Last week we gave you our top tips for shows big and small across Europe and the Middle East as the next season in culture gears up for new conversations and ideas. Fall is often the time to see the best in the museum and gallery's programming, and this year is no exception with a healthy choice of unique presentations.
This week, we look to a region that always has our readership rapt: North America. From the big institutions to the alternative spaces off the beaten track, here's what is in the personal diaries of our editorial staff on the ground across the US, Canada, and Mexico.
By turns sly, poetic, and elusive, Jack Goldstein graduated from the inaugural class at Cal Arts, putting out short conceptual films and audio recordings laden with drum-tight, bone-dry humor. After MOCA’s cancellation of a planned retrospective back in 2012, Los Angeles has been disabused of its faith in exposure to Goldstein’s catholic output, but today 1301PE opens an exhibition highlighting two lesser known bodies of work: the spare, yet intensely cinematic installation Burning Window and a coterie of Goldstein’s textual cut-em-ups that playfully slip around the closest of close readings.
Faith Wilding, Red Tongue, 1979, Oil on canvas. Photo: Clare Britt
By dint of her largely performance-based practice, Faith Wilding remains a lesser-known shero of 1970s feminist art, even though she studied under Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro in the Feminist Art Program at Cal Arts—the first of its kind in American higher education (let us pause for a moment and ruminate on the irony of the acronym FAP, now an onomatopoeia to connote male masturbation—oh Faith!). This exhibition focuses on Wilding’s forty-year studio practice, spanning collage, painting and various works on paper; a pulpy pastiche of color and gesture that anchors the roots of many LA feminist art collectives thriving today.
Seductive Exacting Realism logo, Designed by Till Wiedeck, 2015
Irena Haiduk, Seductive Exacting Realism
The Renaissance Society, Chicago
September 10–October 8
If art truly wants to affect change, we must interrogate what that would really look like, whether we can afford the ethical complications revolution entails. At the center of Irena Haiduk's Seductive Exacting Realism—a two-part project exhibited at the Ren and the 14th Instanbul Biennial this fall—is a dialogue the artist had with Srđa Popović. Popović, once a leader in the non-violent student movement that deposed Serbian autocrat Slobodan Milošević, is co-founder of the consultancy CANVAS, the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies. In the complicated territories of revolution and democracy-building, Seductive Exacting Realism draws in the experts while exploring the inevitable failures, complicities, and unsavory collaborations that take place in the revolutionary theatre.
Laylah Ali, Untitled (Sea), 2014, Gouache on custom Arches hot press panel. Courtesy of the artist and Kavi Gupta, Chicago
ASSISTED, Curated by Jessica Stockholder
Kavi Gupta, Chicago
September 12, 2015–January 16, 2016
The Assists are Jessica Stockholder's latest body of work. At once sculptures and hardware, artwork and plinth, they cannot exist without the objects and artworks to which they lend a hand. The Assists meet the ASSISTED this week in a group show curated by Stockholder featuring work from artists who investigate alternative modes of exhibition. Works from Stockholder's concurrent Kavi Gupta solo, Door Hinges, are simultaneously artworks, context, and architecture in these twinned shows exploring "the interstitial space between works of art and their surrounding objects, questioning notions of boundary and dependence."
When you go to see an exhibition by LA-based British artists Ed Fornieles it will never be what you expect an exhibition to be: his sentimental performance-installations are known for creating unsettling situations that mash together url and irl experiences to create chaos. This new project turns the the gargatuan space of Chateau Shatto into a postcapitalist workspace, where finanical imperative is decreased and coffee, wifi, networked activity, information and collaborative production forge a parallel economy. Fornieles' work is never easy to understand but he has a knack for prefiguring the moment.
Kerstin Brätsch, PELES Tears ...is Hot Stone Red Eyes Red Stone, 2014. Courtesy the Artist and Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York
Kerstin Brätsch interrogates painting by introducing alternative crafts, trades, techniques, and art forms into her "brushwork"—from paper marbling methods to stained glass. After inclusion in high-profile exhibitions like the New Museum's Younger Than Jesus (2009) and MoMA's The Forever Now, this will be Brätsch's first institutional solo in the US. We can't wait to see all her experimentations in one place.
How's this for a two-for-one offer: buy a piece of art and you get the deeds to a property. The catch? It's in Detroit, which is sort of far from the DF, and not the usual spot for a holiday home. Native of the city Mark Powell has photographed a number of spaces and houses in the notoriously derelict American city and is offering them in both real and photographic form—a head-on confrontation with the idea of the usefulness of art. The show opens in Mexico's Roma neighborhood as part of Gallery Weekend Mexico.
Sarah Sze, Installation view. Photo: Brett Moen
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, NYC
September 10–October 17
Sarah Sze's intricate sculptures, often that just hang on by a thread, are showcased in this installation at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery. Utilizing sound, light, paint and image, Sze weaves a delicate narrative of the precarious state of both life and art, always in progress.
Chuck Close, Self-Portrait I, 2014
New works by Chuck Close are showcased in this exhibition as Close further explores the grid as the fundamental underlying organizational structure behind paintings. These paintings while still fully within the style of Close, represent a new direction in the artist's practice as "he applies multiple thin washes of paint in each cell of the grid, layering red, yellow and blue until they accumulate into extravagant full-color images."
Two & Two is Brooklyn-based painter Henry Gunderson's first solo show at 247365. He's previously exhibited with Jessica Silverman in SF and youthful king-maker Regina Rex, and we're excited to see what Gunderson's minimal, diagramatic style has in store for us.
Max de Esteban, A Technological Construct of Totality
Max de Esteban, Heads Will Roll
Klompching Gallery, Brooklyn
September 12–October 30
This second solo show of Max de Esteban is a "media archaeology" of the image as used today. These richly saturated images evoke the density of our image culture while walking the line of beauty, exploitation and anxiety.
Image from Golden Ratio series, 2015, Acrylic on canvas
Henner reaches into the mass databases of the internet to produce her work. Google Earth and Street View, news programs and mass media all provide the fodder for her exploration of data visualization and spacial manipulation that appear through our imagined world. If you're a fan of the anthropocene like us, you'll want to check out Semi-Automatic.
Bill Beckley, The Accidental Poet (The Avoidance of Everything)
Albertz Benda, NYC
September 10–October 3
The Accidental Poet is a major retrospective for Beckley, an artist who is part of the 112 Greene Street group. In this inaugural exhibition for Albertz Benda, they showcase a wide selection of Beckley's photographic, textual, sound, and performative works. The exhibition really does feel like a time capsule and so for many would serve as kind of counterpoint, historical exhibition of masculine subjectivity during the late 60s and early 70s in NYC. Song for Chin Up and Song for a Sliding Board will be performed opening night, Thursday, September 10, between 7–7:30, and Rooster Bed Lying will be performed Thursday, September 10 all evening and every following Saturday until October 3.
Via reForm on Facebook, Photo: Tony Rocco
Pepón Osorio, reForm
Temple Contemporary, Philadelphia
August 28, 2015–May 20, 2016
In one of many last-ditch efforts to save a floundering school system, in 2013, some two-dozen public schools in Philadelphia were closed. To address the real, devastating impact of the loss of a school, local artist and Tyler School of the Arts professor Pepón Osorio collaborated with former students, teachers, parents, and neighbors of North Philly's now vacant Fairhill Elementary. Together they installed objects collected from the shuttered school in a Tyler classroom, accompanied by texts and oral testimonies, including the superintendent's letter announcing the closure—in euphemistic managerial speak—and a more emotional series of essays written by Fairhill students directly onto the walls of exhibition space.
Elizabeth Russell. Courtesy of the artist and Interface Gallery
Ghost in The Hay: Kim Bennett, Maysha Mohamedi, Laurie Reid and Elizabeth Russell
Interface Gallery, Oakland
September 24—October 25
Interface Gallery is a gem nestled in an eclectic neighborhood hub known as Temescal Alley, in the (you guessed it) Temescal neighborhood of Oakland. Their first fall show, Gesture/Fragment/Trace, is very much the refined and mature version of a defining Bay Area aesthetic that I coin “quotidian relic,” exquisitely made and rooted in conceptual ideas of corporate commodification. Interface’s second fall show, Ghost in the Hay takes its cue from the location’s history: a horse stable in the early 20th century. Drawing from geometry, found objects, and heavy on the hand-made, the four artists’ consider the phenomenology of “ghosts” that encroach upon their making processes. Always contemplative, Interface Gallery’s carefully curated exhibitions keep visitors engaged while at the same time tap into a playfulness often lacking in “serious” art exhibitions of less intelligent caliber.
Other unusual and noteworthy spaces: Right Window, a gallery in the windows of Artists’ Television Access 992 Valencia Street, SF; Incline Gallery, a zigzagging ramp inside of an old warehouse, now offices, 766 Valencia Street, SF; The Thing Quarterly, entire exhibitions as objects, 447 O'Farrell Street.
Estate of Hazel Larsen Archer and Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center.
Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957
ICA Boston, followed by presentations at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA and the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH)
October 10, 2015–January 24, 2016 (ICA Boston)
You may never have heard of Black Mountain College, but you probably know some of the artists who passed through its gates as faculty or students: Anni and Josef Albers, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, Elaine and Willem de Kooning, Buckminster Fuller, Ruth Asawa, Robert Motherwell, Gwendolyn and Jacob Lawrence, Cy Twombly, and Franz Kline. This small art school in North Carolina, open from 1933–1957, was a hotbed of postwar experimentation and Leap Before You Look, debuting at ICA Boston before travelling across the country, is the first comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the seminal school. Today, when there is much hand-wringing over the value of an art education, it feels more timely than ever to reflect on an institution that asked pertinent questions about art, pedagogy, and their relationship to a more democratic society.
Derek Paul Boyle, Cake in Socks
Derek Paul Boyle, Roleplay
Smart Objects, Los Angeles
September 18—October 16
Hollywood-based Derek Paul Boyle has a solo exhibition coming up at Smart Objects, Echo Park, an alternative space supporting emerging net-based artists who need a physical dimension for their work: Roleplay promises to be a thoughtful insight into this mixing of media, technology, and context, displaying trifold works that link performance, sculpture and photography, that turn objects into events, represent events as images, and interpret images as objects.
Rebecca Murtagh, Aperture: Orange Burst and Ultra Violet, 2015, Courtesy of the artist
Project 8 and color as form / form as color
C2C Project space, San Francisco
September 19–October 18 (by appointment)
A two person show in a living room and group show in a bathroom: Kirk Stoller hosts exhibitions in his tiny townhome style apartment. Somehow, he manages to offer a huge array of things to behold while always managing to make everything belong. His fall season is no exception, with two whopping shows: Project 8 with Gregory Kaplowitz and Raphael Zollinger and color as form/form as color (artists featured are Erik Scollon, Elliot Anderson, Justyn Hegreberg, Rebecca Murtagh, Brent Hallard, Lauri Hopkins, Andrew McNay, Paul Behnke, and Ted Larsen). For the main shows, Stoller pairs one SF artist with one New York artist, in keeping with his bi-coastal life and a way for artists across the nation in different art hubs to connect. This time, Kaplowitz will be showing his stunning sheer, layered, photo-chemically exposed stretched textiles paired with Zollinger’s haunting photo-manipulated aluminum and rag paper assemblages. The “wc” exhibition will be a jovial mix.
Image: Courtesy of the artist, Barjeel Art Foundation, and The Aga Khan Museum
Home Ground: Contemporary Art From The Barjeel Art Foundation
Aga Khan Museum, Toronto
July 25, 2015–January 3, 2016
This group exhibition featuring works by 12 contemporary Arab artists on loan from the UAE’s Barjeel Art Foundation, unsentimentally blasts through stereotypes about daily life in the Middle East while responding to overarching political events. Highlights include Larissa Sansour’s short film, Nation Estate, which presents a sci-fi Palestine transplanted to a sterile, looming high-rise, Youssef Nabil’s short film, You Never Left which documents the artist’s emigration from Egypt, and Manal Al Dowayan’s, Suspended Together, an installation of seemingly free, soaring doves, which are actually each tattooed with the papers Saudi women are required to have signed by male relatives in order to legally travel.
Pat McCarthy, Flights Cinematheque, 2015. Film and Sculpture (porcelain, steel stove, vinyl taped bamboo, copper wire, twine, epoxy resin, denim, kerosene lantern, brick, digital HD cinema projector, digital copy of Flights super 8 film
Ever Gold Gallery is one of the unsung heroes of the SF art world. The gallery is owned and operated by Andrew McClintock, the publishing bad-boy (or bad ass to some) of San Francisco Arts Quarterly, the now defunct Distrito Federal (Mexico City) AQ, the new upcoming New York AQ, and SFAQ Projects. The gallery will open the fall season with a solo exhibition of Pat McCarthy’s ritualized carpentry and vernacular films featuring his practice of keeping, training and caring for homing pigeons. For the last four years, McCarthy has been raising pigeons, honing his dedicated husbandry skills to these free yet captive creatures. A pigeoning fanzine Born to Kill is also an element of the exhibition.
Sherri Lynn Wood, After Image, 2014, Freestyle quilt, patternless hand quilting. Courtesy of the artist.
Sherri Lynn Wood, Score For Floating Squares (a lá Sew LeWitt)
Adobe Books Backroom Gallery, San Francisco
Adobe Books Backroom Gallery is an alternative space that has been exhibiting well-known Bay Area artists since 2001, inside a humble, yet completely iconic and historically important neighborhood book store. This brilliant conceptual show incorporates a complex system of design likened to musical scores in order to generate patterns. The medium of the compositions is hand sewn patchwork quilting. Visitors are invited to come to the gallery to generate a score then sew a segment, which collectively will eventually cover the entire space over the course of the exhibition.
Jean Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1981, © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/ARS, New York 2014 Douglas M. Parker Studio, Los Angeles
The Broad Museum: Grand Opening
One of the highlights for the year for North America, LA's big, new, free art museum officially opens its doors on September 20, with one of the most prominent private collections of contemporary art in the world. A game changer for downtown LA, and the landscape of contemporary art in LA in general, the museum's inaugural show includes Yayoi Kusama's installation Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away and an 82-foot-long painting by Takashi Murakami. Check out our recent interview with museum Director Joanne Heyler here.
—The ArtSlant Team with thanks to contributors Leora Lutz, Rodrigo Campuzano, Danna Lorch, Stephanie Cristello, Christina Martinez
(Image at the top: Courtesy of the artist, Barjeel Art Foundation, and The Aga Khan Museum)