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The Whitney Biennial: Visual Screen Burn Courtesy of America’s Finest

by Paddy Johnson on March 16, 2017
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Out of the ten Whitney Biennials I’ve seen, this is the first one that could have used a vomit warning. But here we are, in Trump’s America, a future many of us never wanted to imagine, let alone live through. What is the purpose of art in this New America? This year’s Biennial bears no answers. Art doesn’t exist to defend its purpose and even if it did this exhibition was organized prior to the election. Nevertheless, it does bring then-simmering themes to a boil. So, while almost none of the work is Trump themed, as a whole the exhibition reads as a responsive to the challenges the country faces—increasing income inequality across the board, failing institutions, and the rise of hate-fueled violence. If art is a mirror, then this year’s Biennial should scare the shit out of you.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Future Bodies are Everywhere and Terrifying

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on October 17, 2016
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There’s plenty of heady discourse this week—future bodies, hypothetical architectures, theories of curation and criticism—and of course plenty of election-related hand-wringing.

Kick it off Monday night at Jersey City’s Word Bookstore, where the Brooklyn Institute of Social Research is inaugurating a lecture series about cyborgs. Or head to Manhattan’s Red Bull Studios for an event celebrating Grand Arts, the Kansas City project space that launched dozens of conceptual art projects and, now, a catalogue. Tuesday night, Paddy Johnson joins other art critics to talk shop at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Dweck Cultural Center, and Tyler Coburn talks genetic engineering and body mods as the future of humanity at e-flux. If you’re looking for something more hands-on (or a chance to move your feet), there’s a survey of handmade prints at Site:Brooklyn and an epic-looking disco fundraiser for El Museo del Bario Wednesday night. Thursday, White Box is opening a jam-packed group show (with some impressive names!) all about political angst. Friday we’ve got a talk from Maura Riley at Stony Brook Manhattan and Underdonk opening a class-conscious solo show by Patrice Renee Washington.

But the weekend brings us back to what we like the most: artwork that investigates the weird. Selena Gallery’s two person show from Dalia Amara and Florencia Escudero looks for uncanny surrogate female bodies in consumer goods on Saturday night. Sunday, Sascha Braunig’s work at MoMA will likely strike a similar chord. And MARC STRAUS opens a solo show by Chris Joneswho builds fantastical dioramas (pictured) from mundane images.

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Fresh New Digs for Aging Independent

by Chris Green on March 4, 2016
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The Independent art fair is apparently all grown up and ready to cement its place of privilege in a new Tribeca location. This year’s event space, Spring Studios, is better known for exclusive fashion and Tribeca Film Festival events, but the organizers believe it is just right for a fair that now considers itself to be mature and ambitious. Aging is perhaps a more appropriate characterization here—this year, the formerly new-blood establishment of the Independent seems as though it is content to coast into retirement.

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Art Fag City at The L Magazine: All I Want For Christmas

by Paddy Johnson on December 9, 2011
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I'm getting my art Christmas list in order. The L Magazine/Art Fag City office gifts I'll skip — our water polo caps won't be particularly relevant here — but the schwag I've got set up for the art kids are all yours.

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