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The Nature of Carl Andre

This summer Dia:Beacon finally opened the long-awaited Carl Andre retrospective documenting 50 years of his career. Co-curators Yasmil Raymond and Phillipe Vergne, assisted by Manuel Cirauqui, spent years researching and organizing the entirety of Andre’s production and it shows in the comprehensive view and sensitive installation of the work.


Judith Shea’s new sculptures tread an unexpected and elegant tight rope. Initially we are drawn into their technical skill and physical presence. Then more slowly their inner emotional fire is revealed. The works are defiant yet elegant, fierce yet accepting and calm.


Despite having recently focused on more environmental installations of his “Fugue” paintings, Brussels-based artist Jean-Baptiste Bernadet eases in his U.S. audience with a more traditional presentation for his New York debut at American Contemporary.

MIKA ROTTENBERG Bowls Balls Souls Holes

Are we waiting for an apparatus of wonder / To operate with relentless irritation? / Bingo balls sizzle with the sound of / Fortune for the unfortunate.


“I think there isn’t a photograph in the world that has any narrative ability,” Garry Winogrand told Bill Moyers in 1982. “They do not tell stories—they show you what something looks like. To a camera.”

JEFF KOONS A Retrospective

There exists a fine line between fetish object and art object, camp and kitsch, high and low. This slippery demarcation subsists at the margins of taste, determining the course of art history and culture as well as defining the parameters of consumption and capital.


Jo Nigoghossian’s four new sculptures crouch together at one end of a hallway-like space in Night Gallery, just east of L.A.’s downtown. They are made of black steel: strips of sheet metal, tubing, and channel curve and twist into industrial hybrids of inanimate objects and expressive creatures.

LARRY CLARK they thought i were but i aren't anymore...

Two trains of thought about Larry Clark’s artistic output consistently pervade consideration of his work, which for the past 40 years has almost exclusively examined the debauched underbelly of adolescent life in America.

CAMILLE HENROT The Restless Earth

Camille Henrot’s solo exhibition The Restless Earth made full use of the New Museum’s second floor, leading viewers through a loop of rooms with diverse characters, plots, and settings.

BRIDGET RILEY The Stripe Paintings 1961 – 2014

Bridget Riley is one of the last living Modern artists. At the age of 83, her curiosity for the visible and for the art of the past keeps engaging her in new work, without loss of urgency.

This is what sculpture looks like

To counter perceived favoritism toward the medium of painting at the expense of sculpture in the marketplace and in critical discourse, this entertaining show intends to even the score. Bluster is good for business, but the underdog stance of the work doesn’t come as much from it being sculpture as it does from being subversive. An equally good title would be This Is What Activist Art Looks Like.


It could be argued that Gabriel Kuri’s approach to sculpture has been over-rehearsed during the past century, but on rare occasions art such as his demonstrates that it will always be possible to brush the formal and conceptual cobwebs off of any way of working and provoke actual surprise if not innovation.


For his first solo show in New York, Ryan Sawyer offered a challenging variation on now well-entrenched deconstructive themes. He stripped all of the copper from the drywall of the front room of the James Fuentes Gallery, and sold it in Brooklyn as scrap metal.


The best of painting at this moment gives consideration to the question, “What can painting do?” What is the particular voice and range of investigation that painting can offer and in what form?


Lee Bul presented a striking body of work for her recent show, which included an installation, several individual sculptures, and India ink and acrylic paintings. All the works in this compelling exhibition address visionary attitudes toward form, inspired in one case by the German architect and urban planner, Bruno Taut (1880 – 1938), whose idealized drawings influenced Weimar buildings.


Too often, activist art is charged with an urgency its very ephemerality bestows upon it, lingering only so long as its context permits, and doomed to an afterlife as dated social commentary.

GREG SMITH Breakdown Lane

When you first step into Greg Smith’s installation at Susan Inglett Gallery, the artist’s stunning material sensibility overshadows any realization that what you see are actually the reconfigured trappings, ruins, and byproducts of an unusual Rube Goldberg machine.

DEREK LERNER Convenient Gratification

The human compulsion for mark-making, so pronounced in many visual artists, contains an element of the territorial imperative. Both impulses, it seems, arise from a fundamental need to extend into and lay claim to space, to ceaselessly reshape the world in one’s own image.

Streets That Tell Stories

Maria Morganti is one of those rare artists fortunate enough to have developed a seemingly inexhaustible idiom that is wholly her own—more meaningful than a gimmick, yet simple enough to sustain infinite variation.

BRADLEY EROS eau de cinema: constellations & contradictions

Bradley Eros’s newest show at Microscope Gallery continues the artist’s long-standing interest in cinematic essence. While the search for it might seem futile, Eros’s cogent attempt emphasizes multiplicity and collaboration, and thus downplays the need for a singular conclusion.

MANA CONTEMPORARY All the Best Artists Are My Friends

On May 10, Mana Contemporary inaugurated a new gallery with an exhibition curated by the artist Ray Smith. The title of the show, All the Best Artists Are My Friends, suggests a comic self-assuredness in the face of art world nepotism.

Railing Opinion

As much as I like Barbara Rose’s review of Barry Schwabsky’s Words for Art (2013), in the BR’s June number, I cannot understand how she can say, “The idea that there was no conception of depicted space prior to the Renaissance is, however, so far reaching and radical it demands much further and deeper consideration than an essay can possibly supply.”


It was never intended for Mondrian— / My linden tree. / Nor was it for Picasso or Braque / When they spent the summer in Céret! / It was the linden tree that taught me / How to hold my trunk upward and high / Without getting a burn.

LUCAS SAMARAS Offerings From a Restless Soul

Lucas Samaras: Offerings from a Restless Soul is a sophisticated multimedia exhibition by a reclusive artist that features more than 60 works drawn from the Metropolitan Museum’s large contemporary collection.


Entering an Adrian Schiess exhibition is not a passive experience, and his current show at FRAC in Marseille is no exception. Spread out over two floors, Schiess has installed individual pieces on nearly every surface, be it hanging on or leaning against the wall, or lying flat on the floor.

Skin Deep

Perle Fine was a great but under-recognized Abstract Expressionist painter; Paul Anthony Smith is a painter, originally from Jamaica, who recently moved from Kansas City to Bushwick. Their innovations in the art of manipulating the form and surface of paper make them odd but not unwilling bedfellows.

CLAUDIA HART Welcome to Alice’s Gift Shop!

Claudia Hart is an artist for whom the ludic is essential to understanding the complicated concept of human individuation. Her tactical play with words, contexts, and mediums serves to poke fun at the logical machine we call “self.”

Life in Death: Still Lifes and Select Masterworks of Chaim Soutine

On view at Paul Kasmin this past June was the under-represented Belarusian master Chaim Soutine.  Life in Death: Still Lifes and Select Masterworks of Chaim Soutine featured 16 paintings of dead animals, landscapes, and a few portraits, giving a limited but nuanced look into the painter’s oeuvre.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2014

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