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A Riot is the Language of the Unheard: An Exercise in Unrestrained Speech

Can speech acts, particularly those fueled by the aura of political gesture and first amendment rights, constitute a legitimate form of art making?


David Diao and Walid Raad met at Hampshire College in the late ’90s where they were both on the faculty—Raad having just completed his Ph.D. and Diao, though born in Chengdu, a veteran of the New York art world with a history from the early days of SoHo, where he had the first one-person show at Paula Cooper’s gallery in 1969.

LIN TIANMIAO Bound Unbound

In the exhibition catalogue for Lin Tianmiao’s Bound Unbound, a grainy photograph from 1995 shows the installation work “Proliferation of Thread Winding” in its original context, a bare cement-walled apartment. A twin bed occupies most of the cramped and dimly lit room.


In his current exhibition of abstractly figurative paintings, Iraqi-born artist Ahmed Alsoudani has shown that painting a narrative is more than a literal process.


Although Occupy Wall Street continues vestigially, it didn’t last long as a visible media spectacle. Nonetheless, the rapid turnaround rate of New York’s art industry has quickly capitalized on the revolt, accounting for it in collections, projects, and exhibitions at a number of museums and galleries.

DIRTY LOOKS: A Monthly Platform for Queer Experimental Film and Video

Dirty Looks, a monthly “roaming” program of experimental film and video, showcases contemporary works by queer artists alongside works by their historical predecessors in queer-oriented film and video.


Ralph Humphrey’s exhibition at Gary Snyder Gallery illustrated his unique contribution to American abstract painting. In contrast to the metaphysical aspirations of the Abstract Expressionist painters whom he admired when he arrived in New York in the late 1950s, Humphrey’s territory was secular and nonspiritual.

Origin of the Universe

The exhibition Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe derives its title from Gustave Courbet’s “Origine du monde”(1866), a cheeky, erotic painting of a naked woman lying on a bed, legs spread to reveal a full-frontal view.

TATZU NISHI Discovering Columbus

Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi’s temporary modern “tree house”—encasing the marble statue of Christopher Columbus at Columbus Circle—shows how much we ignore in plain sight, even when it is set directly in front of us.

In the Thick of Things

The first thing one sees upon entering the Yale University Art Gallery—which re-opens fully to the public in December after a 10-year incremental renovation—is a Sol LeWitt wall drawing.

The Present Age

In 1846 the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote a small pamphlet called The Present Age: On the Death of Rebellion in which he described a social and intellectual landscape much like our own.

JONAS MEKAS Reminiscences of a Displaced Person

Between 1945 and 1949 directly following World War II, thousands of Eastern Europeans were held in camps within the German city of Wiesbaden and the town of Mattenberg, a suburb of Kassel.


A supple sheathe of heavy, black vinyl covers the entrance to Rodney McMillian’s solo exhibition at Maccarone. Visitors step into a darkened cavity covered by a continuous patchwork of hand-sewn material framing the gallery’s front vestibule.

We the People

We the People, curated against the backdrop of the current election by Alison Gingeras, Jonathan Horowitz, and Anna McCarthy, looks to provide an “artistic view” of the “diverse demographics” of the United States.

A Goosh Noosh

Brian Belott’s enthusiasm for glittering decoration is amply evident in this excellent show, which proves that even preciousness can be transformed into something inspired and forceful, that is, if you parody your own treatment of materials.


Recently on view at John Davis Gallery were Farrell Brickhouse’s latest paintings spanning the last two years of his career.  Two dozen works speckled with glitter and flecked with white dots filled both the first and second floors and the gallery.

Where it all Began

Though Ronnie Landfield’s work is more frequently connected to fellow lyrical abstractionists Ron Davis, Peter Young, Larry Stafford, Bill Pettit, and Larry Poons, history makes strange bedfellows when it comes to whom you went to high school with in New York.

The New Barnes Foundation Museum

Before MoMA was conceived, Albert Barnes (1872–1951) embarked upon an ambitious collecting program focused on Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Henri Matisse, and pre-Cubist Picasso.

City of Gold: Tomb and Temple in Ancient Cyprus

Just how evocative can a material object be, really? Can it recover forgotten places, call back lost time and make us understand the unfamiliar? The answer to these questions, respectively, is an uncategorical “Very” and a hesitant “Perhaps, but not as much as you might think.”

PETER SACKS New Paintings

From afar it looks like an Abstract Expressionist painting: a large triptych with a textured off-white surface imprinted, in part, with a floral motif and dotted with over a dozen irregular shapes—trapezoids, triangles, would-be pentagons—rising elegantly from the surface.

FRANK STELLA The Retrospective, Works 1958-2012

Over the decades of his career, Frank Stella has embraced an ever more expansive and inclusive exploration of painting as a spatial entity. Inasmuch as actual physical parts form shapes and surfaces to be painted, Stella’s rich illusionistic mix has pushed composition outward from the wall, while retaining the idea of pictorialism in the use of pattern and gesture to create an anomalous fictive space on any given surface.

SHARON HAYES There’s So Much I Want to Say to You

In the last year, the civil rights, feminist, and gay liberation movements of the ’60s and ’70s have returned as critical models for a present torn asunder by international uprisings and occupations.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2012

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