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Bruce Pearson: Shadow Language

In these recent paintings, the artist continues to steadfastly explore terrain that has preoccupied him for at least two decades. What he shows us is what might constitute a painting now, within a contemporary culture logged into perpetual overload in constant transition, which he both leans into and resists.

James Nares: Monuments

Nares gets New York, the most pedestrian-friendly metropolis in the world. He proves it with every aesthetic move he has ever made, no less than asking us to think about the stones beneath our feet.

Yasi Alipour: As Dreams

In the search for an intergenerational and international social mechanism for historical construction, the artist asks us to relate to each other as contemporaries. Encouraging us, specifically, to take these various interpretations from Iranians ‘then’ to the experience of our ‘now’ in the United States.

Pedro Mesa: No One Listening

Perhaps the ephemeral and temporary nature of its exhibition in a screened concrete and marble “Labyrinth of Capital,” is the best way to give voice to a resistance, sounding from inside the cave.

Thief of Baghdad: Arabs in World Cinema

When Hollywood recently lined Rami Malek up as the next Bond villain, following his Oscar win, the Lebanese-Iraqi satirist Karl Sharro ironically saluted the event on Twitter, noting that “this is the film industry’s highest ‘honor’ for an actor of Middle Eastern origin: cast[ing] them as a Bond villain.”

Jack Youngerman: Cut-Ups

Youngerman's painting is characterized by hard edges and bright colors; the current painted collages on view are no exception. The art’s hard-edge geometry belongs to a tradition of working in the 1940s and ’50s, albeit a smaller one than the dominant abstract expressionism of the time.

Writings on the Wall

Each artist honors a legacy of mark-making in their work: finding inspiration in the cave petroglyphs of our most distant ancestors; the mutable materiality of the urban environment; and the accumulated etchings of the city milieu.

Rico Gatson and Baseera Khan: Free to Be

The exhibition is a bold curatorial collaboration: Gatson and Khan shine both individually and together at Jenkins Johnson Projects, a Prospect Heights art space connected to the community around it and highlighting artists of color.

2019 Whitney Biennial

The 57 artists in the galleries and 18 represented in performance and film don’t crowd their work with pointed critiques of racism, sexism, misogyny, and colonialism, but instead invite viewers into their respective worlds and identities.

Richard Pousette-Dart: Works 1940 – 1992

The paintings that occupy the main space of Richard Pousette-Dart: Works 1940 – 1992 create full visual environments, like a sun filling the sky with heat or a carpet of vegetation covering a lawn.

Idris Khan:Blue Rhythms

Insistent repetition is one way to measure time.

Julia Scher: American Promises

Motherhood is a role partly defined by its expectation to survey, observe, and discern, so the work also shows the shifting roles of surveillance within familial

Joan Mitchell: All by Herself

The art world seems to be waking up to the idea that the greatest Abstract Expressionist of both generations may not have been a man, let alone “one of the boys,” but was Joan Mitchell.

Marley Freeman: Park Closes at Midnight

In art, as in life, layers can both conceal history and reveal truths buried by the passage of time.

Sarah Grass: Unmanned

Every drawing in Unmanned, Sarah Grass’s first solo show, is a high-wire act of technical virtuosity.

Vivian Suter

Suter’s work feels both settled in place and open to the possibility of change. Painted both indoors and outdoors, her canvases are subject to the unstoppable forces of nature—hurricanes, flooding, critters—but do not resist their effects.

Mary Bauermeister: Live in Peace or Leave the Galaxy

Best known for her intricate and enigmatic multimedia assemblages, Mary Bauermeister (b.1934), long defied categorization. She matured amidst Pop and Minimalism but instead echoed explorations of the very personal and a multi-layered maximalism.

Heidi Bucher: The site of Memory

The nine works in Heidi Bucher’s The Site of Memory create an ephemeral movement like dried leaves picked up by a gust of wind. Every piece has a skin-like texture, some of which call to mind animal hides that have been distressed, beaten, dried out, hung, and weighted down.

De Kooning: Five Decades

It’s been 22 years since Willem de Kooning’s death at 93. His long and prodigiously productive career was lately most fully examined in a retrospective held between 2011–12 at MoMA.

Carlos Motta: Conatus

Motta’s work in film, sculpture, print, and photography has long dissected the ways religious fundamentalism, primarily Catholicism, has condemned diverse representations of sexuality in indigenous cultures.

Mandy El-Sayegh: Cite Your Sources

The works adhere to the same format: one large image serves as the work’s base, stretching across the entirety of the plane surface, while three or four additional figures are spread out on top.

Perilous Bodies

Body is a battleground. Body is a weapon. Body is testimony of endless fights against racial, class, and sexual oppression.

Corita Kent: Works from the 1960s

“It is a huge danger to pretend awful things do not happen. But you need enough hope to keep on going. I am trying to make hope. And you have to grab it where you can.”

Lorna Simpson: Darkening

The mood is somber and monumental. Blue ink washes over icebergs, enlarged strips of newsprint, and images of Black women.

David Novros

The kinesthetic relationship viewers encounter with painting has long been a preoccupation for David Novros.

Ansel Krut: Back to Back Balloons

Like his fellow South Africans William Kentridge and Marlene Dumas, Ansel Krut might be defined as an expressionist of the latter day. Where Kentridge is theatrical and Dumas passionate, Krut seems zany, but in fact he is dead serious and addresses a wide range of artistic and social issues in these 30 acrylics and oils, all painted between 2017 and 2018.

Wendy Red Star: Accession

Ethnographer James Clifford has written extensively about the fallacy of the “salvage paradigm”—the anthropological romance with the preservation of the last traces of traditional peoples and cultures.

Visions of Brazil

Visions of Brazil is an ambitious exhibition that seeks to locate itself within a contemporary discourse on the construction of Brazilian Modernism. Curated by Sofia Gotti for Blum & Poe’s New York gallery, the exhibition begins with historian Walter Mignolo’s assertion that coloniality is the “darker side” of modernity.

Surrealism in Mexico

This wonderfully hung exhibition celebrates the wondrously worded “robust creative moment” when a group of internationally colorful surrealists left Europe for Mexico, fleeing World War II.

Sanya Kantarovsky: On Them

What makes a story compelling without being told? This question lingered with me after seeing Sanya Kantarovsky’s exhibition On Them. His paintings, drawings, and prints have long shared an eerie likeness to novel illustration, and give the impression of Russian novels—though only vaguely.

David Driskell: Resonance: Paintings, 1965–2002

While his art history scholarship has earned David Driskell international acclaim, his paintings and works on paper have yet to receive that level of recognition. Resonance: Paintings, 1965-2002 makes a good case that they should.

Sean Scully: PAN

I am not sure about the meaning of PAN, the title given to this exhibition by Sean Scully, but the Greek origin of the word would appear to suggest sexual prowess. On another level, it might serve as an indirect allusion to Hellenic architecture, which was influential on the formation of his signature style.

Simone Fattal: Works and Days

In 1971, Simone Fattal invited a camera crew into her kitchen in Beirut to help her create a video self-portrait. The footage shows the then 29-year-old artist dressed in a white shirt tied at her waist. She repeatedly tucks her shoulder-length hair behind her ear as she speaks.

Yuji Agematsu: 1995 & 2003

It’s debatable if walking, in and of itself, is art. But the “idea” of walking as art has a pedigree that stretches back to the heyday of Conceptual art.

Diana Copperwhite: The Clock Struck Between Time

The question one asks while experiencing Diana Copperwhite’s new paintings is: When are they happening? As the exhibition title, The Clock Struck Between Time suggests, the artwork places us in an ambiguous temporal space, drifting from the present moment into a memory still struggling to take form.

Liz Magor: Blowout

A disquieting energy pulses with low-grade intensity throughout Liz Magor’s exhibition Blowout, co-organized by the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard and on view at the University of Chicago’s Renaissance Society.

Berna Reale: While you laugh / Enquanto Você Ri

Brazilian performance artist Berna Reale’s first exhibition in New York features a series of photographs and videos centered around her creation of non-binary character “Bi.”

Ming Fay: Beyond Nature

Generally speaking, artistic forms read differently in China than they do in most Western countries. This is primarily true of representational forms, which tend to have symbolic content. In the case of Ming Fay, this would include his precision, hand-made simulations of extra-large natural objects shown at Sapar Contemporary in TriBeCa.

As If: Alternative Histories from Then to Now

In his now mostly forgotten work, The Philosophy of “As If” (1911), Hans Vaihinger argued that much of our mental life is taken up not by provable propositions, but by “as if” stories that we construct to make sense of our experience.

Esteban Cabeza de Baca: Worlds without Borders

The symbols that are recurrent in many indigenous cultures commingle throughout the show with those that are readily recognizable to contemporary culture such as chain-linked fences and barbed wire.

Todd Gray: Cartesian Gris Gris

Todd Gray’s new body of work, at David Lewis Gallery, may look aesthetically pleasing, with its rich images of beautiful gardens and interior architecture layered in conjoined frames, but under the deceptively sleek exterior is a nuanced observation of the continued fallout of European colonialism in Africa.

Peggy Ahwesh: CLEAVE

In Verily! the Blackest Sea, the Falling Sky (2017), a two-channel video work, Peggy Ahwesh takes us on a journey from the ocean’s primordial depths, filled with squids and Leviathans, into the reaches of outer space.

Irma Blank: Painting Between the Lines

A black-and-white photograph that accompanied Carrie Rickey’s feloniously uncomprehending review in Artforum at the time documents the work: hundreds of seemingly printed sheets of paper, aligned corner to corner and edge to edge, arrayed in three tiers that wrapped around three walls.

Alex Katz: New Paintings and Sculptures

At a certain point in a career as long and accomplished as Alex Katz’s, one hopefully reckons to ask if that artist has begun to transcend themselves: where they become, in effect, “more themselves” (arguably a form of inner transcendence) or simply a representation of such.

Deborah Turbeville: Collages

The collages by Deborah Turbeville currently on view at Deborah Bell draw mainly from the photographer’s work in fashion. Turbeville’s images are shrouded in a gothic atmosphere of deep shadows and Romantic decay, and her models typically convey alienation or psychological dissociation—not precisely the glamour we expect of luxury advertising.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2019

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