Painting

Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Henry Moore. Falling Warrior, 1956-57; 
bronze; 
65 x 154 x 85 cm. 
Tate Modern, London
 © The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved, DACS / SODRAC (2013)

Francis Bacon and Henry Moore are known for producing curvilinear compositions and contorted human forms that often double back upon and swoop around themselves. In contrast, the Art Gallery of Ontario’s dual retrospective of the artists, titled Terror and Beauty, takes a distinctly linear approach. Passing over divergent biographical information about the artists (such as that Henry Moore was the son of a coal miner[.....]

Daughter of Bad Girls at Klaus von Nichtssagend

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When asked why she had sculpted such pronounced, sugar-coated labia on A Subtlety, the mammy-sphinx recently on view at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn, Kara Walker answered, “[It’s about] ownership of the voluptuousness of an ass”; “a 10-foot vagina…is not something that happens in art often enough”; and “[It was] a fuck-you, I’m gonna do that because this is what I have…there are enough phallic[.....]

Fan Mail: Geoffry Smalley

Geoffry Smalley. Early Morning at Cold Spring, Across Home Run Cove, 2014; acrylic on book page; 12 x 9 inches. Courtesy the artist.

Geoffry Smalley’s work is rooted in early-19th-century American painting, deriving specific scenes and techniques from historical canvases and the Hudson River School. In 1836, painter Thomas Cole completed his five-part series The Course of Empire. The series documents Cole’s vision for the birth, life, and death of western civilization, from the pastoral to the desolate. Cole had a calculated optimism for life and renewal, but[.....]

The St. Petersburg Paradox at Swiss Institute

The St. Petersburg Paradox, installation view, Swiss Institute. (from left to right) Sarah Ortmeyer. SANKT PETERSBURG PARADOX, 2014: marble chessboards, copper, iron, brass and aluminum chess tables, natural (ostrich, rhea, goose, chicken, mallard, quail, emu, and duck) eggs, artificial (marble obsidian, alabaster, and onyx) eggs; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv. Tabor Robak. A*, 2014; 14-channel HD video; 9:46 min. Courtesy of the artist and team (gallery, inc.). John Miller. Labyrinth I, 1999; acrylic on canvas with sound component; 54 x 70 in. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York. Kaspar Müller. Tropic of Cancer, 2014; laser prints on A3 paper; each 12 x 15 ½ in. Courtesy Galerie Francesca Pia, Zürich, The Green Gallery, Milwaukee, and Federico Vavassori, Milan. Cayetano Ferrer. Remnant Recomposition, 2014; carpet remnants, seam tape; 18 x 60 ft. Courtesy of the artist.

The St. Petersburg Paradox, currently on view at Swiss Institute, is a group show of refreshing intellectual rigor. The exhibition’s curatorial design is so tightly wound that it forms a kind of singular entity in which each featured artwork compels the viewer to consider the philosophy of its larger scheme: namely, the metaphysics of gambling. The title refers to a paradox of human psychology: When[.....]

Fan Mail: Gabriel Liston

Gabriel Liston. Their Efforts Are In Vain, 2011; oil on linen; 14 x 16 inches. Image courtesy of Plus Gallery.

When describing his paintings, Gabriel Liston often uses words commonly associated with cinematic film creation: shot and frame, story and sketch, backstory and narrative. Many of his works—small paintings rendered in black-and-white or color—depict scenes from real events taken from the artist’s life. However, once painted, these moments from Liston’s life—due in part to their modest scale and a pervasive illusory quality—become surreal vignettes, yet[.....]

Rirkrit Tiravanija: Time Travelers Chronicle (Doubt): 2014 – 802,701 A.D at Singapore Tyler Print Institute

Rirkrit Tiravanija. Sixth chapter: take the spin off, unwind, reverse directions, and shatter the bonsai, on the way back don't forget to smile, 2013; screen print, metal foil, cast paper, STPI handmade cotton paper, stainless steel pedestal, 3D printed object; 259.5 x 259.5 cm; 4 sheets. Image courtesy of Singapore Tyler Print Institute.

“There is no difference between Time and any of the three dimensions of Space except that our consciousness moves along it.”—H.G. Wells, The Time Machine (1895) In 1992, Rirkrit Tiravanija converted the spaces of 303 Gallery in New York into a kitchen where he served rice and Thai curry to a crowd that became unwitting participants in a hybrid installation titled Untitled (Free). Seven years[.....]

Isa Genzken: Retrospective at MCA Chicago

Installation view, Isa Genzken: Retrospective, MCA Chicago. April 12-August 3, 2014. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of Isa Genzken: Retrospective—an expansive four-decade survey of the German artist’s work at MCA Chicago featuring sculpture, film, installation, painting, and photography—is the fact that it was all made by the same person. Over the course of her career, Genzken has successfully assimilated a wide array of styles without losing sight of a handful of core concerns: architectural structure, the[.....]