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Valentina Vannicola: Dante’s Inferno

Inferno. Tolfa, Rome, Italy, April 2010 February 2011. ### Infer

In Dante’s Inferno Italian artist Valentina Vannicola merges staged photography with socially engaged practice, resulting in a rich body of work reminiscent of the postdramatic theater of Romeo Castellucci and the Societas Rafaello Sanzio. Using non-professional performers from her hometown of Tolfa, north of Rome, Vannicola has constructed absurdist scenes recreating Dante’s journey through the strata of hell. While the outcome could easily have been[.....]

Elijah Burgher: Friendship as a Way of Life b/w I’m Seeking the Minotaur at Western Exhibitions

Elijah Burgher. Excremental Philosophy Illustrated, Vol. 1, 2013; colored pencil on paper; 19" x 24". Courtesy of Western Exhibitions.

Elijah Burgher delves into the symbolic and uncanny in his one-man show Friendship as a Way of Life b/w I’m Seeking the Minotaur at Western Exhibitions. Large, painted drop cloths act as psychic doorways into an ancient universe of strange magic. On the other side, a confident series of colored pencil drawings feature unknown icons, nude men, or both. Excremental Philosophy Illustrated, Vol. 1 (2013) is[.....]

From Wings to Fins: Morris Louis and Cyprien Gaillard at Sprüth Magers

Taking its name from a 2006 feature in National Geographic, Sprüth Magers’ latest London exhibition, From Wings to Fins, features the work of color-field painter Morris Louis and Cyprien Gaillard, a young French artist recently established within the international circuit. While Louis’ position is firmly mid-century, Cyprien Gaillard is a locus of tragic postmodernism. Drawn to modernism’s ideals, contradictions, and historical failures, Gaillard has risen on his[.....]

If the World Changed: Singapore Biennale 2013

Teamlab. Peace Can Be Realized Even Without Order, 2012; interactive digital installation; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the Artist and Singapore Art Museum.

Premised on the obliquely hypothetical question “What if the world changed?”, the Singapore Biennale 2013 (SB2013) is presented as a deconstructed entity centered on allusive keywords—or “tags” in internetspeak—such as “histories,” “intervention,” and “materiality” in order to highlight the transmutative and the transformative qualities of the art produced in the region. With a collaborative team of 27 curators instead of an artistic director helming the show,[.....]

The Fun of the Fair: Sydney Contemporary

Kim Joon, Bird Land - Chrysler, 2008, digital print, 47 x 83 inches, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong Kong, New York, Singapore

Depending on who you ask, anywhere between eight thousand and thirteen thousand people attended the vernissage of the world’s newest art fair, Sydney Contemporary. By the end of three and a half days, the fair had attracted almost twenty-nine thousand visitors eager to see the offerings from eighty-three Australian and international galleries, presenting the work of more than three hundred artists. The physical scale was[.....]

Lick ’Em by Smiling: Jeremy Deller and Shary Boyle at the Venice Biennale

If the Venice Biennale is the United Nations of contemporary art, then the Giardini is its Security Council. The park’s stately pavilions belong to the (mostly European) nations that were best situated to claim them in the early- to mid-twentieth century. National pavilions are organized by state entities and can be counted on to present a government-sanctioned view of art, which tends toward the conceptually[.....]

Avenging Ancestors, Failing Spectacularly: Wisconessee at Kasia Kay Projects

Daniel Bruttig. Nick with Monster Mask, 2013. Colored pencil on paper. Courtesy of Kasia Kay Projects.

If you’re at all interested in seeing Wisconessee, Duncan R. Anderson and Daniel Bruttig’s semi-collaborative two man show at Kasia Kay Projects, I can tell you right now there’s a good chance you’ve already seen it. Typically, I’m not one to write a negative review for the sake of teeing off on artists who are just trying to get some work out there. But this[.....]