Adam Rompel

From this Author

Thomas Hirschhorn: In-Between at South London Gallery

Thomas Hirschhorn. In-Between, 2015; installation view, South London Gallery, London. Courtesy Thomas Hirschhorn. Photo: Mark Blower.

Thomas Hirschhorn’s show at the South London Gallery is a precarious, postapocalyptic mess. Collapsing floors are propped up with broken posts, and adjoining walls are held together by packing tape, which creates a foreboding sense that the installation could come down on the viewers at any moment. Yet the actual threat of fabricated precariousness is quite different than the threat posed to the viewer who[…..]

The Failure of Painting at the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia

Bruce Nauman. Eat/Death, 1972; neon tubing with clear glass tubing suspension frame; 7 3/8 x 25¼ x 2 1/8 in (18.7 x 64.1 x 5.3 cm). Courtesy of the Artist and la Biennale di Venezia. Photo taken by the author.

Context grounds contemporary art, and placing a work into a different framework allows for new layers of understanding to be revealed. This year’s Venice Biennale illustrates this point perfectly with one of the most cohesive curatorial efforts in its 120-year history. Thanks to curator Okwui Enwezor‘s creation of three overlapping “filters” that he calls the Garden of Disorder, Liveness: On Epic Duration, and Reading Capital,[…..]

Tutti Frutti at Turps Gallery

Carla Busuttil. It Ended in Houghton, 2015; oil on canvas; 40 x 30 cm (15.75 x 11.81 in). Courtesy of the Artist and Turps Gallery, London. Photo: Adam Rompel

Painting is to art as royalty is to democracy; it defensively justifies its own significance while continuing to hold court. There are many reasons why painting continues in this coveted pretense, but perhaps it can be mainly attributed to the limitations of its purpose. Any painter knows that the enchantment of painting lies in its classification. No matter how far the medium is pushed, as[…..]

Barbara Kruger: Early Works at Skarstedt Gallery

Barbara Kruger. Untitled (Don't buy us with apologies), 1986; photostat print in artist's frame; 48 3/4 x

54 7/8 in. (123.8 x 139.5 cm.) framed. Courtesy of the Artist and Skarstedt.

It’s a funny thing to be able to go back and reconsider an artist’s early works after thirty years, partly because the time capsule of memory remembers the work in the context in which it was made. Viewing the work again in the present reflects the context of that prior time as it’s understood now. The aggressively fast-paced 1980s are faster in memory than they[…..]

Nikita Kadan: Limits of Responsibility at Waterside Contemporary

Nikita Kadan. Protection of Plants, 2014; collage; 39.5 x 54.5 cm (15.5 x 21.46 in). Courtesy of the Artist and Waterside Contemporary, London. NFC.

Hope is a powerful catalyst for change, fueling courage and idealism in equal parts. It projects a vision of a future that is better than the present. Once people are moved with hope, extraordinary things can happen. But what happens to hope when a people are continuously subjugated for over six centuries? If Kiev-based artist Nikita Kadan’s quietly intense installation at Waterside Contemporary is an[…..]

Glenn Ligon: Call and Response at Camden Art Centre

Glenn Ligon. Live (detail), 2014; video installation; size variable. Courtesy of the Artist and Camden Art Centre, London. Photo: Valerie Bennett

The designation Call and Response describes the antiphony effect, a device in speech in which a speaker elicits cadenced responses from the audience at systematic intervals. It’s a method that actively engages an audience, and although this universal device is as old as human speech in every corner of the world, in the American psyche it is particularly tied to black churches and the gospel[…..]

(detail) at Transition Gallery

(detail), 2014; installation view, Transiton Gallery, London. Courtesy of Andrew Bracey and Transiton Gallery. Photo: Andrew Bracey

The premise seems simple: A painter’s painter curates an exhibition comprising one work each from 118 painters. The breadth of the offering covers the full gamut of the medium and, as a result, creates a beautiful crisis for the genre of painting—and that’s because there isn’t a lick of paint in the most painterly concerned of painting shows. For (detail), artist–curator Andrew Bracey asked each[…..]