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William Corwin

William Corwin is a sculptor and journalist from New York.

In Conversation

DAVID HOCKNEY with William Corwin

William Corwin visited David Hockney in his studio in Bridlington, Yorkshire, to discuss the paintings, iPad drawings, and videos that form the core of his show A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy in London (January–April 9, 2012).

In Conversation

GILLIAN WEARING with William Corwin

A retrospective of Gillian Wearing’s work ran from March 28 – June 17 at London’s Whitechapel Gallery and following quickly on its heels will be an exhibition at K20 Kunsthallsammlung NRW in Dusseldorf (September 8 – January 6, 2013). William Corwin sat down with Wearing at her East London studio to quiz her about various projects in her past and present, particularly her 2010 feature film Self-Made.

In Conversation

Kamrooz Aram with William Corwin

“When you're identified as an Arab long enough, maybe you become kind of arabesque.” It’s a pun that embraces the many double entendres in the artist’s practice. Kamrooz Aram plays with and debunks notions and structures that we think we know—we being victims of received wisdom.

In Conversation

LIAM GILLICK with William Corwin

William Corwin sat down with Liam Gillick to discuss a recipe for creating public art that is neither grandiose, kitschy, nor dismissive of the public; the responsibilities of the contemporary curator; and the joys of lying face down on the floor.

In Conversation

SARAH LUCAS with William Corwin

After a pub lunch of lamb kidney and sweetbread salad and with the cool breezes wafting in off the coastal Suffolk marshes, William Corwin sat down with Sarah Lucas on the back terrace of Snape Maltings to discuss her first ever public sculpture “Perceval” and her current project/exhibition with Gelatin at the Kunsthalle Krems.

In Conversation

ROXY PAINE with Will Corwin

Will Corwin has spent the last three years ferreting out Roxy Paine in his various habitats—upstate in Delhi, New York, and in his Long Island City and Maspeth studios—watching the progress of various works of art and attempting to develop a taxonomy of the various strains and tropes into which his ideas fall.

In Conversation

Jorge Pardo with William Corwin

William Corwin speaks with Jorge Pardo about his new paintings, pin-hole cameras, and what goes into the production of an alter.

In Conversation

ALEXANDER ROSS with Will Corwin

Alexander Ross’s paintings exist in the hazy space between photorealism and abstraction. Recent Terrestrials at David Nolan Gallery (October 30 – December 6, 2014) pushed Ross’s practice even further, exploring landscape and portraiture without leaving the alternate dimension his earlier work inhabited.

In Conversation

Douglas Gordon with William Corwin

The film I Had Nowhere to Go (2016) is Douglas Gordon’s meditation on the early life and adventures of the filmmaker Jonas Mekas. William Corwin sat down with Gordon in his studio in Berlin to discuss his friendship with Mekas and the origins of the project. Gordon also speaks to his use of disjointed time, Scottish literature, and the poignancy of image, sound, and text from the perspective of the viewer.

Florence and Daniel Guerlain Donation

Since its very origins, the practice of drawing has eluded definition, which is perhaps why it has become metaphorically aligned with the seemingly futile pursuit of chasing shadows.


While some curators and critics may bemoan the end of the era of the 12-hour-long performance piece, Will Cotton’s debut in the arena of live-action public art, “Cockaigne,” was a short and sweet representation of the artist’s signature thinly veiled psycho-sexual imagery, which left the audience craving just a little bit more.

Where it all Began

Though Ronnie Landfield’s work is more frequently connected to fellow lyrical abstractionists Ron Davis, Peter Young, Larry Stafford, Bill Pettit, and Larry Poons, history makes strange bedfellows when it comes to whom you went to high school with in New York.

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW Sculpture Undone, 1955-1972

Sculpture Undone is a small but thorough retrospective of the work of Polish sculptor Alina Szapocznikow (1926-1973).  The artist, who was Jewish, never publicly discussed her experiences in the Łódź ghetto or in Auschwitz and several other concentration camps.

ANSELM KIEFER Morgenthau Plan

With the words “The quality of mercy is not strain’d,” Portia lays out the principle that mercy is a one-size-fits-all concept; that charity and forbearance are to be shown to innocent and guilty alike; that mercy, like justice, is blind.


Dennis Congdon’s palette may lay claim to the fresco aesthetic of Latium, but his subject matter inhabits the coffee houses and bars (and psychoanalytic offices) of late 19th century Vienna and Paris.

The Shining (Backwards and Forwards)

By aiming four projectors at four sides of a cube made from screening fabric, a jerry-rigged tesseract is generated: a four-dimensional cube or a cube projected upon itself.

WILLIAM ANASTASI Sound Works, 1963–2013

William Anastasi is “piping to the spirit ditties of no-tone.” In his retrospective at the Leubsdorf Gallery at Hunter College, curated by Maxim Weintraub, Anastasi’s ready-made “The World’s Greatest Music,” (1977) hits all the notes.

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.

TOM LEVINE New Paintings

In this recent series of earth tone infused canvases, Tom Levine seeks to redefine the terms of engagement with his medium.

Truth in the Visual Arts
Skepticism in the Work of Ellen K. Levy and Patricia Olynyk

In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Márquez describes a rain of yellow flowers falling on the town of Macondo; it is a miracle and has no scientific explanation, but in the context of fiction, it needs no rationalization.

DENNIS OPPENHEIM Terrestrial Studio

Just about everything you need to know about Dennis Oppenheim and his work is expressed in the touching video piece Star Exchange (1970) on view in the indoor gallery at Storm King—part of the expansive indoor and outdoor exhibition of the artist’s work, Terrestrial Studio.

Turner Prize 2016

And the nominees are: Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten, Josephine Pryde, and Michael Dean. The public presentation of the shortlisted artists combined with the long run-up to the announcement of the winner always makes the Turner Prize a horse race of sorts.

100 Sculptures – NYC

Todd von Ammon and the gallery have together curated a menagerie of form: these objects may illustrate the history of sculpture, they certainly depict its various categories and typologies, and all are very small. They veer from the figurative to the abstract, the absurd and surreal to the conceptual and symbolic.

Bridget Mullen: Quitters

Toying with horror, but relying mostly on witty articulations of the abject and the grotesque, Bridget Mullen positions herself at a very strange crossroads. Her contorted portraits and disjointed tableaux lie between the crisp geometricity of Cyril Power, Jacques Villon, or Tamara de Lempicka and the shaggy, blunt, and gooey cartoons of Don Martin, R. Crumb, and, most significantly, Philip Guston.


The depth of this exhibition allows for the rare opportunity to view multiples of similar images or genres in series and view the artist modifying his touch.

Here We Are: Young, Black, and Indigenous Women in the Art World

This exhibition of works by five women of color (Jodi Dareal, Arrianna “Arri” Santiago, Jaclyn Burke, Ifeatuanya “Ify” Chiejina, and Debbie Roxx) spans the range of emotions from anger and pride to expressive concepts such as glorification, humor and wit, to simple, decorative beauty.

Xaviera Simmons: Crisis Makes a Book Club

In the comprehensive survey exhibition Crisis Makes a Book Club, Xaviera Simmons explains with brutal clarity the need for real gestures; land acknowledgments without Land Back will not do, and there can be no equality without reparations. As the title calls out, starting book clubs to read the literature of the oppressed without yielding the social and economic capital demanded in those very texts means nothing.

Mark Thomas Gibson: WHIRLYGIG!

Mark Thomas Gibson’s work has always expressed a hope that the citizenry of the nation will embrace a reasonable and diplomatic means of negotiation towards a harmonious co-existence, but in WHIRLYGIG! he acknowledges that political realities may lie elsewhere.

Daniel Giordano: Love From Vicki Island

Giordano uses moisturizing facial masks, eagle excrement, 24 karat gold, and gallons of shellac to create deeply personal characterizations of family life, Italian American identity, and in so doing overturns the entire notion of representation as an exercise in simple, comfortable, and relatable imagery.

Thornton Willis: Floating Lattices

Willis has used interlocking bars since the seventies, and amongst his cast of squares, rectangles, zigs, and zags, these long bars of color that float, and sometimes intersect, have been his means of creating a sense of illusory space. But in a painting such as homage to the first generation (2021), it is the singular form of a tall yellow vertical intersected two-thirds of the way up its length by a heavy blue horizontal which takes prominence against a robin’s egg blue background.

Lydia Dona

Lydia Dona creates a painterly feminist parable of Plato’s Cave: across a visceral wonderland of blooming and seething colors in the background, a spider’s web of fragmentary imagery creeps along the foreground.

Isaac Julien: What Freedom Is To Me

Entering Isaac Julien’s forty-year career survey What Freedom Is To Me you run an edifying gauntlet, a hallway offering a peremptory review of the artist’s vintage and seminal films: Territories (1984), This is Not An AIDS Advertisement (1987), Who Killed Colin Roach? (1983), and Lost Boundaries (2003). These works, created with the Sankofa Film and Video Collective, present the roots and fundamental toolkit of Julien’s approach to filmmaking and social justice.

Melike Kara: Emine’s Garden

As opposed to a memory palace, Melike Kara has planted a memory garden on the floor of the gallery at the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen. The composition of Emine’s Garden (named after her grandmother) is ambiguous: five large paintings on canvas lie flat, slightly raised from the floor, while laminated directly to that floor is a labyrinth of grainy black-and-white family photographs.

Beverly Fishman: I Dream of Sleep

The overarching theme of I Dream of Sleep is opioid addiction, and by implication Fishman’s conglomerations of squares, hemispheres, pentagons, and triangles model the molecular structure of pharmaceutical “cures” for depression and other disorders.

Broken Dishes

Shaver consciously seeks to remove the notion of traditional gallery etiquette and hierarchy: the artists’ works are tangled together—their placement is about concept, not convenience—and while the works share aesthetic affinities, this is not a group show in the typical sense but more of a collaborative presentation.

Michaël Borremans: The Acrobat

In this series of eight portraits and seven enigmatic landscapes on wood and paper, Michaël Borremans plays with the nature of types, both as a subject and process in painting. Borremans has the advantage of being a respected figurative oil painter who is simultaneously a contemporary artist: he has the entire history of figurative art at his disposal. In this cycle of portraits, the artist dialogues with, appropriates, and lampoons everyone from Bellini to Manet to Jenny Saville.


Peter Young deals often in infinities, symmetries, and repeating and non-repeating patterns; strategies that are patently abstract, but at the same time manage to harness an intensely human connection to the spiritual.

The Power of Suggestion: Rhonda Wheatley

Anyone who has drowsily watched an episode of “Ancient Aliens” on the History Channel, or leafed through a glossy book in the New Age section of Barnes and Noble, is aware of the seductive imagery of crystals and fractals, and of the primal human desire to tune out obvious answers for completely irrational solutions.

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Mirror-works and Drawings (2004–2016)

While the artist is not seeking to recreate the places of worship and power from which she draws her inspiration, she instead distills what is most human and irreconcilable about those spaces: the act of “containing multitudes.”

Doris Salcedo

How does one rehabilitate a memory? The eight rooms of Doris Salcedo’s survey exhibition at Fondation Beyeler each explore a different way in which the artist uses everyday objects and materials to trigger a mnemonic reaction that is reflective, nostalgic and mournful.

Philip Pearlstein: Nudes and Other Landscapes

Philip Pearlstein, Nudes and Other Landscapes is a casual retrospective of the artist’s paintings, drawings, and watercolors going back almost 70 years. It starts with a wonderful and gritty textured painting titled The Capture (1954), and comes up to the present with Two Models with Carousel Giraffe and Le Corbusier Chair (2020), right at the front door of the gallery.

Paul Anthony Smith: Tradewinds

Paul Anthony Smith never forgets to remind us in his work that we are always looking, and we are not there. That is very important, because often the viewer feels that they are immersed in that at which they are looking, which can breed a false sense of intimacy with the subject.

Joe Minter: We Lost Our Spears

Despite being removed from its original context, the work straddles both reading as actively political and mytho-poetical, as well as formal analysis as a juxtaposition of industrial and agricultural forms.

Boris Lurie & Wolf Vostell: Art After the Shoah

Boris Lurie met Wolf Vostell at a Fluxus happening in Long Island in 1964. Lurie was born in 1924, Vostell in 1932, and World War Two was the defining event in their lives. Their deep friendship, and a long-distance lifelong artistic bond—perhaps almost a collaboration—was formed by their autonomous but similar interpretations of the tragedy of the war and the troubling capitalist resonances it had left in post-war Western culture.

NATHANIEL MELLORS: Progressive Rocks

Progressive Rocks is a cycle of four substantial video works that require a commitment of time and attention amounting to over two-and-a-half hours. Margot Norton’s curation plays to the theatrical nature of Mellors’s enterprise by guiding the viewer through the space in a circular motion, creating a central square core of flickering screens.

Ida Kohlmeyer: Cloistered

The relationship of painting to the viewer is reversed as the spectator is surveilled by an alien eye. Kohlmeyer paints this cloistered presence into her works with varying degrees of directness.

Noah Landfield's Ephemeral Cities

Billowing, flowing, and crumbling, the recent paintings of Noah Landfield, in Ephemeral Cities, chart vectors of movement, force, and energy as they play out in both natural and human-made manifestations. While the images depict what one would call the cycles of nature—decay and upheaval, the paintings consciously avoid notions of pattern and repetition, instead using chaos and difference as the means of creating form.

Humane Ecology: Eight Positions

The artists do share similar strategies and techniques, such as reliance on natural forms and textures, employed by Juan Antonio Olivares, Allison Janae Hamilton, and Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio who utilize shells, amphibious reptiles, and tree bark, respectively. Others like Kandis Williams, Carolina Caycedo, and Pallavi Sen integrate vegetation and its symbolism as a subject or means of presentation in the work.


The Tate Modern’s retrospective of Mona Hatoum presents the melancholy autobiography of an exile, and it is not a pretty picture. Filled with sharp edges, electrified fences, and cages, it is overall a portrait of discomfort, and of the ever-present disappointment of a life circumscribed by the perceived denial of a real origin.

Painting in the ’80s

The acquaintance with whom I viewed Elizabeth Murray: Painting in the ’80s remarked that it appeared two artists were at work creating the paintings on view.

Jonah Bokaer: About An Arabesque

In the exhibition About An Arabesque, choreographer Jonah Bokaer investigates the socio-political underpinnings of the notion of the “arabesque,” a European aesthetic catch-all for a wide swathe of Middle Eastern and North-African decorative gestures. It is also the title of a ballet position.

Gary Simmons: Screaming into the Ether

In this unnatural movement of dread and looming disaster lies the artist’s characterization of racial degradation lurking in the seemingly innocent faces of impish animations of the 1930s. The centerpiece of the exhibition, a cheerful, toothy cowpoke stroking the ivories in Piano Man (2020) dissolves in front of our eyes, slowly and painfully torn apart by the artist’s dragging hand and inevitable vectors of force pulling in opposite directions.

Shahzia Sikander: Weeping Willows, Liquid Tongues

This museum-scale exhibition is bookended by a pair of gargantuan videos, Reckoning (2020) and Parallax (2013); throughout the static works in the show there is the impression of a constant flux of movement that makes animation seem a natural trajectory.

Jitish Kallat:Tmesis

What is the future of drawing? Jitish Kallat has built the answer into a riddle: it’s flat but one can walk around it; it’s permanent and yet the images change; it is hand drawn and yet also a photograph.


Rob Wynne’s current exhibition AFTERGLOW presents a survey of the artist’s work which hinges on this brief moment when the unexpected seems to happen, and the rules are slightly but noticeably altered—literally bent. Most of the works are predicated on light: liquid mirrors conjure quicksilver loops and words, while photograms capture the recognizable forms of insects and sundry creatures in a state of sublimation.


Randy Williams, my teacher for a high school drawing class that I attended at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, told the students decisively during an exercise that there are no lines in real life; he may even have said it multiple times.


New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast once created a cartoon retelling Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain using Bic ballpoint pens as stand-in for the characters: this, I think, was a comment on the cartoonists’ and writers’ obsession with the banal writing implement. Roberto Visani, in his dramatically staged exhibition In Medias Res has populated a Beckett or Noh drama with the much darker personage of the gun.

Checkered History

Despite being all about the grid, David Weinstein and Ruth Kahn’s curation of Checkered History is decidedly of the tree network variety.

Æthelred Eldridge

There is little to guide one through the twistings and turnings of the fervid imaginings and aphorisms of Æthelred Eldridge in this beautifully curated exhibition at Essex Flowers, but the enigmatic approach is in keeping with the artist’s own practice of ambiguous and oracular image-making and writing.

Joris-Karl Huysmans Art Critic

Flowing through three contiguous galleries along the right-hand mezzanine of the Musée d’Orsay is the stream of consciousness of the novelist and art critic Joris-Karl Huysmans, in the form of the exhibition and installation Joris-Karl Huysmans Art Critic. Acting as a valve on this torrent of images and ideas is another enigmatic aesthetic impresario, the artist Francesco Vezzoli.


MOTHER IS PASSING. COME AT ONCE is an enigmatically fitting title for a show that has more veils than Salome’s dance.


Robert Wilson has taken up temporary residence at the Louvre, and there he has created a “bedroom of state” that rivals any one of the Louis’s.

Finding the Major Arcana
CARIN RILEY Linear Figurations

In Carin Riley’s understated and demure pastel drawings and oil paintings, a quest for symbols takes place, mimicking the process that generates such vocabularies of signs as the Major Arcana, the constellations, or the beings of the Chinese zodiac.

Tim Kent: Enfilade

There is something comforting yet dreadful about the idea of an enfilade in architecture. The painter Tim Kent has rhapsodically incorporated both the aesthetic highs and the sociological lows of this hierarchical space in his cycle of six oil on linen paintings.

Rute Merk: SS20

The seven-and-a-half-foot-square canvas BALENCIAGA, SS20, Look 89 (2019) by Rute Merk presents a disquieting vision of humanoid perfection: a confident androgyne blue goddess on a blue background. Like the depiction of the Vitruvian man, Merk’s model is inscribed in a square and stares out at us blankly.

Siobhan Liddell and Linda Matalon: Fragments

Sculptors Siobhan Liddell and Linda Matalon give life to the shared spaces between human beings, and the spaces they leave behind.

BOSILJKA RADITSA The Nature of Memory

In this small, delicate show of gouache paintings and pencil drawings, Bosiljka Raditsa has fashioned a vibrant pageant of meditations on color and gesture. Though the paintings are thoroughly abstract, memory is a clear subtext throughout the works, secondary to formalist aesthetic experimentation.

Apocalypse, Right Now: Abel Tilahun: Vital Signs

Abel Tilahun’s exhibition, Vital Signs, indulges in a play of scale and materiality meant to momentarily disorient the viewer. It is illusionism on a level at which we question our own perception, falling into a subset of sculpture which includes Duane Hanson, Ron Mueck, George Segal, and Robert Gober.

Ugo Rondinone: nuns + monks

The main attraction of Ugo Rondinone’s current show at Gladstone are the “actors”: three large-scale, brightly polychromed bronze sculptures. But the stage itself, the environment these figures occupy, provides a great deal of context beyond the enigmatic titles that identify Rondinone’s actors as nuns and monks.


Corinne Wasmuht is a contemporary surrealist, and her visions are fraught with the same edgy aesthetic of what we are just-uncomfortable-enough-with, in terms of distortions of our reality—similar to Dalí, Magritte, or even Bosch.

Jennifer Wen Ma: An Inward Sea

Jennifer Wen Ma’s work consistently engages the imagery of life teetering on the edge of oblivion, and her current installation An Inward Sea at the New Britain Museum of American Art (part of their “New/Now” programming) addresses this through the lens of COVID.

Wet Conceptualism

Hand-written, rough, colorful, sentimental, or DIY, yet indicative of a complex concept-driven interior thought process not fully compliant with an aesthetic or formalist framework, one that is indicative of traditional “art”: these are the calling cards of “wet conceptualism.”


Elisabeth Kley’s exhibition Ozymandias at the new Canada Gallery space, presents ten ceramic works; they are urns, bottles, and containers, and all the pieces are habitations of one sort or another.

Remy Jungerman: Brilliant Corners

The kaolin painted over the surfaces of Jungerman’s assemblages also adds a layer of metaphysical meaning: it unites, perhaps uncomfortably, the complicated narratives of Surinamese Maroon culture and the Dutch De Stijl.


“Two wrongs can make a right,” “what you see is what you get,” and all sorts of impenetrable truths and blatant cliches are up for grabs in the maelstrom of data and dots in this well paired exhibition of Israel Lund and Amy Granat.

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.

Allan McCollum: Early Works

McCollum approaches multiplicity and diversity with a gentle omniscient hand that both demands that we examine each and every object with a fresh eye, but also, through his presentation, quells the inevitable rising panic of the human psyche in the presence of infinity.

Mad Women

Curators Damon Brandt and Valentina Branchini are staking a claim in the pedigree of Madison Avenue itself as an incubator of revolutionary art of the sixties, and more importantly presenting women gallerists as dynamos of culture at that time.

Mike Ballou: The word of Bird is Cured

In The word of Bird is Cured, the artist doesn’t just manifest his personal idiosyncrasies, he mimics generative rhythms of his own life.

Adam Henry: God Speed Speed Demon

Whether working with bursts, mists and sprays, glossy finishes, expanses, or intense nodes of pure color, Adam Henry is visually indulgent in the minimal style of an ASMR recording, distilling painting down to the most basic stimuli that evoke a pleasurable response.

MIKE CLOUD Bad Faith and Universal Techique

A fellow spectator at Mike Cloud’s recent exhibition described the largest painting in the show, “Removed Individual,” (2013) as the “Buckminster Fuller one.” Initially this seemed superficial, based merely on the construction of the piece as a network of visible intersecting stretchers.

Bronx Calling: The Fifth AIM Biennial

Bronx Calling, the fifth iteration of the Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) Biennial at the Bronx Museum, is unique in that it passively presents artists working at their own pace rather than proselytizing a curatorial vision of the contemporary scene. The 68 artists included in this hefty and deep exhibition participated in the 2018 and 2019 AIM programs.

The earth leaked red ochre

“The earth leaked red ochre” is a quote from the artist Cecilia Vicuña, and in the hands of curator Re’al Christian, this phrase becomes a tool for extracting and discerning traditional, Indigenous, and local narratives about the land that have been buried or become entangled with those of colonial presences and oppressors.

A Sense of Place: Ellen Phelan’s Kenjockety

Ellen Phelan’s exhibition of twenty-four prints, “A Sense of Place: Ellen Phelan’s Kenjockety,” at The Adirondack Museum, is a visual tone poem for the digital age.


Toba Khedoori’s monochromatic paintings and drawings are subtle and shifty exercises in visual sleight-of-hand. These seemingly pristine objects are not what they seem; Khedoori clearly relishes the dichotomy between what they are initially perceived to be and the reality of the surface.

The World is a Totality of Things

A series of exhibitions in London this winter deals with the collection of objects and the archiving of images as a pathway, through art, to a variety of utopias. In most cases these utopias are inaccessible, whether the artists are willing to admit it or not, or so deeply subjective they appear to be the vision of one person.


Come with a thorough knowledge of Britain’s queer subculture or be prepared to take notes: the convoluted, colorful, and vibrant world of alternating genders, orientations, romantic attachments, and associations is the focus of this exhibition.

Letter from LEEDS
Windows and Doors

Fiona Rae: Maybe you can live on the moon in the next century at the Leeds Art Gallery (through August 26th) and Michael Dean: Government at the Henry Moore Institute (through June 17th) share little commonality beyond the fact that their exhibiting galleries are next door to each other, but both abundantly fulfill architectural tropes ascribed to the visual arts.


As one compares forms as diverse as her classic grounded stalactite Z BOKU (2017) and the wood and linen book Book with no words (2018), TORN is perhaps not meant to be taken literally as a physical action but as a violent and painful divergence of ideas.

Emily Mae Smith: Heretic Lace

In critiquing the aesthetics of the digital, or even the expanded imaginary realm of our contemporary society, Emily Mae Smith brings to bear many of the compositional fixtures and iconography of the history of Western European painting. And it is dark, devastating, and relentless.

Moving Image Department and Stanislav Kolíbal

Adam Budak’s first major gesture as the Chief Curator of the National Gallery in Prague was to introduce a Moving Image Department. This is in keeping with his ambition to make the Veletržní Palace a major European venue for contemporary art.


David Goodman’s current exhibition of sculpture and works on paper, entitled Apparatus, confronts the viewer with two questions. One is aesthetic: Can two trajectories of visual practice be combined in a harmonious and visually meaningful and satisfying whole? In Goodman’s case the answer is yes and works itself out wittily through the small sculptures.

The King and the Corpse

The King and the Corpse is a room-within-a-room and fills the main gallery to such an extent—from floor-to-ceiling with a walk-able, but not too capacious path around—that it’s impossible to get far enough away from the sculpture to gauge its true nature as a structure. It’s all sides and angles, but no sense of a whole.

Tom Doyle in Germany 1964–65

While on a residency in Kettwig Germany, Tom Doyle spent a year experimenting with adding color to his work. It was a risky proposition, and as Kirsten Swenson writes in her introduction to the exhibition catalog, Doyle “did not expect [the] work to leave Germany.”

MOBY Innocents

As a photographer, Moby’s efforts have been predominantly autobiographical. His 2011 book of images, Destroyed,offered a view into the life of a travelling musician: empty hotel rooms, paparazzi lying in ambush at the arrivals gate, and fans in ecstasy, viewed from the stage.

Aleksandar Duravcevic: Empire

Is Aleksandar Duravcevic overwhelming us with the repetitive thud of the mass-produced or presenting a careworn meditation on the handmade? This is the central question that emerges from the 50 graphite drawings on velvety black paper that make up the project Empire.

Joan Snyder: The Summer Becomes a Room

Snyder wraps this body of work in an overwhelming sense of acceptance and gratitude for the cycles of nature: the seasons, life and death, day and night, morning and dusk. Overall this seems a positive reckoning; her palette is bright and harmonious, and it’s hard not to get a boost from looking at it.

Julie Mehretu: about the space of half an hour

In this new body of work—actually three different sets of paintings and etchings—Julie Mehretu is inscribing marks from a series of hands: her own, the fingerprints of digital interventions, and even the hand of the Almighty (at least by implication), on a series of roiled and undulating backgrounds.

Elisabeth Kley: Minutes of Sand

Kley imagines heaven, or at least an alternate realm, not as an aery cloud-filled firmament, but of geometric perfection and the comforting repetition of vegetal forms, rolling waves, and architectural detail.

From Forces to Forms

There are works of art which elude categorization, and some of these are the most enigmatic or inscrutable.

Russell Maltz: Painted / Stacked / Site

Maltz’s project is to make something but still deny the fruit of his efforts a description; his process is also calibrated to reject bourgeois definitions of art—he stacks, piles, and arranges objects but refuses to force them into a state of permanent association.

Lauretta Vinciarelli: Intimate Distances

The irony of a lot of architecture is that it’s meant to be looked at but not physically interacted with. We, the viewers, are expected to take in the symmetries, shadows, and rhythms of the structure from a privileged viewpoint. Lauretta Vinciarelli’s watercolors depict spaces created from this curated perspective. Her work is a conversation with, but ultimately a concession to, the frozen requirements of the architect’s eye—yet this is not necessarily a pejorative trait.

TOMMY MINTZ Mind the Gap/Mine the Gaps

The detection of a spirit presence lies at the heart of many current TV shows claiming to search for the paranormal. Mind the Gap/Mine the Gaps, Tommy Mintz’s current exhibition of photography, does the reverse.

ISHMAEL RANDALL WEEKS: Annotations, Striations and Souvenirs

Ishmael Randall Weeks’s exhibition, Annotations, Striations and Souvenirs delved into questions surrounding the demarcations between the authentic, the counterfeit and the use-value of the real.

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.

Someday We Will Draw Lions Together: Les Combarelles and Font-de-Gaume

The Paleolithic caves of the Dordogne, clustered around the town of Eyzies-de-Tayac, are still accessible to the general public, with the exception of Lascaux, which has been replaced with an exact reproduction, Lascaux II. In January, there are no lines.

N. Dash

Can a rectangle be sensual? The artist N. Dash sublimates perceptual experience through assemblages of rectilinear panels separated at times by incised lines, string, layers of fabric and even thick segments of high-density foam insulation.

Andrea Belag: Under the Pergola

The selection in this show of works on paper, which are preparatory to the artist’s larger and brushier paintings, offers a view through a transitory portal of literalness. One that dissipates as the canvas paintings grow in scale towards their exuberant and liberated abstraction. It’s a focused presentation of five gouaches and a monoprint in an intimate setting—allowing a refreshing and rare chance to appreciate an artist’s working process and the individual characteristics of different media within a practice.

RICO GATSON: Icons 2007-2017

Rico Gatson’s exhibition Icons 2007–2017 is an exercise in catapulting the human into the supernatural realm. We are watching an artist doing what artists do best: rendering the unimaginable into the visual and the unspeakable into human terms.

Early Works on Paper + Late Painting

Avery’s reductionist approach is seductive; he is not a believer in the imponderableness of infinity and instead chooses a localized vision of the world.

IVANA BAŠIĆ: Through the Hum of Black Velvet Sleep

Ivana Bašić presents a dire vision of the not-too-distant future in her exhibition Through the hum of black velvet sleep (2017).

Sindy Lutz: Seascapes

Crayon and graphite on paper allows Lutz to direct our eyes to very specific cues: cloud shape, the color of the sky, and the relative placidity or querulousness of weather and water are all communicated by details of mark‐making.

Anselm Reyle: Rainbow in the Dark

Anselm Reyle is about drawing, insofar as drawing is about diagramming, writing, jotting, annotating, and condensing reality. Much art tries to convince the viewer that an illusion is real, but in Rainbow in the Dark (curated by Emann Odufu), Reyle does the opposite: he convinces the viewer that the real is an apparition.

MARK THOMAS GIBSON: Early Retirement

I know it is futile—an impossible dream—for me to join Mark Thomas Gibson’s NRA (Negro Rifle Association), but longing is a major component of the magic associated with comic books.

The Pursuit of Aesthetics: Artwork Created During Quarantine

This certainly seems like a time for image and text: straightforward and direct gestures for marshalling ideas, crowds, and righteous fury. So one has to stop and collect a reeling brain, full of protest acronyms and painful or ghastly YouTube footage, in order to focus on the premise of an exhibition that emphasizes, as its title suggests, “The Pursuit of Aesthetics.”


The studio was in flux when I stopped by as preparations were being made to transport most of the new paintings to the Friedrich Petzel gallery for Pensato’s show, Batman Returns, which opened on January 12 and comes down on the 25th of February.

Of ash and coal

Greg Lindquist constructs an image cycle of social inequity in the face of environmental desecration, playing a requiem above a baseline of spoilt nature caused by corporate self-interest.

Shervone Neckles: BEACON

Shervone Neckles’s BEACON (2020–21), standing resolutely in the garden of the Lewis Latimer House Museum in Flushing, Queens, is a monument to the individual: Lewis H. Latimer (1848–1928) and his lifelong quest, the promotion of that mystical power electricity.

Chris Martin

The shimmer of bright sunlight on wine-dark water, endless swirled striations of minerals in a Catskill outcrop, blurred light beams through dust: Chris Martin presents one-to-one dialogues—examinations of the minutiae of ineffability. In this newest cycle of paintings, Martin toys with aesthetic details in nature that have their correlatives in his arsenal of surfaces, textures, and non-repeating but predictable patterns.

Nicky Nodjoumi: 1981

The artist Nicky Nodjoumi left Iran in 1980 and, en route to eventually settling in New York, spent the spring of 1981 painting in Miami. What sprang from the artist’s mind was a stream of consciousness, a collection of memories and associations brought on by witnessing the upheaval in his home country.

Lynne Drexler: The First Decade

In Lynne Drexler: The First Decade, simultaneously at both Berry Campbell and Mnuchin Galleries, we come across a voracious and novel form of late Abstract Expressionism. It’s a path that runs parallel to color-field painting, and in playing with discreet nodes of color owes as much to Klimt, van Gogh, and Seurat, as it does to Drexler’s mentor and teacher, Hans Hofmann. The paintings in these two exhibitions test out how best to manipulate the viewer’s response to associations of almost-pixelated color units, singular forms which attain a mosaic-like quality: working together but retaining their independence. This causes almost as much visual agita as it creates harmonic compositions.

Mel Bochner: Seldom or Never Seen 2004-2022

While watching a Netflix series in which the Nordic Gods are high school students who play out their animosities within a context of teenage jealousy and angst, I made the mistake of changing the translation from subtitles to dubbing. Reading the subtitles maintained a level of distance between what I was watching and comprehending, but the dubbing broke that connection and the action on screen descended into absurdity. Mel Bochner delights in this fragile disjunction.

Giuseppe Penone’s “Spazio di Luce” and Rachel Whiteread’s “Tree of Life”

Giuseppe Penone’s sculpture “Spazio di Luce (Space of Light)” is a reconstitution of an older project, “Gli anni dell’albero piú uno (All the years of the tree plus one)” (1969), in which Penone coated a tree in a thin layer of wax, approximating a growth ring.

Playing Solitaire

At age 14, in my sophomore year in high school, I was in Dr. Nikol’s Advanced Placement European History class. The syllabus was thorough and in the section on the Enlightenment we paused briefly on Descartes, to note his contributions to mathematics, and secondly his Meditations on First Philosophy, which have to this day never left me a moment’s peace.

In Conversation

DARRYL PINCKNEY with William Corwin

I first met Darryl Pinckney in 2014 when he was working on his novel Black Deutschland (Picador, 2016). He picked my brain on the subject of egomaniacal architects (I studied architecture and had a few notable examples as both mentors and employers). At the time I suspected it was for a character, but he only admitted that when we sat down for the interview for the Rail this past October.


Part of a series of limited-edition monographs of the work of living artists, the oversized monograph demands care and attention and effort on the part of the reader. The reproductions allow the viewer to become absorbed, and the artist’s oeuvre—which has always veered towards the grand—benefits well from this.

Protecting Renoir: The Legacy of Helen Frankenthaler

Will Corwin write about the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation and how it supports emerging artists while maintaining the legacy of its founder.


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2023

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