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Justin Cloud: Crude

Justin Cloud’s show Crude is a striking instance of patience, guts, and visionary thinking. His willingness to boldly tinker is on full display, which signals a departure from his previous body of work, The Garden, that focused on more obviously organic forms. Those were mostly animals and flowers, in various shades of purple, silver, and black, with the occasional green thrown in. By contrast, Cloud’s new work stays close to the natural color of polished copper. 

Gordon Matta-Clark & Pope.L: Impossible Failures

In Impossible Failures, director Ebony L. Haynes focuses on works by Gordon Matta-Clark and Pope.L that explore the social conditions of space and how creative experimentation might help us to dream of a world that can hold the tension inherent in such social relationships.

Walter De Maria: Boxes for Meaningless Work

Just as you’re about to step into Walter De Maria: Boxes for Meaningless Work, you might notice a short, high-pitched sound underlying the other noises that occupy museum galleries. It’s the chirping of crickets, and because it emanates from a speaker hung near the ceiling, it seems to envelop the vestibule, both placeable and unlocatable.

Samuelle Green, Judith Henry & Lizzie Wright

The throughline for all three artists is an insistence that what we overlook, reject, or discard is precisely what we need to connect with.

Charles Gaines: Southern Trees

By abstracting Gaines’s processes and its operation we can tie his game of building and deploying systems to the real world—they are models of the way in which the particular loses its identity and becomes part of a category. Gaines’s works, then, function as analogies whose subject is the construction and discernment of identity.

Mike Henderson: Before the Fire, 1965–1985

Mike Henderson’s solo exhibition at the Manetti Shrem Museum is a powerful confrontation with the political realities of the present moment, compelling us to face how the police state has rebranded itself time and time again. Decades later, the messages within Mike Henderson’s early paintings seem as urgent as ever.

Yasunao Tone: Region of Paramedia

The sonorous rumblings of Artists Space’s deep, overdue investigation into the work of performance, sound, and digital composition pioneer Yasunao Tone takes us from the early 1960s to the present via the artist’s examinations into emerging technologies, and their use and misuse in the creation of sound. Curator Danielle A. Jackson has compiled a comprehensive exhibition of rare ephemera, ranging from Tone’s irreverent graphic scores to manipulated sound objects and gizmos to performative actions imaginatively documented.

Myrlande Constant: Drapo

One man rests on a bended knee, his hands clasped at his chest in a gesture of gratitude. In the distance, a patchwork of green fields studded with fruit trees give way to silvery mountains and a blue sky. The luminescence of Constant’s materials infuses the scene with life. Spirits seem to move, the landscape breathes. Working its charm, the drapo induces a visceral sense of place: I feel as if I am inside of the image, even as I am standing in the gallery looking at it.

Adrián Villar Rojas & Mariana Telleria: El fin de la imaginación

Alone in the gallery, I reflect on how the violence of war and battles both large and small is often memorialized as heroism. I consider how the preservation of these monuments preserves the power of violence and how through this preservation the destruction of the collective is glorified. Perhaps at the end of imagination our new beginning will bloom not from what we remember but rather from what we leave behind, dead and unrescued.

Brenda Goodman: Hop Skip Jump—New Work 2022

These paintings work not in the realm of intellect, but that of feeling. Goodman’s is a formalism that is never escapist or hermetic, but instead tied to an encyclopedic spectrum of human emotions, including terror, despondency, anger, hope, joy, even love. As she prepares to enter her ninth decade, Goodman has once again come upon a new abstract language that, somehow, remains intimately in touch with those important realities.

Joan Brown & In the Shadow of Mt. Tam

Rail critic Suzanne Hudson examines the effects of time and place on two new exhibitions highlighting artists of the Bay Area.

Renee Gladman: Narratives of Magnitude

“The line bore its own diacritical mark inside itself as a tendency for waywardness. Line [is] always about to go off like an unheld note,” writes Fred Moten in an introduction to Gladman’s 2020 book of drawings One Long Black Sentence. And indeed, Gladman’s lines are sustained errantry, ambling in all directions and none. Her drawn writings stretch on and on, and her pen sustains uninterrupted contact with the page for what feels like hours, feeding off of its own circuit of energy without pausing for breath.

Noah Purifoy

Though at the outset, his compositions may seem haphazard, the careful viewer will come to appreciate his nimble deflections, crooked pathways, and masks and mirrors that pull you along on one trajectory only to deftly change course. Before you’ve realized it, you’re somewhere else entirely.

Mark Thomas Gibson: WHIRLYGIG!

Mark Thomas Gibson’s work has always expressed a hope that the citizenry of the nation will embrace a reasonable and diplomatic means of negotiation towards a harmonious co-existence, but in WHIRLYGIG! he acknowledges that political realities may lie elsewhere.

Daniel Giordano: Love From Vicki Island

Giordano uses moisturizing facial masks, eagle excrement, 24 karat gold, and gallons of shellac to create deeply personal characterizations of family life, Italian American identity, and in so doing overturns the entire notion of representation as an exercise in simple, comfortable, and relatable imagery.

Ariane Lopez-Huici: Exuberant Bodies

In Lopez-Huici's work, the body is full of life, dignified like a sculpture and immortalized, both exuding poetry, calm, poise, strength, and force.

Forecast Form

Forecast Form: Art in the Caribbean Diaspora 1990s to Today weaves a far richer conversation that explores a multitude of distinct voices.

Tangled Hierarchy 2

Tangled Hierarchy 2 aspires to transcend linear narratives of cause and effect or hierarchical roles.

Nasreen Mohamedi

It is a comprehensive introduction to her art, bringing together not only each decade, but also most mediums, of Mohamedi’s career: an early portrait in felt tip on paper; three sleek oil paintings; a lithograph; two collages; a few works on graph paper; and several photographs, watercolors, and drawings. Though Mohamedi abdicates the represented body, her art continues to represent its physicality, and her works swoop, swim, and levitate across the room.

Wolf Tones: A Many-Sided House

Dissonance is a curious thing. Looking at the installation as a whole, it’s possible, perhaps even encouraged, to perceive the underlying, humming discord between approaches to material, narrative, and order. Dalal, Goldfarb, Shaver, Sterrett Smith, and Strauss each have their own distinctive forms of production; their own peculiarities, obsessions, and compassions.

Nina Katchadourian: Uncommon Denominator

Language, in the hands of Nina Katchadourian, instructs like a map drawn from memory. Weaving through her associations yields a visual scavenger hunt, and getting lost is the aim. These thrills begin early in Uncommon Denominator, the artist’s engagement at the Morgan Library & Museum where Katchadourian has placed a vast array of artifacts from the museum’s collection alongside her family’s heirlooms and her own works of art.

Cris Gianakos: Works on Mylar 1983–1989

The concept of chance has long been a well-known attribute in art, not only for figures such as Marcel Duchamp or the avant-garde composer John Cage, but for other artists like the Greek-American multi-media artist Cris Gianakos, whose work is currently on view at MINUS SPACE.

Andrea Geyer: plein-air

What can be done about rural voters? As the US election cycle keeps turning toward 2024, we’ll be reading and hearing more of this question in its various permutations. The columns and commentary will sound the same, rehashing what we’ve read before. Andrea Geyer’s exhibition plein-air turns a similar line of questioning inside out, offering facts gathered as part of her research-based practice to delve into the ideological uses of nature by the far right.

Mark Thomas Gibson: WHIRLYGIG!

A solid band of Patriot blue stretches across the back gallery of Sikkema Jenkins, creating a powerful backdrop for Mark Thomas Gibson’s large, thinly framed drawings and paintings. In Gibson’s exhibition WHIRLYGIG!, bad things are off the rails. Cartoonish images of marching boots, steampipes, hooded masks and ominous hands show us a world of non-stop conflict, frozen in a state of perpetual alarm.

Julian Opie: OP.VR@LISSON/London

According to artist Julian Opie (b. 1958), there’s a complete shift in the way people understand imagery today. Often, Opie notices viewers reaching for their pockets in search of their phones, in hopes of documenting the art they observe. Yet, with work that incorporates virtual reality (VR), photographs can’t be taken because the work isn’t truly there. Those who are curious about the implications of this are invited to fasten their portable headsets and immerse themselves in Opie’s unique take on VR. In a show titled OP.VR@LISSON/London currently open at Lisson Gallery in London, the renowned artist is showcasing both virtual reality and non-VR works in a groundbreaking multiroom experience, blending the body, architecture, and space in a manner that forces the viewer to focus on the story unfolding before them.

Jorinde Voigt: The Match

Stretching along the hallway of David Nolan Gallery and into a light-flooded exhibition space, two large offices, and a parlor, Jorinde Voigt’s show The Match features a number of sculptures called Dyads (made of gold-plated stainless steel), and Triads (composed of wood), together with nearly thirty works on paper. Covering ten years of production and evolving techniques and media, Voigt’s content has been both coherent and diverse.

Gordon Matta-Clark and Pope.L: Impossible Failures

Pairing iconic films and drawings by Matta-Clark with video, drawings, and an installation by contemporary multidisciplinary artist Pope.L, this exhibition is proudly, penetratingly loud—visually, aurally, and conceptually.

François-Marie Banier: Writings & Pictures

Francois-Marie Banier’s Writings & Pictures, a small yet ebullient sampling of nearly sixty years of artmaking, provides a snapshot of an artist’s practice that is as unconstrained as it is prolific. Persistently following inspiration and impulse, Banier refuses categorization and has worked in whichever collisions of medium and style best serve his continuous need to create.

Victor Burgin: Photopath

For his recent show at the Cristin Tierney Gallery, Victor Burgin installed a single work, Photopath (1967–69). Last seen in New York in the 1971 Guggenheim International, this pioneering site-specific photographic installation returned, like a brilliant comet from a distant galaxy.

Alyson Shotz: Alloys of Moonlight

Encountering the eight recent abstract, painted folded-metal wall reliefs in Alyson Shotz’s luminous show, Alloys of Moonlight, I thought of Gilles Deleuze’s book The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. “The infinite fold separates or moves between matter and soul, the façade and the closed room, the outside and the inside,” Deleuze remarks in his study of folds as an infinite weaving of time and space in Baroque art. “Because it is a virtuality that never stops dividing itself, the line of inflection is actualized in the soul but realized in matter, each one on its own side.” With the nuanced spatial play in these works—of a façade and an enclosure, outside and inside—Shotz seems to aim for a transcendent quality like the one Deleuze describes.

Jane Freilicher: Abstractions

These abstractions date from 1958–62, and you can feel in them the figurative works from before and where Freilicher took them later. Thus, these are bridge works, some with, as Molly Taylor of the gallery put it to me on my viewing, “a tickle of figuration.” Indeed, some sort of tickle went through me instantly upon my entering and did not leave, even on my departure.

Stefan Bondell: Dark Marks

Stefan Bondell inhabits a unique niche in the herky-jerky continuum of figurative painting in the United States. To find his antecedents, we must jump back many generations and sweep the dust-off names like Reginald Marsh (1898-1904) and Paul Cadmus (1904-1999). Paintings such as Marsh’s rendition of a Coney Island Sideshow (1930) or his 1929 frieze-like etching of a breadline, or Cadmus’s 1936 Public Dock all rise to mind when viewing Bondell’s pictures. To those names we would add German Expressionists like George Grosz and Max Beckmann who lived here, and Mexican muralists like Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros whose presence in the United States brought socially critical art on a grand scale into American culture.

Harold Cousins: Forms of Empty Space

Nearly fifty works—metal sculptures, unique pieces of jewelry, and works on paper—at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery amount to a mini retrospective of American sculptor Harold Cousins’s work. Collectively they show the sweep of a career open to brave experimentation and Cousins’s searching eye for the power of simple forms found in surrounding culture.

Helen Frankenthaler: Drawing within Nature: Paintings From The 1990s

The exhibition of Helen Frankenthaler’s paintings from the early 1990s currently on view at Gagosian is a curious and provocative one. The show’s title, “Drawing within Nature,” was a phrase once used by the artist to describe her work, which has been appropriated by the scholar Thomas Crow, who contributes an essay to the exhibition catalogue.

Thornton Willis: Floating Lattices

Willis has used interlocking bars since the seventies, and amongst his cast of squares, rectangles, zigs, and zags, these long bars of color that float, and sometimes intersect, have been his means of creating a sense of illusory space. But in a painting such as homage to the first generation (2021), it is the singular form of a tall yellow vertical intersected two-thirds of the way up its length by a heavy blue horizontal which takes prominence against a robin’s egg blue background.

Shana Hoehn: Basket Toss

Inhale deeply and try to hold your breath. A thin trace of air propelled from the groin to the belly to the lungs to the nostrils lingers; a tight sensation suffuses the chest and head. How long can the body endure the dense emptiness that anticipates an exhale? This is the tension embodied in Shana Hoehn’s sculptures now on view at Prairie in Chicago, Illinois.


The Brooklyn Rail

MARCH 2023

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