Alexandra Pechman

  • Chiara Banfi, Confluência 5 (Confluence 5) (detail), 2015, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    picks February 15, 2016

    Chiara Banfi

    Chiara Banfi’s “Notações” (Notations) opened just weeks after the journal Science heralded Earth’s official entrance into the Anthropocene; aptly, her exhibition is a study on her discovery that human manipulation of geology is invisibly essential to music. An extremely accurate indicator of frequency and rhythm, quartz is here poised as a technically proficient object, while musical scores are altered to more closely resemble patterns of the natural world.

    Banfi plays with the visual metaphor provided by tourmaline, a thin onyx-like mineral that naturally embeds in quartz. A wall installation,

  • Left: Dealer Lorenz Helbling with MAXXI artistic director Hou Hanru. Right: Dealer Simon Wang and Li Qi, senior curator at the Rockbund Art Museum.
    diary June 05, 2015

    High Five

    FIVE YEARS is a long time in Shanghai. Way back in 2010, the city’s World Expo attracted seventy-three million visitors: There were thousands of new taxis, half a dozen new subway lines, and new art spaces like the Rockbund Art Museum, the retrofitted former Royal Asia Society building off the Bund, all banded together under the slogan “Better City, Better Life.” Now there are also better museums, or certainly more of them. Five years on, the Expo’s Chinese Pavilion is home to a one-million-square-foot government-run museum, and the once-deserted industrial zone on the other side of the river

  • Agnieszka Kurant, Untitled, 2014, conveyor belt and mirror, mirror: 80 x 120 x 1/4“, conveyor belt: 36 1/2 x 79 x 60 1/2”.
    picks September 23, 2014

    Agnieszka Kurant

    On encountering the empty wall-mounted tubing of Agnieszka Kurant’s End of the Signature, 2014, it is possible to miss the mere seconds it takes for dark neon to shoot through the twisting structure—as if suddenly scrawled by an invisible hand—and materialize into a sign. For this work in the artist’s current exhibition, “Variables,” Kurant collected more than one hundred signatures and used specially designed software to merge them into a single, collective one, which a nearby machine writes and rewrites with a pen. Maps of phantom islands, one topographical, one color-coded for