Review

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

Art

Karen Kilimnik’s Teenage Dream

Karen Kilimnik Opening at The Brant Foundation Art Study Center - [ EXCLUSIVE CONTENT ]

I’ve always favored  macho art, art that packs a solid dose of testosterone. My art collecting alter ego, whom I’ve dubbed Duc Jean des Esseintes, and who has curated the inaugural exhibition at my new gallery, Venus Over Manhattan, also preferred big, bold statements—large outdoor sculptures, super-sized paintings, almost anything oversized and impractical. Des Esseintes’s exhibition, called “À Rebours,” is named for and based on a 19th-century novel that describes Des Esseintes’s strange life of art collecting and indulgence, as well as his obsessions with poetry, absinthe and decadence. In his/my show, artworks by French 19th-century symbolist masters are intermingled with those of contemporary artists young and old, in ways both tasteful and tasteless. Read More