The freedom she feels is palpable as you wander through “Digital Thoughts,” Jessica Stockholder’s laser-sharp exhibition at 1301PE gallery in L.A. Each of Stockholder’s 11 inventive assemblages is out of this world — if not from another planet then at least from far out in space. Some of Stockholder’s constellations of unrelated objects and materials are no bigger than notepads. Some are large, about the size of tents or picnic tables.
When Yugoslavia broke with the Soviet Union in 1948, it jettisoned Socialist Realism in favor of its ostensible antithesis, modernist abstraction. The de facto state style of the 1950s and ’60s was what the literary critic Sveta Lukić called “socialist aestheticism”: an art-for-art’s-sake modernism that stressed formal experimentation above all else, projecting an image of enlightened liberalism as a counterpoint to Soviet dogmatism. Croatian artist Julije Knifer (1924–2004) responded to this affirmative milieu with black irony, riffing on geometric abstraction in “anti-paintings” characterized by a deliberately meaningless monotony. Knifer spent virtually his entire career painting a single motif: a meander pattern formed from interlocking right angles.
Twenty-four monumental drawings of exquisite detail will be divided into two exhibitions at Vielmetter Los Angeles, with the second chapter of Karl Haendel's presentation opening on 15 February 2020. Each drawing captures the intimate interlocking of hands, between Haendel and his ex-wife—an alternative to portraiture that he expresses as having a powerful, 'embodied sculptural presence', which he eventually expanded to include the hands of his friends.
The very ethics of entering a dynamic work come into question with Jacolby Satterwhite’s Vintage Paradise, a 360-degree video in which viewers are treated to a repository of the artist’s personal images and objects, decorated with numerous sketches of proposed inventions by the artist’s late mother that have been extruded into 3-D.
POPE.L WALKS INTO A ROOM. Hair looks good. Everybody knows Pope.L’s hair be looking dry and wild but maybe Pope.L’s supposed to be unkempt. Pope.L walks right up to me, has something to say important, not conversational, not in a conversational tone he starts talking in an urgent manner. I do take note of people’s appearances, most everybody’s in the way when they come up to me to say something, I don’t pretend not to look. Pope.L starts talking to me like we’re familiar so I figured I forgot and knew Pope.L from before but I never forget a face even though since I gave birth I can’t remember shit I can’t recall words like I used to.
AMONG THE VIDEOS ON DISPLAY in “member: Pope.L, 1978–2001,” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, many of which are grainy documents of Pope.L’s experimental theater works, is Egg Eating Contest (Basement version), 1990, a piece first performed in East Orange, New Jersey, in which the artist appears as a sort of emasculated black nationalist strutting around a cellar in a tattered black tunic.
Artists often adopt personas in their work — master painter, trickster, savant — and you can see this in the 13 performances of the maverick artist William Pope.L at the Museum of Modern Art. And he uses the characters in his show, “member: Pope.L, 1978-2001,” to critique race and class in the United States.
800 gallons of water is an abstract concept, until you see its volume cascade before your eyes into a cavernous holding tank. Then, that amount of water becomes visceral. It’s mesmerizing to sit before a specific amount of water, and contemplate the ways we use, exploit, and waste this most important of resources on a regular basis. This is the experience of witnessing Choir (2019), artist Pope.L’s gallery-filling installation currently on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Wadden trained as a painter, but he has been working exclusively as a weaver for almost a decade now, producing textiles by hand. Ten new examples were on view in his recent exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, “Second Life.” All but one were variations on a single theme, consisting of vertical compositions bisected by diagonals formed by transitions between different colors of yarn.
Rosler’s unmatched ability to wield consumer culture’s opulence against itself made for a visually festive retrospective. But sober critique unites the Semiotics of the Kitchen star’s half century of uninhibited Conceptualism; her early photomontage series “House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home,” ca. 1967–72, with its plush interiors and window views of carnage, still stuns.
Lefcourt’s apparently ice-cold, algorithmically rendered paintings paradoxically unearth vital questions about formlessness and uncertainty. A plotter-guided line, dragged by machine across the surface of the canvas, extracted and extruded delicate tonal information about embedded mineral deposits—that is, paint stains. Like the vast landscapes of the Hudson River School, but with the human–God axis replaced by a material–digital one, these works probe the limit of any attempt to appropriate nature’s generative and entropic behavior.
A pirate wench with the head of Martin Luther King Jr hangs upside-down from the ceiling, her bosom partially exposed, on the stand of Mitchell-Innes & Nash at Art Basel in Miami Beach. The ghostly figure also leaks a chocolate substance mixed with the paint thinner Floetrol. Altogether, the statue A Vessel in a Vessel in a Vessel and So On (2007), by the artist Pope.L, is a comment on the toxicity of black stereotypes. The technician who installed the eye-popping creation says that the dangerous-if-consumed liquid seeps out for three seconds at a time. Best to seek refreshments elsewhere.
“I got my own cultural anorexia,” the performance and visual artist Pope.L (formerly known as William Pope.L) wrote in his 1997 manifesto, “Notes on Crawling Piece,” declaring what he deemed a binge-and-purge relationship to modern art (despite the clinically inaccurate metaphor). “It’s kinda racy, / I get down on my belly and crawl till I’m reality.”
This 1988 installation by the artist collective General Idea, founded in 1969 by A.A. Bronson (pictured), Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, serves up a critique of the rising influence of mass media on culture on a set of 144 porcelain sushi plates. The colour bars printed on the plates are based on the trademarked test pattern found on television screens.
I’m dramatic,” artist Jacolby Satterwhite tells me, tearing up, one Monday afternoon in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn. Two weeks before the opening of his solo show, You’re at home, at Pioneer Works, we’re sitting behind a desktop computer in his temporary studio, a floor above where his digital performances and 3D-printed sculptures will be exhibited.
Pope.L has perfected crawling as his particular kind of disruption. He has traversed a substantial portion of New York City (and parts of Europe) on his hands, knees, stomach, and elbows, wearing everything from a Superman costume to a sports jersey and Nike sneakers. For his inaugural crawl, in 1978, the artist slowly made his way down Forty-second Street, passing Times Square, wearing a pin-striped suit with a yellow square stitched onto its back.
Imagine that all the works of Jacolby Satterwhite are the suspirations of a single, continuous world. A world in which everything flows and reality has assimilated the smooth transitions, bends, and breaks of dance music. A world where all things touch ends if you change their tempos enough and there are no hierarchies of scale or value.
In 1978, Pope.L got on his hands and knees in a suit and safety vest, and made his way through the bustling crowds of Midtown Manhattan. Titled Times Square Crawl a.k.a. Meditation Square Piece, his performance combined a disturbance in public space with abjection and perverse humor, setting the tone for his subsequent experiments with what it means to make art and move through the world as a black man.
Patricia Satterwhite, too, was an artist without a public, without a means of access to the infrastructure and institutions that would have made her the star Jacolby says she dreamed of becoming. Before she died in 2016, she had lived with schizophrenia. Throughout her life she incessantly wrote pop lyrics in big letters on unlined white pages and sang them into a cassette recorder; she drew pages and pages and pages worth of inventions that she wanted to fabricate and sell on a home-shopping TV network.
Pope.L deals in place, space, and traces. Since the 1970s, the artist has created provocative interventions in public spaces and work that experiments with language and material. With an affinity for the trope of the “trickster,” his work often provokes reconsiderations of societal conventions through an adjacency with the absurd.
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, artist Jacolby Satterwhite spent his formative years traversing the virtual reality of 90s pop culture. He owned numerous games consoles, among them a Game Gear, Sega Genesis, SNES, 32X, Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation, and was obsessed with the music videos of Janet Jackson. At 11, he got his first computer, and by 13, Satterwhite was building websites.
Pope.L's absurdist exploits are the focus of an important new retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue are worthy testaments to the artist's unique talent, while also inspiring the viewer to consider how Pope.L's provocative interrogations of economic inequality and racial prejudice can be models for political engagement more broadly.
Monica Bonvicini: I was a student at the Berlin University of the Arts in the West when the Berlin Wall fell. That night, I went with some fellow students to Brandenburger Tor, where I stayed all night long. At some point I went home but I could not sleep so I went back out on my bike. From the western districts of Wilmersdorf through Tiergarten, everything was crowded with people—it was maybe Berlin’s first Love Parade.
Before turning to weaving 15 years ago in Berlin, the Vancouver-based artist Brent Wadden trained as a painter at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Now his large-scale woven panels are the subject of his third exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. The works exude a painterly air, showcasing dimension and movement with linear lines and subtle variations in thread colors that imbue precision with personality.
‘I feel crazy,’ joked artist Jacolby Satterwhite after opening his first and second solo museum exhibitions, in two different cities, just two weeks apart. To realize his labour-intensive, hyper-baroque vision in ‘Room for Living’, at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, and ‘You’re at Home’ at Pioneer Works in New York, Satterwhite had disappeared for several months from the New York queer scene in which he is a prominent fixture.
The relationship between architecture and patriarchal systems, and how the shaping of public space has been impacted as a consequence, has long been at the core of Monica Bonvicini’s work. Curated by Nicola Ricciardi and Samuele Piazza, ‘As Walls Keep Shifting’ comprises a plain wooden prefab structure simulating a typical Italian villetta (semi-detached house) furnished with works by the artist.
At the end of August, Gerasimos Floratos came out to stay with me on Fire Island, where I’d been spending the summer. We’d had similar vacation encounters before – at my home in the California redwoods, and on the Greek island of Kefalonia, where Floratos occasionally lives and works.
Since the late 1970s, Pope.L has worked in performance, video, drawing, installation, sculpture and teaching, troubling facile readings of the machinations that govern the relationships between race, labour, capitalism and materiality. His practice traverses genres in an attempt to reckon with everything from the tenuousness of Black masculinity in public space to the lingering economic effects of post-industrial America.
On Love Will Find a Way Home Jacolby Satterwhite spotlights his very first collaborator: his late mother Patricia. A former party girl and Mary Kay salesgirl, she became a shut-in as her schizophrenia developed, resulting in extended periods of creation. Jacolby remembers growing up in rural South Carolina as a three-year-old, assisting her in diagramming couture gowns and tampons embedded with artificial intelligence, which she drew while binge watching the Home Shopping Network.
Chicago-based Pope.L participated in the 2017 Whitney Biennial and won that year’s Bucksbaum Award. Following his project focused on the water crisis in Flint, Mich., he has created a new installation that further explores the use of water. “Choir” is “inspired by the fountain, the public arena, and John Cage’s conception of music and sound.”
Last Thursday, art enthusiasts gathered at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for “An Evening with Great Women Artists,” a panel discussion moderated by Iria Candela, curator of Latin American Art, between Ghada Amer, Sharon Hayes, Deana Lawson, and Martha Rosler.
At first glance, the placid seascape might blend in with the paintings around it, were it not for the tarlike substance clinging to the panel. The neon sculpture could be mistaken for a similar piece just down the road at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
And it’s hard to look at General Idea’s “Great AIDS (Ultramarine Blue)” stretching 10 feet across a gallery wall without seeing the resemblance to Robert Indiana’s “Love” a block away (sans photo-snapping tourists).
The Chicago-based adept Pope.L is a triple threat in New York this fall, with concurrent shows at the Whitney and moma and a recent Public Art Fund performance for which some hundred and fifty participants put their bodies through punishing paces, re-creating one of his legendary mile-long crawls. Pope.L’s Manhattan gallery pays homage to his body-centric concerns in this dynamic exhibition, which combines text works from his series “Skin Sets” with paintings by a trio of young rising stars: Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Cheyenne Julien, and Tschabalala Self.
You may know Jacolby Satterwhite through his video animations that create immersive, queer, afro-furturistic worlds, or even from his collaboration with Solange earlier this year. However, his most recent exhibition “You’re at home,” a film installation revolving around the artist’s digitally animated series Birds in Paradise, gets more personal.
In the latest video opus of the artist Jacolby Satterwhite, titled Birds of Paradise, sequence after animated sequence delivers a tapestry of fantastical images that, like puzzle pieces, coalesce into a hypnotically intricate yet fully harmonious whole.
Be prepared for sensory overload when you step inside Jacolby Satterwhite’s new show at Brooklyn's Pioneer Works. Centering around his multi-part, digitally animated series Birds in Paradise, You’re at home is an immersive experience that includes video projections, virtual reality and sculpture. It even includes a retail store that sells records by PAT, his collaborative music project with Nick Weiss (of Teengirl Fantasy) which utilizes recordings by Satterwhite’s mother Patricia.
Jacolby Satterwhite has spent the past decade making highly wrought digitally animated science-fiction worlds and irreverent modern dance pieces that draw on vogueing and martial arts. But he considers his two current shows, in New York and Philadelphia, to be “the final draft, conceptually, of what I was trying to say for years.” While Satterwhite has long been known as an art-world generalist, his fall exhibitions show him at his most direct
33-year-old Jacolby Satterwhite, known for channeling biography, eroticism and queer-disco-party energy in his work, is fairly entrenched in New York’s art scene; his late-aughts arrival paralleled those of other DIY, digital-forward entities like early Tumblr, Fitch-Trecartin or DIS mag. But in light of an outpouring of new material, in which Satterwhite revisits and up-scales long-percolating themes, his years of creation seem to have been in service of a larger, now-unfolding artistic crescendo.
The sci-fi fantasias of Japanese video games, the pulsing bodies of E.D.M. raves, the mystical spaces of Nigerian shrines, and the bygone music chain Tower Records all figure into the wildly ingenious new work of the young American artist Jacolby Satterwhite (pictured). On Oct. 4, Pioneer Works, in Brooklyn, opens “You’re at Home,” an exhibition of digital projections, performances, sculptures, and music by the artist, who recently directed an animated music video for the singer Solange.
In artist Jacolby Satterwhite’s digital universe, the possibilities are immense. His decade-long practice has paid tribute to subjects as diverse as the Harlem ball scene, European art history, daytime tele-shopping, queer sexuality and African rituals, merging them into phantasmagorical fuchsia-colored dreamscapes where heaven and hell coexist. The Brooklyn artist’s intricately-crafted universe in 3-D animation, multimedia installation and digital print mixes his deeply personal ties to his mother and circle of friends with a large pool of references that are fascinating, seducing and triggering all at once.
Jacolby Satterwhite, the multimedia artist who recently collaborated with Solange, has long created intricate virtual worlds that burst with a vibrant vision of queerness. For a new exhibition, titled “You’re at home,” at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood, on view until November 24, Satterwhite is debuting a new work, Birds in Paradise, that puts onlookers into a kind of uncanny valley between the recent past and near future, fabricating a music shop in the same vein as the now shuttered Tower Records but that pulsates with larger-than-life dancing Afro-futuristic figures.
Jacolby Satterwhite doesn’t abide by contemporary rules of space and time. In “Blessed Avenue” (all works 2019), he leaps from Philly to Louisiana, from live action to animation, from sex party to Shanghai noodle bar in a single jump cut. Since almost a decade ago Satterwhite taught himself Maya — a 3D animation program that allows him to import video of himself and others into any landscape, any room — he hasn’t stopped moving. Or maybe his pace began before that.
In New York, verticality is the definitive modus operandi. Both buildings and people perpetually strive skyward, driven by tenuous dreams of upward mobility. “But, let us imagine,” the American artist Pope.L proposed to fellow artist Martha Wilson in 1996, “a person who has a job, possesses the means to remain vertical, but chooses momentarily to give up that verticality?”
I lowered my blindfold and got on my hands and knees. Walkie talkies beeped and clipboards clacked. “We’ll be right here if you need anything,” a staffer assured me, stowing my belongings in a rolling cart. “We want to make sure you are safe and comfortable.” I did feel relatively comfortable, considering I was about to crawl along a New York City sidewalk—blindfolded, holding a flashlight, and wearing only one shoe.
Five men and women, each missing a shoe and encumbered with a flashlight in one hand, came belly down to the ground. They began to crawl along the gritty, unsavory New York City sidewalk, led by a marshal perfuming the air and sweeping the ground before them — and serenaded by a trumpeter playing melancholic riffs. The procession stopped traffic and drew people out of shops and restaurants, wondering what was going on.
The crawlers knew where to go by following the sound of a trumpet.
It was bright and early in New York at Corporal John A. Seravalli Playground when a group was congregating to kick off Conquest, artist Pope.L’s performance in which participants would drag themselves across a predetermined path. Organized by the Public Art Fund, this was a new work in a lineage of past “crawl” pieces by Pope.L, who was on hand on Saturday to tell the crowd that he hoped to cause a stir.
Conquest, Pope.L’s most recent performance project, engages his largest and most public cast to date. Commissioned by the Public Art Fund (PAF), the September 21st “crawl” is also more procedurally detailed, and more apparently and explicitly mocking, than previous crawls. When I spoke with Pope.L in late summer, he insisted he was not participating in the crawl, but just as soon acknowledged that he has never been able to keep himself from crawling, at least a little bit, alongside the participants.
Starting at 9:45am on Saturday, winding up in the gutter will take on literal meaning as 140 complete strangers get on their bellies to crawl in the street while fellow New Yorkers cheer them on. No, this isn’t some mas[s]ochistic exercise: It’s a performance piece orchestrated by the multi-media artist known as Pope.L. Conquest, as it’s called, is part of a series of crawls that Pope.L has undertaken over his 40-year career, though it represents something of a departure, since he previously conducted them on his own.
Jacolby Satterwhite has described his current exhibition at Fabric Workshop and Museum as “a dream come true.” You should know that Satterwhite has very strange dreams.
For the last decade, he has been conjuring up complex digital visions that seem at first to be silly and ebullient, like big old-fashioned movie musicals, though with aggressively homoerotic imagery. Naked men fly through the sky on winged horses above realms that change in a flash from fairy-tale candylands to urban hellscapes.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever crawled in New York, but being that low to the ground, you experience all kinds of things,” says Pope.L. And he would know — the 64-year-old performance artist has decades of experience crawling at this point. For his latest piece, “Conquest,” the Newark native recruited some 140 strangers from various boroughs, walks of life, ages, and abilities to crawl, in a relay format, the 25 city blocks from the Corporal John A. Seravalli Playground in the West Village to Union Square.
This Saturday, 140 New Yorkers will get down and seriously dirty in the filthy streets of Manhattan as they crawl on all fours for the sake of a bizarre performance piece about “physical privilege” by veteran “crawl artist” Pope.L. Participants will provide onlookers with an unsettling scene as they slither along a winding, 1 1/2-mile route that starts at Cpl. John A. Seravalli Playground in the West Village and ends on the south steps of Union Square Park, according to a press release.
The interdisciplinary artist Pope.L is the creator of several now-legendary performance-art works that explore the conditions of abjection, black masculinity, and racism with bracing irony. On September 21, 2019, he will orchestrate his latest iteration of these pieces in Lower Manhattan: Entitled Conquest, this performance will involve 140 participants.
As New York’s museums and galleries gear up for their fall and winter rosters, there’s a seasonal sense of anticipation that accompanies all these interlocking proceedings. You never know who or what will emerge from the flurry of offerings to produce something truly essential, and it’s clear that the Whitney Museum of American art, MoMA and the Public Art Fund are confident that “Instigation, Aspiration and Perspiration,” their collective exhibition with the interventionist performance artist Pope.L, will prove to be a deeply thoughtful project. Born in Newark, NJ, Pope.L has spent decades making art that interrogates what cities can produce and who metropolitan areas can disempower.
A new show at the Neubauer Collegium asks viewers to consider the work that goes into flowers from industrial to domestic contexts through the work of Martha Rosler, a conceptual artist and avid gardener who rose to world renown for her feminist art in the 1970s.
Since the 1970s, the artist known as Pope.L has made works that explore racism, poverty, class inequality and consumerism in ways that are sometimes satirical, often biting, but always strangely moving. He is best identified by his “crawls,” in which he drags himself, positioned on his stomach — occasionally dressed in a business suit or as Superman, either alone or with a large group of participants — along the path of a city street. His most ambitious performance of this nature will be on Saturday in New York City: More than 100 people will crawl a one-and-a-half-mile-long route from the West Village to Union Square, passing through the arch of Washington Square Park.
A performance piece in which 140 people will crawl through Greenwich Village is set for Saturday — recreating the artist Pope.L's iconic crawling pieces in New York City.
The performance piece, called "Conquest," forces hand-selected volunteers from a variety of professional backgrounds to crawl through Manhattan's sidewalks, "abandoning their physical privilege, embracing their vulnerability, and expressing the power of collective expression."
Pope.L: Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration, an ambitious triumvirate of exhibitions by the Public Art Fund, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Museum of Modern Art, erupts Saturday with Conquest, his biggest group performance, involving some 140 to 160 people representing the city’s diversity in every manner from race and socioeconomics to range of mobility.
This sensuous group show brings together works by Pope.L, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Cheyenne Julien, and Tschabalala Self to explore the various ways the concept of “corporeality” can be captured in two-dimensional spaces. The options are plentiful: there are the highly personal physical experiences of the body (in play, at rest, at work) in the creations of Chase and Julien alongside Self’s powerful depictions of the black female form that challenge and engage society’s role in constructing identity with one’s own body, as well as those of others. This sense of physicality need not even be visually manifest—Pope.L’s absurdist text series “Skin Sets” employ nonsensical phrases to reference people of color (blue, green, brown, black, and gold), which play with mental associations regarding race and visibility.
Pope.L will give a Public Art Fund Talk on Fri., Sept. 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at The Cooper Union, Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Union Square, at E. Sixth St. Visual artist and educator Pope.L’s lecture coincides with a major moment for him, when three New York City arts organizations — Public Art Fund, Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art — will co-present “Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration,” the title of a singular concept linking a trio of complementary exhibitions: “Conquest,” “Choir” and “member,” which explore Pope.L’s boundary-pushing practice.
Strap on a headset and enter a VR realm of voguing ball dancers, figures in gimp masks, and leather daddies on spaceships. This is the world dreamt up by the artist Jacolby Satterwhite, who has been on a roll since emerging as one of the stars of the 2014 Whitney Biennial. In 2018, he brought an extension of Blessed Avenue (2018)—an installation with a VR component first shown at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York—to Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland, for a booth with Morán Morán.
On September 12, Mitchell-Innes & Nash unveiled “Embodiment,” a new group exhibition of work by mixed media painter Tschabalala Self, intervention artist Pope.L, and painters Cheyenne Julien and Jonathan Lyndon Chase. An investigation into the unbounded potential of corporeal representation, “Embodiment” explores these four talents’ approaches to portraying the human form.
“’Embodiment’ came together about a year ago, when I started thinking about the exaggerated body [in relation to] architecture and familiar public spaces in urban neighborhoods, like the bodega, for example, or the stoop,” Blair explains. “I’ve always been really interested in the expression of figuration, and I love language, having worked with it [as a writer].”
Jacolby Satterwhite: “You’re at Home” (Pioneer Works; 10/4–11/24) Promises a millennial-nostalgia house of horrors, or at least submerged longings. He’s building an immersive installation of video projections, virtual reality, and “a retail store styled to resemble a defunct Tower Records” to lose yourself in once you’ve made it all the way to Red Hook.
After winning the Whitney’s $100,000 Bucksbaum Award in 2017, Pope.L hits the New York institutional trifecta with an extravaganza of three upcoming shows. The Museum of Modern Art will mount a retrospective of the activist-sculptor-painter-provocateur’s work from 1978 to 2001 — including videos of the epic crawls he did on his belly through the streets of New York City dressed as an African-American superhero. Also stay tuned for a mass performance of over 100 volunteers of all races crawling together through the Washington Square arch to Union Square.
We’ve already put together guides to knockout institutional shows to see across the US this fall and what you need to check out in Europe, so now it’s time to take a look at what’s going on this season in museums in New York, where you’re never far from a great exhibition.
This September, as galleries and museums hope to kick off the fall art season with a bang, African-American artists are leading the most highly anticipated openings. Betye Saar has a show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, followed by one next month at the Museum of Modern Art. Pope.L will be triply honored in New York, with exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and, in October, MoMA; he’ll also present one of his grueling performances, organized by the Public Art Fund.
Following a two-year artist residency at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Jacolby Satterwhite will present new digital animation works, a virtual reality experience, and multi-media installations that give physical form to objects that featured in his six-video piece Reifying Desire. Made using 3-D printers and CNC routers, Satterwhite’s sculptures will include larger-than-life figures inspired by The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio (1601–02) and Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907). The artist also has an upcoming show at New York’s Pioneer Works, “You’re at Home” (October 4–November 24, 2019).
ART IN THE 2010S… IS IT EVEN ART? WHAT WILL BE REMEMBERED? WHAT’S BEING REAPPRAISED? WHAT’S COMING NEXT? WHAT MUST WE SAY GOODBYE TO? FOR THE LAST TIME THIS DECADE, LET’S WELCOME A NEW SEASON OF SHOWS IN NEW YORK.
This group show of all-stars from the gallery roster explores the concept of the body, how it is envisioned, lived, and depicted through two-dimensional art. Each of these artists approach the body in a distinct way, underscoring the fundamental sameness of every body.
In 1991, the artist Pope.L dragged himself and a potted flower through Tompkins Square Park (Tompkins Square Crawl). The next year, while wearing a Santa hat, he spent three days trying to lift a bottle of laxatives with his mind (Levitating the Magnesia). In 2000, he gorged on copies of the Wall Street Journal and then puked them up (Eating the Wall Street Journal). In 2015, he raised a giant US flag in Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, where it flew until it began to fray (Trinket).
The album has been a long time coming. Satterwhite has been trying to make it since 2008, but it was only upon meeting his collaborator, Nick Weiss, that he was able to realize his vision. Two years in the studio followed, including cameos from musicians and friends. The record will be released on streaming services and “critical pipelines of that genre,” including a forthcoming Pitchfork review of one of its singles.
Multi-disciplinary talent Jacolby Satterwhite and the enchanting Teengirl Fantasy's Nick Weiss have been working together on a project that they're finally ready to share with the world.
The duo, coming together as PAT — a name taken from Satterwhite's mother, Patricia — created an album and book, entitled Love Will Find a Way Home, dropping October 25. It's shaping up to be an intensely interconnected web of visceral vignettes, drawings, audio clips, and abstractions dedicated to, made by, and inspired by Patricia Satterwhite, who suffered from schizophrenia throughout her life before passing away in 2016.
Jacolby Satterwhite announced his latest project today, hot off the heels of working as a contributing director on Solange’s video album When I Get Home. The New York-based artist bridges the full range of his practice—video, animation, performance—with “We Are in Hell When We Hurt Each Other (ft. Patrick Belaga)”, the first single off of his full length double LP, due to drop in October 25.
New York’s Public Art Fund will present Pope.L’s most ambitious participatory project yet. Pope.L: Conquest will involve over one hundred volunteers, who will relay-crawl 1.5 miles from Manhattan’s West Village to Union Square. According to the Public Art Fund, participants will “give up their physical privilege” and “satirize their own social and political advantage, creating a comic scene of struggle and vulnerability to share with the entire community.”
This fall, Manhattan’s most prestigious contemporary art spaces unite to celebrate the career-to-date of the renowned (and underappreciated) artist known as Pope.L.
There’s an artistic renaissance afoot at the Vans US Open of Surfing this year, and the ever-colorful Chris Johanson is building something awesomely weird right there on the sand. If you’ve paid any attention to the worlds of skateboarding or art over the past few decades, chances are Johanson’s work has struck you with its colorful and humorous tongue-in-cheek impressionism, which has graced the bottom of skateboards and the walls of prestigious galleries alike.
In a little less than two months, you may see a squadron of New Yorkers slithering through the triumphal arch of Washington Square Park on their hands and knees.
Prepare yourself, because William Pope.L is coming to town.
Pope.L Wants You to Crawl With Him – The storied performance artist Pope.L is looking for 100 volunteers to crawl a 1.5 mile course with him across New York, from the West Village through the triumphal arch in Washington Square Park to Union Square, on September 21. The artist says the performance, titled Conquest and organized with the Public Art Fund, is “an absurd journey to an uncertain goal.” Pope.L has been doing his physically demanding crawls since the 1970s as a way to evoke the extreme exposure that homeless people experience on the streets of the city.
Leon Kossoff, whose expressionistic portraits and images of urban life made him one of the most important painters of postwar Britain, died on July 4 in London. He was 92.
The artist Pope.L, who has a trio of shows opening this autumn at three major New York Museums, will put out an open call this month for 100 volunteers to take part in a 1.5-mile performative crawl across the city, presented by the Public Art Fund on 21 September.
On a recent afternoon in June, T Magazine assembled two curators and three artists — David Breslin, the director of the collection at the Whitney Museum of American Art; the American conceptual artist Martha Rosler; Kelly Taxter, a curator of contemporary art at the Jewish Museum; the Thai conceptual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija; and the American artist Torey Thornton — at the New York Times building to discuss what they considered to be the 25 works of art made after 1970 that define the contemporary age, by anyone, anywhere. The assignment was intentionally wide in its range: What qualifies as “contemporary”? Was this an artwork that had a personal significance, or was its meaning widely understood? Was its influence broadly recognized by critics? Or museums? Or other artists? Originally, each of the participants was asked to nominate 10 artworks — the idea being that everyone would then rank each list to generate a master list that would be debated upon meeting.
Born in Austria, Kiki Kogelnik (1935–1997) moved to NYC in 1961, just as Pop Art was starting to take off. While her oeuvre is generally associated with that genre, it wasn’t about the cartoons, product brands, celebrities, advertising and other subjects associated with Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rosenquist, etc. Rather, her paintings and sculpture bounced off of couture design for sly observations on gender and the constraints imposed on women by culture and commerce. Bodily silhouettes in punchy colors were a frequent motif, whether they were painted into overlapping compositions that combined figures and geometric patterns, or cut out of vinyl sheets before being draped on hangers or pipe racks like so many pieces of shmatte or flayed skin to suggest the ways that culture uses up and disposes of women’s bodies. During her lifetime, Kogelnik struggled to be recognized, but as this show proves, her work has begun to earn posthumous acclaim for its piquant feminist commentary.
This first presentation by Mitchell-Innes & Nash of Kiki Kogelnik’s work at their Chelsea space includes several of the artist’s colourful, large-scale paintings of women from the early 1960s and ’70s – many of which also feature the circuit boards and wires of the new technology that she found so fascinating. A later sculpture, Divided Souls (c.1986), extends the paintings into real life: female silhouettes cut from vinyl dangle from clothes hangers on a metal garment rack. Evoking the flayed skins of martyred saints, like Michelangelo’s depiction of St. Bartholomew in The Last Judgement (1536–41), they’re a reminder that, despite its Pop sensibilities, the late Austrian painter’s work was always marked by ambivalence.
To marvel at a work by Jessica Stockholder is not only to examine her unorthodox assembly of the world’s kit, but to wonder where on earth she shops—where she gets such good deals? Her unconventional art supplies seem to either descend from outer space, or crawl up out of dumpsters. It’s as if junk—be it new or used—has no other purpose than to animate her dystopian sculptural choreography.
One imagines Stockholder stocking up, as it were. Like a chef instinctively sniffing out the freshest ingredients (the tackiest kitschiest artifacts), she’s confident that in time the right idea for their incorporation will come.
Don’t miss Mitchell-Innes and Nash’s first solo show for artist Kiki Kogelnik (1935–1997), whose feminist take on Pop art often reduces the human form into colorful silhouettes. Paintings and sculptures from the early 1960s to the late ’80s reflect the post-war era, with all its technological advancement and political instability, as experienced by an Austrian artist who spent most of her life in New York City.
This Austrian artist, who spent most of her life in New York—she died in 1997, at the age of sixty-two—brought the ebullience of Pop to her Cold War critique of advertising culture. The result is serrated gaiety. This delightful show gathers works from the early sixties to the late eighties, including a wealth of colorful canvases, a cartoony ceramic bust with enormous sunglasses, and a rolling clothes rack hung with silhouetted figures cut out of vinyl. The painting “City,” from 1979, retains the glamour of the fashion spreads from which it probably borrowed its chic women in green ensembles. Nothing seems amiss about the models, who are set against an expertly unfussy trompe-l’oeil marble backdrop—until, that is, you notice that they have glowing voids in lieu of eyes. The sculpture “Bombs in Love,” from 1962, is pointedly saccharine: two brightly painted missile casings adorned with plastic heart baubles snuggle up together, as if to say, Make love, not war.
Art Basel’s Unlimited section for large-scale works provides one such platform for major video installations, and several film works stand out this year. They include Birds in Paradise (2019), a new, two-channel animation and neon installation by breakout digital artist Jacolby Satterwhite, whose work is included in New York’s Museum of Modern Art exhibition New Order (until 15 June), presented by Mitchell-Innes & Nash.
On the mezzanine, Jessica Stockholder’s brilliant monumental sculpture “White Light Laid Frozen” is like a painting pushed into three dimensions. Acquired two years ago, it is having its MOCA debut.
A horizontal white pedestal 23 feet wide and topped with white carpet supports 40 portable heating units, lined up like white sentinels beneath the icy white of a double row of fluorescent lights. Hovering above all that hot-and-cold purity, two ordinary metal office shelving units are suspended in space, held within a taut network of deep green bungee cords. Painted screaming yellow, the workaday world is elevated.
For his two-channel video Birds in Paradise, Satterwhite imagines a future where BDSM soldiers and queer warriors are prepping to take over in a post-apocalyptic world.
The sound of Bonvicini’s Breathing is not the sound of breath, but it beckons viewers to the kinetic installation all the same. Above the din of Unlimited’s crowd, an overhead array of pistons whirr and snap like the jaws of some iron dragon. What they control is a hydra of black-leather, silver-buckled “men’s belts” (as they have been described in past installations) sent swinging, clinking, and slashing across the space in irregular patterns. Simultaneously playful and threatening, the work converts what could be read as a symbol of toxic masculinity—husbands and fathers have too often used belts as makeshift bullwhips for domestic abuse—into a tongue-in-cheek totem of feminist power: the witch’s broom.
What differentiates the work in “New Order: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century” from much of the art elsewhere at the Museum of Modern Art is that the objects here are made with technologies most of us already know and love (or hate). Flat screens, computer interfaces, video games, digital animation, 3D-printing and photography are transformed here into sprawling installations, canny video art or interactive sculptures.
Kiki Kogelnik, who was born in Austria and who, before her death in 1997, was active in New York, liked to put the human body in silhouette. In her painting “Friends,” a handful of bright figures, some missing a head or limb or with large circles cut right through their torsos, are thrown across a jazzy background. In “Hands,” she painted a group of dismembered arms and legs spread out like letters in a printer’s tray, and for “Divided Souls,” she cut figures out of black and white vinyl and hung them on a garment rack. The woman striking a pose in “Dynamite Darling,” the highlight of Kogelnik’s first show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, isn’t technically a silhouette because she isn’t a monochrome, but she’s definitely flat.
Chic, colorful, and undeniably contemporary, the paintings and sculpture of this Austrian artist could easily find a broad audience beyond the insular art world. Crackling with feminist wit and energy, the works are enigmatic yet accessible. Josephine Nash, of Mitchell-Innes & Nash, has been heartened by reactions to Kogelnik’s works at fairs like Frieze New York; she’s gearing up for the gallery’s first solo exhibition of the artist, opening May 23.
Teaming up with the gallery What Pipeline in Detroit, Chicago-based conceptual artist Pope.L created an installation, performance and artistic intervention that called attention to the Flint Water crisis using funds from his Kickstarter campaign. Water, contaminated with lead, E.coli and listeria, was purchased from the homes of Flint residents to be bottled and sold at the gallery as part of a performance installation educating audiences about the ongoing crisis.
This widely beloved L.A. sculptor and performance artist, who stands six and a half feet tall and weighs north of three hundred pounds, uses his body to bemuse and delight—one previous memorable piece tested how far he could throw people—and employs delicate craft to disarm. The intricate wall reliefs here, which incorporate jigsaw-cut record-album sleeves, traffic in nostalgia for musical tastes, both good and bad, of the past seventy years.
Martin Kersels characteristically splits the difference between performance and objects in his exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. Cut-up and collaged record album covers are hung as relief wall sculptures... Part comedy, part homage, Mr. Kersels’s work is a reminder that, despite the emphasis on art as business, there is still room in Chelsea for the absurd.
The Chicago-based artist Pope.L has been known to stage wild, eye-opening stunts in the streets. “By bringing his performances to the streets,” wrote Nick Stillman in the Brooklyn Rail, “minus the hanging-on and hullabaloo of the art world, Pope.L promises the potential to connect directly with pedestrians.” In 1991, he had a cameraman film him crawling through the gutters of Tompkins Square Park, and for his piece The Great White Way (2001–09), he crawled down all 22 miles of Broadway.
Hypnotically repellent, the picture prompts speculation as to the effect it might have had if enlarged to poster size and displayed at antiwar protests. Some of the show’s most memorable work was designed for exactly that purpose. Martha Rosler intended the color photomontages in her now-classic “House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home” series to be photocopied in black-and-white and passed out at demonstrations.
In New York, these bodies of work are now on view in “Nancy Graves: Mapping” at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, and “Shape Shifter,” a solo exhibition of work by Mary Beth Edelson at David Lewis Gallery. With Graves taking a scientific approach while Edelson a more spiritual path, the exhibitions show two women grappling with these ponderous questions at a critical historical moment.
In a new show titled Is This Tomorrow? the London institution has paired together 10 international artists and architects to explore some of the 21st century’s most urgent issues. Two of these collaborators are Andrés Jaque and Jacolby Satterwhite. Jaque is an architect. In 2003 he founded the Office for Political Innovation, a transdisciplinary agency focused on architectural projects which bring “inclusivity into daily life”. Satterwhite’s artistic practice combines video, performance, 3D animations, and archival material to create multi-layered afro-futuristic environments. Most recently, he was a contributing director for Solange’s When I Get Home.
It’s not often an artist sees the launch of three major exhibitions in the same city at the same time. This fall, though, Pope.L, a performance and installation artist known for his scathing and unsettling critiques of race and power, will see it happen.
His long-overdue major MoMA retrospective opens this October and will focus on 13 performance pieces made between 1978 and 2001. Pope.L will simultaneously present a newly-commissioned installation for the Whitney Museum of American Art this fall and execute his largest and most ambitious crawl performance yet for Public Art Fund. Pope.L says he also plans to produce a special version of the play Rachel by Angelina Weld Grimke.
stablished in 1999 by artists Sarah Braman, Suzanne Butler, Phil Grauer and Wallace Whitney, Canada Gallery was, as they told Observer, “born out of a kind of necessity.”
“This was the late 1990s,” they said in an email. “So we just banded together to do it ourselves.”
Twenty years later, that has proven a successful business model. Their roster has grown to encompass close to 30 artists, including Katherine Bradford, Katherine Bernhardt and Marc Hundley. The four put their good fortune and ability to stay in business in a sometimes-volatile arts market down to collaboration (“As it turns out, sharing responsibilities and making decisions by committee has helped broaden our influences”) and a certain flexibility.
n 1959, British scientist and novelist C.P. Snow, struck by the inability of intellectuals and scientists to communicate and thereby to make sense of and tame nuclear weapons, delivered a lecture at Cambridge arguing that the divide between the sciences and the humanities was intensifying world’s problems. Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution, the book encapsulating his ideas, became one of strongest post-World War II influences on Western public discourse. Nancy Graves (1939–95), whose paintings and works on paper are now on display at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, took Snow’s ideas to heart by creating art that was at once aesthetically challenging and intellectually probing – the humanities and the sciences all rolled into one. The root of her inspiration, however, was endearingly humble: “I was born and raised in Pittsfield, Mass., where my father worked as a guard in the Berkshire Museum of Art and Natural History,” Graves told the New York Times in January 1979. “In that way I came to think of art and natural history as one.”
The sculptor and painter Sarah Braman creates abstract artworks from Minimalist, no-frills materials like bits of furniture and plywood. She is perhaps best known for her sculptures that, like those of John Chamberlain, fuse scrapyard metal from cars; but she also spray paints many of her objects and sculptures, creating a Rothko-esque feeling of color-field painting upon her sculptural medium.
On view through April 6 at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York, her current exhibition, “Growth,” includes many of these kinds of works; but, more widely, her artistic practice is philosophical, evocative of quotidian pleasures. Her car sculptures are redolent of road trips; her works with furniture bring to mind being cozied in a living room. Braman’s most pressing interest, as she told Modern Painters, however, is light, the concept of which informs everything she creates. “It’s hard for me to talk about color without also talking about light,” she said, adding that many of the artists to whom she most looks up, “felt that painting the way that light fell onto the earth was a way to describe the spiritual.”
Nancy Graves’ art explores the connections between art, science, technology, and geography. Her early 1970s conceptual paintings and drawings inspired by technological progressions in cartography, such as satellite imagery of the Earth, Moon, and Mars, are currently on view at Mitchell-Innes & Nash‘s Chelsea location in New York City through April 6, 2019.
The Camp Fire began on the clear morning of November 8, 2018, which made it eerier still, a radiant sky that turned black. Through the pines and cedars came the persistent sound of crackling foil. Propane tanks exploded like bombs. Most people in Butte County had lived through multiple fires before—this is northern California, this is wildfire country—but no one had seen one like this, so fast and enveloping. No one had experienced the unique horror of watching the hospital burn, or the Safeway, as flames lapped at the sides of their own cars on the one main road out. No one had witnessed a whole town go.
The majority of the visual is centered around footage shot in Texas, but animation takes over the screen at the 28-minute mark, as album standout "Sound of Rain" plays in the background. Arriving at a pivotal moment near the end of the film, the surreal segment features flying horses, dancing figures, a cameo from Trina, and layers upon layers of symbolism. The scene is the work of New York City-based artist Jacolby Satterwhite, who animated, directed, and produced it under the guidance of Solange.
The dramatically shot piece opens and—spoiler alert—closes inside the Rothko Chapel in Houston, and, in between, includes majestic animated portraits by Robert Pruitt (who was born in Houston, like Solange) and delirious computer-generated dance scenes by Jacolby Satterwhite, who’s a contributing director on the project.
In 1926, the historian Carter G. Woodson instituted Negro History Week. The second-ever African-American recipient of a Ph.D. from Harvard (after W.E.B. DuBois), Woodson wanted to acknowledge the vibrant cultural achievements of African-American individuals that were rippling through the country. At the time, Harlem was brimming with poets such as Langston Hughes and Claude McKay, while Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller were developing Chicago’s jazz scene. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially transformed Woodson’s initiative into the month-long celebration we honor to this day: Black History Month.
Nothing pulls you into a gallery like a six-foot chicken giving you the side eye, nor keeps you in front of a work longer than giving you something to do, even if it’s just reading text. With these two strategies Karl Haendel introduces Masses and Mainstream, not with a curatorial hang that pulls you into the center of a space and lets you wander, but by arresting the viewer at the entrance. There is a compulsion to use the works there as a lens through which to see and interpret the rest of the exhibition. How Do I Sell More Art pairs with Chicken within direct line of sight from the door and the two are impossible to ignore, melding into a single piece: A framed text piece operates like a word-bubble in such close proximity to the terrifying and terrified giant chicken, in graphite on cut paper stuck to the wall from the floor up.
In the fall of 2015, myself and my then-partner were bobbing through Chelsea for the perfunctory NYC gallery hop. Driven by that pretentious, guileless swagger of recent art school graduates, we were anxious to consume. Consume what? It’s difficult to explain that insatiable hunger. A hunger for that glimmer of a swoon, that seraphic electricity that certain artworks can inspire—in other words, that bombastic and elusive sense of meaning. My partner, an abstract painter herself and a devout planner, had prepared a hefty itinerary beginning with Ferris’ show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash.
It takes a lot of chutzpah to be an artist, to labor over something in the privacy of your own studio and then unveil it to the world, expecting total strangers to pay attention—and maybe even love, purchase, and live with what you’ve created. While artists may talk fondly of the glories of failure—its unexpected silver linings, its teachable moments—they’re not too good at publicly expressing vulnerability and doubt. After all, success in the art world can often come down to how convincing and memorable one’s personal brand is; I’m Not Sure If This Is Actually Any Good™ doesn’t make for the most rousing slogan.
A second show, a career survey of the African-American artist who now goes by one name, Pope.L, has the potential to put a welcome crack in MoMA’s high-polish veneer. In the past, this artist has belly-crawled the length of Manhattan, ingested entire issues of The Wall Street Journal, and created odoriferous installations from baloney and Pop-Tarts. Abject matter — stuff that rots, stinks and oozes — has historically been MoMA’s least favorite medium. I look forward to seeing how Pope.L, who once billed himself as “The Friendliest Black Artist in America,” will fare here.
Pope.L and Adam Pendleton are two artists creating powerful, political works in very different media, but with shared goals and approaches. As a new show opens of their work, they tell us more about working together and why language is “both a mechanism of escape but also a trap”.
Since the 1970s, Pope.L (b. 1955 in Newark, New Jersey) has created a multidisciplinary oeuvre, including performance, installation, painting, drawing, sculpture, objects, and writing. Pope.L creates scenarios and poetics in order to address issues of category and identicalness usually parlayed via his interest in language, nation, gender, race, and class. In his “crawls,” one of his best-known performance sets, Pope.L literally crawls – alone or with other participants – through the hallways of buildings and city streets. In doing so, he draws attention to marginalized positions in society, and to the contradictions and double-binds through which we perceive ourselves and others. His performances often involve local citizens and thus build temporary communities who share the experience and struggle.
For almost four decades, Pope.L has challenged us to confront some of the most pressing questions about American society as well as about the very nature of art. Best known for enacting arduous and provocative interventions in public spaces, Pope.L addresses issues and themes ranging from language to gender, race, social struggle, and community. Adam Pendleton is a conceptual artist known for his multi-disciplinary practice, which moves fluidly. His work centers on an engagement with language, in both the figurative and literal senses, and the re-contextualization of history through appropriated imagery to establish alternative interpretations of the present.
Although "Irrespective" is a remarkably fresh, thoughtfully curated overview of Martha Rosler’s art from the past fifty years, it does not aspire to be exhaustive. The exhibition features around seventy works, with not a single extraneous piece. Still, there is a wide selection, spanning from collages Rosler created in the late 1960s and early ’70s, when she was in graduate school at the University of California, San Diego, to a recent film about the Trump administration. Her long, productive career makes it difficult to categorize her practice. Conceptualism, feminism, appropriation, and relational aesthetics convey aspects of what she does, but none of these terms seems fully apposite. They leave something out, pigeonholing her into rubrics that simplify her concerns. As a kind of recourse, some commentators use the generalized label of “political” to describe Rosler’s approach. Politics is a thread that runs through everything the artist does; it is the baseline from which any activity commences. The diverse range of work in “Irrespective,” which viewers encounter in galleries filled with the background audio-wash of her videos, makes it clear that what really underlies her art is actually a kind of moral erudition.
A good conceptual art piece is not very different from a joke, and Karl Haendel’s got a million of ’em. His show “Masses & Mainstream,” at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, is a torrent of pencil drawings large and small, and all of them revolve, in one way or another, around the artist’s ability to make anything in the world into a kind of punch line merely by pointing it out.
Painting might be summed up as a process of accretion: You start with a blank canvas and end with a covered one — unless you are Eddie Martinez, for whom the act of adding and subtracting remains in play throughout the making. Mr. Martinez’s assertive-but-sly approach is on view in “White Outs” at the Bronx Museum, a selection of recent, ostensibly white paintings.
Martha Rosler knows that a well-formulated suggestion is far more likely to change the world — or at least someone’s mind — than any command or decree. “Every single thing I have offered to the public has been offered as a suggestion of work,” says the 75-year-old Brooklyn-born artist. Whether it’s her photomontages or videos, her sculptures or her installations, each offering retains a lively air of possibility and buzzes with the connective creative energy of a sketch — a feat made all the more impressive by her choice of subject matter: consumerism, feminism, gentrification, poverty, and war. Floating free of cynicism and buoyed by compassion, Rosler’s work can be devastatingly funny or amusingly devastating, and often both.
Damals Nixon und heute Trump, früher die Frauenbewegung und heute #metoo: Die Retrospektive von Martha Rosler im New Yorker Jewish Museum beweist, dass Kunst die Welt nicht retten kann.
Martha Rosler hated the protest literature of the 1960s and 1970s. As she explained to Jewish Museum curator Darsie Alexander in a November talk, the messiness of the design was rivaled only by that of the messaging: no images, but jargon-heavy text more likely to be thrown out than to inspire action. Rosler thought, “Can I do better?” Could she show the horrors of war, of sexism, of the hidden and obvious ways women are looked down on?
In a working life spanning more than fifty years, Martha Rosler has made art that eschews medium-specificity, asks questions, offers propositions, and invites responses. While idea often appears to drive material expression for Rosler, she also considers, beyond a politics of representation, questions of visuality and aesthetics—a likely influence of her early training as a painter.
Mary Mary is pleased to present HURTS WORST, Amanda Ross-Ho’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. The show will feature a suite of new large scale textile assemblages, and a group of small text-based paintings.
Equally inspired by the New York School and street culture, Eddie Martinez has added a new element to his large-scale paintings by intentionally erasing parts of his compositions. This “white out” technique is informed by art history, as X-ray analysis of the work of the Old Masters often shows erased images hidden beneath the surface of the painting.
Martha Rosler: Irrespective, an exhibition of works spanning the astonishing breadth of the artist’s fifty-plus-year career, is a tightly curated, highly focused exhibition—a survey organized around a discrete set of themes Rosler engages (war, consumerism, domesticity, politics, and mass media, to name a few) rather than a full retrospective.
Though Martha Rosler has been working since the 1960s, her retrospective, Irrespective (until 3 March 2019) at the Jewish Museum shows how timely and timeless her new and old protest art is: she addresses gender roles, gentrification, US foreign war, police violence against people of colour, authoritarianism…subjects that might be familiar to any follower of the news today.
There are few artists I have more reverence for than AA Bronson. In 1969, with fellow artists Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, Bronson co-founded General Idea, the legendary Toronto-based art collective that helped pioneer Relational and Mail Art. Over the course of their decades-long collaboration, General Idea’s multidisciplinary conceptual practice helped establish bold new directions for art in Canada and abroad.
...the eye of Martha Rosler has been and is equally direct and unflinching as her historic Spanish counterpart. Rosler is fearless in her social, cultural and political observations about the contemporary United States, beginning in the era of the Vietnam War. Her work—always brainy—courses through a variety of subject matter: war, gender, gentrification, domesticity, inequality, and labor, but—like Goya—it is not without humor. Rosler’s wit is sharp, penetrating and unsettling.
Rosler is fearless in her social, cultural and political observations about the contemporary United States, beginning in the era of the Vietnam War. Her work—always brainy—courses through a variety of subject matter: war, gender, gentrification, domesticity, inequality, and labor, but—like Goya—it is not without humor. Rosler’s wit is sharp, penetrating and unsettling.
The performance artist Pope.L is asking a lot of Art Institute audiences these days. His “experimental restaging” of a slavery narrative credited as the oldest surviving African-American play moves the few dozen attendees and performers from the bowels of the museum’s Rubloff Auditorium to its sound booth to, in one memorable, pungent moment, its women’s bathroom.
A multidisciplinary artist, writer and social activist, Martha Rosler has spent 50 years delivering biting feminist critiques on subjects ranging from gender to gentrification. But she is perhaps best known for her collages that juxtapose housekeeping ads with scenes from the U.S. wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Now the Jewish Museum is focusing on these works and others as part of its survey “Martha Rosler: Irrespective.” Recently, Rosler sat down with us at her home and studio in Greenpoint to discuss her work, her neighborhood and the real meaning of cooking shows.
Martinez’s distinctive color sense—primary tones that are interrupted and shaped by black and white and some in-between hues—also follows his gut, and so far, so good. “It’s completely instinctual,” he says. “I don’t know color theory, and I’m not concerned if I’m doing it right or if I’m doing it wrong. It’s just the way I do it.”
Trump is a familiar figure: a man who aspires to autocracy (after previously only aspiring to be a very rich and adored celebrity) and to the perks and privileges of kingship. He overcame his almost palpable shock and dismay at falling into the presidency, deciding to rely on others for advice while nevertheless opining and governing by whim. He makes no effort to represent all the people in the country and has refused to adopt the norms of modern governance by behaving in a civil and unifying way. His lies are overt and easily disprovable, his promises, insults, and threats are shocking, his self–interest and vindictiveness equally clear.
The title of her new exhibition, “Irrespective,” now on view at the Jewish Museum in New York through March 3, 2019, combines the words “irreverent” and “retrospective” and draws on her skepticism about having her work in institutions in the first place. A survey of her work since 1965, it is her first exhibition in her native New York in more than 15 years.
As Alexander said in her presentation, Rosler is, “an artist who’s always worked against the grain” – and we quickly realized we agree, as “Irrespective” is indeed filled with thought-provoking work that challenges the norm.
The first major New York survey of Ms. Rosler’s art in 18 years has opened at the Jewish Museum, and runs through March 3. For some, the show, “Martha Rosler: Irrespective,” may be an introduction to the prolific artist whose caustic work — in addition to photomontage and video, she creates installation, sculpture, performance and digital media — has been alternately admired and reviled by the public and the art world since the 1960s. Her exhibitions have focused on tenant struggles and homelessness; the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; public space; and — very often — the experiences of women.
Self-absorption at the expense of social awareness may seem like an Instagram-born epidemic, but consider the Emperor Nero’s theatrics as fires were ravaging Rome. Since the mid-nineteen-sixties, the trenchant Conceptualist Martha Rosler has been fighting art-as-escapism with photomontages, videotapes, and installations, targeting the hypocrisy of war, sexism, gentrification, and other concerns that remain disconcertingly relevant. Rosler is also funny—her montages, an ongoing project that began in the Vietnam era, anticipated the Internet’s viral memes by decades—and she understands the power of humor to drive a point home.
A retrospective at the Jewish Museum spans Rosler’s five-decade career. Featuring installations, photographic series, sculpture, and video, the exhibit probes far beyond “Semiotics of the Kitchen” to show us one of the most witty and dogged feminist artists of our time. In one photo collage, blond women snap selfies in a mod mansion as flames blaze outside the windows. In an installation, various women’s lingerie and sleepwear congregate around a white mattress. The cluster of thongs and spanx and granny panties alludes to the stories clothes tell about the women who wear them. Or perhaps just the stories we buy into.
Nuanced but uncompromising, the video pretty much says it all. But it’s only one of the scores of photographs, videos and large-scale installations, from the 1960s to present, in “Martha Rosler: Irrespective,” a new retrospective at the Jewish Museum in Manhattan.
Hieronymus Bosch, ball culture, Piero Della Francesca, BDSM, Josef Albers, and the video-game classic Final Fantasy are just a handful of the radically diverse influences that artist Jacolby Satterwhite has seamlessly synthesized into his own ravishing new world. In Blessed Avenue, the first part of his epic animated trilogy (presented at New York gallery Gavin Brown Enterprises in March 2018), the artist draws on his technical virtuosity to reclaim the video-game environments of his childhood, re-inhabiting them with his own community all through the sharp lens of art history. Under his direction, porn actors, performance artists, musicians, and dancers float together, intertwined in gravity-free sci-fi interiors that equally bring to mind shopping malls in Dubai and after-hours clubs in Brooklyn. Their design is directly informed by (and pays tribute to) the drawings produced by the artist’s late mother, Patricia Satterwhite. As it turns out, even PIN–UP played a small role in the development of virtual environments which Jacolby Satterwhite created as a home for his creative family. Just don’t call them nightlife people.
Influenced by gestalt therapy and phenomenology, Nauman began his work in the 1960s—the time that Donald Trump seems to identify as the start of America's decline and the height of the civil rights era. Black people in America were mobilizing to demonstrate their political agency. Much of the conversation centered on their right to occupy mundane public spaces—restrooms, schools, restaurants—without violent repercussions. This appeal for universal access penetrated the zeitgeist, and it continues today; equal access is still not secure, especially for transgender and queer people. Nauman's work can be understood within this interrogation of the banality of his white male body: its scale, identity, and relationship to his environs.
Martha Rosler’s first major New York museum show surveys her career by way of installations, photographs, videos, and sculptures. Among the themes addressed are war and consumerism, with a special eye toward gender norms and oppression. Curator Darsie Alexander said of the exhibition, “Martha Rosler’s direct, unvarnished take on current social and political circumstances is rooted in her belief in the capacity of art to teach, provoke, and ultimately motivate action in the people it reaches.”
Riding the crest of first-wave feminist art, Rosler initially crashed onto the shores of the art world in the ’60s with pieces noted for their firebrand politics. During that time, and continuing until today, she’s deployed videos, photomontages and installations against targets ranging from sexism and the Vietnam War to inequality and gentrification—conjoined fronts, in her view, in an ongoing battle for social justice. This survey brings her career into focus, with a selection of works spanning 1965 to the present.
‘The biggest hurdle we had to overcome was psychological: the belief that there never had been, and never could be, great women artists.’
This month, Higher Pictures gallery presents Airless Spaces, a selection of new works from photographer Justine Kurland, alongside still-life paintings by her late father, Bruce Kurland. The exhibition is intimately arranged, with Bruce’s small-scale paintings interspersed amongst Justine’s 4×5 inch prints. Viewed in this way, we are witness to an unspoken relationship between father and daughter, expressed in the ways that each interprets the world around them. Though varying in terms of aesthetic rendering, both Justine and Bruce’s work illustrates an interior world through an array of symbolic objects.
Justine Kurland’s monograph Highway Kind (2016) includes a short fictional piece by Lynne Tillman titled “Still Moving,” a collection of scenes that appear to be set in a single working-class town. Toward the beginning, one of Tillman’s characters finds herself struck with a moment of awe in an otherwise bleak world: “Estranged mountains bulged under the sky, the big sky, the endless sky. Anyway, no one could see an end to it, which reassured her, since so much seemed to be coming to an end. It felt that way.” This passage echoed in my head as I viewed “Airless Spaces,” an intimate presentation of Kurland’s new photographs alongside paintings by her late father, Bruce Kurland (1938–2013).
Feminist photomontage, “Martha Rosler Reads Vogue” and other pointed works — photography, sculpture, installation and video — from 1965 to the present, from an artist whose creations are both scathing and playful.
Pope.L has called the works on view at this show “a disgustingly neat pile of doubt, experiment, and denial shoved up hot against claim, leap, gambit, and caesura—your basic scrabbling about in the dark . . .” Included are works from the artist’s “RePhoto” collage series, for which he edited and recombined images of body parts to create “figural encounters,” as well as sculptures and an installation featuring versions of Pope.L’s video Syllogism. Titled “One thing after another (part two),” the show follows Pope.L’s recent winning of the Whitney Museum’s $100,000 Bucksbaum Award.
Given the ongoing political upheavals in the US, and the EU, what kind of artists’ work is relevant in an age of populist uprisings, when the far right is gaining power throughout the world? Martha Rosler and Hito Steyerl: War Games, one of the most important exhibitions of the year, offers compelling evidence in answer to such a question. This affectively and intellectually intriguing exhibition is noteworthy in demonstrating the surprising affinities and shared concerns across countries (US and Germany) and generations (’60s and ’90s) of two renowned women artists. Both are theoreticians and creative practitioners whose work reveals the capacity of art to understand and transform the violence which shapes our world.
As is true of many good painters, there’s one thing for sure that can be said about her work: it’s damn good painting! But we still find ourselves on the most bizarre terrain. For example, the controversial appointment of Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court Justice. Or the question that poses itself for big city dwellers who are no longer so young, but not yet old: whether that was enough city life, whether it might not be better to move to the country. Or the peculiarities of the German language.
At Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Kurland’s series, exhibited for the first time in its entirety, was cinematic in spirit. The sixty-nine vintage C-prints hung in a single line around the gallery. The narrative opened with a photograph taken in the postindustrial landscape of New Haven, Connecticut, and continued across multiple road trips that Kurland took over the course of five years. In these staged images, her subjects absorb themselves in activities by and for each other, from drawing on one another’s backs to killing small game. They could be plucked from sundry girl-centric films of the 1990s—think Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides (1999) or Gillian Armstrong’s Little Women (1994). Wearing threadbare, slouchy clothes, sans makeup, and often with no men in sight, these girls “act” more often than “appear”—to reverse the terms of John Berger’s famous phrase, “Men act and women appear.”
In this follow up to his similarly named solo show at La Panacee museum in Montpellier, Pope.L presents works—including a selection of “Re-Photo” collages, his Syllogism video project, and wall-mounted assemblage sculptures in acrylic boxes—that he describes as “a disgustingly neat pile of doubt, experiment, and denial shoved up hot against claim, leap, gambit, and caesura.”
The War Games proposed by Martha Rosler and Hito Steyerl in their new exhibition at Kunstmuseum Basel reflect the pitfalls of a war fought in the folds of media and technology in the present. The show, curated by Søren Grammel, compares the artistic research of the two artists, who are of different generations but nevertheless have many common threads.
Though there is an immediacy in film that feels particularly poignant at this time, the show’s significance is not dependent on our culture’s heightened awareness. The ideas these videos consider are neither new nor are they temporary. They remain critical to examine decade after decade.
Earlier this month, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh announced several new acquisitions, including “Fountain (reparations version)” (2016-17) by Chicago-based Pope.L. The sculpture is on view in the modern and contemporary galleries which have been re-hung to reflect the “depth, diversity, and eccentricities” of the Carnegie Museum’s collection.
The New York-based gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash has added Jacolby Satterwhite to its roster. He will debut his latest video piece, Avenue B,as part of the summer series “35 Days of Film,” with the gallery’s space in Chelsea devoted to the work July 20-24. Satterwhite will also have his first solo exhibition with the gallery this fall.
Martha Rosler thinks that Vietnam anti-war literature of the 1960s and ’70s was hideous. “It would be these long texts that looked like they’d been translated from a foreign language, and they didn’t have images,” the artist remembered during a recent conversation with Artsy. The pamphlets and other materials, she said, looked like they were made by people who were somewhat demented. Rosler decided the cause needed a makeover.
Starting in New Haven, where she was finishing her graduate studies at Yale, Kurland drove across the country (with a stint in New Zealand) photographing adolescent girls in scenes that are part bucolic idyll, part Lord of the Flies. A gritty, outlaw narrative connects scenes often photographed with the composition and soft light of 19th-century landscape paintings. (Kurland named her son Caspar, after all, for Caspar David Friedrich.) Three of the images have “Boy Torture” in in their titles, but unless the girls are tormenting one, boys seldom feature. Sex simmers under the surface, not to mention – and more importantly – self-sufficiency. These ad hoc communities of young women are precursors to Kurland’s series a few years later, Of Woman Born, pastoral photographs of naked mothers and their small naked children who seem just as self-reliant.
In recent years, on Instagram and in fashion magazines, a girl-centric aesthetic has taken hold. Young photographers such as Petra Collins, Olivia Bee, and Mayan Toledano have been capturing the private rites and practices of adolescents—in school, at parties, on road trips, alone in their bedrooms. The style, pretty and wistful, straddles fashion, fine art, even reportage. We might see a shapely young arm raised to reveal a hint of armpit hair; dewy skin dappled by disco lights; girls huddled around a mirror, putting on makeup.
The runaways of Justine Kurland’s Girl Pictures, 1997–2002—feral teens living in moody, thrill-seeking packs at the gorgeous outskirts of civilization—bear a more than passing resemblance to the Runaways. It’s as though the members of the legendary seventies girl band wandered away from their tour bus at a highway rest stop and just kept going. What would their raw rebellion and sexual self-possession look like offstage, without an audience, in the wild? Kurland answers with sixty-nine transfixing photographs.
“I staged the girls as a standing army of teenaged runaways in resistance to patriarchal ideals,” she says. “The girls in these photographs have gathered together in solidarity, claiming territory outside the margins of family and institutions.” Kurland would scout evocative locations, often with links to the 19th-century Western frontier, and recruit her youthful subjects from local towns and schools. “I never knew where I would end up or whom I would find,” she says, “so it was impossible to predetermine the outcome. I allowed my narratives to unravel as I constructed them. I wanted the pictures to contain both my projection and the actuality of the situation.”
Flaka Haliti and Jacolby Satterwhite reimagine the social systems of the world that structure our lives. Satterwhite takes his childhood’s domestic setting to build futuristic virtual landscapes. In his hands, the familiar environment becomes a stage on which to perform scenes of queer sadomasochistic role-play, which he sees as a metaphor for late capitalist domination and subjugation.
Jacolby Satterwhite’s exhibition at Gavin Brown’s enterprise transformed the gallery into a kind of nightclub—that ultimate escapist’s paradise. Visitors entered a hallway where they could pick up glow stick necklaces from glass jars on the ground, after which they emerged in the darkened exhibition space. Playing on both sides of a screen suspended in the middle of the room was a trippy animated film, Blessed Avenue (2018). A purple neon sign reading pat’s, meanwhile, beckoned visitors toward a back area and gave the room a soft glow.
Throughout her career, photographer Justine Kurland has trained her lens on divergent subjects both documentary and staged: young girls, nude mothers, men at auto body shops. Across her work, there’s a muted sense of romance, of both gritty desire and desperation. Kurland relishes gravel, fences, dead animals, cell phone towers, broken windows, and car engines. Now a mother herself, she’s ultimately outgrown the label that once reductively described her young, female cohort who captured even younger women on rolls of film: “girl photographers.”
The photographer Justine Kurland didn’t learn how to drive until she was 27, a year before she set off on a two-decade-long road trip. At the time, she was an M.F.A. candidate at Yale working on her now-iconic series “Girl Pictures” (1997-2002), staged portraits of adolescent girls cast as runaways wandering beneath highway overpasses and mucking around in roadside drainage ditches. At first she stayed close to home, shooting in and around New Haven, Conn., but eventually she began traveling farther afield; she wanted her own process to reflect the stories her images told. “If the girls were running away,” she tells T, “then it made sense that I should, too.”
This exhibition of paintings and drawings marks a bold and confident change in the working methods of Keltie Ferris. A significant departure has been made from the characteristically fuzzy and pixelated images taken and transformed from screens present in previous paintings. In their stead is an assertive—and risky—incursion of influence from high profile painters—George Condo, Christopher Wool, and Jonathan Lasker—but especially Wool, of whom Ferris has said, “I feel like Christopher Wool is so influential, he’s almost like our de Kooning right now. Everyone is copying him, or riffing on what he has brought to the table.”
Gerasimos Floratos’ paintings and sculptures play with the idea of site specificity and the notion of what it means to be ‘rooted’ in a single place. His works employ pyscho-figurative bodies as mechanisms for charting space in many forms; psychogeography of the globalised world, societies or microcosms built through commonalities of practice, and the internal space of the mind.
Ferris can always be counted on to push the perimeters of her intensely optical abstract paintings, and this show finds her, now 41, experimenting, rethinking, slowing down, mixing marble dust into her oil paint, laying down stenciled polygonal shapes, wiping out areas of canvas, and leaving severe spray-painted black lines as structure.
Leather queens, club kids, and bare-breasted femmes writhe and vogue in crystalline enclosures overlooking churning purple galaxies. Bound to one another and to sinister machines by a network of multicolored intestinal tubing, pliable virtual bodies pleasure and punish each other in acrobatic scenarios, their mechanical gyrations powered by a sovereign libidinal clockwork. The factory and the dance floor, Fordism and fetishism, play and werk, collapse into undifferentiated opalescence. Across a torpid twenty minutes, titillation yields to monotony, anhedonia, alienation. In a rapacious feedback loop, alienation transubstantiates to kink.
Pick up a pink glow-stick bracelet on your way into “Blessed Avenue,” Satterwhite’s impressive début with the gallery. A large screen bisects the black-walled space, playing a hallucinatory video—a Boschian sci-fi tableau—which attests to the artist’s command of digital animation and 3-D-modelling software. In the endless simulated shot, dancers and S & M performers populate a gay mega-club, a maze of fragmented machinery apparently adrift in space. The dystopian scene has a surprisingly poignant twist: the action is set to an electronic soundtrack created from cassette tapes of the artist’s mother, singing a capella. In the accompanying installation, a conceptual boutique, the artist hawks affordable items from pill organizers to tambourines, all printed with dashed-off drawings and charming, handwritten notes.
The girls were rebelling. The girls were acting out. The girls had run away from home, that much was clear. They were trying on a version of themselves that the world had thus far shown them was boy. FLoating a raft downt he Mississippi. Tucking smokes into the sleve of a T-shirt. Having a rumble. Living off the land. Cowboys, sailors, pirates, hitchhikers, hobos, train hoppers, explorers, catchers in the rye, lords of the flies – you name it, all the dominion of boys. If you wanted a place in the narrative, you had to imagine yourself inside of it.
Between 1997 and 2002, Justine Kurland traveled across the United States photographing girls living vastly different lives, but all in the tenuous places between childhood and adulthood. Kurland printed all 69 pictures taken over the four-year period for the first time this year, two decades after the project began. This is the first time they appear as a complete series.
I’ve been a fan of Keltie Ferris’s hot Day-Glo spray-painted, structured, multi-matrixed large paintings since she emerged fresh out of Yale’s MFA program in the mid-aughts. Always to be counted on for pushing the perimeters of her intensely optical abstract paintings, this show finds Ferris, now 41, experimenting, rethinking, slowing down, mixing marble dust into her oil paint, laying down stenciled polygonal shapes, wiping out areas of canvas, leaving severe spray-painted black lines as structure. The results are less lively, even, and visually arresting than her previous work, and they fit more into a tradition that might include Fiona Rae, David Story, and Guy Goodwin — artists more dependent on visible structure, clearer geometry, and deploying a menu of marks and configurations on canvas, all to lesser effect than Ferris has already reached — but I will not stop paying attention to this live wire.
Among the seventy fascinatingly varied works on view in this decades-spanning show is an untitled piece, from 1973, that meets the barest definition of a collage—it’s a single rose, cut carefully from a black-and-white photo, floating on a white background. With this breezy, refined gesture, the artist, who worked in the San Francisco Bay area until her death, in 1989, conjures her most famous painting, “The Rose,” from 1958-1966, which, as a Sisyphean two-ton grisaille relief, could not be more different.
There is a lot to see, hear and buy in Jacolby Satterwhite’s “Blessed Avenue” at Gavin Brown on the Lower East Side. A pop-up store in the gallery is selling cheap bespoke items like pencils, pill cases and bottled water. An eerie, disembodied voice, singing in an R&B-inflected falsetto, filters throughout the space and you can purchase Mr. Satterwhite’s new self-described concept album, also titled “Blessed Avenue.”
DeFeo was after something other than a chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella. For her, surrealism was not a technique, but a state of seeing and experiencing everyday life.
You enter the gallery as though walking into a club. A darkened hallway opens up onto a room pulsing with music, dimly lit by a purple neon sign near the far back wall. The cool glow of a massive video projection reveals a scene from some futuristic S&M rave: young people in black leather dance, vogue, crawl, pose, whip one another and lead each other around on leashes. Jacolby Satterwhite appears among them, on hands and knees in a leather jockstrap and harness, while artist Juliana Huxtable playfully flogs him with a long, braided whip. These are his friends, his social world, whom the artist has captured in green screen video and transposed into this animated technofuture.
On the third floor of an unassuming Chinatown building, a dark hallway leads to Blessed Avenue, Jacolby Satterwhite’s psychedelic quest into queer desire and memory, a twenty-minute digital animation created with Maya computer software. In order to do justice to the film’s bizarre rituals performed by Juliana Huxtable, Lourdes Leon Ciccone, and DeSe Escobar alongside Satterwhite, Gavin Brown’s enterprise orchestrated the gallery similar to an underground club, from glow-sticks occasionally available at the entrance to the pitch-dark atmosphere elevating the film’s visual and audial impact. The exhibition's titular piece runs on a large, two-sided screen, which emanates enough light to let visitors inspect a pop-up retail installation that displays merchandise complimenting the film.
In dream analysis, it’s said that the familiar nightmare of one’s teeth falling out represents anxiety over the possible loss of control. Fading beauty, or an inability to communicate might cause such a dream, but so too might a more catastrophic event: an illness or an eviction, perhaps. For artist Jay DeFeo (1929-1989) any of these occurrences could have provoked such a night terror, and walking through Outrageous Fortune: Jay DeFeo and Surrealism at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, one can’t help but wonder if teeth dreams had plagued her. The exhibition takes as its premise the thrum of Surrealism that murmurs through DeFeo’s body of work, and the reappearance of teeth is one of several tropes that surface.
Blessed Avenue is a cornucopia of monsters, misfits and dancers including Madonna’s daughter Lourdes in imaginary dreamscapes in clubland and beyond. Satterwhite has said he is more concerned for his work to be shown in museums than private collections. In contemporary art in New York, the industry thrives much more upon knowing the names and M.Os of the most cutting edge creatives, rather than actually owning any of their work.
Much of the recent work of GCC–the group of artists whose eight members hail from various Persian Gulf countries, and whose name references the acronym for a regional political and economic alliance known as the Gulf Cooperation Council–has focused on the growing popularity in the area, among both governments and the wider populace, of the "positive energy" movement.
GCC: GOOD MORNING GCC uses the tropes of daytime television talk shows across the Arab world, alongside references to Nam June Paik’s [satellite broadcast] Good Morning Mr. Orwell , Glenn O’Brien’s [1978-82 public access television show] TV Party, Chris Burden’s commercials and other artists who have used television’s potential to communicate to a wider audience. Arab TV networks have popularised the talk show format—which ranges from political to conversational—and cover many of the topics we are addressing in our programme. They reflect the trends and interests of the region, while creating a sense of connectivity.
It is in the post-Rose period that DeFeo experimented with new techniques or applications, things like cameraless photography and collage. Bruce Conner, the Rat Bastard leader, had suggested that DeFeo take pictures of the “things [around her] and turn them into other stuff . . . collage things.”) As described in the exhibition’s catalog by Dana Miller, The Whitney Museum’s Director of the Collection, DeFeo’s experiments, which the artist described as play, “meant not only taking risks, but also, at key moments, sharing authorship with forces of nature, randomness, or accident.” The irony is how DeFeo would come to embrace chance after methodically working on The Rose—one work—for nearly eight years.
“I’m so nervous,” admitted Jacolby Satterwhite. artnet News was visiting the artist at his Brooklyn apartment ahead of the opening of his upcoming show at New York’s Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, and he was feeling some jitters. “My first solo show, no one knew who I was,” he added, noting that the pressure is way more “intense” this time around. Satterwhite’s first solo effort in the city was in 2013. “So much has happened for me since then, creatively, cerebrally, and critically. I hope of all of that comes through in what I’m showing.”
Like other mid-century Pop artists, Kiki Kogelnik became a brand. And while the Austrian-born artist should primarily be remembered for her innovative “Hangings” series and her bold feminist motifs, history hasn’t been kind to her. In the United States, Kogelnik’s legacy unfairly rests more on her fashionable image and vibrant personality than on her work itself.
At 62, Pope.L is inarguably the greatest performance artist of our time. This is exactly the kind of label he would find absurd, but over the course of the last four decades, no artist has so consistently broken down the accepted boundaries of the genre in order to bring it closer to the public, with lacerating, perspicacious and gloriously anti-authoritarian projects that play with our received notions of race and class and almost always cut more than one way.
Featuring over 70 of the Beat generation artist’s works, “Outrageous Fortune” will showcase paintings, photographs, collages, and works on paper from Jay DeFeo’s oeuvre over the course of three decades, from 1955 to 1986. In a similar way to how the Dadaists and Surrealists invoked various symbolic emblems through unlike subjects, DeFeo’s juxtaposition of forms and mixed-media approaches messed with the role chance plays in art-making. The show will act as a teaser for New York audiences who can’t make it to Dijon, France, for a major survey of DeFeo’s work at Le Consortium.
The latest show, "Stories That We Tell: Art and Identity," runs through March 3, 2018 and features the work of seven groundbreaking female artists, all of whom have been affiliated with the department over the years, but have never shown together. Eleanor Antin, Barbara Kruger, Faith Ringgold, Martha Rosler, Miriam Shapiro, Lorna Simpson and Carrie Mae Weems have created an assortment of works in varied media that explore the issues of identity, gender and race.
In the career of Jay DeFeo, her astonishing painting The Rose (1958–66) casts a long shadow. Spanning almost 11 by eight feet, it has a primordial-looking surface of oil paint mixed with wood and mica so heavily built up and excavated that it weighs more than a ton. This abstract, sculptural canvas, with radiating vectors that converge at a center point, occupied DeFeo for eight years—consuming her entirely for the last five of those. The Rose acquired mythic status when the artist Bruce Conner, her close friend, filmed it being cut out of the window of DeFeo’s Fillmore Street studio in San Francisco, in 1965, then hoisted by forklift onto a truck, and transported to the Pasadena Art Museum.
The exhibition was opened on the occasion of the Berlin Art Week in September 2017, and it is on view through February 26, 2018. The title of the show relates to the volume of the museum space occupied by the exhibition in relation to the volume of the artist’s body. Bonvicini, who is known for re-examining minimalism, conceptual art and institutional critique, took the gallery room as the first reference, and conceived the entire exhibition as an appropriation of the institution and its museological processes, commenting on the themes that she found outside its white cube—inclusion and barriers, subjugation and freedom.
Gerasimos Floratos’s solo show at Armada, “Soft Bone Journey,” is comprised of three large paintings in oil and acrylic, and three sculptures, each the size of a person, made of painted styrofoam. (All works are from 2017.) The colors are bold—canary yellow, acid green, pinkish orange. His approach to both mediums—simple lines, rapid gestures, rounded forms—has the feel of street art, a style that seems all too familiar, yet remains utterly foreign.
This show introduces viewers to the group's less well-known paintings: hard-edged, fluorescent geometric abstractions that evoke the pixelated silhouettes of eight-bit video games. They also allude to the mystical and political significance of stepped architecture in ancient societies, from Mesopotamia to the Mayans, where such structures were thought to lead to the gods. Exhibited alongside the paintings are plans for the "The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavilion," an absurdist beauty-pageant venue that, per the artists' lore, had burned to the ground, leaving only the footprint of the ziggurat.
“There is no going back into a weaving unless you unravel the whole thing,” says Brent Wadden. “So I usually just keep all the mistakes, as it’s a total pain in the ass to remove them.” With a resume of solo art exhibitions in galleries spanning from Paris, London, and Berlin to South Korea and New York, the charm of humility hasn’t been lost on the autodidactic weaver. This self-taught naïvety may just be the warp and woof of Wadden’s work.
In the past few years, there has been an uptick in an expanded form of painting that presents itself as a hybrid. A few current examples of this tendency include the work of Laura Owens, Keltie Ferris, Rachel Rossin, and Trudy Benson — artists who have explored multi-media paintings that rival sculpture. These works feel constructed as opposed to made, and engage with several forms of tactility, illusion, and physical depth.
The real surprise of the show is a series of paintings in the main gallery. Covered in allover patterns of interlocking ziggurats, two rectangular compositions from 1968–69 neatly combine stain painting with systemic minimalism. Nearly textbook examples of avant-garde abstract painting concerns of their day, these canvases split the difference between seriousness and burlesque.
Then, compare and contrast Agnes Martin’s use of contrasting color values with the work of the painter Julian Stanczak, known for his Op Art style that also boldly plays with the eye. Op Art is a type of visual art that creates optical illusions.
Canadian art collective General Idea (1969–1994), made up of Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal, and AA Bronson, gets its first solo show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. The exhibition highlights their use of the ziggurat motif, an architectural form common to both the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica and to modern skyscrapers.
The following interview—my second with Pope.L—was conducted through email correspondence over several months. His responses are written with the freewheeling, contradic- tory energy of his art, with both stuttered emotional reac- tions and carefully parsed explanations.
Gerasimos Floratos, who was born in New York City in 1986 and grew up in an apartment overlooking Times Square, self-assuredly fills the gallery’s space with large-scale paintings and three sculptures, all made with bold and decisive hues, and all vaguely reminiscent of street art. The paintings hint at figuration without coalescing into a linear narrative. Their emotive bodies are alter egos for Floratos, who develops his own personal language and pursues an internal investigation of sorts through the canvases.
In 2013, nine Khaleeji artists founded the GCC – an art collective – in the VIP room of Art Dubai, and this year they will return to their roots. The artists will transform The Room, an installation within the art fair, into a TV studio in which they will create the daytime show Good Morning GCC. This will combine segments on Arabic cooking and fair parties with art-historical references. Comprising Fatima Al Qadiri, Abdullah Al-Mutairi, Amal Khalaf, Aziz Al Qatami, Barrak Alzaid, Khalid al Gharaballi, Monira Al Qadiri, Nanu Al-Hamad and Sophia Al-Maria, the collective will examine power and economic relations in the Gulf – and how the area is perceived internationally – both mimicking and challenging stereotypes of the region’s young residents.
Handwoven panels of high-contrast stripes—pink and green, black and white—sewn together and mounted on canvas by the Berlin-based Canadian, split the difference between Op art and craft. In one small example, exposed seams and irregularities in the fabric create the same kind of visual stutters that another artist might achieve by painting sharp edges. Elsewhere, muted colors and diagonal lines suggest a range of allusions, from heraldry to upholstery. Wadden’s works also enlist the textures of the found and secondhand yarn that he uses: one rosy triangle, set against mixed knurls of oceanic blue and green, simultaneously brings to mind an endless beach, a scratchy couch, and the standard of a medieval army.
Formed in Toronto in 1969 by AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, the artist collective General Idea built its body of work on a strikingly diverse array of themes, constantly revisiting both the field of contemporary art production and the identity politics of the era that ultimately underscores so much of the artist’s act of world-making, critique and expression. No subject was safe from their intuitive and enigmatic lens, from the myth of the artist, the role of mass media, and the relationship between the body and identity, to questions of gender and sexual representation, and perhaps most famously, the HIV/AIDS activism of the 1980’s, a mode of critique that the group were pioneers of during an era of intense repression and governmental silence. Working in a broad range of practices, from paintings to performances, published editions to video, sculpture to installation, the group was almost constantly in a state of reinvention, speaking to the diversity and power of their collective vision.
The American artist is known for not being afraid to voice her political opinions. DW spoke to her about the state of the American Dream, the role of artists in turbulent political times and US President Donald Trump.
Born in New York in 1976, Karl Haendel currently lives and works in Los Angeles. He is known for creating meticulous, photorealistic pencil drawings, most of which are based on appropriated photographs. Haendel often works on a large scale, removing the images from their original context and playing with our relationship to familiar images, signs and signifiers.
Haendel’s work is in public collections in the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Guggenheim Museum, New York.
The prevailing memory of the 2017 Whitney Biennial will likely be the outrage over Dana Schutz’s painting of Emmett Till, but it would be a shame if that overshadowed Pope.L’s strange, complicated, and typically irreverent 2017 work, Claim (Whitney Version). A large, pink-colored cube, the installation was festooned with pieces of bologna, as well as small photographic portraits of what the artist claimed were Jewish people. (“Fortified wine” was also used as a material.) The enigmatic work proves especially complex amidst the current resurgence of identity politics, and in June, it netted the artist the coveted Bucksbaum Award.
The Estate of General Idea (1969-1994) had their first exhibition with the Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery on view in Chelsea through January 13, featuring several “ziggurat” paintings from the late 1960s, alongside works on paper, photographs and ephemera that highlight the central importance of the ziggurat form in the rich practice of General Idea.
The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles has acquired Mary Kelly’s archive, which includes various documents related to works the American artist made between 1968 and 2014. Those documents, along with various ephemera and materials, will be catalogued by the institute and then made available to the public.
Monica Bonvicini’s new exhibition at the Berlinische Galerie is an aural invasion. From most parts of the museum, the jangling buckles and leather tails of a 33-foot-long whip, titled Breathing, can be heard hitting the floor and walls. Along with the incessant slamming of a metal door, Bonvicini has crafted a jarring soundscape to house the rest of the museum’s collection of modern art from Berlin.
The importance of the ziggurat to General Idea’s practice cannot be understated. It is a central and repeated symbol in General Idea’s vocabulary, appearing (either implicitly or explicitly) in paintings, drawings, performances, photographs, sculptures, prints, videos and costumes spanning the group’s existence. An ancient Mesopotamian architectural structure of steps leading up to a temple, the ziggurat symbolizes as a link between humans and the gods. The symbol can be found in cultures ranging from Mesopotamia to the Aztec to Navajo Nation. General Idea appropriates this symbol of power and theism, utilizing the form as a framing device to examine questions of branding, architecture and spatial politics.
FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art announces the opening of Press and Professional accreditation and the Triennial's initial group of project highlights, which includes FRONT commissions and exhibitions that will activate unique and unconventional spaces throughout the city of Cleveland. These projects spotlight particular sites, buildings and locations in Cleveland that carry social, cultural or political significance in its history and current reality. In these unique spaces, FRONT artists will unveil a range of projects including site-specific works that engage the city’s rich identity, while allowing a broader contemplation of people and place to both residents and visitors.
Known for their unique approach to things and their meaning, General Idea appropriated the ziggurat as the icon of power and theism, utilizing its form as a framing device to examine questions of architecture, branding and spatial politics.
For them, the ziggurat stands, among other things, as an architectural device which communicates fame, money, success. The first series of Ziggurat paintings were created in 1968-69 by Felix Partz, but the group didn’t return to them until 1986, completing the sketches from the previous period that were never completed.
Gerasimos Floratos is an artist living and working in New York City. His newest exhibition, “Soft Bone Journey,” opens November 21 at Armada in Milan. In 2016 he staged solo exhibitions at White Columns in New York and Pilar Corrias in London. This Consumer Report finds Floratos in London for unspecified reasons. Here, he spends a week drawing, eating takeout, and looking at art, among other activities.
For 12 years, Kelly collected lint from her dryer to make the works, each of which is about ten feet wide. A “light noise” projected on each one appears as a kind of TV static, giving the illusion of movement while providing a nod to the historiographical importance of these three very specific moments in time, made universal by collective memory.
Kelly’s work first gained her both renown and notoriety in the 1970s as she made and expanded upon her Post-Partum Document (1973–79), a project that found her meticulously chronicling the first six years of her son’s life. The work was both an intimate record of a new mother’s unfolding relationship with her baby and an exacting account of the minutiae of childrearing that was, at the time (and still is), primarily a woman’s domain. Through Post-Partum Document, Kelly analyzed and exhibited everything from the child’s language development to the stains left behind in his diapers, revealing the (unpaid) labor, at once tedious and intense, that makes up much of so-called “women’s work.”
Three recent series by the veteran Conceptualist unite the personal and the historical using an unexpected domestic material: compressed dryer lint. “7 Days” re-creates covers of a defunct leftist publication; the jumble of early-nineteen-seventies headlines—“Germaine Greer Talks,” “Miners on Strike”—suggests a spin cycle of history.
The show premieres a film called “The Task,” plus a related installation. “The Task” runs two hours and presents the results of a three-day group relations conference organized by Ledare in Chicago this past spring. It owes its name and structure to the Tavistock Method, an approach pioneered by the British psychoanalyst Wilfred R. Bion, who in the late 1940s began to experiment with the notion that groups are greater than the sum of their parts. The task of a conference is to study group structures by studying itself: how authority is invested in leaders by others, the covert processes in operation, the problems encountered.
But there is a juxtaposition in the exhibition that saves me from the disappointment I’m left with, where Pope L. has interjected one of his text pieces. Most of these pieces by Pope L. are displayed in the entranceways between galleries, and they felt too editorial for me, like comments in the comment section of an online article.
Detroit and its surrounding areas present a case study in urban decline – one that has spurred many artists to work directly with local communities. In Flint, Michigan, for example – a once-thriving industrial city and now a symbol of post-industrial neglect and government corruption – an ongoing crisis over contaminated water has prompted several artist responses.
I had originally developed the lint medium to deal with war crimes. Over time, I thought perhaps it is also suitable for or evocative of the idea of historical memory, and maybe I can make an image, even though I don't generall work with images.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog with an interview between AA Bronson and Hans Ulrich Obrist. Formed in Toronto in 1969 by AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, General Idea is recognized internationally for work that concerns subjects as the myth of the artist, the relationship between the body and identity, the role of mass media, issues of gender and sexual representation, and famously HIV/AIDS activism at a time when even talking about it was a taboo.
This exhibition, titled “The Practical Past,” is a reminder that Kelly’s work is fundamentally useful and that Post-Partum Document proposed new motherhood and early childhood as firsts in a long series of traumas, extending to the world of political upheavals, to the promise and failure of revolutions past and present.
On view, through bodies of work both new and old, is Lemieux’s timely consideration of the longstanding but increasingly visible political and social divide that’s often characterized between urban and rural Americans. The works identify film as a medium that can uniquely serve as common ground for many populaces; it can transport stories and ideas while often locating reference points for diverse audiences, traversing political bubbles. The films, with their discussions of censorship, pathologization, racism, and class division, resonate today almost as if they aren’t, in fact, decades old.
The exhibition also included six aluminum sculptures of clock hands hung near the gallery's entrance and, in the center of the space, two broad white tables covered with all manner of paraphernalia one might find in a studio, or in a carry-on bag: coins, X-Acto knife blades, scrunchies, gloves, wine glasses, and sleep masks. As she had done in previous work, Ross-Ho played with scale in this arrangement by including exaggeratedly large or miniaturized versions of some of the objects, such as jumbo paper clips and tiny beverage bottles.
Flint Water Project, supported by the Knight Foundation as part of the Knight Arts Challenge and a Kickstarter campaign, came about when What Pipeline invited Pope.L to create a project in Detroit. The Kickstarter page states, “When Pope.L was asked by What Pipeline to do a commission for Detroit, he felt that whatever he did it should not re-victimize the city as had been done too often in the past. What if Detroit could be the hero and come to the rescue of another Midwest city in need?”
The exhibition, titled Ants at a Picknic, which is on view until December 17, 2017, includes a series of new, frenetic large-scale mandala paintings, 17 tabletop painted bronze sculptures and drawings on paper. “The works in Ants at a Picknic make plain that Martinez has hit his stride,” said Dr. Lisa Fischman, Ruth Gordon Shapiro ’37 director of the Davis Museum and curator of the exhibition. “The cosmic hooks, the summoning of spirits, the virtuoso line, the command of color and composition — it all adds up to its own kind of brilliance.”
Martinez doodles with a Sharpie, then blows up the sketch. The muscularity of his lines echoes his experience as a graffiti artist, and he walks a path between drawing and painting pioneered by Cy Twombly.
The black lines retain the doodle’s nonchalance, but the scale raises the stakes. Martinez fills in, paints over and around with self-effacing colors like avocado green and wan tomato red. He sprays, dabs, smudges and presses paint — his textures agitate, as do his rough, jagged lines. He tacks on bits of cloth. His signature, a bold “EM,” is part of the spiraling game board, too.
“The Practical Past” is a memoir from the artist’s current perspective on her life in the collective spheres she inhabited in the 1960s and ‘70s and their relation to events before and since. Much of this is writing made visual through letters from that time reflecting concerns and worries about how to live the engaged feminist life, These are transposed in digital projections that nonetheless reflect Kelly’s decision to do a kind of cottage-industry piecework. In a slightly mismatched gridded array, the overall text of handwritten correspondence renders originals as multiple iterations. What appears to shade and fade into historicism is also stuff.
Known for colorful paintings that recall midcentury abstraction, Martinez is plastering the Drawing Center with thousands of sketches that he will change throughout the exhibition’s run, a gesture that mimics his practice of keeping a wall in his studio reserved for drawings and studies. The show also includes paintings and large works on paper.
There are about two thousand drawings all told, from idle doodles to sketches for paintings, and the cumulative, very happy effect is of being inside the artist’s brain. The Surrealist technique of automatic drawing meets the chutzpah of a hand that’s been known to tag walls with spray paint. Martinez has been swapping in new works as the show goes along, upping the ante on drawing from life—this is drawing as living.
There is a peculiar, almost shameful, pleasure in visiting Mary Kelly’s laundry room. A pioneer of conceptual art, she is a model of precision in many ways. Her thinking is rigorous, her speech is eloquent, and her small home and studio up in the hills are sparsely and beautifully furnished with choice midcentury pieces.
Artists featured in “Women House” span continents and generations, including Martha Rosler, Claude Cahun, Zanele Muholi, Nazgol Ansarinia, Joana Vasconcelos, Cindy Sherman, and Laurie Simmons. Their work transforms domestic space into a public forum, entwines the female body within architectural design, and explores notions of exile and confinement in socio-spatial terms.
‘Even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day.’ That stoner koan from the 1987 comedy Withnail & I floated into my mind while looking at Amanda Ross-Ho’s solo show at Mitchell Innes & Nash. Twelve large clock faces, scrawled with colourful brush-marks, and pencilled notes-to-self, line the walls. The dials are missing their hands. These are hung in a forlorn line, each set to half-past six, near the entrance to the show. If the clock faces tell us that time is one subject of Ross-Ho’s show, then the dirty, outsized wine glasses, cups, forks, art materials and tools scattered across two big tables in the centre of the gallery tell us that scale is her other topic.
This summer and autumn, General Idea has posthumous exhibitions at MAMCO, Geneva’s museum of contemporary art, and Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York. Next spring, Esther Schipper and KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin will showcase works by Bronson and his collective, as well those created under his pseudonym ‘JX Williams’. Outside of the gallery and institutional sphere, Bronson is compiling the group’s catalogue raisonné with Fern Bayer and developing a performance project at the Siksika Nation Aboriginal reserve in Canada.
In some regards, size has always mattered to Amanda Ross-Ho. It’s hard to even recall a show of hers in which she hasn’t taken a common object and enlarged it to an uncommon size. In her 2012 show at MOCA’s Pacific Design Center, Teeny Tiny Woman, Ross-Ho even went so far as to create an oversize photo enlarger, underscoring her impressive sense of both scale and formal wit. With several years of practice under her belt since then, however, Ross-Ho’s simple enlargements have seemed to evolve quite considerably, perhaps best exemplified by My Pen is Huge, Ross-Ho’s new exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, which sees her adding to own work’s discourse by including life size objects alongside her oversized sculptures.
“Eddie Martinez: Studio Wall” at the Drawing Center
Painter Eddie Martinez is never without pen and paper, drawing as he goes about his day and hanging the resulting drawings—created on the subway, at doctors’ appointments, and even at restaurants—on a wall in his Brooklyn studio. The artist will recreate this wall of artwork at Drawing Center, adding new pieces for the duration of the exhibition.
And yet, the "Flint Water Project" cannot be separated from the potential impact it may have outside of the gallery or the homes of individual collectors. Three years after it became widely known, the Flint water crisis is, after all, ongoing, and the human costs are all too real. (The water being bottled and sold at What Pipeline comes from the home of Flint resident Tiantha Williams, whose young son was born prematurely due to complications from her consumption of Flint water during pregnancy.)
Los Angeles-based artist Amanda Ross-Ho has built a career focusing on the studio as locus, metaphor, and container for the creative process. Keeping her interests tethered to this line of inquiry has given her the freedom to cover a swath of art practices including sculpture, painting, photography, installation, and performance. In MY PEN IS HUGE, she gives us a book of hours aimed not at religious devotion but rather devotion to creativity, parsed into minute snippets of time.
“MY PEN IS HUGE” was absolutely perfect as a title because it did about 15 things at the same time. Language has this ability to do what I want my work to always be able to do, which is to have an elasticity and mutability. I loved the redundancy of naming what was actually happening in the show—which is about scaling my own mark-making larger. Also it’s obviously a piece of wordplay that’s supposed to fool you, this quick joke. And then it’s specifically about male arrogance, and the fallibility of it.
Last summer, around the time she lost the lease on her downtown-Los Angeles studio of nearly a decade, Ross-Ho found a collection of paper clock faces being unloaded by their manufacturer on eBay. These handless invocations of disorientation and eternity became her work surfaces and scratch pads until this past August, which she spent in the gallery painstakingly reproducing them as four-and-a-half-foot-square paintings. One is covered with doodled cubes, masks of tragedy, and hasty ballpoint notes like “Avoid grinding over steaming pots”; in another, the clock face is simply painted red. Along with an installation of novelty-sized objects both store-bought and custom-made—giant wineglasses, minuscule bottles of Evian water—the work suggests a powerfully unnerving vision of time as a procession of banal decisions adding up to something irrevocable. Six sets of large powder-coated clock hands hanging on the front wall make a fitting addendum.
As a summer full of marches and demonstrations draws to a close, with no sign that the mood in the US has become any less sour, the Whitney Museum of American Art has staged an ambitious survey of activist art. Through a selection of items from the museum’s permanent collection in a range of styles and media, the show offers a pointed reflection on art and protest over the past eight decades, from anti-war protest signage to abstract painting.
Interview with Steve Miller and Annette Lemieux from Issue 17. Enigma
Lemieux’s approach is generally cool, mechanical, post-modern — repurposing secondhand imagery to make new meanings. In this case, her themes are anxiety, censorship, surveillance and murder in the era of President Donald Trump.
Amanda Ross-Ho’s show, “My Pen is Huge,” is like jumping through a rabbit hole and into a world where the gallery, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, has become a mad theater. The oversized wine glasses, blown-up hands of grandfather clocks, and other random objects are feel somehow completely necessary in the room. Coffee stains and pen scribbles cover the canvas and tables in the middle of the gallery. This show completely captures chaos in its most whimsical form.
We’re pretty excited about this one, as it’s General Idea’s first solo show in New York City since an exhibition at MoMA in 1996. Founded by AA Bronson, Felix Partz, and Jorge Zontal in Toronto in 1969, the collective has consistently tackled taboo subjects, especially pertaining to sexuality. This exhibition will focus on the group’s tamer but still visually grabbing Ziggurat Paintings, which were made between 1968–86 and play with the ancient Mesopotamian form.
In the weeks leading up to her current exhibition, MY PEN IS HUGE, at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Amanda Ross-Ho prepared for the show in the gallery space in which her work would be on display. Poet and art writer John Yau visited her during this process.
Monica Bonvicini’s homage to Louise Bourgeois will be some of the surprises among many others
In an exhibition created within the walls of its display place, Los Angeles-based artist Amanda Ross-Ho installs (and creates) her latest exhibits at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery in New York. This hyperbole heavy exhibition, consisting of installations, sculptures and paintings, is called ‘MY PEN IS HUGE’.
A conceptual artist known for incorporating her studio activities in a theatrical, multidisciplinary practice, Los Angeles artist Amanda Ross-Ho created her latest exhibit, titled "MY PEN IS HUGE," right in Chelsea's Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery.
This will be the gallery’s second exhibition of these artists and the first time the two will be exhibited together. The exhibition showcases the relation between the works of the artists which are based on the process of making drawings.
Los Angeles-based artist Amanda Ross-Ho turned Mitchell-Innes & Nash into her studio for the month of August, working in the gallery to create new paintings and sculptures for her upcoming exhibition. The central motif will be the clock, featured in 12 large-scale paintings made last month based on drawings produced over the past year—compressing a year’s worth of work into just 31 days.
For her solo presentation at the Berlinische Galerie, Monica Bonvicini has produced a site-specific installation to be staged in the museum’s large exhibition hall—a move that is a hallmark of her decades-long practice, which often focuses on the institutional viewing space. Because the Berlin exhibition runs in tandem with the 15th Istanbul Biennale, in which Bonvicini is also participating, the show is influenced by both Berlin and Istanbul, and is said to feature elements of each major city.
“I decided to use these surfaces as a place to record the relentless conscious, and subconscious, mark-making and stenography that takes place within my immediate and intimate personal tabletop spaces.” While working within her impromptu gallery-studio, Ross-Ho says she is “forensically translating” some of these studies into a dozen large-scale paintings.
Martha Rosler calls it the “third-space effect”—a work environment so controlled that the “world shrinks to a bubble around myself, without the distractions of my daily life or environment or people.” One place she has this feeling is in airports. “I wrote one of my most-cited essays largely at the Atlanta airport way back in 1980 or ’81. I have often found myself able to concentrate in airports, but only if the waiting area isn’t packed, or if I can sit in a place that has tables,” she says.
From his earliest works made as an undergraduate, which include fiction, plays, song lyrics, etc., that were retroactively organized under the title Communications Devices, Pope.L has wrestled with language as communication, while illustrating a profound understanding that language is not a transparent medium. Neither is race, however often it’s looked through. Instead, Pope.L makes the surfaces of his work murky and obdurate, highlighting their visibility while also obscuring them.
Since the early 1970s, through her photomontages, photographs, videos, installations, and critical writings, Martha Rosler has explored what mass-media images and public spaces reveal about power and persuasion in late capitalist society. “In the Place of the Public: The Airport Series,” her photographic exploration of the airport as postmodern space, dates from 1983 to the present. While Rosler has not changed the focus of the series, which remains on the airports’ interior architecture, she has changed the photographs’ accompanying text to reflect alterations in how airports are designed and utilized post-9/11. Earlier this year, she talked with ARTnews about the evolution of the series
Chicago-based artist Pope.L, who recently won the 2017 Bucksbaum Award for his work in this year’s Whitney Biennial, is raising funds on Kickstarter for an interventionist installation and performance piece that calls attention to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. For Flint Water Project, the artist will purchase and bottle 150 gallons of polluted water from Flint residents. He will then sell the bottles as limited edition artworks in Detroit.
“When Pope.L was asked by What Pipeline to do a commission for Detroit,” the Kickstarter proposal reads, “he felt that whatever he did it should not re-victimize the city as had been done too often in the past. What if Detroit could be the hero and come to the rescue of another midwest city in need?” It adds, at another point, “The goals for his work are several: joy, money, and uncertainty—not necessarily in that order.”
I’ve chosen to focus primarily on works Kogelnik produced in the 1960s and 1970s. I find her preoccupation with technology, new materials, and body politics during that period way ahead of its time. I became really fascinated with her cyborgian works, such as Plug-in Hand (ca. 1967) and Human Spare Part (ca. 1968), both polyurethane hand sculptures with technologies embedded—a telephone handle and an electrical plug—as well as the vinyl Hangings, which allude to a future where bodies can be taken on and off.
Stemming from the group’s archives, the exhibition at MAMCO, conceived in close collaboration with AA Bronson, tackles the first ten years of their career under the specific angle of photography. The aesthetics of these early works borrows from Minimal, Conceptual, as well as Land art, and the regulars from MAMCO will certainly find an echo to works from Dennis Oppenheim, Franz Erhard Walther, or even Victor Burgin. However these photographs are also documents from the group’s life within the context of communitarian utopias which left their mark on the 1960s in Northern America.
In summer 2016, Ross-Ho found a collection of vintage paper clock face dials on Ebay, being liquidated from a clock maker. She acquired all of them, identifying the poetic potential and a vacant stage for activity on the blank clock faces, which were amputated from the mechanism and components, she started a series of works that evolved across her travels. She aggregated the surfaces of the clock faces with doodles, calculations, diagrams, lists, notes to self and other anxious scribblings, combined with the residue of her consumption of food and drink, as a visual documentation of her daily activities of life and art.
It’s an ironic development. Anna Mary Robertson Moses was the biggest American artist of the 20th century, thanks in part to her swimmingly successful “Grandma” brand, which headlined down-home paintings that translated well onto aprons, lampshades, and Hallmark cards. But time passes and brands calcify, even if the art remains alive and juicy.
Since the 1990s, Bonvicini’s works have circled around the world of construction. Industrial materials, tools, and construction site supplies have been used and transformed into large installations or sculptures. She reveals the close connections between architecture and public spaces, the world of labor, gender and sexuality, as well as control, politics, power and representation. In Bonvicini’s eyes, buildings as well as urban and suburban infrastructure are by no means neutral, but on the contrary obsessive, politically ideological, and sexualized.
When the curators began organizing “20/20: The Studio Museum in Harlem and Carnegie Museum of Art,” Barack Obama was still president. “It’s very interesting how things shifted over the course of planning the exhibition,” Mr. Crosby said. As they structured the show, they made changes in response to “the polarized political landscape we find ourselves in.”
Kiki Kogelnik, who passed away almost exactly twenty years ago, on February 1st 1997, staged her artificial appearance as part of a complex artistic overall strategy that focussed on the inseparable connection of life and art. Quite naturally, the multifaceted, versatile artist attached the same importance to the performative “self imaging“ and “self fashioning“ as to her artistic work, which explicitly cannot be reduced to disciplines and categories. “Kiki is an original. Her style is part bohemian, part film star, part intellectual” Robert Fulford stated in the “Toronto Daily Star“ in 1964.
The works on display raises questions about the self in relation to others, collective norms, and the built environment. Through their distinct process and subject matter, each artist points out the links and fissures in our lives and the larger systems that we attempt to grapple with from science to spirituality and spaces in between. O’Neill’s two-channel projection environment, ‘No Wonder - Two Skins’ (2013) and Fleming’s multichannel video installation, ‘A Theory of Everything’ (2015) creates a chronological bridge between the works, suggesting a comparison of American society of the past and present. Both artists use found collage and original to create new stories that are devoid of a straight narrative and cinematic convention.
For this performance piece that will run 24 hours a day for the entire course of the exhibition, artist Pope.L enlisted performers to wander around both Athens and Kassel whispering fictional texts penned by the artist, randomly generated series of numbers, and folk songs from the 1930s to themselves while publish audio speakers in both cities play similar content.
The esteemed multidisciplinary artist Pope.L is having a moment. His contribution to Documenta 14, the prestigious international exhibition in Kassel, Germany — and this year also in Athens — is the slyly subversive “Whispering Campaign,” featuring performers who walk the streets of both cities, confiding in strangers the artist’s elliptical yet biting aphorisms about race and color from his word- based “Skin Set” drawings. Last month, Pope.L’s “Claim (Whitney Version),” a beautiful vexing installation featuring an enormous pastel-colored room festooned with slices of baloney, received the Bucksbaum Award as a “boundary-breaking” work in the recent Whitney Biennial.
The conceptual artist, who was recently awarded the Bucksbaum Prize for his piece in the Whitney Biennial, is best known for confrontationally absurdist public performances. But this show of early work highlights his gift for combining text, found imagery, and evocative materials. In some of his assemblages, smeared peanut butter, like impasto pigment, frames magazine clippings, such as one that reads “Now You Can Bring Black History Home” and features a photo of African-American schoolchildren reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. In the sardonic, Rauschenbergian “Crawling to Richard Pryor’s House,” from 1994, a froglike, brown stuffed animal, sandwiched by paint and wood glue on a board, also bears a fragmentary, appropriated image of a child. Pope.L has a knack for drawing out the scatological qualities of gestural painting, the abject potential of collage, and the rhetorical power of color to expose the psychosexual substrate of American racism.
Pope.L's installation Pedestal, a Elkay drinking fountain deconstructed and hung from the ceiling, alludes to the segregated black and white drinking fountains installed throughout the South during Jim Crow. The work releases water into a hole in the gallery's floor every two-and-a-half minutes. The gesture alludes to Pope.L's "Hole Theory." In a book titled after the theory, the artist writes, "Hole Theory engages lack/Across economic and cultural/And political boundaries/[Lack is where it's AT]." Pope.L's theory is rooted in the social conditions of 1980s black life, the drugs that flooded the community, the jobs that left it, and the culture, like Hip-hop, that sprung from the era's black rage.
To wit: For the new work of the Los Angeles-based artist Amanda Ross-Ho, “Untitled Findings (ACCESS),” she has scattered enlarged replicas of keys across Basel.
Ms. Ross-Ho’s exaggerated keys, modeled after functioning ones that open doors to real locations around the city, are almost certain to be come across by passers-by who had no expectation of a run-in with an Art Basel installation that day — chance encounters echoing the imagined accidents by which the keys were lost.
“They reinvented the idea of artist activism,” Lucy Mitchell-Inness, a co-owner of the gallery, told ARTnews. “They took on ideas—those often demonized or ignored—with a boldness that was unheard of at the time. [General Idea] came of age in a period that saw pivotal changes in queer conceptualism and postmodernism. They led the charge in decentralization and intervention within the institutional framework.”
“I’ve been a big fan of Amanda Ross-Ho’s work for a long time. She makes large-scale sculptural interpretations of everyday objects, like gloves and trousers. In this vein, she’s made a keychain based on her own Carabiner keychain and a bunch of keys that seem to have fallen off and are lost throughout the streets of Basel. They’re large—maybe 60cm long. We partnered with people from the Parcours area and asked if they would You might find one down by the river, up the stairway on the other side of the road, in a private garden. give the artist a copy of their key. It makes a nice meta-portrait of the local community.”
“The visibility you get through Documenta, you can’t get anywhere else,” says Sven Christian Schuch of Galerie Sfeir-Semler, which is showing collages by the Lebanese- Dutch artist Mounira Al Solh at Art Basel. But a “quick sell” is not what the gallery is expecting, he says. Instead, he hopes that the institutional attention generated by Documenta could help to secure a possible future solo show for Al Solh. But the artist’s “moderate prices” can make this fair strategy a risk. “Every centimetre on the walls is very expensive,” Schuch says.
But among the questions it presents, Claim, more than other artwork in the Biennial, stresses the unique problems museums and collectors face as contemporary art grows more ambitious in its materials: how to conserve works made of substances meant to last for several days or weeks. After all, it’s difficult to imagine bologna portraits transcending millennia like a classical marble bust or centuries like a Rembrandt. Getting a sculpture made of deli meat to survive the decade could even be a stretch. While Claim may be an extreme case of perishable art, Pope L. is far from alone.
Walk through Kassel for long enough (which you certainly will if you come to to this sprawling exhibition) and you’ll find yourself spinning around at least once looking for the source of a disembodied voice. It’s most likely not a monster from the Kassel-born Brothers Grimm haunting the city, but instead a work by Whitney Biennial and now documenta favorite Pope.L.
“It’s a really large enterprise, and this go-around it’s even more difficult to encompass,” Pope.L, who shows at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York, said while sitting next to me at L’Osteria’s zinc bar with free pistachios. “But I’ve been making works for the past ten years, maybe longer, where my intent is to make something that even I can’t encompass myself. So it felt perfectly within that agenda.
Pope.L wins 2017 Whitney Museum Bucksbaum Award | Chicago-based artist Pope.L is the 2017 winner of the Whitney Museum’s annual Bucksbaum Award. The $100,000 prize goes to Pope.L, also known as William Pope.L, for his contribution to this year’s Whitney Biennial: Claim (Whitney Version) (2017), an installation containing 2,755 slices of bologna.
“The Bucksbaum Award recognizes extraordinary artists whose works are inventive, urgent, and promise to be enduring,” Mary E. Bucksbaum Scanlan—the daughter of the prize’s namesake, Melva Bucksbaum, who died in 2015—said in a statement. “I am proud that this tradition continues with the first Biennial in the Whitney’s downtown home by honoring Pope.L, a singular artist in a class of his own.”
The multidisciplinary artist Pope.L (also known as William Pope.L) has been named the recipient of the 2017 Bucksbaum Award, which recognizes an artist whose work was featured in the recent Whitney Biennial. Previous winners include Sarah Michelson and Zoe Leonard.
The painter Julian Stanczak died earlier this year in his hometown of Cleveland Ohio, at the age of 88. Prior to his death, Mitchell-Innes and Nash in New York had been planning what would have been the second solo exhibition at the gallery of his work. That exhibition opened on 18 May, less than two months after Stanczak passed, and it has became more than just another show. It is a celebration of the work and the life of a truly beloved and influential artist.
Leigh Ledare shot his 16mm film Vokzal (2016) in a square where the presence of three railway stations creates unusual patterns of foot traffic: neither linear, like that directed by sidewalks, nor ambling, as in a park, but combining multiple directions of strolling in an open space with multiple, specific destinations. Ledare would train his lens on particular pedestrians and follow them until they exited the range of his view...Like Ledare’s film, Pope.L’s work begins with surreptitious camerawork in public space, but the rigid ordering and smell of rotting lunchmeat suggest something less exploratory and more sinister.
Every two-and-a-half minutes exactly, Pope.L’s “Pedestal,” an upside-down water fountain bolted to the ceiling, releases a thin jet of water into a hole in the floor. It’s a disquieting meditation on the nature of time — endlessly replenished but endlessly fleeting — made more ominous by “Well (elh version),” a series of small ledges bearing water glasses that must be topped up with eyedroppers every day by gallery staff.
Best known for absurdist public performances, Pope.L has a history of dealing with the politics of race and identity—which the African-American artist doesn’t limit to black versus white: His installation at the 2017 Whitney Biennial, for instance, consists of a four-sided structure covered with rows of rotting bologna slices meant to represent the percentage of Jews in New York City. With a solo show opening in midtown, Pope.L talks about his fascination with the relationship between words and pictures, his fondness for quirky materials and the importance of truth in his art.
A friend and I recently had a conversation about the trend of galleries putting together shows of famous artist’s lesser-known works from yesteryear and writing a vague exhibition text to explain why they’re important. Here, that means “an exhibition of early work by Pope.L dating from 1979-1994 that demonstrates the function of materiality and language in his practice.”
While that sentence doesn’t really say anything, we’re guessing this show will be good because Pope.L is a genius and the racial politics he’s addressed in his work since 1979 are sadly still all-too-relevant today. We’re guessing “the function of materiality and language” will always be “relevant” until we’re all telepathically linked by some Elon Musk gadget.
On view at Mitchell- Innes & Nash will be Pope.L’s “Proto- Skin Sets,” made between 1979 and 1994 and never before publicly exhibited. Combining text and odd materials like semen, peanut butter, and hair, these works reflect on black history and how identity gets constructed. Also in this exhibition will be “Communications Devices,” a set of works form the 1970s in which Pope.L wrote on postcards from SoHo gallery shows, copied these promotional materials, and then left stacks of them in galleries.
I wanted Trespassing Light to appear effortless. I wanted to "hear" the red shout, and I am satisfied with the outcome.
Kurland’s “Of Woman Born” series (2005–06) takes its name from a 1978 text by feminist poet Adrienne Rich, which argues that women should oppose the restrictive maternal roles prescribed by patriarchal society.
Generally made with pen and ink on graph paper, Pope.L’s Skin Set works from the late 1990s and into the 2010s offer sharp, sometimes witty critiques of the absurdity of racial stereotypes and references to skin color (i.e “Black People are the Window and the Breaking of the Window,” “Blue People Cannot Conceive of Themselves,” “White People Are Angles on Fire”). This exhibition of early works executed on local newspapers, billboards, and advertisements anticipates the artist’s Skin Set works. In a series of works dating from 1979-1994, Pope.L explores issues including race and masculinity and the function of language and materiality in his practice. The artist is also currently presenting work in the Whitney Biennial.
For this exhibition, the Italian-born, Berlin-based artist Monica Bonvicini bisected Mitchell-Innes & Nash's main space with a temporary wall supported by two small, dildolike "sculptures" in Murano glass resting on the floor. The installation, Structural Psychodrama #2 (2017), succinctly encapsulated the central theme of her work over the last twenty years: the imbrication of sex and architecture through relationships between the body and its shelters, barriers, props, and frames. As Bonvicini put it in a 2004 interview, "You have something under your belt and something over your head. And you need both."
Living together for almost fifty-five years, Julian and I—and later our children, too—experienced many memorable adventures; we crossed the country by car from one national park to the next, from one unique experience to another. As I took in nature’s formations and found myself enthralled by America’s geology, Julian was registering everything within his mind’s eye.
In these works she literally covers herself in oil and pigment and lies on top of a human-sized sheet of paper. Depending on the print, the designs either obscure or highlight the artist’s gender. “I’ve always been looking for some sort of extremely indexical ‘I am here’ mark to put into my paintings,” she said.
English artist Anthony Caro left an enormous legacy when he died in 2013 at age eighty-nine. He was celebrated for his sculpture in Britain by the late 1950s, and internatinoally beginning in the early '60s.
The Brooklyn artist writes a new chapter in the history of painting as performance—a powerful update of Yves Klein’s infamous use of naked women as blue-dipped brushes. Ferris’s imprints on paper of her own painted form, clad in a button-down shirt and belted jeans, have a cowboyish gender fluidity. The results can evoke Warhol’s iconic Elvis series, especially when Ferris’s hands rest at her hips, as if poised at a holster. In the turquoise-and-crimson “Joan/Joni,” we see a sturdy stance and a blurred head; in “twinKtwin,” the figure is headless and symmetrical, a vision in yellow and silver. The novel self-portraits may surprise viewers who know only the artist’s rambunctious abstractions—they will doubtless earn her some new fans as well.
The artist’s subjectivity is literally inseparable from the work in Keltie Ferris’s latest exhibition of body prints, “M\A\R\C\H.” She made the twenty-eight prints in the show by dousing her body, usually clothed but sometimes nude, in oil and pressing it against paper, then covering it with pigment. While the layered pigment renders every crease and crevice of clothing and flesh, the colors also work to create vibrating relationships that define the mood of the figure they make. On one wall, fourteen prints hang in a grid, each one radiating an individual palette, often mirrored by playful titles.
Mitchell-Innes & Nash recently debuted a new exhibit in Chelsea, Manhattan, on view from April 6 – May 13, 2017. Chris Johanson: Possibilities showcases new paintings and works on paper that invite you to physically interact with the art.
Unlike her predecessors, Ferris’ body prints reject an easy gendered identification of the body, suggesting a fluid and performative state of gender identity. As no two prints are exactly the same, each work represents a multitude of forms, which when displayed together, present individual facets of the artist’s identity, both autonomous and dependent.
Mr. Stanczak’s art evinced a tremendous geometric inventiveness. He constantly elaborated on the possibilities of parallel stripes, both straight and undulant; squares, both checkerboard and concentric; and grids, usually amplified by contrasting saturated colors.
Keltie Ferris's current show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, "M\A\R\C\H," furthers the Brooklyn-based artist's experiments in exploring queer identity with recent selections from her ongoing series of body prints. Covering herself in oil and pressing her frame onto paper that she paints in beaming hues, Ferris triumphs over the surface and the very patriarchal ideology of her medium. The denim pants and shirts she dons in each print lend a distinct shape, challenging typical likenesses of the female nude.
On view are more of the artist's ongoing series of body prints, for which she covers herself in oil paint before pressing against a canvas on the floor.
Certainty is only a claim, like the title of another perplexing piece in the Biennial. A re-creation of an earlier installation at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, “Claim (Whitney Version)” by the artist Pope.L, aka William Pope.L, is a grid of 2,755 slices of bologna, each one affixed with a photocopied image, a blurry face, and corresponding, in total, to a percentage of New York’s Jewish population. The artist’s “claim,” made in an accompanying text, may be “a bit off,” he concedes. Such claims are bologna.
The curators, Mia Locks and Christopher Lew, have laid out a daring exhibition that is representative of a broad swath of the population. At its center is Pope.L (aka William Pope.L)’s Claim (Whitney Version) (2017), a pink box on the outside slathered mint green on the inside. Pinned with 2,755 slices of bologna, each slice has a photocopy portrait of a person affixed to it. PopeL. claims the slices are consistent with a percentage of New York City’s 1,086,000 Jewish residents.
Conceptually, the luscious degradation and lingering stink points to anxieties about identity at the heart of the exhibition and indeed the greater culture in the United States.
Possibilities, Johanson’s second solo exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash introduces his whimsical and easy-going West Coast style that has become associated with Mission Art School. Cartoonish drawings, symbols from pop culture, and figures that morph into abstraction appear in bright, sunny colors often times accompanied by text. The artist, who went into the radar of New York art scene with his participation in the 2002 Whitney Biennial, uses different found material he finds on the street, paying homage to his early days as a street artist.
Chris Johanson: Possibilities is an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper on view in an immersive installation at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash’s Chelsea space. Johanson’s work engages with the meditative qualities of art-making and the sincere direct communication through painting and sculpture.
Pope.L’s Whispering Campaign (2016-17), installed in various forms across seven Athenian venues, preserves and passes on fragmented narrative artifacts, reinvesting in the art of hearing and being heard. At the Conservatoire, the campaign takes the form of a turquoise safe, which stands unassumingly in a corner. Its door remains locked, its contents out of site, but, if you pass it at an opportune moment, you will hear the dulcet tones of a singer from the southern US emanating from within. The figure himself is absent, his voice distorted over time, but his story is there to be preserved, if you want it.
“I’m gonna grab my roller chair,” says Eddie Martinez. Which he does. We’re in Timothy Taylor in London looking at his new paintings. The very kind PR who has offered to get me a coffee has returned with it, but there’s nowhere to put it near us, with me standing and holding a phone as a mic, and Eddie sitting in his office roller chair, so the coffee sits slowly cooling on the side of the conversation like a gooseberry while we talk. I drink it on the way out and it’s still a nice temperature. If you get bored at any point reading this, think about the coffee.
Eddie is the kind of guy who gets himself a roller chair without asking if I’d like one too, but he also invites me to touch the paintings and explains them, and it’s all nice. He’s also apologetic about his self-professed inarticulacy and I should have told him that he didn’t need to be.
Multimedia artist Pope.L’s installation, Claim (Whitney Version), features 2,755 slices of bologna pinned to its wall, and each slice bears a portrait of someone who is supposedly Jewish. The piece raises questions of collective identity and how people turn abstract when reduced to numbers. Within the structure is a typewritten statement, with copy-edit marks from the artists, that ponders whether the rotting, dripping bologna represents “the flesh returning back to world” or maybe the slices are “mourning a haunted order.”
The opening-week program spans a list of performances too long to reprint, but some highlights will surely be provided by the likes of Sanja Iveković, who is creating a “creative oral document” at Avdi Square every day from 11 am to 9 pm; Pope.L, whose multi-part performance will happen across “five to six public spaces” over five hours; or sex activist Annie Sprinkle, who also participated in the pre-program in Athens with a lecture on the pleasures of water.
In Athens, the Documenta team is collaborating with around 40 local institutions, including the Benaki Museum, the Archaeological Museum of Piraeus, the Numismatic Museum and as the First Cemetery of Athens where, from 8 April, the American artist Pope.L will be performing his Whispering Campaign (2016-17) in which five performers will roam the city whispering their observations to the public.
Timothy Taylor‘s “Cowboy Town” exhibition—which opened to the public on Thursday—gathers a series of new paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Eddie Martinez.
Barbara Kasten and Jessica Stockholder, presented by Bortolami and Galleria Raffaella Cortese at the “Generations” section, miart 2017
“We are both involved in asking questions about the limits of the forms that contain our work,” writes Stockholder of this artistic dialogue. “At the same time, we care deeply for the inventive and evocative space of the picture, and how that space has the capacity to reify emotional life.”
Keltie Ferris’s disorienting, lambent abstractions—like a marriage between Albers and Oehlen, bathed in acetone—become even more physical with her current exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash’s Uptown space. For this grouping of works, started in 2013, the artist made prints from her body. Creases from clothes and flesh show up in these strange and playful images, Shroud of Turin–like.
Ferris creates her “Body Prints”—which recall the works of David Hammons, Jasper Johns, and Yves Klein—by applying oil to her own body (clothed or nude) and pressing herself onto paper on the floor of her studio. A stark contrast to her well-known abstract, spray-painted works, these prints retain a sense of self-portraiture that transcends gender identity, presenting fluid, dynamic bodies that provoke questions of artmaking and representation.
Keltie Ferris may be better known these days for her digital-looking abstractions, but this show will give her body prints a proper showcase. To make them, Ferris—sometimes clothed, sometimes not—covers herself in oil and presses her body against a canvas. The result is a figure whose gender is ambiguous, with an unreadable expression to boot. Drawing on a history of body printing that includes Jasper Johns and David Hammons, Ferris explores the connection between a painter and her canvas. How much Ferris’s identity comes through in the final product is always a point of inquiry.
Gay nightlife gave rise to the drag ball as an underground simulation of female celebrity. General Idea, the Toronto-based art collective, did something similar with its Miss General Idea pageant, though only one of the four winners of the annual event, held in Toronto from 1968 to 1971, was a man; the competition wasn’t about gender so much as it was about art as a system for producing value and fame. Playing on a monitor at the entrance to the retrospective exhibition “General Idea: Broken Time” at the Museo Jumex, Pilot (1977), which the group made for Ontario public television, is a thirty-minute deadpan documentary on the pageant that provides an introduction to the collective’s interests and sensibilities.
RE pleasure RUN” is Bonvicini’s first New York exhibition in 10 years. Fittingly, it could be thought of as a kind of mini-survey, bringing together all the predominant strains of the Italian-born, Berlin-based artist’s varied practice—namely wall-based installations, light and leather sculptures, found photo collages, works on paper, paints, and glass dildos. Over the course of her 30-year career, Bonvicini has explored through these projects issues around identity, structures of power, and the limits of language. And she has done so with her signature mixture of provocation, innuendo, and wit. The resulting message, if there is one, is often ambiguous.
Focusing primarily on solo presentations of artists, as in one artist per space, the show is well-curated with more than one canny juxtaposition (two personal favorites were Leigh Ledare’s 16 mm film Vokzal  of the public around three Moscow train stations with John Divola’s elegant “Abandoned Paintings” [2007–8] photos, which feature recuperated discarded student paintings in derelict domestic settings, and Henry Taylor’s big brushy paintings of black communities next to Deana Lawson’s elaborately staged, intimate portraits of black subjects).
Pope.L’s enormous room covered inside and out with a careful grid of embellished slices of baloney, embodies his usual sarcasm, even if the point about population breakdowns remains obscure.
Even before they enter the museum, visitors to the 2017 Whitney Biennial may spot, as they peer toward Renzo Piano’s industrial edifice from Gansevoort Street, a monumental object perched on the terrace. It has the form of a large melon, is inscribed with mystical markings, and sits at the center of a concrete circle like the statue in a traffic roundabout. A creation of the art collective GCC, it is inspired by an actual melon that appeared one day in the United Arab Emirates, where police destroyed it, documenting the process on social media, to neutralize its supposed occult force. Its reincarnation in one of the world’s most prestigious exhibitions suggests that state power couldn’t kill the magic.
For the Whitney Museum of American Art's first Biennial in its new home in the Meatpacking district, its curators chose quintessentially 2017 key themes: the formation of self and the individual's place in a turbulent society. As you might expect, traces of American political turmoil tinge much of the art.
One of the senior figures here is Pope.L, the consistently discomfiting Chicago-based African-American artist whose fifth-floor installation, a kind of free-standing room, is adorned with a number of actual, fleshy, putrefying baloney slices, nailed to its walls in grid.
A film split into three 16 mm projections assembled randomly throughout a space, Vozkal captures the social interactions of hundreds of Russian citizens loitering, working in, or passing through a Moscow train station. What is so fascinating about the projections is that while you watch the citizens go about their days, they at first seem like they are free to do what they want. But a creeping sense of dread builds throughout the piece as you begin to notice perilous looking men lurking about, perhaps policing or spying on the area. It reminds the viewer that a modern society falls into chaos and fear quietly.
All the while, the stomach-turning scent of Pope.L’s installation wafts across much of the floor. It includes almost 3000 slices of baloney, each imprinted with a portrait of “a purported Jewish person pasted at its center” and pinned to the inner and outer walls of a box-like environment. Within its chamber, a note typed by the artist in irregular font and scrawled over with a pen bemoans the racial and ethnic categorization of humans, “as if we are simply sets in a math problem.”
Leigh Ledare’s three film loops were made last year around Moscow train stations. In them, we see a possible ghost of America’s near future — people under autocratic rule, made numb, hailing from numerous social and racial strata, all barely interacting; the broken, homeless, and addicted existing but invisible alongside state workers, the wealthy, figures fighting, mothers helping their children go to the bathroom against walls. I saw a possible America in this almost animal society, its political house on fire.
There are plenty of exciting works at the museum's marquee event.
There are 63 artists in the Whitney Biennial this time around, and while individual results may vary, some of my personal favorites would include Pope L's "Claim (Whitney Version)," a giant cube covered inside and out with meticulously-spaced slices of rotting bologna, each one of which is embedded with a bleary, photocopied portrait.
Every Biennial contains a couple of did-you-see? popular hits. In 2017, the two are likely to be by Pope.L aka William Pope.L and Raúl de Nieves. “Claim (Whitney Version)” 2017, Pope.L’s large box room, is festooned on the outside with slices of real bologna dripping grease and arranged in a grid, mimicking round dots on a chart. The smell, surprisingly, isn’t unpleasant and the artist’s jibe at coldly translating flesh-and-blood beings into data spots registers immediately.
Among the 63 artists featured working in various media, are established artists like Americans Larry Bell and Dana Schutz, up-and-comers like Torey Thornton and Shara Hughes, and collectives like the Gulf-based GCC and the American trio Postcommodity.
The 2017 Whitney Biennial, the institution’s first since its move to the Meatpacking District, opens to the public later this week, but already the buzz is positive.
Written and signed by Pope.L himself, the text took on the absurd duty of explicating a work—titled Claim (Whitney Version), 2017—that is, among other things, about absurdity itself. The slices of bologna (2,755, to be exact) are said to correspond to a ratio relating to the number of Jewish citizens living in New York, and all the rest follows from that, from a methodical portrait-taking system to an ostensibly hyper-organized arrangement of objects in a grid with pencil lines to keep everything straight.
Squeezed into a prop-riddled balcony in Brooklyn's Spectrum dance club (or Dreamouse) on Wycoff Avenue, Jacolby Satterwhite is defying the laws of nature. Donned in vintage clothes that loosely hang on his nimble limbs, the artist is rapidly contorting his body into different pretzel-like poses, eventually holding one as he sinks into a pile of faux-fur pillows and garbage bags. While some might call it eccentric, the whole tableau is in fact quite minimalistic for Satterwhite, who previously, as seen in the pages of OUT and in exhibitions around the globe, has performed in spandex bodysuits covered with androgynous protrusions and digital screens. “I've moved away from that for a couple of years,” Satterwhite says. “I think right now I have a different message. My work is still gonna be 3D-animated and otherworldly and weird, but lately I feel much more satisfied with the conversation I'm having with my audience—it's about tactility and connection. I think it's more about realism for me.”
This spring visitors to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City will be greeted by a huge orange melon looming over the sixth-floor terrace. The work—inspired by a mysterious fruit covered in occult writings that washed up on a Persian Gulf beach last fall—is by the international artist collective GCC. And it's a highlight of Whitney Biennial 2017, the major survey of new American art, opening March 17.
One of the show’s senior figures is the Chicago artist Pope.L — who facetiously called himself “the friendliest black artist in America,” and whose views on race and self are wildly unfixed. Here he reworks a 2014 installation in which hundreds of slices of bologna are fixed with small, hard-to-decipher photos. Mr. Pope.L suggests in an adjacent text that the photos represent Jewish people — but then again, the sitters may not be Jewish at all. Take the pungent bologna any way you like it. Ms. Locks put it this way: “I love the idea that it’s this perfect grid, this perfect system, with the most false, sloppy data points you’ve ever seen. Literally deteriorating.”
The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, UK has announced that the four winners of its inaugural 2017 award are Jose Dávila, Eric N. Mack, Toni Schmale, and Shen Xin. Selected individually by Monica Bonvicini, Mike Nelson, Pedro Cabrita Reis, and Lorna Simpson, the four emerging artists will each be given a 13-week exhibition at the BALTIC (to open on June 30, 2017), £25,000 ($30,665) to create new works, and a £5,000 ($6,133) artist fee.
Over on 25th street, Monica Bonvicini’s solo show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, RE pleasure RUN, conflates erections with erection—construction—of architectural elements, including walls, in an S&M-tinted play on gender roles, production and displays of power and gratification. Mitchell-Innes & Nash is also showing at the Independent Art Fair, with work by Pope.L.
This year’s installment of the Independent art fair opened today, with a preview this afternoon and a public opening Friday, March 3. In Spring Studios in Tribeca for a second year, the fair gathers 52 exhibitors from 20 cities, with 15 presenting booths for the first time. Below, have a look around the fair.
Dealers this afternoon, a few hours into the opening, reported that the collectors who come to Independent New York are often looking to snap up quite specific objects—and that makes it easy to choose what you bring.
“This is a pretty low-stress fair,” said Mitchell-Innes & Nash director Bridget Finn. “We’ve done well enough that if it ended now, we’d be satisfied.”
The gallery had off-loaded several works by Pope.L, including nearly ten small sculptures priced at $10,000 each.
Certain large-scale pieces seem unlikely to find a home except with the most daring collectors, or at least the ones that don’t have kids. At Mitchell-Innes & Nash, a multimedia triptych by Leigh Ledare (Stalemate, 2017), culls found imagery from Russian fashion magazines, advertising, pornography, and other sources, along with material sure to delight any future conservator (cleaning fluid, foie gras, and human excrement). The gallery director Bridget Finn explained that Ledare views it as “a montage, a map to the current social and political climate,” which seems about right. The three-part work, which costs in the range of $40,000, is an oblique companion piece to a film shot in a Moscow train station that Ledare will unveil at this year’s Whitney Biennial.
The aggressively enigmatic works of the Italian artist suggest a lot and explain little, beyond dropped hints of erotic and political discontent. Walls are shimmed up on small glass-phallus sculptures. Clustered men’s belts assume a testicular shape. Fragmented syllables in white neon, on an aluminum rack, instruct “No more masturbation,” but they don’t say why. In a grainy photographic mural, workmen do something incomprehensible to a grimy brick wall. Scores of white L.E.D. tubes hang horizontally in tangles of wire. What’s it all about? Your call.
With NADA splitting some of the exhibitors from past years between fairs, this year’s edition seemed to tend slightly closer to the higher end of the market, as galleries frequently associated with Armory skipped that fair in favor of Independent, or doubled down on both exhibitions. Mitchell-Innes & Nash, for instance, had focused in on a booth at Independent skipping its usual place at The Armory Show and ADAA Art Show in favor of a booth here, showing works by GCC and Leigh Ledare, among others.
Surface Tension serves as the backdrop to a video projection of William Pope.L’s 2000 performance “The Great White Way, 22 Miles, 9 Years, 1 Street,” in which he famously crawled 22 miles of sidewalk from the beginning to the end of Broadway — Manhattan’s longest street — wearing a capeless Superman outfit with a skateboard strapped to his back.
Through his expressive paintings, Gerasimos Floratos (b 1986, New York) produces a theatrical and abstract depiction of his New York life, experienced from behind the register of his family’s deli in Times Square. Walking through the streets, or looking out through the window of a moving taxi, he sees himself as part of an ecosystem of people, experiences and images that come together in his paintings to form one character, created with a heavy application of coloured oil paint in bold, curving lines.
AT THE HEIGHT of the Reagan-era culture wars and the AIDS crisis—a moment that shaped today’s battles over social values, over what is normal and what is not—General Idea decided to fit in. The group explored assimilation and transgression, convention and critique, biopolitics and style. They inserted their quixotic brand of activism, agitprop, marketing, and performance, virus-like, into the mainstream, with results that were anything but. On the occasion of the retrospective “Broken Time,” which travels to the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires this month, critic Alex Kitnick takes a new look at General Idea—and their reimagining of what art and life could be.
In Highway Kind, we see Justine Kurland's on-the-road photographs as if through a film of fantasy - a very masculine, very American fantasy, about freedom and self-reliance and the big wide open.
Bonvicini addresses power dynamics, effective communication, and even the structure of the gallery itself in this new show. Central to the exhibition is Structural Psychodramas #2 (2017), a large-scale installation of temporary walls that questions the architecture of art institutions. Neon text works, one of which reads “NO MORE MASTURBATION,” offer a cheeky commentary on the role of desire in the present moment.
It’s been ten years since Monica Bonvicini had a show in New York. This week, she’ll return with “RE pleasure RUN,” her first solo show with Mitchell-Innes & Nash.
There’s something undeniably seductive about Monica Bonvicini’s work. Whether it’s a neon sculpture or painting of a burned-out building, her (usually monochromatic) pieces have a vaguely S&M quality and wouldn’t look out of place in the background of a high-fashion editorial photoshoot. But beyond looking good, they’re subtly loaded with content. Bonvicini speaks to structures, both literally (as in the architectural sense) and figuratively (as in those of power).
Berlin-based, Italian conceptual artist Monica Bonvicini gets her first New York solo show in a decade. Her debut at the gallery centers on Structural Psychodramas #2, an installation of small Murano glass sculptures, as well as two of the artist’s monumental disaster paintings and large-scale, provocative neon works, one of which reads “NO MORE MASTURBATION.”
“I was excited about Obama, but at the same time I was wondering how the machine of conventional politics would nullify his impact. You could say I was suspicious. I’m the kind of person who sees clouds on the horizon. Or smoke. There’s always this sense that there’s more to do. And we became complacent. Otherwise I don’t think what happened on Nov. 8 would have happened. It’s almost as if we thought black people — or President Obama — could solve everything. It’s about some fantasy we had — this Caramel Camelot. And so now we are where we are."
Pope.L and Mia Locks discuss "Americanismo" in the 57th issue of Mousse Magazine.
There is an unmistakable ashes-to-ashes, dust-to-dust, circle-of-life quality, an equally youthful then mature balance of roughness and polish that only occurs at either end of life.
Another saying that comes to mind is, live by the sword, die by the sword. An old friend once told me, “You better hope what you did as a kid was good, because you always go back to it.”
Monica Bonvicini was born in the 60s in Venice and finished her studies at California Insitute of Arts and in Berlin in 1992. Her work since–dipping between installation, sculpture, video and drawing–has been influenced by architecture, exploring both public and private spaces, and is often noted to have sprung from the sex clubs that the artist found herself frequenting during the 90s.
In the excellent exhibition “Anthony Caro: First Drawings Last Sculptures,” which occupies both Mitchell-Innes & Nash locations, the pieces do a little of everything while adding something new: thick slabs of tinted or clear Perspex (acrylic sheets). The sculptures in Chelsea are especially powerful in scale and size. But as you walk around them, viewing their structures from different sides, noting the collusions of metal and plastic, human perception seems scrupulously accounted for.
In the early years of his career, Anthony Caro worked on a series of twisting, enigmatic depictions of human and animal figures, works that owed much to the spatial interrogations of Picasso and the broader canon of 20th Century European abstraction. The works are impressive in their understanding of the gestural and conceptual operations of the era’s avant-garde, but for Caro’s career, served in part as a starting point for his own engagement with space, not only on paper or canvas, but in three dimensions.
The Barnes Foundation will celebrate more than 50 artists’ engagement with different communities in “Person of the Crowd: The Contemporary Art of Flânerie,” opening Feb. 25. The artists Tania Bruguera and Sanford Biggers will organize performances in the city streets, and the Guerrilla Girls collective will create billboards. Additionally, Monument Lab (a group of curators, scholars, students and artists who aim to ask what kind of monuments the city needs) will mount a temporary work by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. In May, the Association for Public Art will bring the artist Martin Puryear’s largest public sculpture to date, “Big Bling,” to the city for six months.
Once a cartoonish vibe takes hold of the works, the weighty hunks of steel in them start seeming faintly comic as well. Some of Caro’s steel consists of repurposed found objects: a hopper used to cart sand; a chunk from some kind of gantry. Rather than being elevated from their humble origins thanks to Caro’s high art, these objects now seem to keep Caro’s art down-to-earth – almost like found anchors that keep his foofy acrylic from blowing away.
With an Anthony Caro show currently on view at Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery in New York, we turn back through the ARTnews archives. Because the show brings together very early and very late work from the British artist’s career, we have selected one old excerpt, by Lawrence Alloway, and one new sample, by William Feaver, who in 2014 wrote an essay following Caro’s death the year before.
This is the artist’s first exhibition in the US since his death in 2013 and his sixth with Mitchell-Innes & Nash, who has exclusively represented Caro in New York for 14 years. The exhibition features work spanning Caro’s 60-year career and highlights the artist’s fearless and constant innovation throughout his lifetime.
At the height of the Vietnam War, an artist named Martha Rosler started clipping pictures of the conflict from the pages of Life. She also collected images from adjacent pages showcasing luxurious American interiors. With a touch of glue, she merged the two, making up scenes that collided realities that mainstream media tended to keep comfortably separated.
In this interview with the art historian Alexander Alberro excerpted from Phaidon’s Monica Bonvicini, Bonvicini sheds light on her famously brash use of materials, the liberating nature of BDSM clubs, and how the personal is always political, even when we least expect it.
The show charted the flourishing popularity in the Gulf of "positive lifestyle" practices - encompassing anything from yoga and healthy eating to New Age spiritualties - as well as their instrumentalization by governments as technologies of control.
An anti-war protester at the time, Martha Rosler grew frustrated with the way such images were diminished when juxtaposed with trivial advertisements and inconsequential news items.
The exhibition brings together late British artist Sir Anthony Caro’s works spanning his sixty years career highlighting the artist’s fearless and constant innovation.
The Canadian artist collective General Idea found its drive in the AIDS epidemic, becoming aesthetically and conceptually refined in the in the 1970s and ’80s, after long forays into absurdity and performances evocative of Dada and Fluxus. A retrospective presented by the Jumex Museum elucidates the collective’s progression from troublemakers to activist artists calling attention to the epidemic, which ultimately claimed two of its three members and countless others in the queer creative community.
This is the New York-based artist's first exhibition in Brussels. On view are Ledare’s three bodies of works—Vokzal, The Walk, and The Large Group.
Miranda July speaks with fellow biennial alumni artists Edgar Arceneaux, Amanda Ross-Ho, and Catherine Opie to explain the survey and share their experiences with it.
After years traversing the U.S. in a van, the photographer and her son sit down for a candid interview.
For the first U.S. exhibitions of Caro’s work since his death in 2013, the gallery mounts two concurrent shows, at its Chelsea and Upper East Side locations, featuring works that bookend the great sculptor’s innovative, 60-year career.
There’s always more to discover in Antony Caro’s sculptures, miraculously refined compositions of sometimes scrappy industrial materials.
The work’s über-slick visual identity—and the very global and mostly digitally connected nature of GCC’s delegates—has placed GCC among the post-internet art movement’s greatest stars. “GCC keeps knocking it out of the park,” says the Whitney’s Christopher Lew of the collective, who he’s tapped for a new commission for the 2017 Whitney Biennial he’s curating along with Mia Locks. Referencing Positive Pathways (+), he adds, “As mindfulness and new age belief has been adopted by both individuals and corporations, GCC brings to light how the Gulf nations have brought these ideas into government. Their look at the theater and substance of nationhood is pressing now more than ever.”
With its Mitchell-Innes & Nash show, GCC has become like a healer, drawing on the healthy living and positive lifestyle trends currently taking the Gulf region by storm. Positive Pathways (+) (Version II), 2016, an installation similar to one that debuted at this year’s DIS-curated Berlin Biennale, features a sculpture performing the Quantum Touch technique, a form of non-contact touch therapy. (A few days earlier, the members could be seen putting down sand around the sculpture, which, when it was shown in Berlin, was at the center of a teardrop-shaped racetrack.) Nearby is a series of relief works based on stills from YouTube videos that, with their velvety red surfaces, recall fabrics in Titian paintings and over-decorated homes.
An exhibition of provocative, large-scale installations by Monica Bonvicini is on display at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead through February 26, 2017.
Three projects exploring human behaviour and pathologies intertwine in this exhibition of works by the American artist Leigh Ledare at Office Baroque, Brussels.
From its inception in the early 1960s, Pop Art was a boys’ club. Huge names like Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann
perpetuated the myth of the (male) artist-as-genius. The movement emerged amid the post-World War II explosions of capitalist consumerism and mass media, as artists explored new modes of mechanical production, often by taking commonplace consumer goods and pop-cultural icons as their subject matter. Associated with an unemotional, distanced attitude toward artmaking, Pop Art’s codified characteristics are, in turn, stereotypically male.
Alongside the current exhibition Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s: Works From the Verbund Collection at The Photographers' Gallery, the new issue of the quarterly publication Loose Associations takes feminism as its subject. In this interview, artist Martha Rosler considers the past, and the future, of feminist art practice.
This installation of the DeFeo's “Samurai” series, 1986–87, begins to redress this narrative, as many of these large-format paintings on paper refute the notion of a singularly careful and slow-working painter.
Italian artist Monica Bonvicini's practice has focused on two rather unusual themes: walls and sex. An extensive survey of the Berlin-based artist's work at Baltic Contemporary in Gateshead combines the two.
Fierce, mordant and confrontational, Monica Bonvicini aims to annoy at every turn in this bracing first UK survey.
Between the power drills, leather tassels and saucy builders’ humour, Italian artist Monica Bonvicini lets sadomasochism hang heavy in the air. But the audience frustratingly ends up neither master nor slave.
The Berlin-based artist has built her practice around interrogating the notion of identity through art, as her expansive new exhibition at the Baltic demonstrates.
“Left Right Left Right (1995), a piece by Annette Lemieux at the Whitney Museum that consists of 30 images of raised fists, has been turned upside-down at the artist’s request.
GCC is a collective of eight young Arab artists — their name refers to an intergovernmental body called the Gulf Cooperative Council — and their work in “Positive Pathways (+)” at Mitchell-Innes & Nash was inspired by the growing popularity, in the Gulf states, of Western-style New Age healing systems. A hypnotically confident self-help voice-over plays in the gallery, and a nearly life-size plaster figure of a woman wearing a head scarf bends over a figure of a boy. We learn from the publicity release that she’s practicing Quantum Touch therapy, a reiki-like practice that uses the body’s life-force energy to promote wellness.
“We wanted to make a work about the late-blooming New Age culture of the Gulf,” GCC explained via a group-sanctioned e-mail, “and how it is affecting everyone in the region, from conservative housewives to absolute monarchs toying with start-up culture.” The collective’s first Stateside gallery solo show is on view this month at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, in New York, reprising the Berlin installation alongside new work derived from YouTube videos of, among other things, modern-day healers on morning talk shows “making holistic remedies and products out of supermarket items.”
GCC’s first exhibition with the gallery, which features multiple wall pieces, a sculptural installation, and sound work, is concerned with the evolution of various holistic practices—such as alternative healing and life coaching—that are gaining significant influence in Arab Gulf states. The eight artists who make up the collective are all strongly connected to the UAE and the Middle East, and their acronym loosely references that of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Here, they examine the multifocused, multifaceted synthesis of philosophies that fall under the rubric of “Positive Lifestyle” and the implications such Western, New Age ideas have in the context of the Gulf’s ultramodern, constitutionally Islamic societies.
While the power of positive thinking—a popular if fuzzily defined lifestyle credo coined by author Norman Vincent Peale—is a familiar idea to most Americans, the slogan (if not the concept) is largely unknown in the Middle East. In its Mitchell-Innes & Nash debut, the six-member Arab artist “delegation” GCC (an allusion to the Gulf Cooperation Council) focuses on the growth of Cali-style personal realization in its part of the world—and what may get lost in translation. It’s an intriguing subject, but while this exhibition expands on a previous project for the most recent Berlin Biennale, it still barely scrapes the surface.
The gallery inaugurates its new uptown digs with a fine sampling of late-eighties works by a pioneer of post-Conceptualist painting, construction, and photomontage. Lemieux’s satirical content may be subtle but it registers with the snap of a major-league breaking ball.
“An ever-intensifying exposure to Western-centric global media has dulled the effect of existing taboos in the Gulf region,” the eight-member international art collective GCC — a tongue-in-cheek reference to the economic alliance known as the Gulf Cooperation Council — says in a joint statement. “As a result, a number of people there have become proponents of New Age lifestyles, whereas even 10 years ago, many would have probably disapproved of this and even deemed some aspects sacrilegious.”
“The idea of happiness is insidiously used to quell dissent,” GCC member Fatima Al Qadiri told me on the exhibition’s opening day on Thursday, at New York’s Mitchell-Innes & Nash. According to the party line among the powers that be, if you’re unhappy, never mind actual social problems, she said: “You’re just not being positive!”
Miss General Idea, the fictional character created by the Canadian artist group General Idea, will make her Latin American debut at the Museo Jumex in Mexico City this month. She features prominently in the group’s 1970s works, which parodied the art world and mimicked popular culture by appropriating mainstream magazine formats and staging campy beauty pageants.
Kitty litter and coffee mugs, painted fur and tyre scraps: the materials lists for Jessica Stockholder’s sculptures read like the home inventory of a mad packrat. For three decades, Stockholder has taken as provocation that cliché ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ – incorporating even plumbing into anarchic assemblages that resolve as astonishingly balanced formal compositions. Exuberantly colourful and formally promiscuous, her work is deliriously enjoyable to look at.
THE DAILY PIC (#1643): The new Elizabeth Dee space in Harlem opened on Saturday, and this piece is from the first exhibition in its new “research series” – in this case, a focused presentation of the work of Annette Lemieux, the neglected 1980s artist. According to the gallery, Lemieux’s 1988 canvas, titled Nomad, reproduces the footprint of her Boston studio at the time, and is “a play on the idea of how she could ‘re-enter’ painting, which she considered while pacing back and forth across the studio. The act is replicated here, and for the duration, she never left the canvas.”
In “The Guests All Crowded Into the Dining Room,” her show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in Chelsea, Jessica Stockholder playfully probes the intersection of edibility and sociability through a set of colorful assemblages.
The godmother of feminist art, Kelly is known for her provocative films and large-scale narrative installations that explore notions of sexuality, work, power, and politics by tapping into the more visceral aspects of daily life..."Kelly is one of the most important female Conceptual artists of our time,”says L.A. gallerist Susanne Vielmetter, who represents the artist along with New York–based Mitchell-Innes & Nash, and Pippy Houldsworth Gallery of London.
In The Guests All Crowded Into the Dining Room, Jessica Stockholder’s scattered arrangements of sculptural elements play with assumed boundaries to become a fluid meditation on space. Through a variety of materials and forms, Stockholder avoids overtly breaking down traditional artistic lines, so much as she highlights that they have never truly existed at all.
In her third solo exhibition at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery, Stockholder presents a multitude of studio pieces as well as a single “large-scale site-responsive installation.” By way of both found and bought materials, Stockholder reimagines the use and positioning of common objects in various bright colored displays. Think random, seemingly uninteresting items, like metal parts and yellow plastic pieces, curiously assembled to create a work that re-examines the relationship between materials.
Today, Jay DeFeo ranks among the better-known female artists of the era, but only after flying under the radar for many years. Best-known for her monumental painting The Rose, which is 10 feet tall, almost a foot thick, and weighs over a ton, DeFeo was the subject of a long-overdue retrospective organized by New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art in 2012–13.
In Jessica Stockholder’s first show at Mitchell Innes and Nash since 2012, the pioneering mixed-media artist presents a new series of her curious hybrids. She makes her pieces by combining found and purchased objects, then altering and embellishing them with her own artistic materials, adding paint, string and the like.
The artist is presenting “a large-scale site-responsive installation” as well as repurposed works of found materials using tire scraps, rusty hinges, roofing tile, and other such objects ripe for reinvention for her third show at the gallery. The installation, which is a winding yellow-and-white viewing platform, puts gallery-goers at eye level in order to see a selection of elevated drawings “with a splash of color” in closer detail.
Jessica Stockholder’s colorful assemblages of diverse store-bought and found objects call to mind a term from neuroscience, “multisensory binding.” The phrase refers to the fact that the outer world appears to us seamlessly coherent, despite the many sensory signals streaming in from diverse sources — eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. Usually we don’t notice how the mind binds together these different inputs. In Ms. Stockholder’s engaging, if not wildly exciting, show of sculptures at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, your awareness of your attention’s shifting between the disparate parts and the whole composition is essential.