From the category archives:

Reviews

You Say You Want “A Static Revolution” At One Art Space

by Emily Colucci on August 15, 2016
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Is digital art alone a complex and multifaceted enough curatorial theme for a group exhibition in 2016?

The medium has undergone a lot of changes in the last few years. The employment of digital methods is now so widespread that it’s almost unavoidable in the contemporary art field. Perhaps because of this, an exhibition based solely on the use of digital manipulations seems redundant.

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O / U at P! And Room East

by Rob Goyanes on August 11, 2016
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Two galleries, P! and Room East—located about five blocks from each other, respectively in Chinatown and the Lower East Side—came together for a group show titled O / U. That’s shorthand for “over-under,” which may refer to the sports wager where you bet on the combined score in a game. The text for the exhibition suggests it may also refer to “a complicated sexual position, a type of double barrel shotgun,” or the formal qualities of overprinting or undercutting. Of course, overall, it suggests that the conceptual layering is heaavy, though the two galleries are spare and clean and contemporary looking.

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HIV/AIDS Goes Art History In “Art AIDS America” At The Bronx Museum

by Emily Colucci on July 29, 2016
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What is lost when HIV/AIDS becomes art history? A lot, as it seems.

As HIV/AIDS gets revisited by a slew of recent exhibitions, books and films, the real continued emotional impact of the disease is in danger of being replaced by a distant historical interest. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Bronx Museum’s current exhibition Art AIDS America.

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This Is the Last Week to See Philip Guston at Hauser & Wirth, if That’s Your Thing

by Michael Anthony Farley on July 26, 2016
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How many nearly-identical Philip Guston paintings do you need in one show? If you answered more than 50, but less than 100, be sure to head to Hauser & WIrth before Painter, 1957 – 1967 closes on Friday.

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The Spiritual Failure of Tony Oursler’s “Imponderable”

by Rhett Jones on July 22, 2016
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Is there a secret, intertwined history that ties together mass media, spiritualist con artists, pulp fiction and the unreliability of the image? Tony Oursler’s “Imponderable” would like you to think so. The multimedia artist’s latest work (on at MoMA through January 8th, 2017) is a 90-minute immersive video experience that attempts to draw connections between all of those topics as well as his own familial autobiography and other threads that relate to his collection of spiritualist memorabilia. Unfortunately, when the work seems to come close to solidifying a thematic relationship between the various subjects on its mind, it tends to feel a bit like a magician clumsily employing misdirection. The audience sees a hat, a beautiful assistant and a rabbit up the sleeve, but no magic.

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Hoarding For History: “The Keeper” At The New Museum

by Emily Colucci on July 22, 2016
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I wonder what the crew of A&E’s guilty pleasure Hoarders would say about the New Museum’s recently opened exhibition The Keeper. With four floors of artists’ obsessions, the collecting impulse on view is more manic and compulsive than merely an academic archival interest. In fact, the exhibition looks a lot like the aftermath of a Hoarders Anonymous meeting.

Before attending the group exhibition, I expected the show might too easily and predictably engage with the current archival trend in contemporary art. I’m so glad I was wrong–I wasn’t looking forward to donning white gloves to paw through precisely organized archival boxes.

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Say Yes To Death With Rachel Stern At Black & White Gallery/Project Space

by Emily Colucci on July 20, 2016
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Why does the division between life and death always seem narrower in the American South? Maybe it’s the prevalence of ghost stories or just the spooky imagery of Spanish moss hanging from a live oak tree.

Rachel Stern delves into this tenuous Southern boundary between life and death in her current solo exhibition Yes, Death at Black & White Gallery/Project Space. And what could be more emblematic of the transition into the afterlife than cemeteries?

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Not an Alternative: “FORTY” at MoMA PS1

by Emily Colucci on July 13, 2016
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Can alternative spaces and their anti-institutional goals ever be faithfully represented inside a museum? If MoMA PS1’s current exhibition FORTY is any indication, the answer is a definitive no.

What makes this realization even more awkward is that in this show, the alternative space and institution are one and the same. As its name suggests, FORTY honors the 40th anniversary of PS1 by looking back to its first exhibition Rooms. The show, like Rooms, is organized by Alanna Heiss who founded PS1 in 1976. The former alternative arts space was just one project launched under Heiss’ nonprofit Institute for Art and Urban Resources Inc.

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I Downloaded “Tinder for Art” and Haven’t Found Love Yet

by Michael Anthony Farley on July 8, 2016
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I decided to test drive the much-discussed art purchasing app Wydr today. It’s been described as “Tinder for art,” which is a little misleading. Basically, it’s more of a shopping app than a social networking platform. You can swipe right to favorite an artwork, or left to say “not my type.” If something catches your eye, you can tap on the work, see the artist’s name and purchase information, and add it to your shopping basket. For the past hour or so, I’ve been doing a lot of swiping left.

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A Door-Shattering Breakthrough At Denny Gallery’s Pop-Up “The City & The City”

by Emily Colucci on July 8, 2016
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Nothing underscores the fraught tensions of gentrification quite like the deafening sound of a large glass door shattering behind you. Moments after I entered Denny Gallery’s East Broadway pop-up space this Wednesday, the gallery’s door splintered with a bang and a startling crack. Fragmenting into a wall of tiny shards, the broken door trapped the gallerists and me inside. “You’re not art press, right?” jokingly asked Director Robert Dimin. Well, actually…

As the initial shock wore off, Dimin, between calls to his building contractor and the gallery’s main Broome Street space, tried to piece together what happened. Was it the scalding summer heat that weakened the glass–a product of faulty construction and sweltering temperatures? Or was it something more nefarious such as a warning sign from a neighborhood hostile to symbols of gentrification like a gallery?

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