Elspeth Walker

From this Author

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[.....]

Chris Burden: Extreme Measures at the New Museum

Chris Burden. Documentation of Selected Works 1971-1974 (film still), 1971-75. SD Video, color and black and white, sound. 34:38 min. Courtesy of The New Museum.

Chris Burden is one of the legendary giants of performance art. In his seminal body pieces from the early 1970s, he orchestrated a series of daredevil brutalities and tests of the body’s resilience. Burden has had a more prolonged career, however, as a large-scale installation artist who masterminds feats of engineering that seem divorced from the body: scaled-down replicas of major bridges, a giant scale[.....]

Wynne Greenwood: More Heads at Soloway

Wynne Greenwood. Pink Head, 2013; ceramic and acrylic paint; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Soloway.

In the mid-2000s, Wynne Greenwood‘s video persona sparked an adolescent idolatry in me that really started everything. In Tracey + The Plastics, Greenwood’s three-person electro-pop band, she played all the characters, performing live shows in conversation with pre-recorded projections of herself. Watching Greenwood essentially talk to herself through Tracy, Nikki, and Cola, I was delivered a vision of the millennial queer future in which we[.....]

Pattern Recognition at MoCADA

Pattern Recognition, currently on view at Brooklyn’s Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, focuses primarily on the paradox of explaining abstract painting. Though designed as a straightforward, contemporary group show featuring new work from established artists, Pattern Recognition must be viewed within the context of a museum whose focus is on community dialogue and education. The hand of Dexter Wimberly, the independent curator behind the[.....]

Formal Collapse: No Name at On Stellar Rays

(From left to right) Michael Mahalchick. Flag, 2013. Newspaper, bacon fat, pigment, brushes, tacks, Savarin coffee can; 43 x 78 x 10 in. Susan Collins. Long Fallen Wide, 2013. Poplar, tulipwood, maple, beech, white holly, crushed malachite, beeswax, oxidized silver, white gold, bronze, garnet, amber; 71 x 5 x 5 in. Shamus Clisset, SWASS (Long Charm), 2012. C-print; 80 x 56 1/2 in. Nathaniel Robinson. Heap, 2013. Pigmented polyurethane resin, acrylic paint; dimensions variable. Bayard. President Balances National Budgie, 2008. Mohair; dimensions variable. Sterling Allen. Untitled, 2013. Ribbons, pushpins; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artists and On Stellar Rays.

No Name, the group show currently on view at Lower East Side gallery On Stellar Rays, is a theory-based project that develops a collaborative scene of  “gestures, memories and detritus.” The show presents a collection of objects that are incoherent, elusive, and laden with a mysterious personal logic. The work demonstrates a strong theoretical basis, drawing primarily from Judith/Jack Halberstam’s advocation of failure as a[.....]

The Transcendental Trash of Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt

Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt. The Fountain of Youth (Spritzer Thaw), 1969; Aluminum foil, plastic wrap, pipe cleaner, holographic tape, glitter, staples, mirror, colored marker; 13 x 10 x 9 in. Courtesy of the artist and Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York.

Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt makes kitsch from the kitchen, using everyday materials such as cellophane, glitter, foil, and Easter-display grass to construct minutely detailed and coded ephemera that sanctify camp, trash, and a kind of queer sentimentality particular to the artist’s experience of the 1970s Hell’s Kitchen scene in New York. Ecce Homo, Pavel Zoubok Gallery’s current three-part exhibition, orbits around this artist’s counter-historical queer aesthetic. On the heels of his extensive[.....]

Pay Attention: Claudia Joskowicz at LMAKprojects

Intersections, Claudia Joskowicz’s two-channel video installation and accompanying photographic series at LMAKprojects, is a straightforward display of her newest video piece, Every Building on Avenida Alfonso Ugarte – After Ruscha. The insular gallery space of LMAKprojects has been transformed into a kind of dark pathway. The spectator enters and is sandwiched between two opposing, life-size projections of two sides of the same street: Avenida Alfonso[.....]