Search View Archive


Dr. Charles Smith

There’s an enchantment one feels with Dr. Charles Smith’s work. Whether it is the sheer expanse of his world building or the peculiar levity he has developed as an aesthetic, it can prove challenging to interpret his practice beyond the initial impact of its immersive charm.

New York: 1962–1964

1962–1964 manages to encapsulate the artistic explosion taking place in New York in the early sixties in art, in dance, and in poetry.

New York 1962–1964

“EXHIBITING THE CITY” reads one heading, and indeed this extraordinary exhibition includes, at its beginning, a few works from key exhibitions in New York in 1962 and 1963, feeling remarkably full.

Zeshan Ahmed and Yasi Alipour: to bleach, to fold

Transmitter gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn has put together an exhibition of works by artists Yasi Alipour and Zeshan Ahmed curated by Martha Fleming-Ives and Kate Greenberg. Both artists’ works consist of photographic images created without using a camera: Alipour favors cyanotype and inkjet prints while Ahmed uses RBG pigmented C-prints on transparency sheets. Alipour folds paper as one might origami, carving out straight horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines that unfold geometric forms. Ahmed, on the other hand, erases printed sheets of pigment with bleach, blocking shapes using masking tape. Both artists challenge the flatness of photography and drawing, whether we’re engaging with Alipour’s reliefs of undulating paper or Ahmed’s transparent sheets, hung off the wall in layered curtains that allow light to shine through.

Pat Steir: Paintings, Part II

After arriving at the gallery, located on the Via Francesco Crispi, a short walk downhill from Bernini’s Palazzo Barberini, I needed a few seconds for my eyes to adjust after the August sunlight outside. Then, the full subtlety and clear radiance of these cool, austere paintings had full effect. This second iteration of a two-part summer exhibition by Pat Steir comprised eight paintings—six predominantly red, yellow, and blue on black and two white on black.

Eva Hesse: Expanded Expansion

Would she have used less ephemeral materials if she had known that she was going to die at thirty-four? The current exhibit of Eva Hesse’s Expanded Expansion at the Guggenheim begs that question.

Quentin Curry: A Brand New Day

Fanciful and chromatic things are afoot in AB NY’s converted mechanics garage tucked behind the pristine boutiques and galleries of summery East Hampton. There are eight acrylic paintings, two small reliefs, and five free-standing sculptures representing the past two years of Sagaponack-based artist Quentin Curry’s production. The show forms a panoply of sun-washed surfside elements ranging from the artist’s trademark surfers to flitting birds and shimmering sunbursts, interspersed with vaguely visage-like abstractions that look like riffs on Carvel cakes.

Jayson Musson: His History of Art

In the second video of three in Jayson Musson: His History of Art at The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM), a russet-colored-corduroy-suited, yellow turtle-necked, and well-meaning but supercilious art collector “Jay,” aka Jayson Musson, gently explains to his roommate, a pot-smoking hare, Ollie: “Art history isn’t that complicated. Whatever man fucks it kills and whatever it kills it fucks.”

Jeannette Ehlers: Archives in the Tongue: A Litany of Freedoms

Ehlers’s exhibition gives voice to those who historically lacked such a stake and whose stories continue to be little heard in Denmark. But Ehlers does not exert influence on the stories they tell.

Bernd and Hilla Becher

In mid-July, a beautiful, monographic exhibition of the photographs of Bernd and Hilla Becher opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The show is accompanied by an impeccable publication, printed by Trifolio srl with essays by Jeff L. Rosenheim (the curator of the exhibition), Virginia Heckert, Gabriele Conrath-Scholl, and Lucy Sante. The catalogue concludes with an illuminating conversation between Rosenheim and the artist Max Becher about his parents’ life and work.

Penny Goring: Penny World

Penny World at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London spans three galleries over two floors, sharing glimpses of the thirty-year-long career of Penny Goring, an artist and poet who has long worked on the fringes of the London art world, from her early days at Kingston School of Art in the early nineties until today.

Jean Conner: Collage

To say that Jean Conner’s first museum exhibition is long overdue is an understatement. Belonging to a generation of Bay Area artists that solidified the idea of artist as alchemist, she has been active since the late 1950s, shortly after moving to San Francisco from the Midwest with her husband, conceptual artist Bruce Conner.

Sayre Gomez: Renaissance Collection

Los Angeles based painter Sayre Gomez’s exhibition of new work, Renaissance Collection, currently on view at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy consists of five paintings focused on the eponymous collection of apartment buildings by developer Geoff Palmer. Palmer is notorious for being both a sleazy and rapacious figure in the LA real estate scene, and also, something of an idiot, having once claimed that “The Italians actually settled LA before the Spanish and Chinese.

Lou Reed: Caught Between the Twisted Stars

” Reed’s music of the sixties and seventies transported listeners to the back rooms and allies of a grittier Downtown, his poetic vision amplified by a sonic repertoire as diverse and penetrating as his powers of lyrical observation. In the decades that followed, his achievements remained rich and complex, and assessing his legacy—his lived reality intertwined with a literary and musical imagination messaged through an iconic public persona—demands multiple routes of exploration.

Assembly 1: Unstored

One of Sodi’s central ideas is to take out of storage artworks that have been languishing in crates unseen, raising the ghost of the old “if a tree falls in a forest” question of observation and perception: if an artwork lies unseen in a crate, is it still art? It is clear that this is underpinned by a deeply held belief in art’s power to quietly inspire hearts and minds, so long as it can be made visible enough to do so.

Teresa Kutala Firmino: The Owners of the Earth (Vissaquelo)

While Firmino’s previous work has been more concerned with social history—engaging the ongoing effort of redressing the violence of colonial epistemologies—the paintings on view at CIRCA Gallery are honed to the more intimate scale of kinship.

Mirror Image: A Transformation of Chinese Identity

The seven artists in this exhibition—all born in mainland China between 1979 and 1987—are represented by nineteen works that range from video to performance to installations, digital art, painting, and more. Each tells a different story with wit, curiosity, techno savvy, painterly skill, and/or sociability.

Lee Lozano: All Verbs

What does it mean to show Lee Lozano’s work in a commercial gallery? And not just any commercial gallery, but Hauser & Wirth, one of the biggest and most profitable? It’s not a question actively posed by All Verbs, but after leaving the building it’s this problem, more than anything else, that remained on my mind.

Sam Gilliam: Full Circle

The late abstractionist Sam Gilliam’s obsession with painting is well documented in the artist’s 2019 interview with Tom McGlynn in the pages of the Brooklyn Rail. Gillaim spoke about how he was both influenced by, and positioned himself in relation to, his contemporary Color Field painters Thomas Downing and Kenneth Noland. He also cites the draping studies by Albrecht Dürer and the improvisational jazz compositions of John Coltrane and Miles Davis as formative to his art making. In the 1960s he recalls beginning to stain canvases and applying acrylic paints before crumpling them up—wet—and re-stretching.

Todd Bienvenu: JOMO (Joy of Missing Out)

In his new show, Todd Bienvenu takes FOMO and turns it into JOMO: the joy of missing out.

Flying Woman: The Paintings of Katherine Bradford

“Full circle” is the phrase that comes to mind apropos Katherine Bradford’s exhibition Flying Women at the Portland Museum of Art.

Tiona Nekkia McClodden: The Trace of An Implied Presence

Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s The Trace of An Implied Presence features an ambitious multimedia installation that follows the living history of contemporary Black dance in America.

Sean Scully: A Wound in a Dance with Love

A leading champion of contemporary artmaking, Sean Scully has come to project his image of an artist as a formalist conundrum, as intimated by the above metaphor that exudes a sense of pathos.

Reframed: The Woman in the Window

Throughout the Dulwich Picture Gallery’s wide-ranging Reframed: The Woman in the Window, thoughtfully curated by Jennifer Sliwka, we are reminded of that binary—who has agency and who may not?—and the roles that we then assume as viewers of the women represented.

Threading the Needle

At first glance, this expansive exhibition of fiber and textile-related works heartens the viewer as gently and naturally as a loose button welcomes needle and thread.

Hilma’s Ghost

Hilma’s Ghost posits alternative creative and spiritual practices as tools for individual and collective transformation by celebrating the esoteric and the unquantifiable.

Monica Sjöö: The time is NOW and it is overdue!

When Monica Sjöö’s canvas God Giving Birth (1968) was installed at St. Ives Town Hall in 1970 it was met with immediate controversy. The challenge to Christian conceptions of God posed by its depiction of a woman of color delivering a child outraged the town mayor, who demanded its removal on grounds of blasphemy.

Barbara Stauffacher Solomon: Exits Exist

In fusing architecture and typography through her signature supergraphics, Solomon incises the elegant 1902 Prairie-style mansion housing the Graham Foundation galleries with the sharp precision of Modernist graphic design and the stinging irreverence of a carefully crafted and dexterous wit.

Philip Guston Now

Given the preamble to this delayed exhibition, it is best just to start at the very center, with a single work, and make our way out by stages to the issues swirling around specific images that, when they were originally shown, prompted a different kind of controversy and a different kind of canceling.

Warren Neidich: The Brain Without Organs: An Aporia of Care

At the Museum of Neon Art, The Brain Without Organs: An Aporia of Care, takes a radically deconstructive approach to the brain as a material organ and as an emblem of human intellect, the source of our unique evolutionary advantage.

Rachel Lee Hovnanian: Angels Listening

In Hovnanian’s exhibition the definitions of medium and message, artist and spectator, addresser and addressee, sacred and secular, along with the aesthetic and the real, have been rendered interdependent.

Arlene Shechet: Couple of

Arlene Shechet expands and deepens both her “embodied, intuitive” making of objects and her masterful organization of installations in architect Steven Holl’s ‘T’ Space.

pear ware: I love you, I think

When a three-person collaborative becomes a two-person team, the connections that bonded the whole need to be reevaluated. Through I love you, I think , Mika Agari and Carol Hu begin the process of discovering what it means to continue a collaboration in the face of notable absence.

Takashi Murakami: Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow

Murakami has never relented from giving his work what it needs to stay, and stay for a long time.

Rodin in the United States: Confronting the Modern

Confronting the Modern begs a question the exhibition does not mean to ask: just what is Rodin’s modernity? Which comes down to who was Auguste Rodin, really?

Katy Crowe: A Wrinkle in the Macula

Katy Crowe’s work has long been regarded with tremendous esteem among artists who appreciate her improvisational, richly layered abstractions, complex color sense, and impressive mastery of materials.

Marta Pérez García: Restos-Traces

In Restos-Traces, the Puerto Rican Washington, DC-based artist Marta Pérez García raises specters, figuratively and formally constellating creative cycles under thematic auspices of personal and political endurance, and disrupting the definition of remains or ruins (restos).

Lou Reed: Caught Between the Twisted Stars

In the library galleries, you can listen to intimate and rare recordings such as a staticky tape of Reed singing lovingly to his early mentor Andy Warhol about art as business. Walking through, you start to think Reed always managed to look sculpted, ironic, and cool. Portraits of Reed are satisfyingly iconic, each one like raw material for a Warhol silkscreen.

New York: 1962–1964

A historical exhibition aims to show us past life, but sometimes the retrospective becomes reflective, a two-way mirror seeing through to the present. So it is with New York 1962–1964 at The Jewish Museum, certainly at the moment our fair city’s most enveloping visual and aural museum experience.

Our Selves: Photographs by Women Artists from Helen Kornblum

Use of the photo image in reworking narratives lies at the heart of Our Selves, an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art of ninety photographs made by women artists.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2022

All Issues