Reviews

Summer Reading: All Mother Tongues Are Difficult

Mounira Al Solh. Eat My Script, 2014; still from video, 24 min 50 sec.

As the editors at Art Practical and Daily Serving get ready to take their end-of-summer vacations, we find ourselves swapping reading lists—the articles we’ll dive into once have some uninterrupted time to catch up on what our colleagues have been writing. We’ve gotten so excited about what’s on our lists that we want to share them with our readers. Between now and Labor Day, Daily Serving will feature the efforts of our[.....]

How to Make a Non-Didactic Video

Camille Henrot. Grosse Fatigue, 2013; Video: color, sound, 13 min. © ADAGP Camille Henrot. Courtesy the artist, Silex Films and kamel mennour, Paris.

Today from our friends at Glasstire, we bring you Joshua Fischer’s assessment of two videos currently on view in Houston, Texas. Instead of comparing works in the same exhibition, Fischer reviews videos by the artists Hito Steyerl and Camille Henrot in two different shows and defines the likenesses between them. He notes, “Steyerl and Henrot may have different outlooks and approaches [...] but luckily they share[.....]

Matt Sheridan Smith: Widow – Fig. 3 Ep. 1 at Hannah Hoffman Gallery

Matt Sheridan Smith. Widow – Fig. 3 Ep. 1, installation view. Courtesy of the artist and Hannah Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Joshua White

Matt Sheridan Smith’s current exhibition at Hannah Hoffman Gallery is a portrait show, but not in the conventional sense. Instead of painted likenesses of his subject (there is one representational image; more on that later), Sheridan Smith uses pattern, abstraction, and the readymade to create what he dubs “a sort of speculative portraiture.”[1] Evocative and confounding rather than illuminating, the works in the show obscure[.....]

Art Is Therapy at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Post-it note discussing two paintings; installation view, Art Is Therapy, 2014. Courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Photo: Olivier Middendorp.

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, Christina Conklin reviews Art Is Therapy at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Viewers are supposed to marvel at Rembrandt’s Night Watch (1642), but do they really? Many of[.....]

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors at ICA Boston

Ragnar Kjartansson, The Visitors, 2012, Nine-channel HD video projection, 64 minutes, Edition 4 of 6, Gift of Graham Gund to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and the Gund Gallery, Kenyon College. Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York, and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik.

The entry point to Ragnar Kjartansson’s The Visitors (2012)—if you’re lucky enough to see the beginning of the looping one-hour, nine-channel video—is like awakening each day in a house full of people who were up all night while you slept. Slightly disorienting, the sound, light, and being start streaming into the gallery as each of the screens lights up. The camera is impartial: The shots[.....]

Pia Camil: The Little Dog Laughed at Blum & Poe

Pia Camil, The Little Dog Laughed, Installation view, 2014, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles; l. Asfalto, 2014, Hand dyed and stitched canvas, 94 1/2 x 94 1/2 inches.
r. The little dog laughed, 2014, Hand dyed and stitched canvas, 108 1/4 x 330 11/16 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles

Pia Camil’s hand-dyed and stitched canvases offer a fresh approach to the well-worn field of geometric abstraction. For her first solo show in Los Angeles, this Mexico City-based artist has created four large, square wall works whose surfaces are divided into loose grids of colored stripes. Each work has a dominant color theme—cream, tan, blue, and purple—with brighter accents of yellow, red, and peach. Within[.....]

The Part in the Story Where a Part Becomes a Part of Something Else at Witte de With

Ahmet Ögüt and Cevdet Erek. Ahmet Cevdet Bey: “Jacket”, 2011.

The Part in the Story Where a Part Becomes a Part of Something Else is an exhibition that covers a lot of ground. The Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art brings together over fifty artists with multifaceted disciplines, but despite the large scale, the show can be distilled to a few threads that highlight the potential for art to create constructed moments. This underlying[.....]