From the category archives:

Reviews

Stripping Down Self-Exposure With Karen Finley And Narcissister In “Baring It”

by Emily Colucci on October 12, 2016
Thumbnail image for Stripping Down Self-Exposure With Karen Finley And Narcissister In “Baring It”

What is it like for a woman artist to self-expose? A roundtable at New York University’s Performance Studies Department last week gave some insider insight into the bravery and vulnerability that explicit feminist performance art requires.

Moderated by Performance Studies Professor Barbara Browning, Baring It: Self-Exposure In Feminist Performance brought together two performance artists of different generations–outspoken stalwart Karen Finley and mannequin-masked Narcissister. The panel was organized in conjunction with the Grey Art Gallery’s exhibition A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s-1980s. No stranger to public nudity herself, Moorman acted as a historical foremother for the two performers as they delved into their own use of the body.

Read the full article →

Being Dieter Meier

by RM Vaughan on September 30, 2016
Thumbnail image for Being Dieter Meier

What becomes a near-legend best? A fresh new mantle of re-invention. Plus a few bitter truths held up to the baldest light.

Read the full article →

From Botswana with Love*: The Gaze in Meleko Mokgosi’s Marxist Oil Paintings

by Michael Anthony Farley on September 29, 2016
Thumbnail image for From Botswana with Love*: The Gaze in Meleko Mokgosi’s Marxist Oil Paintings

Meleko Mokgosi’s two exhibitions at Jack Shainman are a politically-charged invitation to spectatorship in oil on canvas. Gorgeously rendered scenes from southern Africa invite the viewer to consider colonialism, class, and domestic life from a Marxist, yet utterly subjective viewpoint.

Read the full article →

I Want To Believe At Paulina Peavy’s “The Artist Behind The Mask”

by Emily Colucci on September 29, 2016
Thumbnail image for I Want To Believe At Paulina Peavy’s “The Artist Behind The Mask”

It’s not everyday you get to see collaborations between UFOs and artists in a Lower East Side gallery setting. But, Paulina Peavy’s The Artist Behind The Mask at Andrew Edlin Gallery is exactly that.

Andrew Edlin hosts Peavy’s show in their back gallery—which I guess is where you’d expect to find an alien-artist collaboration—devoting their much bigger space to the more well-known Susan Te Kahurangi King’s pop culture-infused drawings. The Artist Behind The Mask isn’t your typical show stopper. In fact, at first glance, the exhibition even looks a bit boring. Seven framed mixed media drawings hang on the wall, along with a few jewel and fabric-covered masks. It doesn’t exactly scream made-by aliens.

Read the full article →

Molly Crabapple Hands Over The Paintbrush To Her Muses At Postmasters Gallery

by Emily Colucci on September 16, 2016
Thumbnail image for Molly Crabapple Hands Over The Paintbrush To Her Muses At Postmasters Gallery

The relationship between an artist and their muse is one of the most romanticized clichés about art making. Just think of the movie Titanic in which the protagonist, a penniless artist named Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) draws the wealthy first class passenger Rose (Kate Winslet). If you look beyond the tale of class mobility, the artist/muse relationship is one big power trip. And it is the (male) artist who has control.

Molly Crabapple entirely reshapes this relationship for her current exhibition Annotated Muses at Postmasters Gallery. While not as overtly political as her well-known revolution-focused Shell Game series, the exhibition returns agency to the muse, continuing Crabapple’s drive to break repressive power structures. It also allows for an increased intimacy between the viewer and the usually silent, passive muse.

Read the full article →

The Topless Cellist Finally Gets Her Due At The Grey Art Gallery

by Emily Colucci on September 14, 2016
Thumbnail image for The Topless Cellist Finally Gets Her Due At The Grey Art Gallery

Resurrecting the forgotten careers of women artists can make for bittersweet exhibitions. On one hand, it’s exciting when a visionary woman finally gets the attention she deserves. On the other hand, the institutionalized sexism that erased her creative input is thoroughly enraging.

Nowhere is this felt more intensely than in A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde 1960s-1980s, currently at the Grey Art Gallery. Organized by a curatorial team largely connected to Northwestern University (the show first premiered at their Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art), the expansive exhibition firmly establishes Charlotte Moorman as a performance art force alongside seminal Fluxus artists like Nam June Paik, John Cage and Yoko Ono. In a response to art historical misogyny, the show essentially returns her artistic agency 25 years after her death in 1991.

Read the full article →

High Anxiety and Escapism at Rashid Johnson’s “Fly Away”

by Emily Colucci on September 12, 2016
Thumbnail image for High Anxiety and Escapism at Rashid Johnson’s “Fly Away”

Sometimes an exhibition articulates our current sociopolitical state so precisely that the advancement of the artist’s work barely matters. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Rashid Johnson’s recently opened solo exhibition Fly Away at Hauser & Wirth.

Fly Away comes at just the right moment with the ever-growing list of names of victims of police violence, reports of mass shootings and ongoing election news. Titled for the frequently covered hymn “I’ll Fly Away,” the show reflects anxiety and fantasy for escape in an era where these feelings seem not only relatable, but unavoidable. It’s so timely it’s haunting.

Read the full article →

We Went to Aneta Grzeszykowska: NO/BODY

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on September 9, 2016
Thumbnail image for We Went to Aneta Grzeszykowska: NO/BODY

Paddy: There’s an idea in art that because it’s supposed to be timeless it should be immune to trends. In reality we all know that’s not true and this smart show by Grzeszkowska is a good example of that. If this exhibition took place even five years ago, I could imagine myself being dismissive of its goth flavor.

Michael: The first piece one sees walking into Lyles & King is an enormous video projection of the artist (who is caucasian) painting herself jet black…

Read the full article →

Back To Nature In Loren Nosan’s “The World Was Good Once”

by Emily Colucci on September 8, 2016
Thumbnail image for Back To Nature In Loren Nosan’s “The World Was Good Once”

It’s not everyday that you have to sign a waiver before entering an art installation. However, that’s exactly how my trip to Loren Nosan’s The World Was Good Once began.

Turning off a main road, straight into a grassy field outside Wassaic, it became obvious why the waiver and my emergency contact information were necessary. Nosan’s installation is located in a looming, desolate and derelict barn that looks like it went through hell–or at least, a meth lab explosion. Before allowing viewers to look around the show, Nosan pointed out unsound areas of the barn’s floor, which were scattered with holes where the building’s property manager had previously fallen through. Yikes…

Read the full article →

A Melancholic Stroll through the Sony Photography Awards

by RM Vaughan on September 7, 2016
Thumbnail image for A Melancholic Stroll through the Sony Photography Awards

Only a terribly mean person could find fault with the traveling edition of the annual Sony Photography Awards. As both a showcase of a specific kind of photographic venture (more on that in a moment) and, likely more to the point, a brand-enhancing exercise in “excellence” promotion, the exhibition does exactly what it promises and is devised to do.

The competition specializes in the subset of photography most of us identify with National Geographic Magazine and its world-of-wonders aesthetic.

I know that sounds snarky but I do not mean it that way. Everybody loves this kind of photography, me included, for a reason – it is lovely and provocative, a moment of otherness, of not us/not here viewed from a safe distance. I buy a lot of postcards, and I have no shame when it comes to finely focused close ups of adorable mammals with pink ears.

What prompted my unease after wandering around this exhibition was a strong feeling that in a half-generation or less, shows like the Sony Photography Awards will be, at best, retro-cute, or at worst antique and irrelevant.

Read the full article →