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Before I saw the Fabric Workshop’s massive undertaking with Richard Tuttle, I had visited Pace Gallery’s collaboration with the artist at Frieze New York. The presentation was unique but puzzling, with all walls painted a mud brown and petite drawings trotting serially along the wall. While intrigued, I found the overall effect dubious. at the Fabric Workshop is not only an elaboration, but perhaps the closest thing to a visual manifesto one can reach in Tuttle’s opaque work, a context by... [more]
The Burden of Represent: 200 Years of African American Art   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at Philadelphia Museum of Art January 10th, 2015 - April 5th, 2015
Posted 2/12/15
When the Philadelphia Museum of Art announced  last November, my reactions were mixed. The timely press release reporting that the museum would showcase a retrospective of African American art felt almost like a needed institutional response in a year notable for the increased visibility of racial injustice and police brutality in the US. Given Philadelphia’s large black and activist communities, expectations for the PMA to accurately and sensitively trace two centuries of art in one exhibition... [more]
Here, Listen: Allora & Calzadilla: Intervals   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Allora & Calzadilla at Philadelphia Museum of Art December 12th, 2014 - April 5th, 2015
Posted 12/12/14
 “ revels in the unknowable as essential to human experience. The exhibition bears witness to incomplete presences and resonant remainders. It finds in music a measure and a reckoning with these elusive forces and the abyss that lies between.”  —Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla   Gesamtkunstwerk, as German-defined, is a work that sums all arts—aural, visual, and performative—to total a perfect affective state. No other word seems capable of describing the mission of Jennifer Allora... [more]
CITY OF NEIGHBORLY LOVE: Barry McGee, Dan Murphy and Isaac Tin Wei Lin   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Lin Barry McGee, Dan Murphy, Isaac Tin Wei at Fleisher/Ollman Gallery April 11th, 2014 - June 7th, 2014
Posted 5/4/14
Fleisher/ Ollman’s exhibition  is about street art. But first: what exactly does street art mean, especially when it’s off the street?  It’s hard to describe. Despite its affiliation with vandalism, as curator Alex Baker points out, it has philosophical aspirations through a Situationist spirit of dissent. It inhabits a vague space between graffiti, public art, urban art, pop art, all of which often spill into one another or at times, encompasses the whole lot. In other words, its... [more]
View Finder: the world according to an artist’s photojournalist   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Barbara Klemm at Martin-Gropius-Bau November 16th, 2013 - March 9th, 2014
Posted 2/12/14
With cameras as commonplace as body parts, what constitutes photojournalism? How does one present images that now seem easily replicated in purpose, content, and style by the average citizen? That seems to be the question implicitly asked in Martin-Gropius-Bau’s retrospective . Gathering fifty years in some three hundred photos – including political journalism, travel snapshots, scenic visions, and celebrity portraits – the exhibition clearly invests not only in presentation but in quantity in... [more]
Will be televised   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Christoph Schlingensief at KW Institute for Contemporary Art December 1st, 2013 - January 19th, 2014
Posted 1/8/14
King of schlock and shock, the late Christoph Schlingensief is widely considered one of the most eminent artists to emerge out of Germany in the last fifty years. Beginning as a filmmaker, he later incorporated theater, sculpture, installation, performance, and even literature into his practice before his untimely death at the age of fifty. Appropriating pop culture iconography for social activism, his democratic version of the post-Wagnerian (total art) sought to integrate the public and... [more]
Authorial Checks and Balances   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Natalie Czech at Capitain Petzel November 23rd, 2013 - January 25th, 2014
Posted 12/11/13
Sign. Sensation. Meaning. The conveyance of subjective experience has always been, if not at the heart, then in the blood of art. Hear, Natalie Czech’s new exhibition at Capitain Petzel is an eloquent experiment in mediation and interpretation coupling the conceit of synesthesia with her signature combination of text, collage, and photography. As the title suggests, the running theme questions an artist’s ability to convey her reception and interpretation of the world through a catalyzing... [more]
Singularity in Plurality: Plural Projekt in Berlin   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at Atelierhof Kreuzberg September 7th, 2013 - October 5th, 2013
Posted 10/31/13
Berlin’s contemporary art scene induces a headiness not recommended for those lacking stamina. We’ve only recently moved on from the monstrously huge offerings of Berlin Art Week, Berliner Liste, and Preview Berlin. Meanwhile, with its constellation of galleries – from Prenzlauer Berg to Neukölln – it sometimes feels like Berlin bequeaths a cynical gaze of see all-seen all to the regular gallery visitor with cold curatorial formations framing the city’s famous ragtag approach to art. Conceived... [more]
Shoes, OMG SHOES   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
David Shrigley at BQ September 17th, 2013 - October 26th, 2013
Posted 10/16/13
In a grey winter dressed in Berlin black, David Shrigley’s miniature exhibition at oftentimes collaborator BQ Berlin is a sweet treat, embodying a vibrancy and playfulness fitting for the new Turner Prize candidate.  For the uninitiated, the Scotsman’s work targets the absurd in the mundane, exposing the hypocrisy or frivolity underlying everyday norms through blunt aphoristic phraseology, an OCD eye for the off-putting detail, and weird childish doodles. You can say that he acts the knowing... [more]