Posts Tagged ‘Drawing’

Fan Mail: Fei Li

Fei Li. The Hidden Dimension and Other Observations, installation view, 2016; ink on paper, mirrors; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the Artist.

Experiencing Fei Li’s landscapes is like walking into a jungle. Her tangled calligraphy leaps and coils across the paper like vines, folding in associations with visual language; the disparate sensations of walking through dense vegetation and reading a scrawled manuscript are flattened into one experience, such that the idea that the two were ever separate seems like an abstract theory. Li’s work suggests an almost[…..]

#Hashtags: Masculine-Feminine

Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller. Organized by the Brooklyn Museum, February 21, 2016. © Brooklyn Museum. Photo: Elena Olivo.

In response to the Trump administration’s ongoing display of toxic masculinity at work, the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth Sackler Center for Feminist Art has taken the unusual but vital step of incorporating a project about male identity into their “Year of Yes” thematic takeover of the museum. Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller is an inquiry into the nature of manhood, corroborated with art-historical artifacts[…..]

Fan Mail: Marcus James

Marcus James. Bidean Nam Bian, 2015; colour pencil on Fabriano paper; 2000 x 1300 mm. Courtesy of the Artist.

In this time of rapid environmental decline, visual depictions of landscape can become sites for critical positioning. Marcus James’s 2015 works encapsulate the disjuncture between a desire for pristine, solitary experiences in nature and the technological interventions that reveal this desire as pure fantasy. But rather than present a crass comment on this contradiction, James’s pieces offer a possibility outside of the binary constructed between[…..]

A Matter of Fact: Toyin Ojih Odutola at Museum of the African Diaspora

Toyin Ojih Odutola. The Marchioness, 2016; charcoal, pastel, and pencil on paper; 77 x 50 inches (paper), 83 3/8 x 65 7/8 x 2 inches (framed). Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

In A Matter of Fact at San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora, Toyin Ojih Odutola presents an elaborately conceived and completely imaginary history of the UmuEze Amara clan, as chronicled in a series of portrait drawings in pastel, charcoal, and pencil. A wall text in the main gallery states that these works were selected from the family’s extensive holdings of art and antiquities by[…..]

Bruce Conner: It’s All True

Bruce Conner. UNTITLED, from MANDALA SERIES, 1965; felt-tip pen on paper; 10 x 10 in. Courtesy San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Among the works at the threshold of Bruce Conner: It’s All True, a massive retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), PRINTS (1974) is atypical even for the protean artist.[1] Consisting of a steel lockbox containing photographs, documents, and fingerprints, PRINTS records a protracted dispute between Conner and San Jose State University, which had invited him to teach in its art department.[…..]

Fan Mail: Rachel Wolfson Smith

Rachel Wolfson Smith. Bound to Earth, 2015; graphite on paper; 54 x 96 in. Courtesy of the Artist.

Rachel Wolfson Smith’s pencil drawings of motorcycle and car crashes seem to memorialize modern epics. At once glorious and kitschy, these homages to what the artist calls “Renaissance battle paintings” capture moments of intense struggle, dialed up to eleven: they border on the farcical but maintain an undeniable gravitas. The monochromatic graphite tones and occasional gilt highlights situate the drawings in a context of glorified[…..]

Joan Jonas: From Away at DHC ART

Installation view, Joan Jonas: From Away, 2016, DHC/ART. Joan Jonas, They Come to us Without a Word (Wind), 2015. Multimedia Installation (site-specific adaptation). Originally commissioned for the U.S. Pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennale by the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Courtesy of The Kramlich Collection, San Francisco. © DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art. Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay.

As psycho-historian, I try to diagnose the schizophrenia of Western civilization from its images, in an autobiographical reflex. (Joan Jonas, The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things) Joan Jonas’ retrospective exhibition From Away occupies two buildings at DHC/ART in Montreal. Arriving at the basement’s miniature cinema felt like entering a cauldron of the Jonasian universe, and moving up and down in the tightly vertical first building[…..]