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“The Shadow Archive: An Investigation into Vernacular Portrait Photography”

through March 31, 2018
The question of agency underpins this exhibition, the first in a projected series of five devoted to vernacular photography in the Walther Collection. Among the discrete groups of images on view, a trove of color photographs from the 1980s of anonymous migrant workers, its original purpose unknown, reduces them to the numbers they hold up to the camera. Elsewhere, Johannesburg-based
Image: Martina Bacigalupo, Gulu Real Art Studio, 2011–12. At the Gulu Real Art Studio in Uganda, Obal Denis made ID photos by cutting the client’s face out of a full-length portrait; he discarded the remainder of the print. In January 2011, Martina Bacigalupo, a photojournalist based in East Africa, began to collect Denis’s thrown-away, faceless images. Courtesy of the artist and the Walther Collection.

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EDITORS’ PICKS

Through September 30, 201

The Greek root of “architecture” means “power” or “mastery.” The word’s etymology conveys trust in a designer’s ability to create a sound and useful space. But in other traditions the built environment is understood as collectively created, shaped by social needs and exchanges. That is the premise of “Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay, ” a seven-artist exhibition whose title lists three words in the Quechua language that refer, respectively, to world, place, and construction. Ecuador-born Ronny Quevedo makes drawings and collages with markings derived from the playing grounds of both Incan and modern American sports, as well as other ancient and modern systems of delineation and measurement. Claudia Peña Salinas creates sculptures whose shapes recall Indigenous structures in Central and South America. In all, the show’s artists—who also include William Cordova, Clarissa Tossin, Livia Corona Benjamín, Jorge González, and Guadalupe Maravilla—do not revive pre-Columbian traditions and concepts so much as reveal their persistent presence in spite of colonialism.

Image: Claudia Peña Salinas, Tlaloc MNA, 2018, found image adhered to metal, 50 x 72 x 1 inches. Collection of the artist. Courtesy Embajada, Puerto Rico.
Through March 31, 2019

For better or worse, our technology remains hindered by its human origins: it hews primarily to our own needs and understanding of the world. Thus, in the optical realm, it has often served the aim of faithfully rendering the image of three-dimensional space produced by our binocular vision. This exhibition explores the history and creative offshoots of this long-standing ambition. Organized thematically and starting with the invention of the stereoscope in the 1830s, it features scientific devices, pop culture artifacts, and approximately sixty artworks, including Richard Hamilton’s lenticular print Palindrome (1974), Simone Forti’s Hologram Striding (1975–78), and—requiring the familiar blue-and-red glasses—Lucy Raven’s video installation Curtains (2014).

Image: Lucy Raven, Curtains, 2014, anaglyph video installation, 5.1 sound, dimensions variable, 50 minutes looped. Copyright © Lucy Raven. Courtesy of the artist.
Through September 2, 2018

Dorothea Lange’s celebrated photographs of rural life during the Great Depression, commissioned by the Farm Security Administration, are animated by her concern for the impoverished farmers she depicts. Conveying a similar empathy are the rarely seen pictures she took of Japanese-American “evacuees” at the Manzanar internment camp during World War II. Featured in this retrospective, the series serves as a timely reminder of the US government’s history of aiming harsh policies at perceived foreigners. The exhibition—which was organized by the Oakland Museum of California, where it premiered—encompasses over 240 vintage prints and archival materials, such as a letter to Lange from John Steinbeck.

Image: Dorothea Lange, Centerville, California. This evacuee stands by her baggage as she waits for evacuation bus. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration, 1942 (printed later), gelatin silver print, 21 x 17 ¼ inches. Courtesy National Archives.
through February 10, 2018

British artist John Russell argues for hybridity’s subversive potential in his new sculptures and mixed-medium paintings. Plastic flamingos perched atop thin metal rods sprout extra heads; paintings executed on translucent vinyl panels and lit from behind function simultaneously as silhouettes, transparencies, and paint-, gem-, and feather-encrusted collages. Meanwhile, a large photograph of a bird’s foot, digitally retouched to look like it’s growing a ghostly magenta paw, hints at a post-species future.

Image: John Russell, Silhouette, 2017, acrylic, inkjet and pigment on vinyl, plastic, acrylic iridescent gem, wood, steel, LED light, 37 x 26.9 x 8.2 inches. Copyright © John Russell. Courtesy of the artist, High Art, Paris, and Bridget Donahue, New York.

VOICES

Art in America talks to artists, curators, and other leading figures about their favorite current exhibitions.

Curator Dan Nadel on five shows in New York [posted 6/4/2018]

“The pictures are funny and cutting and hilariously weird.” Read More »
Image: Laurie Simmons, Café of the Inner Mind: Men’s Room, 1994, cibachrome print, 41 x 58 inches. Courtesy of Mary Boone Gallery, and Salon 94, New York.

Philippe Verne recommends three shows in Los Angeles [posted 2/27/2018]

“I love it when I go to an exhibition and see art I don’t know and maybe don’t even understand.” Read More »
Image: Aria Dean, Two Cotton Bales Bound Together At 250lbs Each, 2018, raw cotton, ratchet e-strap system, 53 x 44 x 22 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Ghebaly Gallery. Photo: Brica Wilcox.

Showroom director Emily Pethick on four shows in London [posted 3/15/2018]

“It’s an important moment when such an institution acknowledges work that’s been gestating in the spaces of universities or smaller arts organizations.” Read More »
Image: Forensic Architecture, Torture in Saydnaya Prison, animation still, 2016. Witnesses were asked to describe architectural details, such as dimensions and textures, and these recollections elicited further memories of the prison and experiences therein. Commissioned by Amnesty International. Copyright © Forensic Architecture.

Artist Joe Fyfe on three painting shows in Paris [posted 7/9/2018]

“Looking at Delacroix’s ‘Women of Algiers’ is like looking at the DNA of modernism.” Read More »
Image: Claude Monet, Saule pleureur (Weeping Willow), 1920–22, oil on canvas, 43 1/4 x 39 ½ inches. Courtesy Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Photo copyright © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay) / Michèle Bellot.

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The author of Whitewalling: Art, Race, & Protest in 3 Acts and the former Queens Museum director talk over dumplings in Flushing.

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Picturing Mississippi at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson and a related exhibition at Tougaloo College are events in museum history as much as landmarks in the state’s history.

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