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Howardena Pindell: Autobiography

The “Autobiography” series came about after a near fatal crash in which Pindell sustained severe injuries and memory loss. Early works from this series on view at Garth Greenan bear witness to the artist literally and figuratively piecing together fragments of her past.

Tiona Nekkia McClodden: Hold on, let me take the safety off

You are hit first by the contrast. The clinical white of the gallery walls behind the black leather and paint draw in and repel—equal and opposite forces. Within the freeing constraints of the gallery space, we are invited to explore an artistic vision of other types of freeing constraint: physical and psychological kinds, based off leather and trust and, most importantly, balance in pain and pleasure.

Postwar Women

Postwar Women concentrates on the work of women who attended the Art Students League, emphasizing art made between 1945 and 1965 and including pieces created before and after those periods. The League has been particularly open to women, presenting them with the chance to study beginning in the middle of the 19th century (it opened in 1875).

Modernisms: Iranian, Turkish, and Indian Highlights from NYU’s Abby Grey Collection

Modernisms focuses on the period of the 1960s and 1970s when Grey traveled and assembled her collection of approximately 700 works from the Middle East and Asia (114 of which are on view), after which she established the Grey Art Gallery at New York University.

Kim Tschang-Yeul: New York to Paris

The Korean painter Kim Tschang-Yeul is part of a generation that traveled outside East Asia in the 1960s and ’70s in order to develop a more universal approach to painting. In those decades, South Korea existed under a military dictatorship that offered its citizens—and specifically its artists—very little exposure to what was happening culturally in the Western world.

Tetsuya Ishida: Self-Portrait of Other

In the more than 70 works by Tetsuya Ishida now on view at Chicago’s Wrightwood 659, the late Japanese artist offers anxious visions of the individual within consumer capitalism. The haunting, darkly fantastical paintings depict men flayed, devoured, and exploited by industrial manufacturing and the fruits of its production.

Betye Saar: The Legend of Black Girl’s Window

The exhibition’s centerpiece is a pivotal work in the Saar’s career that blended the mystical imagery the artist was using in her ongoing printmaking practice with political and biographical elements to form a self-portrait assemblage.

Alex Sewell: When I Wanted Everything

Alex Sewell puts his considerable skills to work in paintings with trompe l’oeil flourishes that mimic the effects of pen, pencil, and chalk, as well as illusionistic interiors and landscapes.

Julia Bland: The Half That Ties, the Half that Breaks

An unshakable sense of magic pervades almost all of Julia Bland’s laboriously fabricated fiber works in her first solo show at Andrew Rafacz gallery. Cut, stitched, painted, and burned canvases joined with hand-woven textiles hang like tapestries that thrum with entrancing geometric configurations. Even the exhibition’s measured title, The Half That Ties, the Half that Breaks, evokes an incantation—a sort of ritual poem seeking to resolve seemingly contrary forces.

Rachelle Dang: Uncertain Haven

In the middle of a small room at Lesley Heller Gallery is a slightly disconcerting object. Disconcerting because its form and features are those of a thing we should recognize, a familiar thing, not a recondite conceptual artwork: gabled roof, symmetrical windows, an unassuming exterior painted gradients of yellow and green, like the façade of an abandoned house creeping with the first faint spores of moss.

Hope Gangloff

Landscape painting isn’t typically thought of as seductive or radical, but that isn’t the case with Hope Gangloff’s eponymous exhibition at Susan Inglett Gallery. Gangloff’s uncanny use of color and suggestive line work sets a mood that is both alluring and enticing.

Agnes Denes: Absolutes & Intermediates

From the start, Denes has wielded mathematics, philosophy, and unflinching logic as the instruments of an intellectually formidable practice that is driven by a passion—almost a hunger—for discovery.

Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Motherwell: The Art of Marriage

Humor is not a matter we associate with great artists, but it is with these star-crossed lovers, both dedicated body and soul to their craft but with the good sense to periodically stop making sense.

Wayne Thiebaud: Mountains 1965–2019

These mountains embody the most sensuous aspects of the beautiful, as Thiebaud is a fundamentally erotic artist whose work arouses the viewer’s appetites.

Suzanne Bocanegra: Wardrobe Test

Throughout Wardrobe Test, we encounter women trying things on: costumes, other voices, new or different personae. And yet despite, or even through, this garb, we also witness glimpses of what we have to assume or hope to believe is the person within, the compassionate collaborator and mourner, the artist as empath, the woman of faith above all else.

Pat Passlof: The Brush is the Finger of the Brain

What comes through in these paintings is a radiant pictorial intelligence, a questing curiosity about what paint can do and a willingness to take formal risks.

Okayama Art Summit 2019: If the Snake

Blending with its surroundings, the engaging art spills outside, runs through the streets, and bleeds into uncharted, overlooked interiors, bringing fresh breath to sites frequently occupied yet rarely used outside of their original intents.

Sanam Khatibi: An hour before the Devil fell

The show at PPOW consists of 22 paintings and two wall-bound sculptures (all 2019). Five large paintings depict reposing, peachy-porcelain nudes arranged on shallow, tree-framed outcroppings, surrounded by the detritus of extravagant feasts: dishes loaded with fruit, meticulously-crafted cakes, chalices alight with flames, even an oyster shell full of pearls. This bounty, however, is haunting.

Michael Eade: past is present is future

Michael Eade is an American artist showing at Echo He’s Fou Gallery, located in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The artists shown at He’s gallery are mostly from Mainland China, reflecting her background, but the gallerist also shows non-Chinese artists, and Eade is one of them.

Mark Leckey: O’ Magic Power of Bleakness

In his engulfing, otherworldly video installation at Tate Britain, O’ Magic Power of Bleakness, Mark Leckey has transformed a cavernous gallery into a freeway underpass—specifically his childhood hangout under the M53 Motorway, which runs through his deindustrialized hometown on the Wirral Peninsula across the River Mersey from Liverpool.

Whose Reality?

Here I am, standing on Fifth Avenue just across from Apple’s recently reopened Batcave of a store and chasing a liquid, care-free form as it flies in and out of the midtown skyscrapers surrounding us. While the shimmering “ghost” takes on various colors and shapes, sometimes even forming words, a high-pitched voice, reminiscent, perhaps, of Bjork, sings along with it.

Janine Antoni: I am fertile ground

I am fertile ground is a piece imbued with the themes of Antoni’s work—the body as an artistic tool, both for making and meaning-making, which corresponds to the art objects that will inevitably outlast it. Her work as a product hinges upon her physical form in the time she makes it, a period sometimes as specific and short as the instant of a photograph.

Caroline Coon: The Great Offender

Any initial humor found in the absurdity of these two hyper-sexualized scenes, perhaps especially for straight male audiences, quickly gives way to uneasiness and introspection, resulting in a sudden and powerful realization that the only way systematic change can begin is from within the viewer.

Ron Gorchov: At the Cusp of the 80s, Paintings 1979–1983

Eight of Ron Gorchov’s classic paintings on shields, executed in the late 1970s and early 1980s, are currently on view in the new uptown gallery of Cheim & Read. Two of them arch out vertically, while the others are horizontally oriented. None, needless to say, are either rectangular or flat.

Brendan Fernandes: Contract and Release

I detect a strong Marxism underlying the work, moving from the struggle of black and white to a resolved dialectic in red. Their work completed, the performers lounge on the sculpture, rather than dragging and assembling it. Such subtle resistance matches again with Noguchi, who, curator Dakin Hart reminds visitors, “was a social activist…most of [whose] efforts to shape society were indirect and abstract.

Hadi Fallahpisheh: Almost Alone

In Blind Rat (2019), one of 15 large photographs featured in Hadi Fallahpisheh’s exhibition at Tramps, a rat wears tiny, ’90s Matrix-style glasses and spreads its legs suggestively, its crotch replaced by a mouse hole

Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory

Vija Celmins began her career with the ambitious goal of wishing to remove gesture, composition, and the artist’s personality from the work of art.

Bojana Ginn: Phygital Muse

The future looks good in Bojana Ginn’s Phygital Muse. Nature and technology co-exist throughout Ginn’s interdisciplinary exhibition. She explores transhumanism, a school of thought dedicated to the notion that technology will radically enhance human life.

Marco Maggi: Initialism (From Obscurantism to Enlightenment)

Marco Maggi has brought about the improbable union of Plato and Stéphane Mallarmé. Specifically, the marriage of Plato's allegory of the cave in the Republic and Mallarmé's Un coup des dés jamais n'abolira le hasard, his polyphonic text, meant to be read simultaneously at several levels in order to be understood.

Andrea del Verrocchio: Sculptor and Painter of Renaissance Florence

About midway through the National Gallery’s exhibition Andrea del Verrocchio: Sculptor and Painter of Renaissance Florence, you find yourself standing in front of a beautiful young woman carved from marble that has mellowed to a honey-brown hue.

Tamar Hirschfeld: Neuland

In 1902 Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, wrote an iconic novel titled Altneuland, also known as The Old New Land and Tel Aviv. This futuristic utopian story is about a young Viennese-Jewish intellectual who travels to Jaffa to find a land that has drastically transformed over the years: it is peaceful and well industrialized.

Sandra Brewster: Blur

The repetition of Sandra Brewster’s “Blur” portraits in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Canadian wing has a potency that exceeds the modest room they are displayed in. Installed with precision, there is a rhythmic nature to this single series of works that is both meditative and pointed.

Antony Gormley

Antony Gormley at London’s Royal Academy is a confounding bundle of contradictions. With this solo show—the artist’s most significant in the UK for over a decade—curators Martin Caiger-Smith and Sarah Lea have united iconic older works with newly commissioned pieces, arriving at a blend of the imposing, the minimalist, and the aesthetically austere.

Albert Oehlen: Fn Paintings

Albert Oehlen comes out of what might now be considered a tradition of anti-tradition in post war German painting. It was established by Sigmar Polke, one of Oehlen’s mentors at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg, as a bricolage of pop iconography and pattern combined with bravura impasto and dissolute washes.

Albert Oehlen

The Serpentine exhibition is extraordinary. This show highlights Oehlen’s ongoing engagement with both the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas and the Kiev-born American artist John D. Graham ‘s painting Tramonto Spaventoso (‘Terrifying Sunset’) from 1940–49. In the high-vaulted central gallery space of the Serpentine Gallery—around which smaller adjoining spaces provide views out onto the park—are a group of canvases scaled to match Rothko’s horizontal paintings in the Houston chapel.

Torkwase Dyson: 1919: Blackwater

A new solo show of work by the New-York-based artist Torkwase Dyson grapples with the historically hostile relationship between the Black body and what is known in contemporary architectural theory as “the built environment.”

Francesca DiMattio: Statues

Francesca DiMattio’s monstrous 9-foot tall She-Wolf (2018), with a bulbous black head stretching out from grafted human and animal forms, including a porcelain human front leg and a life-sized hunting dog standing in for a rear leg, restores the wildness of this maternal wolf once immortalized in the famous Etruscan bronze (500 BCE) that the sculpture references.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

McCullers’s work evokes a sense of alienation—both from society and, crucially, from oneself. However, to many she also represents an enthusiastic, if not necessarily fully consummated, embrace of her own desires.

Terry Fox: Resonance

Resonance as it is known to the public —although affectionately the series has been termed “The Terry Fox Extravaganza” by its co-curators Dena Beard, director of The Lab art space in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, and Constance Lewallen of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)—is a multi-venue celebration of the late, Seattle-born, Europhilic Fox's work and contributions to the Bay Area as a member of the first generation of conceptual artists in the late 1960s and 1970s.

David Hartt: The Histories (Le Mancenillier)

Off to the side of a video in David Hartt’s site-specific The Histories (Le Mancenillier) for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Beth Sholom Synagogue outside of Philadelphia, papaya leaves nod in the breeze and burn white with sunlight, catching the curving shadows of nearby foliage.

Rajni Perera: Traveller

Sleek, yet ornate; futuristic, yet traditional; feminine, yet androgynous. Mixed media portraits of powerful figures line the walls of Traveller, a solo exhibition by multidisciplinary artist Rajni Perera.

A Letter from Tbilisi

Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital where nearly half of its population resides, now has an international art fair and a steady flow of unfettered capital funneling into large development projects of former Soviet factories as well as the accompanying problems of gentrification and worsening economic inequality.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2019

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