Agnieszka Gratza

  • picks November 15, 2011

    “33 Fragments of Russian Performance”

    A joint venture between Performa and Moscow’s Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, “33 Fragments of Russian Performance” occupies an entire floor of the former elementary school in Nolita where Performa Hub—a pop-up academy, bookshop, visitor center, and exhibition space rolled into one—has set up quarters for the duration of the biennial. Given its resolutely institutional setting, it is unsurprising that the exhibition should read like so many variations on the theme of rebelliousness.

    Russian Constructivism is among the thematic strands explored in this year’s edition of Performa, and this

  • picks September 23, 2011

    G.T. Pellizzi

    “Transitional,” G. T. Pellizzi’s elegant solo show, packs a lot into Y Gallery’s compact space. The building blocks of this exhibition stand in a metonymic relation to New York City at large, its explicit subject and muse. Whether in the use it makes of glazed light fixtures and painted bulbs that hark back to loft spaces before the onset of gentrification in the 1980s, or in its stark palette of unalloyed primary colors, evoking artists inspired by the city (from Piet Mondrian to Barnett Newman­­), the show captures the nostalgia to which New York is prone. Most obviously, given that the

  • picks August 03, 2011

    “Ostalgia”

    Much of “Ostalgia,” the New Museum’s summer exhibition dedicated to art from and about the Soviet bloc, makes for predictably grim viewing. How can we account, then, for the sense of longing and nostalgia triggered by day-to-day imagery of life within a communist regime that hardly seems a lost paradise? This question hovers over the many works in the show, curated by Massimiliano Gioni, who coined its catchy title with reference to the German word Ostalgie, expressing the yearning for a prelapsarian state before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    Part atlas, part archive, “Ostalgia” avoids the tedium