Alex Bigman

From this Author

Zoe Beloff: A World Redrawn at the James Gallery, CUNY

Zoe Beloff. Two Marxists in Hollywood, 2015 (film still). Courtesy of the James Gallery, Graduate Center, CUNY.

It is a strange fact that Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Arnold Schoenberg, Thomas Mann, and Bertolt Brecht all resided in Los Angeles, California, in the 1940s. Unsurprisingly, few of them found their wartime haven a particularly sympathetic milieu. Brecht’s stay was especially ill-fated, ending with his interrogation by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and consequent return to Berlin. A decade earlier, the Latvia-born film director[…..]

Simon Denny: The Innovator’s Dilemma at MoMA PS1

Simon Denny. New Management, 2014; installation view, Portikus, Frankfurt. Photo: Helena Schlichting. Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.

Startup culture is ripe for satire. The tech industry’s social and economic dominance makes it a necessary target, and its penchant for jargon-heavy, wildly inflated rhetoric makes it an easy one. Mike Judge’s HBO sitcom, Silicon Valley, deftly picks the low-hanging fruit, but it hardly needs to. The elevator pitches of most weak-to-average startups on the venture-capital trail, quixotically ascribing revolutionary potential to the most[…..]

The Whitney Museum of American Art

Image 630.006: The eastern face of the Whitney Museum. Photo: Nic Lehoux.

With the recent boom in museum building and expansion, there has been a recurring discussion of what makes a good space for art—as though an objective answer could be determined through a calculation of square footage, flexibility of design, and the ratio of natural to electric light. Indeed, the Museum of Modern Art in New York opted to demolish and rebuild its recently acquired neighboring building,[…..]

Charles Atlas: The Waning of Justice at Luhring Augustine

Charles Atlas. The Waning of Justice, 2015; installation view, Luhring Augustine, New York. Photo: Farzad Owrang.

“Glitter/Utopia,” “Boring/Because,” “Decade/Asshat,” “Wartime/Paisley”: These are a few of the word combinations that appear in Charles Atlas’ two-channel video projection, Ethel’s Fortune or The Waning of Justice (2015), currently filling two expansive, adjacent walls at Luhring Augustine’s Chelsea location. Each term in the dyad phases into position in front of footage of a maritime sunset while the letters themselves open up similar vistas contained within[…..]

Pierre Huyghe at LACMA

Pierre Huyghe. Untitled (Human Mask), 2014. Film. Courtesy of the artist; Hauser and Wirth, London; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York; Esther Schipper, Berlin; Anna Lena, Paris. © Pierre Huyghe

There is a scene in Pierre Huyghe’s shadowy, dreamlike film The Host and the Cloud (2010) in which a woman produces a black rabbit from an unmarked box. No magician, she handles the unexpected animal with a mixture of bewilderment and acute apprehension. Later in the film, she confronts the event during hypnotherapy; then, in a key conversion, she watches her own analysis session performed[…..]

Anton Perich: Electric Paintings 1978-2014 at Postmasters Gallery

Anton Perich. American Altarpiece, 2004. Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery, New York

“No, Wade Guyton did not invent a new paintbrush; Anton Perich did in 1978, when Guyton was six.” Thus combatively begins the press release for Anton Perich: Electric Paintings 1978–2014 at Postmasters Gallery. The un-cited author of the claim that “Wade Guyton invented a new paintbrush” is Jerry Saltz, writing on Guyton’s 2012 survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Of course, Saltz was[…..]

Philippe Decrauzat: Pour Tout Diviser at Elizabeth Dee

Philippe Decrauzat. Installation shot of "Pour Tout Diviser." Courtesy the Artist and Elizabeth Dee, New York. Photograph by Etienne Frossard.

Elizabeth Dee presents Pour Tout Diviser, an exhibition of work by Swiss artist Philippe Decrauzat, as “a two-sided exhibition in three acts.” The first and second apparently occurred in Madrid and Paris, so New Yorkers experience the show’s conclusion. (There is no indication at the Chelsea gallery of what the European displays were like.) Without speculating as to what exactly makes the exhibition “two-sided,” the[…..]