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Airbnb Experience™
as a Work of Art

“Discover Daniel Buren in Graça” is an Airbnb Experience™, offering a guided walking tour (current rate: €25) in the colorful Lisbon neighborhood of Graça, visiting five historical sites in which celebrated French artist Daniel Buren (b. 1938) posted his impromptu creations, “Affichages Sauvages,” in 1980.

Holbein: Capturing Character

There is a tension throughout the exhibition between Holbein's capacity for the “truthful likeness” and an obligation to enhance his patrons’ appearance; curator Anne T. Woollett refers to “his judicious idealization of physical traits” in her catalogue essay.

Kathy Ruttenberg: Sunshine at Midnight

Has anyone ever (this is a rhetorical question) thought/seen/activated the observer this way? Sunshine at midnight indeed! From and in every crevice in every stone, creatures are peeping out or lying down: butterflies all over and everywhere. Nothing feels left out and everything feels included.

Olafur Eliasson: Your light spectrum and presence

Olafur Eliasson’s most recent show at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in Hollywood, California, Your light spectrum and presence, navigates through cerebral modulations of color that suggest the theatrical nuances of illusion.

Joe Minter: We Lost Our Spears

Despite being removed from its original context, the work straddles both reading as actively political and mytho-poetical, as well as formal analysis as a juxtaposition of industrial and agricultural forms.

Antonia Kuo: Mercury and Salt

Kuo’s title, Mercury and Salt, references two of the compounds central to alchemy, and with this invocation of alchemy Kuo suggests an analogical connection with photography. Here mercury corresponds to the silver nitrate molecules in photographic paper and salt corresponds to the sulfates that fix the image. If the goal of alchemy is to transmute dross matter to a “higher” state, Kuo’s aim in Mercury and Salt is to transform dross photography into painting.

Troy Montes Michie: Dishwater Holds No Images

Troy Montes Michie’s Dishwater Holds No Images continues his use of textiles to tell stories of resistance, and expands his work in collage into a space-consuming format.

The Morozov Collection: Icons of Modern Art

The Morozov Collection: Icons of Modern Art brings to light the forgotten story of Russian brothers Mikhail Morozov (1870–1903) and Ivan Morozov (1871–1921), who amassed one of the world’s most spectacular collections of Impressionist and modern art. It is the first time that the Morozov Collection, which comprises nearly two hundred paintings and sculptures, has been shown outside Russia.

Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir’s Peace

It is wonderful to be back in Reykjavik, a beloved city for me that I have visited many times—wonderful, but also strange. For the past three months Covid-19 (the Omicron variant) has been surging in heavily vaccinated Iceland. Many of my Reykjavik friends have gotten ill, some quite recently, although cases have tended to be fairly mild.

Livien Yin: Ka‑la‑fo‑ne‑a

Through fictionalized, photo-realistic oil and acrylic paintings, Yin subverts archival photographs and written accounts of Chinese Americans during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and imagines “what could have been”—alternatives and contingencies that, according to scholar Lisa Lowe, lay within, but were later foreclosed by, determinations of modern history.

Marcia Hafif: An Extended Gray Scale

Standing next to any two or three panels, it can be difficult to detect the subtle shifts in shade that the viewer knows are happening along 106 panels between black and white. Yet when we glance down a row of panels, the gradient appears seamless, as the work becomes a perspectival vector through the space. The experience is enveloping, meditative, curious—evoking a slow awareness rarely encountered in the twenty-first century.

Hawkins Bolden: Seated

Whether Bolden’s scarecrows “speak” to us or not, hanging them at eye level feels appropriately aggressive. Despite being together, there is loneliness to them all. Free will was stolen from these totems long before they had an opportunity to come alive.

Edgar Jerins: Monumental Drawings

Edgar Jerins’s (b. 1958) exhibition of twelve figurative charcoal drawings, most nearly life-size, reinvents American Regionalism through the lens of present-day anguish.

Hans Holbein: Capturing Character

You might think that Holbein’s use of such diverse strategies of characterization would result in portraits that feel overburdened or heavy-handed, except that Holbein’s sense of the appropriate was pitch perfect. Although he sometimes idealizes, Holbein makes us forget this in his remarkably lifelike handling of strategic details.

Karla Knight: Navigator

Karla Knight: Navigator adds to an impressive litany of solo exhibitions devoted to female artists under the auspices of Senior Curator Amy Smith-Stewart at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. Knight’s exhibition is a superb example of how thoughtful curating can present an artist to new audiences, surprising even the most sophisticated art-viewing visitor.

Bronx Calling: The Fifth AIM Biennial

Bronx Calling, the fifth iteration of the Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) Biennial at the Bronx Museum, is unique in that it passively presents artists working at their own pace rather than proselytizing a curatorial vision of the contemporary scene. The 68 artists included in this hefty and deep exhibition participated in the 2018 and 2019 AIM programs.

H. R. Giger: HRGNYC

H. R. Giger’s work is stunningly imaginative and darkly enticing, but it also leaves me feeling empty. Why this is is something I’ve been trying to parse out for myself—maybe I’m not alone in feeling this way. But I was confronted with this feeling once again upon visiting the retrospective of Giger’s work at Lomex gallery.

Paul Fägerskiöld: 2100

The show features seven oil paintings of the night sky in Rome, Berlin, Kaliningrad, Mount Everest, and other locations in the year 2100, based on projections modeled by the aptly named software Starry Night. Though the paintings are of different sizes, each work follows the same pattern: a depiction of the sky—small white dots on solid-color ground, shaped like a rectangle on three sides with a catenary-curved bottom—and a border of unpainted linen.

Esther Kläs: Come Again

It’s as if, in this sensitive exhibition at Peter Blum, Esther Kläs’s sculptures, works on paper, and installations had themselves chosen their relationships with one another and set the stage for performing together.

Roy Dowell

The first thing visitors may notice about Roy Dowell’s paintings is the mystical aspect of the work—the ritualistic nature of the forms, even the otherworldly feel of the narrative that falls somewhere between the more abstract paintings by Marsden Hartley and the wild visions of the hallucinatory interstellar traveler Adolf Wölfli.

Bill Jensen: Stillness/Flowing

Bill Jensen’s new body of work, largely made in the last three years, is displayed in all four rooms of Cheim & Read gallery in Chelsea. These paintings embody both the wisdom and maturity of a sage, while maintaining the energy and vulnerability of new life.

Abby Lloyd: Goodbye Dolly

Greenwich Village has gone to the dolls. In an apartment space 11 stories above Cornelia Street and Sixth Avenue is Alyssa Davis Gallery, now host to Goodbye Dolly, a sculptural installation piece by the Brooklyn-based artist Abby Lloyd.

The African Origin of Civilization

When you go up the stairs through the main entrance into the Metropolitan Museum of Art, if you turn to the right you immediately enter the Egyptian galleries. And if you head to the left and walk through the Greek galleries, you get to the Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, where the Sub-Saharan Adrian art is displayed. But since Egypt is in Africa, it’s natural to wonder why the displays of African art are divided this way. The answer involves the history of the museum.

The New Bend

Curated by Legacy Russell, The New Bend features the works of twelve contemporary artists exploring race and gender issues in the textile space. The exhibition celebrates Gee’s Bend cultures, blending regional tradition with the power of cooperative feminism that took place in the Boykin, Alabama area, where the women of Gee’s Bend made quilts to stay warm, protecting their children while they took shelter in unheated shacks without running water, phones, or electricity.

Judith Braun: My Pleasure

Reticulating patterns of black acrylic on unstretched, bare canvas become stages for scenes of angst, pathos, and tenderness in Judith Braun’s exhibition My Pleasure.

Danica Lundy: Three Hole Punch

Danica Lundy’s exhibit Three Hole Punch potentially offers an alternative response to a post-humanist painting practice through an intentional multivalent painting.

Ruby Sky Stiler: New Patterns

Whenever I’ve been lucky enough to see Ruby Sky Stiler’s work in person, I’ve come away thinking about the idea of the material metaphor. By this I mean something like the collapse of subject and content into form and expression; a mode in which the meaning of a work inheres in the material itself and how it is used by the artist, as opposed to one in which material is subservient to expression.

Andrea Belag: Under the Pergola

The selection in this show of works on paper, which are preparatory to the artist’s larger and brushier paintings, offers a view through a transitory portal of literalness. One that dissipates as the canvas paintings grow in scale towards their exuberant and liberated abstraction. It’s a focused presentation of five gouaches and a monoprint in an intimate setting—allowing a refreshing and rare chance to appreciate an artist’s working process and the individual characteristics of different media within a practice.

Nuestra Casa: Rediscovering the Treasures of The Hispanic Society Museum & Library

Because the Hispanic Society is in Washington Heights, Manhattan, it has until recently had a marginal position in the New York art world. Although it’s only about 75 blocks uptown from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, that can seem a long journey to the busy critic. I, at least, confess that in all my years of reviewing, I’d never visited this institution. And so, right now, while the museum is closed for renovations, I came because a selection of the best works is on display. How amazing that it took me all of these years to get uptown to see the best portrait in a New York City museum, Francisco de Goya’s The Duchess of Alba (1797).

Ocultismo y barro

At Ocultismo y barro (“Occultism and Clay”) at Miriam gallery in Brooklyn, it’s not the vague notions of the supernatural or spiritual that connect the eight Latine artists on view, it’s their self-aware and sometimes critical allusions to ancient pre-Columbian ceramic objects.

Faith Ringgold: American People

Organized by The New Museum’s artistic director Massimiliano Gioni with curator Gary Carrion-Murayari and curatorial assistant Madeline Weisburg, American People is jam-packed with more than forty years of Faith Ringgold’s most prominent work.

Luca Buvoli: Astrodoubt and the Quarantine Chronicles (An Introduction)

These astronomic and somewhat ironic framed elements reflect Buvoli‘s paradoxical references to the space age.

Rachel Feinstein: Mirror

By painting on mirrors, Feinstein attempts an ambitious artistic feat: merging holy images made in an earlier time beset by plagues, famines, and wars with glimpses of our equally fraught, if more secular, moment.

The Yes Men

In response to the socio-ideological landscape that late capitalism presents as donnée, the Yes Men pose as corporate or governmental bodies in mass media “hijinks” that either take consensus reality to its ludicrous extremes or demonstrate that consensus reality has already reached said extremes, highlighting our entrenchment in its naturalized frameworks.

Andrea McGinty: Clint Eastwood

Andrea McGinty’s work has been consistently focused on exploring the aesthetic possibilities inherent in what we consume. Whether it be food or clothing, appliances or cat litter, she draws our attention to the myriad ways in which such objects maintain expressive capacities of their own.

Sahra Motalebi: This Phenomenal Overlay

This Phenomenal Overlay is a sonorous exhibition which, layered with sensory texture, is expansive in its epistemological explorations, a meditation on materiality, material culture, the intersection between poetics and technology.

Alina Tenser: A Particular Kind of Embrace

In A Particular Kind of Embrace, Alina Tenser manages to elevate language beyond its signifying register, and into the realm of the affective. Linguistic mistakes, stutters, and slippages are made, quite literally, concrete.


The Brooklyn Rail

MARCH 2022

All Issues