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Nora Griffin: Modern Love

In 1962, the American film critic and painter Manny Farber remarked that the idea of a painting as an “expensive hunk of well-regulated area both logical and magical, sits heavily over the talent of every modern painter.” In the half century since Farber’s critique, the grip of this idea has hardly loosened.


Marcel Broodthaers’s career has to be one of the most hermetically abstruse, at least to an American audience, of the 20th century, so it’s a signal event when a museum like MoMA, so vested in the pas de deux of Dada and Surrealism, celebrates one of that tradition’s most prodigious acolytes.


Everyday life presents each of us with the opportunity to play out a carefully choreographed (if unrecognized) performance: I rise, I shower, I dress, I walk. In Juliana Cerqueira Leite’s set of five sculptural works, exhibited under the title INTRANSITIVE, pink, yellow, and purple Hydrocal casts of the artist’s body document her interaction with a collection of DIY furniture built for the exhibit.

Late Medieval Panel Paintings II: Materials, Methods, Meanings

“Where the literature of foreign nations and of past cultures is accessible only across the barrier of language,” Meyer Schapiro wrote, “the works of painting, sculpture, and architecture may be enjoyed directly through the eyes and the humanity of their makers experienced in the expressiveness of forms.”

JEAN SHIN Surface Tension

Jean Shin is well known for her large installations consisting of accumulated objects—disparate artifacts such as prescription pill bottles, sports trophies, sweaters, and swathes of fabric—given to her by people in the community where the art environment takes place.


When a redwood tree is feeling fatalistic, it sends up saplings from its roots, surrounding its trunk. The shoots leap from life’s final breaths to begin fresh: “Old, new, dead, and unborn // one and the same.” Molly Lowe’s film Redwood, currently showing at Pioneer Works alongside an accompanying installation, begins with a description of this collapsing circle of life.

CHELSEA CULPRIT Blessed With a Job

The art historical canon is chock full of fallen women, Jezebels, and harlots, from Degas’s ballerinas to Picasso’s demoiselles.

GABRIEL LIMA life, vest ; coffee, tray

Seeing works in an artist’s studio as they’re readied for exhibition is oh so different from viewing them in the surround of a gallery space. Prior to seeing Gabriel Lima’s paintings at Kai Matsumiya’s Lower East Side gallery, I visited the Brazilian-born artist in his Brooklyn studio.


Sirens, Carrie Moyer’s museum-quality début at DC Moore Gallery, consists of fourteen, mostly large-scale, almost garishly bright abstract paintings. Moyer is a veteran of the New York art scene, and has exhibited widely, most recently with SCAD.

TAMARA JOHNSON No Your Boundaries

The landscape created in Tamara Johnson’s exhibition No Your Boundaries, at the CUE Art Foundation, has a relatable undertone not unlike Hank Williams Sr.’s 1949 version of “My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It.”

Munch and Expressionism

The cumulative impact of seeing Munch’s work in this exhibit was so strong that upon leaving, the streets of Manhattan almost morphed into the cityscape of Munch’s print Evening on Karl Johan, (1892).

TIM HAWKINSON Counterclockwise

What strikes first upon entry to Pace Gallery on West 24th Street is the persistent thrum of muted noise: the creaking of shaky machinery, a droning waaah, an intermittent snippet of what sounds like a vacuum cleaner’s motor.


As children, we create narratives to make life governed by adults bearable. As adults, we learn that we are nothing special in the scheme of things, that there are many things impossible to achieve.


The dim, dramatic lighting and presentation of morbid subject matter in Berlinde De Bruyckere’s recent exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, No Life Lost, actually transform the space into somewhere between a tomb and immersive theater event.

SUZANNE MCCLELLAND Articulate Muscle 1976

Heavy grunting, rattling weights, counting reps, men emphatically pumping iron, and the iconic voice of Arnold bumptiously stating, “You have to do everything possible to win,” are the vociferous sounds that echo across the showroom space and studio at Dieu Donné.


The language of the trickster is always duplicitous, simultaneously pointing toward meaning and away from it. Duchamp famously said, “I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste,” while Oscar Wilde, master of the ironic turn, wrote, “Lying, the telling of beautiful untrue things, is the proper aim of Art.” Doubleness, contradiction, and paradox—these are the trickster’s mother tongues, the mythic embodiment of ambiguity and ambivalence.

MARK GREENWOLD The Rumble of Panic Underlying Everything

The Rumble of Panic has undoubtedly taken this distinguished / Ensemble of mortals outdoors by the swimming pool, where / There was no Mrs. Robinson, only one-half of the duo, / That concocted this prodigious ballad for The Graduate.


Nicky Nodjoumi’s exhibition, You and Me, fills two floors of the Ta ymour Grah ne Gallery. The show is made up of his familiar large paintings and a group of sketches that, taken together, represent a new iteration of old thoughts.


200 years after the end of her painting career, it’s high time Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755 – 1842), better known as Vigée Le Brun, had a major retrospective. An opportunity to see a sizeable amount of her work unlikely to be repeated anytime soon, it also helped save her from the almost certain obscurity that few female artists of her time escaped.

Truth in the Visual Arts
Skepticism in the Work of Ellen K. Levy and Patricia Olynyk

In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Márquez describes a rain of yellow flowers falling on the town of Macondo; it is a miracle and has no scientific explanation, but in the context of fiction, it needs no rationalization.

Torkwase Dyson: Unkeeping

“When he told me that I was made for his use, made to obey his command in every thing […] whose will must and should surrender to his, never before had my puny arm felt half so strong,” wrote Harriet Jacobs on her body as slave-owner’s property, as if she were perfectly manufactured for the man who owned it.

CARL BOUTARD Life is Elsewhere

Swedish-born, Berlin-based sculptor Carl Boutard is currently living in New York City on a residency at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP). His exhibition, Life is Elsewhere, installed in the long, somewhat narrow space of TURN Gallery, consists of eight sculptures made from paper and cardboard, rather than the bronze and wood he usually works with for both indoor sculpture and outdoor projects.


When speaking of his canonical painting Carnival of Harlequin (1924 – 25), Joan Miró once explained its anthropomorphized objects and hybrid creatures by saying: “I tried to deepen the magical side of things.”

“I’ll Stick With Exactly What I Said.”
Slavs and Tatars Mirrors for Princes

Here is the scene: in the middle of the space, a giant, untouched Persian rug. Hexagonal patterns in maroons, reds, and blacks across the carpet’s surface area.

MARTIN PURYEAR Multiple Dimensions

Internationally recognized, well exhibited, and critically acclaimed sculptor Martin Puryear currently has a fantastic show of drawings and prints on view at the Art Institute of Chicago.

MARYAM JAFRI Economy Corner

In the mid 1970s consumer culture in the U.S. took a rare pause in its relentless appetite for brand name products. High inflation, the winding down of the Vietnam War, and the onset of OPEC and gasoline shortages all put pressure on marketing mavens to come up with a strategy that would address the budget-conscious consumer.


The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2016

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