From hip-hop in New York to witchcraft in London and a testament of enduring love in Chicago, here’s our round-up of the must-see shows this month. Rounding out a great year of art shows are… even more great art shows! The art world has really been gifting us all of 2023, and December’s list isn’t letting up. From celebrating Charlie Ahearn’s iconic film, Wild Style in NYC to surrealism and witchcraft in London, and love and intimacy in Chicago, there’s something under this tree for everyone. See you in 2024! American artist Pope.L brings his extensive career to South London Gallery for Hospital, an inaugural London exhibition that navigates the crossroads of philosophy and theatre. He has explored society, politics, and culture across literature, painting, performance, installation, sculpture, and film, often confronting language, gender, race, economics, and community through provocation. Until February 11, 2024.
The ecstasy that the Brooklyn-based painter Keltie Ferris finds in color recalls Matisse. His willingness to explore the possibilities of a particular tool through painting mirrors Jasper Johns. His nods to digital culture and use of the grid suggest an affinity with Albert Oehlen and, more so, Laura Owens, as in “sWISHes” (2023), a loose tangle of squiggles — a not-quite calligraphy of yellow and aqua spray paint — that dances atop a field of squares in a variety of contrasting colors predominated by blue on pink. The resulting painting strikes a delicate harmonious cohesion, cleverly creating a sense of depth and motion, with no real-world referent, except maybe pixels and graffiti. If “sWISHes” is a painting of anything it may be this: a dogged belief that painting at this late stage still has a future. In the dozen paintings on view, Ferris uses spray guns, oil sticks and brushes, palette knives for building up and scraping away, as well as his body in paintings that explore what possibilities the medium may yet yield.
In 2000, American artist Pope.L created the world’s most precarious toilet. It was a vast rickety wooden tower, topped with a porcelain throne upon which he sat, covered in flour, and ate The Wall Street Journal. It was an absurd, obscene mockery of capitalism and whiteness, and it was signature Pope.L. The tower is reconstructed here in the main building, but it has toppled, its wooden beams have snapped, the bog hangs in mid-air, the whole thing is caked in dust and dirt. Is this the artifice of capitalism crumbling before you? The armour of whiteness failing? Bottles of cheap booze – Buckfast and Cactus Jack – are left dripping onto the floor, bowls of dust are there for you to sprinkle on the art, speakers play plopping and whooshing sounds. It lacks the essential performance element that makes Pope.L’s work so vital, obviously, but as a post-9/11 scene of destruction, a tower of American dominance that has utterly failed, it’s brilliant.
See: Keltie Ferris at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, 534 West 26th Street; through December 9. With highly colored paintings of grids and things that look like algae blooms and coral reefs seen through filters - plus intriguing prints made with his own body as a brush - Keltie Ferris presents a brave, capricious style plumbing the depths and implications of abstraction.
London: “Hospital” by Pope.L, at South London Gallery from November 21, 2023 to February 11, 2024. Why It’s Worth a Look: Since the 1970s, American artist Pope.L's work has remained unconfinable, spanning writing, painting, sculpture, installation, and performance. On display across South London Gallery’s Main Gallery and Fire Station, “Hospital,” is his first solo exhibition in a London institution. In a statement, Pope.L said, “‘Hospital’ is that sensation of lying on your back on a stretcher in a hallway cold staring at the veins in the ceiling above while it stares right back.” Know Before You Go: The Main Gallery houses a reworking of Eating the Wall Street Journal, 2000, showing three massive leaning tower structures upon which Pope.L once sat on a toilet, coated in flour and wearing just a jockstrap, while he ate pages out of the Wall Street Journal.
Adrian Piper’s Catalysis III, in which the artist walked around New York City wearing a shirt emblazoned with the words ‘wet paint’ helped push artist Warren Neidich to moisten the age-old term Conceptualism. Piper along with Yoko Ono, Mary Kelly, Martha Rosler, and Judy Chicago had to await the crisis in social, political, and cultural conditions that the rise of the information and knowledge economy provoked for their exploits to be appreciated as part of the conceptual genre. Significantly, the importance of immaterial objects was superseded by immaterial labor which was performative. GR: I really liked Rosler’s Semiotics of the Kitchen. Could you briefly break down its “Wet” characteristics for me. WN: Sure. Semiotics of the Kitchen is the perfect Wet Conceptual work. The cooking video spoof was a parody of the Julia Childs’ cooking show airing at that time. Staged in a mundane kitchen with the apparatuses of cooking displayed in front of her, Rosler picks up each instrument in order to demonstrate their use but does so in a transgressive and dubious manner that throws up the entire lexicon of woman’s work into disarray suffused with anger and aggression. She stabs at the air in the imaginary space of ideology and patriarchy that binds woman to unpaid labor.
Pope.L may not call himself one of the most influential performance artists working in the US today, but he has been known to pass out business cards declaring he is “the friendliest Black artist in America”. Known for his provocative and often absurdist works that deal with race, economic systems and language, the Chicago-based artist and educator works across multiple disciplines, from installations and film to painting and writing. His work is as distinctive as it is expansive. The hallmark of Pope.L’s practice is his use of iteration and intervention, both of which are evident in his Crawl series, which saw him move on hands and knees across large swaths of New York City on several occasions between 1978 and 2001. These performances were meant to counter “verticality”—a concept he uses to underscore the wealth and health it requires to be socially mobile. The gruelling physicality of the Crawls was only one aspect of them; equally important to the work was the reaction of onlookers, which could largely be summarised as compulsive avoidance.
The celebrated artist group General Idea are renowned for their irreverent and satirical approach to the art world. Made up of three Canadian artists, the group influenced generations with their conceptual and media-based works. Their art was often presented in unconventional forms: posters, pins, postcards, wallpaper and their mouthpiece arts and culture magazine, File Megazine. Formed in Toronto in 1967, the group’s work used humour, satire and subversive images to address ideas of consumerism, mass media, social inequities and identity. In their later years, much of their work tackled the AIDS crisis, which claimed two of their three members. General Idea’s surviving member, AA Bronson, has continued to work as an independent artist, directing the non-profit New York arts space Printed Matter, Inc and setting up the New York Art Book Fair. Much of the group’s archive is on long-term loan to the National Gallery of Canada, which launched a retrospective of their work in 2022. That retrospective – the most extensive exhibition of their work in decades – is in Berlin through mid-January.
Welcome to This Week in Culture, a weekly agenda of show openings and events in major cities across the globe. From galleries to institutions and one-of-a-kind happenings, our ongoing survey highlights the best of contemporary culture, for those willing to make the journey. “dOUbTsWISHes” by Keltie Ferris at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, October 26 - December 9, 2023. Why It’s Worth a Look: Here, Keltie Ferris presents 10 new large-scale paintings, including a series of body prints. The works, which show elements of spray paint, oils, scraping, and layering, are a thought-provoking study in mark-making. Ferris’s ongoing body print pieces, in which he uses his own body as a tool, are here shown on canvas for the first time, rather than being made on paper.
MAINE - A legendary performance artist known for inserting himself unceremoniously in the public sphere — a well-known series had him literally crawl on elbows and knees through the streets of Manhattan — Pope.L has described himself as “a fisherman of social absurdity.” That absurdity has often been the raw material of a strident critique of racial inequity in the US, and has recently made him more visible and relevant than ever: In 2019, New York’s Museum of Modern Art mounted a survey of more than 20 years of his work; concurrently, the Whitney Museum of American Art installed a massive new work, “Choir,” an industrial water tank installed amid a soundscape that evoked Black Americans’ being denied basic access to clean drinking water. “Small Cup,” a homecoming of sorts — the artist was a lecturer at Bates College in nearby Lewiston from 1992 to 2010; he’s now faculty at the University of Chicago — is very much of a piece. In the video of the live 2008 performance, a herd of goats demolishes a small-scale replica of the US Capitol building, an eerie resonance that these days cuts close to the bone. Through Feb. 4.
It looks like something from a sci-fi film, a fantastical vision of glass, raw concrete and steel. This is not the palace of some intergalactic empire but the women’s college Murray Edwards at Cambridge University, built in 1964 by the architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, who went on to design London’s Barbican complex. Unlike other Cambridge colleges, Murray Edwards actively encourages visitors to wander through its long interconnecting corridors, enjoy its gardens and marvel at its chapel-like library. Central to this ideology is the college’s art collection. Founded in 1992, it is considered the most significant collection of women’s art in Europe. The collection was the brainchild of former college president Valerie Pearl and curator Ann Jones following a residency by the pioneering feminist Mary Kelly. The American artist came to Murray Edwards in the mid-1980s, not long after her controversial exhibition at the ICA in London, Post-Partum Document, in which she painstakingly analysed her relationship with her baby son. Her work at the college was equally ambitious, exploring the experiences of the post-modern woman through the prism of the five passionate attitudes attributed to hysterical women by the 19th-century psychiatrist Jean-Martin Charcot. It set a precedent for challenging feminist work.
In the artist Eddie Martinez’s dense, polychrome paintings, each mark is haunted by the gesture that made it and each color seems to demand its own verb: The thick gray drips; a bright red streak declares; a daub of blue hesitates. Even white pigment, which has frequently appeared in Martinez’s pieces since his 2018 “White Out” series, has a charged presence, boldly countering a base painting or washed thinly across the canvas so that the ghost of an underlying color peeks through. His teeming works seem, on the one hand, to be urgently composed, but the carefully accrued coats of paint — sprayed, silk-screened or directly applied from pigment sticks — also point to an artist who knows how to surrender to the pace set by his materials. “I need the paint to dry to produce the layers,” Martinez tells me one overcast afternoon in his studio in Ridgewood, Queens, ahead of his solo show at London’s Timothy Taylor gallery, opening October 12. The walls are hung with pieces in varying stages of completion. He pauses in front of one and leaves a single, deliberate stroke of brown. “I have to override my impatience for the sake of letting it become the painting it needs to become,” he says.
AA Bronson and Adrian Stimson make art that brings the past into conversation with the present. Their first collaboration, a public apology and a form new to both artists, asks what kinds of truth-telling and relationships are possible in the wake of genocide. Stimson, two-spirit artist and member of the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation in Southern Alberta, Canada, is best known for his satirical and camp performances as Buffalo Boy and The Shaman Exterminator. He also produces sculpture, photography, video, painting, and books, through which he explores the legacies of settler colonialism. Bronson is a Canadian artist living in Berlin, Germany. He was a member of the pioneering art collective General Idea, and in the wake of his collaborators’ deaths from AIDS he has worked with younger queer artists in a variety of forms, including séances, video installations, and photography. Bronson also has a career-long engagement with education, publishing, and curating. “If Not Now, When?” is a dedicated space for visual, literary, and performing artists to address concerns defining our time—including systemic racism, climate crisis, immigrant and Indigenous rights, and gender identity—through interviews and essays infused with the energy of activism.
There is perhaps no grander New York entryway than the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Great Hall. One of the most iconic locales in the art world, the sprawling, cavernous antechamber has played host to galas, fashion shows, and untold numbers of reverent visitors. This week, the space was transformed once again for the second of the museum's Great Hall commissions: a multi-channel video installation from artist Jacolby Satterwhite. A Metta Prayer, 2023, is a medium-mingling work that combines sound design, performance, animation, and sculpture to reflect the state of media culture today. The work—which was inaugurated with a resplendent celebration featuring performances by Moses Sumney and others earlier this week—takes as its primary subject matter the museum's hallowed permanent collection, injecting its works into a broader dialogue around urban life and popular culture. The mammoth undertaking was one worthy of Satterwhite, whose complex installations engage with Afrofuturist aesthetics, queer theory, and isolation in the digital age. Nevertheless, the post-opening comedown is hard to avoid. Here, Satterwhite tells CULTURED what's in his morning smoothie, how he treats himself after a trying week, and explains the craziest wellness ritual you've never heard of.
Imagine going for a stroll, unencumbered by a phone, preoccupied by the glories of the world around you: the perfume of blossoming flowers, the heat radiating from sidewalks, the sound of wind as it moves through and bounces off towering buildings. You might notice a historical landmark you usually miss in the hustle of getting from A to B. Or spot the construction of luxury apartments where working-class housing formerly stood. Perhaps you realize there are fewer bird calls than there used to be. Consciously or not, you are participating in the practice of psychogeography, a radical method of moving through the world more intentionally, in a way that benefits not only the individual but society as a whole. Greek American painter Gerasimos Floratos created a series of collages, drawings, and oil paintings during the pandemic. Titled “Psychogeography,” this oeuvre captures the hectic life around New York City’s Time Square, drawing connections to the equally busy systems within the human body. “For me, psychogeography is about map-making,” Floratos said in the press release for the exhibit, “Mapping the inside of your mind simultaneously with your environment. Not the kind of linear maps we usually use, maps that simultaneously chart sensory data, emotions, memory, the physical body, culture, society etc.”
How do you succeed as a young creative person today? How do you make it? What does it even mean to make it now? The old models, pathways, and rules—some not even that old—have been scrambled and upended in the past few years, as the traditional gatekeepers and arbiters are replaced by the herky-jerky algorithmic democracy of social media. It’s why Whitney Mallett created the Whitney Review of New Writing: to give space to the daring, the smutty, the inimical, and the frankly weird. Taking things too far requires courage, though. Like when Jacolby Satterwhite was asked to be the second artist ever to do a takeover of the Beaux-Arts Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. When I get him on the phone, he’s been busy, having spent the day scanning Solange Knowles, who had to zip herself into a motion-capture suit so she could co-star in the multichannel video installation that will be on view at the museum this fall.She’ll join a digitized posse of his scanned pals, including the artist Raúl de Nieves and the musicians Serpentwithfeet and Moses Sumney, who will scamper around the hall’s walls (“each wall a different film genre”) and spiral up into the three domes. It wasn’t easy.
Hold onto your cowboy hats. This is no ordinary Western art show. The simply titled “Cowboy” opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver on September 29 and it’s sure to garner major attention in the Western U.S. and beyond. The show, organized by curators Nora Burnett Abrams and Miranda Lash, takes aim at the mythic figure, which they describe as “one of the most fraught and persistent figures in contemporary American culture.” The show raises questions such as how the myth of the cowboy exists today and how this archetype of masculinity shaped how we think about gender now. It further delves into cowboys’ relationship to the land through a series of broad perspectives and aims to debunk the homogenous concept of the cowboy as a white male. “There is no mythic figure who is more grand and complicated than the cowboy,” said Burnett Abrams in a phone interview. Originally, she said, she was looking into the history of the Black cowboy, but over the course of years of conversations, the concept was broadened.
From the soaring Beaux-Arts architecture to the pristine flower arrangements, the Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art can be a humbling, even intimidating entry point for visitors. The artist Jacolby Satterwhite is having none of that. His new Great Hall Commission, “A Metta Prayer,” turns the museum’s solemnity into a funky, queer-infused love poem to the universe, set to an acid house beat. The installation, made of digital projections and a soundtrack, will be on view through Jan. 7. The piece will feature live performances on weekends in October and November, as well as opening night, Monday, Oct. 2. The video may be the only time Met visitors will hear a benediction like, “May we always keep our wigs on our heads.” Amen. A metta prayer is a peaceful wish for compassion in the Buddhist tradition, and Satterwhite does transcendental meditation everyday. But he said he has given the practice both a personal spin — “from my Black queer irreverent self” — as well as a generational twist.
A flying visit to Accra by the shooting star of African art, Amoako Boafo, underlines the Ghanaian capital’s growing importance as one of the world’s great art destinations. Boafo returned briefly to his hometown for Accra Cultural Week (13-18 September), a series of cultural events including exhibitions, talks and studio visits that drew an eclectic mix of artists, collectors, gallerists and journalists from Europe and the US, as well as Africa. Boafo told The Art Newspaper that he was also in town to check on the residency he offers other artists at his purpose-built art space, dot.ateliers. In and Out of Time has been curated by Ekow Eshun, a former director of the ICA in London, whose family is from Ghana. The exhibition also features work by Boafo’s contemporaries Serge Attukwei Clottey and Gideon Appah. Like him, they have a substantial international profile. “These artists haven’t just come out of nowhere,” Eshun said. “Although they’re young, they’ve been working on their craft for some years now. There have been Ghanaian artists who have come before, but there’s never been a generation of artists who have been able to work with this proficiency, this ease, until now.”
The New York artist Jacolby Satterwhite is in the midst of transforming the Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His vision is a kaleidoscopic installation that blends the queer-coded, video-game-inspired art he’s known for, with soundscapes and treasures plucked from the museum’s esteemed collection. The project, he tells collaborator Kelsey Lu (she’s slated to be “in residence” at the exhibition alongside a slew of other musicians), is a radical spiritual awakening. But when has Satterwhite ever played it safe? "I’m trying to bridge a very unlikely dialogue between spirituality and gaming in the same way. In our society, games have been always propagandistic to war and fighting and violence and resistance. I was thinking, what if I created a space that represented several musicians, like you, who are protagonists in the game? Music is a sonic form of prayer—what if I incorporate that with art objects from all around the world?...I think this show is about repurposing information until it becomes its own abstract, new form for a potential utopia and new futures. I’m just trying to take away all the toxic meaning of all of the histories that I am pulling from for this show. I want to weave it all together: negative, positive, neutral. I think about that a lot: How do we look into the void and find utopia?"
Over the past few years, Seoul has become a red-hot global art hub. Home to successful galleries exhibiting local and international art stars since the late 1980s, when the city hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics, it’s more recently developed into an “art-mad city,” as art critic Andrew Russeth aptly described South Korea’s capital in a January 2023 article for The New York Times. Some of the highlights in the Galleries group presentations are Tracey Emin’s classic 2008 red neon text piece, Open Me Again, at White Cube, which is featuring the artist’s new paintings and drawings in a striking curated selection of works by women artists at it newly opened Seoul gallery space; Wendy Park’s representational paintings of everyday objects and familial routines that pay homage to her Korean-American upbringing at Various Small Fires; Robert Nava’s new action painting of an angelic airborne creature at Pace, that’s related to his colorful canvases of wild sharks and mythological dragons at the gallery’s Seoul site; George Condo’s arresting 2022 sculptural head, Constellation II, that’s cast in aluminum and covered in 24-karat-gold-leaf at Sprüth Magers; and emerging Chinese artist Yirui Jia’s lively paintings of figures in flux at Mitchell-Innes and Nash.
The works ranked below take many forms—painting, sculpture, photography, film, performance, even artist-run organizations whose activities barely resemble art. Binding all of these works is one larger question: What really makes a city? These 100 works come up with many different answers to that query, not the least because a significant number of them are made by people who were born outside New York City. When Martha Rosler made her work, the Bowery was associated with alcoholism and homelessness—societal issues that many would prefer not to see. In an attempt to reverse the invisibility, Rosler took pictures around the Manhattan street, pairing her black-and-white shots with short texts she collected that refer to drunkenness and drinking. No New York artwork may have been quite as grueling to produce as The Great White Way, a performance begun by Pope.L in 2001 that involved traversing the 22 miles from the southernmost tip of Broadway in Manhattan to his mother’s home in the Bronx. The catch: Pope.L went that distance not by foot but on his elbows and knees. The Great White Way is one of Pope.L’s famed “crawls,” a painstaking series of works that are often performed in public. This one involved the artist wearing a Superman suit—a reference to his aunt’s love for the comic-book hero, and to Pope.L’s fascination with her passion for a white man who was not even human—with a skateboard strapped to his back.
Josephine Nash brings her own flair to the family business. Nash is now a senior director at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, the New York gallery founded by her parents, Lucy Mitchell-Innes and David Nash, two former Sotheby’s specialists, back in 1996. It’s no exaggeration to say Nash grew up in the gallery, playing alongside her sister Isobel, as their parents carved out what was then a niche in the market—working with artist estates. Over the years, the gallery began to pivot toward the contemporary markets and, Nash, who joined as a gallery assistant in 2011, has focused her energies on bringing new and dynamic voices to their roster. Those efforts are paying dividends today. As summer winds down, Nash is gearing up for a busy fall showcasing these contemporary voices. Recently we caught up with Nash, who told us what she values in art and life—and why.
Just above East Sixth Street and across from the Contemporary Arts Center, the intersecting chromatic lines of Julian Stanczak’s Additional (2007) are an iconic part of Fountain Square’s public artwork, even if it’s easy to assume the work is just an architect’s creative flair. So what is Additional, and who is the artist behind it? Stanczak was a Polish-born painter and printmaker who was one of the progenitors of Op-Art, a movement of the 1960’s focused on using light and color to create complex visual experiences that engage the eye. Stanczak has a direct connection to Ohio—he worked as painting faculty at both the University of Cincinnati and later the Cleveland Art Institute and lived in the state for 60 years, from 1957 until his death in 2017. The majority of Stanczak’s works were based on painting and printmaking, with this work being the only known sculpture/installation work done by him. His only other public work was done by painting directly onto a brick building and, as a result of issues with contractors, did not last particularly long before changes in weather caused it to dilapidate.
At the pace the art business operates these days, summer makes a case for making space to scout the new and become acquainted with unfamiliar artists and their practices. While it’s still August, fall is practically here (get the beach days in!), and many galleries are closed to install their big September shows. So, reflecting back on what filled New York gallery walls over the last two months, CULTURED rounded up the names on our radar that you’ll be seeing throughout the rest of the year. Is it a veil? A painting? A tapestry? Araba Opoku’s tactile practice uses standard painting materials—canvas, acrylic—to embody the nature of water. Fluidity appears as an anchor in Accra-born/based Opoku’s practice. In this Untitled work, made explicitly for the show, anxiety and hope take form in a hallucinatory dreamscape of faucets and water flows; H2O is cast as both a force of life and death. With the art world’s current laser focus on portrait painters from Ghana, Opoku’s illusory representational style offers a unique take on realism, particularly amongst her peers.
Painter Gideon Appah’s studio in Ghana is just outside of Accra, positioned quietly by a small farm of pepper plants above which the sun was sharply gleaming when I visited. The two-story studio is a medley of rooms, each full of paintings that the artist had recently completed or left in process. Walking through the studio’s maze-like construction, I felt as if Appah’s liquid universes were blending: the blue sky in one larger-than-life painting bled into the sea in the next work, which he rendered without the usual mass of azure and instead in an icy white dotted with various darker hues. This flow throughout his studio’s sun-lit chambers allowed for a momentary escape from physical reality. Gideon Appah is the co-curator with Ylinka Barotto of Worldmaking, a group exhibition featuring ten emerging artists living and working in Ghana, on view at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York City until August 25.
Rosler, 80, has earned the strange distinction of being the institutionally celebrated godmother of American protest art. Using media ranging from performance and video to photography and sculpture, she has been mounting an unrelenting opposition to America’s various social injustices — and to many of its citizens’ willful ignorance of them. She’s made provocative work addressing the subjugation of women (take, for example, her influential series of feminist photomontages “Body Beautiful, or Beauty Knows No Pain,” circa 1966-72); the horrors of the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan (as embodied in her late ’60s photomontage series “House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home,” reprised in 2004 and 2008); the country’s ongoing housing crisis (most famously touched upon in “If You Lived Here …,” the exhibition series she organized in 1989); and the media’s role in perpetuating these ills, the critique of which lurks in the background of almost all her projects. Over the decades, as the political environment has moved left and then right, her early and midcareer works have resurfaced again and again, reminders that history is often cyclical. But if many of her peers from the late ’60s and ’70s have since softened their radical stances, Rosler remains a die-hard. In her persistence, though, there is also optimism. “I do feel that I’m looking for a way to convey something essential or true,” she said to me, almost with embarrassment, at one point. “Of course, in eras of deconstruction you can hardly refer to truth. But I still can’t get past this.”
Posts at commercial galleries are becoming increasingly covetable, even to institutional curators who have worked at the highest levels. While some curators have taken on positions that are less market focused, others are gallery directors in the classic sense. Anthony Elms worked as a curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia for over ten years, ultimately rising to chief curator in 2015. He joined New York’s Peter Freeman, Inc last summer as a director, where in addition to mounting exhibition he is also responsible for private sales and manning the booth at art fairs. Elms describes the shift as contingent on the gallery’s program being a good fit. By contrast, Ylinka Barotto, a director at Mitchell-Innes & Nash who has held curatorial roles at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Moody Center for the Arts in Houston, said she was brought on to solely liaise with institutions for exhibitions and acquisitions. “I increase their visibility through institutional exhibitions and acquisitions, and this offers me the opportunity to be in close conversation with my peers at museums,” noting that in recent years the gulf between museum curator and commercial gallery curator “feel less compartmentalized, which is healthy and invigorating.”
When the paintings of the blockbuster Swedish artist Hilma af Klint, who died in 1944, were first shown publicly in the 1980s, some critics argued that the works looked more like diagrams illustrating occult ideas than abstract paintings. Later audiences and critics disagreed. Tastes have changed perhaps — but so has our relationship to diagrams, as John Bender and Michael Marrinan asserted in their book “The Culture of Diagram” (2010). “Schema: World as Diagram” focuses on artists — mostly painters — who use the diagram in formal, conceptual and sometimes playful ways. Some use it to describe social, political and personal structures, such as Mike Cloud, Alan Davie, David Diao, Thomas Hirschhorn, Mark Lombardi and Loren Munk. Grids, networks and circuit boards appear in works by Alfred Jensen, Paul Pagk, Miguel Angel Ríos. Maps are a touchstone for Joanne Greenbaum and the aboriginal painters Jimmy and Angie Tchooga. More cosmic diagrams appear in paintings by Chris Martin, Karla Knight, Paul Laffoley, Trevor Winkfield and Hilma’s Ghost (the artists Dannielle Tegeder and Sharmistha Ray), who take af Klint as an inspiration.
Each week we bring you four of the most interesting objects from the world’s museums, galleries and art institutions, hand-picked to mark significant moments in the calendar. While the Expressionist movement may seem to have become indelibly linked with Edvard Munch’s The Scream, many of its lesser players and higher ideals are now beginning to get the attention they deserve. This week we take a look at some of the key figures of this movement, from Kollwitz to Munch and beyond. Leon Kossoff was a member of the pioneering School of London, an informal group of painters which included Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach and Euan Uglow. They were united in their desire to depict the human figure in a way that reflected the trauma of post-war society in Britain. In this work, Kossoff conveys the suffering of the émigrée writer Sonia Husid (1906–85), known by her nom de plume N M Seedo, after her experience of pogroms in Romania.
From inspiring group exhibitions to invigorating new eateries, here’s our guide to July’s most exciting cultural and culinary offerings. In New York City, Mitchell-Innes & Nash’s summer show is turning the spotlight on Ghana or, more specifically, ten of the country’s most exciting emerging artists, whose work traverses painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation. Co-curated by Ghanaian artist Gideon Appah and curator and gallery director Ylinka Barotto, Worldmaking explores Ghana’s environment “in light of Western consumption, architectural influences that derive from years-long domination, colonial impact on ecosystems and economies, and the use of traditions as conduits to preserving the past and understanding the present”. Worldmaking at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York runs from July 13 – August 25, 2023.
In 2021, 2.8 billion people—almost a third of the world’s population— played video games, making what was once a niche pastime the biggest mass phenomenon of our time. Many people spend hours every day in a parallel world and live a multitude of different lives. Video games are to the twenty-first century what movies were to the twentieth century and novels to the nineteenth century. Artists can be said to present an expanded notion of games. Worldbuilding, an exhibition I curated at the Julia Stoschek Foundation in Düsseldorf, which will be shown at Pompidou Metz in summer 2023, highlights how the creation of games offers a unique opportunity for worldbuilding. Within games rules can be set up; surroundings, systems, and dynamics can be built and altered; and new realms can emerge. As artist Ian Cheng often told me, at the heart of his art is a desire to understand what a world is. Now more than ever, the dream is to be able to possess the agency to create new worlds, not just inherit and live within existing ones.
The major shifts that took shape in the 1960s—from the civil rights movement and rock and roll to the rise of mass consumerism and the sexual revolution—still echo in contemporary society and throughout the art world. A new show at France’s Pinault Collection explores not just the era’s creative upheaval, but what it represents to us today. “Forever Sixties: The Spirit of the Sixties in the Pinault Collection,” which marks the third edition of the annual arts and culture Exporama in Rennes, explores the decade’s resounding shifts in art history and beyond through 80 emblematic artworks—many of which have never been on public display. “What did the 1960s represent?” their release reads, citing “tension between conservatism and democratization, dominant culture and alternative countercultures, commercial conformism and dreams of escape.”
Rules in art exist to be broken but it takes chutzpah, which could explain why so many rule-breakers in modern figurative art were Jewish. Given that they were breaking the law by making figurative art in the first place, they went for broke. Born a generation apart, Chaïm Soutine (1893-1943) and Leon Kossoff (1926-2019) had much in common. Both were brought up in Jewish working-class families with no pictures on the walls: Soutine the son of a Belarusian tailor; Kossoff, of a Ukrainian immigrant baker in London’s East End. Both were rule-breakers – Soutine because he didn’t have the patience for the rules, Kossoff because he had difficulty following them. Both were reserved in person, extravagant in paint.
Neither the exhibition text nor the online imagery, although both generous, adequately primed me for Rafael Delacruz’s spellbinding painting exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. The moment I stepped into the gallery, I was engulfed in a world with vibrant enigmatic narratives, layered as a fusion of drawing, lino-cut-like marks, and a kaleidoscope of restless patterns, all shimmering under the play of vivid paint. The paintings reveal recognizable elements like cars or figures while hiding drawings underneath, daring us to embark on a delightful game of artistic hide and seek. In some canvases Rafael Delacruz, who is a self-taught painter, uses Cochineal, a vibrant natural dye extracted from a cactus-devouring parasite. With a storied cultural history of adorning the capes of Catholic clergy and the coats of English soldiers, Cochineal seems to assume a prominent role in Delacruz’s artistic alchemy. Through tireless experimentation, the artist has ingeniously transmuted the dye into a paint medium.
I hesitated to give a good friend of mine the big five, but, on the other hand, he's the best painter I know and this is easily the best painting show I've ever seen by an artist of my generation. I've seen a few comparably impressive shows of historical collections, but great historical art is a reaction to a past moment that we can appreciate with hindsight. There's an impressive disorientation to the work, a sort of formlessness that comes from a total, confident faith in process an instinct instead of the vagueness of uncertainty, which more often than not results in an overreliance on form. By not using compositional armatures, the paintings become all the more perfectly composed for their resistance to easy ways out and a sensitivity to each painting as a discrete thing. A friend said to me at the opening that he's blown painting wide open, and I think that's true. I also think that's the highest compliment that can be paid to a painter.
They never met, and their lives followed very different trajectories. Yet a comparable inner energy seethes through the landscapes and cityscapes of two prominent artists who shared an uncanny artistic relationship. Londoner Leon Kossoff was a great admirer of Belarus-born Chaïm Soutine, who died aged 50 in 1943. Kossoff lived on until 2019, still working and exhibiting at 92. The echo of Soutine in Kossoff’s life and career resounds again and again. In 1952, Soutine represented France in the 24th Venice Biennale; in 1995 Kossoff was featured in the British Pavilion of the 46th Venice Biennale. In 1963, an Arts Council exhibition featuring the young artist friends, Soutine and Modigliani, first staged at the Edinburgh Festival, was transferred to the Tate Gallery in London; in 1996 the Tate mounted a Kossoff retrospective.
Celebrating collage as a fine art form is essential to understanding art history. Many contemporary collage artists continue to create visual narratives by cutting or tearing and pasting together found, printed imagery and ephemera. Martha Rosler, who has been active since the 1960s, uses collage to confront socio-political issues through energetic compositions that compel us to rethink normative narratives. Her House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home, New Series, (2004–2008) re-examines an earlier body of work centered on war through the lens of problematic U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. She painstakingly blends immaculately cut glossy and grisly imagery to create flawless compositions that undermine the mainstream media and amplify the impact of war on all of us, even from afar.
Lucy Mitchell-Innes and David Nash were uniquely positioned to start a business with a plan for the future. As former heads, respectively, of Sotheby's contemporary and Impressionist and Modern art divisions, the pair has extensive experience working with blue-chip names. When they transitioned into the realm of private dealing, their years working in the secondary market proved crucial to understanding how to shape artists’ legacies. It was Mitchell-Innes who left the auction house first, in 1994, and began to work with the conservatorship of Willem de Kooning, who had a body of work and no dealer. “I had two young children, Josephine and Isobel, and the job at Sotheby’s required a tremendous amount of travel. I felt it was best to start my own business,” she recalls. David followed suit two years later, and the pair started the gallery that August.
”I want to make sure I do things where I’m showing a commitment.” American artists Pope.L. have crawled through Times Square in a suit, eaten the Wall Street Journal and painted onions in the colours of the American flag. Meet the artists who, in his own words, “make stuff.” “It was my grandmother. It was her idea.” Pope.L.’s grandmother wanted to be an artist, so she encouraged him to go down that path: “Black people. Poor Black people. It’s just not realistic at that time to think about yourself in that way. I mean, I don’t even think it was realistic for her to think about me in that way.” Yet, she did, and Pope.L. ended up studying art: “I think I had excellent teachers. You have to have an interesting mix of encouragement, criticism, and good conversation.” Pope.L. was interviewed by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen in his studio in Chicago in February 2023.
My mom and I rarely talk about anything serious. There always seems to be this invisible fence between us, even though I’m an only child, her only daughter. You know how sometimes you remember the wise thing your parents said to you when you were a kid? In my case, it was my mother telling me, “Don’t grow up like me.” She said that repeatedly when I was young. To me, this meant I’d better have a well-paying career so I wouldn’t end up a housewife like her. Without even noticing it, I let this internalized misogyny shape my life. I’m never “girly”; I hate cooking. (As for the moneymaking career, unfortunately, I ended up in animation.) In her short film “Semiotics of the Kitchen,” Martha Rosler shifted the traditional language around the kitchen to something violent, frustrating and radical. And because of how I grew up, the kitchen has always been a frustrating space that I refused to enter. But after all these years of absence, now I’m at the stove. Cooking for leisure is my way of reclaiming feminism — as well as hopefully bringing my mom and me closer.
Artist Jonathan Horowitz, 56, admits that his work is political, but he is no “artivist,” the trendy word referencing an activist artist. “The work is made from a critical perspective, but I’m not trying to position the viewer and elicit any particular response. Even past work that seems like agitprop is really more open.” Horowitz and I are at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery on West 26th Street where we are viewing Human Nature, his solo exhibition that illustrates — through video, painting and lenticular photography — human nature in all its permutations. It follows the 2021 Jewish Museum show, We Fight to Build a Free World, which Horowitz curated partly in response to the surge in global anti-antisemitism. Found footage coupled with pop music, blockbuster films, cult flicks, music videos and other forms of advertising, viewed through the lens of progressive politics are seminal to Horowitz’s vision. “I am a conceptual artist,” he told me.
Though a polite, tweed-jacketed man of relatively light frame, Caro was a bruiser of a maker. He knocked sculptures off their pedestals and bolted, say, a gobbet of steel to whatever else came to hand with improvisatory glee, from first to last. He never knew what he was doing until he’d done it. That’s what he enjoyed most: the thrill of discovering what his hand and his eye had been up to. Architectural forms enabled him to see and develop his creative potential. Take “Horizon” (Park Avenue Series) of 2012, for example. The ways in which these plates and girders of steel have been clustered and bonded have a precarious and dangerous urban excitement about them. We feel the roar and the teem of the city, forever on the making and the unmaking, on our very pulses.
Throughout the 1960s several strains of conceptual art and the counterculture converged in an international mail art scene. Participants developed elaborate personas, complete with name games and eccentric iconography, and traded collages as well as information on their artistic projects, political protests, and experiments in alternative living. Collectives proliferated. These exchanges formed a genuinely parallel art world with its own rules, pitched against the system of commercial galleries and museums. Out of this firmament Slobodan Saia-Levi, Ronald Gabe, and Michael Tims met in Toronto in 1969 and changed their names to Jorge Zontal, Felix Partz, and AA Bronson respectively. Living together in a house that was almost a commune, they began involving one another and a large group of collaborators in various art projects, adopting the name General Idea in 1970.
Jonathan Horowitz got the keys to the museum, and he brought his friends along. The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History has given Horowitz curatorial carte blanche across its sprawling four-story building. The New York-based artist stationed his own work throughout the museum's permanent collection as a way of commenting on a post-2020 world in the context of Jewish American history. Also along for the ride: art history heavyweights like Norman Rockwell, Ben Shahn, and Andy Warhol. Horowitz, who identifies as a gay Jewish man, also showcases work from his art-world peers, a diverse group (stylistically and demographically) that comments on topics like Indigenous land and Black liberation. The resulting show, "The Future Will Follow the Past," is on view through 2023.
There's something about video art that calls for grand theories and epic summations, wild pronouncements and heroic declarations. It’s exciting to see a new technology appear in one’s lifetime and to feel some kind of ownership over it, to see it for what it is or, even more importantly, what it did—how it cut through the world. While the earliest video artists, people like Frank Gillette and Ira Schneider, opened their work to network TV, Dara Birnbaum “talked back to the media” by launching a systematic inquiry into its parts and clichés, creating compendiums of reverse shots, two-shots, and special effects. Martha Rosler did something similar in her ersatz home-cooking demonstration Semiotics of the Kitchen in 1975, while the Canadian collective General Idea built on these investigations of media codes in their half-hour talk shows, such as Pilot, 1977, and Test Tube, 1979, which might have aired during prime time if they hadn’t been telling the media to “shut the fuck up.”
In her 2020 book, “Lurking: How a Person Became a User,” tech culture critic Joanne McNeil examines the rise of the early internet and, as part of that, the significance it had to queer culture — a place where a person questioning their sexuality might find answers or be able to present a truer version of themselves. “Members of the trans community speak of the internet more viscerally,” she writes, “because as a user, with options for anonymity and pseudonymity, it is possible to express an identity more ‘real’ and factual than what the physical world can see yet.” An exhibition at Honor Fraser Gallery in Culver City looks at the inverse of that proposition, advocating “for a recontextualization of drag as a form of technology itself — applied queer knowledge accumulated, preserved, and reperformed across multiple generations and cultural terrains.” The group show, “Make Me Feel Mighty Real: Drag/Tech and the Queer Avatar,” curated by Jamison Edgar and Scott Ewalt, features work by a multigenerational group of more than 40 artists to examine notions of what the curators describe as “Drag/Tech.”
An art exhibit at the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History examines the division throughout the U.S. since the pandemic by looking at past examples of subjugation and intolerance. The exhibit, titled “The Future Will Follow the Past,” centers on the change in relationships between Americans throughout the pandemic, noting a rise in antisemitism, hate crimes, and the fight for LGBTQ rights. All four floors of the museum are juxtaposed with art pieces comparing past struggles to current ones, highlighting the cycle of rampant prejudice throughout history. Jonathan Horowitz curated the exhibit. The Brooklyn-based artist said he wanted to engage the museum’s core installation — which tells the story of Jewish people in America — and “fill in the gaps” with pieces to illustrate his vision.
From the aberrant splotches of 1970s screenprints to incandescent virtual worlds built by contemporary artists, ‘Make Me Feel Mighty Real: Drag/Tech and the Queer Avatar’ at Honor Fraser tracks how the tactics of queer creation – to ghost, glitch, infiltrate, speculate – move across time and technology to serve as scaffolding for much of today’s art practice. By framing drag itself as a kind of technology – an encrypted intelligence archived and activated across generations and cultures – the exhibition hones in on the role of the avatar in queer world-making. Understood both as otherworldly manifestation and, in more recent years, as digital surrogate for online interactions, the avatar becomes a prismatic interlocutor among the dazzling array of more than 40 artists on show. Jacolby Satterwhite’s stunning, two-channel film Avenue B (2019–20) meditates on digital camouflage and love amidst Black violence.
On Monday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced the latest on their agenda: Nairy Baghramian will premiere work for the building’s facade commission, and Jacolby Satterwhite will be featured in the Great Hall beginning this September. With these two contemporary art commissions, in addition to the previously announced roof garden project by Lauren Halsey, as well as their new wing for modern and contemporary art, the Met makes it clear that diverse contemporary art is a top priority for the museum. For Jacolby Satterwhite, this will be the second in the series of commissions for the Met’s Great Hall. The first was in 2019, with works by Kent Monkman. Satterwhite will create a large-scale work, comprised of video, sound, music, and performative interventions. According to the Met’s release, Satterwhite’s installation will incorporate over one hundred objects from the museum’s collection in animation, alongside imagery of New York City and its diverse communities. The goal is to celebrate the vital role of the Museum within the city, and beyond. This is not by any means a departure from his practice.
General Idea has always caused dissent. From performance works involving faux shops and beauty pageants to provocative photography, and immersive installations that riff on the works of other artists, their oeuvre is multidisciplinary and irreverent. This month, a retrospective at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam recontextualizes the group, bringing together works from across their 25 years of practice. Why do this retrospective in 2023? “Because I might be dead next year,” said AA Bronson, chuckling, in a recent interview with Artsy. At 77, the sole surviving member of General Idea has been tasked with speaking for all three of the group’s members since 1994, when Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal both died from AIDS-related illnesses. The group met in Toronto, where they created satirical performances and the inside joke–laden, manifesto-meets-mail-art phenomenon FILEmegazine (a play on Life magazine). They later moved to New York, where they produced the “AIDS” works, initiated before Partz and Zontal received their diagnoses.
New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art has commissioned Berlin-based sculptor Nairy Baghramian and Brooklyn-based multimedia artist Jacolby Satterwhite to create new works for the institution, where they will go on display this fall. Baghramian will produce four polychrome sculptures, each occupying a niche carved into the museum’s Fifth Avenue–facing facade, while Satterwhite will create a video installation that will incorporate images of more than a hundred works from the museum’s collection. These will be exhibited together in the Met’s Great Hall. “We are excited to present major new works by Nairy Baghramian as well as Jacolby Satterwhite, two outstanding, innovative artists whose installations at The Met will challenge and expand our dialogue with the museum as a site of artistic discourse and community experience,” said Met director Max Hollein.
This fall, new, cutting-edge commissions will take over two of the most visible stages contemporary art has to offer: the façade and Great Hall of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The institution has announced that Berlin-based sculptor Nairy Baghramian will make four sculptures for the façade niches facing Fifth Avenue, while Brooklyn-based multimedia artist Jacolby Satterwhite will fill the Great Hall with more than one hundred works that shift between sound, video, and performance. The commissions will follow Lauren Halsey’s highly anticipated rooftop garden project that opens April 19. Satterwhite will be only the second contemporary artist officially commissioned for the Great Hall, after the Cree artist Kent Monkman in 2019. Monkman debuted two monumental paintings that recast classic interpretations of American history with Indigenous, gender-fluid characters.
One of the Metropolitan Museum’s most iconic spaces, the vast main lobby known as the Great Hall, will get a radical makeover this autumn thanks to a new multimedia commission from new media and performance artist Jacolby Satterwhite. For his intervention in the soaring space (2 October-26 November), which will also include audio and performance elements, the artist will incorporate 3D scans of around 100 objects from the museum’s collection. It will be the second contemporary art commission in the Great Hall, following 2019’s unveiling of two large-scale narrative paintings by the Cree artist Kent Monkman.
For a contemporary artist, the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the walls of its Great Hall are prime real estate for showing work, given the Met’s importance and the huge number of visitors it gets (more than 3.4 million in 2022). Today the museum is announcing new commissions that will take over both spaces in the fall. The Berlin-based sculptor Nairy Baghramian will make four sculptures for the facade niches along Fifth Avenue as part of her installation “Scratching the Back,” on view from Sept. 7 to May 19. From Oct. 2 to Nov. 23, the Great Hall will be filled with works by the Brooklyn-based multimedia artist Jacolby Satterwhite. Max Hollein, the museum’s director, said that the two new commissions — along with the previously announced roof garden project by Lauren Halsey that opens April 18 — reflect the Met’s priorities.
Gordon Matta-Clark & Pope.L: Impossible Failures, 52 Walker’s blockbuster late-winter show, which closed earlier this month, built a bridge between two interdisciplinary artists, and then knocked it down. The undeniable anchor of the show, though, was Pope.L’s Vigilance a.k.a Dust Room (2023), a big box in the back. On a table before it, tens of power cords plugged into chunky outlets. A sign was duct-taped between them, written in red blocky letters: DANGER! DO NOT OPERATE THIS DUST ROOM! NOT READY FOR SAFETY. And yet, if not safely, the room stood ready. Impossible Failures showed possible successes, as Pope.L didn’t fill in Matta-Clark’s cavities, per se, but saw them as fillable—even if what contains them might be the unthinkable.
With spring in full swing, these 10 shows focus on new beginnings, old friends, and transformations. Make me feel mighty real at Honor Fraser chronicles the long history of avatars in queer culture from the underground to digital spaces, and Robert Russell at Anat Ebgi reveals the darkness under a surface of kitsch. Make Me Feel Mighty Real is an intergenerational group show featuring over 40 artists who explore the role of avatars as a form of queer liberation. The exhibition charts a course from drag to virtual reality, and the dance floor to the chat room, illustrating how technology has helped fulfill dreams of desire, community, and freedom. Featured artists include Andy Warhol, Charles Atlas, Jacolby Satterwhite, Dynasty Handbag, Ryan Trecartin, and many others.
Pairing Chaïm Soutine and Leon Kossoff is a masterstroke, showing the restless energy and dizzying brushwork they share. In “City Building Site” (1961), the earliest of Kossoff’s landscapes displayed, black girders and chrome-yellow cranes rise out of muddy walkways forged in layered slathers of pigment: place and painting seem to come into being simultaneously. Through the 1960s, Kossoff’s urban panoramas captured London in flux. Concrete cooling towers soar one bright blue morning amid a maze of railway lines, electric masts, industrial ruins and abandoned allotments in “Willesden Junction, Summer No 2”. York Way viaduct slices through derelict wasteland, the gloom mitigated by touches of Venetian red and orange, in “Railway Landscape near King’s Cross, Dark Day”.
Phaidon’s latest contemporary art survey in the Vitamin series focuses on the underrated medium of collage. A publisher’s statement as: “an artistic language comprising found images, fragmentary forms, and unexpected juxtapositions. While it first gained status as high art in the early 20th century, the past decade has seen a fresh explosion of artists using this dynamic and experimental approach to image making.” A selection of curators, directors and writers (including myself) nominated more than 100 artists prominent in the field such as Clotilde Jiménez of Mexico, Mohamed Bourouissa of Algeria, the American Martha Rosler and the UK-born Georgie Hopton. “The end result features both analogue and digital approaches, overturning any narrow definitions and revealing collage as one of the most exciting and varied art creative processes used by artists today,” writes the publication editor, Rebecca Morrill.
They shared east European heritage, a reverence for Rembrandt and a resolute adherence to figurative painting while many of their contemporaries were turning towards abstraction. Now two of the world’s most important Jewish artists of the 20th century — the post-Impressionist Chaim Soutine and Leon Kossoff, one of his greatest fans — are getting a joint exhibition in a museum in Hastings. The show, which opens tomorrow, is bound to draw serious art-lovers to the south coast to see these once-overlooked artists. Modesty kept Kossoff under the radar for far too long, art critic Roberta Smith commented after seeing his 2021 show Looking at Life with a Loaded Brush in New York. “He has been unfairly overshadowed by fellow Brits like Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, thanks in part to their colourful personal lives,” she says.
In Soutine | Kossoff, Hastings Contemporary assembles Soutine landscapes and portraits along with similar works by leading School of London painter Leon Kossoff (1926-2019). The show, which rigorously separates the two artists in otherwise flowing galleries, implicitly compares the Céret works with Kossoff’s post-war cityscapes, such as the expressive, yellow-brown blur of City Building Site (1961). Kossoff—like his friend and fellow Soutine acolyte, Auerbach—viewed the ruins and construction sites of post-war London as a kind of dynamic visual wonderland, and that painting, showing a bombed area nominally coming back to life, imbues its array of steel girders with a Soutine-like spontaneity.
For more than half a century, Alexander Liberman had been the dominant creative force at the Condé Nast empire while maintaining an independent practice as an artist. As the company’s editorial director, he mentored several generations of editors, art directors, and photographers. A sculptor, painter, photographer, designer, editor, and writer, Liberman embraced many lives in one. Liberman’s highly-recognizable sculptures are assembled from segments of steel I-beams, pipes, drums, and other industrial materials often painted in uniform bright colors. His sculptures and paintings are currently in many collections including the Metropolitan Museum, Corcoran, Guggenheim Museum, and the Tate Gallery in London.
The humble museum bench does it all. It provides a place to rest, admire a perplexing painting, ogle the crowd or check DMs. Experiencing a bout of Stendhal syndrome? Cue the bench. Benches also help make museums more accessible to people of all mobility levels. The Hammer Museum is business in the back, party in the front. Inside the galleries, you’ll find dull benches in gray. But in the lounge areas, the museum has inserted quirk and color with handmade furnishings by artist duo Johanna Jackson and Chris Johanson. These one-of-a-kind pieces are fabricated with reclaimed wood and are often asymmetrical in design, featuring hand-sewn cushions with abstract shapes quilted onto the surface.
A pioneering figure in Brazilian and Latin American art, Amaral developed his signature style during the second half of the 20th century, coming of age under the 1964 coup d’état which installed military rule in his home country. His visceral and allegorical works of this period deal with political violence and existential discontent through an incisive visual approach that seeks to challenge authoritarianism. When the military dictatorship was overturned through democratic elections in the late-1980s, Amaral shifted his attention to representations of forests, water and other forms of nature—and, frequently, the dangers to their survival. “Antonio Henrique Amaral’s work is as relevant and vital, if not more-so, in the current political climate as it ever was,” said Lucy Mitchell-Innes. “We are thrilled to bring increased attention to the paintings of this Brazilian-born—but truly international—artist.”
Martha Rosler recorded Semiotics of the Kitchen, a six-minute performance art piece, in 1975. Several years ago, someone posted it on YouTube, without the artist’s permission but much to her amusement and satisfaction. The film begins with a tight closeup on Rosler, who is in her early thirties but looks younger. She is wearing a black turtleneck and pants, her long, wavy hair parted in the middle. As the camera pulls back, we see that she is standing behind a small wooden table covered in cooking implements, with a refrigerator and stove behind her. She gazes directly into the camera with a neutral expression, then proceeds to name contents of her kitchen while demonstrating their uses, in alphabetical order and with increasingly aggressive body movements. “Apron,” she says, while tying it on. Moments later she stabs at the air with a fork, drives an ice pick into the table, and flings the invisible contents of a ladle over her shoulder.
Usually, stepping into a gallery provides temporary respite. Unless, that is, you’ve decided to check out Gordon Matta-Clark and Pope.L: Impossible Failures at 52 Walker. Pairing iconic films and drawings by Matta-Clark with video, drawings, and an installation by contemporary multidisciplinary artist Pope.L, this exhibition is proudly, penetratingly loud—visually, aurally, and conceptually. The raucous, machinic whirring that accompanies you throughout your visit emanates from a freshly commissioned installation by Pope.L—Vigilance a.k.a Dust Room (2023)—situated bang in the middle of the gallery space and composed of a self-contained room, fed by lengths of industrial ducting, whose interior is only visible through a few holes punched into its walls.
In his mystical, jewel-like compositions, Ghanaian painter Gideon Appah suspends time beyond past, present and future. His intensely colourful canvases are populated either by nude or semi-nude figures languishing in a private eden, a tranquil, prelapsarian world, or by suited men smoking outside a nightclub, reflecting these shifting temporalities. These often fictitious characters, painted in varying hues of ochre and ultramarine, emanate from old newspaper entertainment columns and vintage Ghanaian film stills as well as the artist’s vivid imagination. Gideon Appah’s first UK solo show combines elements of Ghana’s postcolonial history with his typically vibrant renderings of otherworldly fantasy. The resulting paintings are “out of time, out of place,” he explains.
On the surface, Heidi Hahn makes paintings about the relationship between the formal elements of her work and the content within them. The slippage around these binaries reveal the necessity of each. Both working together to form a space outside of its object-hood, making room for another kind of experience of painting. As a way to separate her female subjects from tropes, genre, and gendered expectation, Hahn’s paintings offer a tactile disconnect from traditional representation. Which in turn, reorganizes the role of what content is in painting. How do we represent things differently from what they mean? How does the material govern the content? And what does the body have to do to escape itself? Heidi Hahn writes: “I think about the horizon line as a separation of expectation and reality. It is this illusive thing that offers destination, future, and stability of place. Yet once you set out and arrive there, it has disappeared and been replaced with another horizon. So it is a fact and an illusion."
After seeing Jacolby Satterwhite’s We Are in Hell When We Hurt Each Other (2020), I’ve been stuck on one word: resurrection. The fault is my own. After becoming enamored with the video, currently on view at the Blaffer Art Museum, in Houston, Texas, I started Googling the artist and came across an interview he did for Art21. In the interview, Satterwhite explains playing Final Fantasy as a form of escapism while being hospitalized for cancer treatment as a child. This relationship to technology as a coping mechanism is paired with Satterwhite’s decades-long obsession with the religious iconography of Doubting Thomas in order to come to terms with his own existence. “I’ve been skeptical of my own mortality my whole life,” Satterwhite concludes.
Pope.L’s Failure Drawings (2003–ongoing) are made exclusively while the artist is traveling, often using scraps of paper like receipts or hotel stationery as their canvas. Worms, nature and landscapes, references to outer space, and glasses are rendered repeatedly, often bringing to mind particular preoccupations including transience, life and death, and the passage of time. Although the drawings are not meant to be read or understood as one cohesive narrative, their feeling of unresolve—as if testing out a pen—is more akin to iterative brainstorming sessions. In Failure Drawing #997 Four Scenes (2004), Pope.L’s marks give viewers a different perspective on the idea of space travel and the discovery of new lands.
For institutional critique artists, research became a key means to investigate and expose various social systems and the sociopolitical context of the art world. The last momentous shift in the 20th century occurred around the 1980s and ’90s, as more and more artists used research to inform their works reflecting feminism, postcolonialism, queerness, and other forms of identity politics. An early example is Mary Kelly’s Post-Partum Document (1973–79), a six-part series that juxtaposes documentation of the artist’s experience as a new parent and the development of her son during the first six years of his life with research on the psychoanalytic theories of Jacques Lacan. A feminist critique of Conceptual art as well as Lacanian psychoanalysis, Post-Partum Document presents the mother-child relationship as an intersubjective exchange of signs between mother and child.
Kiki Kogelnik went to Vienna after studying at the Academy of Fine Arts, fell into a male-dominated artistic milieu early on. She belonged to the extended circle of the so-called Stephans Boys, painters such as Arnulf Rainer, Josef Mikl, Markus Prachensky, who produced a Viennese variant of abstract art under the tutelage of the churchman Monsignor Otto Mauer and exhibited it in his St. Stephan Gallery. Although women in this circle were generally only tolerated as friends or as an aesthetic embellishment, in 1961, at the age of 26, Kiki Kogelnik received a solo exhibition that certainly attracted attention. Her pictures from this period combined brightly colored circles and round shapes that look like archaic emblems and breathe the zeitgeist of the fifties. But even before this first success had any effect, Kogelnik, on the advice of her partner at the time, the painter Sam Francis, decided emigrate to New York. There, in the metropolis of contemporary art, she found herself and her own style. The artist, who set out from Bleiburg to conquer the world, frequented Andy Warhol's Factory like so many others – this too was a predominantly gay men's association, in which women were not disliked, but at best the price won for best supporting role.
A cartoonish cacophony governs the inspired pairing of Gordon Matta-Clark and Pope.L in the show “Impossible Failures” at Zwirner’s revamped downtown space. Known for abject performances, especially a series of epic “crawls” around New York dressed as a businessman (or Superman), Pope.L brings a sardonic sense of urbanism to Matta-Clark’s poetic one. A new installation by Pope.L, “Vigilance a.k.a. Dust Room,” sits at the gallery’s center: A white box of two-by-fours and plywood, rigged with shop fans on timers, sounds like a choir of leaf blowers. Two small windows on one side reveal its dim interior thick with whirling foam pellets, light and dark. It’s powerful and unhinged and overbuilt — a monument to the entropy of the postindustrial city, and the tenuous dance of its inhabitants.
When a British government minister was recently asked about the future of the UK’s steel industry, she replied, “Nothing is ever a given.” But in the modern world, the need for steel is a given. There is no construction, no vehicle manufacturing, no defence or aviation, no machinery, no trains or bridges without steel. Steel is modernity. Sculptor Anthony Caro knew this well. That’s why his powerful steel works caused such a stir when they first appeared in the early 1960s. It was only when Caro had a solo show at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1961 that his work was given real space. There is still, 60 years on, something radical, strange and enigmatic about his heavy works and, in the show Anthony Caro: The Inspiration of Architecture, in the setting of architect Sir John Soane’s Pitzhanger Manor in west London, they simultaneously shine, intrigue and bear down on the building.
“I’ve been dancin’ on the floor darlin’ and I feel like I need some more” art. Honor Fraser gallery presents the new exhibition “Make Me Feel Mighty Real” — titled after Sylvester’s 1978 disco anthem — that chronicles seven decades of artistic experimentation by queer artists building community and creating “unruly hybridity online and IRL.” The exhibition also investigates how technology influenced the power of drag. TLDR: a very queer exhibition featuring works from 40 queer artists about queer desire. This recommendation, which comes from The Times’ Deborah Vankin, opens Friday in Mid-City with a free reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Honor Fraser is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and more details on the exhibition can be found on the gallery’s website.
Looking for an awesome London exhibition this March? Here's our roundup of must-see shows in the capital. Here's a chance to see late masterful sculptor Anthoy Caro's painted metal works in a stunning and historic setting. The exhibition explores Caro's innovative use of materials and forms, as well as his contribution to the evolution of modern sculpture. It includes several large-scale installations, including ones that feature steps and doors, and it's a unique opportunity to experience the beauty and depth of Caro's sculptures and how they crossed over into architecture.
In 2016, the Musée Picasso-Paris hosted the exhibition Picasso. Sculptures. A recurrent detail appeared throughout the exhibition – a château called Boisgeloup, which appeared on labels under several plasters of Marie-Thérèse Walter, Picasso’s mistress, notably the Tête de femme (1931-32) and Buste de femme (1931). I was intrigued. It was at this 18th-century château in Normandy that Picasso threw himself into sculpture, a form of expression for the artist that – surprisingly – remains one of the least celebrated parts of his legacy. The grounds of Boisgeloup are also filled with permanent installations of contemporary art pieces. In the cour is a bronze sculpture by Per Kirkeby, while atop a small hill in the park, Triangular Solid inside Triangular Solid (2002) by Dan Graham reflects the château back at itself. A 1995 installation by American artist Lawrence Weiner on the façade of the stable reads, in thick blue paint: “A line drawn from the first star at dusk to the last star at dawn.” The sentence seems to have been crafted for this place that weaves the past with the present, and where the legacy of Picasso is so carefully watched over that one imagines the artist’s spirit still present throughout its many rooms.
Time, place and movement are among the recurring themes in the many excellent exhibitions by and about LGBTQ artists currently on show at the world’s top museums. Celebrating queer Greeks and Black fembots, resurrecting underappreciated AIDS-era artists, and reframing folklore and ancestral memory from Haiti, India and Turtle Island, these are the can’t-miss shows for early 2023. Currently on show at the Blaffer is this monumental video by multimedia artist Jacolby Satterwhite, in which digital bodysuits translate the artist’s dance movements into animated, Black fembot forms, bringing together vogueing, 3D animation and drawing to explore the movement of his own queer body. Through March 12.
Antonio Henrique Amaral (1935–2015) was 29 when the 1964 Brazilian coup d’état installed military rule in his home country. Amaral never shied away from getting political with his art. Brightly colored paintings offered clever critiques of Brazil’s export culture and barbaric politics. In the 1990s, when the conversation shifted to the fight for the rainforest, Amaral again used his art to make powerful comment. This exhibition of his work, the largest outside of South America since 1996, presents 12 paintings that come from three different series: the themes are bocas (mouths), batalhas (the battlefied), and bananas.
The artist Annette Lemieux presented a solo exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in 2022. The title was formed by two words: “Things Felt,” being “thing” a word that refers, according to one of its meanings, to an object. In this exhibition this fact becomes especially important because some of the works included are made up of quotidian objects; the other sense of the word “thing,” is referred to as a situation. Being “felt” as a verb, according to its meaning, refers to the act of sensing, be it with the senses or the emotions. That verb in the title of the exhibition is conjugated in its simple past form, which alludes to something that occurred before, that is a fact which is related to the memory. Having mentioned the last ideas, the combination of the words “Things Felt,” could be interpreted in one sense: as objects perceived before, and in the other sense, situations that were experienced before.
Brent Wadden's OGOPOGO featured as a must-see show in this month's Artforum edition. Trained as a painter, Wadden began weaving in 2004 while living in Berlin and has grown increasingly skilled with the loom. Using the grid structure of weaving as a starting point, Wadden’s geometric compositions evoke feelings of monumentality and expansion, movement and balance. The 8 new works featured in this exhibition demonstrate the artist’s exploration of the notion of symmetry. Many pieces on display belong to a pair — works that are nearly a mirror image of each other, but with slight variations. Wadden offers two different versions of a color study, allowing room for open contemplation and perspective.
From Jean Cocteau-inspired cocktails to rousing artist retrospectives, here are the events to bookmark for a remarkable month ahead. Gordon Matta-Clark & Pope.L: Impossible Failures at 52 Walker, New York: February 3 – April 02, 2023. At New York gallery 52 Walker, select drawings and films by the late US artist Gordon Matta-Clark – best known for his socially engaged food art and so-called building cuts (sculptures made by cutting into existing architecture) – will be shown alongside those of Pope.L, whose multidisciplinary oeuvre tackles issues of identity, race and labour. The show will examine the duo's “shared fixation regarding the problematics of architecture, language, institutions, scale, and value”, and is set to include a new site-specific installation by Pope.L.
Gideon Appah is a Ghanaian artist living and working in Accra. His paintings feature dream landscapes and times that imbue elements of fantasy. According to his bio, he “prioritises atmosphere and the exploration of memory over faithful reproduction,” lending his works a surreal and expressionist feel. He is a painter aware of the potency of symbolism and references, and he intelligently deploys them in his paintings, scouted from sources as varied as personal memories, pop culture, film, black portraiture, colonial archives, Western classical art, and religion. His work has been shown in Accra, New Mexico, New York, Toronto, and has been acquired by the Absa Museum in Johannesburg, the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden in Marrakesh, and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
In the opening essay of filmmaker Nora Ephron’s 2006 book I Feel Bad About My Neck, and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, she reflects on the experience of getting older in her signature, cleverly confessional style: “That’s another thing about being a certain age that I’ve noticed: I try as much as possible not to look in the mirror. If I pass a mirror, I avert my eyes. If I must look into it, I begin by squinting, so that if anything really bad is looking back at me, I am already halfway to closing my eyes to ward off the sight.” Few would disagree that Ephron, as a perfector of the rom-com and the personal essay, is as sharp-eyed an observer of women’s experiences as they come. But rarely has her name been invoked in relation to feminist art of the 1980s, with its emphasis on deconstructing “woman as image.” Nevertheless, as I was walking through Mary Kelly’s show at Vielmetter—an installation of her work Interim, Part I: Corpus, 1984–85—the comedienne, to my own surprise, immediately came to mind.
Twenty-two best art exhibitions in the Kanto area and beyond to look forward to in 2023. Care is an essential element of our society. Featuring a diverse range of works, from expressions born out of second-wave feminism to the reading of private childcare diaries, this exhibition will seek the possibilities of empowerment through works of contemporary artists and the placemaking that strengthens the connection between the public and care. Participating artists are Ryoko Aoki, AHA![Archive for Human Activities], Miyako Ishiuchi, Mako Idemitsu, Yui Usui, Ragnar Kjartansson, Kento Nito, Maria Farrar, Young-In Hong, Mei Homma, Martha Rosler, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, and Yun Suknam.
Even in 2023, works by female artists are still underrepresented in the Kunstmuseum Basel collection in Switzerland. Its new exhibition "Fun Feminism" presents some forty pieces, dating from the 1960s to the 1990s, as well as a selection of more recent works by contemporary Swiss and international artists. This includes Guerrilla Girls, Pipilotti Rist, Martha Rosler, and Rosemarie Trockel. For more than half a century, artists, art historians, gallerists, collectors, and curators have been working to represent female perspectives in the visual arts within exhibition spaces, museums, publications, and archives. This exhibition has chosen a feminist prism, deliberately irreverent and sometimes provocative, to break the stereotypes usually associated with women.
As Jonathan Horowitz's powerful special exhibition -- which addresses antisemitism, racial violence, immigration, women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights -- grows in relevance, Philadelphia's Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History (The Weitzman) announces that it has been extended through July 4, 2023. Originally scheduled to run through December 2022, "The Future Will Follow the Past: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz", is a transformative art exhibition that explores the significant changes America has experienced since 2020 and issues it has been grappling with for decades. "Jonathan Horowitz's exhibition continues to grow in relevance since the Museum reopened in May," said Dr. Josh Perelman, The Weitzman's Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions and Interpretation.
Looking for your next culture fix? Susan Gray explores the must-see exhibitions that need to be on your radar for the coming year. Soutine-Kossoff at Hastings Contemporary in East Sussex, running from April 1st to September 24th -- the first show to explore the relationship between Leon Kossoff, whose impasto (thickly applied paint) landscapes of post-war London are well known, and Paris trained artist Chaim Soutine. Kossoff discovered Soutine’s work in the 1950s and was greatly influenced by it. The two artists shared an Eastern European Jewish heritage, and both created transcendent works from the stuff of everyday life. Contains over 40 significant loans from collections in the UK and USA and beyond.
The photomontages on view at Martha Rosler: Changing the Subject… in the Company of Others, at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York through January 21, are at once striking and deeply familiar, whether you’ve seen them before or not. Made between 1966 and 1972, the works from Rosler’s series Body Beautiful, or Beauty Knows No Pain, convey a radical and playful feminist analysis of advertising that has by now become conventional wisdom. In Cold Meat I and II, refrigerators hold red buttocks and breasts in addition to the usual suburban provisions; in Transparent Box, or Vanity Fair and Isn’t it Nice…, or Baby Dolls models advertising lingerie are overlaid with breasts, lips, and pubis—the real products. Pop Art, or Wallpaper takes this critique to its natural conclusion with a medley of disembodied women’s body parts organized almost like butterflies, sorted by genus and pinned to wood, limbs lined up to the point of abstraction.
Describing the early 2023 arts calendar as “stacked” feels like an understatement. Consider this your grab-bag guide to the can’t-miss exhibitions of the season, and check back often—we’ll be updating this list as more events roll in. 52 Walker is kicking off the new year with Gordon Matta-Clark & Pope.L: Impossible Failures, an exhibition pairing the work of the site-specific artist Gordon Matta-Clark and the visual artist Pope.L. The TriBeCa space helmed by Ebony L. Haynes will unveil on February 3 an examination of the two artists’ careers—specifically, their shared fixations on the problematic nature of institutions, language, scale, and value. Running through April 1, Impossible Failures will also feature a new site-specific installation by Pope.L, presented in collaboration with Mitchell-Innes & Nash. Personally, we can’t wait to see the Newark, New Jersey native’s take on Matta-Clark’s preferred medium.
The British art information website ArtLyst has named Toronto-based artist AA Bronson to its 'Alt Power 100' list for 2022. The annual compilation acknowledges artists and curators from around the world who work to "enrich our communities." Bronson was a member of General Idea, an artist collective that also included Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal. They produced over 100 solo exhibitions, countless group shows and public art projects focused on themes related to queer theory and AIDS activism, amongst others. ArtLyst cited the retrospective last year at the National Gallery of Canada for General Idea, active from 1969 until 1994, when both Partz and Zontal died of AIDS. The exhibition, which Bronson played a key role in organizing, explored the group’s 25-year history as it evolved from humble beginnings producing videos, photos, posters and mail art to its later days of tackling the AIDS crisis through paintings, sculptures and installations.
Curated with sensitivity and wit by Adam Welch, this comprehensive survey of General Idea, the largest to date, began in an unexpectedly understated way: Visitors traversed a small octagonal space, whose walls were adorned with a faint pattern in green, orange, and white. It took the viewer a moment of repose to find the titular acronym repeated throughout White AIDS Wallpaper, 1991—its ironic design based on Robert Indiana’s LOVE insignia—and, in the process, (re)consider how that disease affected the many communities and publics in which the collective operated, sometimes through subtle infiltration rather than splashy provocation. Rightly refusing to give in to sentimental memorializing, the exhibition treated the illness—which claimed two of the group’s three members, Felix Partz (1945–1994) and Jorge Zontal (1944–1994)—as a thing meant to be sliced and diced by the Cuisinart of their imagination, turning the word into a specious brand logo, a punching bag, and a semiotic treasure trove.
There is a chill in the air of a disused nightclub in Roskilde, about thirty kilometers outside of Copenhagen. The floors are sticky, as if the dance floor has only just been vacated. For the American artist Jacolby Satterwhite, the club is “a strange cave, where intellectuals come together when they are the most unintellectual, but [also] the most beautiful and kindred.” Satterwhite’s exhibition in Roskilde, hosted by the itinerant Museum of Contemporary Art, centers upon the healing powers of dance and the nightclub, where marginalized groups have the freedom to transgress, inhibitions are lost, artists incubate, and Satterwhite spent so much of his youth. His digital universe is occupied by countless bodies, which gyrate, dance, and vogue to a pulsing soundscape. Satterwhite takes on the role of voyeur, observing the contemporary Zeitgeist, as he fuses the influences of video games, Afrofuturism, queer theory, West African spiritual tradition, and personal experience. The result is a dreamlike vision of the club that is primal and ritualistic, as if dance might have the ability to change our reality.
In “Painting in New York: 1971–83,” a two-part exhibition that occupied Karma’s 188 and 172 East Second Street locations in Manhattan’s East Village, curator Ivy Shapiro resisted the usual strategies that insist on seamless historical flow and cohesive unity. She selected a group of thirty women artists, highlighting their shared agendas as well as their glaring differences. Sylvia Plimack Mangold’s Untitled, 1972, a small, Apollonian, immaculately executed Photorealist painting of an empty corner of a room, was installed mere inches away from a very large, busy, and steadfastly Dionysian diptych on canvas and Masonite by Nancy Graves: Librium, 1975–76 (its title is also the trade name for an anti-anxiety drug introduced to the market in the 1960s). Graves’s dreamy work is speedy and scattered with whimsical bits of patterning, random marks, pieces of gold leaf, and lots of bright color. In sharp contrast, Mangold’s meditative vision is sustained and cleansed of hyperbole, overt sensuality, and gestural flourish.
The Stedelijk will lend its spotlight to the collective, made up of Canadian artists Felix Partz, Jorge Xontal, and AA Bronson, who were active under the moniker between 1969 and 1994. The exhibition is the most comprehensive retrospective on the trio to date, and charts the group’s witty and eccentric output through more than 200 works. From major installations such as the 1987 AIDS sculpture, which riffs on Robert Indiana’s “LOVE” motif—both Xontal and Partz contracted HIV in the 1980s—to archival materials, publications, painting, and sculpture, the exhibition showcases the group’s playful commentary and critique on mass media, consumer culture, social inequality, queerness, and the art economy, tracing its impact on both their own moment and milieu.
Videos, photo collages, and installation works from the sixties and seventies convey the restless invention of this feminist Conceptualist’s early career, as well as the tumult of the era. A partial reprise of Rosler’s 2018 retrospective, at the Jewish Museum, this dense exhibition shows the artist honing her incisive, acerbic strain of media critique, informed by the antiwar, anti-imperialist stance of the women’s movement. “House Beautiful: The Colonies,” a collage series from 1969-72, juxtaposes imagery of the space race with spreads from home-décor magazines, dramatizing the twin forces of American expansionism and consumer culture. “Diaper Pattern,” from 1973-75, is a hanging grid of cloth diapers, each bearing a handwritten quote reflecting the dehumanizing, racist rhetoric fuelling the Vietnam War. In this deceptively airy work—as in Rosler’s iconic performance-based films “The Semiotics of the Kitchen,” from 1975, and “Martha Rosler Reads Vogue,” from 1985—the artist zeroes in on connections between gendered labor and geopolitics. Sadly, though the images from the vintage women’s magazine appear dated, Rosler’s message is as relevant now as ever.
In the mid-1960s, Martha Rosler began creating photomontages exploring women’s material and psychic subjugation, manipulating popular advertisements from news, fashion, and home magazines to unearth their nefarious ideological operations. Rosler made this body of work, “Body Beautiful, or Beauty Knows No Pain,” (1966–72) alongside painting, sculpture, photography, video, and performance, stitching together a variable array of Conceptual art practices attuned to feminist politics. This set of critical tools informs “martha rosler: changing the subject…in the company of others,” a survey of the artist’s work currently on view at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York through January 21, 2023.
What makes figure painting so daunting? Is it that our eyes are more attuned to inconsistencies in anatomy than in other fields? I think it has to do with the paint itself. Paint works more like weather than like an organism: it moves in sheets, rivulets, floods, and accretions—it doesn’t branch out, or grow, or bend. Figure painting is impressive by default because it makes the medium into something contrary to its nature. But Heidi Hahn’s paintings of solitary figures achieve something rare by forming believable pictures of people while remaining true to the medium’s tendencies. These eight paintings at Nathalie Karg are each resolved in different ways, their layering so complex as to make me question what I saw in that studio. I do not know how these paintings work, so I can only describe some of their mysteries.
Ghanaian artist Gideon Appah made his US institutional debut with ‘Forgotten, Nudes, Landscapes’ at the Institute of Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University. His paintings hum with a surreal energy. His figures, Simon Wu writes, come across as ‘ghosts of clubbers in some primordial land’; certain paintings draw on myth, and incorporate symbols that evoke tarot or shamanic imagery. The influence of Black portraitists is palpable: men clad in white suits recall figures in the paintings of Barkley L. Hendricks, for example. ‘Produced quickly and at high volume,’ Wu writes, ‘the works have a provisional, immediate quality reminiscent of digital engagement.’ Indeed, Appah has drawn on a rich array of demotic sources for the newly-commissioned works in this exhibition, with characters culled from Ghanaian movies and Appah’s friends, set in locations that are sometimes ambiguous – as in the constellation-cum-nightclub of Remember Our Stars (2020) – and sometimes specific, as in Ghana’s famed Roxy Theatre in Roxy 2 (2020–21).
Which artists are doing the most exciting work? We asked the 35 trailblazing artists, dealers, tastemakers, and entrepreneurs on the 2022 Artnet Innovators List that question as part of this year’s report. We’ve gathered some of their insights here, in one collective interview. Take in their tips and learn more from individual members of the list on Artnet News in the coming weeks. "I don’t like much art because I’m competitive, but if I had to choose I would put my money on Andra Ursuta or Jacolby Satterwhite because, whether you like it or not, they are real artists. Trust me, I can tell the difference," says Jamian Juliano-Villani.
From provocative video installations to engaging virtual-reality exhibits, Kate Taylor takes the pulse of the visual-arts scene across the country. Best Retrospective: General Idea at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Revisiting the career of General Idea, that cheeky trio of the 1980s and early 90s, proved to be the year’s most refreshing experience. In an era where the visual arts are filled with earnest sermons, GI’s work about the AIDS crisis reminded viewers that AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal kept their satirical edge to the bitter end. Meanwhile, their earlier assaults on art world celebrity proved as pertinent as ever.
LA3C, an upcoming two-day culture and creativity festival launching later this month, will feature installations by a group of celebrated artists, including Jacolby Satterwhite, For Freedoms, and Patrick Martinez. PMC—the parent company of ARTnews and Art in America, as well as Rolling Stone, Variety, Billboard, and SheKnows, among other publications—launched LA3C Culture & Creativity Festival last July, but had to postpone the event due to the pandemic. The festival is a celebration of culture in Los Angeles. The festival will run from December 10 to 11, and will also feature performances by touted musicians such as Megan Thee Stallion, Maluma, and more. The full lineup of artists includes Jacolby Satterwhite, Amanda Ross-Ho, Patrick Martinez, Edgar Ramirez, Tiffany Alfonseca, Abi Polinsky, Abi Polinsky, Rogan Gregory, and the collective For Freedoms. Information about each individual work is available on LA3C’s website.
American multidisciplinary artist Martha Rosler describes her art as “a communicative act, a form of an utterance, a way to open a conversation” – and she has undeniably done just that throughout her politically and socially charged career. Now, at Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery in New York, you can witness the enduring power of Rosler’s work for yourself, including her acclaimed early series of collages Body Beautiful, or Beauty Knows No Pain, which offers “often-derisive critiques of the pressures and fantasies brought to bear on women and girls”. In a dedicated screening space, meanwhile, you can discover a still-urgent selection of Rosler’s rousing films and videos from the 1970s onwards.
From Dec. 8 to Jan. 21, 2023, an exhibition of conceptual artist Martha Rosler’s work from the 60s and 70s titled martha rosler: changing the subject… in the company of others will be on display at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. Mediums include videos, photomontages, and sculptures that explore the perception of feminism through Rosler. Most of the photomontages on display come from the Body Beautiful collection that Rosler composed, beginning in New York and ending in California in about 1972. The inspiration came from seeing ads after attending feminist lectures during her schooling in the mid-60s, with Rosler calling the demonstration of women “bedroom appliances.” She created to expose the rampant control and objectification, particularly in the fields of domestic labor, food politics, colonial appropriations and the service industry. Her approach to art entangled feminism and politics, countering the belief at the time that they must remain separate.
Kelly first came to prominence in the 1970s with a practice that was both highly conceptual and unapologetically political. Though she was known as a socialist who tried to unionize artists alongside factory workers, and as a boundary pusher who brought feminism to the testosterone-driven realm of conceptual art, arguably the most radical aspect of her work, especially in its early years, was its insistence that maternity and domesticity were worthy subjects of serious creative expression. At a time when many conceptual artists were focused on violence and transgression — Chris Burden dragging his half-naked body across a parking lot strewn with glass; Paul McCarthy smearing himself with paint, ketchup, mayonnaise, raw meat and feces — Kelly’s early work was almost understated and excruciatingly intimate, with an emphasis on motherhood, pregnancy and reproductive sexuality.
It’s a delight to encounter such a meticulously curated show that amplifies the importance of art fairs in rewriting art history. Moreover, last night’s Benefit Preview in support of the Henry Street Settlement, which also celebrated the ADAA’s 60th anniversary, raised more than $1 million for the 130-year-old charity. Over more than three decades, The Art Show has collected over $36 million for the Henry Street Settlement. We’re transported back to the Brazilian and Latin American art scene through the symbolic work of Antonio Henrique Amaral featured at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash booth. Best known for his series of paintings of bananas that have been mutilated by forks and ropes, As Time Goes By (1993) depicts contorted daggers flying below various moon phases as three hyper-stylized ratlike creatures with fierce fangs skulk to the viewer’s left.
Currently celebrating its 60th year, the Art Dealers Association of America opened this year’s edition of its annual fair, the Art Show, last night at New York’s Park Avenue Armory. Mitchell-Innes & Nash is presenting the work of Antonio Henrique Amaral, whose estate it has just recently began working with. Amaral’s work shows a debt to the surreal paintings of Tarsila do Amaral, a pioneering Brazilian modernist who happened to be a distant relative. Having come of age in Brazil during the country’s dictatorship, Amaral, who died in 2015, filled his art with fierce but subtle political stances. Many of the works on view here are from the ’90s and show the artist’s turn toward environmentalism, advocating against the deforestation of the Amazon. These are powerful works that feel as timely as ever.
Two hundred and fifty charming, campy yet serious drawings are on view in “Ecce Homo,” a focussed retrospective devoted to this three-person collective, formed by the artists AA Bronson, Felix Partz, and Jorge Zontal, in Toronto, in 1969. (The trio moved to New York City in 1985, where most of these pieces were made.) All the drawings were made by the quick, fluid lines of Zontal’s hand, but they are signed with the initials “GI,” for General Idea, because they resulted from a group process and reflected a common lexicon. Recurring images—poodles, magic mountains, amoebas—are rendered in graphite, watercolor, and gouache. Some display a gestural, cartoony economy; others are constructed from doodlelike scrolls and frenetic crosshatching. The show has a deceptively playful air: the spectre of the AIDS epidemic is ever present. (Both Partz and Zontal died of H.I.V.-related causes, in 1994.) A wall of cockroach drawings, in which the insects seem to crawl over speckled abstractions, had a special significance for Zontal: they represented the floaters that impaired his vision as he went blind. Intimate and born of a daily practice, the material in “Ecce Homo” is a profound counterpart to the trio’s better-known works, notably their activist update of Robert Indiana’s iconic red, green, and blue “LOVE” statue, reimagined to read “AIDS.”
“I’m finding it difficult to be 76 and busy,” says the artist AA Bronson from his Berlin studio, where he also lives. “The two don’t really go together.” Though he’s not currently focused on producing new works, Bronson, who has devoted his career to pushing against negative queer representation through the production of confrontational, easily reproducible art, has been spending much of his time planning international exhibitions of his unapologetically political oeuvre. General Idea, the collective he formed with his late life partners Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal — together, the three Canadians were responsible for some of the most striking AIDS-related compositions of the late 1980s and the 1990s — is currently the subject of its biggest retrospective to date, at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.
Although the playwright Michael R. Jackson, 41, and the visual artist Jacolby Satterwhite, 36, work in different genres, they have some things in common. Both are queer Black New York-based artists who address trauma, secrets and stigmas. And both have spent most of their careers feeling overlooked and misunderstood. “As the Black gay man in the room,” said Satterwhite, “I was seen as some sort of weird exception and dismissed.” Satterwhite, whose work has been shown at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, hopscotches across mediums — photography, performance, painting, 3-D animation, writing — to create art that raises questions about self-mythology and expression, consumerism, labor, visual utopia and African rituals. His practice defies easy categorization. This year, the South Carolina native has been building multimedia installations around the world, including at the Format music and art festival in the Ozarks, the Front International triennial in Cleveland, the Munch Triennale in Oslo and the Okayama Art Summit in Japan.
Located about an hour from Paris, the Château de Boisgeloup is a Norman residence bought in 1930 by Pablo Picasso to devote himself to sculpture. For three exceptional weekends, this confidential place hosts the “Hymn” exhibition by Gerasimos Floratos, organized by the Almine Rech gallery and Fundación Almine Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte (FABA). This presentation brings together a selection of clay sculptures by the artist based in New York. Made without firing and abused by the sculptor, these pieces are shaped with a certain disdain for the material, until they lose a head, arms or other parts of their body. The series presented explores the search for imperfection present throughout the repertoire of Gerasimos Floratos, in a desire to reflect the current era rich in contrasts. “Hymn” takes its name from these brightly colored sculptures, which appear to be singing and shouting.
Lincoln Center, which does not typically work with visual artists, partnered with the Studio Museum in Harlem and the nonprofit Public Art Fund to commission two pieces by Nina Chanel Abney and Jacolby Satterwhite. They will be displayed for 18 months before being replaced by new commissions. “I wanted to figure out how to make a digital quilt inside this landscape inspired by Central Park, to be a love letter to New York and its creative output,” said artist Jacolby Satterwhite. The digital piece, titled “An Eclectic Dance to the Music of Time,” features 120 dancers and musicians from the city’s performing arts schools, personally choreographed by the artist. They dance on platforms and outdoor stages set against an imaginary backdrop of sculptures, foliage, and skyscrapers. “What would it be like to allow them to see themselves as future performers of the Philharmonic in Lincoln Center?” Satterwhite posed on Saturday.
Public art commissions are tricky. The creator has to make something that’s accessible but enduring, relevant to the site but also able to stand on its own. Still, Jacolby Satterwhite and Nina Chanel Abney, tapped by Lincoln Center, the Public Art Fund and the Studio Museum in Harlem to celebrate the reopening of David Geffen Hall with a pair of major new installations, make it look easy. Satterwhite, 36, a Brooklyn-based artist, works in performance, 3-D animation and sculpture, often incorporating drawings by his mother, Patricia Satterwhite, into elaborate installations. Abney, 40, best known for painting, also lives in New York and is a public art veteran. They were chosen from a short list of nominated artists after submitting proposals. Between them, the artists incorporate the history of the Lincoln Center and its performing companies, and also of San Juan Hill, the largely Black and Puerto Rican neighborhood displaced by the performing arts complex, into deeply thoughtful pieces that are also joyful and welcoming.
The collectors who rank on ARTnews’s annual Top 200 list are often avid travelers, heading to various locales around the world to see—and buy—great art. While the pandemic’s lockdown in 2020 brought all that to a halt, this summer’s loosening of travel restrictions in many countries saw these collectors go on the move once again. Long a supporter of video art, Julia Stoschek recently added three new works—one by Cauleen Smith, two by Jacolby Satterwhite—in the medium to her collection and quickly put them on view at her Berlin exhibition space in a show titled “at dawn.” Of the latter artist, Stoschek told ARTnews, “The CGI-generated worlds Jacolby Satterwhite’s series Birds in Paradise (2019) as well as Shrines (2021) confront us with feel reminiscent to the worlds Hieronymus Bosch created, only in a faraway future. They are fantastic!”
Before Lincoln Center was a place, it was an idea. San Juan Hill, a bustling neighborhood with large Black and Puerto Rican communities nestled between 59th Street and 65th Street on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, was already teeming with artists—great ones, in fact, who were in the process of shaping some of the 20th century’s most distinctly American forms of creative expression. New York City planning commissioner Robert Moses had the entire area demolished to make way for the construction of Lincoln Center, which broke ground in 1959, displacing more than 7,000 families and 800 businesses. The story of how San Juan Hill was effectively razed is one that resonated deeply with both Nina Chanel Abney and Jacolby Satterwhite. Last fall, the artists were each invited to submit proposals for public-art installations to inaugurate the reopening of David Geffen Hall, home since 1962 to the New York Philharmonic orchestra.
The influential US performance artist Pope.L has teamed up with the streetwear brand Supreme in one of the art world’s more unusual partnerships. Images from Pope.L’s work The Great White Way: 22 Miles, 9 years, 1 Street (2000-09) appear on a T-shirt and skateboard designed by the uber-trendy clothing brand, bringing to mind the artist’s best-known work when he crawled all the way up New York’s Broadway from Battery Park to the Bronx wearing a Superman costume. Pope.L has said that he started his crawls after seeing so many people living on the street, and imagining: “What if all these people en masse began to move as one? But at the time I could only convince one person to do it and that was myself.”
Throughout the pandemic years, Queer art has become a lifeline for the Queer community. In my opinion, one of the best examples of Canadian Queer art is the General Idea AIDS exhibit currently on display at the National Gallery of Canada. It takes the dark and deadly history of the HIV epidemic and turns it colourful. It’s a breath of life that tells the story of the victims of the HIV plague. General Idea was made up of Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal, and AA Bronson. These three Canadian artists invoked change worldwide by challenging controversial queer ideals from 1969-1994. Important themes included throughout the exhibit are corporate greed, discrimination, and androgyny. “The Great Polystyrene Cold,” “Miss General Idea,” and “Pharmaecology” are the three pieces that stood out for me regarding these themes. These pieces encompass androgynous themes, which is essential when discussing a multi-faceted issue like HIV.
If variety is the spice of life, the world’s museums are perfectly seasoning things this fall with an expansive range of exhibitions from LGBTQ artists, exploring myriad motifs like queer motherhood, Afrofuturism, positive indecency, disposable consumerism and gay history. From Miami to Melbourne and from Houston to Helsinki, here are the exhibitions to catch this fall. Canadian trio Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson, collectively known as General Idea, were witty and wacky provocateurs who challenged the established art world and addressed themes like consumerism, queer identity and the AIDS crisis (complications from the disease took both Partz and Zontal in 1994). This most comprehensive retrospective of their still-influential 25-year career features more than 200 works.
It is the mark of a truly successful artist that her work may feel forever contemporary. Corpus, restaged here at Vielmetter Los Angeles, is no less provocative than it was in 1990, when this first installation in Kelly’s larger Interim series debuted at New York’s New Museum. Finished ten years after her seminal Post-Partum Document (1973–79), Corpus examines the condition of women after motherhood. The 30 silkscreened and collaged panels, shown in the us for the first time in over 30 years, propose a rigorous, striking examination of ageing women and the fraught history of psychoanalysis. Kelly structures Corpus around nineteenth-century neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot’s five-part classification of female hysteria, pairing evocative images of clothing with a scrawled, diaristic narrative by a first-person speaker contemplating the social experience of older women. In an American summer stamped by the reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision, Kelly’s work explores the vast territory beyond reproduction, challenging our focus on the young.
Over four nights and three days, upwards of 10,000 visitors flowed through Bentonville, Arkansas to attend the inaugural edition of FORMAT. Event producers describe the flashy new affair as a blend of “art, music, and technology.” Home to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville has, over the last decade, gained momentum as a site of interest on the art world’s radar. Each of the participating visual artists engaged the space with their signature approaches. Jacolby Satterwhite chose the occasion to debut PAT, a new performance piece developed in partnership with Performa. He remarked that the event’s production quality was of the highest quality. “I was attracted to the lineup,” Satterwhite admitted to Artnet News, adding that FORMAT also provided a good testing ground for the new “tone” of his work.
The Drawing Center, in partnership with Musée d’art moderne et contemporain Geneva (MAMCO), will bring together the drawings of General Idea authored between 1985 and 1993 for the first time in the United States, and again in Geneva in February 2023. Investigating motifs in the group’s multimedia works such as poodles, stiletto heels, masks, heraldry, and metamorphosed genitalia, these drawings were primarily produced by Jorge Zontal during group meetings. However, given General Idea’s mandate for co-authorship, as well as the circumstances under which they were executed, the drawings are considered to be collaborative. Although they are done entirely by hand, the repetition of specific motifs follows a viral logic that is akin to General Idea’s own penchant for mass reproduction. Seen together, these drawings are a fascinating window into General Idea’s distinct artistic vision as well as their unique notions of collaboration and co-authorship.
It has been more than half a century since General Idea – the irreverent collective consisting of Jorge Zontal, Felix Partz and A.A. Bronson – came onto the art world stage in 1969 with their zany, pop-inflected socio-political critique and tongue-in-cheek antics. Organized in collaboration with Bronson (General Idea’s sole surviving member) some 28 years after they were last active, the National Gallery’s retrospective – and its hefty accompanying catalogue – encapsulate a quarter century of the collective’s influential practice as post-modern pioneers whose work integrated high-minded conceptualism with mass culture and new media.
“Black men loving Black men is the revolutionary act,” says the filmmaker Marlon Riggs in his 1989 documentary, “Tongues Untied.” For Riggs, who would die of complications from AIDS five years later, the film — made during the darkest days of the epidemic — had “a singular imperative: to shatter America’s brutalizing silence around matters of sexual and racial difference.” More than three decades later, Riggs’s everyday portrayal of queer Black lives feels just as potent, particularly among a generation of young, multidisciplinary creatives who view the director and his crew as ancestors: “It’s been a key inspiration to my journey in film and visual art,” says the 33-year-old artist Shikeith,⁵ who first gained notice as a photographer, although he works across many media. “It was a huge lesson in how I approach community and collaboration.”
The relationship between the archive and dance, particularly Black dance in America, is a slippery one. In The Shed’s second-floor gallery, four dancefloors – one made of black Marley (a thin, roll-out vinyl), another of white Marley and two of hardwood – form individual stages for black and white videos of Black performers rehearsing, improvising and performing. Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s exhibition weaves portraits of artists such as Audrey and June Donaldson, two revivalists of Philly Bop, a Black dance form originating in Philadelphia, and Michael J. Love, a tap dancer and scholar, to create a network of contemporary Black dance that runs counter to ‘official’ narratives codified by predominantly white institutions. The empty dancefloors were activated at the exhibition’s opening by a Philly Bop class, led by the Donaldsons, and will host additional performances by Love, Leslie Cuyjet and the Rod Rodgers Dance Company throughout the exhibition’s run, underscoring how embodied presence on the dancefloor connects us to the past in a way the archive alone can’t.
Sculpture in the Garden 2022: Sam Moyer and Eddie Martinez includes 14 sculptures by the married couple, with 11 by Martinez and three by Moyer. The works date from 2016-2022, and several are monumental in size. Moyer’s work is installed at the center of round arbors or “rondels” crafted from locust wood harvested from the property. Martinez’s Half Stepping Hot Stepper is installed in a garden room hedged by Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) at the end of a long view. A second large untitled sculpture by Martinez is installed at the center of a large flowering bed, near a Linden allée. Smaller works by Martinez are installed near the subterranean grotto, a slightly below-ground gathering place on the south side of the garden.
The fall art season has arrived, with its manic harvest of exhibitions, and also The Armory Show, the major art fair in New York City that shifted its schedule and venue last year, moving to this early-September date and the Javits Center. As my colleague Will Heinrich and I wandered the floor to pick these 13 favorites, we were drawn to work that seemed to move against the currents. Joanne Greenbaum’s abstract paintings — colorful and obsessive but with plenty of white space — are the eye-grabbers of this unusually coherent three-artist presentation. But Jessica Stockholder’s wonky mixed-media sculptures, sitting in the corners like mysterious forgotten projects, reward more thoughtful attention, as does the unrelenting contrast of red and blue in Brent Wadden’s loom-woven textile “paintings.” Large Rorschach blots painted directly on the booth walls by Stockholder tie it all together.
Fall is (almost) here, which means it’s time to really start dressing. If you are someone who is looking to add some statement pieces to your wardrobe, there are some great drops this week that you should be paying attention to. Supreme is reportedly dropping its leather jacket collaboration Jeff Hamilton along with a series of items with artist Pope.L, Denim Tears has joined forces with Stüssy and Our Legacy for some all-over print Levi’s denim sets, and Kith has some solid fleece jackets coming as part of its Fall 2022 lineup. Other notable projects include an Awake NY x UPS capsule celebrating the Latinx community and the debut of Matty Matheson’s workwear brand Rosa Rugosa. If you’re planning your next vacation, consider copping some luxurious luggage from the Casablanca x Globe-Trotter collab.
Coinciding with the week 2 drop of the Fall 2022 collection, Supreme presents its collaboration with U.S. artist William Pope.L. Born in 1955 in Newark, he is currently a professor in the visual arts department at the University of Chicago, the city where he precisely works and lives. Pope.L owes his notoriety primarily to his performances that began to interest him, as well as experimental theater, while attending Rutgers University. However, he is not limited exclusively to performance-art but works indiscriminately with photography, video, sculpture and writing. His works are described as provocative, absurd, and disruptive, showing a particular interest in the role of objects in contemporary society and in our daily lives, unearthing their symbolic power.
Accompanying its Nike SB Blazer Mid Fall 2022 collaboration, Supreme will also be releasing a team-up with American artist William Pope.L to mark its Fall 2022 Week 2 drop. Born in 1955, the Newark, New Jersey native developed his interest in experimental theater and performance during his graduate studies at Rutgers University. Referring to himself as “a fisherman of social absurdity,” Pope.L put together displays in public and municipal spaces in New York. Tompkins Square Park, outside of a midtown Chase Bank, and more served as the location of showings that launched conversations around complicity, power, race, class, gender, and embodiment. The artist’s work in theater, intervention, painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, writing, and video has been described as provocative, absurd, disruptive, and vulnerable.
Marcus Leslie Singleton highlights the joys, routines and challenges of daily life as a Black man in contemporary America, navigating brutality and fetishization alike.
To understand the real beauty of New York, look no further than its inclusiveness. There is something for everyone in this great metropolis. My suggestion is to go out and see it all! This guide is focused on the art institutions that help make this city great, and it highlights the breadth of venues throughout the boroughs, as well as a few beyond in the Greater New York region for those adventurous enough to go on a day trip. Art in New York is truly unlike anything else in the world. Founded in Toronto in the late 1960s by AA Bronson, Felix Partz, and Jorge Zontal, General Idea was a collective guided by a radical queer politics and a performative orientation. Drawings executed in the spirit of mass reproduction between 1985 and 1993 spotlight motifs like poodles, stilettos, and masks.
Young New York based Chinese painter and sculptor Yirui Jia has a lively way of sets imaginary characters into dramatic interactions with their environments. Here she seems to ask how many hands we’d need to deal fully with social media, while leaving it unclear whether he alter ego is feeding off her outsized phone or attacking it… From Mitchell-Innes & Nash’s stand at Frieze.
This Labor Day weekend, take in some culture that honors the work behind the work of art. An immersive audio installation vibrates at the body’s frequency, a bespoke soundtrack activates an artful fashion show, an audio installation digs into the past lives of historic architecture, an array of world-clock activated light sculptures tune to planetary time, paintings help keep their maker sane, set-piece photography out-tropes art history, multimedia video work highlights sacred forest energy, and more. Mary Kelly: Corpus restages Kelly’s ambitious 1984-85 installation, originally made as the first part of a larger project titled Interim. This will be the first complete installation of Corpus, including all 30 panels, in the U.S. since 1990 when the entire Interim project was exhibited at the New Museum to broad critical acclaim.
In an ambitious new exhibition at The Shed in Manhattan, artist Tiona Nekkia McClodden presents a survey of contemporary Black dance, including a large-scale video portrait of Audrey and June Donaldson, a married couple who are prominent teachers of a dance that was once central to social life in Black Philadelphia: the Philly Bop. A form of swing dance that evolved from the Lindy Hop, the Philly Bop emerged in the 1950s alongside Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, one of the most popular television shows in the country, which was filmed in the city. But Bandstand’s discriminatory admission policies created a predominantly white show, forcing Black teenagers to find their own spaces. That led to an evolution in style that was distinct from what white dancers were doing.
It has been more than half a century since General Idea – the irreverent collective consisting of Jorge Zontal, Felix Partz and A.A. Bronson – came onto the art world stage in 1969 with their zany, pop-inflected socio-political critique and tongue-in-cheek antics. Organized in collaboration with Bronson (General Idea’s sole surviving member) some 28 years after they were last active, the National Gallery’s retrospective – and its hefty accompanying catalogue – encapsulate a quarter century of the collective’s influential practice as post-modern pioneers whose work integrated high-minded conceptualism with mass culture and new media.
It's hard to overstate the longstanding impact of Black dancers on all genres of movement that we know today — from contemporary and jazz to hip-hop and ballroom styles. Unveiled earlier this month at The Shed in New York City, The Trace of an Implied Presence exhibit by filmmaker and curator Tiona Nekkia McClodden revisits archival footage to showcase the legacy — and living contributions — of contemporary Black dance. On display now until the end of 2022, the multichannel video installation anchors on McClodden's research into archival footage Dance Black America, a three-day festival celebrating 300 years of African American dance that took place at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in April of 1983. Working in collaboration with cultural worker and presenter Mikki Shepard, who produced the festival, McClodden aims to showcase four vital forms of dance that have been shaped by Black dancers.
As early as the 1970s, Pope.L (Chicago-based visual and performance- theatre artist and educator who makes culture out of contraries) drew attention to the brutality of social decline in a country with little to no basic social security in his legendary Crawls through the streets of American cities on his knees and elbows. His interdisciplinary practice moves between performance, text, painting, installation, video, and sculpture. For the Between a Figure and a Letter exhibition at the flagship of Berlin’s culture Schinkel Pavillon, (which was on view until July 31st) Pope.L creates a new, space-filling as well as a site-specific installation. This is presented in artistic and contextual dialogue with the Skin Set Drawings (1997-2011) from his earlier creative period and the video work Small Cup (2008), exhibited in the basement.
Is language an affliction? The exhibition’s title quotes theorist Judith Butler’s response to a question about why ‘language is hurtful’, excerpted in Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric (2014). For Butler, language is one distressing result of sharing a world with other people. We are exposed to each other and create categories (race, sexuality, gender) that constrain unique subjectivities. These categories, for guest curators Marcelle Joseph and Legacy Russell, appear in the strange, violent collisions of language and visual life, uniting 25 international, intergenerational artists in this exploration of identity, visibility and power. Photography and video contends with how omnipresent technologies both enable and negate the representation of the body: in Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s The Backlight 5.10.2016 (2016), a smartphone camera flashes at the artist’s lens. The bright light illuminates a white jacket, throwing the rest of the image into dark contrast and rendering the photograph’s Black subject inseparable from the background.
In the last three years, Tiona Nekkia McClodden has emerged as one of the most singular artists of our aesthetically rich, free-range time. She announced her presence with a standout piece in the 2019 Whitney Biennial — which received its Bucksbaum Award — and has continued her rise with two impressive gallery solos, one at Company, a gallery on the Lower East Side in late 2019, and another currently at 52 Walker Street in TriBeCa. Like any true artist, McClodden’s work derives from the complex, multifaceted nature of her identity, who she is and has become: a Black woman, a lesbian drawn to weight training and BDSM play, a priestess of Santeria. She studied film in the early 2000s, becoming known as an underground filmmaker before turning to video installation and sculpture.
Hadres and Satterwhite make for natural collaborators: not only are they two of the most interesting queer artists of their generation, their work shares a certain sensibility. It’s a kind of defiant fragility, or, in Satterwhite’s words, the sense of “flesh being flayed, spread apart and put back together gracefully and monstrously.” Working within the mediums of 3D animation, immersive installation, and virtual reality, Satterwhite’s work explores themes of queerness, the body, consumption, and the idea of utopia. The visual accompaniment to Ugly Season was the culmination of two years of conversations between Hadreas and Satterwhite, and deeply informed by their shared love of certain pop culture references, including David Lynch, Lana Del Rey, Madonna and 90s sitcom Family Matters. “Pop culture, for me, is this space that is simultaneously frivolous and happy, but with a lot of melancholia residing within. Trying to negotiate that is something that both Michael and I have in common,” says Satterwhite. Here, Hadreas and Satterwhite discuss their collaboration, the significance of dance, the anti-LGBTQ+ backlash currently sweeping the US, and more.
The picturesque summer manor Frank Lloyd Wright designed on a cliff in Derby is the setting for two contemporary outdoor sculptures and several more on both floors of the recently restored 1926 Graycliff estate. The outdoor sculptures provided by Albright-Knox Art Gallery for the exhibition "Sarah Braman: Finding Room" will be on the grounds until October 2023, with the indoor pieces on view until March 2023. "This exhibition is unlike anything Graycliff has ever hosted," said Anna Kaplan, Graycliff Conservancy's executive director. "It is a real opportunity to invigorate our now restored historic grounds and interiors with brilliant contemporary art that is sure to challenge perspectives, and allow us to experience our historic site in an entirely new way."
The night the newest edition of the FRONT International opened in Cleveland, the show’s curator, Prem Krishnamurthy, could be found at karaoke bar called Tina’s, belting out a beery rendition of Britney Spears’s Toxic. Before him was a rag-tag crowd of local barflies, goth kids, rust-belt cowboys, baseball bros—as well as a cadre of the international art world there for the show. Everyone was singing along. Tina’s wasn’t one of the official sites of the triennial exhibition (which is funny, because seemingly every other venue in Northeast Ohio is), but Krishnamurthy called the event the “crux of the show.” “Karaoke,” he said, “can be such a leveling force. There, in that big room, there are all these different people you don’t know, but everybody’s cheering each other on. When somebody sings, everybody else claps for them and everybody else joins in. To me, that is beautiful.”
Gideon Appah is a master of romance. The Accra-based artist creates landscapes full of atmospheric elements: clouds, stars, expanses of desert—realms that have been described as “primordial” and “post-apocalyptic.” He populates these spaces with contemplative and unknown figures, perfectly poised members of the canvas who hang out or drift through. Appah first started working with Ghanaian newspaper clippings, but now he paints on layered canvas, a technique that sees him coloring from dark to light rather than from light to dark. The result is a muted, strangely disembodied color palette, one that seems to exist somewhere between heaven and earth. The modest and affable Appah, now 34, is making a splash in the art world. In 2022, he’s received solo shows at Ghana’s esteemed Gallery 1957 and the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University. With an exhibition of Appah’s recent works having opened last week at the Triennale in Milan, AIR MAIL catches up with Ghana’s hottest young artist.
Across the harbour from Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, where yachts can be spotted gliding out to Lake Erie, two water spouts shoot skyward like whale exhalations. This fountain is part of To Those Who Nourish (2022), a three-year project by London-based duo Cooking Sections that addresses low oxygen levels in the lake caused by agricultural runoff. Organised by Spaces gallery and commissioned by the Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, whose second edition opened 16 July after a one-year pandemic delay, the work is a tribute to nine Ohio farms committed to eliminating chemical fertiliser.
The exhibition considers a proliferation of art concerned with the marginalized state of being socially and culturally invisible or, conversely, hyper-visible. Work by queer artists, women and artists of color is on view. Twenty-five artists from multiple generations have been assembled by Marcelle Joseph, an independent curator based in London, and Legacy Russell, executive director at the Kitchen, an experimental interdisciplinary art space in New York. They worked with ICA L.A. curatorial assistant Caroline Ellen Liou. Paintings, photographs, sculptures, installations and videos are included, with one and sometimes two pieces per artist featured. Things kick off in the parking lot with a brightly colored, four-panel wall mural by Argentine artist Ad Minoliti, its flat but snappy mix of suggestive geometric and organic shapes said to describe an “Aquelarre no binario / Non-binary coven.” Loose suggestions of interlocking limbs, heads and other human or animal body parts dart in and out of view among graphic signs, so you can’t be quite certain what you are seeing.
When General Idea first started making art in the 1960s, the older generation was already getting its share of shock from the sex, drugs, and rock and roll that defined the era. But nothing could prepare them for what was coming courtesy of artists AA Bronson, Felix Partz, and Jorge Zontal. In a first, the National Gallery of Canada is acknowledging the group (don’t call them a “collective,” Bronson, the only surviving member, said) with a massive survey of their work from its very beginnings. After its run in Ottawa, the show is set to head to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. What started as an experiment grew into a powerful force in the Canadian contemporary art milieu. Up to that point, no one talked much about non-normative sexual and gender identity. General Idea wanted to talk—and so they did, starting a conversation that might not otherwise have happened in polite, middle-class society.
“It’s pretty rare for two artists to succeed in a relationship together,” says Sam Moyer, in the front seat of her car alongside husband Eddie Martinez on a recent summer morning. The two artists have just dropped their young son off at camp and are sitting side-by-side to discuss their joint show at the South Etna Foundation in Montauk, where they were soon headed for the recent holiday weekend. The pair have welcomed two dual exhibitions out east: in addition to South Etna, which opened the first weekend of July, a sculpture show at Landcraft Garden in Mattituck, curated by Ugo Rondinone, opened in June. “It’s serendipity that they were the same summer,” says Moyer. “We were laughing about it, that we were gonna have the North Fork and the South Fork covered this summer.”
When asked by Martha Wilson about the affinity for contradiction within his work in a 1996 BOMB magazine interview, artist Pope.L pointed to his own family experiences as one clue, noting how the “desire to keep things together,” kept coming in conflict with “this tendency for things to fall apart.” Rather than accept these impulses as mutually exclusive and in opposition, Pope.L, who is known for his gonzo interventions into art and life, dives into the tensions, curious as to how one makes meaning within such a shifting and unstable environment. He embraces contradiction and nonsense as but one method of engaging with our social realities and understanding how those realities are structured by ideologies like racism, consumerism, and more.
A standout artist in Cecilia Alemani’s marvelous “The Milk of Dreams” exhibition in this year’s Venice Biennale, where she has a whole wall full of paintings, the Austrian painter and sculptor Kiki Kogelnik got her start as an abstract artist in Vienna. By the 1960s, however, she had found her way to New York, where she added Pop Art references to her colorful canvases, and later took another turn toward more feminist subject matter in the 1970s.
In his practice, Pope.L engages modes of demonstration, obfuscation, protestation, and, in his words, masturbation, to infiltrate systems of language, culture, and oppression. For his first solo exhibition in Berlin, “Between a Figure and a Letter,” the American artist presents Contraption (2022), an enlarged, analogical wood chipper dominating the Schinkel Pavillon’s main floor. Lining a shelf on the room’s right side are wooden models –– architectural elements of Berlin’s controversial Humboldtforum and the Schinkel Pavillon itself –– that are periodically extracted and fed to the titular contraption by a performer carrying a pizza paddle. Borrowing its name from the US Capitol’s iconic cupola, the film Small Cup (2008), shown on the Schinkel’s lower level, shows farm animals grazing and stamping upon a miniature reproduction of the same building in Washington, DC. Selections from Pope.L’s text-based Skin Set Drawings are presented such that they remain just out of reach, enshrined within custom-made metallic frames that reflect distorted images back at the viewer. Resigned to partial legibility, these works formalize the gulf of “un-meaning” alluded to in the exhibition’s title: that between a figure and a letter.
From 20th-century master painters to contemporary icons, prominent Hamptons artist couples have long captivated the imagination: Elaine and Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, Rashid Johnson and Sheree Hovsepian, April Gornik and Eric Fischl. This weekend, Eddie Martinez and Sam Moyer join the list of East End heavyweights when their pas de deux exhibit opens at the South Etna Montauk Foundation, founded in 2021 by Amalia Dayan and Adam Lindemann on the tip of Long Island’s South Fork. The show juxtaposes Moyer’s latest stone paintings—made from marble slabs and slate the artist sources from local quarries with a plaster underlay that references classic fresco and stucco walls—against Martinez’s recent paper-pulp works in his signature, electric language of abstract patterns and shapes, butterflies, flowers and mushrooms. Ahead of the show, the husband-and-wife talents reveal the secret to coexisting art practices.
An upcoming exhibition of the works of Christo and Jeanne-Claude at Aspen’s Hexton Gallery (opening August 1), as well as the current and impressively monumental survey of French duo Les Lalanne at London’s Claridge’s and Ben Brown Fine Arts both offer the unique chance to better understand the gender dynamics of working married couples in the arts. However, as of Christo’s passing in May of 2020, all four have already left behind this mortal existence. But the new and concisely titled exhibition Eddie Martinez + Sam Moyer – opening tomorrow, July 2 at the South Etna Montauk Foundation – allows for a very different opportunity to view how those dynamics are playing out IRL in a very different, 21st Century context.
Pygmalion’s Ugly Season (2022) is the 28-minute visual adjunct Satterwhite created for Ugly Season (2022), the latest album by Mike Hadreas, a musician who performs under the stage name ‘Perfume Genius’. The video opens with Satterwhite’s body disintegrating into a network of worlds situated at his joints and chakras. Ever the builder of fantastical dreamscapes, Satterwhite overlays the avatars of pirouetting men in bondage wear with footage of an evangelical Christian congregation overcome by the holy spirit. In another scene, two cyborgs lashed to a travelator made of bike chains convey a bare-chested man, who is cradling a limp Hadreas, through intergalactic space. These vignettes, as wild and attention-seeking as they may seem, are cloaked meditations on desire, human nature, healing and finding utopia.
Enigmatic artist Pope.L works across performance, installation, and video to explore race, identity, language, and material culture. For his second solo show at Vielmetter, he has transformed the gallery into a series of sheds through which viewers must navigate. They will encounter four video works characterized by their unsettling tone, and a sculpture, I Machine, that is composed of two stacked overhead projectors and a contraption that drips liquid into a bowl, the sound of which is amplified. Also on view will be elements from “The Black Factory,” an ongoing archive since 2004 of “black objects” gathered from the public, that have been secured in compression boxes.
Mitchell-Innes and Nash’s second solo presentation of Kiki Kogelnik comes on the heels of the artist’s posthumous inclusion in the current Venice Biennale. It features 10 of her graphic, boldly colorful paintings and 21 works on paper, dating from 1962 to 1985. Kogelnik’s depictions of women seemingly in search of personal determination were inspired by her own struggles as a woman artist, such as when she and her fiance, artist Arnulf Rainer, moved in together and she was relegated to the attic, while he got a whole floor as a studio.
Earlier this month, the multimedia artist Jacolby Satterwhite was mingling at the Guggenheim Young Collectors Party. He’s perhaps best known for his maximalist 3D animations, and a preview of his latest video project was to be projected on the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed rotunda. He’d been doing final edits up until the event. “It’s the biggest labor of love I’ve had by far,” he said. “The magnitude and dynamism in the piece was a feat that I thought I couldn’t handle.” Pygmalion’s Ugly Season is Satterwhite’s 27-minute symbiotic companion to Ugly Season, the just-released album by Mike Hadreas, who performs and records under the moniker Perfume Genius. The collaboration grew out of mutual fandom; after the two were introduced and embarked on a yearlong phone relationship, the project germinated organically.
General Idea was a collective of three Canadian artists — AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal — that formed in 1969. The trio was anti-establishment, queer and punk. Most importantly, they made art with a wink and a smile, becoming known for cheeky projects like staging a beauty pageant for artists and sending strangers mail with intimate questions. General Idea proved that art could be provocative and fun while still tackling issues that matter, like the AIDS crisis, which had a huge influence on their work. Sadly, AIDS led to the deaths of two of the group's members. Bronson is the sole surviving member of General Idea. He joined Q's Tom Power from his home in Berlin to discuss the National Gallery of Canada's massive new retrospective celebrating the group. Follow along with the conversation using this visual companion guide.
Jacolby Satterwhite is a postmodern video artist and unparalleled green screen wizard. His latest, Pygmalion’s Ugly Season, is a companion to Perfume Genius’ surreal avant-garde pop masterwork. Satterwhite’s images emphasize both the madcap goofiness and tenderness of Perfume Genius’ music: elements often overshadowed by the album’s unnerving passages of orchestral brood. The film imagines a queer utopia represented in landscapes of 3D saturated and computer-generated artifice. Eroticized male bodies dance across synthetic architecture and communities form through touch and movement. Satterwhite’s film presents a queer utopia divorced from all notions of purity, aesthetic or otherwise: a liberating rapture of hyper-digital images.
Informed by a biography that bespeaks binary tension—imagine dividing thirty years of your life between crawling in Manhattan and schooling well-to-do students in rural Maine—Pope.L, working with the curator Dieter Roelstraete, opens his first solo exhibition, ‘Between a Figure and a Letter,’ in the darkened octagonal basement of Berlin’s Schinkel Pavillon. Most visitors to the exhibition are likely anticipating the installation located in the sunlit hall two floors above which is, on the arrival of an audience, activated by a dramatically loud performance. Curiosity thus permeates the bifurcated space as one wonders what the acutely sarcastic critic of contemporary culture has drawn up or, rather, torn down for Berlin.
As the weekend getaways to the Hamptons begin to fill many art-lovers calendars, a garden in Mattituck promises the perfect stop in North Fork to enjoy another husband and wife’s joint show. Organized by New York-based Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone and Landcraft Garden Foundation, Sculpture in the Garden 2022 features works by Sam Moyer and Eddie Martinez who are both primarily celebrated for their two-dimensional art. The show however invites visitors to explore the third dimension in their practices, featuring eleven sculptures by Martinez and three by Moyer. The elements of energy and texture in abstraction have been critical for both artists’ approach to surfaces, and with the outdoor sculptures, they further their experiments on similar notions with the vistas of a lush garden.
When I looked at Gideon Appah’s paintings in his solo exhibition Forgotten, Nudes, Landscapes at the Institution for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, I found gestures toward many things – with the dourness of his palette, the figures in suits smoking, the shy front-facing nude, the nude woman wielding daggers with her back turned to us, the dying (or dead) figure. In these portraits and other figurative paintings, there are allusions to Ghanaian cinema, with references to films like The Boy Kumasenu (1952) and I Told You So (1970). Paintings of landscapes and neighborhoods evoke the heyday of entertainment and film in Ghana, which spanned the 1950s to the early 1980s. And paintings of nudes leave us more than a little curious not only as to their stories but to the place of the individual against the disintegration of cultural memory.
Julia Child and Craig Claiborne are sitting in a small wine bar at the Pittsburgh airport, luggage at their feet.
Martha Rosler utilizes various media in her work, primarily video and photography, and also installation and sculpture; she also writes about art and culture. Her work has for decades considered matters of the public sphere and mass culture; war and geopolitical conflict; housing, urbanism, and the built environment, and systems of transportation—especially as these affect women. Many of her projects have been extrainstitutional or developed and enacted with groups of people. Rosler sees her work, her teaching, and her writing as continuations of a broader engagement with the currents of cultural critique and social and political change. Her work may best be summed up as both a conceptual art and an activist practice—focused on questions of representational form but joined, however uneasily, to a commitment to political agitation. Video, which she adopted in its infancy, presented itself as at the crossroads of both.
General Idea, an art group that pioneered a queer aesthetic, is celebrated in a retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada (opened during Pride Month and running until 20 November 2022). Surviving member AA Bronson speaks about their origins, and impact on art and social justice.
Formed as part of the 1960s Toronto counterculture, General Idea was a radical artist-led group founded in Toronto by AA Bronson (b. 1946), Felix Partz (1945–1994) and Jorge Zontal (1944–1994). Together they invented a ground-breaking and provocative multi-disciplinary practice that challenged social and artistic norms and altered the development of postwar art over 25 years – from the group’s formation in 1969 to the deaths in 1994 of both Partz and Zontal from AIDS-related illnesses. This major retrospective of General Idea will bring together more than 200 works, including installations, paintings, drawings, videos, sculptures, publications and archival material, to explore the crucial role General Idea played in developing art and activism in Canada, the United States and Europe. The exhibition will also chart General Idea’s influence on future generations of creators, informing new ways of reimagining and changing our world through art.
The Canadian artist AA Bronson was one of founding members of the art collective General Idea along with Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal. The artists lived and worked together for twenty-five years, exploring themes ranging from mass media and popular culture to queer identity and the AIDS epidemic. Since the death of Partz and Zontal in 1994 from AIDS, Bronson has become increasingly interested in the practice of healing and often incorporates healing processes into his artworks, focusing on specific historical and contemporary traumas. The work of General Idea is the subject of a retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, from 3 June to 20 November.
The eclectic Canadian trio General Idea, who attained international acclaim during their 25 years of practice (1969-94), are about to hit the heights again as the subject of a blockbuster exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. The show, opening this week, will feature around 200 works, including major installations, publications, videos, drawings, paintings and sculptures. Although the exhibition’s curator Adam Welch admitted surprise that such a retrospective had not come until now at the National Gallery (Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario did stage one a decade ago), the group has hardly gone unnoticed in the Ottawa-based museum. As Welch told The Art Newspaper: “We have outstanding works in the collection and this exhibition has allowed us to delve much more deeply into those holdings, and, of course, to engage in close research with AA Bronson.”
A new show of Marcus Leslie Singleton’s work opens at the Journal Gallery in Manhattan today. I talked to the artist about one of the included paintings for T Magazine’s On View series. “This work shows my sister’s 8th birthday party. She’s front and center getting ready to blow out the candles, and next to her is my grandmother Helen, who passed away last year. My cousin Daniel and I are to my sister’s right, and behind her is my cousin Zealand...That garland in the background here, that actually was a mistake — ‘happy’ has three Ps in it — but I made an artistic choice to leave it. I was painting this when people were getting the P.P.P. loans for coronavirus relief, so I thought I’d keep it as a tongue-in-cheek joke.”
For his first institutional solo show in the US, ‘Forgotten, Nudes, Landscapes’ at ICA VCU, Ghanaian artist Gideon Appah presents a series of newly commissioned, large-scale canvases. In the first gallery, Red Valley and Ten Nudes and a Landscape (both 2021) depict hazy, magma-like landscapes onto which the silhouettes of various figures – dancing, reclining – have been lightly superimposed. They might be the ghosts of clubbers in some primordial land, or visions of future party-goers in a post-apocalyptic world.
Gideon Appah’s “Forgotten, Nudes, Landscapes” at the ICA looks at death, myth and reality impacted by the pandemic. “Gideon started his career thinking about the rise and fall of culture, leisure and democracy in Ghana,” says Amber Esseiva, curator at the ICA. “He was looking at how that is reflected in news media.”
For his first institutional solo show in the US, ‘Forgotten, Nudes, Landscapes’ at ICA VCU, Ghanaian artist Gideon Appah presents a series of newly commissioned, large-scale canvases. In the first gallery, Red Valley and Ten Nudes and a Landscape (both 2021) depict hazy, magma-like landscapes onto which the silhouettes of various figures – dancing, reclining – have been lightly superimposed. They might be the ghosts of clubbers in some primordial land, or visions of future party-goers in a post-apocalyptic world. Alongside these works hang three smaller paintings of mythic nudes: gods to occupy these otherworldly scenes, perhaps. Appah’s figures are usually composites of friends, characters from popular Ghanaian films and chance acquaintances. These paintings, which mark a departure from his earlier work about Ghanaian nightlife, increasingly incorporate shamanic or tarot-like symbols: The Young Minotaur (2021), for instance, who looks pensively off into the distance across a stormy sky, two fleshy skin-tone horns sprouting from his head.
In a partnership with the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Public Art Fund, works by Nina Chanel Abney and Jacolby Satterwhite will help reintroduce Geffen Hall this fall. When David Geffen Hall reopens on the Lincoln Center campus this fall, two new artworks — by Nina Chanel Abney and by Jacolby Satterwhite — will be splayed across the 65th Street facade and a 50-foot media wall in the renovated lobby. These highly visible pieces, commissioned by the performing arts center in partnership with the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Public Art Fund, are positioned to help reintroduce the longtime home of the New York Philharmonic to the city and will inaugurate a rotating program of visual artists invited to put their stamp on Lincoln Center.
Jacolby Satterwhite’s video The Matriarch’s Rhapsody (2012) draws upon sketches created by the artist’s late mother, Patricia Satterwhite, while she was contending with schizophrenia. For more than a decade, Jacolby Satterwhite has created 3D animated video works, sculptures, and immersive installations that explore themes of consumption, fantasy, and utopian desire. In works such as Country Ball 1989-2012 (2012) and Reifying Desire 5 (2013), Satterwhite’s surreal, bacchanalian image-scapes blend influences as diverse as queer theory, voguing, performance, and video-game fantasy genres.
In her latest works, conceptual artist Annette Lemiuex, a member of the Pictures Generation, mines TV, film, and literary history to focus on “isolation, division, and brokenness,” according to the gallery. In one work, titled Midnight Sun and made in part from a film still from The Twilight Zone, Lemiuex depicts an artist painting in vain amid a heatwave that melts the pigment off her canvas. In part a reflection on the difficulties of the vocation, the work also references wider looming troubles ahead.
How is the transient experience of being a young woman captured and preserved? The memories tied up in the experience of girlhood and how young women express their identity and autonomy are explored in the Henry Art Gallery’s exhibition, “Double Dare Ya: Burns, Kurland, & Ross-Ho.” Running Feb. 4 through May 29, “Double Dare Ya” is a new exhibit in the Henry’s ongoing “Viewpoints” series, in which members of the UW community are encouraged to join the discourse on the artwork being exhibited. The “Viewpoints” series is organized by Nina Bozicnik, the assistant curator, and Kira Sue, a graduate curatorial assistant.
Schinkel Pavilion presents “Between A Figure and A Letter”, the new exhibition by American artist Pope.L, curated by Dieter Roelstraete. Known for his provocative interventions in public spaces, the artist is addressing issues and themes ranging from language to gender, race, social struggle, and community. The exhibition is open from April 8th until July 31st, 2022.
This Wednesday, 6th April, from 6:30-8pm, the Tate Modern will present Jacob Satterwhite’s Birds in Paradise—a six-part, two-channel film installation—which will be followed by a conversation with the artist. Birds in Paradise is a suite of films, titled after a key record that speaks to the visual motifs threaded throughout the work, is scored by a conceptual folk record the artist made from a cappella recordings written and sung by his late mother, the artist Patricia Satterwhite. Generating its narrative from an archive of borrowed anecdotes, personal mythologies, drawings and experimental dance performance footage accumulated by the artist throughout his life the work is a juxtapositions of queer Boschean tableaus decorated with performances by artists, queer activists, dancers, sex workers and actors from his community. Together, the six works depict the resilience of collective bodies in a time of existential crises, grief and post-apocalyptic fantasies. The suite of films have recently been exhibited at MoMA PS1, Haus der Kunst, the Athens Biennial, the Gwangju Biennial, and the Miller ICA at Carnegie Mellon, among others.
For its second edition, the Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art will feature more than 75 artists whose work meditates on the notion of healing and its many meanings. The triennial will run from July 16 through October 2, and will be curated by team led by Prem Krishnamurthy, who has titled the exhibition “Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows,” a quotation from a poem by Langston Hughes, who lived in Cleveland as a child. As with the first edition, staged in 2018, this year’s Front International will be staged across sites in Cleveland and the nearby cities of Akron and Oberlin.
In New York City, hand gestures speak much. They talk about our ethnicity and our gods. “Praise New York,” an exhibit of Karl Haendel’s large-scale drawings of the religious hands of our city, is taking place from March 10th to April 16th in Chelsea, Manhattan at Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery, 534 West 26th Street, open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM. The artist Haendel explores the world with his own hands by drawing portraits of other people through a close look at their hands. The drawings are larger than a human being is tall which in the gallery creates the feeling of hands as living fashion models standing in poises of praise and offerings of grace. He says, “It’s a novel way to make a portrait, allowing people to express themselves with gesture and nuance” using hands rather than faces, which moves too quickly in our day and age to invoke standards of beauty rather than portraits of the soul.
Haendel’s nearly nine-feet tall, wow-inspiring realist depictions of the hands of some of New York City’s Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Christian and Sikh faith leaders on exhibition at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery in West Chelsea, is certainly a fresh way to create a group portrait. On view until April 16, “Praise New York” honors a diverse group of pastors, imams, rabbis and priests who helped New Yorkers cope throughout the worst days of the pandemic.
The first painting greeting us in the Mitchell-Innes & Nash exhibition is, aptly, a self portrait. Smaller than the other pieces in the show, monochromatic, it packs the power of dynamite. The man represented closeup looks aghast, terrified even. His eyes stare down with dismay at something off canvas, an abyss? Hell? Malleable, the face is agitated by a chaos of brushstrokes. The boundaries between the head and its surroundings are unclear, as if everything was made of the same substance: mud. Mud, here, is nicely symbolic not only for its biblical intimation — Man being dipped, thrown, trampled in and yanked from the “miry mud” — but the muddiness of mind is also equally appropriate. While his portraits often halted at an opacity in the sitter, Kossoff had a pretty good idea of what he was about: uncertain about everything. He could, he tells us, hold onto nothing solid, either on the outside or the inside. “The important thing is to somehow keep going. This is ‘the straw to which we cling.” This credo, shared in a rare interview, could serve as caption for all of his mature paintings.
Artists who do the most interesting work with digital media often start elsewhere. Auriea Harvey studied painting at the Parsons School of Design before learning web design and then, with Michaël Samyn, founding the game studio Tale of Tales, which released experimental interactive experiences that expanded notions of what video games could be. Jacolby Satterwhite earned an MFA at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also studied painting, and only after graduation he began teaching himself Maya, which he used to create the engrossing, multidimensional hybrids of animation and video he’s known for today. Both artists still work in multiple mediums. Recently Harvey has focused on physical and virtual sculpture, blending 3D prints with natural materials and building digital models. Satterwhite returned to painting and showed the results in a recent exhibition at MoMA PS1. He is currently building an interactive virtual world for Cleveland’s FRONT International, a triennial that opens this summer. Harvey and Satterwhite met to discuss their shared love of video games, their interest in virtuality as an enhancement of the real, and how they achieved mastery through total dedication to craft.
Big Apple native Karl Haendel's "Praise New York" exhibition, inauguarted Thursday at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash art gallery in the West Side Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea and scheduled to run through April 16, pays homage to rabbis, priests, imams, pastors and other faith leaders who have shared vital resources and boosted the city's morale over the past two years.
In recent times, Gideon Appah explored the Ghanaian cultural memory through a series of portraits expressed through paintings, drawings and media ephemera. The primary source of inspiration was the legacy of the country’s film production from the 1950s to the 1980s. By employing entertainment posters, newspaper clippings, and films from the period, Appah has created a vibrant tableau that commemorates the cinema and leisure.
Ascendent Ghanian artist Gideon Appah is currently enjoying his first institutional solo show at The ICA at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. A plethora of new paintings, drawings and media ephemera make up the display, which aims to “chronicle the cycle of Ghana’s cultural memory – from heyday to bygone”. Appah has drawn on archive newspaper clippings, posters and films for the purpose, resulting in a series of dreamy, gesturally rendered tableaux that consider “the rise and fall of Ghana’s cinema and leisure culture”.
London modernism doesn’t get the same credit as its Paris or New York counterparts. That only means the work of the richly expressive painters of the London School—not just Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, but also Frank Auerbach, Michael Andrews, and R. B. Kitaj, among others—continues to surprise. “Leon Kossoff: A Life in Painting,” at New York’s Mitchell-Innes & Nash, provides a deep dive into the thick impasto of this British painter.1 Born in London in 1926, and focused on the lives of its working-class neighborhoods, Kossoff imparted the weight of experience in the thickness of his line and heaviness of his brush.
A survey of paintings by the celebrated postwar British artist Leon Kossoff, who died in 2019, is timed to the publication of the Leon Kossoff: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings. On view are 16 paintings, ranging in date from the late 1950s to 2016. Kossoff was part of the “School of London,” a postwar movement that included artists such as Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, and Frank Auerbach. The show includes Kossoff’s main themes—family members, nudes, and London landscapes—which are at once poignant and mundane. The Mitchell-Innes and Nash show is part of a three-gallery effort and is the first posthumous and largest exhibition of Kossoff’s paintings in a commercial setting to date. Annely Juda organized a show in London in September, and L.A. Louver in Los Angeles has a concurrent exhibition through March 26.
There was something unintentionally fitting about seeing Kossoff’s complex, sobering art under our currently disrupted circumstances. The show’s earliest painting, “Seated Woman” (1957), is a 5-foot-tall panel laden with pounds and pounds of thick, dark paint. Kossoff dragged his brush through the chocolate brown mud, exposing rich tones of purple, crimson and forest green buried within, literally carving out the linear form of a dozing figure, hands clasped in her lap, mouth a hooked slash.
Kossoff’s greatness lies in the extreme way he pits the two basic realities of painting — the actual paint surface and the image depicted — against each another. First there is the startlingly heavy, even off-putting, impasto of his oil paint, which sometimes seems more ladled on than conventionally applied with a brush (even a big one), and which gives his surfaces an almost topographical dimension. Then there is the reality of his images, initially swamped in paint, that ultimately battles its way to legibility through a process that thrillingly slows and extends the act of looking.
Julian Stanczak: The Light Inside at Diane Rosenstein Gallery. Exploring the artist’s intuitive use of color and geometric abstraction to create a sense of radiant light, this historic series of paintings resonates with the themes of the California Light And Space movement. According to the late artist, his minimal compositions are emotional landscapes that express his desire to transcend the surface containment of the painting as object and connect with the viewer through perception.
Mitchell-Innes & Nash is presenting the group exhibition “Olvido, Sombra, Nada” (“Oblivion, Shadow, Nothing”), featuring work by the artists Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Lucas Samaras, and Paul Mpagi Sepuya. Open from February 3 until March 5, the show follows the tension in portraiture between acts of revelation and concealment, named for the poem Espejo (“Mirror”) by Octavio Paz, which looks at understanding and misunderstanding in relation to self-reflections. From Samaras, ten works from the artist’s Sitting series (1978—1980) reveal the artist himself photographed into the shadows of his portraits. Sepuya’s featured works use methods of exposure and props like black drop cloths, translucent screens, and smudged mirrors when capturing indirect or partial portraits of human figures. And from McClodden, viewers will find a suite of black polished leather objects and a series of 65 prints seen for the first time, which come together to create a self-portrait of the artist that at once reveals and challenges elements of identity.
“Leon Kossoff: A Life in Painting,” Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York (through March 5): London modernism doesn’t always get the same credit as its Paris or New York counterparts. That means the richly expressive painters of the London School—not just Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, but also Frank Auerbach, Michael Andrews, R. B. Kitaj, and others—continue to surprise. This month at New York’s Mitchell-Innes & Nash, “Leon Kossoff: A Life in Painting” provides a deep dive into the thick impasto of the British painter Leon Kossoff (1926–2019). Born in London, and focusing on the lives of its working-class neighborhoods, Kossoff imparted the weight of experience in the thickness of his line and heaviness of his paint. This exhibition of sixteen works ranging from 1936 to 1993 is timed to the release of the 640-page Leon Kossoff: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings by Modern Art Press and is curated by its editor, Andrea Rose. A west-coast version of the exhibition also opens this week at California’s L.A. Louver gallery.
We are born to recognize faces. But by 1969 Kossoff had worked on a number of portraits in which the faces never cohere (bodies, as figures, are easier to read, because more abstract to begin with). His Seated Woman (1957) is a good example. Self Portrait No. 1 from 1965 may be a better one. In this work, one can strain to make Kossoff’s or any face appear, but it would just be an affirmation of one’s own credulity, akin to seeing Jesus in a water stain or a slice of burnt toast.
In Portland, California-native Chris Johanson’s swirling “abstract flows of colour” also reference mandala paintings. “I focus on not knowing what I am doing while my body carefully and slowly paints these colours next to each other,” writes Johanson in Considering Unknow Know With What Is, And (published by New York gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash). “All the while, I think about everything else – past, present and future, myopic and hyperopic.” Working on raw canvas slows down the painting process. “You think about things slowly, too,” he says. “The process is perfectly time consuming; it just mellows me out completely. They’re peaceful paintings to make. And I think you can see it. That’s why they resonate.”
Artist Gideon Appah’s story begins with homemade comic books of dinosaurs living among people and the adventures of Night Man, his very own masked crusader. "He fought for justice, kind of like Superman or Batman," Appah says via teleconference from Ghana.
In a relatively short career, the West African painter has gone through many different stylistic phases, exploring — and combining — surrealism, nature scenes and portraiture. The 35-year-old rising star will have his first solo U.S. exhibition at the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU this year from Feb. 11 to June 19. More than 30 of his paintings, most of them new works, will be showcased on both sides of the museum's upstairs gallery.
How does one capture a sense of time bedeviling itself? Experimental filmmaker and artist Pat O’Neill’s show here, “The Decay of Fiction,” interrogated this notion. The first time I visited, I felt as if I were witnessing a palimpsest of hauntings—decades of ghosts sealed inside a building’s many surfaces roaming freely. Yet the second time around I experienced an additional sensation: a sustained feeling of displacement caused less by the spooks’ presence than by an uncanny sense of their being both stuck inside a specific historical moment and forever pushed outside it.
In our current state of ever-evolving social and ecological catastrophe, we find ourselves needing not just inspiration, but examples of best practice – and the septuagenarian performer, installation artist, healer, zine publisher and activist AA Bronson weighs in on both counts. As one of the founding members of the art collective General Idea, Bronson was an important early responder to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Then, following the deaths from AIDS in 1994 of his life partners and General Idea co-members, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, he has had to find ways of making work that make sense within the context of ongoing and devastating grief.
The conversation on documentary photography often comes with leitmotifs as “giving voice”, “raising awareness”, and “making a change”, which are unquestionably honourable aims, but with minimal effects, if the act is limited to freezing the “decisive moment”, suggesting that producing images is the summit of the photographic event. Instead, it is our engagement with pictures through discussion, consumption, and reaction, which defines the power of photography to fuelling change. This research focuses on the participatory photography potential to set the environment for taking collective action; starting from dismantling the idea of single authorship and leading to the definition of photography as the democratic tool for excellence.
This long-awaited catalogue raisonné brings together the paintings of Leon Kossoff, one of the most important 20th-century British artists. Kossoff was part of the School of London along with other figurative painters including Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach. He returned to familiar subjects throughout his career, including London landmarks such as Christ Church Spitalfields and Kilburn underground station, creating numerous works inspired by Old Masters such as Nicolas Poussin. The author Andrea Rose curated Kossoff’s exhibition at the 1995 Venice Biennale when he represented Great Britain. “As part of the catalogue raisonnéproject, he gave her a level of access to him, his archive and his studios that, as an intensely private person, he had withheld from all others,” according to the publisher. An accompanying exhibition, which first opened at Annely Juda gallery in London, tours to Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York (13 January-5 March 2022) and L.A. Louver Gallery in California (26 January-26 March 2022).
One might presume that a collection of Pope.L’s writing spanning the artist’s decades-long career would be, itself, a performance. My Kingdom for a Title enlivens the artist’s fascination with language as a core mode of inquiry. An artist known for his strenuous public crawls that often include pedestrian and volunteer participation in a mixture of rehearsed and spontaneous study, such as “The Great White Way” (2001-09) and most recently “Conquest” (2019), My Kingdom for a Title is equal parts a peek at the artist’s sketchbook and a career retrospective through Pope.L’s iterative textual analysis.
Teaching was a way to earn a living that intersected with and was supported by my own artwork. I’ve grown to appreciate that the conversation supported by the University of Chicago embodies values that are distinct from those of the commercial art world; the intersection of the two yields richness not found in either alone.
For a presentation as part of Mitchell-Innes & Nash’s booth, Tiona Nekkia McClodden presents several new works that build off her 2016 work Se te subió el santo? (Are you in a trance?), which served as a “disclosure” of parts of her identity that she had previously kept private. “This is me—the first way I see myself,” she said. The other works on view stem from a series of photographs from related performances and film works as well as a recently completed leather lineman harness, titled A.B. 4 88B.
A key figure of the London School, Leon Kossoff (1926–2019) captures the life force of the British capital—his birthplace and lifelong muse—in all its dolorous splendor. Never has a palette perhaps best described as “shades of gloom” (the dried-blood reds and rusts of postwar Victorian tenements, the gray-brown murk of the Thames) seemed so vigorous.
Surveying six decades of production and organized together with Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York and L.A. Louver in Los Angeles, “A Life in Painting” opens with a series of Kossoff’s portraits.
Art Basel Miami Beach has twice been disrupted by seismic world events. In 2001, what was to be the inaugural edition of the art fair was postponed a whole year in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. Last year, the coronavirus pandemic was the culprit, though the live fair was replaced with an online viewing room.
In the intervening years, the fair became the linchpin of a booming Miami art scene and a larger cultural economy.
Now, as Art Basel returns to the Miami Beach Convention Center from Thursday through Saturday with 253 galleries from 36 countries and territories, it meets a pent-up demand — you could say that the supply chain for a certain kind of prestige fair has been unclogged.
These gloomy reflections were, however, quickly dispelled by Jacolby Satterwhite’s Birds in Paradise (2017–19), a video installation weaving footage of the artist being shrouded and baptised into a digitally animated world that is Boschian in its scale and imaginative scope. In building a new reality, Satterwhite’s dream-logic weaves together Yoruba rituals, rodeos, classical architectures, extraordinary flying machines and the artist’s own dancing body. The sheer vitality of the work is a reminder that disaffection in art is inherently conservative, more typically a sign that a bourgeois creative class is mourning its own obsolescence than a harbinger of the end of the world.
I was in the grip of despair. I had arrived to interview the artist Leon Kossoff at his home in Willesden, North London, for the Independent on Sunday, but when I arrived, after toiling long and hard uphill by bicycle, I found him to be profoundly unenthusiastic about the prospect. I explained to him that he had already agreed to talk to me, and that I had come all the way from South London. Finally, grudgingly, he let me slip, side-on, into the rather under-lit front hall — but only into the hall.
Yes, he would do it, he said in the end, still havering, but he had never anticipated such consequences of having his work shown at the Tate and the Venice Biennale …. I soon discovered that this gentle, wary, vulnerable man of 75 possessed a will of steel.
Centered in the gallery rests a motorcycle, a relic of someone whose absence has been palpable since she left the realm of the living in 2019. Barbara Hammer is the subject of a museum-quality show, albeit in a gallery, curated by Tiona Nekkia McClodden. Marking the opening of Company’s new space on Elizabeth Street, this exhibition is steeped in rigorous research and careful preparation on par with any large institutional endeavor. Acutely aware that she herself would no longer be here to witness it, Hammer chose McClodden, without the latter’s knowledge, as a possible curator for this show. Viewing exhibition-making as an art practice in its own right, McClodden has long been invested in research-based projects that use installation as a kind of portraiture. Primarily focusing on Black queer genealogies, the artist is known (among many other things) for her curatorial interventions focusing on the poet Essex Hemphill (Affixing Ceremony: Four Movements for Essex, 2015) and the composer Julius Eastman (Julius Eastman: That Which Is Fundamental, 2017).
Satterwhite has explored the boundaries of new media throughout his prolific decade-long career, drawing on the visual language of video games, art history and queer theory to create futuristic landscapes where science fiction and personal narrative intertwine. Both political and deeply intimate, his immersive visual worlds operate with their own internal syntax and logic—a dense symbolic lexicon that has continued to grow in both scope and ambition over the years.
“Tong,” says Paris Hilton, stretching her glossy lips around the unfamiliar sound. In Hilton’s Netflix series, Cooking with Paris, released this past August, the heiress invites celebrity pals over to her mansion to haphazardly prepare atrocious looking meals while vaguely discussing their friendship and unforgettable nights out on the town. As I watched the show, I was reminded of Martha Rosler’s six-minute video, Semiotics of the Kitchen (1975), a staple of most college art history classes and a prominent feminist art piece. Rosler performs a cooking demonstration in which she identifies kitchen utensils before aggressively misusing them, a transgression of the signs and symbols associated with domesticity.
Though they maintain separate practices, Chris Johanson and Johanna Jackson regularly collaborate on hand-hewn pieces that are subtly autobiographical.
Los Angeles filmmaker Pat O’Neill had only ever been inside the Ambassador Hotel once in his life before he began work on a project about the building that would absorb him for years. It was the 1950s. He was a boy. And his great-grandfather was visiting from Kansas.
“He was a grand sort of person,” O’Neill says of his great-grandfather. “He stayed there, and we went to visit him and have dinner with him.” At that point, the Ambassador, which had opened its doors in 1921, was more than three decades old. “It already was quite worn,” he recalls.
He hardly could have imagined then what would become of the building — or that he would spend years in the 1990s working on a film that would take place within its walls.
The National Academy of Design (NAD)--the venerable New York-based association of artists and architects established in 1825--has announced the induction of eight new National Academicians. The artists Julie Mehretu, Rashid Johnson, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Joanne Greenbaum, Joanna Pousette-Dart, Gary Simmons, Peter Halley and the architect Andrew Freear join more than 400 international NAD members.
On September 20th at Art Basel Unlimited, Mitchell-Innes & Nash (New York), Mai 36 Galerie (Zurich), Maureen Paley (London) and Esther Schipper (Berlin) will jointly present AIDS Cross (1991/2021), the most recent of General Idea’s history of AIDS works in various media. All four galleries will additionally present works by General Idea in their respective fair booths, alongside a suite of works by their other represented artist.
For many, existential uncertainty can be paralysing. Quite the opposite goes for Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist Jacolby Satterwhite, though. In fact, it’s a force that’s driven his practice forward over the past decade, through illustration, music production, performance, painting, sculpture, photography, virtual reality, video game design, writing and more. Restless as that may seem, all of these strands braid together in Jacolby Satterwhite: Spirits Roaming on the Earth, the first major monographic survey of his work that just opened at the Miller Institute for Contemporary Art at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
On the occasion of the three solo exhibitions dedicated to the drawing of Silvia Bächli, Allyson Strafella and Jessica Stockholder in the spaces of the Galleria Raffaella Cortese in Milan in via Stradella 7, 4 and 1, we interviewed one of the most important and influential protagonists of the international art scene.
AA Bronson: We moved here eight years ago, on Valentine's Day 2013. I was invited to participate in something called the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program (German: Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD), which is a fellowship program by which they invite artists to come and live and work in Berlin for a year. They give you a studio and allow you to bring your family, whoever that might be. It's an amazing program.
During his more than 40-year career, Chicago artist Pope.L has explored power disparities in language, gender, race, community and the environment across many mediums and disciplines. His exhibition with Modern Art centers on Skin Set, an ongoing project involving a number of text-inflected works that consider the construction of language, identity and stereotype as notation, holes and— frequently— humor.
MARIO PÉREZ: Curators are supposed to elaborate a kind of narrative discourse on the works shown at an exhibition but, did it happen that your work was included in any exhibition and you though the curatorship had nothing to do with the image you made?
ANNETTE LEMIEUX: If I am understanding your question correctly – a very long time ago a curator wanted to include my work in an exhibition that was about abstraction. I refused to be part of the exhibition, as my work wasn’t abstract in my mind. the relationship ended badly.
On August 14, Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Institute for Contemporary Art will debut Jacolby Satterwhite’s “Spirits Roaming on the Earth,” the first solo survey of the artist’s work. It’s one of several projects that Satterwhite — who incorporates animation, performance, drawing, and other mediums — has coming down the pipeline: Along with the Miller ICA show, he’ll return to painting with a group show at MoMA PS1 and is at work on his first public art project for the Cleveland Clinic.
Artist Jacolby Satterwhite’s first large-scale monographic exhibition is opening at Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Institute for Contemporary Art on August 14, marking a major milestone in the artist’s career.
But big shows like this aren’t all glory. Satterwhite now counts dozens of exhibitions to his name all over the world, including at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, the Gwangju Biennale, and Pioneer Works in Brooklyn (where he lives), and they take a ton of work.
Pope.L’s exhibition with Modern Art centers on his ongoing project, Skin Set, a constantly growing and shifting group of text-inflected works across many media that consider the construction of language, identity and stereotype as notation, hole and frequently absurdity and humour. The show, installed on both floors of the gallery, contains video, silkscreen, assemblage, floor pieces and paintings made between 2015 and 2021. On view are several medicine cabinets originally shown at the University of Chicago’s Neubauer Collegium earlier this year.
One of the most promising young artists working today is Marcus Leslie Singleton, a Brooklyn-based painter whose work depicts the intimacy of Black communities in daily life. His figures, often joyful and familiar with one another, lounge on living room sofas or play cards beneath the shade of a mammoth patio umbrella. They shoot hoops in a sun-filled neighborhood basketball court and chat with friends at the local deli, mulling over buying a lotto ticket. In his work, Singleton distills, down to the moment, the parallel realities of Black joy and hardship with a kind of immediacy that is at once poignant and hopeful, love-filled and close-knit. Artnet News recently sat down with Singleton, who describes his work as an ongoing examination of “time and the Black body,” to hear about his new show at the Pit L.A., what he needs in his studio to make his work come together, and more.
For a long time, if anyone ever asked for his contact details, Pope.L would produce a business card proclaiming him to be “The Friendliest Black Artist in America”. Sure enough, when he pops up on a video call from his ramshackle studio in Chicago, the performance artist and painter is amenable and thoughtful. In trucker cap and checked shirt, he shifts between smiles and pensive frowns as we track his journey from “difficult” childhood to one of America’s foremost artists, whose work deals with race, economics and language.
We've been enjoying the editions coming through the newly launched platform Variable Editions, and are happy to see them putting out another release, this time with Marcus Leslie Singleton. Aiming to offer unique, yet more affordable works by the sought-out artists while having a charity side of their efforts, their next drop with the Seattle-born and NY-based artist will benefit Nazareth Housing NYC. "Currently, my work is a reflection on reality," Singleton wrote in the statement accompanying this release. "The thinking behind the work is to make something that has occurred at a certain point, specifically this strange, clouded time we’re all experiencing, atemporal. I don’t wish to make the memories, however painful, joyful, or graphic outlast time, my aim is to be truthful and as transparent through my art as I can so that in effect the thought inscribed in the work outlasts the constraints of time, and maybe that gets us somewhere." And such an approach to creating imagery seems to be fitting perfectly with Variable Editions' concept of creating unique works based on the same, screen-printed image.
Down the street, in the posh, wood-paneled drawing room of the Neubauer Collegium gallery, Pope.L framed out a scrappy room-within-a-room to display five small paintings. The floor was covered in rolls of construction paper taped together at the seams; the walls and ceiling were made of two-by-fours; mirrored medicine cabinets, their doors hanging open, housed the canvases and still wore cling film, which quivered in the breeze generated by tower fans. Also fluttering were hundreds of disposable face masks dangling from the rafters, like festive paper banners—but not. The overall impression was of a medical construction project riskily abandoned halfway through.
In the gallery’s third exhibition on the late Op Art innovator Julian Stanczak, Mitchell-Innes and Nash has honed in on 10 large-scale, multi-panel paintings that capture the artist’s proclivity for working in series. A rare approach among other standard-bearers of the movement, seriality reflects how Stanczak’s entrancing abstractions were grounded in observation of natural phenomena, such as the way light gradates from dawn to dusk or autumn shifts to spring. This connection takes the show’s sensual pleasures beyond the realm of good vibes and grounds them in something more knowable, tangible, and memorable.
Each of the 12 large-scale paintings in Keltie Ferris’s exhibition “FEEEEELING” is set within a handmade frame, and all of them were made in the past year. Considered together, the paintings act as an inventory of the innovative techniques the artist has used over the past decade. A series of looping monochrome compositions made with graphite give way to compact geometric assemblages, which are interspersed with multilayered paintings made by imprinting canvas onto canvas. This is Ferris’s trip down memory lane, but the works still feel fresh.
After more than a year without art fairs, Frieze New York is back. But this highly anticipated pandemic-era edition looked a little different. Rather than setting up shop in the usual sprawling tent on Randall’s Island, some 60 international galleries occupied the Shed, the multidisciplinary performing arts space in Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s West Side.
Founded in 1969 by the artists AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, the collective General Idea made heady but playful work that dealt with sex, art, money, and the AIDS crisis. This solo presentation offers a scattershot but substantive introduction to the group’s oeuvre. Their signature poodles appear both in cheerfully self-aware drawings with mounds of pasta-like curls and on canvas in a discreet ménage-à-trois.
The cross-Atlantic partnership between New York’s Mitchell-Innes & Nash and Berlin’s Esther Schipper has resulted in an excellent booth devoted to the output of
General Idea, the collective formed in 1969 by AA Bronson, Felix Partz, and Jorge Zontal. The presentation features some of their most distinctive works, like their paintings and drawings of frollicking, frilly poodles (priced between $15,000 and $168,000), and their darkly comic 1992 group self-portrait Playing Doctor (priced at $150,000). The work was created at the height of the AIDS crisis that would ultimately claim Partz’s and Zontal’s lives. The booth’s centerpiece is the set of nine abstract panels El Dorado Series (1992), an abstracted interpretation of 18th-century Spanish caste paintings that sought to establish a hierarchy among ethnic groups in South America.
“Being a part of the circus is being born into this world,” said Marcus Leslie Singleton regarding his first solo exhibition, “Circusland,” at Turn Gallery in 2019. Across a series of twelve oil-on-panel works for this new show, Singleton traded the spectacle of acrobats and unicyclists for pointed yet subtle observations about contemporary Black life. Each of Singleton’s “Bubble Paintings” (2020–21) features ovoids—which double as cocoons, apparitions, or entrapments—set against colorful backgrounds with willowy leaves and branches. The forms evoke the visual language of comics and graphic novels: a world within a world, but with Black figures inside. In the press release, Singleton articulates this formal choice as reflecting a kind of exhausting duplicity—“how you could be physically somewhere and mentally in a different space.” Moreover, his approach highlights the anxieties of the African American experience, in which one is “policed and praised in the same breath.”
This article appeared in the April 26, 2021, issue of New York Magazine.
Thomas J. Lax: AA, Thank you for speaking with Christophe and me. Can you tell us where you are—and, perhaps a more complex question—how are you?
AA Bronson: Greetings, always a pleasure! I am in Berlin, with my husband Mark, in our rambling Berlin apartment on Fasanenstrasse—before the Wall came down, and even before that, this was the heart of Berlin’s art and culture world, but now it is pleasantly old-fashioned, with gas street-lamps, small auction houses and galleries, spreading chestnut trees, and a generous population of Russian expats. And despite the pandemic and the almost constant lockdown, we are okay here. To be truthful, my life—as an old man—has not changed that much. Except that my occasional forays into Berlin nightlife regretfully have come to an end.
In 1942 Ben Shahn, employed by the United States Office of War Information to create propaganda in support of the Allied cause, borrowed imagery from his fellow artists for a series of five posters depicting the “methods of the enemy.” “Suppression” was represented by Edward Millman’s We Must Win!, 1942–45, a rendering of a gaunt visage gagged by a swastika-emblazoned cloth; Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s Torture, 1943, featured a scarred muscular figure whose hands are bound behind his back. Käthe Kollwitz’s 1923 lithograph of begging children allegorized “starvation,” while Bernard Perlin’s exquisite lifeless female head provided an unsettling emblem for “murder.” For his contribution, titled Slavery, Shahn adapted his own 1935 Resettlement Administration photograph of Sam Nichols, a white tenant farmer in Boone County, Arkansas. In the illustration, the artist deepens his subject’s skin tone and fences him in with barbed wire. Conveying the war effort as part of a universal struggle for human dignity and liberation, the posters—deemed too challenging for their conceived purpose—were never reproduced. All five, however, are depicted side by side in Shahn’s gouache-and-tempera painting We Fight for a Free World!, ca. 1942, and appear as though they’ve been tacked onto a brick wall graffitied with the canvas’s title.
This work inspired “We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz.” Invited by the Jewish Museum in 2017 to respond to the resurgence of anti-Semitic violence in the US, Horowitz, following Shahn’s example, expanded the curatorial scope to embrace broader movements against racism, oppression, and ethnonationalism, presenting his own art in heteroglossic congress with work by more than seventy contemporary and historical artists.
Winding through a one-mile stretch of the University of Houston’s park-like campus is a series of colorful, bright, large-scale sculptures, offering visitors an emotional lift and escape to fun. Lace up your most comfortable shoes and feel the joy of color in “Color Field,” open to the public through May 31. Presented by Public Art of the University of Houston System (Public Art UHS), “Color Field” is an outdoor temporary exhibition featuring 13 works of art by seven contemporary artists.
After nearly a full year of closure, the University of Chicago’s Neubauer Collegium will reopen its gallery to the public—doing so with a new exhibition from acclaimed artist Pope.L.
On display through May 16, My Kingdom for a Title features recent work by Pope.L, a scholar in UChicago’s Department of Visual Arts. The show contains allusions to the COVID-19 crisis with a degree of directness that is unusual in Pope.L’s work, which is often elusive and ambiguous.
The art world of today is an arena of confrontation, encounter, conflict, and also imagination for Black people. This is true in relation to questions of representation in contemporary art itself as well as in relation to the politics of the spaces where art is gathered, collected, and shown. After all, what we call visuality is not neutral, it is not simply looking, it is a regime of how to see and where one is located on that scale of seeing and being that is founded in the logic of the plantation. La Tanya Autry, cofounder of the advocacy initiative Museums Are Not Neutral, writes succinctly about museums and this power.
Meaty and heady, Eddie Martinez’s densely packed paintings, rich with associations and imagery—all in the form of quotidian objects, sports paraphernalia, kitchen and dining items, art-history fragments—refuse to commit to a specific time or style. Martinez’s sensibility is part of a diffuse modernist past—Dada, Fluxus, Neo Realism, Cubism, Surrealism, food art, and so on—as well as a huge sampling of the contemporary zeitgeist, including skateboards and graffitied walls. In a canvas titled Embarcadero 88 (2020), frightening black-outlined, ghostlike faces stare out at us like terrified immigrants or victims of a natural disaster, while organic shapes punctuate paintings in the company of board games, lots of flowers, and playing cards.
It's sometimes unfair, as an observer of art, writer or (gulp) a critic to project onto an artist when it comes to intention or what you want from their work. I've tried to avoid it, but sometimes you have to recognize when you have borrowed a thought, or an observation, from an artist. I had this with Eddie Martinez a few years back, in the midst of an interview with him for the magazine. We were talking about his famed blockheads, but mostly we spoke about volume and process; this idea of "exhausting compositions." I loved it; the phrase felt so visual. He said, "But someone like Picasso, not only was he making all kinds of work in different mediums all the time, he was also exhausting the same sort of compositions and imagery because he just felt like they were always variable. That's something that has hit me. That's something I just respond to with his work right away because it feels natural to me anyway. And seeing someone who did it their whole life sort of gave me more confidence to do it."
Portland, Oregon-based artist, musician, skater and surfer Chris Johanson has teamed up with Vans for a sustainable capsule that encourages you to “Be Cool to Your Living World.” Consisting of five sneakers plus several pieces of apparel, the offerings from Johanson and the California-based footwear behemoth practice what they preach thanks to mindful materials like eco-rubber compounds, organically grown cotton and much more.
Jonathan Horowitz’s art has long turned a critical eye toward American politics, but it took on new urgency in the Trump era. His altered photographic image of the former president golfing into a fiery hellscape became an instant symbol of our apocalyptic political era, with critic Jerry Saltz suggesting it become Trump’s “official presidential portrait to hang in all federal buildings, courthouses, and post offices.”
Most recently, Horowitz organized a timely exhibition at the Jewish Museum, titled “We Fight to Build a Free World” (through February 14), which looks at artistic responses to authoritarianism, anti-Semitism, and racism throughout history, including work by artists such as Kara Walker, Judith Bernstein, and Glenn Ligon.
When you step into the Jewish Museum’s current show, “We Fight to Build a Free World, An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz,” on view through February 7, 2021, you will be surrounded by a visual mash-up. In the first room, floor to ceiling wallpaper of Andy Warhol portraits, arrayed in photobooth-like strips, creates a hyper-energetic backdrop. On one wall hangs Bernard Perlin’s rendering, painted in the meticulous style he developed as an artist correspondent for Life and Fortune magazines in the 1940s, of two Orthodox Jewish boys standing behind a grafitti-covered newspaper kiosk. Across the room, is the colossal African-American artist Robert Colescott’s raucous and vitriolic 1975 “George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware.”
The most difficult thing to do is to make art during civil unrest and the collapse of capitalism in the world,” says artist Jacolby Satterwhite. And yet he has still managed to make art —a lot of it. In 2019 alone, Satterwhite, who specializes in the creation of futuristic, Hieronymous Bosch-like dreamscapes, held two solo exhibitions: one as the artist-in-residence at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia (a title previously held by the likes of Louise Bourgeois, Carrie Mae Weems, and Chris Burden), and another at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, a showstopper that featured expansive works reworking recordings and drawings from his late mother, who suffered from schizophrenia.
Originally made 20 years ago, Justine Kurland’s captivating series Girl Pictures was this year made available via a publication from Aperture. Inspired by girl bands like The Runaways, Kurland brings us into an idyllic world where her “standing army” of teen girl runaways have decamped across the United States to create their own utopian community built on living in harmony with nature and one another. “If you simply refuse to grow up and toe the line – why would you want to, anyway? – you can create a world for yourself, one that’s bearable to live in,” Kurland said.
The multimedia artist Jacolby Satterwhite’s magnificent first show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in October was an engulfing sci-fi pastoral that included a large digital video projection densely populated with sexy androgynous avatars and other groups of creatures and humans performing Mr. Satterwhite’s angular choreography, smashing disco-ball meteorites or just standing around looking cool.
EACH DECEMBER, Artforum invites a group of distinguished critics, curators, and artists from around the world to consider the year in art. Ten contributors count down their top ten highlights of 2020, while three others select the single exhibition or event that, for them, rose above the rest.
Cecily Brown’s new paintings, Sam Gilliam’s sculptures and monochromes, Gideon Appah’s otherworldly vistas, Tishan Hsu’s first museum survey and works from the Purvis Young trove.
Gerasimos Floratos lives and works near Times Square, in the diverse and vibrant neighbourhood of Hell’s Kitchen. His Greek-American parents run a Deli there; the artist has set up his studio downstairs, connected to the outside world only by basement windows through which he can just perceive the feet of passers-by and bustle of the city.
As both an internal production tool and observation point of the outside, the studio has become the matrix of his work, which oscillates between the private and the public, between isolation and togetherness.
Patricia was the first member of the Satterwhite family you met upon entering the Chelsea location of Mitchell-Innes & Nash. You heard her singing over the speakers and saw her handwriting transcripted into bright neon signs and handwritten notes hung with archival care. You interacted with Patricia’s ideas before you saw the work of her son Jacolby, whose innovative work in sculpture, video, and music transferred Patricia’s visions into the digital age in his recent exhibition We Are in Hell When We Hurt Each Other.
From Los Angeles to New York, thousands of Americans took to the streets to celebrate Joseph Biden’s victory in the US election on Saturday, as his slowly growing lead in Pennsylvania finally secured him the necessary Electoral College votes to win the presidency, and remove Donald Trump from office after a single term. There was a similar outpouring of positive reactions from the art world for the new President-Elect and his running mate, former California senator Kamala Harris—along with caveats that there are still pressing issues that need to be resolved across the country. “The frogs have managed to jump out of the boiling pot just in time,” the artist Martha Rosler told The Art Newspaper, sharing the photo collage she made, above.
Marcus Leslie Singleton’s paintings use color and space to make the events of contemporary political life atemporal; to investigate the enduring emotional, intellectual, and experiential conditions that lie beneath the stories of our lives. Singleton is interested in the emotional and energetic resonances that his expressionistic use of color and shape can create. He elicits an affective response from the viewer, and prioritizes the imagining that art makes possible: he aims to step from the familiar Black monolith and define Blackness from an unknowing, atemporal space, as blank canvas. Aiming to ‘widen the peripheral of what this time means to us and our spirits,’ in his own words, the artist sets out to begin conversations and inquisitions not only for his audience, but within himself.
“We Are In Hell When We Hurt Each Other,” Jacolby Satterwhite’s latest solo exhibition at Mitchell-Innes and Nash, marks a beginning, a continuation, and an ending for the 34-year-old Brooklyn-based artist. It is Satterwhite’s first show with the gallery. But this new body of work represents the third and final iteration of a sprawling, five-year project for him: a concept album that fuses visual and sonic elements through performance, video, virtual reality, drawing, and sculpture. Satterwhite’s genre-transcending work has always been ahead of its time. But now, released during this period of social isolation, civic unrest, and technological transformation, it has never felt more appropriately of the moment.
Artists Pope.L, Catherine Sullivan, and I work together at the University of Chicago where we have each spent many hours engaging with the artwork of our students. The following conversation grows from my great respect for their thinking as I have come to know them over the past nine years. Both allow themselves to be vulnerable as they orchestrate with affection and humility encounters with others in search of their subjects. I am moved by their bravery. In contrast to their training in theater, mine was focused on visual arts. This contrast, like dye added to cells in a petri dish, makes visible the ways in which our formative experiences influence the contours of our thinking.
My own work is heavily influenced by psychoanalytic theory and practice, in which I find openings to understand how meaning accumulates in flexible layers. I wondered if theater methodology provides a similar architecture for making sense of the complexity of human being. Perhaps all three of us are engaged in an effort to build a shared infrastructure that is in contrast to the rigidity of propaganda and our current polarized political situation.
Former Solange collaborator Jacolby Satterwhite shares a special edit of his new film, an homage to Breonna Taylor in which cyber matriarchs fight oppressive orbs. The artist talks to Playboy about surviving 2020 and concluding his queer utopian trilogy.
It was a curator’s worst nightmare. Last March, just days before opening, with labels mounted and press previews planned, We Fight to Build a Free World, a comprehensive and powerful exhibition curated by the artist Jonathan Horowitz at New York’s Jewish Museum, was postponed until further notice – one of the many culture-sector casualties of Covid-19. “The exhibition came about through an invitation from the Jewish Museum to make a project addressing the resurgence of antisemitism in the country,” says Horowitz, who explains that, in thinking about themes and parameters, he wanted to contextualize antisemitism both historically and through the violence and bigotry directed toward many other marginalized groups.
When Justine Kurland first started staging photographs of girls play-acting as runaways and castoffs in the late 1990s, setting them loose in woods and beaches and highways to do what teenagers do, she had Holden and Huckleberry on the mind. She was activating an alluring yet flawed mythology of exploration and self-sufficiency, recasting it with girls as the protagonists for once. Her subjects are puckish adolescents at a precipice in their lives. They come in twos or threes or tens; they wear tank tops and baggy jeans, hair loose, sometimes shoeless, their very own band of lost girls fleeing from adulthood itself.
As a retrospective opens at Tate Modern, we speak to Rashid Johnson, Jacolby Satterwhite and Adham Faramawy about the enduring appeal of the 78-year-old artist's work
At Mitchell-Innes & Nash, new media artist Jacolby Satterwhite offers a tribute to Taylor via an immersive video installation that posits a post-pandemic, post-revolution world in which fembots use ritual and movement as tools of resistance to oppression.
What does selfhood mean during times of extreme isolation? This is only one of the many thought-provoking questions that Myselves, opening on September 11th at Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles, might be able to answer. The group exhibition, curated by Joshua Friedman, features over twenty-five established and emerging contemporary artists who use their medium as a means to examine the various ways that our environment shapes our identity. For Heidi Hahn, a New-York based artist whose painting Woman I Know, Woman I've Seen, 2020, explores selfhood in the context of female sexuality and isolation which will be featured in the group show, "most of the time the women exist in a solitary headspace, untouchable and unknowable" she added "perhaps this time has just personified those ideas for me". That being said, this year’s events have made it more difficult for Hahn to engage in her work. “I find it hard to put aside a pandemic and political unrest and carry on creating something that resides in an intellectual framework and trades in a formalism devoid of the present reality”.
New York’s Studio Museum in Harlem has announced its 2020–21 artists-in-residence, the New York Times reports. The prestigious program, which was established in 1968 and typically fosters rising talent, will take place remotely this year, and will for the first time include a mid-career artist, in an attempt to provide mentorship and cultivate generational exchange.
The four participating artists are photographers Widline Cadet and Texas Isaiah, painter Genesis Jerez, and established artist Jacolby Satterwhite, whose work combines video, performance, and animation.
The Studio Museum in Harlem’s artist-in-residence program is renowned for identifying talented emerging artists and helping them achieve wider recognition. This year, the program, which will take place digitally, is expanding to include a mid-career mentoring resident in addition to the usual three residents.
Joining the program in 2020–21 are Texas Isaiah, Genesis Jerez, and Widline Cadet, as well as Jacolby Satterwhite in the mid-career role. Satterwhite, who enjoys a level of institutional support already, will work in a mentoring capacity to the other residents.
This year, as the coronavirus scrambles the landscape, the museum is leaning into change. Its 2020-21 residencies, announced Thursday, will take place remotely. Two of the selected artists, Widline Cadet and Texas Isaiah, are photographers; another, Genesis Jerez, works in painting and mixed media. And there will be a fourth, midcareer resident, Jacolby Satterwhite, adding a veteran component to a residency known for announcing — and anointing — new talent.
Pope.L has worked in painting, performance, installation. An incisive cultural observer and artist of intervention, he may best be known for his performance pieces with people crawling on sidewalks and streets. His recent solo exhibitions include “member: Pope.: 1978-2001” at the Museum of Modern Art (2019), “Conquest” with the Public Art Fund in New York (2019), and “Choir” at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2019-20).
There are few artists whose work is more in demand right now than Eddie Martinez. The Brooklyn-based painter’s large, thickly impastoed canvases—some figurative, some abstract, and most somewhere in between—have been winning over dealers, collectors, and curators for the better part of two decades. In the last three years, that deep-rooted support has metastasized into a rapidly accelerating and global market.
Pope.L’s I-Machine (2014–20) has a handmade, provisional appearance that conveys a sense of a thing in a state of ongoing and perhaps hopeless becoming. The artist describes the work as a “self-blinding contraption… self-blinding because its function is to encourage unknowledge or ignorance or, at best, reflection on ignorance and doubt. by encourage, i mean, when one is in the presence of this assembly, one should feel prodded toward opacity, uselessness, dumbness and incompleteness rather than transparency, smarty-pantsness and wholeness.”
In this new series, The Artists, an installment of which will publish every day this week and regularly thereafter, T will highlight a recent or little-shown work by a Black artist, along with a few words from that artist, putting the work into context. Today, we’re looking at a piece by Pope.L, who’s known for his paintings, performances and installations that often explore themes of endurance alongside the history of race in America.
To accompany the release of their latest album, ”Notes on a Conditional Form,” The 1975 and director Ben Ditto commissioned 15 artists to respond to 15 tracks. The animator Jacolby Satterwhite was one of those artists, tapped to create a video for the song “Having No Head.”