Helsinki / Paris, Feb. 2014: It's quite strange meeting someone for the first time via Skype; I think it's something to do with the intimacy of being suddenly projected into a stranger's kitchen and they into your living room. This was how I met Elina Brotherus: we sat in Paris/Helsinki and shared a cup of tea. My intention was obviously for this to be an interview, however it seems like a conversation broke out, the outcome of which being that the questions aren't particularly well phrased. I'm s... [more]
Providence, RI, Feb. 2014: We are seeing the re-emergence of a decidedly generational narrative of feminism. In a recent article-turned-book for The Guardian, Kira Cochrane outlines what she calls the “fourth wave” of feminism. “What’s happening now," writes Cochrane, “feels like something new again. It's defined by technology: tools that are allowing women to build a strong, popular, reactive movement online.” The idea that contemporary engagements with feminism mar... [more]
Amsterdam, Feb. 2014: You could see almost all visitors of Hauptbahnhof Kassel do a double take when confronted with Kudzanai Chiurai’s contribution to dOCUMENTA(13). Is it a photograph or did I just detect motion? No, yes, no, there’s definitely something stirring, very much slowed down but alive it is. And then the quaintness of what is being shown kicks in. It’s a contemporary African version of The Last Supper with witchdoctors, machine gun wielding rebels, and cool urbani... [more]
Los Angeles, Jan. 2014: The figurative sculptures of Los Angeles-based artist Ruby Neri appear as if they rose from the deep corners inside earth with exaggerated proportions and colorful surfaces. Some figures have stubby arms open wide in a welcoming gesture; others are more slender with long, tubular noses. A solid head rests alone and another stands limbless with a vase-shaped frame. Neri’s society is truly individualistic by anatomical distortion and there also exists an optimistic air –... [more]
New York, Jan. 2014 - Celia Gerard is an artist for whom two sticks of charcoal, a bit of white paint, and a strong sheet of paper is plenty of material. “Line Quality” could be her mantra, and looking at her works one can see why. Gerard’s abstract compositions are built on geometric foundations of linear marks that may be subtle or bold but are always decisive. While her solo exhibition, “Lost at Sea,” was being hung, ArtSlant editor Charlie Schultz paid Gerard a... [more]
Amsterdam, Jan. 2014: Few contemporary artists are as productive and versatile as Michael Tedja. The speed at which he paints and draws is nearly frantic; his output is enormous in quantity and size. But that’s only one aspect of his artistry. He has recorded music and lectures, published two novels and regularly submits essays to national and international magazines. Besides this he is active as a curator, runs a publishing company (DFI Publishers), and has over the years become a fixtur... [more]
Berlin, Jan. 2014: If you venture up to the second floor of the Bode Museum in Berlin, tucked behind in a small exhibition space in one of the back rooms, you will see an unlikely product of history. The piece is relatively simple – a marble bust of the same scale you often find in museums, but it is clear that the statue has withstood a state of catastrophe. It is a damaged relic that was important enough to preserve, but is also far from the quality of the other pristinely conserved pie... [more]
New York, Dec. 2013: Raven Schlossberg’s collages are comprised of images cut from vintage magazines and lacquered on birch panels. Like Richard Yates, Richard Hamilton, David Lynch and Gregory Crewdson, Schlossberg peels away the airtight plastic wrap around America’s fantasy iconography. Her glossy surfaces highlight the seductive power of slick magazine paper to blind readers to the social injustices and manipulative messages imparted through mass media. She assembles her images i... [more]
Chicago, Dec. 2013: David Corbett is a Portland, Oregon based artist whose current solo exhibition Old Order is on view now at 65GRAND gallery. It’s full of animated, often raw-edged and pop-y colored pieces, all engaged in serious play. Although there are works on paper and sculptural objects, each piece functions as a sort of hybrid sculpture/painting, comically messing with one’s spatial perception.
Corbett was kind enough to take time to discuss it with me below, and our conversatio... [more]
Berlin, Dec. 2013: Ulrike Theusner paints monsters, beasts and brutes that are most frightening for being familiar. Her luscious watercolors, ink drawings and oil paintings are juicy with pictorial depth and detail while her characters burst and bubble with energy. Yet, despite these surface delights, her content is serious, dark and timely. Theusner’s images recall Goya’s grotesqueries and Otto Dix’s brutally seductive social caricature. Many of her characters wear historical costume,... [more]
Philadelphia, Dec. 2013: It could be considered that one of Song Dong’s most important collaborations was with his mother. In 2009, Song arranged the entire contents of his mother’s house, along with the house's small wooden frame, throughout MoMA’s expansive atrium. The installation, Waste Not (2009), revealed in its precise organization – neat rows, stacks and stockpiles of bowls, suitcases, plastic buckets, clothing, shoes, boxes, small scraps of fabric – his mother&rsq... [more]
New York, Nov. 2013: The digital age is currently facing certain adaptations that bring into question the modern’s faithfulness to understanding the past; texting incoherent typos being confused with Freudian slips was not considered by the original teacher and therefore could nullify the slip of the tongue theory. Psychological models in human development did not anticipate dualism in identity formation: the physical being and the digital projection of it via an online profile. Jacolby Satter... [more]
New York, Nov. 2013: John O’Connor is known for his colorful, intricately patterned drawings, often structured by a series of chance operations and other times informed by found text and data. Recently, O’Connor has added appropriated text from spam email and chatbots into these systems. We met on the occasion of his fourth solo exhibition at Pierogi Gallery, “The Machine and the Ghost” and his recently released catalogue featuring essays by Robert Storr, John Yau, Rick Moody, and Susan Swenson.
A devoted professor, O’Connor had invited his students fr... [more]
Oslo, Norway, Nov. 2013: I first met Ingri Haraldsen on an autumnal Saturday morning in Oslo, the day after the opening of the infamous Høstutstillingen 2013, Norway’s historic annual exhibition, which included a large-scale work of Haraldsen’s, Circular Story. I hadn’t yet met the artist then, and was blown away by the breathtaking depth and mastery of her work with pencil on paper, among the most impressive I’ve seen anywhere.
I was visiting the Norwegian capital... [more]
New York, Nov. 2013: I first met Gina Magid in the summer of 1999, at which point I had not seen her work, so we exchanged studio visits. Her studio then was in a big loft building in Williamsburg, and it was filled with a lot of fabric, wood, and other materials that she was using as grounds, as well as a lot of paintings that she described as all continuously in progress—an attitude toward painting that I shared and appreciated. We talked a lot about books and music, and I was really impresse... [more]
Turin, Italy, Nov. 2013: Driant Zeneli is one of the most promising young artists in the contemporary art panorama. Born in Shkoder, Albania in 1983, he moved to Italy when he was eighteen. His video works tell people’s dreams, desires, hopes and failures, starting from performances and actions where chance plays an essential role. About two weeks ago at the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Turin, he presented his latest creation, Leave me alone, in the context of the show “Vitrine – Gente in strada (Passaggio pedonale)” curated by Anna Musini, on display unt... [more]