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Maddie Klett

Maddie Klett is an art writer and researcher living in the U.S.A.

In Conversation

Dave McKenzie with Maddie Klett

Disturbing the View at the Whitney is an ongoing performance throughout the summer by New York-based artist Dave McKenzie. McKenzie activates the museum’s many floor-to-ceiling windows by using window-washing instruments to repeatedly, and rhythmically, apply a chalky substance. This action indeed disturbs the view to the museum’s many stunning vistas overlooking Lower Manhattan.

In Conversation

Tomashi Jackson with Maddie Klett

Maddie Klett speaks with Tomashi Jackson about her love of printmaking, her collaborative methodology as a social historian, and how cares her artwork into existence.

Sam Gilliam: Full Circle

The late abstractionist Sam Gilliam’s obsession with painting is well documented in the artist’s 2019 interview with Tom McGlynn in the pages of the Brooklyn Rail. Gillaim spoke about how he was both influenced by, and positioned himself in relation to, his contemporary Color Field painters Thomas Downing and Kenneth Noland. He also cites the draping studies by Albrecht Dürer and the improvisational jazz compositions of John Coltrane and Miles Davis as formative to his art making. In the 1960s he recalls beginning to stain canvases and applying acrylic paints before crumpling them up—wet—and re-stretching.

Tiffany Sia: Slippery When Wet

Sia’s ontological approach to the “glocal” (although she never mentions the term in the show—maybe it died out in the early aughts?), spectacle, and landscape at/from/through her home of Hong Kong recalls this same a-historical, locality-driven condition.

Nicole Eisenman and Keith Boadwee

Nicole Eisenman and Keith Boadwee is an unexpected pairing and exhibition format. There is a lot of work on view. As a result, there are many opportunities to find both affinities and issues with what’s there—a quality that straddles both artists’ practices and that recalls the troubling, yet self-aware, late figurative work of Philip Guston.

Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams

In theorist and historian Partha Chatterjee’s 1991 essay “Whose Imagined Community?”, Chatterjee challenges Benedict Anderson’s argument made in his book, Imagined Communities, that politicians in Africa and Asia selected their post-liberation national forms from existing models in the United States, Western Europe, and Russia.1 Chatterjee responds: if postcolonial nations are restricted to these models, then what is left for them to imagine? The late Congolese artist Bodys Isek Kingelez’s works can provide an answer to Chatterjee’s question.

Fernanda Laguna: As Everybody

As Everybody includes works Laguna has made over the past 10 years; her handwritten notes enable the whole exhibition to feel cohesive and particular to its Richmond locale—something I appreciate at a time when seeing art in person is a rarity.

Abbas Akhavan: cast for a folly

In the cavernous front gallery of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, Abbas Akhavan has reconstructed the eerie scene of the National Museum of Iraq’s lobby after its looting following the American invasion of the country in 2003.

Dewey Crumpler: The Complete Hoodie Works, 1993–Present

Dewey Crumpler is a painter living in the Bay Area. His solo exhibition The Complete Hoodie Works, 1993–Present at Cushion Works in San Francisco’s Mission District features over 100 small paintings on canvas made over the past 28 years.

The Project of Independence

The history of how the region has been portrayed at MoMA explains why and how The Project of Independence looks the way it does: transnational, organized by both in-house curators and external experts, and featuring a mix of national and individual imaginings of post-independence design. Each of these seems like a decision by MoMA leadership to create a foil to the museum’s orientalist past.

Colter Jacobsen: Essays

Despite living at the center of tech development and corporatization, Jacobsen gravitates towards untrendy, outdated means of production—copy stores and drugstore photo counters.

A Void

Ramirez Jonas’s artwork and essay shape this exhibitionary exploration of loss—how artists reckon with it, or even attempt to restore or repair it.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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