Alex Gartenfeld

  • picks November 15, 2008

    Joe Bradley

    In his second solo show at this gallery, Joe Bradley deploys the minimum formal parameters—faux-naive renderings in grease pencil on unprimed canvases—for a painting to merit study. Titled “Schmagoo Paintings,” the works collected dirt during their creation and installation, while creases in the slackened canvases evince where Bradley has folded them. The only work in the front room is a blank canvas with slight dirt markings: It succinctly combines themes of process and formal purity, yet it is hardly a work at all. In the second gallery, a sketch of an unfinished cross suggests a contemplative

  • picks November 10, 2008

    David Scanavino

    The generic title (“Recent Work”) and dull palette of David Scanavino’s first New York solo exhibition suggest ambivalence over the potential of artistic singularity, channeled through a consideration of figure and ground. The artist cast an eight-foot rope four times in different positions. In each instance, the weighty impression left by the cord substitutes gravity for the artist’s indexical mark, and the works obscure the manipulations that yielded these casts-cum-negatives. On opposing walls, Scanavino has applied paper pulp by hand to form a pair of squares. One such monochrome is made

  • picks October 01, 2008

    Jordan Wolfson

    Jordan Wolfson’s four-minute film untitled false document, 2008, commissioned by the Swiss Institute, begins with an attractive woman on the bow of a yacht, holding still-life photographs. She struggles to secure the papers’ edges, which are turned by the sea breeze. The film gestures to Bob Dylan’s video clip for “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” in which the song’s transcribed lyrics slip into misspellings and incongruities. But other references accumulate, including allusions to the French New Wave and Surrealism, all of which, like the still-life images that improbably pair pumpkin and eggplant,

  • picks August 11, 2008

    “Bring Me Back a T-Shirt”

    The premise for “Bring Me Back a T-Shirt” is the request that a set of experiences—a vacation, perhaps, or in this instance an exhibition—be packaged and communicated via a cheap one-liner. Curated by Erik Lindman, the show features four young artists (including the curator himself) whose design aesthetic belies a subtle impulse to slow their work’s reception. Davis Rhodes’s mirrored Plexiglas installation Not Yet Titled (all works 2008) allows visitors to view the entire (albeit small) gallery space refracted in a single plane. Rhodes cut the yellow material into a diamond shape abstracted from

  • picks July 21, 2008

    “Bobo's on 27th”

    Last summer, the performance collective Bobo (Phil Cote, Nick Payne, Drew Gillespie) opened an experimental space—not to be confused with a noncommercial one—in Philadelphia’s Italian Market district. Only a year later, it presents “Precious Delights,” which deliciously combines the repugnant rituals of the blockbuster midcareer retrospective and the wholesale summer group show, in New York and Philadelphia. Over a dozen artists present works that are hyperaware of their loose sensibility, and can be completely literal in their conflation of obsolescence and the frame. Miles Huston’s Shout

  • picks June 23, 2008

    Adrian Hermanides

    Adrian Hermanides’s glass works destabilize anthropomorphic forms to queer the body’s relationship to sculptural objects. This exhibition of sculpture and ink works on paper opens with Suicidal Object (all works 2008), a tiny drip of frozen glass with a foot-long, cometlike tail that dives terrifyingly into its pedestal. Evading presentness, the glass form is theatrical in its command of space; it may be Michael Fried’s worst nightmare. Sidestepping it, the viewer stumbles past a glory hole in the middle of a freestanding wall, on the other side of which is Mirror Action, a bulbous glass protrusion