Conceptual

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[.....]

Séripop: Looming at YYZ

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I first came across Montréal artist duo Séripop (Chloe Lum and Yannick Desranleau) a number of years ago when I was more embedded in the indie music scene here in Canada. In this sphere, the pair are known for their layered, DIY gig posters and refreshingly offbeat graphic design work. Despite their disregard for the formal rules of graphic design, Lum and Desranleau possess an intuitive[.....]

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle at moniquemeloche

Something tells me the National Security Administration is monitoring Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s phone calls, and not just because the NSA monitors everyone’s phone calls. Since the early days of the War on Terror, the artist has built up an impressive arsenal of devastation. Starting in 2003 with Cloud Prototype 1 – a shiny amorphous blob reminiscent of a mushroom cloud, or a deformed variation of Warhol’s[.....]

The Fun of the Fair: Sydney Contemporary

Kim Joon, Bird Land - Chrysler, 2008, digital print, 47 x 83 inches, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong Kong, New York, Singapore

Depending on who you ask, anywhere between eight thousand and thirteen thousand people attended the vernissage of the world’s newest art fair, Sydney Contemporary. By the end of three and a half days, the fair had attracted almost twenty-nine thousand visitors eager to see the offerings from eighty-three Australian and international galleries, presenting the work of more than three hundred artists. The physical scale was[.....]