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In a small but attractive space in Dumbo, Korean painter Kyeung Mook Choi presented ink paintings that bridge traditional Asian art and the knotty necessities of contemporary painting.


For Graham Collins’s second solo exhibition at the Journal Gallery, several different series of works are combined, including large-scale painted objects that effectively reconfigure the gallery’s main space.


In her paintings and reliefs, Kyle Staver presents simplified, touchingly goofy figures in fraught, mythological circumstances, including a boy hurtling through the stratosphere, having flown too close to the sun, and a woman whose lover is a swan.

RICHARD LONG Crescent to Cross

Entering the main gallery of Sperone Westwater, the viewer is dwarfed by Red Gravity (2015), a stunning, two-story-high, circular red clay drawing filling the height and width of the main wall. A suspended glass balcony allows the viewer to see the top half, which enhances the work’s scale.


Stephen Maine’s new paintings at Hionas exude a crackling static charge that might jolt even the most jaded of zombie aesthetics into a gritty kind of materialist satori. One could argue the merits of this: if a powerful-enough transcendent hit can revive an exhausted faith in abstraction, does this imply an idealistic renewal or simply the stoic resolve of a conditional belief?


“I didn’t tell you what impulse drove me except I was a biographer. Was I surprised I could understand their language? Yes.” With these words, Trisha Baga speaks to her audience from the future. Orlando, which takes its name from both the Virginia Woolf novel about the eponymous, gender-swapping immortal, and the Floridian city, is an exhibition out of time, taking place in an imagined future after a great flood consumes Florida whole.

From Bauhaus to Buenos Aires: Grete Stern and Horacio Coppola

Collaboration can be a strange affair. Some tantalize with the right combustion of kindred spirits. But some go no further than creating two distinct, if complementary, halves of a work clearly produced by their respective artists.


New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast once created a cartoon retelling Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain using Bic ballpoint pens as stand-in for the characters: this, I think, was a comment on the cartoonists’ and writers’ obsession with the banal writing implement. Roberto Visani, in his dramatically staged exhibition In Medias Res has populated a Beckett or Noh drama with the much darker personage of the gun.

For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art & Photography, 1968-1979

The timelines of art history are marked by eruptions that reorient artistic practices and philosophies, bursting through the prevailing mentalities and cratering the landscape of cultural production. In 1968, three landmark productions—an exhibition, a publication, and a magazine project—set off a decade’s worth of radical action in Japanese contemporary art and photography.

The Baltic Triennial

Has “anthropocentric” become a pejorative term? Might one soon be contemptuously accused, in graduate seminars and at dinner parties, of clinging to dangerously anthropocentric views? The prospect did occur to me as I left a recent event at the XII Baltic Triennial, a cerebral, aesthetically arid show calling attention to our moment of environmental crisis, among other themes.

Letter from Tehran

Tehran is a paradox. The airplane begins its descent and the flight attendant announces, “Alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited and Islamic attire is mandatory.” Somewhere in the sky of Tehran, the silent protest of normality ends; wearing jeans and t-shirts, women give in, get up, and put their hijab on. “Welcome to the Imam Khomeini Airport.” You are officially in Iran.

ROBERT OVERBY Persistence. Repeated.

Robert Overby, the Los Angeles-based graphic designer, educator, and artist who died in 1993 of Hodgkin’s disease had an art career that never came into national—much less international—prominence during his lifetime. Since then, thanks in part to the efforts of his widow, the painter Linda Burnham, his art has finally gotten the attention it deserves, with solo exhibitions and retrospectives in Europe and the U.S., and a presence at art fairs.


Jackie Saccoccio’s painterly abstractions emerge from a highly agile process. Lifting one canvas onto another, the artist transfers paint across two surfaces, creating a labyrinth of scrapes and drips that intersect with radiant expanses of color.


A screenwriter bursts into his agent’s office. “I have a great idea for a new picture,” he enthuses. “We do a remake of The Wiz. Only with white people!” Clichéd Hollywood joke, sure, yet pretty much on point with regard to current trends in music and art. The mash-up, dub, remix, redux, or whatever you want to call it, has replaced the “appropriation” strategies of the ’80s.

CHUCK CLOSE Red Yellow Blue

Chuck Close once said in an interview in the pages of this publication that “Painting [. . .] makes space where it doesn’t exist, but you relate to it through life experience.” If a viewer takes pause from looking at the new paintings on display in “Chuck Close: Red Yellow Blue” at Pace Gallery in order to observe her surroundings, she will note the insight of that remark.

Josh Jefferson Head First

or an artist to cross over from his or her own milieu to making expressively raw art is hardly new. It no longer matters who makes the art, so long as we see it as possessing life, integrity, and (some) craft. Still, ever since the exuberant artworks of East Village in the 1970s, we tend to identify roughness, energy, and charismatic intensity as the purview of the young artist, who, for the most part, has identified with a rough-and-tumble persona—a far cry from the exquisite nuance and sensitivity we typically ascribe to the historical, cultured painter.


Work—the title and the content—unpacks the meaning of one of the most saturated signifiers in 21st-century American English. Work, like other fundamental concepts such as property, is almost impossible to define despite—and perhaps because of—a common-sense feeling that we know what it is.


Agnes Martin’s retrospective at Tate Modern, curated by Frances Morris, Tiffany Bell, and Lena Fritsch, is the first exhibition of its breadth and scale displaying Martin’s work on our side of the pond. A highly esteemed artist in America bridging Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism, Martin remains little known in Europe.

DANA SCHUTZ Fight in an Elevator

In her twelve new paintings currently on view at Petzel’s Chelsea location, Dana Schutz surprises her audience yet again with exuberant pictures that simultaneously depart from, and are consistent with, her previous work.


Poet Charles Olson advised his colleagues to think in terms of millennia, setting their local coordinates of place and history in the proper perspective. Photographer Meridel Rubenstein goes one better with her embrace of geological “deep time” embedded in Indonesian volcanoes. Part of a larger project, Eden Turned on its Side, the imposing digital photo works from The Volcano Cycle at Brian Gross unite science, religion, and art.


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2015

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