Elspeth Walker

From this Author

The St. Petersburg Paradox at Swiss Institute

The St. Petersburg Paradox, installation view, Swiss Institute. (from left to right) Sarah Ortmeyer. SANKT PETERSBURG PARADOX, 2014: marble chessboards, copper, iron, brass and aluminum chess tables, natural (ostrich, rhea, goose, chicken, mallard, quail, emu, and duck) eggs, artificial (marble obsidian, alabaster, and onyx) eggs; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv. Tabor Robak. A*, 2014; 14-channel HD video; 9:46 min. Courtesy of the artist and team (gallery, inc.). John Miller. Labyrinth I, 1999; acrylic on canvas with sound component; 54 x 70 in. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York. Kaspar Müller. Tropic of Cancer, 2014; laser prints on A3 paper; each 12 x 15 ½ in. Courtesy Galerie Francesca Pia, Zürich, The Green Gallery, Milwaukee, and Federico Vavassori, Milan. Cayetano Ferrer. Remnant Recomposition, 2014; carpet remnants, seam tape; 18 x 60 ft. Courtesy of the artist.

The St. Petersburg Paradox, currently on view at Swiss Institute, is a group show of refreshing intellectual rigor. The exhibition’s curatorial design is so tightly wound that it forms a kind of singular entity in which each featured artwork compels the viewer to consider the philosophy of its larger scheme: namely, the metaphysics of gambling. The title refers to a paradox of human psychology: When[.....]

Take Ecstasy With Me at The Whitney Biennial

Jacolby Satterwhite, Reifying Desire 5, 2014 (performance still); duration varied. Courtesy of the artist and The Whitney Museum, New York. Photo: Filip Wolak.

“It would deeply heal me,” artist Jorge Cortiñas urged, “if we all sang this song together.” The ensuing karaoke-like moment was the climax of Cortiñas’ performance, Back Room, which re-told the contentious story of meeting a future lover during an orgy in the dark rear of a now-extinct East Village bar—a story that none of Cortiñas’ straight friends ever wanted to hear. Such tongue-in-cheek emotional self-indulgence invigorated[.....]

Borna Sammak: All Dogs Are Pets at JTT

Borna Sammak. All Dogs Are Pets, 2014; installation view, JTT, New York. Courtesy of the artist and JTT.

All Dogs Are Pets, Borna Sammak’s current solo exhibition at JTT, presents sculpture, painting, and video full of glowing references to 1990s American suburbia. Trafficking in the humorous young boys’ fare of canceled Nickelodeon cartoons, Sammak’s pieces are composed of sometimes repurposed, sometimes refabricated objects you might find at a Wal-Mart or strip-mall store. His work draws from the cultural garbage can, creating an aesthetic[.....]

Trevor Shimizu: Again at 47 Canal and Rachel Mason: Starseeds at envoy enterprises

Rachel Mason. Yayoi Kusama, 2014; mixed media, dimensions varied. Courtesy of the artist and envoy enterprises.

Again, now at 47 Canal, presents a new set of paintings by Trevor Shimizu featuring more of the artist’s characteristically banal domestic caricatures. Of these, Shimizu’s sex paintings are his best. Featuring sketches of video monitors displaying stick figures engaged in BDSM porn, a vaginal close-up nestled next to a box of tissues, or a pop-up ad for penis enhancement, the paintings read as swiftly[.....]

David Altmejd: Juices at Andrea Rosen Gallery

David Altmejd. The Flux and the Puddle, 2014; Plexiglas, quartz, polystyrene, expandable foam, epoxy clay, epoxy gel, resin, synthetic hair, clothing, leather shoes, thread, mirror, plaster, acrylic paint, latex paint, metal wire, glass eyes, sequin, ceramic, synthetic flowers, synthetic branches, glue, gold, feathers, steel, coconuts, aqua resin, burlap, lighting system including fluorescent lights, Sharpie ink, wood; 129 x 252 x 281 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Andrea Rosen Gallery.

In the main space of Andrea Rosen Gallery, David Altmejd’s gridded plastic network The Flux and the Puddle forms a labyrinthine rectangle—a wrinkle in time. In an homage to science and metaphysics, behind a network of clear vitrines, a series of human-animal hybrids construct themselves out of resin, epoxy, and clay, morphing in and out of candied fruits as harbingers of a kind of alternate evolutionary[.....]

Alex Prager: A Face in the Crowd at Lehmann Maupin

Alex Prager. Face in the Crowd, 2013; installation view, Lehmann Maupin, New York City. Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin.

Alex Prager’s first exhibition at Lehmann Maupin makes a blood pact with the myth of cinema. The gallery’s downtown location hosts large-format stills from Prager’s newest film, A Face in the Crowd, alongside highly staged photographs taken from slightly different angles than those represented in the film. Lehmann Maupin’s Chelsea gallery features more of these beautifully rendered, high-quality stills, as well as a viewing room[.....]

Yayoi Kusama: I Who Have Arrived in Heaven at David Zwirner

Yayoi Kusama. Manhattan Suicide Addict, 2010-present; Video projection and mirrors; overall dimensions vary with each installation. Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner.

Still working in feverish catharsis at the age of 82, Yayoi Kusama is Japan’s most famous living artist. Yet in the United States she has only recently received a slice of the recognition that her expansive body of work and visionary approach deserve. Following a critically acclaimed retrospective at the Whitney last year, Kusama was picked up by David Zwirner in early 2013. For her[.....]