Uncategorized

Yayoi Kusama: I Who Have Arrived in Heaven at David Zwirner

Yayoi Kusama. Manhattan Suicide Addict, 2010-present; Video projection and mirrors; overall dimensions vary with each installation. Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner.

Still working in feverish catharsis at the age of 82, Yayoi Kusama is Japan’s most famous living artist. Yet in the United States she has only recently received a slice of the recognition that her expansive body of work and visionary approach deserve. Following a critically acclaimed retrospective at the Whitney last year, Kusama was picked up by David Zwirner in early 2013. For her[.....]

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[.....]

Susan Flavell: Freud’s Desk at Turner Galleries

Early in 2013, six Australian artists made a pilgrimage of sorts. They left a sweltering southern summer for the gray frigidity of London, where they spent three weeks working on-site at the Freud Museum; Susan Flavell and I were among their number. At the museum, we encountered the shrine-like space of Sigmund Freud’s study, preserved as it was in the final year of his life,[.....]

Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery

Jean-Ulrick Désert. Negerhosen2000 / The Travel Albums, 2003. From a series of forty digitally printed images, pigmented inks, and pencil on archival paper with mixed media collage. 11 3/4 x 8 1/4 in. Courtesy the artist.

How is Blackness performed?  Most African American contemporary artists will admit in confidence that they are often expected to perform their Blackness for the power players of the art mainstream, regardless of their choice of artistic medium. Artists working in two dimensions such as Kerry James Marshall, Kara Walker, and Wangechi Mutu have gained currency by creating work that makes the construction of black identity[.....]

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,[.....]