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Sadie Barnette: The New Eagle Creek Saloon

For The New Eagle Creek at the Institute for Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Sadie Barnette’s first solo museum exhibition, the artist has reimagined her father’s historic bar with a glittering fictional patina. The installation, a version of which originally debuted at The Lab in San Francisco, functions as both a physical archive of the bar as well as a space to be activated by visitors, where coming together in each other’s company is foregrounded as something to be celebrated.

Age of Who?

Walking into Age of You, a group exhibition spanning two floors at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Toronto, one might fairly mistake the abundance of PVC board infographics for a slick elementary school science fair or leaked storyboards for a future season of Black Mirror. Numerous rectangular panels are suspended in rows and printed with words and images that address relationships between the digital self and techno-politics.

Odessa Straub: There’s my chair I put it there

Throughout the exhibition the restorative and sexual relationships evoked in these works reveal a fragile yet perseverant Eros. Straub’s artwork reconceives sexuality as an intimate mode of living that is receptive and responsive, tender and creative, and as vulnerable as it is giving.

Max Schumann: Tonight Where You Live

Schumann’s particular tack seems to be to rely upon the accumulated associative meaning shared in his readymade supports, a visual commons of sorts, to serve as a substrate for a pointed critique of the cultural clichés they rely upon.

Dark Laughter

In Barry Schwabsky’s Dark Laughter, Genesis Belanger’s witty sculpture The Options Are Slim, 2019, a facsimile of a plug socket with a kitchen knife jabbed into it, elicits a sardonic laugh no matter how close or far away you stand from it. However, by reducing this and other works by Belanger, Emily Mae Smith, Ellen Berkenblit and June Leaf through an all-too-familiar press release about each artist’s idiosyncratic tact in a world gone haywire—in which their dark sense of humour quietly rebels against a status quo—the individual prowess of each practice is short-changed.

Otherwise Obscured: Erasure in Body and Text

Otherwise Obscured is a rebuttal to white-focused history, working in the vein of canon-broadening curation while reminding the viewer that erasure happens at the level of museum boards of trustees, immigration policy, and disaster relief funding.

Louis Osmosis and Thomas Blair:This is your captain speaking

If Pornhub had a section called “art-for-pay” (maybe next to gay-for-pay), we might find some of the beautiful, cynical things in This is your captain speaking there.

To Fix the Image in Memory

For Vija Celmins

Stephen Antonakos: Late Light Gold Works 2010–2013

This past Friday the 13th of December, in the dismal rain, was a deliciously gilded day for anyone who went to Chelsea to contemplate the undismal sheen of these “late light gold works.” Created late in the life of Stephen Antonakos, and luminous, all these radiant outpourings and inpourings of a sun inside a mind shine forth.

A Bridge Between You and Everything: An Exhibition of Iranian Women Artists

Organized by the Center for Human Rights in Iran and curated by Iranian-born artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat, A Bridge Between You and Everything features 13 contemporary Iranian women artists.

Three Christs, Sleeping Mime, and the Last Supper; Pagan Paradise

Materiality, finish, the artist’s hand or lack thereof, and the imitative potential of sculpture: Ray is, in this installation of his work and its important bronze precedents, presenting a philosophical discussion of sculptural possibility. In his essay, Ray asks, “Does my mime sleep, or does he mime sleep?” and his question is justified: sculpture can only ever mime the real.

Deb Sokolow: Profiles in Leadership // Drawings without words

From anecdotes relayed in “Profiles in Leadership,” we learn, among other things, that David Copperfield has been employed by a political campaign to disappear candidates about to commit verbal self-sabotage, that Vladimir Putin has prepared muffins from the flesh of a shark he single handedly overpowered, and that Fidel Castro categorically evaded women to avoid being poisoned.

Peter Halley: Heterotopia II

Fortress-like, Peter Halley’s newest exhibition, Heterotopia II (2019), immediately presents a situation of pleasure postponed. The bright, DayGlo green and yellow exterior walls of his temple-like structure offer only narrow slits and doorways through which to glimpse the throbbing color within.

John Chamberlain & Donald Judd

So far and yet so near, the antithetical aesthetics of John Chamberlain and Donald Judd are provocatively at play in this compelling show of sculptures, wall pieces, and “paintings” from the 1960s and ’70s. The artists could be considered the alpha and omega of 20th century American sculpture.

Art-Rite Book Launch

I have often wondered: how is it that so many of the post-conceptual, post-minimalist, performance, and video artists that have made up New York’s vibrant downtown arts scene over the last three decades all seem so familiar to each other?

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings, Remembered Light & Landscape

Atlanta’s High Museum is a meaningful conclusion—the only truly Southern one—for an exhibition that foregrounds the American South. Curators Sarah Greenough and Sarah Kennel grouped Mann’s work into five themes: Family, The Land, Last Measure, Abide with Me, and What Remains. Almost 50 previously unpublished photographs provide fresh insight.

Le Modèle noir de Géricault à Matisse

In 1992 art historian and writer Eunice Lipton published Alias Olympia: A Woman’s Search for Manet’s Notorious Model. The book focuses on Lipton’s obsessive art historical pursuit to identify and better understand the life of Edouard Manet’s celebrated but little-known model, Victorine Meurent. It was Meurent who sat for—some might say collaborated on—his provocative masterpiece, Olympia (1863).

Ragen Moss: 8 animals

The decision to hand-write the bits of text and the question of where to place them are certainly aesthetic concerns, but Moss does not appear to prioritize these formal qualities. Her script is casual, and her placement is direct and frontal. The words deliver their punch despite their appearance, not because of it.

Florencia Escudero

The magnetism of Florencia Escudero’s new soft sculptures, exhibited in her first New York solo exhibition at Kristen Lorello, is felt at first glimpse. Her seductive materials—lustrous velvet, black pleather, jewel-toned satin, and spandex—are at once sumptuous and garish; they are the fabric of every storied, fast-fashion night out.

Günther Uecker: Notations

The title of German artist Günther Uecker’s fascinating show at Lévy Gorvy, Notations invokes many meanings of the term, from a system of symbols representing information, to the noting of and keeping track of ideas, to the staking out of intervals in time. The works on display here create a visible beat.

Trisha Donnelly

Cast near the entrance of Matthew Marks, unshielded from natural light, one of three digital projections by Trisha Donnelly repeats on a short loop. A tall, narrow rectangle frames an image—and contains its movement—visually rhyming with the upright and perpendicular marble monoliths Donnelly has installed throughout the gallery space.

Ann Greene Kelly: Eyelids Are Our Thinnest Skin

Past gallery exhibitions of Ann Greene Kelly’s work have consisted mostly of sculpture. A large part of the New York-born, LA-based artist’s three-dimensional practice involves readymades, which aligns it with that distinctly masculine, if not male tradition in which certain women artists have made a point of intervening.

Robert Mapplethorpe: Obsession and Mastery

In 1993, Robert Mapplethorpe gave the Guggenheim nearly 200 of his photographs, a gift the museum credits with launching its photography program. Last January, it opened Implicit Tensions, a survey of Mapplethorpe’s career. Part Two of the exhibition opened half a year later with a small selection of his prints and work by half a dozen artists who have, in various ways, responded to his imagery.

Mike Kelley: Timeless Painting

It was upsetting and exhilarating in equal measure to see a selection of those paintings extracted from the detritus of Kelley’s sprawling artistic career and made to stand for something important in the cold confines of Hauser & Wirth. Separated from the stuffed animals, videos, sculptures, and architectural models that crowded MoMA PS1 a few years ago, Kelley’s paintings become an uncomfortable retrospective, inevitably shadowed by the artist’s suicide in 2012.

Philip Taaffe

In this third solo exhibition at the gallery, Philip Taaffe continues to pursue an elegant and precise aggregate of images and technique.

Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet

The Metropolitan’s concise retrospective—an abbreviated version of what was shown at London’s Royal Academy—presents the printmaker and painter as a merciless interpreter of his environment and its characters.

Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg: One Last Trip to the Underworld

One Last Trip to the Underworld is the world premiere of four video works by sculptor and stop-animation video artist Nathalie Djurberg and electronic composer Hans Berg. The artists give us not the underworld of antiquity, but a contemporary fall down the rabbit hole into the Freudian unconscious of repressed desires, perversity, and what Freud called day-residues.

Pope.L: Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration

Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration, form a triumvirate of Pope.L experiences that are, or recently have been, unfolding across New York this autumn. Alongside Choir at the Whitney, member: Pope.L 1978–2001 at the Museum of Modern Art presents a historical survey of some of Pope.L’s most significant performance works. The opening of these shows in October was backdropped by Conquest (2019), a performance commissioned by the Public Art Fund that took place in September, where Pope.L coordinated more than 140 volunteers to undertake one of the artist’s venerable Crawl pieces through the streets of lower Manhattan.

Baseera Khan: snake skin

Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias” memorably describes the eventual fate of all empires: “boundless and bare / The lone and level sands stretch far away.” And while it has been difficult to imagine alternatives to the current world order that arose after the collapse of the Berlin Wall three decades ago, cracks in the façade are multiplying. At Baseera Khan’s exhibition snake skin, a fourteen-foot-tall by six-foot-wide column constructed from pink foam insulation is horizontally sliced into seven similarly-sized pieces that are stacked, stood upright, and leaned across the gallery.

Artists Choose Artists

Every three years, the Parrish Art Museum curators relinquish their decision-making powers to a team of well-established artists who judge a competition. Artists Choose Artists is an exhibition of works by seven jurors and 21 selectees. For this fourth iteration the jurors—Lillian Ball, Ralph Gibson, Valerie Jaudon, Jill Moser, Alexis Rockman, Lucien Smith, and Allan Wexler—sorted through 300 online portfolios and visited selected studios of artists residing within local zip codes. In prior years this arduous exercise raised the question, “how do artists who are not curators choose?” This year, jurors tended to pick artists whose work resonates with their own styles, their choices and juxtapositions uncannily and unexpectedly raising intriguing and urgent issues.

William Blake

Since his death in relative obscurity in 1827, William Blake has experienced a continuous revival that has turned him into a sort of artists’ patron saint, or as DJ and producer Martha Pazienti Caidan calls him, perhaps half-cheekily, “a pioneer of slasher culture.”

Sofonisba Anguisola and Lavinia Fontana: A Tale of Two Women Painters

In his radical political treatise, The Subjection of Women (1869), John Stuart Mill briefly takes up discussion of female visual artists. If, as he claims, women are as fully able as men, then why, he asks, have there been no highly distinguished women painters?

Karen Kilimnik

Karen Kilimnik’s self-titled exhibition assembles nearly 80 works (2001–present) of painting, video, photography, collage, and readymade, borrowing imagery from pastoral landscapes, Tsarist Russia, classical and romantic ballet, pop culture, and Hollywood movies.

Markus Lüpertz: Four To Three To Two

If we follow the curatorial lead through Lüpertz’s retrospective at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, we witness an artist investigating in still imagery what the masters of 20th century cinema explored in moving pictures. Presenting a deeply researched account, curator Pamela Kort demonstrates the numerous analogies to filmic practice in Lüpertz’s art.

Rachel Harrison Life Hack

Imagine, if you will, an alternate universe in which the uncanny bricoleur sensibilities of Jessica Stockholder, Franz West, Cady Noland, Martin Kippenberger, Isa Genzken, and Mike Kelley are melded into one super/sub consciousness of sculptural caprice named Rachel Harrison.

Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again

Shirin Neshat has been negotiating her experience as an immigrant and artist in exile through art for over three decades, brought together in a harmonious labyrinth of poetry, music, film and photography in the largest survey to date of her remarkable career. I Will Greet the Sun Again, curated by Ed Schad, brings together over 30 years of photography, video, and film, offering viewers an opportunity to immerse themselves in Neshat’s sublime menagerie of engrossing images, still and moving. Laden with a collective catharsis, Neshat’s work across mediums centers a female perspective as a voice for universally experienced traumas of political upheaval, forced exile, and the diasporic condition.

In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury

Curated by Zoë Ryan, the exhibition In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair draws together six artists working in Mexico between 1940 and 1970: Anni Albers, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Ruth Asawa, Sheila Hicks, Clara Porset, and Cynthia Sargent. It is the first exhibition to make an argument for the impact of post-revolutionary Mexico on these artists, deeply connected yet never shown together before.

Leonardo da Vinci

Is anyone’s art worth the effort of a sleepless six-hour redeye flight? Leonardo would not have hesitated to say yes. When praising the art of painting, he pointed out the great lengths people go to simply to enjoy pictures, and noted how people fell in love with paintings or worshipped them. Accordingly, when Leonardo installed a full-scale drawing made in preparation for a painting of the Virgin and Child with St. Anne in Florence in 1501, hordes rushed to see it. Apparently, some things haven’t changed.

Rayyane Tabet: Alien Property

In its new exhibition Rayyane Tabet: Alien Property, the Metropolitan Museum of Art explores the circuitous route that ancient artifacts sometimes travel to wind up on display in a hallowed Western institution, if they aren’t first destroyed or lost.

Jasper Johns: Crosshatch

Spread across three rooms, the exhibition is an intimate showcase of how a basic graphic motif can be deployed in a diverse array of mediums and styles, with works ranging from graphite wash on paper, to oil on canvas, watercolor, acrylic, and collage.

Resilience: Philip Guston in 1971

In the case of Resilience, the forces responsible for its production are entirely predictable: his estate in all its authority. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the exhibition is exactly what one might expect. The work is masterful. The catalogue is handsome. The curatorial premise—to showcase the artworks Guston made in the year following the Marlborough-Gerson controversy while in residence at the American Academy in Rome (and shortly thereafter), and thereby reinforce his mythos as a phoenix for the modern painter—is compelling.

Robert Morris: Monumentum 2015–2018

The figures falling off walls in Robert Morris. Monumentum 2015–2018, at Rome’s Galleria Nazionale, seem like an extension of the Baroque city’s architectural and sculptural tradition. The works in this show's situation in Rome provides a different set of perceptual relations than when the same body of work was displayed in New York.

William Hogarth: Place and Progress

William Hogarth’s ‘Modern Moral Subjects’ have been brought together for the very first time, in the former residence of Sir John Soane. Loaned from institutions across the country, these paintings and engravings dramatize the grubby reality of 18th century London, while retaining a contemporary charge, despite their conception some 280 years ago.

Larry Poons: "First Thought, Best Thought"—The Particle Paintings (1996-2002)

They are somewhat akin to drawings by children: unfussy, direct, energized, inventive. The paintings are strikingly bold. Configurations of disjunctive color and pattern don’t so much settle as insist on taking the viewer for yet another go around. Somehow this is never finished; the viewer is caught in a process, not of resolution but of constant change.

Ebony G. Patterson: dig between the cuts, beneath the leaves, below the soil?

In 1899, the British colonial administration in Jamaica passed a set of legislation known as the Public Gardens Regulation Act. Designed to systematize the maintenance of public spaces throughout the island, the act established a framework of policing and punishment on “any land maintained at public expense.”

Oda Jaune: Beyond Gravity

The life of Bulgarian painter Michaela Danowska, better known by her pseudonym Oda Jaune, might have formed the basis of a novel by Proust, Sartre, or Nabokov. Coming to Germany in order to study painting 20 years ago, a beautiful high school graduate from a post-communist Balkan nation falls in love with her eminent professor—artist Jörg Immendorff—and has a daughter with him. Soon after, the professor dies prematurely, and the young widow moves to Paris, becoming a darling of the city’s bohème. Told this way, however, the story misses a crucial point: Oda Jaune is not just a stock femme fatale, but also an accomplished neo-classical painter in her own right.


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 19-JAN 20

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