Our annual winter support keeps the Rail independent, relevant, and free
In the hands of an artist like Stuart Hawkins, photography sings with a global voice. The New York/Nepal-based artist has taken a Technicolor look at the uneasy relationship between foreigner and native—a binary reality at the core of identity politics, but one that is increasingly about imagined narratives rather than facts.
After September 11, images of the Twin Towers began to appear everywhere. Not just on television or in newspapers, as one might expect, but in previously overlooked places, noticed for the first time in the aftermath of the catastrophe: painted as part of a logo on a commercial van, for example, or in a cityscape mural on a restaurant wall.
Eric Benson’s first New York solo exhibition offers seven elegantly crafted, exquisitely designed collage paintings of an imagined contemporary American landscape. The paintings, all from 2006, depict all-too-familiar urban sprawl full of incongruously sited International Style glass skyscrapers, decaying forms that have outlived their usefulness, and ubiquitous cookie cutter housing developments on the frontier of suburbia.
These small paintings come from a specific place—Seal Point—in John Walker’s adopted homeland, Maine. They are painted on old bingo cards that Walker undoubtedly encountered in his foraging sorties in the Maine countryside. Hints of numbers linger beneath the surface, and the faintest memory of the printed grids sometimes paradoxically suggest a kind of aleatory structure, very much of our time.
In environmental science it is axiomatic that when two ecosystems come into contact, such as a meadow and a forest, species diversity is most abundant. It is also true that in the urban street, the ecosystems of the personal and commercial worlds overlap, providing for diverse mental, psychological and spiritual ecology of the mind and soul.
Dash Snow started taking Polaroids at the age of sixteen to reclaim pockets of lost time: countless nights of hard partying that neither he nor his friends could remember the following day.
This young artist’s first solo show immerses itself into the aura surrounding G.I. Gurdjieff, a Russian mystic who achieved a cult-like following in Europe in the 1920s.
Jim Long, fellow contributor to the Brooklyn Rail, is exhibiting four monumental tondi, entitled For Jaganatha 1 through 4 in a show organized by Rackstraw Downes at CUE Art Foundation.
Maki Tamura’s preferred medium is paper. In the past, the Japanese-born Tamura created large-scale scrolls that, with a nod toward her Asian roots, unrolled down the wall and onto the floor.
The subject of John Brill’s current exhibition—photographs he took as a child—might seem like an exercise in nostalgia. That it isn’t is as much a credit to his eight-year-old-self’s sense of composition as it is to Brill’s virtuoso printing technique.
The gripe many skeptics have with computer-based art is that the medium often takes precedence over the message. VertexList, a gallery in Williamsburg devoted to new media art, is wary of this pitfall, and aims to harness the expressive power of technology without drawing excessive attention to the method of delivery.
As the title of Nicola Lopez’s current exhibition Overgrowth suggests, much of her work is devoted to the negative transformation of the environment by our glorification of technology and the ever-accelerating pace of urban development.
I first noticed the work of Denise Green, an Australian residing in New York since 1969, at the New Image Painting exhibition held by the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1978. Her paintings, along with those of Susan Rothenberg and Robert Moskowitz, marked a revival of the image or sign within the gestural field—a painterly concept generated by Jasper Johns more than two decades earlier.
Dona Nelson continues to prove herself as a skilled interrogator of painting. With impatience and glee, she addresses the fundamental questions that have dogged painters over the past century—why, what and how.
Friend or foe? Freud maintained that the uncanny is a mere change of light: that minimal, immaterial difference detectable in your girlfriend after she’s been replicated by invading body snatchers. The Dark Side is but alien malevolence hidden behind what’s most familiar.
Time was there were things that one just didnt discuss in polite company: bodily functions, religion, and politics. Culture, at large, was supposed to filter out the grosser elements of life, but now we brandish our expertise in the latest and greatest outrages with pride.
Ursula von Rydingsvard’s commanding new sculptures in natural, rough-hewn cedar are captivating in their correspondences to and departures from the awe-inspiring and warmly welcoming works that have defined her thirty-year oeuvre.
September in the art world has looked so far like what it is every year: an exercise in Dionysian excess. But thankfully, miles away from the clamor in Chelsea, HOLIDAY, has gone ahead with its modest business-as-usual from a converted garage on the outskirts of Williamsburg.
Although they run their programs throughout the summer, London galleries don’t really turn up the heat until around the third week of September, in anticipation of Frieze, the most “fashionable” art fair in the world (October 12–15: friezeartfair.com).
Robert Yasuda’s work stands well in a corner. His current exhibition includes three narrow corner paintings (“Half Full,” “Simple Truth,” and “Bonjour”) that work like studs or posts, rising vertically with a strenuous elegance, adding a sense of rigor to his otherwise atmospheric abstractions.