Abraham Adams

  • picks January 16, 2015

    Peter Wächtler

    Something is wrong with the centurions. They’re struggling beneath the royal box seating’s canopy. So why are the attendants still fanning the throne with peacock feathers? And have none of them seen the giant wheel the rest of the coliseum’s audience is fleeing—belonging, it seems, to a divine chariot crashing the mortals’ race? There are no explanations here for this or any of the other narratives implied in Peter Wächtler’s watercolors on display at Reena Spaulings. Neither for the row of plaster busts depicting unnamed people at the rear wall of the gallery (all works untitled, 2014). The

  • picks December 16, 2014

    “Three Cups Fragrance”

    “Three Cups Fragrance” takes its name from tea consumed in three successive brews of the same leaves. The précis offers tasting notes about this tea without a hint of further commentary. Routine, privately comforting, to recycle drink while savoring its transformations is not the action of one struggling to impress a visitor. But to watch the quiet concept of this show divide along a group of formally distinctive works is mesmerizing in its humorous light touch.

    Oto Gillen’s portrait of a helicopter (Untitled, 2014), overdressed in double matting and a frame of sculpted corrugated cardboard, is

  • passages October 29, 2014

    Bohumila Grögerová (1921–2014)

    1967 WAS A YEAR that poetry as a visual art briefly saw recognition in book publishing on a scale that reflected its long influence on writers and artists, with one major anthology of Concrete poetry released in North America and another in Europe. Bohumila Grögerová, the poet responsible for the latter, Czech publication (and with it, European access to the decade in graphic writing), died this August in Prague, leaving behind a body of poems, memoirs, children’s stories, radio plays, and nearly two hundred books collaboratively translated with her companion, Josef Hiršal. Though she continued

  • picks October 30, 2013

    “Ajar”

    Kerry Downey and Joanna J. Seitz’s video King Suite 201, 2013, is one of the most playful and convincing works in “Ajar,” a group show that brings together artworks by A. K. Burns, Lea Cetera, Brie Ruais, and Julia Sherman. In the film, dancer Pedro Osorio enters a hotel room by riding the top half of the door and engages with objects throughout the space in unpredictable ways, for example plunging his head into an ice bucket or holding a painting gently in his teeth—absurdity calling attention to how ensnared the body is by environment. This is at the crux of Natasha Marie Llorens’s curatorial