Elspeth Walker

From this Author

Tracey Emin at Lehmann Maupin: The Carry

Tracey Emin’s work presents an unfiltered and often embarrassingly personal view of emotional pain. It reflects the kind of desperate or careless narcissism that is the territory of the depressed. Emin is concerned with the primacy of her own experience—and the narrative of her own sadness is the unabashed subject of her work. Emin’s oeuvre has always felt most valuable to me in terms of[.....]

Airing Out the D: A Conversation with Caitlin Cunningham

Caitlin Cunningham’s current solo exhibition is on view at sophiajacob in Baltimore, Maryland, through May 25th. The show, informally titled Tan Penis Island, extends from a focused critique of the legacy of modernist painter Paul Gauguin’s exploitation of Tahiti to examine the ramifications of fantastic projection, the economy of colonization, and the production of white masculinity through the exotic Other. Cunningham integrates live plants and[.....]

Historicizing Fantasy: iona ROZEAL brown at Salon 94 Freemans and Edward Tyler Nahem

iona ROZEAL brown’s stylized painting emerges from a studied transmutation of African-American and Japanese cultural tradition. Brown has developed a strong narrative lineage essential to reading her coded (albeit straightforward) illustrative paintings of Afro-Japanese courtesans, voguing stars, and fantasy creatures of mythic royalty. Brown’s concurrent exhibitions at Salon 94 Freemans and Edward Tyler Nahem seek to extend and perpetuate this narrative in a new elaboration[.....]

“NOW! THAT’S WHAT I CALL ART”: NYC 1993 at the New Museum

Pepon Osorio, "The Scene of the Crime (Whose Crime?)," [Detail] 1993. Mixed medium installation.

NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star is the New Museum’s crash course in the recent history of contemporary art in New York. The exhibition positions 1993 as a signifier for mass cultural change: the thesis being that the events of this year irrevocably directed culture towards its manifestation in 2013. NYC 1993 seems just as concerned, however, with the ways that we[.....]

The Last Breath: Xavier Cha at 47 Canal

Xavier Cha‘s Untitled (2012), on view at 47 Canal through January 13th, positions four high definition video screens displaying a series of “screen tests” throughout the small gallery. These close-up video portraits present subjects alternately gazing at and away from the viewer, inviting the audience to scrutinize both the faces and backs of these heads. Jonathan Coward scores the videos with an intensified background noise[.....]

The Truth is Out There: Anoka Faruqee at Hosfelt Gallery

Anoka Faruqee‘s current show at Hosfelt Gallery, The Sum is Greater Than Its Parts, is the result of a year-long meditation on the kind of Moiré patterns – the patterns that result from placing one semitransparent object with a repetitive pattern over another – that occur via hyper-proximity to the digital. Faruqee’s paintings are constructed using “comb-like notched trowels” that she pulls through wet paint,[.....]

“Who Cares?” / We Do:
Eric Yahnker’s VIRGIN BIRTH N’ TURF at The Hole

center: From Here To Eternity, 10 sunset beach towels, 15ft. coat rack, replica of Hawaiian shirt Montgomery Clift wore in 'From Here To Eternity,' dimensions variable, 2012 installation image from Virgin Birth n' Turf, The Hole, NYC, 2012

Eric Yahnker’s current solo show VIRGIN BIRTH N’ TURF, at The Hole through October 6, is a meticulous chronicle of canonical American cultural mediocrity. Walking into the vaulted white squareness of The Hole, I’m slammed from all sides by Yahnker’s enormous images — meticulously hand-drawn, magnified portraits of kitsch. Yahnker takes aesthetically unexalted elements of popular media, elevating the mediocre cultural staple and outfitting it[.....]