Conceptual

Liam Gillick and Louise Lawler: November 1 – December 21 at Casey Kaplan Gallery

The simply titled exhibition November 1 – December 21, on view at Casey Kaplan Gallery in New York, pairs works by artists Liam Gillick and Louise Lawler. Sharing the space of Kaplan’s Chelsea gallery, Gillick’s cut aluminum text pieces dangle from wires attached to the ceiling while Lawler’s almost filmic photographs cling neatly to the walls. Though they occupy the same space, the works of these[.....]

Mike Kelley at MoMA PS1

Mike Kelley, now at MoMA PS1, is massive. The largest retrospective of the artist’s work to date, it is comprehensive perhaps to a fault, filling each of the exhibition space’s four floors to capacity and arguably beyond. The former school building’s multiple stairwells allow for various paths through the exhibition—a feature that is liberating if potentially disorienting—but the overall impression is one of totality; of[.....]

Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery

Jean-Ulrick Désert. Negerhosen2000 / The Travel Albums, 2003. From a series of forty digitally printed images, pigmented inks, and pencil on archival paper with mixed media collage. 11 3/4 x 8 1/4 in. Courtesy the artist.

How is Blackness performed?  Most African American contemporary artists will admit in confidence that they are often expected to perform their Blackness for the power players of the art mainstream, regardless of their choice of artistic medium. Artists working in two dimensions such as Kerry James Marshall, Kara Walker, and Wangechi Mutu have gained currency by creating work that makes the construction of black identity[.....]

Sophie Calle: Absence at Paula Cooper Gallery

© 2013 Sophie Calle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. 
Courtesy of Sophie Calle and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

In 2005, Sophie Calle’s mother found out she had breast cancer. In 2006, as her mother lay dying, Calle set up a camera at her deathbed and recorded the entire process. “I wanted to be there, to hear the last word,” she told ARTINFO. “I didn’t know if she would have something to tell me at the last minute.” She did. In Absence, Calle’s current[.....]

From Wings to Fins: Morris Louis and Cyprien Gaillard at Sprüth Magers

Taking its name from a 2006 feature in National Geographic, Sprüth Magers’ latest London exhibition, From Wings to Fins, features the work of color-field painter Morris Louis and Cyprien Gaillard, a young French artist recently established within the international circuit. While Louis’ position is firmly mid-century, Cyprien Gaillard is a locus of tragic postmodernism. Drawn to modernism’s ideals, contradictions, and historical failures, Gaillard has risen on his[.....]

Andrew Nicholls: The Water Works at Turner Galleries

Australian artist Andrew Nicholls dredges the queasy aesthetics of sentiment for its submerged ideological content. In an ongoing thread of his practice, he locates the ideals and practices of British imperialism in the kitsch, seemingly innocuous world of 19th- and 20th-century ceramics, disrupting this historical narrative with traces of the otherness otherwise repressed in the imperial worldview. He subsumes his viewers in an unsteady undertow[.....]

GLYPHS: Acts of Inscription at Pitzer College Galleries

Mickalene Thomas. Le dejeuner sur l’herbe: trois femmes noires, 2010; C-print; artist proof 2/2; 48 x 60 inches. Courtesy of the Artist, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Lehmann Maupin, NY and Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.

Three powerful women dressed in patterned sundresses, jewelry, and club-ready makeup are seated on a jumble of printed fabrics, fake flowers, and gold spray-painted fruit. Their pose is a familiar one, mimicking Edouard Manet’s scandalous—at the time—Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe (1862-3), except in this one all posers are clothed, female, black, and staring at me as though they were sussing me up—trying to discern my[.....]