Alex Jovanovich

  • Left: Dealers Simone Subal and Nicole Russo. Right: Dealers Vanessa Carlos and Gabrielle Giattino.
    diary July 02, 2017

    Second Coming

    SUMMER IN NEW YORK IS DISMAL. It turns your face into a pus farm, the air is rich with the scent of garbage cooking on the sidewalks, and my friends’ lengthy trips to Montauk or Morocco remind me of what everyone else seems to have and I don’t.

    Thankfully, others approach the season with a spirit of generosity—specifically Vanessa Carlos, Simone Subal, and Nicole Russo, the organizers of Condo New York, “a large-scale collaborative exhibition of international galleries” (as per Condo’s website) that sidesteps the enervating costs and madness of the art-fair circuit and promotes collaborative

  • Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz, Telepathic Improvisation, 2017, HD video, color, sound, 20 minutes.
    picks June 30, 2017

    Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz

    Anita Pallenberg is dead, long live Anita Pallenberg.

    I couldn’t help but think of the sublime rock goddess, a mere two days after her passing, upon entering Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz’s exhibition (organized by Alhena Katsof and Mason Leaver-Yap), a glamorous sepulcher that calls to mind a sex dungeon, an abandoned cabaret, and a dressing room—Alice Cooper’s perhaps, during the height of his power. Near the entrance is a rotating stand of microphones, he ear r (all works 2017), glittering in the darkness, while a screen of imitation blond, black, and ombre hair, Wig piece (whose body? –

  • Maureen Gallace, January Flowers, 2004, oil on panel, 11 x 12".
    picks June 09, 2017

    Maureen Gallace

    I would like to die inside of a Maureen Gallace painting. The New England of her intimately scaled canvases and panels—full of solitary beach shacks and desolate coastlines, summer homes, Christmas cottages, flowers, and trees—is irradiated by an endless midmorning sun. Her world is beautiful, sumptuous, yet just out of reach—every barn or verdant hedge seems dangerously close to being swallowed up whole by its vanishing point. The artist’s tableaux call to mind Paul Cézanne’s obsessive looking, the domestic surrealism of Lois Dodd, or Jane Freilicher’s rural poeticism. But the mood Gallace

  • David Gordon, Live Archiveography, 2017. Performance view, Vincent Astor Gallery, New York, March 30, 2017. Photo: Paula Court.
    interviews May 30, 2017

    David Gordon

    David Gordon—longtime director, choreographer, actor, playwright, and cofounder of the Judson Dance Theater and the improvisational dance company Grand Union—is preparing to present Live Archiveography, 2017, a performative extension of “ARCHIVEOGRAPHY – Under Construction,” his massive retrospective that was recently presented at the Vincent Astor Gallery at the New York Public Library, as he discusses here. Live Archiveography runs from June 1 to June 3, 2017, at the Kitchen in New York as a part of the LUMBERYARD in the City Festival.

    WHEN I WENT TO TALK WITH THE PEOPLE AT THE NYPL about them

  • Vija Celmins, Blackboard Tableau #12, 2007–15, 1 found tablet, and 1 made tablet: wood, leather, acrylic, alkyd oil, pastel, 11 x 8 1/2".
    picks March 17, 2017

    Vija Celmins

    Vija Celmins is a ruthless poet. The artist’s images in this exhibition—rippling waters, blank slates, stones, stars—are as obdurate as they are yielding, as everything as they are nothing. Experiencing a fastidiously constructed painting, sculpture, drawing, or print by the artist, often made over many years and with an endless supply of patience, is not unlike looking into a mirror. You see yourself in the picture or object you’re gazing at—or falling into—wondering how it came to be, and how you got there, too.

    Celmins frequently works small—it is when she is at her most astonishing. Here,

  • View of “Cary Leibowitz: Museum Show,” Contemporary Jewish Museum, 2017.
    interviews March 07, 2017

    Cary Leibowitz

    There’s a ceramic piece by Cary Leibowitz from 1993 that reads: FUCKED UP HOMO BAR-MITZVAH GAY BOY WORRIES TOO MUCH ABOUT WHAT HIS MOTHER WILL WEAR. “Museum Show,” which runs through June 25, 2017, at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, is Leibowitz’s first-ever solo museum exhibition and midcareer survey, covering nearly thirty years of the artist’s identity-centric, bummer-rich comedy via paintings, drawings, sculptures, texts, and more. Here, Leibowitz talks about his work, organizing his show, and Fran Drescher.

    I’M STILL SURPRISED THAT THIS EXHIBITION MADE IT INTO EXISTENCE.

  • Left: Outsider Art Fair director Andrew Edlin, Agnes Gund, and Suydam Lansing at the opening of the Outsider Art Fair. Right: Artist Kalup Linzy at the opening of the Outsider Art Fair. (Photos: Griffin Lipson/BFA.com)
    diary January 31, 2017

    Band of Outsiders

    DESPERATE TO LOCATE SOME SHRED OF LIGHT, grace, or decency at the beginning of our new Dark Age, I lumbered downtown to see the Outsider Art Fair the Saturday before last—as my blessed sisters were marching, raging—at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea. I was in dire need of tempering my apoplectic bloody-mindedness. (When I saw our new chef à l’orange being sworn in with the Lincoln Bible—the same bible Barack Obama used for his 2009 and 2013 inaugurations—I wanted it to explode into flames.)

    When I got there, I had the good fortune of meeting and talking to the delightful Jackie Klempay—proprietress

  • Joyce Pensato, Untitled, 1992, oil on linen, 36 × 36”.
    interviews January 24, 2017

    Joyce Pensato

    Homer, Kenny, Donald, Mickey: Joyce Pensato’s painterly masticating of these American cartoon icons—distilled in black-and-white enamel—have been seducing audiences for decades. One of her earliest Mickey Mouse paintings will be featured in the Whitney Museum’s survey of image-making in downtown New York, “Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s,” curated by Jane Panetta and Melinda Lang. The exhibition opens on January 27 and runs through May 14, 2017.

    I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE my first ever solo show in the East Village at Fiction/Nonfiction gallery in 1991. A couple of the Mickey Mouse drawings I

  • Hiram Powers, James Gibson Powers, ca. 1838, plaster, 11 x 6 x 6".
    picks December 09, 2016

    “Securing the Shadow: Posthumous Portraiture in America”

    “Secure the shadow, ere the substance fades.” The carving of character by light, as the early camera was thought to do, and as this advertising slogan for photographers of the 1800s suggests, was especially trenchant for those who wanted to remember their dead at eternal slumber’s start, with astonishing veracity, via the daguerreotype’s unearthly powers. Memorial portrait painting is another kind of alchemy—venerable, yet stranger, as it tasks the artist with reviving a kind of familiar glow or personality from the deceased––sometimes using the corpse as a model––for the commissioning bereaved.

  • McDermott and McGough, God Answers Your Prayers, 1984, 2016, oil on canvas and artist’s wooden frame, 18 x 18”.
    interviews September 13, 2016

    McDermott and McGough

    “I’ve seen the future, and I’m not going,” says David McDermott, Peter McGough’s creative partner and fellow time-traveler for over thirty years. McDermott and McGough’s queer reimaginings of the past—from eighteenth-century America to the roaring twenties, all the way up to 1984, via painting, photography, film, and sculpture—reinvigorate one’s hopes, to paraphrase E. M. Forster, for better days ahead. Here, McGough discusses their first exhibition with James Fuentes Gallery in New York, “Velvet Rage, Flaming Youth, and the Gift of Desperation,” which opens on September 16 and runs through

  • Lauretta Vinciarelli, Night Nine, 1996, watercolor on paper, 30 x 22''. From the “Night” series, 1996.
    picks August 12, 2016

    Lauretta Vinciarelli

    Light can be terribly cruel. Excessive amounts can damage eyes and burn skin. Think of José Saramago’s Blindness (1995), a story about a bright-white sightlessness that inexplicably afflicts an entire city, causing violence and horror. Or the Old Testament God: an incandescence who was severe and punishing.

    One could easily assume the light depicted in Lauretta Vinciarelli’s numinous watercolor paintings is healing and warm. The architect and artist—who died of cancer on August 2, 2011, her sixty-eighth birthday—studied Eastern philosophy and was especially devoted to the eleventh chapter of the

  • Howard Fried, The Decomposition of My Mother’s Wardrobe, 2014–, 294 wardrobe items, dimensions variable.
    picks July 29, 2016

    “The Keeper”

    Grandpa, kids, the rich, serial murderers: Everybody collects! Freud said it has something to do with toilet training—that losing one’s shit, quite literally, can be a traumatizing experience, and collecting is a way of cauterizing that early-childhood wound. That’s stupid, and deeply ungenerous. It doesn’t explain the eerie profundity of self-described “super-medium” Vanda Vieira-Schmidt’s Weltrettungsprojekt (World Rescue Project), 1995–, a small edifice comprising more than three hundred thousand drawings created to save humanity from supernatural forces of doom, or The Sketchbook from