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.”
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.


“Kambel Smith”

through January 13, 2019

Large-scale foam core and paper models of City Hall, the Merchants Exchange building, Benjamin Franklin Bridge, and Betsy Ross’s house, among other Philadelphia landmarks, crowd this exhibition space, once the studio of Elaine de Kooning. Built by Germantown resident Kambel Smith, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of eight, the hefty structures are given vibrant life by Smith’s skills as a painter, evident in his interpretations of the storefronts at the base of the Art Deco PSFS bank building and the decorated pediments of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Image: “Kambel Smith,” installation view, Elaine de Kooning House, East Hampton, New York, November 22, 2018 – January 13, 2019.

“Katya Tepper: Hysteric Signs”

through December 15, 2018

Padded with foam and felt, encrusted with eggshells and plastic thread spools, plashed with scraps of silicon and fabric, studded with bricks, and bristling with toilet plungers, Atlanta-based artist Katya Tepper’s shaped wall reliefs have the graphic punch of billboards, the dynamism of Elizabeth Murray’s painting, and the material inventiveness of Thornton Dial’s assemblages. Simultaneously evoking flayed bodies and strip mall signage, they pulse with exuberant, stubborn life.

Image: Katya Tepper, I, Infected, 2018, industrial felt, caulk, epoxy, latex rubber, foam, plaster, toilet plungers, used toilet paper rolls, mesalamine enemas, nitrile medical gloves, plastic bags, polyester film, cloth and dyed cloth, thread, eggshells, wood, and hardware, 96 x 87 x 27 inches. Courtesy of the artist and White Columns, New York. Photo: Marc Tatti.

“Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future”

through January 27, 2019

In 1908, the famed mystic Rudolf Steiner advised Swedish visionary artist Hilma af Klint (1862–1944) not to show her works for fifty years; in fact, her pioneering abstractions—predating the nonobjective work of Kandinsky, Malevich, and Mondrian—were not publicly exhibited until 1986. This exhibition presents 160 works in conjunction with recent paintings by American artist R.H. Quaytman.

Image: Hilma af Klint, Group IX/SUW, The Swan, No. 17 (Grupp IX/SUW, Svanen, nr 17), 1915, from the SUW/UW Series (Serie SUW/UW), oil on canvas, 59 1/4 x 59 1/2 inches. Copyright © The Hilma af Klint Foundation, Stockholm. Photo: Albin Dahlström, the Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

“Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts”

through February 25, 2019 and Museum of Modern Art, New York, through February 18, 2019

“Nauman does not add to my own experience of art so much as cast in an unflattering light, and even plunge into tormenting doubt, the generality of that experience.” So wrote Peter Schjeldahl in Art in America in 1994, responding to a Bruce Nauman survey at the Reina Sofía in Madrid. In videos, sculptures, and installations, Nauman has persistently used linguistic play and spatial manipulation to probe the fears and desires that underlie perception. This retrospective at MoMA PS1 (which debuted at the Schaulager in Münchenstein, Switzerland, in spring 2018), includes over 120 works, tracing the themes and questions that the artist has repeatedly turned to in his half-century career. A concurrent presentation at the Museum of Modern Art features six large-scale installations from the 1970s that heighten one’s sense of embodiment through disorienting effects of illusion and confinement. All in all, the exhibition promises to leave viewers “exalted and beaten up,” as Schjeldahl once felt.

Image: Bruce Nauman, still from Green Horses, 1988, video installation (color, 59:40 min.) with two color video monitors, two DVD players, video projector, and chair, dimensions variable. Purchased jointly by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, with funds from the Bequest of Arthur B. Michael, by exchange; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, with funds from the Director’s Discretionary Fund and the Painting and Sculpture Committee, 2007. Copyright © 2018 Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Ron Amstutz.

“Cameron Rowland: D37”

through March 11, 2019

Cameron Rowland creates installations of existing objects and documents that expose America’s inequities, particularly those deriving from the poisonous legacy of slavery. The artist’s 2016 show at New York’s Artists Space, for example, consisted of examples of commercial goods, including office desks and firefighting suits, made by inmates—a disproportionate number of whom are African American men incarcerated for petty crimes—working for less than minimum wage in state prisons; these were accompanied by a brochure tracing the roots of what has been called the re-enslavement of black Americans. Rowland’s commissioned project for The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles brings together items such as an antebellum tax record; a MOCA donor plaque acknowledging the patronage of the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles; and objects seized by police through the process of civil asset forfeiture to examine the racist dimensions of state and market forces’ property “accumulation by dispossession.”

Image: Cameron Rowland, D37. Courtesy of the artist.

“Tadao Ando”

through December 31, 2018

At seventy-seven,Tadao Ando shows no sign of slowing down. The self-taught Japanese architect recently completed his first condominium in New York, named for its location, 152 Elizabeth Street, and is currently transforming a nineteenth-century Parisian stock 
exchange, the Bourse de Commerce, into an art gallery. Models for this latest project and sixty-nine older buildings, such as the iconic concrete Church of Light (1994) outside Osaka, are on display in the Centre Pompidou’s exhibition, along with 180 photographs and drawings documenting Ando’s globe-spanning career.

Image: Nobuyoshi Araki, Portrait of Tadao Ando. Copyright © Nobuyoshi Araki. Courtesy of the artist and the Centre Pompidou.

“Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done”

through February 3, 2019

Performing at the Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village between 1962 and 1964, the Judson Dance Theater (as it became known midway through that run) helped bring about major developments in Western choreography. Dancer-choreographers such as Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton, and Trisha Brown as well as visual artists, musicians, and filmmakers collaborated to produce works that, rejecting virtuosity, incorporated ordinary movements and emphasized process over product. This survey assembles some three hundred Judson-related items, including films, scores, archival materials, and sculptural objects. A performance program accompanies the show.

Image: Peter Moore’s photograph of (from left) Robert Rauschenberg, Joseph Schlichter (hidden), Sally Gross, Tony Holder, Deborah Hay, Yvonne Rainer, Alex Hay, Robert Morris (behind), and Lucinda Childs performing Rainer’s We Shall Run, 1963. Performed at Two Evenings of Dances by Yvonne Rainer, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, March 7, 1965. Copyright © Barbara Moore/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Courtesy of Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.

“The Progressive Revolution: Modern Art for a New India.”

through January 20, 2019

The debate over postcolonial varieties of modernism—specifically, whether they were merely “late” and derivative or altogether culturally distinct from Western avant-garde models—may well get a boost from this exhibition. Focusing on the Progressive Artists’ Group, formed at the time of India’s independence in 1947 and disbanded in 1956, the show explores the interrelationship between a new secular globalism and the country’s multifarious ethnic and religious heritage. With a range from just before to just after the group’s heyday, the survey includes works—mostly oil paintings—by core members such as M.F. Husain, S.H. Raza, and F.N. Souza as well as noted ancillary figures like Ram Kumar and Mohan Samant.

Image: Krishen Khanna, News of Gandhiji's Death, 1948, oil on canvas, 33 1/2 x 33 1/2 inches. Courtesy of the Asia Society.



What to see in Los Angeles: Vincent Price Art Museum director Pilar Tompkins Rivas on shows up now [posted 1/8/19]

“I’m always one for opening up the narrative around art history and questioning how the canon is defined.”

Image: Alan Shields, Shape-Up, 1976–77, acrylic, thread, and beads on canvas belting, 75 × 72 inches. Courtesy of the Drawing Room, East Hampton, New York. Copyright © Alan Shields Estate. Photo: Gary Mamay. In “Outliers,” Los Angeles County Museum of Art, November 18, 2018–March 17, 2019.
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What To See in London: Writer Allie Biswas on “Adam Pendleton: Our Ideas,” at Pace [posted 11/2/18]

“The importance of words is immediately noticeable in the artist’s current exhibition at Pace.”

Image: “Adam Pendleton: Our Ideas,” installed at Pace Gallery, 6 Burlington Gardens, London, October 2-November 9, 2018. From left: Midnight (A Victim of American Democracy), 2017; System of Display, I (WRITING/Art of Black Africa, Kunsthaus Zurich, 1970), 2018. Copyright © Adam Pendleton, courtesy of Pace Gallery. Photo: Damian Griffiths.
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Writer Allie Biswas on “Michael Jackson: On the Wall” at the National Portrait Gallery [posted 10/18/18]

“One of the show’s revelations is how knowledgeable Jackson was about art.”

Image: Andy Warhol, Michael Jackson, n.d., black-and-white photograph. Copyright © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by DACS, London.
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Photographer Janice Guy on four shows in New York [published 08/07/2018]

“The Folk Art Museum has a beautiful show of scientific illustrations by the 19th-century artist Orra White Hitchcock.”

Image: Orra White Hitchcock, 27. Strata near Valenciennes, pen and ink and watercolor wash on cotton with woven tape binding, 14 x 20 7/8 inches. Amherst College Archives & Special Collections.
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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.”

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.

MOCA LA director Philippe Vergne on what he would do in London this month [posted 2/27/2018]

“I would rush to the Whitechapel Gallery to see the Leonor Antunes exhibition.”

Image: South London Gallery garden by Gabriel Orozco, 2016. Copyright © Gabriel Orozco. Photo: Andy Stagg.
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Art writer Marcus Verhagen interviewed on “Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb)” at The Showroom [Published 2017/11/02]

This tightly conceived show engages in subversive, mostly ironic ways with gender politics and notions of national allegiance.

Image: Sanja Iveković, New Star / Nova Zvijezda, 1983, collage, printed paper, hair, 14 1/2 x x 20 3/4 inches (framed). Courtesy of Kontakt, the Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation.

Curator Cedar Lewisohn on upcoming shows at some of his favorite artist-run spaces [Published 2017/10/25]

“You don’t always know what you’re going to see, but that’s part of the fun—being surprised and challenged.”

Image: Verity Birt, Deformation Attends Her (film still), 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Res.

2017 Frieze Spotlight curator Toby Kamps on exhibitions around London [Published 2017/10/16]

“I love a good title.”

Image: Vittorio Scarpati, Untitled, 1989. Courtesy of Max Mueller. Photo Credit Andy Keate.

Sculptor Sarah Staton on exhibitions in London [Published 2017/10/06]

“There are two exhibitions currently up in London that I think make a great pairing.”

Image: Christopher Wool, Head, 1992, enamel on aluminum, 107 3/4 x 72 inches. Courtesy Astrup Fearnley Collection, Oslo, Norway.

Diversity Art Forum director Pauline de Souza on “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” at Tate [Published 2017/10/06]

“‘Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,’ a survey of work made by African-American artists between 1963 and 1983, offers insight into these artists’ practices at a number of levels.”

Image: Emory Douglas, 21 August 1971, “We Shall Survive, Without a Doubt,” 1971, newspaper, 17 1/2 x 22 3/4 inches. Center for the Study of Political Graphics, Culver City, CA. Copyright © Emory Douglas/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo courtesy of Emory Douglas/Art Resource, New York.

Critic and curator Jennifer Thatcher on Peter and Andy Holden’s father-and-son collaboration at Artangel [Published 2017/10/05]

“I loved this Artangel exhibition . . .”

Image: Andy Holden, Untitled (Bower), 2017, a recreation of a bowerbird’s bower, with a view of the film A Natural History of Nest Building (2017), by Andy Holden and Peter Holden, through it. In “Andy Holden & Peter Holden: Natural Selection,” September 10–November 5, 2017, Artangel at the former Newington Library, London. An Artangel commission. Photo by Marcus J. Leith.
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Artist Cécile B. Evans on shows around London [Published 2017/08/28]

“This summer I noticed a welcome shift in the audiences that art establishments want to talk to and the people being invited to speak to them. The exhibitions on view were likely programmed before Brexit, before the outcomes of various elections and hopefully these are steps towards a longer commitment to diverse programming.”

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