Fan Mail: Julia Westerbeke

Julia Westerbeke. Geophony, 2015 (detail); punctured and carved paper; 22 in x 15 in. Courtesy of the Artist.

Using strategies of asymmetry and organic mirroring, Julia Westerbeke explores abstraction as a vehicle of human imagination and a catalyst for subconscious thought. The artist cites science fiction and the biology of natural forms as two of her main sources of inspiration, and her paper-based explorations evoke a certain duality inherent within organic life—the ordinary morphing into the extraordinary, the mundane inspiring spurts of wonder.[…..]

Chen Zhen: Without Going to New York and Paris, Life Could Be Internationalised at Rockbund Art Museum

Chen Zhen, Purification Room, 2000 - 2015. found objects, clay, approx 850 x 1100 x 450cm, image courtesy Rockbund Museum and Galleria Continua, San Gimignano/Beijing/Les Moulins

Chen Zhen, who died (much too young) in Paris in 2000, was a significant artist with a hybrid Chinese and European identity. Although after 1986 he essentially lived and worked in Paris, his personal history and deep cultural roots lay in China, and specifically in Shanghai. From the mid-1990s he returned over and over to a city on fast-forward. Shanghai was undergoing a massive, controversial transformation,[…..]


Davina Semo. SHE FOUGHT WITH THE KID WHO THREW ROCKS AT HER DOG, 2015; leather, pigmented reinforced concrete, waxed steel chain; 18 x 18 x 2 1/2 in. Courtesy of the Artist and CAPITAL, 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, Colin Fernandes reviews Davina Semo: APPROACH OR ENTER at CAPITAL in San Francisco. APPROACH OR ENTER, the title of Davina Semo’s solo show at Capital Gallery,[…..]

Chris Fraser: Animated at Gallery Wendi Norris

Chris Fraser. Mobile | 0˚, 90˚, 90˚ | Argon and Neon, 2015; powder-coated steel, gas discharge tubes, transformer, argon, and neon; 42 x 21 x 12 in. Courtesy of the Artist and Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco.

In addition to their current special issue on the legacy of punk rock, our partners at Art Practical are also blasting into the new season with their annual Shotgun series—ten short reviews by regular contributors that cover the Bay Area art scene. This review, by Danica Willard Sachs, investigates the works of artist Chris Fraser, currently on view at Gallery Wendi Norris. This article was originally published on September[…..]

Thomas Hirschhorn: In-Between at South London Gallery

Thomas Hirschhorn. In-Between, 2015; installation view, South London Gallery, London. Courtesy Thomas Hirschhorn. Photo: Mark Blower.

Thomas Hirschhorn’s show at the South London Gallery is a precarious, postapocalyptic mess. Collapsing floors are propped up with broken posts, and adjoining walls are held together by packing tape, which creates a foreboding sense that the installation could come down on the viewers at any moment. Yet the actual threat of fabricated precariousness is quite different than the threat posed to the viewer who[…..]

Mona Hatoum at ICA Boston

Mona Hatoum. Natura morta (Edwardian vitrine), 2010; Murano glass and cabinet; 54 ½ x 24 x 11 ¾ inches. The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Gift of Barbara Lee, The Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women. Courtesy of Alexander and Bonin. Photo: Joerg Lohse.

Mona Hatoum’s solo exhibition, currently on view at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, is made entirely of newly gifted works from philanthropist and political activist Barbara Lee. The Barbara Lee Family Foundation is focused on advancing female representation in politics. Lee is a major supporter of Hilary Clinton, in addition to being a collector who has shifted her focus exclusively to female artists. At the[…..]

From the Archives – Material Practices: Stitching, Fabric, and Textiles in the work of Contemporary Chinese Artists

Yin Xiuzhen, Portable City, Sydney, 2003       photo: Yin Xiuzhen         collection by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, image courtesy the artist

For Labor Day weekend, we bring you this piece from the archives that deals with gendered, often invisible labor—the kind not celebrated on national labor days. Luise Guest explores the work of several contemporary Chinese women artists using embroidery in revolutionary ways. This review was originally published on January 10, 2014. Mao Zedong once said that revolution is not a dinner party. Less famously, he said[…..]