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Urban Sensitivity: Seven Contemporary Japanese Artists

Fuck the Furries. This show goes one better. If the Furries were sexual misfits who couldn’t cuddle up (or “yiff”) without first dressing up as foxes, raccoons, rabbits and bears, converting whole hotels into dens and lairs for their unconventional conventions, prosthetic artist Yuukyuusai here trades her original face for a second nature.

Axell's Paradise: Last works (1971-1972) before she vanished

For those who are willing to go to a slightly out-of-the-way, risk-taking gallery, located at 1182 Broadway between 28th and 29th Street, now would be a good time to hightail it over there and discover the bright, bold, erotic paintings of the Belgian Pop artist Evelyne Axell (1935-1972).

Elizabeth Murray

Even though it covers more than 25 years, this exhibition of Elizabeth Murray’s work is neither a retrospective nor a survey.

Swantje Hielscher: A New World

Conceptual art can be viewed two distinct ways. First, we can just look at it. The second way is to read the press release (or catalogue), and then look at it.

Regina José Galindo

Regina José Galindo’s practice is the embodiment of Akira Kurosawa’s dictum, “To be an artist means never to avert one’s eyes,” and she challenges the viewer to do the same, even as she’s carving the word “perra” (“bitch”) into the flesh of her thigh.

Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield

Above all else, Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles serves to disrupt the demons that long lay dormant in Burchfield’s legacy. The exhibition was curated by Robert Gober, an artist known for destabilizing the iconography of the everyday, so his attraction to Burchfield might suggest some political affinity buried beneath a bygone America.

Next Wave Art

My ten-year old version of Microsoft Word doesn’t recognize the word “curate.” Because it’s been underlining the term for as long I’ve been writing it, I’ve always assumed that “curate” was a wonky piece of jargon bandied about by no one but art nerds.

Sharon Horvath: Parts of a World

Sharon Horvath is exhibiting new paintings at Lori Bookstein Gallery. I never imagined what paradise might look like—I never thought of its looking like anything at all—until I looked at these paintings.

Riccardo Vecchio: Recent Paintings

The scenes in Riccardo Vecchio’s recent paintings are at first glance ambiguous in their evocation of a postwar cityscape—it’s hard to discern whether these places are in a state of reconstruction or stasis, whether they are tinted with nostalgia or tamed by the discipline of building a picture.

Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess

Marcel Duchamp had a long and intense interest in chess. As early as 1911, he traced patterns of chess pieces in his drawings, on his studio walls (at the rue Larrey, Paris), or on vertically-mounted boards.

Rakuko Naito: Permutation-Variant-Structure

Both papermaking and the art of working with paper are highly regarded aesthetic practices in Japan. The quality of the material, as in the processing of the fibers within the paper pulp, carries a certain hierarchical significance accompanied by traditional methods of working, which are commonly understood by artists trained in one or more of the great classical traditions in Asia.

Sally Mann: Proud Flesh

Several years ago in conversation, Sally Mann said that once she adopted the wet collodion process for taking photographs, she became aware of making “graven images.” This exhibition is her most vivid demonstration of the truth of that idea.


Paperpatterncolorculture, the fall exhibition at Philadelphia’s Pentimenti Gallery, explores the layering of written and marked material. In the works collected here, calligraphy, heraldic symbols, and patterned icons wend their way through a variety of stacked and folded substrata: translucent papers, collaged vinyl records, tightly-wound paper scrolls.

Sandow Birk: American Qur'an

It’s a popular art-world fantasy: the notion that using paint, video, or piles of cardboard to “engage with” or “interrogate” or “raise ironic questions about” some aspect of modern life is the moral equivalent of being genuinely controversial. There’s little evidence, however, that artsy anti-capitalism has done much to change anyone’s thinking about war or health care.

Saul Leiter: Paintings

Although he is best known as a photographer, Saul Leiter is also a diligent painter. Luckily, his paintings, which are rarely exhibited, are now seeing the light of day at the Knoedler Project Space in a show entitled Saul Leiter, Paintings, curated by Carrie Springer and Marella Consolini.

Tauba Auerbach: Here and Now/And Nowhere

Roughly a decade prior to the advent of the personal computer (and by extension, the digital revolution), famed semiotician Jacques Derrida, foretold its invention through an analysis of the human condition. Crowning mathematics as the universal language, he predicted the inevitable condensation of linguistic forms as a result of man’s fascination with codes: “What is natural to mankind is not spoken language but the faculty of constructing a language, i.e. a system of distinct signs corresponding to distinct ideas.”

Letter from BERLIN

Adrian Schiess and Helmut Dorner have a shared perspective on painting, occupying an extreme position on the medium. They are emphatically painters: their concerns are not descriptive or iconographic.

Letter from LONDON

The Frieze team has really reshaped the British art world’s calendar. Along with gearing up into social overdrive, the scene benefits from the efforts of museums large and small to capitalize on the moment and put on first-rate exhibitions.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2009

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