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20120123082501-freshfaceinthedesert Avner Ben-Gal at Sadie Coles HQ   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Avner Ben-Gal at Sadie Coles HQ - South Audley St January 18th, 2012 - March 10th, 2012
Posted 1/22/12

It’s a cruel world, according to Avner Ben-Gal. In his paintings and drawings the Israeli-born artist unveils an uncanny world of shaken-up dream logic in which human forms are melded with Swiss Army knives, faceless women appear in graphic anatomical detail, and figures both human and fantasy appear in confrontation with each other. It’s the bad dream that haunts our waking hours, the sinister side of life that we try to brush away. Over two rooms, this exhibition at Sadie Coles takes in a selectio... [more]

20120108163845-brzezanska I Guess This is Pleasure   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Pierre Bismuth, Shannon Bool, Jennifer Bornstein, Marco Bruzzone, Agnieszka Brzezanska, James Lee Byars, Cheryl Donegan, Piotr Nathan, Oksana Pasaiko, Martha Rosler, Steven Shearer, Mina Totino at VW (VeneKlasen/Werner) October 29th, 2011 - January 7th, 2012
Posted 1/8/12

A few years ago I came across a zine that was called something like “365 Orgasms” or “A Year of Orgasms.” Basically it was a single guy’s masturbation diary with “how to get the most out of self love” tips. One entry described how you could use a rubber band as a cock ring, and if you twisted it like the infinity sign you could also wrap it around your balls. Trust me, I am going somewhere with this. The other entry I remember was that if you masturbate on the toilet, and time it just right so that you... [more]

20111115164816-graham_sous_chef__lightbox Medium Specificity Revisited   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Rodney Graham at Donald Young Gallery October 21st, 2011 - November 23rd, 2011
Posted 11/14/11

In 1940, Clement Greenberg declared that “the history of avant-garde painting is that of a progressive surrender to the resistance of its medium,” and the controversial concept of media specificity/purity was born. About thousand years earlier, the painted triptych emerged in early European Christian art decorating the first churches and early sites of worship, turning a form that had first been used in ancient Rome as mere hinged writing tablets into a genre creating replete narrative worlds about sa... [more]

20110831143337-bailey_press_image_72dpi David Bailey at Scream   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
David Bailey at Scream October 7th, 2011 - November 12th, 2011
Posted 11/5/11

The experiences of our childhood have a powerful impact on us as we grow up, no more so than when we experience violence and loss at a young age. Scream’s new exhibition of David Bailey’s paintings demonstrates how living through the bombing of London’s East End during World War II affected him in the most basic and touching way. Bailey is known internationally as a fashion and portrait photographer and first entered the industry in the late 1950s. Despite his immense success and global fame in t... [more]

20110917061723-04__9 The Projecting Stage   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Anja Kirschner and David Panos at castillo/corrales September 16th, 2011 - November 12th, 2011
Posted 10/12/11

Didactic, political and activist art can seem like so much homework. Which is why some artists go the genre route to put across ideas about politics and society. An exhibition at Castillo/Corrales Gallery in Paris features the work of German-born Anja Kirschner and Greek-born David Panos (who now work in London). Both explore social unrest through witty subversions of genre films. Now, a gallery isn't the ideal place to watch films – and the space at Castillo/Corrales isn't conducive to the ex... [more]

20111005081547-1_presley_ward_role_model_2008 Joie de Vivre   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Presley Ward at People's Gallery September 7th, 2011 - October 22nd, 2011
Posted 10/5/11

“Imagine a very small formal motif and try to execute it economically . . . the essence of the subject must always become visible, even if this is impossible in nature. .... The absence of foreshortening also plays a crucial part in the process.... I begin to execute forms, as if I know nothing about painting or, have I discovered a small, undisputed personal possession, a particular sort of threedimensional representation on the flat surface!” —Paul Klee, The Diaries of Paul Klee 1898-1918[i]   “T... [more]

20110912143226-nauman_combinations_described_chicago Sign Language   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Bruce Nauman at Donald Young Gallery September 16th, 2011 - October 16th, 2011
Posted 10/3/11

Bruce Nauman’s installation at Donald Young Gallery centers around simple gestures: fingers on both hands are flexed and touched together in different combinations.   A video projected on a screen shows the artist’s hands doing this, while speakers embedded in the walls around the screen emit voices describing the gestures being enacted, “Right hand, thumb and first finger, left hand thumb.” And so on.  To most viewers, the permutations of fingers being curled and uncurled appears at first meanin... [more]

20111002201035-1b604e8eb97f8c66464503f4b1ddc68d50f122e634b4eaac7bbb9868ce12ba495g Never Quite Like This Before: Fifteen Years of Gatson   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Rico Gatson at Exit Art September 30th, 2011 - November 23rd, 2011
Posted 10/2/11

In Three Trips Around The Block, Exit Art presents a fifteen-year retrospective of New York-based Rico Gatson. Through video, sculpture, and paintings, the show traces the evolution of Gatson’s work. There is a particular urgency invoked by showing a retrospective of Gatson’s oeuvre at this specific Obama-era moment. With a national vocabulary entrenched in misappropriations of concepts like post-race, colorblindness, and post-Blackness, we find ourselves coming up empty handed. There is no language t... [more]

20111017080131-07-image-_untitled__2011 Georg Herold at Sadie Coles HQ   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Georg Herold at Sadie Coles - New Space September 14th, 2011 - November 5th, 2011
Posted 9/24/11

Sometimes the only reaction you have to a show is “hmmm…ok.” Not because the art is bad, or indeed because it is so spectacular that you are lost for words to describe it, but because the exhibition offers you nothing in the way of engagement. Georg Herold at Sadie Coles HQ is one of these: a selection of works arranged in a large, white space with no curatorial intervention whatsoever. Not bad, not wonderful. Herold offers two themes in this show: monumental human figures constructed from f... [more]

20110716022549-75 The Tropes of the Tropical   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Miguel Calderón, Sofía Cordoba, George Kuchar, Mads Lynnerup, Carlos Ruiz-Valarino at Queen's Nails July 16th, 2011 - August 6th, 2011
Posted 8/9/11

Another thematic summer group show based on an image of summer-related ecstasy but one that chilly and windswept San Francisco can never truly grasp.  SF Tropical at Queens Nails Projects tries to address the word and conjured image that is the TROPICAL as refracted through the fog coming off the Bay. Mark Twain has been apocryphally quoted as saying, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”  And though the weather was quite cool for summer, it definitely wasn’t the coldest... [more]

20110715104852-1 Jake or Dinos Chapman   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Jake and Dinos Chapman at White Cube, Hoxton Square July 15th, 2011 - September 17th, 2011
Posted 7/31/11

"Jake or Dinos Chapman" is the result of a year spent by the Chapman brothers working in isolation from one another. As the “or” of the title implies, it is unclear – and perhaps irrelevant – which artist has produced which works. Moreover, the authorial split suggested by the exhibition’s title and by its spanning of both White Cube’s galleries (in Mason’s Yard and Hoxton Square), is belied by the polyreferential, "articulated" corpus of work on show. The upstairs gallery at Mason’s Yard houses a de... [more]

20110724210834-larry_zox__banner__1962__collage__oil__staples_on_board__72x72_in Evolving Patterns   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Larry Zox at Stux + Haller June 30th, 2011 - August 5th, 2011
Posted 7/24/11

Installed in a small rear gallery at Stephen Haller, eight early collages by Larry Zox (1937-2006) offer an intimate and rare glimpse into the process, method, and ultimate evolution that lead up to the American artist’s celebrated geometric abstractions.  With “Larry Zox: Collage Paintings from the 1960s,” thick card stock and heavy paper is torn, painted, and aggressively stapled to wood board.  The raw spontaneity and brute force of these pieces suggest Abstract Expressionism’s influence, evok... [more]

20110510085724-2 Richard Long at the Haunch of Venison   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Richard Long at Haunch of Venison May 27th, 2011 - August 20th, 2011
Posted 6/20/11

What is it about land art that gives it such an enduring appeal? Since its heyday in the 1960s and 70s as a new marker in the expanded field of sculpture, land art has continued to subsist with few fundamental changes. Artists like Richard Long have continued to take walks, arrange stone circles and make expansive marks in the landscape. In the museum-like surroundings of Haunch of Venison, Long has assembled a collection of works that display a remarkable consistency throughout the forty-year career o... [more]

20110321075621-ww Places Strange and Quiet   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Wim Wenders at Haunch of Venison April 15th, 2011 - May 14th, 2011
Posted 4/24/11

Wim Wenders’ photographs are like establishing shots: the wide angle images at the beginning of film scenes that locate the action to follow. This is no surprise since they were taken as the filmmaker scouted for locations in countries including Brazil, Japan, Italy, Germany and the US, taking the roads less traveled to seek out the enigmatic, evocative places that haunt these large-scale images. The forty photos, spanning 1983 to 2011, play out over the walls of the Haunch of Venison ga... [more]

20110301164522-004__3 Art that takes Risks   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Gao Brothers at Walsh Gallery March 4th, 2011 - May 7th, 2011
Posted 3/14/11

In the United States, you can make a sculpture of former President George W. Bush’s head atop a phallus without fear of governmental reprisal, as was demonstrated recently at Western Exhibitions.  In the recent Westboro Baptist Church judgment, the United States Supreme Court has ensured that even the most disgusting and worthless acts of free speech are protected.  And if as an artist your freedom of speech and expression is stifled, the art world will not be silent about it, as the recent David W... [more]

20110205044701-pomegranates A Long-Expired Bacchanal   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Jeanne Dunning at Donald Young Gallery February 18th, 2011 - April 9th, 2011
Posted 3/7/11

Since the late 1980s, Chicago photographer and filmmaker Jeanne Dunning has used abstraction and other techniques to transform objects, the body, and food into something deceitfully grotesque, in a style akin to Edward Weston’s famous pepper. In her new work at the Donald Young Gallery, Dunning arranges classical still lifes of ripe fruits and vegetables on dark, rich-looking drapery and then waits, leaving the transformation up to nature, and photographing the decay. The main gallery space is... [more]

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