Ara H. Merjian

Charles Burchfield

August 2010

One might expect the painting of Charles Burchfield—since forming the subject of MoMA’s first monographic exhibition, in 1930—to loom large in the annals of American art. But like the retiring Burchfield himself, who painted for decades… READ ON

PICKS

“Retratos Pintados”

July 2010

In the eternal return of contemporary aesthetics, the search for a new medium often leads to the recuperation of one that is felicitously outmoded. So it happens with “Retratos Pintados” (Painted Portraits): an assembly of small, hand-painted… READ ON

PICKS

Christopher Wool

June 2010

The eight large, untitled linen canvases in this exhibition more than hold their own in the ample––and potentially overwhelming––space of Gagosian’s Roman digs. The two paintings in the atrium are marked by a play of tight, textured… READ ON

PICKS

Kutlug Ataman

June 2010

As the most comprehensive assembly of Kutlug Ataman’s video work to date, this exhibition at the new Zaha Hadid–designed MAXXI reveals the range of subjects, themes, and affects that mark his oeuvre. Much of that oeuvre addresses the … READ ON

PICKS

David Goldblatt

June 2010

For more than half a century, David Goldblatt has patiently stalked his country from behind a lens; this past year, his output has witnessed renewed and deserved attention. Rather than offering a comprehensive survey, “South African … READ ON

PICKS

“Who’s Afraid of Ornament?”

May 2010

For the past hundred years or so, ever since Adolf Loos’s likening of its excess to crime, ornament has fared rather poorly. Even the more muted motifs of Art Deco became subordinated to the asceticism of International Style; later, the … READ ON

PICKS

AIDS and Its Metaphors

Ara H. Merjian on Last Address

May 2010

IN THE AGE OF AIDS—its losses, its stigma, and the militant defiance that tried to stem these in turn—silence is a charged phenomenon. As the famous activist slogan has it, SILENCE = DEATH; an equation rendered a matter of fact by the … READ ON

FILM

Tom McGrath

April 2010

The palette of greens, blues, and yellows that subtends Tom McGrath’s new paintings keeps their moodiness cool. Slate and forest-hued nocturnes, threaded with tree trunks and other unidentifiable silhouettes, skirt the dour or bathetic in… READ ON

PICKS

“Landscapes of Quarantine”

April 2010

The famous facade of the Storefront for Art and Architecture, designed in 1993 by Vito Acconci and Steven Holl, literally opens onto Kenmare Street and therefore defies the very premise of a space that is “kept out of sight,” as one panel… READ ON

PICKS

Three’s Company

Ara H. Merjian on Andrei Tarkovsky

March 2010

WHEN INGMAR BERGMAN said of Andrei Tarkovsky that he had invented a cinematic idiom “true to the nature of film,” what did he mean? Of course, the “true” nature of cinematic language itself remains—quite rightly—the subject of … READ ON

FILM