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ETHAN COOK: Problem In Chair Not In Computer

When looking at Ethan Cook’s work, you need to be able to both stand back to take in the entirety of the field and lean in to observe every detail from up close. Anything in your line of sight will disrupt your ability to properly experience the work. So, if you can, find a time to see Problem In Chair Not In Computer, Cook’s excellent show at American Contemporary, when few people are likely to be in the gallery.

Mary McDonnell
Clear Pause

Mary McDonnell’s show of new paintings, Clear Pause, takes the viewer to this risky place with insistent gestures, held in suspension by a sensual, musical use of color.


For a photographer, the prospect of creating an image that will resonate with its audience is no doubt a daunting prospect. Three artists currently on view in Metro at Julie Saul Gallery—Reinier Gerritsen, Adam Magyar, and David Molander—attempt to tackle this problem by stitching together, though varied processes, patchworks of other photographs in order to make a new whole.

Myths of Eden and Gauguin’s Metamorphoses

For those hoping to wander through galleries laden with the Tahitian reveries and thinly veiled Gallic indiscretions formed by the jewel-conjuring palette of Paul Gauguin (1848 – 1903), the Museum of Modern Art’s Gauguin: Metamorphoses might prove a tremendous disappointment.

Fountain Art Fair, 69th Armory Building

It is a rare and refreshing thing for inclusiveness to give an art fair its edge; somewhere between quality and quantity, variety and uniformity, a careful balance must be struck.

ALI BANISADR Motherboard

From the distant view of the mezzanine of the gallery, Ali Banisadr’s triptych “Ran” (2014) gains a depth of field that allows the viewer to get a handle on the wild whirring, spinning choreography of the oil painting.

Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China

For many Chinese artists, their country’s long, illustrious, and in some ways hide-bound visual traditions are an elephant in the studio when it comes to making contemporary art.

Italian Futurism, 1909 – 1944: Reconstructing the Universe

Italian Futurism, 1909 – 1944: Reconstructing the Universe is a groundbreaking, mammoth exhibit of 360 works from 80 artists, poets, architects, and designers who had a dramatic impact on art across more than three decades.


The Belgian-born artist Peter Buggenhout creates massive sculptures out of discarded manufacturing materials, covering them in hair, blood, and grimy layers of dust collected from vacuum cleaner bags.


Norbert Prangenberg: The Last Works is on display at Garth Greenan Gallery in Chelsea. There are a lot of firsts in this exhibition of last works.

Thomas Kovachevich 2013

The works on display in this multi-venue exhibition include abstract paintings, minimalist sculptures, and sculptural performances of an aleatory nature.

BRIAN O’DOHERTY Connecting the ...

The mirrored, joint exhibitions offer an eclectic overview of the artist’s probing intellectual and existentialist pursuits, subjects that range as widely as the semantic structure of language to our comparative experience of space, the exploration of individual identity, art historical tropes, and a personal (and formative) obsession with chess.


The first line of curator Naomi Beckwith’s essay is a quote from the artist: “There was a time […] when the content of my work was coming from outside sources.” Indeed.

NORIO IMAI Perspective in White

Aside from prayer and its secular variants, few experiences can shift consciousness as powerfully as a transformative aesthetic encounter. The quiet, all-white work of Norio Imai achieves this with such deceptively simple means that the intensification of awareness it occasions is all the more profound.


“Paweł Althamer: The Neighbors”—the first major survey of the Polish artist’s work in the United States—is a checkered exhibition that vacillates between anarchic energy and pious political correctness.


Though housed in the impeccable walls of Dominique Lévy uptown, the sculptures of Germaine Richier look to have been unearthed just moments ago, as if pulled from the ground like the cast bodies of Pompeii.

NATALIE EDGAR Abstract Journey

The dream of Olson’s poem represents “what we know went on,” as opposed to any kind of objective version of history. This could apply to the painter Natalie Edgar at first in a literal sense; she was the wife of Philip Pavia, one of the founders of The Club, where Abstract Expressionism had its beginnings.

For Marian

For Marian, a group show at FiveMyles* in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, is a posthumous homage to the Sculpture Center’s late director, Marion Griffiths.


One of the few unpainted surfaces in Emily Noelle Lambert’s exhibition Curio Logic II is a curved metal “sword” that partially delineates a swelling tapestry of works.

CHUCK CLOSE Nudes 1967 – 2014

“If eyes were made for seeing, / Then beauty is its own excuse for being” / Said Emerson of the Rhodora. Yet “seeing and making / Is a different matter,” said the old poet.


Jasper Johns tells Brice Marden / About the drips along the bottom of his paintings: / “How come you do that?” / “Well, you know, you get near the bottom / And you’re bending over, and you get a little tired.”


Circular modules stenciled on and off the grid / Which at times absorb light as though / They are orchestrations of quiet sound moving / Slowly at different speeds for the sake of / Cicero amazingly speaking before the sea waves


William Pangburn’s strong show, consisting of an installation and a sequence of small paintings, has water as a major theme. Pangburn, a longtime resident of Tribeca, New York’s venerable art neighborhood, belongs to the tradition of the New York School. Sixty years old, he represents the still-vital energies of a legacy some might feel is moribund.


I’ve always associated the work of Erwin Wurm with the transitory, the momentary, the moving. The most vital aspect of his practice was his fluid concept of sculpture and his documentation of this fluidity. Take, for instance, the series One-Minute Sculptures (1988-97), which brought his work to the attention of the broader public at the beginning of the ’90s. He posed, or instructed other people to pose, with everyday items—a man squeezed himself under a chair; another filled his mouth, ears, and eye sockets with markers and other office supplies.

Sexing Sound: Aural Archives and Feminist Scores

Conceived as two interdependent parts, Sexing Sound welds together an exhibition gathering aural archives and feminist scores to a symposium centering on music cultures, audio practices, and contemporary art.


The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2014

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