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Will Heinrich

On View

‘The St. Petersburg Paradox’ at Swiss Institute

The St. Petersburg Paradox, 2014 (Courtesy Swiss Institute)

Behind Giovanni Anselmo’s brilliant stone sandwich of live wires and Sarah Ortmeyer’s installation of marble chessboards with ostrich, mallard, quail, obsidian and avocado-colored emu eggs, which show how and how not to do a literal riff on chance, gambling, probability and the mysteries of life, respectively, is a strangely mesmerizing video installation by Tabor Robak, Read More

On View

‘The Crystal Palace’ at Rachel Uffner Gallery

Installation view of "The Crystal Palace." (Courtesy Rachel Uffner Gallery)

Daniel Gordon’s Blue Face II, a photograph of overlapping rectangles of color, reads as a candid revelation of personality in the normally silent material world. A long shadow hangs down like a monocle into a staticky blue the color of a humming TV, crossing a brief curve of darker color that’s either the shadow cast Read More

On View

‘Eric’s Trip’ at Lisa Cooley

Blank Green. (Courtesy Cary Whittier/Lisa Cooley gallery)

The choice that curators Cynthia Daignault and Mark Loiacono set up in “Eric’s Trip,” a group show named after Reel 9 of Warhol’s 1966 Chelsea Girls, is high contrast but not quite on the level. On one side is a theatrically full-color mimicry of black and white, as in Margaret Lee’s (Brancusi I) + Dot Painting, which throws a few casual black dots against an impossibly milk-white canvas and an MDF doppelganger of a Brancusi notched column; Sheila Hicks’ Tipped, a small, diamond-shaped weaving like an ancient Eskimo account of the Milky Way; and three installations by Kamau Amu Patton. Read More

On View

‘New Hells’ at Derek Eller Gallery

Blue Devils  by Jason Fox (2013) images courtesy derek eller gallery

The occult anxiety begins with Jesse Greenberg’s Brick Birth I, a polyurethane magic-show effigy of a shamanistic cave vulva sitting on a low, icy green pedestal next to a stingray placenta. Several clean, white escape ropes drape across its orifice only to get stuck in its walls. A sculpturally cool, late 19th century ink and crayon drawing by Félicien Rops, Gaieté Hermaphrodite, points the way to Julia Wachtel’s billboard-style, oil on canvas juxtaposition of a pair of sexily inhuman anime schoolgirls with a slightly fantastical fast-food menu, Doubles, and Max Klinger’s overheated allegorical etching Ruler of Death (Second Part, Opus XIII), also a century old, directs the viewer to Lionel Maunz’s cast iron, steel and concrete Social Pattern Defect, a ruefully funereal evocation of the ruins of a Socratic dinner party. Read More

On View

‘Technokinesis’ at Blum & Poe

Installation view 2014. (Courtesy the artist/ Blum & Poe gallery)

The technokinetic cranium imagined by Jenny Jaskey and Andrea Neustein looks down over 66th Street and is, like the inside of an atom, unnervingly empty; its pieces are still even when they’re moving and look slippery when they’re not. Dennis Oppenheim’s video Disappear, in which a hand shakes frantically in front of a gray wall to a voice, often doubled and overlapping, that insists, “I don’t want to be able to see myself anymore,” faces an untitled motor by Michael E. Smith, which rapidly spins the broken-off nose of a brownish, dry and upturned skull, close-set and waiting patiently. (What does it mean that the shape of a head is more sympathetic than its mechanism?) Cooly ignoring the motor’s loud hum are three silver prints by Eileen Quinlan: Withers Landline, the half-expunged impression of a way we used to talk; Mold Remediation, in which an appalling whiteness eats Venetian stripes into a dumbly resistant black; and the smokily translucent Language Acquisition. Read More

Koons Kountdown 2014

The Koons Konundrum

Jeff Koons, 'Made in Heaven,' 1989. (©Jeff Koons)

I don’t know how to write about Jeff Koons. His retrospective at the Whitney, which lopes quickly around the whole of the soon-to-be-lamented Marcel Breuer building, begins with an acrylic, vinyl, and fluorescent lightbox sign titled The New, on which heavy black sans serif letters, set against a blood-red background and climbing jauntily uphill, spell out “THE NEW.”This was also the title of Mr. Koons’s first major appearance, a show at the New Museum in 1980 that included readymade vacuum cleaners in vitrines, smaller appliances set against white fluorescent tubes, and inflatable toys posed on or against mirrors. There’s an interesting paradox at the heart of novelty: The less purchase a piece takes on what came before it, the more distinctly it carries an aftertaste of having been seen before. Read More

On View

‘Daughter of Bad Girls’ at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery

'Untitled (Hag)' (2012) by Vaginal Davis. (Courtesy the artist and Klaus von Nichtssagend)

The compact spread of this nine-artist group show, inspired by a bicoastal “Bad Girls” exhibition organized by Marcia Tanner and Marcia Tucker in 1994, manages to suggest both the diversity of the conversations currently taking place about the experience of being a woman and the need, unfortunately almost as urgent now as it was 20 or even 50 years ago, for those conversations to be louder. Read More

On View

‘My Old Friend, My New Friend, My Girlfriend, My Cousin and My Mentor’ at Shoot the Lobster

A work by John Ingiaimo. (Courtesy Shoot the Lobster)

After the kegger as après le déluge. An untitled, seven foot high transparent Chinese screen of hollow steel girders by Carol Bove snakes through the middle of Shoot the Lobster’s basement space on Eldridge Street, around a drain in the concrete floor, between two duffel bags fabricated by JPW3, the young painter who also organized the show, and Sara Gernsbacher, working together under the name “Patches,” from discarded canvases of his, almost scraping the ceiling. Next to it is RPT1, a debauched popcorn maker installation by JPW3. Read More

On View

Nicholas Buffon at Callicoon Fine Arts

'124 Forsyth Street' (2014) by Nicholas Buffon. (Courtesy the artist and Callicoon Fine Arts)

To close out the gallery’s three-year run at 124 Forsyth Street, Nicholas Buffon has turned Callicoon Fine Arts inside out. A single room that already feels something like an alleyway, with close-set white walls and a rough concrete floor, it’s now hung with Mr. Buffon’s exacting but fanciful models of the yellowish-white wooden house in the town of Callicoon, in upstate New York, where the gallery was founded; the steel gates that protect the gallery’s much larger new space on Delancey Street; a stop sign, a paper shopping bag, a streetlight, a cast-iron gate, a blue plastic bag of recycling, a red bicycle with a stolen front wheel, three Dr. Seuss trees, and the five-story, red brick Forsyth Street building itself, all made from paper and foam core. Read More

On View

Matthew Monahan at Anton Kern Gallery

Exhibition view. (Courtesy Anton Kern Gallery)

Matthew Monahan is either Circe or Ulysses. For the sculptures and works on paper at Kern, he sliced up nymphs—or one nymph repeatedly—and then put her back together, along with one or two sleeping giants and a fallen god, using bronze, steel, fire brick, rebar, photocopy toner, aluminum leaf, oil paint, polyurethane foam, cast epoxy resin, and tall, narrow tables that look like hollow steel light boxes. The theatrical, comic-book cubism that results is either thrashing out the violence and misogyny suffusing the relentlessly unreflective visual culture we’re all stuck with or attempting to turn it against itself. Is the half-present ballerina of Bright Lament, for example,demurely tilting her head with the help of the armature, or has the eternal spirit of the feminine been impaled by a piece of rebar? And is she a woman, or is she a symbol of the unbearably ubiquitous image? Read More