Innes and Nash since 2012, the pioneering mixed-media artist presents a new series of her curious hybrids. She makes her pieces by combining found and purchased objects, then altering and embellishing them with her own artistic materials, adding paint, string and the like.
The artist is presenting “a large-scale site-responsive installation” as well as repurposed works of found materials using tire scraps, rusty hinges, roofing tile, and other such objects ripe for reinvention for her third show at the gallery. The installation, which is a winding yellow-and-white viewing platform, puts gallery-goers at eye level in order to see a selection of elevated drawings “with a splash of color” in closer detail.
Jessica Stockholder’s colorful assemblages of diverse store-bought and found objects call to mind a term from neuroscience, “multisensory binding.” The phrase refers to the fact that the outer world appears to us seamlessly coherent, despite the many sensory signals streaming in from diverse sources — eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. Usually we don’t notice how the mind binds together these different inputs. In Ms. Stockholder’s engaging, if not wildly exciting, show of sculptures at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, your awareness of your attention’s shifting between the disparate parts and the whole composition is essential.
Artist Pope. L has a much-buzzed about performance for the biennial slated for September 7. Baile is described by the artist as “a physical vocabulary developing in response to the city and the manifestations (or protests) that occur. It’s the idea that no matter how desperate the politics, the party will go on.”
Stockholder’s work — a mixture of the made, bought, found, and painted: domestic objects, toolbox goodies, backyard decks, urban markers, and, most recently, a multi-purpose stage-set, viewing platform and pedestal – is inventive, practical, funny and very down-to-earth.
Tom Wesselmann combined sensuality and joy with a deep investigation of the nature of represenational art.
Creased, tied, folded, pierced, draped and bound: the repertoire of operations that Jessica Stockholder applies in her handling of found and manufactured materials is seemingly infinite.
Blurring the boundaries between painting, sculpture and architecture, Stockholder’s current exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash emphasises process, form, and, above all, gravity.
Jessica Stockholder’s work is difficult to talk about because it eschews so many of the typical classifications we use to discuss contemporary art: “installation,” “site-specific,” “ephemeral.” Indeed, that’s one of the most central elements of her practice: the dissolving of boundaries.
Look no further than her immersive new show at Mitchell Innes & Nash, “The Guests All Crowded Into the Dining Room.”
On view will be more of the Chicago-based artist’s oddball installations, which typically assemble various colorful, unlike objects. You could easily be tricked into thinking that these are all found objects, and that Stockholder put them all herself, but not so—she often deliberately selects her objects and relies on readymade materials.
Tom Wesselmann’s paintings alienated some in the ’70s and
’80s, but his wholesome eroticism looks remarkably fresh today.
The New York art world of the ’60s can seem impossibly small to us now, almost sitcom-size. Everybody knew everybody, drinking and arguing and exchanging ideas in their now anachronistic suits and ties: Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein and James Rosenquist, Robert Indiana and Claes Oldenburg and a guy named Tom Wesselmann, the most famous artist that you don’t know.
Ahead of his show at New York’s Drawing Center in 2018, the artist Pope.L held a workshop this summer with writers, curators and others to preview and discuss his staging of a play written by a former slave.
“Positive Pathways (+),” an exhibition of works by artist collective GCC, will be on display at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York from October 13 through November 26.
The collective GCC, composed of eight artists with ties to the Persian Gulf, was formed in 2013 during Art Dubai and has since shown at institutions like the New Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art and MoMA PS1.
Into this fray comes Martha Rosler’s exhibition If you can’t afford to live here, mo-o-ove!!, at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. The title is a quotation from former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, who allegedly said this when confronted about the city’s housing problems. The show is full of umbrage, disillusionment, and rage, but also humor and clear-eyed assessment of the entire suite of difficulties involved in housing. The show is said to be the presentation of the Temporary Office of Urban Disturbances, which sounds like an ad hoc name for the group of curators and artists who have helped Rosler revisit her pioneering project If You Lived Here…. Taking place in 1989, If You Lived Here… examined similar themes and was originally shown at the Dia Art Foundation in three parts; the current project is also divided into three parts, the first two of which were shown at the New Foundation Seattle earlier this year.
“You have to see Pope.L’s performance,” Art Basel director Marc Spiegler told me. It was scheduled for 6 PM. That was now. I ran for the Mitchell-Innes & Nash–sponsored room—and fell in behind a man dressed in a white gorilla suit (the artist).
Followed by an annoying film crew, and watched by expectant iPhone- and iPad-wielding curators, critics, collectors, advisors, and dealers, the silent Pope.L opened and closed a clear plastic umbrella, climbed and descended from a white kitchen stepladder, picked up a white satchel and walked around the space, inspecting the paintings (his) on the walls. When he pulled at one canvas, a thick wad of cash fell into his hand. He put it in the satchel. He repeated this action twice, then took a small white sculpture of a Paul McCarthy–like gnome out of his bag, placed it on the floor, and left the room.
Nicholas Baume, the director and chief curator of the Public Art Fund, said he was particularly struck by Pope.L’s performance at Unlimited’s opening, in which the artist wandered through the fair in a white gorilla suit before departing in a white limousine.
Martha Rosler is known for disrupting the standard exhibition format. She staged a giant garage sale in the atrium of New York’s Museum of Modern Art for her first solo there in 2012. Her current show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash reprises an ambitious project, titled “If You Lived Here,” at New York’s Dia Art Foundation in 1989. Each show in the series of three explored one issue—tenant struggles, homelessness, urban planning—presenting works by artists, filmmakers, squatters, children, and community groups, among others.
For this exhibition, which contains a section on each of the original themes, Rosler has subsumed herself under the name Temporary Office for Urban Disturbances to collaborate with scores of groups—such as 596 Acres, Inc., Center for Urban Pedagogy, New York City Community Land Initiative—and individuals, including LaToya Ruby Frazier, Gregory Sholette, and Robbie Conal. In addition to the dense hanging of artworks, posters, and other archival materials, along with an area to read books and watch videos, the exhibition features four town-hall discussions to examine pressing concerns about city life now.
Art Basel is around the corner and excitement is feverish. For his sins, the Rake is giving it a miss this year (all that mountain air feels a bit too healthy) but his Swiss moles are keeping him in the know. Among the more intriguing pieces of literature to have come their way is an announcement from New York gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash, heralding a new performance piece called The Problem by American artist Pope L.
Pay peanuts and you get monkeys, the old idiom goes. Yet a new great-ape performance at this year’s Art Basel seems to suggest hard cash remains a motivating factor among some primates.
The Chicago performance artist Pope.L will stage his new performance, The Problem, to open the Unlimited section of Art Basel, which takes place in the Swiss city 16 – 19 June. Here’s how his gallery, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, describes the piece.
“A white gorilla emerges from a white stretch limo at the entrance of the fair. Spilling white plantains onto the ground, the gorilla enters Unlimited, and wanders through the convention centre, looking for something. The beast drops more white things as it wanders. Eventually, the entity finds what it is looking for: an exhibition space containing a set of paintings called Circa by the famous negro artist Pope.L. The gorilla ignores the paintings and searches behind them, finally extracting five fat stacks of currency. The creature exits, leaving behind a garden gnome painted completely white except for a black-faced nose.”
I’d basically written Tom Wesselmann off as merely a prurient artist of T&A spectacle. Although his retrospective survey now at Mitchell-Innes & Nash hasn’t totally won me over, it is amazing to see him more fully represented. His relief works are startling, and give a deeper appreciation to his association with Pop art.
"I'm really looking forward to the Tom Wesselmann show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York. He was a giant of /60s Pop Art, and his work-vibrant female nudes and magnified objects-was ahed of its time. Event today it is quite contemporary. The gallery, which represents him, is hosting the show through May 28".
Tom Wesselmann's prismatic Pop paintings are on view at New York's Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery, from April 21 - May 28.
The first retrospective of the painter’s work in New York since his death in 2004 is organized in collaboration with his estate, which means an opportunity to see a grouping of pieces not often shown together. The selection includes fantastic examples of paintings he made between 1961 and 2004, including still lifes, landscapes, and nudes—three traditional genres that he infused with his juicy, Pop sensibility.
An entertaining attempt to boost the reputation of the Pop-art paladin, who died in 2004, soft-pedals his specialty of pneumatic nudes in favor of the inanimate: foodstuffs, household appliances, cigarettes, a Volkswagen Beetle. Wesselmann’s grabby colors beguile, and he had a winning way with shaped canvas, cutout metal, and vacuum-molded plastic. Nonetheless, all the images and forms still orbit the rejoicing sensuality of the “Great American Nude,” as the artist called his signature theme—monumentalized breasts, lips, and feet, like an explorer’s happy sightings of a carnal Xanadu.
Looking at work by the artist Amanda Ross-Ho can feel a bit dizzying, and that might be something she’s going for. Since she moved to L.A., her art has become a lot about her studio practice, about creating a loop of the micro and macro aimed at giving viewers a sense of vertigo that makes them want to look closer, hyper-aware of their surroundings. Ross-Ho uses shifts in scale or material to jar us awake.
Tom Wesselmann is one of the fathers of Pop Art. Using collage, assemblage, and iconic shaped canvases Wesselmann created a new vocabulary of painting entirely.
A lot of the best Pop art was as much presentational as representational. It was about pointing at things in the world (“ostension," my current favorite term) rather than how seductively those things might be portrayed as art. From the beginning, the paintings of Tom Wesselmann were a bit of an exception to that rule, as is clear in the little survey now on view at Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery in New York.
Since the rise of appropriation in American art of the 1980s, the strategy has become so commonplace as to evade continued examination as a unique vein of artistic practice. At the same time, recurrent intellectual property battles around appropriative gestures in contemporary art have threatened its viability, giving rise to College Art Association’s important report published in February 2015, the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. This three-part essay on the work of Karl Haendel, an LA-based artist best known for his arrangements of meticulously rendered drawings of found photographic imagery, connects three moments in his early career related to issues of artistic and cultural heritage and power. The first two episodes directly involve knights. Taking Haendel’s work as a point of departure and considering the digital turn, the essay as a whole examines how the operations, effects, and reception of appropriation have changed in recent decades and discovers what may be the strategy’s longest-lasting politics of signification. “Episode One” considered Haendel’s early project of reconstructing works by the minimalist sculptor Anne Truitt, including Knight’s Heritage (1963). This second text examines Haendel’s confrontation with another artist of an older generation, the early postmodernist Robert Longo.
Catch the dazzling Tom Wesselmann retrospective in Manhattan.
Tom Wesselmann is perhaps one of the world’s most iconic pop artists. His work is often compared to that of Andy Warhol, with some critics even saying that Wesselmann represented pop art more succinctly than any of his contemporaries.
Mitchell-Innes & Nash (534 West 26th Street) opens the first major painting retrospective in NYC by the late artist Tom Wesselmann on Thursday, April 21, 6 to 8 p.m. The gallery hopes to "show how the artist has filtered the canonical subjects of art -- still life, the nude and the landscape -- through a unique and personal lens." On view until May 28.
Although he worked in a studio near Cooper Union right up until his death in 2004, the American Pop artist Tom Wesselmann has not had a major show in New York for more than a decade—until this week, when a dozen works drawn from the artist’s estate go on view at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery (21 April-28 May).
There’s apparently a new development in which artists such as Sarah Braman (b. 1970) include acknowledgments, like writers do at the end of novels. In the press materials for her industrially luscious show, it’s noted that “the artist would like to thank Steve Grant for his patience and skill in welding, Nina Weyl and Seth Coen for their tireless and careful sewing, Barb Hadden for so much studio help, Mom and Liz for all the babysitting, and Saul, Jody and Phil for being the best home team.”
A few blocks north of Sarah Braman’s exhibition “You Are Everything” at Mitchell-Innes & Nash is a rare sight: A defunct and shuttered McDonald’s restaurant on the corner of 34th Street and 10th Avenue. The title of Ms. Braman’s show comes from a graffiti tag on a similar-looking structure — red, yellow and white — in a rural location, a photograph of which is printed on the news release.
I’d call Sarah Braman’s show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash a breakthrough were it not for her slow and steady ascent. You Are Everything, her first solo New York City exhibition in five years, presents a newfound ease with her material, a gracefulness in both subject and physicality I hadn’t noticed before. It’s as if she had traversed the messy, awkward, early stages of self-conscious invention and emerged on the other side, fully confident and in total command.
Sarah Braman's sculptures and paintings are at once monumental and ethereal. She explores light and space with spare forms and a nonchalant, almost cavalier, manipulation of materials. Nothing she does ever seems over worked or overwrought. In her fresh and airy 3-D works, she combines found objects, often abject detritus, with carefully constructed forms made of tinted glass and steel.
Now change has provocatively shaken up the Modern’s relatively undisturbed sanctum sanctorum: the grand permanent collection galleries, on the fourth and fifth floors, which are typically devoted to the Modern’s unparalleled holdings in the painting-and-sculpture department.
The installation of these galleries has long been the closely guarded aegis of one or two top curators in the department. Now the fourth floor — devoted to works from 1940 to 1980 — has been reinstalled by a collective of 15 curators from across the museum. Another departure: MoMA’s movement-by-movement, Eurocentric vision of Modernism has been replaced with a wide-angle focus on a single decade. “From the Collection: 1960-1969,” a yearlong presentation, zeros in on the overfetishized 1960s, when art and politics were in turmoil and interacted with a new force, and tells its story with work by more than 200 artists from around 20 countries.
The leveling determination is more convincing when the curators select as a representative for the unmentioned Op Art movement not Bridget Riley but the overlooked innovator Julian Stanczak and his “This Duel” (1963), his jazzy star turn in undulating black and white lines. Instead of including Frank Stella as the avatar of Minimalist painting, the honor goes to Agnes Martin and Jo Baer.
Sarah Braman, sensational sculptor.
In this solo show, Braman embraces a sort of dilapidated but still-loved found-sculpture aesthetic, assembling in beautiful agglomerations with tinted glass; wonderfully colored fabrics; and unruly discarded furniture, household items, and cut-up plywood. She arrives among Rachel Harrison, Mike Kelley, Richard Prince, and Donald Judd, putting a marker down as one of the strongest sculptors working anywhere. —Jerry Saltz
Mitchell-Innes & Nash, through April 16.
Tom Wesselmann loved Matisse most of all, but, determined to go his own way, created splashy, adlike takes on traditional subjects that made him a reluctant star of the Pop Art movement. Yet while Warhol and Lichtenstein have had their due, an upcoming survey of Wesselmann's paintings at Mitchell-Innes & Nash will be the first of its kind in New York since the artist's death in 2004. "The hope is to reintroduce his work to a new generation," says Lucy Mitchell-Innes-- and, she adds, to pave the way for a major museum retropstective.
Karl Haendel’s exhibition posits the practice of yoga as an alternative to accelerationism. Citing the anxiety around self-optimization, Haendel presents lifestyle- and body-enhancement products marketed to reinforce the need for self-betterment to question the ways these objects aid or inhibit our sense of self-worth and identity.
Photography that toes a line between documentary work and fine art may intrinsically contain half-truths, but that does not strip it of its sincerity, nor of its power. Kurland has carved out much of her career by finding the places and people she wanted to know; constantly traveling, her photographs of train-hoppers, the American west, and men or young women in the wilderness, are all of spaces and places she might not have belonged to initially, but came to know through a wonder that feels pure.
Although the title of Sarah Braman’s latest solo exhibition is You Are Everything, the artist believes that there is, perhaps, a more appropriate title, one that better captures the spirit of her new work.
“I think the unofficial name for the show should be Driving, Sleeping, Screwing, Reading. It turned out that a lot of the sculptures either include beds or actually are beds where you can lay down,” Braman says. “My husband told me the studio looks like a sci-fi, post-apocalyptic tent city.”
Jacolby Satterwhite’s videos, made with the digital animation software Maya, are filled with seemingly infinite painterly detail. Their frames glide in axial movements like a joystick or drone. In his six-part film suite ‘Reifying Desire’ (2011–14), Satterwhite’s avatars dance and copulate on platforms floating in vast, star-speckled expanses of mottled purple and brown – a cosmic cyberscape governed by digital technologies that enhance and proscribe sexual pleasure.
CALIFORNIA ABOUNDS WITH BEGUILING PLACE NAMES. The divergence between promise and reality may be no greater than in the case of the Chocolate Mountains. Stretching more than sixty miles across the Colorado Desert that traverses Riverside and Imperial counties in Southern California, they form a geography that few Californians have seen, let alone visited. Home to the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range, a practice site used by the Navy and Marines and inaccessible to the public, the region’s arid and inhospitable topography is magnified by the unsettling thought that somewhere over a distant crest shimmering in the heat the weapons that will be deployed in the wars of tomorrow are being tested today.
Pat O’Neill’s Where the Chocolate Mountains (2015) nimbly plays on these associations. Although we never actually see the mountains, we hear their name spoken by a character on the soundtrack of an old film noir, one of many elements that O’Neill transforms into a wholly new and vital substance, confirmation that he remains the master alchemist of Los Angeles experimental cinema. Instructional films, B movies, Caruso, and 1920s jazz are but some of the ingredients in a rich visual and sonic mix realized with his longtime collaborator, George Lockwood.
New York-based artist Sarah Braman makes quirky sculptures by marrying found objects, constructed elements of colored glass and Plexi and oddly shaped pieces of plywood bearing brightly colored acrylics and spray paints. For her second solo show at the gallery, the artist uses a tree stump, a trashed truck cab, discarded bunk beds and fabricated glass structures to create eccentric assemblages.
After five years in Chelsea, Independent—a younger alternative to the other main fairs this week, the Armory Show and the ADAA Art Show—migrated downtown for its 2016 edition. The fair’s opening on Thursday, on four floors of Spring Studios, a massive event space with high ceilings and large windows letting in light from the West Side of Manhattan, had a crowd lining up around the block to get inside.
Mitchell Innes and Nash offers an array of works by the
multidisciplinary artist Pope.L. The stand’s centrepiece is a
sculpture, Coffin (Flag Box) (2008), an L-for-Liberty-shaped
rough wooden box that generates the uncomfortable sound of a
flag flapping. These are accompanied by a number of newer wall
works, the most interesting of which are shoe-box-sized—and
just as textural as they are textual—often with gesso or acrylic
smeared over the words. The words on the other hand are equal
part signifiers and signifying. Sad Cop Small Dog (2015) evokes
just what it needs to, and feels pretty groovy with is colourful
bubbly script—but, wait, why is it pinned to wood with pushpins?
And is that blood up on top? Tight works, to be sure.
The Independent is refreshing after a few hours at the Armory. The new location at Spring Studios in Tribeca is capacious, with lots of natural light, which slows the often overwhelming pace of these fairs. If its new digs feel a little corporate, it gives the art (and people) room to breathe. The effect is particularly strong with New York’s Mitchell-Innes & Nash’s solo presentation with Pope.L. Two massive works on paper, Black People Are Shit and Green People Are Hark (both 2012), spell out their titles in massive, block letters. The layers of paint meld the words to the paper, lending both a rippling weight. Nearby, a simple L-shaped coffin (Coffin [Flag Box], 2008) is partially supported by a book titled Birth of Nations, while the distorted sounds of a flag whipping in the wind plays through speakers inset to its walls. Google searches of the book mostly linked to the infamous, racist film The Birth of a Nation (1917), but I could not confirm its contents, or whether it was real or of the artist’s creation. Pope.L’s work has a gut-punch immediacy, and issues of race, alienation, and democracy break down
into a poetic and absurd interplay between identity, language, and materials.
Pope L. lands like a piledriver from heavyweight Mitchell Innes & Nash. The gallery
is new to the Independent this year and presents the most coherent show of the fair. Pope L.’s work continues to be provocative and the sounds of flapping flags emerging from his 2008 Coffin (Flag Box) shook up an otherwise lethargic crowd at the opening. Canvases like Black People Are Shit (2012) are especially needed in such a privileged and white-washed venue.
One of the few political statements at the fair came from the veteran performance artist Pope.L (he recently dropped the "William" from his name), who combined abstraction with found objects steeped in racial caricature in this painting and invoked cops and doughnuts in other text-based works.
The continuity between the booths at Independent and the galleries themselves is as appealing to dealers as it is for the rest of us. Mitchell-Innes & Nash, which has in the past shown at the Armory and ADAA shows and which will present at Independent for the first time this year, is showing a solo booth of sculpture and paintings by performance artist Pope.L. “The gallery schedule is booked through at least 2017,” says Lucy Mitchell-Innes, referring to her West 26th Street space. “This is a mini show.” Taylor Trabulus, director of the understated Martos Gallery, agrees: “We think of Independent as more of a show than an art fair.” Martos will show work by artists experimenting in new mediums this weekend, including wallpaper by Michel Auder and sculptural chairs from painter Jess Fuller. Adam Lindemann’s Venus Over Manhattan gallery is bringing a solo booth of early work by California artist Peter Saul.
In a stunning exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash titled Salmon Eye (Martinez’s wife’s name is Sam), nine new paintings sit squarely on the walls in the 3400-square foot white cube. An amalgamation of abstraction and figuration, the work is so quintessentially Martinez and yet wildly different from what we’ve expected from the Brooklyn-based painter. On a cold night of drizzle, we visited Martinez’s new studio in Bushwick. The duplex space was expectedly cold, filled with neatly cluttered spray paint cans and large crayons. And for an hour, we talked shop, hitting on topics from self-care to artistic influences to why his new work feels just a little bit lighter. Here’s what he had to say.
Since the rise of appropriation in American art of the 1980s, the strategy has become so commonplace as to evade continued examination as a unique vein of artistic practice. At the same time, recurrent intellectual property battles around appropriative gestures in contemporary art have threatened its viability, giving rise to CAA’s important report published in February 2015, the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. This three-part essay on the work of Karl Haendel, an LA-based artist best known for his arrangements of meticulously rendered drawings of found photographic imagery, connects three moments in his early career related to issues of artistic and cultural heritage and power. The first two episodes directly involve knights. Taking Haendel’s work as a point of departure and considering the digital turn, the essay examines how the operations, effects, and reception of appropriation have changed in recent decades and discovers what may be the strategy’s longest-lasting politics of signification.
After a stint in California, Kogelnik—already a relatively accomplished abstract painter by her mid-20s—relocated to New York in 1961. It was a life-changing move. Not long after settling in her adopted city, Kogelnik met and befriended Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Robert Rauschenberg, whose collective influence on her was profound. While Kogelnik didn’t become a Pop Art painter herself, she took inspiration from many of the genre’s defining elements: figurative compositions, bold colors, and subjects that reflect contemporary culture.
Through March 5th, Andrea Rosen Gallery will feature a dual exhibition
of Pope.L andWill Boone. Both conceptual artists will occupy the three-room Chelsea
space with respective video installations, sculptures, and paintings.
At a preview last month, Pope.L discussed his ontological fascination with words by
divulging the inspiration behind some of his pieces, notably, Cone in a Forest and Cone for My Sister (Private Language Problem) (2015), a large cone installation made of wooden sculpted letters.
The Brooklyn artist’s big, rambunctious, terrifically friendly canvases collapse seven decades of painting, reviving styles of the Cobra painters (Alechinsky, Jorn, Appel) and adding hints from Americans (de Kooning, Guston, Basquiat, Wool). Martinez silkscreens blowups of his spontaneous drawings and then has at them with oils, enamel, and spray paint. There’s lots of white space, in which black lines and flavorful colors frolic, keyed to what Martinez describes as the Cobra “embrace of the child’s hand.” Does the art world sometimes feel like school? Welcome to recess!
Looking at the artworks of Sarah Braman, one can get a feeling that she’s like someone who is able to see certain things in a completely different way than regular folk. For instance, that sectioned old camper trailer is, indeed, exactly what it sounds, but it is also an artwork, placed on an art gallery floor like it’s always belong there, without any doubt. The truth is that the artist puts found objects together, in the manner of a proper Neo-Dadaist, creating art that is somewhere between sculpture and assemblage, ready to be contemplated by a contemporary viewer. Sarah Braman’s new sculptural works and panel paintings are soon going to be gathered for her first solo exhibition in New York in five years, hosted by Mitchell-Innes & Nash.
On the ocassion of her first East Coast museum solo, Brooklyn-based Keltie Ferris discusses her quest to produce "autonomous" body prints and abstract paintings-- exuberantly colorful works deteremined by their own formal dynamics rather than theory, market trends or aesthetic fashion.
Made when she was exiting grad school at Yale in the 1980s, the painted works on paper by Jessica Stockholder in this exhibition reveal a consistency in the artist’s practice, which focuses on the engagement of architecture, color and form. Rooted in Pictorialism, a late-19th century movement that emphasized artificial pictorial qualities, the works on view were made during the same period as the celebrated artist’s outdoor installation My Father’s Backyard, a seminal piece that saw the start of Ms. Stockholder’s unique style of fusing both painting and sculpture in the same work of art.
A detail of new work by EDDIE MARTINEZ featured in his first solo exhibition with Mitchell-Innes & Nash. The large format paintings showcase Martinez’s bold brushstrokes and bold approach to traditional subject matter. For Salmon Eye, the artist builds upon his previous bodies of work by revealing a new dynamism in his narrative and deft approach to his canvases.
Kiki Kogelnik in 1966, Kogelnik said, "I'm not involved with Coca-Cola...I'm involved in the technical beauty of rockets," effectively distancing herself from Pop art. She was fascinated by the possibilities of the space age, with its new technologies and innovations in materials.
There’s news every week now of the mayor’s administration scrambling to find another parking lot or piece of land for more tent cities and car camps in Seattle. Meanwhile, Seattle is chockablock with massive real estate developments and fresh tech recruits. This is a state of emergency, as declared by the mayor in November.
A local philanthropist is bringing in backup. The backup is 72-year-old Martha Rosler, an artist and a fighter. In 1989, she commandeered the Spectacolor sign in Times Square in her home city in order to smear the commercial center with the ugly facts of the nation’s poverty and housing crisis. That public artwork was called Housing Is A Human Right, which is also the title of Rosler’s new year of exhibitions, talks, and workshops in Seattle, starting this weekend.
In a yearlong group of exhibits that will stretch across Seattle, internationally known multimedia artist Martha Rosler takes on big issues.
When Shari D. Behnke and Yoko Ott decided to create a prize for the New Foundation Seattle, they decided to go big. Really big. One hundred thousand dollars big.
“Well, we wanted an amount that would say something,” said Behnke, in a room at the foundation’s small, chic Pioneer Square gallery.
Before he was a prominent Pop artist and one of the leading figures of the movement, the late Tom Wesselmann was just another art student, trying his luck at the medium of collage. Over 30 of such works will soon be on view at David Zwirner Gallery in London, in an exhibition that will explore the early years of his fruitful career. These pieces, produced between 1959 and 1964, represent an introduction to the artist’s creative development and his dedication to the graphic and large-scale Pop imagery which he would come to make later on. In all their intimacy, they reveal the germination of his iconic style and affirm his lifelong interest in depicting interiors, still lifes, female nudes and landscapes.
Los Angeles-based artist Pat O’Neill has been making work for the last 50 years, and yet it’s rarely seen in New York. A key figure in West Coast experimental cinema, O’Neill is probably best known for highly plastic and technically accomplished films like his lysergic 7362 (1967) or his extraordinary 35mm feature Water and Power (1989), an experimental documentary concerning, among many things, the development of the Los Angeles Basin from prehistory to the present. But since the start of his career O’Neill has also been involved in an astonishing range of media—photography, sculpture, collage, and installation, in both commercial and independent spheres. Now in his late seventies, O’Neill is the subject of his first New York solo exhibition, which offers a concise but judicious sampling of his varied output.
the artwork on show includes rarely displayed collaged works on postcards by Wangechi Mutu ART ’00 from her personal collection, a site-specific installation in ink, pencil and wash on paper by Firelei Baez titled “Memory, Like Fire, is Radiant and Immutable,” and a video piece by William Pope.L where, dressed as Superman with a skateboard on his back, he crawls all the way to the Bronx from the base of the Statue of Liberty.
Has the well of previously undiscovered L.A. artists (to East Coast audiences, anyway) run dry? Apparently not, as Pat O'Neill's New York debut attests. Two films, five sculptures and twenty-odd drawings by the California artist, made since the 1960s, reveal preoccupations with slick surface and surreal juxtapositions that resonate with the post-Internet sensibility.
Jessica Stockholder is an artist known for breaking conventions. Though her sprawling artworks are often referred to as installations, she defines her manifold combinations of color and everyday materials as sculpture.
The imagery in Jacolby Satterwhite’s work seems intuitive and fluid, yet the technical mediums the young artist uses are anything but. Often working with 3-D modeling and film, the artist creates immersive experiences that mesmerize. This year, his work appeared at the Brooklyn Museum and the Whitney as well as at the DIS-curated Berlin Biennale. Satterwhite is now working on pieces for New Museum and SFMOMA.
“FLY ME TO THE MOON,” Britain’s first Kiki Kogelnik retrospective, complemented Tate Modern’s revisionist and staccato survey “The World Goes Pop.” Coinciding with Modern Art Oxford’s exhibition, Tate Modern showcased the work of female Pop artists who had been rediscovered during the past decade, including Kogelnik herself.
Los Angeles-based artist Karl Haendel, born in 1976, is part of
a generational cohort that breathed new life into 1980s appropriationist
strategies in various mediums. His Photo-Realist
draftsmanship recalls the technique of fellow Californian Andrea
Bowers, while his eye-catching installations evince a showmanship
shared by artists like Kelley Walker. Unlike Bowers, however,
whose labor-intensive drawings pay faithful homage to her source
images (of political protest and leftist movements), Haendel
portrays a more ambivalent attitude toward his hand-drawn reproductions
of mass-media and personal images. “Organic Bedfellow,
Feral Othello,” Haendel’s first solo show at Mitchell-Innes &
Nash, focused on human resistance to “devolution,” per the press
materials. But the works on their own evoked a richer set of
associations toward Haendel’s subjects—modernism, intimacy and
technology—than the exhibition’s rhetorical and visual scaffolding
ompared with his large sculptures and audaciously physical performances, Martin Kersels’ pieces at Redling Fine Art are a bit subdued, but not quiet. Three quirky wooden sculptures emit mysterious sounds to an audience of peeping-Tom portraits whose eyes gaze out meekly through holes drilled in planks of wood. The effect is riotously charming and comically odd, like a Dadaist hurdy-gurdy.
The Wednesday night opening of Art Public includes four performance pieces. In Chinese artist Yan Xing’s L’amour l’apres midi, young men in embroidered silks flirt with passersby. Xavier Cha’s supreme ultimate exercise contrasts bodybuilders hoisting truck tires with the flowing movement of a tai chi practitioner. In Ryan Gander’s Ernest Hawker, a fictional character, based on Gander, plays a drunken, washed-up artist. And Pope.L’s The Beautiful features black men with skateboards on their backs who crawl onto a stage to sing America the Beautiful. All will pop up unannounced from among the crowd at the park.
One of Martin Kersels’s new sculptures, installed at Redling Fine Art in a show called “Seen and Heard,” has a lever. Push it down, quickly, and it makes a groaning sound. On its way back up, it squeals. It’s all air pressure behind the noises. Kersels, who left L.A. to teach at Yale three years ago, calls the sculpture "Snore." Made of salvaged wood and assembled to look something like a phonograph, it conjures an antique — or an awkwardly rehabbed antique. The same can be said for the other two hand-operated, noise-making objects in the room: a bureau with a motor in its bowels and a leaning pyramid for a head, and a chair with a whirring wood box on its seat. All the “machines” go together and it’s this quaint fantasy of a pre-digital world, only none of Kersels analogue inventions have functions. They just have distinct looks and sounds.
Looking at images in Karl Haendel's exhibition Weeks in Wet Sheets, one might imagine stepping into a virtual space -- give the basic shapes cut out of cardboard that fill up the walls, the works' bright monochrome backgrounds and, not least, the impressive definition of Haendel's large-scale, photo-realist black-and-white pencil drawings-- but it's not like that. In reality you feel cardboard crumpling underneath your feet, see uneven pencil hatching within the works and notice cut edges of paper. The installtion is still awe-inspiring in its immersiveness, but while producing disjunctions between varying economies of speed, value and attention.
Martha Rosler has been named as the inaugural recipient of the 100K Prize, a biennial award given by The New Foundation Seattle (TNFS) to an influential, US-based female artist (including transgender women) to celebrate and reward her artistic achievements.
The non-profit organization TNFS was founded in 2012 by art collector Shari D. Behnke, and includes support programs for artists as well as public programs.
New Foundation Seattle, a non-profit arts organization founded by art collector Shari D. Behnke, has named Martha Rosler as the first recipient of its new 100K Prize.
The prize—as advertised—offers $100,000 in cold, hard cash and comes with zero restrictions (you can buy 100,000 dollar-pizza slices if you want).
“I am honored and delighted to be the first recipient of the 100K Prize from The New Foundation Seattle, an award instituted in recognition of women artists whose work has shown a commitment to social justice,” Ms. Rosler said in a press release.
Years ago, Jacolby Satterwhite, who was featured in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, abandoned oil and canvas in favor of 3-D software and digital cameras, resulting in sexually coded, absurdist narratives featuring avatars, violence, and bodily fluids—not to mention himself, sometimes nude and often vogueing or hip-hop dancing. His latest work, En Plein Air, includes videos and photographic prints that attempt to capture the authenticity of real-life interactions.
Following a powerful exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art this summer, the Chicago artist known as Pope.L, or just Pope.L, returns to Los Angeles with a show that sprawls across two galleries — Susanne Vielmetter in Culver City and Steve Turner in Hollywood — as well as the spaces in between.
The show at Vielmetter is titled “Forest.” At Turner, it's “Desert.” And Pope.L has created audio GPS tours for driving between the two. This emphasis on the space between is just one point of entry to an exhibition that includes drawings on Pop-Tarts, stuffed animals entombed in peanut butter and giant erasers. Throughout, Pope.L draws connections between interstitial spaces and our notions of blackness.
On the exhibition’s opening night on December 2 a series live performance works will light up the park. Revered performance artist Pope.L has prepared a version of his iconic “crawl” performance, this time featuring four men who will skate through the park laying on skateboards before crawling to a stage to sing America The Beautiful.
The Los Angeles-based artist fills the space with intricate graphite drawings, in shaped frames, depicting both humans (engaged in various, partner-yoga-style contortions) and primates (often balancing quizzically atop stacks of Constructivist shapes). Tabletop arrangements flaunt additional drawings of health-and-beauty and self-improvement products (like Rembrandt tooth-whitening strips), along with hand-sketched QR codes that, when activated, lead to inspirational online videos “chronicling physical transformation.” The overall effect is of a delightful too-muchness, of strange links being forged between very disparate things — just what one might expect from an exhibition tongue-twistingly titled “Organic Bedfellow, Feral Othello.”
The exhibit, Organic Bedfellow, Feral Othello, features the photorealistic graphic drawings of Los Angeles-based artist Karl Haendel. But the show is as much about the art as it is about the immersive installation space. Black-and-white checked patterns bisect the gallery floor and the artist's still-life drawings of primates balancing on geometric stacks and couples contorting in yoga poses are propped on polygonal stands with hand-drawn QR codes. The codes link to YouTube videos that chronicle suchs physical transformation as weight-loss journey or gender transition. The exhibit is on show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash's Chelsea gallery until Dec. 5.
Everything Jessica Stockholder touches turns to art.
Over the past three decades this has included worn-out couches, an urban intersection, refrigerator doors, a scissors lift, fresh oranges and lemons, a compact car, a mattress, a streetlight, a bathtub, a full-size freezer chest, half-a-dozen wooden dressers and a city park.
Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenberg, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. The giants of post-war American art are being reviewed once again; their replacement of high art with kitsch, brushstroke with Ben-Day dot and abstract expressionism with advertising is eerily prophetic of the current state of affairs. During its first lifetime, pop was maligned for glorifying consumerism; it has now been revised to acknowledge the biting cynicism that bristled beneath the smiles of Hollywood goddesses and the shiny veneer of muscle cars.
Regardless, the legacy of omission has continued unabated, as the largely unknown name Kiki Kogelnik (1935-1997) will attest. A contemporary of the aforementioned postmodern practitioners, the Austrian- born artist’s retrospective at Modern Art Oxford showed before several of her works go on display in The World Goes Pop exhibition opening at Tate Modern later this month.
Is our evolution our devolution? Or better yet – is our devolution our evolution? According to Karl Haendel, it’s both these things, as we can witness too by exploring his latest exhibition entitled Organic Bedfellow, Feral Othello, to be hosted by New York’s Mitchell-Innes & Nash. Through large, masterfully executed drawings set within a monochromatic installation, the Los Angeles-based artist takes humanity back to its roots, in order to better understand its development through time, keeping in touch with the present at the same time.
Until recently, the best way to prove you were a serious painter was to paint unseriously: mocking the medium, the way Polke or Kippenberger did, proved that you knew the rules of the game. That moment has passed. This bravura show by a leading figure of the new-new painting finds Ferris deploying an arsenal of techniques, from spray guns to impressions of her own body, in riotous soft-edged compositions. She eschews Ab-Ex mark-making for nongestural layers of color, airy mauve or honking goldenrod, interrupted at times by flowing circuits broken into patterns suggestive of pixels. This is the work of an artist who isn’t afraid to tell painting “I love you.” Through Oct. 17.
Pope.L has a prolific and polymorphous multi-media art
practice. In addition to his well-known performances, he creates
sculpture, installation, drawings, paintings, photography, video, and
writing. With seemingly inextinguishable curiosity and boundless
appetite, Pope.L absorbs every possible medium and explores the many
themes that are important to him with drollery, poetry, and a unique,
irreverent, inquisitive, and highly personal point of view. He once
described himself as “a fisherman of social absurdity.”
About eight years ago Keltie Ferris burst onto the New York painting scene like a bat out of hell, that is, if you define hell as the Yale M.F.A. painting program; back then, her large Day-Glo-colored canvases were perfect crosses between hazy 1970s Color Field painting, pixilated digital space breaking up and reforming in odd-shaped plates, and painterly abstraction at the same time totally avoiding any derivative overlap with artists like Kelly Walker or Gerhard Richter.
Keltie Ferris continues to make some of the jazziest abstract paintings around. Several are absolute knockouts, combining blurred passages of spray paint with massed rectangular patches that suggest blown-up pixels created with a computer paint program.
“There's a weird culture where works on paper aren't respected the same way as paintings are,” said Keltie Ferris, walking through her latest exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, which pairs vibrant mixed-media canvases with more intimate body-prints. “This show is about whether these two bodies of work, which were feeling disparate, can hang together.
At Mitchell-Innes & Nash, meanwhile, Ferris continues to stake out her position as one of today’s finest abstract painter with ever larger, ever more exuberantly colored pieces, where shifting blurs compete with crisp, thick pointillist passages. Vibrating with punchy oranges, purples, and pinks, these paintings look like aerial views of futuristic cities, acid–inspired quilts, or glitch-laced JPEGs. Frankenthaler and Gilliam are forebears, but Ferris pushes, with great aplomb, beyond those influences, forging a style that feels bracingly, thrillingly fresh, and one in which space ambiguously slips and slides.
La Estrella, [P]y[X]i[S], oRiOn: We’re caught up in the jumbled syntax of the heavens in Keltie Ferris’s dazzling show of ten paintings and six body prints, all from 2015. The constellations that lend their name to some of these canvases trace distinct forms but are composed of flickering stars whose boundaries are less clear to us down on Earth. And this is a central aspect of Ferris’s paintings, whose thin airbushed oil layers and dragged acrylic strokes build a rich color space (here, moving beyond the loose neon graffiti of her 2012–13 gallery show into deep purples, reds, ochers) that shifts in and out of focus. Are these shapes or are they impressions?
This has been a summer of women warriors: Serena Williams, Angela Merkel, Charlize Theron’s character in “Max Max: Fury Road,” and Shaye Haver and Kristen Griest, the first women to earn the United States Army’s elite Ranger designation. Now, in the final days of summer, painting’s warrior women are advancing, and Keltie Ferris is among them.
Today’s show: “Knifer, Mangelos, Vaništa” is currently on view at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York. The group show features work from Julije Knifer, Mangelos, and Josip Vaništa—the three founding members of the radical Croatian art collective the Gorgona group. The exhibition is on view at the gallery’s Upper East Side space through October 3.
Jessica Stockholder has unveiled new work at several Chicago locations this fall, including a site-specific installation at the Smart Museum of Art as well as in her solo exhibition “Door Hinges” and the group show “Assisted".
Wrapped around the dark gray exterior, a triangle painted with bands of vibrant color, a log, a segment of rope, an orange electrical cord, and two large convex safety mirrors reminded me of the visual dynamics of Fiorucci, the influential Manhattan fashion boutique that closed in 1986, just a few years before I would first encounter Stockholder’s work. Thanks to Google, I soon realized that the stylistic connection I had made on site wasn’t accurate at all, so it must have been the attitude of Stockholder’s bold on-the-street statement that provoked the association.
“Painting, sex and humor are the most important things in my life,” Tom Wesselmann once said. He combined all three in the early 1960s “Great American Nude” series for which he became known, with epically scaled odalisques luxuriating amid the dazzling products of modern life. In April, Mitchell-Innes & Nash in Chelsea will present the first survey of his paintings in New York since his death in 2004, a show including the 10-foot-by-8-foot “Great American Nude No. 53” (1964) as well as his little-known late abstractions composed from painted cut-aluminum scraps.
Brooklyn-based painter Keltie Ferris creates marks—smeared, sprayed and hand-painted—that solidify or dissolve into abstractions with a sense of perceptual depth that allows for multi-dimensional readings. The 38-year-old artist returns to Chelsea gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash for her second solo exhibition (Sept. 10-Oct. 17) with several new works created during her recent trip to Los Angeles.
A former Yalie who has taken the art world by storm with her fizzy Technicolor abstractions, rising star Keltie Ferris is back with her second solo show at this gallery. The colorful exhibition will include 12 new abstract paintings that she made during a recent stay in Los Angeles, as well as several of the artist’s figurative body prints on paper. The large abstractions mix lively brushwork with bold spray painted areas, while the works on paper (inspired by the body prints of David Hammons) capture the imprint of Ms. Ferris’ clothed body with pigments and oils over a network of brushed, linear forms.
If its attempts to transcend its own condition as colour spread on a plane occupy a large part in its history, painting is nevertheless still a physical area from which to address the surrounding world. While the majority of Westerners henceforth spend most of their time with their eyes glued to a luminous rectangle —hi there, who you are reading this text humbly printed on paper—, painting, in the words of Daniel Lefcourt, allows slow-looking, and have the ability to speak of perception, of touch. It would be, more than ever, topical.
With exuberant, quirky and often kitschy creations, Jessica Stockholder has put a significant stamp on the medium of installation art.
This fall, Ferris’s paintings and body prints will be shown together for the first time in her second solo at Mitchell-Innes and Nash in Chelsea. As she prepared for that exhibition (opening September 10) and two other upcoming shows at the University Art Museum in Albany and Klemm’s in Berlin, Ferris welcomed Artspace's Karen Rosenberg to her Bushwick studio to talk about her embrace of body art and what it means for her paintings.
A Public Art Fund production organized by the fund’s associate curator, Andria Hickey, the exhibition presents sculptures by seven artists who have all exhibited internationally. It’s meant to address a particular condition of modern life: On the one hand, technologically mediated imagery constantly impinges on us from every direction; on the other, images are perpetually being turned into real things, like fancy cars and tall buildings. The exhibition’s introductory text panel explains, “As images are rendered into objects, and objects are circulated as images, the boundaries between the physical and the virtual are blurred, challenging us to rethink how we see the world around us.”
Chicago-based artist Pope.L works in a variety of mediums, including painting, spoken word, installation, and performance, to challenge ideas of race and social stereotypes. His practice questions society’s claims on identity and the body. Pope.L has famously crawled all over New York City: for his piece “Tompkins Square Crawl” (1991), he climbed through the gutters of Tompkins Square Park in a suit, and in “The Great White Way,” he crawled the entire 22 miles of Broadway over a period of five years wearing a superman suit with a skateboard slung over his back. He has eaten an issue of the Wall Street Journal while sitting on a toilet in his piece, “Eating the Wall Street Journal” (2000). He copyrighted his personal slogan: “The Friendliest Black Artist in America©.” His paintings and sculptures often use a variety of white foods: mayonnaise, flour, and milk. Pope.L is a master of, in his words, “genre-hopping”; he does not sit still, he’s constantly in motion challenging ideas of who we are, what we are, and what it means to be American.
“Image Objects,” on view through November 20, brings digital culture to City Hall Park in New York. Organized by Public Art Fund and curated by Andrea Hickey — who also put together the sprawling group show “Objects Food Rooms,” currently on view at Tanya Bonakdar — the exhibition riffs on the complex interplay between two- and three-dimensions, between the computer-generated and the supposedly “real.” The artists on view, including Jon Rafman, Amanda Ross-Ho, and Lothar Hempel, all probe these unique tensions, often mixing cutting-edge technologies with old-fashioned materials. (Rafman, for instance, uses computer modeling software to create forms that are then hewn from marble.) In a conversation via email, I spoke with Hickey about how our obsession with sharing images of art on social media platforms is changing creative culture.
Stand inches away from a Brent Wadden canvas and the work takes on a similar monumentality to a Clyfford Still painting. The edge of a given shape seems to drop into a bottomless void. A few steps back, however, with the canvas in full view, these shapes form a pattern—those canyons are now part of a flat surface without depth. From this distance the eye skates from swatch to swatch, absorbing the variation in surface color and texture. All of the eight works on view oscillate, at times assuming the flat surface of a geometric design, at others, the depth of a landscape.
Stand inches away from a Brent Wadden canvas and the work takes on a similar monumentality to a Clyfford Still painting. The edge of a given shape seems to drop into a bottomless void. A few steps back, however, with the canvas in full view, these shapes form a pattern—those canyons are now part of a flat surface without depth. From this distance the eye skates from swatch to swatch, absorbing the variation in surface color and texture. All of the eight works on view oscillate, at times assuming the flat surface of a geometric design, at others, the depth of a landscape.
Pope.L’s powerful exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Geffen Contemporary subtly replaces passive viewing with multisensory experience. The show teems with possibilities for heightened sensation—smell, touch, vision and hearing—and draws on Pope.L’s decades of performance and video work to evoke the kinds of physical and psychical shifts a performer might experience. At the center of this selection of nine mixed-medium pieces dating from 1992 to the present is Trinket (2008/2015), a 16-by-45-foot American flag blown by four large industrial fans of the type used to simulate tornadoes on movie sets.
While Pat O’Neill is primarily known as an experimental filmmaker, this small retrospective, which filled two moodily lit galleries with five decades’ worth of sculptures, drawings, photographs, slides, and films, made a case for another, adjacent view of his practice—one concerned with fixed visual forms. In Untitled (Dingo 4), 1980, four identical gelatin silver prints of a dog appeared side by side, each overlain with a small photocopy that was partially obscured, in turn, by a different-colored paint chip—a frame-by-frame dissolve from color to color that recalled O’Neill’s movies.
"... From Ledare's notorious case study of his immediate family in Pretend, to his manipulation of a fraught commission from a collector couple to photograph the wife in the nude in An Invitation (2012), Ledare's work pivots on his highly curated assemblage of documents that implicate all involved, not least himself. As his collaborator Nicolás Guagnini wrote, "Neither critique nor utopia can be construed as such in this state of bitter lucidity ...[Ledare's work] confronts us with a montage of disenchantment and aesthetic gratification that stirs deep within us, but with a thick varnish of guilt." [...]
The sculptures of Gonzalo Fonseca — hand-carved blocks of marble and limestone riddled with secret compartments, moveable pieces, mysterious emblems, and tiny staircases — look like Paleolithic dollhouses designed by M.C. Escher. They don’t quite make sense, but they radiate an internal logic so seductive it’s hard not to feel as though you once encountered them in a dream, wandering through the works like abandoned cities.
See the excellent first show by Brent Wadden, a young Canadian-born painter who has set aside his brushes and taken up weaving, making thick rug-like abstractions whose jagged, interlocking shapes have the wobble of Op Art except softened by vagaries of color, texture and edge. The work resonates with the history of textiles and meets halfway the efforts of textile artists like Anni Albers and Sheila Hicks, who broached painting from the other side.
See the excellent first show by Brent Wadden, a young Canadian-born painter who has set aside his brushes and taken up weaving, making thick rug-like abstractions whose jagged, interlocking shapes have the wobble of Op Art except softened by vagaries of color, texture and edge. The work resonates with the history of textiles and meets halfway the efforts of textile artists like Anni Albers and Sheila Hicks, who broached painting from the other side.