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Glenda León: Every Shape is a Shape of Time

As this meticulously curated exhibition introduces us to Glenda León as a well-established media ecumenical whose broad artistic range transports us from a shower stall in Cuba to ethereal constellations in the universe, so does it remind us of the power of art to sustain and guide us through life’s most challenging moments.

Edith Schloss: Blue Italian Skies Above

What a wonderful time to discover the sly and seductive charm of Edith Schloss’s largely under-the-radar art, writing, and life.

Peter van Agtmael: Look at the USA

Look at the USA. It’s the title of photographer Peter van Agtmael’s exhibition, but it’s an instruction too. Look at it, do not turn away, do not obfuscate, do not insist on nuance, do not flinch: look at the USA.

J.V. Martin: Something is Rotten in the State of Everything Everywhere

In March 1965, a bomb ripped through the apartment of J.V. Martin, painter, provocateur, and leader of the Scandinavian chapter of the Situationist International. In what was rumored to be an attack by the Danish secret service, the bomb injured Martin’s five-year-old son, burned out the entirety of his apartment, and destroyed the bulk of his work and archive up to that point, including his “Thermonuclear Map” paintings—heavily loaded canvases documenting the landscape in the hours after a nuclear Armageddon, their savagery evident in a materials list that included diapers and chunks of rotting cheese.

Marina Adams: What Are You Listening To?

In a room with fewer corners than one expects hang two new paintings by Marina Adams that mesmerize and bewilder. They are the same big size and the structures of their compositions are of a kind, but the surfaces tell different stories. When painters use form as a vehicle the tendency is to explore color relationships and textural variety.

Sam McKinniss: Mischief

There’s an atmosphere of unease that hangs over Sam McKinniss’s show Mischief at JTT. It’s a subtle, dreadful feeling that takes time to build.

Karen Kilimnik: Early Drawings 1976 – 1998

120 of Kilimnik’s early works on paper selected by the artist and split between Presenhuber and Sprüth Magers in London reference everything from European mythology and aristocracy to luxury advertisements, pop culture icons Sharon Tate and Keith Richards, and mass media.

Liliane Tomasko: Evening Wind

One of the most intriguing exhibitions of recent years is Liliane Tomasko: Evening Wind at the Edward Hopper House. Scattered somewhat randomly upon the walls of Hopper’s living room and dining room in Nyack, the abstract painterly marks on surfaces of paper, notwithstanding their aggregation of luscious streaks and seductive palettes of subdued and brilliant hues, register as self-contained entities. Yet the seeming abstractions of Tomasko, framed within her overall body of work and the context of Hopper’s self-absorbed human figures, translate as conduits to the perceptual states of the human subject, as cryptographs of the subconscious, as passages toward the unconscious. These works compel us to reconsider the referent of the term “abstraction.”

Turba Tol Hol-Hol Tol: The Chilean Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale

The 59th Venice Biennale's main exhibition is groundbreaking. Not only the majority of artists identify as women, many are queer, non-white, and self-taught artists, but curator Cecilia Alemani also studied the Venice Biennial’s historical omissions, filling in the works by women which could and should have been shown since the early 20th century—exposing roots of feminist art, the arteries and veins connecting the past and the present.

Unnatural Nature: Post-Pop Landscapes

The human appetite for landscape paintings is apparently infinite, and this show of no fewer than twenty-eight artists in its New York version (there was a second edition in Palm Beach, which like this one was curated by Todd Bradway) emulates that infinity. How easy it would be to get lost in all these painted forests!

Ebony G. Patterson: to kiss a flower goodbye

Bathed in subdued light, …to kiss a flower goodbye…, Ebony G. Patterson’s exhibition of three recent large-scale wall-hung assemblage works or “tapestries,” and two framed photo-collage pieces, sets a mood to summon nocturnal reveries. Optically sumptuous and texturally rich, the colorfully embroidered works feature clusters of long strands of pearlescent white beads that ooze from the top of these irregularly shaped, nearly ten-foot-tall compositions, and pile up on the floor.

In All Innocence: Women, Children and Others at the Venice Biennale

The dominance of women in this Biennale is unquestionably cause for jubilation. Its importance can’t be exaggerated. Similarly momentous is its embrace of artists from beyond the cosmopolitan centers of the West.


It’s challenging to present an interdisciplinary group show where individual pieces make up a rational whole. Bungalow’s second nomadic exhibition in Westbeth Artist Housing’s gallery space manages this difficult task, successfully taking a varied yet coherent curatorial approach. Fifteen artists are featured with minimal contextualization, encouraging organic connections to develop between objects. A relaxed but never lazy interplay of ideas, embracing conceptual art, interior design, fashion, and still life, exists in an harmonious display of seemingly disparate works.

Karla Knight: Road Trip

Karla Knight’s mysterious spaceships transport the viewer into other-worldly dimensions at a time when much of the art world can feel grounded by an ideological flat earth society. Like Hilma af Klint, whose works were channeled from higher masters in the astral plane, Knight’s remind us that art can originate from realms both mysterious and incomprehensible. Positivism, Adorno’s anti-occultism, and the “liberation” of art from its spiritual mission have dominated much recent discourse. When reading Knight’s statement—“I would say a visionary is someone who is a good listener, and a bridge between two worlds”—this critic wanted to applaud. Her works resonate and affect us deeply and draw the viewer into deeper meditations with their presence. Karla Knight’s art is pulled from the artist’s own psyche and lifts us into the fourth dimension where the spirit resides. It bucks many recent collective theoretical trends.

Naudline Pierre: Enter the Realm

The James Cohan Gallery has organized Naudline Pierre’s first solo exhibition in New York at its two spaces on Walker Street, featuring a selection of oil paintings on linen, painted triptych panels and three-dimensional structures adorned and supported with wrought-iron details, a room-sized iron gate, and small- to large-scale mixed-media works on paper. This exhibition affirms the presence of a promising artist whose nascent aesthetic language is becoming recognizable, with its vivid colors and mythological subjects featuring nude Black women and fantastical winged and feathered angels from religious iconography. Pierre’s spiritual upbringing with her father as a Haitian minister can be felt in the visionary and biblical subjects that weave in and out of her work.

Scott Kahn: The Walled City

The first painting one sees upon entering Scott Kahn’s exhibition at Almine Rech is The Gate (2021–22), a view of a tree-lined residential driveway. Seen from an elevated perspective, presumably a house’s second-story window, the driveway leads from a nondescript road directly down the center of the picture plane.

Perle Fine: A Retrospective

An underlying current of profound emotional intelligence is palpable in the retrospective of her work at Gazelli Art House. Exhibiting the many liberties Fine took in terms of scope and artistic range, the works independently represent near case studies in objective expression. There are paintings with shades and shapes of blue, as well as carefully drawn grid lines across a plane of yellow. Each piece demonstrates that during her fifty-year career, she was more interested in unlocking the depths of feeling, rather than the weight of materials.

Marguerite Louppe: Diagramming Space

It is a mystery how the twentieth-century French painter Marguerite Louppe has escaped the recognition she has deserved for so long. Born in 1902 in eastern France, Louppe and her family moved to Paris shortly after her birth. Louppe studied at several academies there, including the Académie Julian, where her fellow students included Dubuffet, Duchamp, Bourgeois, and Maurice Brianchon, whom she married in 1934.

Martin Wong: Dream Fungus: Early Works 1967-1978

Today, Martin Wong (1946–1999) is undoubtedly best known as an unwavering chronicler of a bygone era in New York’s Loisaida neighborhood, his meticulous renderings of the material world’s seemingly inconsequential details, like brick walls or chain-wire fencing, and, of course, his adaptation of the fingerspelling gestures used in American Sign Language.

The earth leaked red ochre

“The earth leaked red ochre” is a quote from the artist Cecilia Vicuña, and in the hands of curator Re’al Christian, this phrase becomes a tool for extracting and discerning traditional, Indigenous, and local narratives about the land that have been buried or become entangled with those of colonial presences and oppressors.

Robert Motherwell: Lyric Suite

My first encounter with Robert Motherwell’s ink paintings, collectively titled Lyric Suite, occurred in 1965. Not only was this the same year the works in this series were painted, but it was also the year of a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art featuring Motherwell’s large-scale works on canvas—such as those from the “Elegy to the Spanish Republic” series—curated by the distinguished poet Frank O’Hara. This would eventually combine with a separate exhibition of the artist’s works on paper, including those from Lyric Suite. It was within this context that the works currently on view at Kasmin Gallery emerged into notoriety.

Richard Prince: Hoods

Richard Prince’s body shop of horrors here, a deconstruction of the American vehicle, is an elegantly orchestrated grand guignol of stock and customized hood forms as stand-ins for paintings with a few minimalist asides of free-standing parts and whole muscle car carcasses. And is there any American dream machine more representative of the restless substance of “American Spirituality” than the Fordist automobile? A pure product of the assembly line gone mad, the American car is the perfect prima materia from which Prince can ignite innumerable false starts.

Tomas Vu: The Man Who Fell to Earth 76/22

Tomas Vu, born in Saigon in 1963, moved with his family to El Paso, Texas, at the age of ten. He received his BFA from the University of Texas at El Paso, and took his MFA at Yale. Currently, he is head of Columbia University’s print-making center. His current show, The Man Who Fell to Earth 76/22 is taking place at The Boiler, a non-profit showing space that is part of the Elm Foundation, located in Williamsburg.

Tomas Vu: The Man Who Fell to Earth 76|22

The Boiler in Williamsburg, Brooklyn opened during the pandemic in 2020 as an extension of the ELM Foundation’s programming, and invites contemporary artists to create installations and exhibitions in its space, previously run by Pierogi Gallery from 2009–2015. The current show, The Man Who Fell to Earth 76|22, by artist Tomas Vu, is his first solo show in New York since 2008. The raw industrial space exudes an extraterrestrial feeling, perfect for a show whose title recalls David Bowie’s central role in the eponymous 1976 movie.

Oscar Murillo: Ourself behind ourself concealed

Oscar Murillo’s latest paintings are big, bold, and breathtaking. They would not look out-of-place in a survey exhibition featuring significant works by Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, Al Leslie, Harry Jackson, and Grace Hartigan. Anyone who ever considered this 36-year-old artist a zombie abstractionist should take note. He has matured into someone who should be considered an honorary second-generation Abstract Expressionist.

Emilie Louise Gossiaux: Significant Otherness

“How might an ethics and politics committed to the flourishing of significant otherness be learned from taking dog-human relationships seriously?” asks scholar Donna Haraway in The Companion Species Manifesto (2003), a characteristically nimble and excursive text on the imbricated past, present, and future of canines and people. In the follow-up to her 1985 cyborg manifesto, Haraway frames people and dogs as co-constitutive categories—the term “companion” hinges upon a relation or contingency—and characterizes “significant otherness” as a nonhierarchical form of relating that springs from a cognizance of difference and an ethics of attention.

Alan Saret: Allies

While a mutation in the human body can emerge as cancer, a mutation in human-generated coding manifests as a sort of consciousness, a computer programmer recently explained. The subject of Alan Saret’s exhibition Allies at Karma is largely the various mutations of wire into sculpture and his specific yet assorted vocabulary of materials—gauges of thicknesses, coloration endemic to metals, and the resulting oxidation from their exposure to humidity and environmental conditions.

Deana Lawson

There’s a way things seem to glow in Deana Lawson’s most recent solo exhibition at MoMA PS1. Crystals and gems tucked away in gallery corners glint with a quiet allure. Frames made from mirrors catch the light and refract it into glowing portals, enshrining Lawson’s photographs and holding us in rapt attention.

Adam Higgins: Lonesome

The paintings’ downward gazes extend to dead fish, birds, and mussels splayed across the beach, but Higgins’s true subject is the extended moment when the creatures merge with sandy ground, simultaneously appearing and disappearing.

Ebony G. Patterson: …to kiss a flower goodbye…

In her second solo exhibition at Hales Gallery, …to kiss a flower goodbye…, Ebony G. Patterson continues to explore the garden as a multilayered metaphor for the colonial histories embedded in the Caribbean landscape.

Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas

Here the boundaries of form and content dissipate, as medium and message are rendered interchangeable, undermining the closure of meaning and anticipating those interpretations that emerge from the perception and intuition of the observing subject.

Bernard Piffaretti: Pick Up

In this, Bernard Piffaretti’s fourth Lisson Gallery exhibition and the second in New York, the recursive nature of his project is present in more ways than one.

Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme: May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth

Throughout its various iterations, May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth insists on mourning and memory as collective practices that transcend boundaries and refuse the geographic and social fragmentation fundamental to colonial violence, through ongoing acts of everyday defiance and resistance.

Guadalupe Maravilla: Tierra Blanca Joven

Guadalupe Maravilla’s Tierra Blanca Joven at the Brooklyn Museum consists of “Disease Throwers”—large sculptures that function as healing sound baths, a curation of Mayan artifacts from the museum’s collection, video performance, and a community healing room.

Richard Serra

The now rain-streaked poster for this dual show, still visible on 10th Avenue, is a photograph of Richard Serra watching as a huge claw lifts his work: a red hot, 10-foot-high solid steel cylinder.

Steeped in Spilled Milk pt.2

Steeped is defiant and elegant in its selection of varied media, united by simultaneous delicacy and strength; a complex and individualized breed of alterity riddled with conflicting experiences of both pleasure and pain, love and hatred, danger and desire.

Linda Daniels: Splits

Linda Daniels’s exhibition at Left Field in Los Osos confirms my assessment that her paintings of the past five or so years are not only the best that she has made, but also the result of the rigorous yet ebullient trajectory of her work that has transpired over the past forty years.

Francis Bacon: Faces & Figures

There are no biomorphic figures, no screaming popes—only explorations of figures within the confines of pictorial space. But that self-imposed limitation is a tremendous opportunity to look closely at superb examples of Bacon’s work.

Fictions of Emancipation: Carpeaux Recast

The centerpieces of the exhibition are seen from afar, backlit by the Lehman Ring rotunda: back-to-back terracotta and marble versions of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux’s La Négresse, later entitled Why Born Enslaved! (modeled 1868, carved 1873). The installation is a set piece, and there is no mistaking the occasion as a marker—henceforward, the Metropolitan intends the collection to mix in the now, outside the walls, in the street, if possible.

Jake Berthot: The Enamels

The fifteen mostly untitled enamel works on paper on view at the Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation, all made between 1981 and 1987 (though including several undated works), flirt in the border territory between abstraction and figuration.

Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe

When Nellie Mae Rowe settled in the village of Vinings, it was a rural community twenty minutes northwest of Atlanta. Desegregation happened in various waves that occurred here between 1961 and 1973. Blockbusting, forced-housing patterns were outlawed, allowing Black citizens to own homes “in town.”

William Wegman: Writing by Artist

Pulling from the strata of nearly-forgotten objects and ephemera, Andrew Lampert, the show’s curator who also edited the book, pieces together an abundance of samplings that align as much with Wegman’s fidelity to writing and language as with his conceptual occupations and absurd humor.

George Petrides: Hellenic Heads

Petrides’s other sculptures are ironically laconic in every sense.

Tobi Kahn: Formation: Images of the Body

Kahn has painted in the fertile gap between representation and abstraction for more than forty years: landscapes, seascapes, flowers, cells, and human bodies distilled into evocative images. An ethos unites Kahn with kindred modernists—Hilma af Klint, Kazimir Malevich and Wassily Kandinsky, Arthur Dove and Albert Pinkham Ryder, Rothko and Barnett Newman—who courted ambiguity as a pictorial language of equivalence.

Robert Rauschenberg

This spring, the Rauschenberg Foundation partnered with Mnuchin Gallery and Gladstone Gallery to present two distinct but connected exhibitions that portray the lightness and irreverence that is integral to his works’ continued success.

Bang Geul Han: If You Grind The Threshold of Three Other Houses

To Han, the funny-not-funny is a vacuum, a vertiginous and politically demagnetized area between two people who experience the same phenomena in radically different ways. You think Han’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) is funny, your girlfriend does not.

Richard Nonas: As Light Through Fog

For Richard Nonas's seventh show at Fergus McCaffery, As Light Through a Fog, the works on view are divided between wall and floor, wood and steel, between pre-industrial and industrialized materials, nature and culture.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2022

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