Mixed Media

The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists at the SCAD Museum of Art

The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists, installation view, SCAD Museum of Art. Franck Abd-Bakar Fanny, Another Day without You, 2013; five c-prints mounted on disec; 39 ½ x 70 ¾ inches each. Ghada Amer, The Blue Bra Girls, 2012; stainless steel; 72 x 62 ¼ x 54 inches. Lamia Naji, Immaculé, 2011; six c-prints mounted on Dibond; 45 ¼ x 61 inches each. Courtesy of SCAD Museum of Art, photo by Marc Newton.

The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists at the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia, is an ambitious show, but originally I pondered the reason for viewing the work of African artists through a lens of an archetype of Western literature, The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. While such an endeavor may not seem particularly edifying at the outset,[…..]

Prospect.3 New Orleans

Camille Henrot. Grosse Fatigue, 2013 (film still). Video installation (color, sound) Courtesy of the artist, Silex Films and kamel mennour, Paris.

Honoré de Balzac wrote: “Ideas are a complete system within us, resembling a natural kingdom, a sort of flora, of which the iconography will one day be outlined by some man who will perhaps be accounted a madman.” This passage was included in Camille Henrot’s writings about her video Grosse Fatigue (2014), now on view in Prospect.3, a sprawling biennial in both geographic and thematic[…..]

Fan Mail: Carlo Speranza

Carlo Speranza. Karlo's Unrealized Works, 2014; 24k gold-leaf on cardboard boxes; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the Artist.

A kayak that goes only in circles, a disappearing art gallery, a film that begins and ends at the credit sequence, and a set of pure gold nails driven into a gallery wall are just some of Northern Italy-based artist Carlo Speranza’s deceptively clever projects. Speranza, as the previous list implies, works across an exceptionally broad range of mediums; his work is made using wood,[…..]

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey at Mary and Leigh Block Museum

Wangechi Mutu. Suspended Playtime, 2008/2013; Packing blankets, twine, garbage bags, and gold string; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.

This year has been unusually promising for the visibility of work by black female artists, even while that prominence has further highlighted racially problematic attitudes within the art world. The last ten months have marked the first in which an African American woman—Carrie Mae Weems—was given a retrospective at the Guggenheim, though her triumphant entry into that pantheon led to rebukes that the museum cut the original[…..]

Anselm Kiefer at Mass MoCA

Two of the beds in The Women of the Revolution showing could be mistaken from above for desert or mining landscapes, shifting in scale from intimate to massive. The Women of the Revolution (Les Femmes de la Révolution), 1992/2013 (detail); lead beds: dimensions variable; photograph on lead: 138 x 174 in. Courtesy of MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA, and Hall Art Foundation, New York. Photo: Saul Rosenfield.

Imagine a corrugated metal shed in which two facing walls tower twenty-five feet high and extend fifty-eight feet in length. Each interior wall is paneled with fifteen six-foot by nine-foot Anselm Kiefer paintings that rise three feet high. Layering seems an apt metaphor not only for this work, Velimir Chlebnikov (2004)—whose shed stands inside the gallery building, inside the museum, inside the grounds of a former[…..]

Matt Borruso: Wax House of Wax at Steven Wolf Fine Arts

Matt Borruso. Forming, 2012–14; installation view, Wax House of Wax, 2014; plastic, Plexiglas, glass, mirrors, cut paper, ceramic, unfired clay, silicone, wax, talc, lenticular photographs, holograms, wood, tape, rubber bands, linen, concrete, steel, elastic, books, magazines, airbrush paint, inkjet prints, transparencies, posters, wallpaper; 120 x 42 x 61 in. Courtesy of the Artist and Steven Wolf Fine Arts, San Francisco.

Today from our partners at Art Practical, we bring you a review of Matt Borruso’s recent solo show Wax House of Wax, which closes today at Steven Wolf Fine Arts in San Francisco. Author Danica Willard Sachs notes, “Like a Surrealist, Borruso manipulates the banal, challenging viewers to see the horror underlying the everyday.” This review was originally published on October 23, 2014. In Wax House[…..]

Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Illustration from ZERO 3, July 1961, design by Heinz Mack. Courtesy Heinz Mack.

In Düsseldorf, West Germany, amid the tumultuous aftermath of the Second World War, two German artists—Heinz Mack and Otto Piene—founded Group Zero in 1957. Later joined by fellow German artist Günther Uecker in 1961, the three sought to reinvent art in the postwar era and create a vision toward a transformed future through myriad artistic forms: performance, painting, sculpture, exhibition, publication, film, and installation. In[…..]