On View

On View

Amy Sillman: Art Meets Intimacy at Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College

Installation view from Amy Sillman: ‘one lump or two.’ Shade (2010), Purple/Pipesmoker (2009). (Courtesy Chris Kendall Photo)

A show of 25 years of Amy Sillman’s work on view at the Hessel Museum, Bard, begins with an uncharacteristically small painting. Most of Ms. Sillman’s painting is abstract and moderately vast, but Lemon Yellow Painting (2001) is a tiny, luminously colorful take on two coupled bodies. In its abstracted forms you can make out the flash of a tit, a mouth, an ass, a supine spine: it’s painting as a meditation on flesh, half-obscured (lesbian?) sex, and closeness, a fitting kick-off to a show that makes the case that there’s really no separating abstraction from figuration, or art from intimacy. Read More

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

On View

‘Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness’ at Museum of Modern Art

Cutaway model Nikon EM. Shutter (2007).

The first time I saw a Christopher Williams photograph, what struck me was how much it showed—it managed to be at once a photograph and to pull back and show a number of usually invisible things about a photograph being made. Call it a super wide-lens effect. Take, for example, one of his pictures of a camera lens bisected, like Cutaway Model Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15 ZM, 2013. The title, which has been shortened here, goes on to describe the specs of the lens—its focal range, and its weight and serial number. The c-print is rich with the detail of the mechanics of a camera: concatenate ground-glass chambers pinned in place with precision steel and copper. The image speaks not just to the object on display but to the origins of photography—the portable camera obscura, the camera lucida and those earliest cameras by Louis Daguerre. Read More

On View

‘Changing Table’ at Kate Werble

In Bed With Sophia (1980) by Jon Imber

Almost all of the work here is battered, decaying, melting down, sprouting fungi, broken, deadpan, or obscure—and also thrilling and alluring. It looks like water is shooting from a metal pipe adorning Win McCarthy’s long, low cardboard sculpture, but it’s glass. Bananas are going very bad, affixed to a Plexi box—empty but for incense—that Read More