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The Female Gaze: Women Look at Women

Touting Laura Mulvey’s essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” as the curatorial premise of its group show, The Female Gaze: Women on Women, Cheim & Read promises a look into how women see themselves and other women, surveying self-portraits, portraits, and female nudes, all by women artists.

Dorothy Iannone

Housed in the lobby of the New Museum, the cult of the eternal goddess and the dying god has come home to roost—at least that is the atmosphere of Dorothy Iannone’s first and only U.S. retrospective, Dorothy Iannone: Lioness.

Unconsciousness Raising

Her eyes are closed and her mouth smiles quietly. Pulsing slightly, she is silent for several seconds, then her mouth pops open. She cries out in a sharp, barking moan. As if surprised from sleep, but not yet awake, her eyes open wide and the camera catches a glint in the whites of her eyes. With her eyes and mouth still open, her head rolls slowly back, dropping below the camera frame.

TRACKS: The Quay Brothers and the Argument for the Real

Perhaps the most salient point I can make about the art of the Quays is the sense of violation I feel by typing something—anything—onto the blank whiteness of the page.

The Importance of Being Unimportant

For the first time in six years I will get to spend the inaugural Thursday of the art season as one of the yahoos I used to serve wine to as a gallery employee. After 15 years, the gallery I worked at closed, one of a number of high-profile casualties of last year’s art market. Anyone who’s had feet in both the commercial and the critical worlds, as I did, recognizes the stark difference between the two.

Sanford Wurmfeld E-Cyclorama—Immersed in Color

My long held curiosity about Sanford Wurmfeld’s paintings was piqued by the announcement stating that this would be the first time E-Cyclorama (2008), “a monumental painting…made on canvas stretched onto a 37-foot-long oval cylinder” would be shown in the United States.

Larry Johnson

Roland Barthes’s description of Tokyo and its empty center could be a perfect portrayal of the work of Larry Johnson: “The entire city turns around a site both forbidden and indifferent, a residence concealed beneath foliage, protected by moats, inhabited by an emperor who is never seen, which is to say, literally, by no one knows who.”

BROOKLYN DISPATCHES: The Lies We Tell Children

What interests me, for the sake of this essay, is why some of these individuals have attained immortality and others have been totally forgotten? The standard reply is “some were just better artists, more talented or innovative,” but who decides?

Another World: The Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit

In 1931, during the early days of the Depression, before the Works Progress Administration was put in place, an outdoor art exhibition, modeled on those in Europe, was held in Washington Square to help struggling artists make a living. Not yet thinking in terms of their careers, but simply trying to pay the rent, artists like Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Alice Neel are said to have been among the more than 200 artists who participated.

2009 Incheon Women Artists’ Biennale

Incheon is a port city facing the China Sea in the northwest section of the Republic of Korea. Situated adjacent to Seoul, the country’s capital—on the edge of the border with North Korea—Incheon is the fourth largest city in the Republic and, in some ways, retains one of the country’s most charming and unusual urban environments.

HELMUT FEDERLE: Acceptance Speech Prix Aurélie-Nemours, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for this prize which is awarded me today by the Fondation Aurélie-Nemours. My gratitude extends first of all to the artist Aurélie Nemours herself.

Looking In: Robert Frank's THE AMERICANS

When Robert Frank’s photographs of the Eisenhower-era United States were first published in 1959, they outraged many and provided subversive delight to a few. But the few proved both prescient and influential. Within a few decades Frank’s suite of photographs, The Americans, came to be widely regarded as one of the most important photography books of the 20th century.

LONGTIME EXPOSURE: Considering Street Art Photography

Katherine Lorimer (aka Luna Park) is a Brooklyn-based street art photographer. People outside the world of street art and graffiti probably don’t know what that means, but then again most street art photographers are figuring it out themselves. A librarian by day, she spends her free time scouring the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn looking for the best street art and capturing images which she will post online.

Adriana Lopez Sanfeliu: Life on the Block

Recently at the Randall Scott Gallery in DUMBO (Brooklyn), an expressive slice of New York City life unfolded in a series of black-and-white photographs titled Life on the Block. The photographer, Barcelonan artist Adriana Lopez Sanfeliu, spent six years (2002-2007) observing the milieu on 103rd Street in Spanish Harlem, documenting the lives of young Puerto Rican women, their boyfriends and children.

Letter From LONDON

Just an hour outside London, the Milton Keynes Gallery is collaborating in a new Hayward Touring venture that could provide a quiet revolution of its own: a trilogy of curatorial opens intended to support young UK-based curators. This first one, Quiet Revolution, curated by Chris Fite-Wassilak, is a show of witty and instinctive assemblages and sculptures made from found objects.

Letter From BEIJING

A maximum-strength firefighter’s hose spews voluminous blasts of water, uncoiling and smacking against the insides of a sealed room. The hose, powered by a hydraulic pump and suspended from a thin ceiling cable, obliterates the view from the special double-paned observation windows with a whacking, cascading torrent.

Letter From BERLIN

Two Berlin-oriented exhibitions at the Martin-Gropius-Bau seek to reevaluate the influence of Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier (1887-1965), on the contemporary built environment and its social consequences. This is the most extensive presentation of the Swiss architect’s wide-ranging work in over twenty years.

Your Gold Teeth II

The group exhibition Your Gold Teeth II presents a whopping 73 works by 43 artists in two rooms and two hallways at Marianne Boesky Gallery. Remarkably, there is no particular theme (or medium, subject, generation, nationality) that ties it all together.

In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art, 1960–1976

While the Belgian painter James Ensor continues to enthrall a large audience on the top floor of the Museum of Modern Art, a much humbler display can be found further below. Visually, the exhibitions could not be more different, and yet In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art, 1960–1976 possesses a satirical wit similar in spirit to that of the Belgian master.

Structured Simplicity

This colorful show of new sculpture, video, and installation sets out to explore the rudimentary nature of form, material and utility in art making. The artists in the exhibition share an interest in what unadorned materials communicate alone. Newspaper, cardboard boxes, a rug and several other household items become sculpture that is more plastic and/or alien than anything a viewer might recognize as familiar.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2009

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