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Eric Holzman: Thinning the Veil

The oldest painting in this collection of landscapes, still lifes, and portraits, was begun in 1998 and completed 20 years later. That span is indicative of Holzman’s process, where surfaces are built up and removed over years, their pentimenti giving form to a final image.

Cinga Samson: Iyabanda Intsimbi / The metal is cold

While the scene is locally situated in Cape Town, one of the major accomplishments of this very good show is Samson’s ability to express a much larger view, universal in its portrayal of the tragic but often powerfully attractive nature of violence, its nearly erotic allure.

Lumin Wakoa: In Time

Lumin Wakoa made all of the 17 paintings on view at Deanna Evans Projects this year, beginning many at outdoor sites—including her own front garden—near her home in Ridgewood or her nearby Bushwick studio. This was in part occasioned by the pandemic, which made commuting via public transit inadvisable. The result is a body of work self-confidently located within the tradition of plein air painting,

Genieve Figgis: Immortal Reflection

For years now, Genieve Figgis has been playing—with astonishing success—the double game of caricature. A double game because caricature involves simultaneously viewing Figgis’s paintings and viewing in the mind’s eye the things she mocks.

Betsy Damon: Passages: Rites and Rituals

Betsy Damon’s current solo show in New York successfully frames her as a pioneer of such a healing practice, and as a key artist through which to consider the relationship between art and activism.

Alan Sonfist: American Earth Landscape

When you google “land art” one of the top options features two photographic examples: Robert Smithson’s monumental Spiral Jetty (1970), perhaps the paradigm for the genre, and Alan Sonfist’s Time Landscape (1978). Smithson’s earthwork is a massive and muscular transformation of terrain set in the vast open area of Utah’s Great Salt Lake. Its image is quickly identifiable, iconic. Time Landscape is modest, non-iconic, and set in the heart of an urban metropolis.

Picasso: Seven Decades of Drawing

Invention and innovation leap from every change in direction, one technique superseding another and with elliptical explorations that return over the years: he never seems completely done with anything—there is still more to do with fresh insight and new discoveries.

Susan Rothenberg: On Both Sides of My Line

Gray New York has rounded up 10 of Susan Rothenberg’s horses, all produced between 1974 and 1979. This is a rodeo of a very special kind: there are no riders as in a Marino Marini sculpture, no bronco busters, no human figures at all to distract us from the presence of the horses.

Renée Stout

This show at Marc Straus, a combination of large and small compositions and several assemblages, gives us a good idea of how Stout, a gifted artist, is proceeding. Her work is varied and not given to sequential repetition, but the artist stays close to Black life and culture. Her vision is not always sanguine, being taken with the vicissitudes of Black culture and its capacity for joy.

Polina Barskaya: Still

Polina Barskaya’s newest paintings, 11 of which are on view at Monya Rowe Gallery through November 12, take lockdown-looking as their subject. As in her two previous solo exhibitions at the gallery, these are intimate, domestic scenes, derived from photographs that are acted upon and subtly distorted through the process of painting.

Global Mode > Omnivores

Eva Davidova’s Global Mode > Omnivores is an ambitious project that takes on a swath of topics—politics, history, climate change, the mythopoetic—in new media works by Davidova and her guest artists.

Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer

Both catalogue and exhibition provide us a close look at Kauffer and his work—a subject surely due more attention on this side of the Atlantic.

Thomas Demand: Mirror Without Memory

Demand has traditionally focused his work on the (promised) mnemonically specific indexicality of photography as a medium, and on the peculiar means by which it achieves said indexicality through the aid of mirrors and simulated proximity.

Joseph Rodriguez: Taxi: Journey Through My Windows 1977–1987

Late morning on East Houston, a trucker leans from his cab to look, and a young mother twists from her stroller to stare. The onlookers are studying Taxi: Journey Through My Windows 1977–1987, Joseph Rodriguez’s hard-to-miss new show along the chain link fences of First Street Green.

Steffani Jemison: Broken Fall

In her debut solo show at Greene Naftali, Steffani Jemison presents a small retrospective survey that details a critical engagement with art history, popular visual culture, and the challenges of Black American experience.

Etel Adnan: Light’s New Measure

Light’s New Measure borrows its title from a poem in the 2012 collection Sea and Fog, gesturing to the dialogue between Adnan’s artwork and her poetry. Indeed, it would be impossible to think about her art practice as separate from her literary pursuits, especially since a persistent struggle with language(s) frames her experience of both the literary and visual.

Shannon Cartier Lucy: The Loo Table

Shannon Cartier Lucy’s nine oils occupy two rooms in Lubov’s fourth floor space, in its airy perch above Chinatown’s Kimlau Arch. The streetwise cacophony here gives way to domestic intimacy, of a quietly compelling kind.

John Kelsey: The Pea Stakers

Twenty pastel portraits of Emily, the protagonist of the 2020 Netflix series Emily in Paris, are distributed in identical size and formation across Galerie Bucholz.

Suzanne Valadon: Model, Painter, Rebel

That the unforgettably beautiful 18-year-old who modeled for Renoir’s 1883 Dance at Bougival (in Boston’s MFA) should turn out to be one of the great painters of the early 20th century is a puzzle designed to baffle any art historian of my generation.

Elizabeth Murray & Jessi Reaves: Wild Life

Elizabeth Murray (1940–2007) had an astonishing capacity to develop. Looking just at the works in Wild Life, her two person show with the sculptor Jessi Reaves (b. 1986) curated by Rebecca Matalon, the distance between Night Empire (1967-68) and C Painting (1980-81) is amazing.

Tom Doyle in Germany 1964–65

While on a residency in Kettwig Germany, Tom Doyle spent a year experimenting with adding color to his work. It was a risky proposition, and as Kirsten Swenson writes in her introduction to the exhibition catalog, Doyle “did not expect [the] work to leave Germany.”

Takako Yamaguchi: 7 + 7

A rare and welcome opportunity to see veteran Los Angeles artist Takako Yamaguchi’s new work is currently at Ramiken. This show of 14 paintings, titled 7 + 7, is a tour de force, a culmination of Yamaguchi’s rigorous, intellectual approach to craft, representation, and the intertwining of pattern and identity developed over four decades.

Dewey Crumpler: The Complete Hoodie Works, 1993–Present

Dewey Crumpler is a painter living in the Bay Area. His solo exhibition The Complete Hoodie Works, 1993–Present at Cushion Works in San Francisco’s Mission District features over 100 small paintings on canvas made over the past 28 years.

After the summer of smoke and fire

A spotlight pours yellow rays on an upright Mellotron encircled by socially distanced chairs, all wrapped in a dome of controlled darkness. An arresting silence lingers, occasionally broken as gallery guests hesitantly part the velvet curtain, enter the space, and interact with the organ. The Instrument of Troubled Dreams, 2018, is the acutely engaging centerpiece in Janet Cardiff and George Buress Miller’s After the summer of smoke and fire on view at Luhring Augustine gallery in Chelsea, which documents a selection of recent productions by the British-Columbia-based duo who have been collaborating since 1995.

Barbara Hammer: Tell me there is a lesbian forever…

Centered in the gallery rests a motorcycle, a relic of someone whose absence has been palpable since she left the realm of the living in 2019. Barbara Hammer is the subject of a museum-quality show, albeit in a gallery, curated by Tiona Nekkia McClodden.

Myron Stout and Cycladic Art

The first Aegean farmers to unearth ancient Cycladic figures with their ploughs must have wondered at their articulate simplicity, as successive generations of artists have been inspired by Myron Stout's single-minded commitment to exploring similarly shaped (and similarly mysterious) forms in his paintings and drawings.

Doron Langberg: Give Me Love

There is a man floating in the bathtub. Iridescent violet, red, and ochre seem to seep from his pores into the sultry waters below, staining the porcelain bath and tiles. We feel the humidity pressing in, as if someone has just pulled the bathroom door shut. The air is intoxicating and close; we could be in the midst of a fever dream.

Beauford Delaney: Be Your Wonderful Self

Beauford Delaney’s imagination was ablaze with portraits. Often painting his subjects from the shimmering flight of memory, Delaney’s approach to portraiture was an exercise in deep connection between his own interiority and that of the people he painted.

Labyrinth of Forms: Women and Abstraction, 1930–1950

Under the voluminous skirts of the effusively praised Jasper Johns retrospective on the fifth floor of the Whitney Museum of American Art, on the level usually reserved for educational programming, is a show of 30-or-so small works of art by women.

Pipilotti Rist: Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor

Entering the Geffen Contemporary, the entryway lights are dimmed, eyes adjust to reveal a chandelier of white underwear, 29 Palms Chandelier (2019), flooding the room with a pink-hued light. Above the foyer to the main gallery Pipilotti Rist greets “guests” (as she refers to visitors) in the form of her infamous video Open My Glade (Flatten) (2000–17), squishing her face against a glass surface, the artist’s aim break through the video screen is forefronted as you enter into the main exhibition space.

Diane Severin Nguyen: If Revolution Is a Sickness

We might see Nguyen’s film as an elegy to failed revolutions or the ways in which all revolutions transform themselves and become institutionalized, a memorial to lost histories, or histories that never took root. As the narrator at the beginning of the film asks comrade Weronika, “where is the truth of unremembered things?”

Titian: Women, Myth, and Power

Love, loss, pain, desire, hope: these are the strongest emotions that we know. Throughout life, one or more is our constant companion. When the Venetian Renaissance painter Titian (ca. 1490–1576) received his greatest commission in 1550 from Philip II, the future King of Spain (r. 1556–1598), he was clearly involved in thinking through the resulting human problems.

Michael Gitlin: Compressions

The recent sculpture of Michael Gitlin shows the enduring influence of this moment: the best way of coming to terms with it is to experience it directly. His art goes beyond virtual descriptions in favor of tactile sensations that resonate to the core. Gitlin combines raw and painted oak in modest architectonic constructions that appear simple but never evasive.

Peter Bradley

The nine recent paintings presented in this exhibition differ in significant ways from Peter Bradley’s earlier work, examples of which could be seen here in New York just last month in Karma’s recreation of the groundbreaking De Luxe theatre exhibition of 1971, an exhibition Bradley curated at the invitation of the de Menils in Houston, Texas, and one of the first racially integrated exhibitions of contemporary art in the United States. Included, whether high profile or not, were those who Bradley considered the best artists working with abstraction in the country.

Rosemary Mayer: Ways of Attaching

Ways of Attaching at Swiss Institute, Mayer’s first institutional survey, presents a luminous collection of visual work, which glows with the attention and endearment her clearly held for her projects.

John Ferren: From Paris to Springs

John Ferren’s extraordinary biography can sometimes overshadow his achievements as a painter. Born in Oregon in 1905, he spent some youthful years in the 1930s in Paris, where he befriended Gertrude Stein, and was embraced by the Parisian avant-garde.

Jeff Koons. Shine

Jeff Koons. Shine is Koons’s most recent exhibition at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. This extensive exhibition features over 30 of the artist’s most lionized and varied works spanning from the 1970s until the present.

Julian Schnabel: Self Portraits of Others

What if Pico’s Oration on the Dignity of Man is as alive today as it was some time ago? What if L’Atalante was the best film ever made, and Jean Vigo was a true anarchist

The Beauty of Friends Being Together

Whatever we think of our love affair with Modernism, at times we think of our disdain for its ultimate objective being the constant rebuke of any previous art in order to claim a new birthright that would continue to do the same subsequently.

Patricia Miranda: Punto in Aria

In 2020, people started sending the sculptor Patricia Miranda lace. She has worked with found and vintage fabrics for years, dyeing them with hand-made cochineal and oak-gall inks, stitching them with images or together.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2021

All Issues