Alex Kitnick

  • Rita McBride

    Rita McBride’s recent exhibition “Access” displayed a number of new sculptures in the shape of keys, keyholes, knockers, and locks, as well as a variety of large metal sheets out of which at least some of the works in the show had been cut. McBride individually designed each work on a computer and then sent her drawings out to a shop where they were sliced out of a variety of metals. The surprise is that the results do not betray the somewhat high-tech process by which these works were made. Rather, they look crude and basic, almost handmade and certainly aged, their various edges displaying

  • Aaron Flint Jamison

    Aaron Flint Jamison’s first exhibition at Miguel Abreu opened in July—an off time in the art world—and much else about the exhibition was also “wrong.” There was no opening, for example; in fact, when I visited the show, which was located at the gallery’s Orchard Street space, I had difficulty even opening the door because there was a motion sensor controlling the lock that I managed, unintentionally, not to trip. Inside, conventions were similarly askew: There was no checklist, and though a press release appeared online, the gallery website had an intentional glitch in it, making this

  • Yuji Agematsu

    Ideas are “in the air,” one typically hears, and yet today many artists find them beneath their feet. Nowhere is this truer than in the practice of the New York artist Yuji Agematsu, whose work comprises an almost unimaginably minor roster of materials, from half-sucked candies to balls of hair, which the artist finds on his daily wanderings through the city. For his second exhibition at Real Fine Arts, Agematsu presented a calendar year’s worth of his tiny sculptures—365 of them, each a quasi-organic amalgam of refuse and schmutz—which have been potted in the cellophane used to wrap

  • Peter Alexander

    Born in 1939, Peter Alexander came of age in the Los Angeles art world of the 1960s, and is primarily known for his association with the Light and Space movement. Whereas many of his colleagues, including Robert Irwin, James Turrell, and Doug Wheeler, dispensed with the art object in order to fashion ethereal, seemingly immaterial environments, Alexander took an opposite tack, condensing atmospheres into hard chunks of resin and polyester. In works such as Cloud Box, 1966, he pictured the natural environment by injecting cumulus puffs into otherwise pristine plastics. Soon after, he did away

  • Nicolás Guagnini

    “Who’s screwing whom?” I wondered as I observed the slightly oversize ceramic conversation pieces that occupied the main space of Nicolás Guagnini’s recent exhibition at Bortolami. Formed from an inventory of feet, noses, ears, and penises, these maudlin assemblages of appendages invert Deleuze’s euphoric idea of a body without organs, offering heaps of organs without bodies instead. Handcrafted and doused in a series of variegated vitrified glazes—molten lava reds and drippy ectoplasmic greens—these works, like so much artwork today, insist on a deep interest in a kind of lo-fi

  • Xanti Schawinsky

    As a student at the Bauhaus from 1924 until 1929, Xanti Schawinsky studied theater, but he learned lessons from the school’s other famed workshops as well. In addition to painting, he also staged mechanical mise-en-scènes combining modern dance, jazz, and jarring lighting. Later, while teaching at Black Mountain College in the 1930s, he developed his series of Spectodramas, surreal experiments in total theater. For this, Schawinksy’s first proper retrospective in three decades, curator Raphael Gygax will seek to fit all this activity into a museum, with a display of some

  • Kiki Kogelnik

    Kiki Kogelnik’s art has rarely been seen in New York aside from a superb 2012 show of work from the 1960s at Simone Subal, despite the fact that the artist, who died in 1997, lived in the city for the entirety of her adult life and maintained close friendships with other significant artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Claes Oldenburg. With “Cuts, Fissures and Identity: Works from the 1960s and 70s,” a second exhibition at Simone Subal that opened this past November, Kogelnik’s art feels hard to ignore; it puts pressure on a Pop moment we thought we knew, and, in doing so, forces us to reconsider

  • Xanti Schawinsky

    Xanti Schawinsky, a Swiss-born Polish Jew, studied at the Bauhaus under that oft-recited pantheon of modern masters—Walter Gropius, László Moholy-Nagy, Oskar Schlemmer—and took a bit from each. Already trained in architecture before arriving in Weimar, Schawinsky worked in everything over the course of his long career, from theater and music to photography, painting, and graphic design. This great variety, not only in form but also in style—he moved easily from photograms to de Chirico–esque dreamscapes to painterly abstraction—has made Schawinsky difficult to place in standard

  • Karel Appel

    Karel Appel (1921–2006) was a key member of Cobra, an artist collective that banded together after World War II to survey not only the war’s destruction but also the possibilities of creation: Perhaps more than anything, it sought to bring “outside” energies to the project of Continental reconstruction. The group’s name was a chimera pieced together from the first letters of the artists’ home cities—Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam—and there is no doubt that the moniker was meant as a venomous threat to Paris, which at the time was still the (teetering) capital of modern art. To a

  • Sam Pulitzer

    The number of parts that Sam Pulitzer piled into his first US institutional exhibition, “A Colony for ‘Them,’” is so massive that it might take a book to account for them all, never mind the vast amount of text that appeared across the show’s walls. One might go so far as to say, in fact, that this glut of signifiers could be read as a demand that the exhibition not be reviewed, that it would prefer, to borrow a phrase from the critic Dick Hebdige, to continue “hiding in the light.” Hebdige has long written about various subcultures, from mods to punks to skinheads, and Pulitzer himself trades

  • Allen Jones

    Some may feel that Allen Jones’s iconic 1969 sculptures of white women in black bondage gear, assigned such baldly objectifying titles as Hat Stand, Table, and Chair, should have met their end years ago. Yet this fall, London’s Royal Academy gives their maker a rare full-dress retrospective, contextualizing these works alongside the English artist’s paintings, prints, drawings, and photographs. Having emerged in the 1960s with the second wave of British Pop (think Blake, Boshier, Boty, Hockney), Jones quickly claimed the sexualized female figure as his rubric, often

  • “Helen Pashgian: Light Invisible”

    Helen Pashgian’s work stood out in the 2011 “Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface” exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. Her curved acrylic disk from 1970 throbbed and pulsed with the mesmerizing force of an Apple power button. And over the past forty years Pashgian has continued her study of plastic’s potential, bending space in a variety of directions and pointing a bright light toward the present day. For her upcoming show in Los Angeles, Pashgian presents a new installation comprising twelve white acrylic columns that seem to float like upright

  • Stephen Prina at LACMA

    LOS ANGELES’S DEVOTION to midcentury modern architecture has reached something of a fever pitch in recent years, perhaps because so much of the city flourished at the midcentury mark. An aesthetic of sliding glass doors, patios, and conversation pits now appears as a point of origin to which we are forever trying to return. Even if the automobile will always remain the city’s flagship status symbol, today a Porsche or Bentley is no match for a place to park it by a Lautner or Neutra hidden in the hills. While the latter icons may be stationary, images of their acute angles and spectacularly

  • Richard Artschwager

    FITTINGLY, PERHAPS, for someone who enjoyed his first solo exhibition in 1965 at the age of forty-two, Richard Artschwager often played the roles of both wise guy and wise man in relation to his peers. Though commonly pigeonholed as an odd, idiosyncratic character in post-1960s art histories, Artschwager was, in fact, an adept insider and a wry interlocutor, appearing, for example, in Donald Judd’s landmark essay “Specific Objects” and Kynaston McShine’s watershed exhibition “Primary Structures.” What came across in his recent retrospective, “Richard Artschwager!,” curated by Jennifer Gross,

  • “Richard Artschwager!”

    Long the odd man out of post-1960s art histories, Richard Artschwager has, for nearly five decades, synthesized various strains of contemporary practice—from Minimalism to Pop to appropriation—into an idiosyncratic oeuvre all his own.

    Long the odd man out of post-1960s art histories, Richard Artschwager has, for nearly five decades, synthesized various strains of contemporary practice—from Minimalism to Pop to appropriation—into an idiosyncratic oeuvre all his own. While Donald Judd was fabricating boxes and shelves out of industrial materials, Artschwager clad similar forms in Formica; years before Allan McCollum cast his surrogates, Artschwager was constructing similarly generic tableaux. This retrospective—containing roughly 120 works from all periods of the artist’s career and

  • OPENINGS: REY AKDOGAN

    FOR AN UNREALIZED 1937 PROJECT, Fernand Léger proposed to bathe Paris in colored light. “I asked for 300,000 unemployed to clean and scrub the facades,” the artist recounted in his 1946 essay “Modern Architecture and Color.” The goal was to “create a white and luminous city,” and “in the evening the Eiffel Tower, like an orchestra-leader,” would play “the most powerful projectors in the world upon the streets.” Léger conceived of his project, collectively scaled in both production and reception, as a way to trump the alienation of modern life by maximizing its effects. “What, in the end, makes

  • “Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface.”

    ONE FELT A STRONG APPLE GLOW upon entering “Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface.” Curated by Robin Clark, this meticulously installed survey of the work of thirteen artists affiliated with Light and Space and Finish Fetish brought to mind not only the even lighting and virtual emptiness of Apple stores but also the subconscious draw of the “Designed by Apple in California” promise emblazoned across the company’s products. Even if iPhones, iPads, et al. are “assembled in China,” the connotations of opportunity and innovation that still cling to the Golden State—despite every budget