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Endless Enigma: Eight Centuries of Fantastic Art

What exactly is the fantastic since it travels deep into history in both literature and visual art? Like Paul Schrader’s famous definition of film noir, it is less a genre than a deep structure of mood and tone.

Ellen Lesperance: Lily of the Arc Lights

The ten shimmering gouaches at Ellen Lesperance’s solo show at Derek Eller Gallery introduce an artist whose execution and ideas complement each other with rare precision. The works extend Lesperance’s research on the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, a 1981 action by a group of women from Cardiff, Wales.

Katherine Bradford: Friends and Strangers

It’s the high pitch of the colors of Waiting Room—the first painting you see upon entering the gallery—that will stop you in your tracks. The day outside was sunny, warm but the painting seemed even brighter, the brushy, scrambled yellows of the ground almost gilded, radiating their own heat and light.

Ivy Haldeman: The Interesting Type

Since 2016, Ivy Haldeman has been exhibiting erotic paintings of feminine, anthropomorphic hot dogs. These ladylike link-sausages, with pouting lips, svelte human limbs, and Cinderella-heels are seen lounging seductively inside pillowy hot dog buns.

Lineage: de Kooning and His Influence

Aptly named in witty double entendre, Lineage: de Kooning and His Influence focuses upon the physical lines painted by Willem de Kooning and the subsequent impact of these lines on contemporary painters as diverse as Joe Bradley, George Condo, Brice Marden, Albert Oehlen, Sue Williams, and Christopher Wool.

Judith Murray: Tempest

Judith Murray’s Tempest, at Sundaram Tagore’s New York gallery, features a whirlwind of mosaic-like compositions.

David Row: Counter Clockwise

It takes a few turns around the gallery to ascertain the layers encoded in David Row’s crisp and brainy abstractions. His fractured canvases, plywood assemblages, and faux-assemblages, are puzzles that question the act of puzzling.

Vivian Springford

These thirteen works expand the possibilities for painting or abstraction, even as we understand those terms today.

Abby Leigh: Sledgehammer Paintings

Abby Leigh’s visible work seduces with subtle, unassuming color and flashes of silvery metal. We look at these paintings, and it is as if we were peering into a microscope at a specimen displayed on a slide.

Greg Burak: Visitations

Burak’s technique, in which curves are camouflaged into a general flatness of surface, can also serve as a parable for the content of the artist’s works. His paintings here invariably feature people who at first appear—through their norm-core clothing and the simple comforts of their home interiors—as somewhat flat and anesthetized archetypes of middle-class middle America.

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed

It is no radical claim that art is a commodity driven by the same forces as fashion: disposable income and ephemeral aesthetic tastes (albeit on different scales). But museum collections typically retain a symbolic status as arbiters of historical and aesthetic value isolated from the influence of the market.

Water Lilies: American Abstract Painting and the Last Monet

Restored after they were damaged in World War II, these works, once condemned as monotonous and without structure, suddenly found an audience of young American abstract painters taken by their radiant, horizonless cycles of sunrise and sunset attuned to the expansive mood of postwar America.

Dorian Gaudin: The Coffee Cup Spring

The sculptor Dorian Gaudin has been making a name for himself with kinetic installations that combine Alexander Calder’s economy of form and Jean Tinguely’s gearbox aesthetic, teasing viewers with the stirrings of what seem like autonomous machines.

Dorothea Rockburne

We split the world in two: one mental, the other physical. Rockburne’s space, the space her work brings to light, is located between the mental and the physical, in the interstice.

Toyin Ojih Odutola: When Legends Die

This is not an exhibit that insists on presenting wealth as loud and spectacular. Rather, wealth is what permits contemplation.

Marilyn Lerner: Walking Backward Running Forward

The music hits you as you walk through the door of Kate Werble Gallery, where Walking Backward Running Forward, a new show of work by artist Marilyn Lerner, is on view.

Anne Truitt: Paintings

These paintings insist on the meditative quality of their content. Truitt intensifies the resonance of these fields of color not by doing away with form and line, but by pushing it to the periphery.

Gabriel Orozco

The varying texture of local stone, the colors of a specific landscape, the ephemera of regional commercial culture—Orozco’s work finds its enduring vitality in the slippages and incongruences that emerge from these factors.

Glen Fogel: With You... Me

Glen Fogel’s solo exhibition features the titular seven-channel video installation With You…Me (2014-2018) alongside new drawings of his first boyfriend.

Endless Enigma: Eight Centuries of Fantastic Art

It is a fantastic feeling to have been here before, as we surely have, and to return here refreshed. In 1936 Alfred H. Barr, Jr. brought his Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism to the Museum of Modern Art, and traces of it survive and are now not just resurrected but, well, remembered. The present recall and revision set the same non-limits on the time and geographical framing, and so this exhibition is gratifyingly wide-ranging, from the twelfth-century to right now in 2018.

Emily Jacir: La Mia Mappa

The aim of the installation, the centerpiece of La Mia Mappa, is to make explicitly political and allegorical historical connections between Palestine and Ireland under British colonial occupation, with a focus on 1917 in the former case and 1916 in the latter.

PÒTOPRENS: The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince

PÒTOPRENS is a feast for the eyes. Occupying three floors at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, the show brings together twenty-five contemporary artists working in different mediums in order to showcase Haitian art, much of which has not previously been displayed in the United States. This breadth is a deliberate curatorial choice; it reflects the city’s geography and the resultant microcosms of artistic communities, and is a confirmation of the vigor and aesthetic prowess of Haiti’s artists.

Will Corwin: The Old Gods

Will Corwin has chosen to work within this premise of archeological projection, and further, to ventriloquize its forms for a contemporary audience. So, what happens when an archeologically derived artifact is remade in the likeness of the artist’s own ontological projection?

Roderic O’Conor and the Moderns. Between Paris and Pont-Aven

If curators Jonathan Benington and Brendan Rooney are right and it is time for a re-evaluation of Roderic O’Conor’s oeuvre, then the case they put forward in Roderic O’Conor and the Moderns: Between Paris and Pont-Aven, on view at the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin, is certainly a captivating one–but not entirely without its pitfalls.

Amanda Valdez: First Might

In Amanda Valdez’s First Might, passages of quilting, oil painting, and embroidery floss combine to create canvases in which craft and art's textures synthetically blend.

Intimate Infinite: Imagine a Journey

Intimate Infinite is a revelatory commentary on the history of gallery spaces. In the three floors of the Lévy Gorvy gallery on Madison Avenue you see almost one hundred works, most of them small enough to fit into your carry-on luggage, by twenty-seven artists.

Lee Krasner: Mural Studies

One of the pleasures of Mural Studies is taking in Krasner’s formal inventiveness as the studies cover an expanse of compositional variations.

Brancusi & Duchamp: the Art of Dialogue

It would be difficult to come up with a more challenging duo than this one. The exhibition is packed with sculptures, photographs, objects, films, little magazines—nothing is lacking—but we could just stop where it starts: with those two gorgeous faces of Brancusi and Duchamp by Man Ray, from 1920 and 1934, preceded by a sweater-clad Brancusi rarely seen. Here we are given the proper spin to this remarkable dialogue.

Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948 - 1980

As curators Martino Stierli and Vladimir Kulić illustrate, in Tito’s Yugoslavia, architecture was not only viewed as a way to reconstruct a physically ravaged country, and promote Pan-Slavic identity; it was also believed to be capable of making the abstract idea of a better society tangible.

Samuel Jablon: Unstung

Unstung’s polymorphic nature across and outside of the paintings is the show’s great strength. Where Richard Prince’s joke paintings are deadpan, and where Chistopher Wool’s text works are blunt, Jablon proffers optimism and even political engagement.

Colter Jacobsen: Essays

Despite living at the center of tech development and corporatization, Jacobsen gravitates towards untrendy, outdated means of production—copy stores and drugstore photo counters.

Rachelle Dang: Southern Oceans

A fragmented mural in which pale nymph-like figures gallivant under exotic-seeming trees; life-size copper shipping containers made to look oxidized by the elements; ceramic casts of breadfruit in various stages of ripeness and rot—these are the components of Southern Oceans (2018), a multifaceted and layered installation in Bedford Stuyvesant.

The Un-Heroic Act: Representations of Rape in Contemporary Women’s Art in the U.S.

The exhibition, whose title subverts Brownmiller’s epithet, recaptures the experience of rape from this art historical romanticizing, presenting work by twenty female artists from the past forty years on its decidedly “un-heroic” nature.

Eugène Delacroix at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

At this moment, the Metropolitan Museum of Art contains enough work by Eugène Delacroix (1798 – 1863) to keep you busy for several lifetimes.


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2018

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