On View

Rodney Graham at 303 Gallery

Installation view. (Courtesy 303 Gallery)

Old Punk on Pay Phone, a color transparency mounted on an aluminum lightbox, shows the artist Rodney Graham at almost life size. He’s standing on a sloping wet sidewalk in Vancouver, against a brick wall painted yellow and blue. His black leather jacket is covered in studs and crude lettering, his graying hair is greased up into a faux-hawk, and there’s eyeliner on his eyes. Holding the handset of a much-abused, wall-mounted pay phone to his ear, he looks off in shock—as if he’s just learned, say, that his father has died, and he is realizing for the first time that when it comes right down to it, he’d be glad to put on a necktie for his widowed mother’s sake. Read More

On View

‘Doug Aitken: 100 YRS’ at 303 Gallery

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A large round hole—if it were a hot tub, it would be comfortably orgy-sized—has been gouged roughly out of the slick concrete floor of 303 Gallery and filled with milky gray water. Attached to the black duct-work and girders of the ceiling directly above it is a square of pipe surrounded by a speaker array. Read More


Let the Music Play: Susan Philipsz at Tanya Bonakdar, Michael Rakowitz at Lombard Freid Projects, Karen Kilimnik and Kim Gordon at 303 Gallery

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Installation view of Karen Kilimnik & Kim Gordon at 303 Gallery

The seemingly innate capacity of music to fuse direct emotion with a more ideational connection to the culture at large is the envy of many a visual artist, so it’s unsurprising that it remains a thematic touchstone even as styles push relentlessly forward or circle back to their roots. Three Chelsea galleries are kicking off the fall season with exhibitions centered on creative explorations of the myriad contexts, uses, and meanings of organized noise. While both Michael Rakowitz at Lombard Freid Projects and the pairing of Karen Kilimnik and Kim Gordon at 303 Gallery deal in the cultural reverberations of rock and pop history by way of artifacts and performances—playing too with the notions of authenticity that invariably surround them—Susan Philipsz at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery looks further back and ponders a different tradition, drawing on early twentieth-century avant-garde classicism in the service of a quieter, more introspective narrative. Read More


Who’s on First? No, They’re All on at Once: Star Curators Take to the Galleries for Summer Group Shows

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"Dogma" at Metro Pictures | Installation view

Riding out the summer doldrums with a guest-curated group show is standard practice for name-brand galleries. Handing over the exhibition-making reins to an outsider—preferably a bleeding-edge tastemaker—allows for some quirky deviation from familiar pair programming. And the game of mix-and-match can, when the chemistry is there, cast selector and selections in a revealing new light. Three current examples of this appealingly unpredictable subgenre—all organized by men-about-the-not-for-profit-art-world for established Chelsea powerhouses—represent divergent approaches to the task. But while varied in their ambitions, all set an easy-going tone—too high-minded to be trashy beach reads, they’re still page-turners. Read More