Reviews

The Great Debate About Art at Upfor

Ben Buswell. ABRACADABRA (Perish Like the Word), 2015; graphite and non-photo blue; 38 x 20 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Upfor. Photo: Mario Gallucci.

“Art” is a contentious word. Endless positing over any succinct, defining properties has spawned countless op-eds, theses, and textbooks. The topic is comparable to that of discussing religion in mixed company—differences of opinion have more than once drawn blood. The Great Debate About Art, currently on view at Upfor in Portland, Oregon, is a small group exhibition contextually centered on Roy Harris’ 2010 book of[…..]

Barbara Kasten: Stages at ICA Philadelphia

(from left to right) Barbara Kasten. Studio Construct 125, 2011; archival pigment print; 53 3/4 x 43 3/4 in.; Studio Construct 32, 1986; Silver dye bleach print; 37 x 29 1/2 in. Courtesy of the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania.

At the entrance to Barbara Kasten: Stages at the Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art, there is a corner-placed grouping of five photographs. Four early Polaroids made in 1982 and 1983 are on the right; with their geometric shapes and pastel colors, they would fit easily into the reigning design aesthetic of the 1980s. On the left is the 2007 silver-dye bleach print Studio Construct 17,[…..]

Disguise: Masks & Global African Art at Seattle Art Museum

Brendan Fernandes. As One, 2015; HD video loop; 22:54 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.

Museums are constantly devising new platforms to present their permanent collections. Interventions and mining-the-museum have become commonplace curatorial strategies, and institutions frequently turn to contemporary artists to animate, recontextualize, and bring visibility to canonized cultural objects. Disguise: Masks and Global African Art is Seattle Art Museum’s latest attempt to draw connections across temporal, geographic, and cultural lines. Leveraging the museum’s collection of African masks, the[…..]

Come As You Are: Art of the 1990s at the Telfair Museums

Come As You Are: Art of the 1990s, 2015; installation view, Jepson Center for the Arts, Telfair Museums, Savannah, Georgia. Courtesy of Telfair Museums. Photo: David J. Kaminsky.

Finally, here is an exhibition for which an accompanying Spotify playlist seems perfectly natural. Songs like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana and “Vogue” by Madonna are closely connected to the not-so-recent decade that the Telfair Museums represents through works of art in Come As You Are: Art of the 1990s. Curated by Alexandra Schwartz with Kimberly Sino (both of the Montclair Art Museum, where[…..]

Walter Robinson: Home Grown at the Palo Alto Art Center

Walter Robinson. Spin, 2008; wood, epoxy, steel, and metal flake; 52 x 26 x 22 in. Collection of Donald Kushner. Courtesy of the Palo Alto Art Center.

From our partners at Art Practical, today we bring you a review of Walter Robinson: Home Grown at the Palo Alto Art Center. Author Maria Porges notes: “The cumulative effect here is one of nostalgia—sometimes for things that never really existed—mixed with a strange kind of déjà vu. Not only have we been here before, but we will be here again, over and over, as we[…..]

The Failure of Painting at the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia

Bruce Nauman. Eat/Death, 1972; neon tubing with clear glass tubing suspension frame; 7 3/8 x 25¼ x 2 1/8 in (18.7 x 64.1 x 5.3 cm). Courtesy of the Artist and la Biennale di Venezia. Photo taken by the author.

Context grounds contemporary art, and placing a work into a different framework allows for new layers of understanding to be revealed. This year’s Venice Biennale illustrates this point perfectly with one of the most cohesive curatorial efforts in its 120-year history. Thanks to curator Okwui Enwezor‘s creation of three overlapping “filters” that he calls the Garden of Disorder, Liveness: On Epic Duration, and Reading Capital,[…..]

Luka Fineisen: Smoke and Mirrors at Hosfelt Gallery

Luka Fineisen. Possibility, 2015; glitter, resin, Plexiglas shelf; 47 x 73 x 6 in. Courtesy of the Artist and Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco.

Shotgun Reviews are an open forum where we invite the international art community to contribute timely, short-format responses to an exhibition or event. If you are interested in submitting a Shotgun Review, please click this link for more information. In this Shotgun Review, Serena Pascual reviews Luka Fineisen: Smoke and Mirrors at Hosfelt Gallery in San Francisco. Luka Fineisen’s solo show Smoke and Mirrors entertains with a multitude of[…..]