Alexi Worth

  • Julie Mehretu

    A map of Julie Mehretu's career thus far would have the scattered, centripetal look of her paintings. Imagine a wide swath of markings and arrows, emblems of an itinerary that has taken the artist from Addis Ababa and Dakar to Kalamazoo, Providence, Houston, and Harlem. Near the center of the map, clusters of color-coded symbols would represent a six-year run of exhibitions and reviews, quickly growing denser and soon interspersed with little plumes of flame and smoke—combustion! By the time the Whitney released its very long list of artists for the 2002 Biennial last November, her absence,

  • Willem de Kooning

    Like an unsigned will, Willem de Kooning’s 1980s paintings ended his career with a kind of divisive largesse. For some viewers, the aged de Kooning is a kind of Yeatsian hero, sailing off into his own Byzantium. To detractors, he’s a pitiable mannequin, performing wobbly pantomimes of his familiar painterly gestures. We still don’t know the exact nature or trajectory of de Kooning’s illness. We do know, however according to Gary Garrels, curator of the traveling survey “Willem de Kooning: The Late Paintings, the 1980s,” that there was a turning point of sorts in 1987, at which time the artist’s

  • Ben Katchor

    As Ben Katchor is the first to admit, there’s something counterintuitive, even perverse about a museum exhibition devoted to cartoon strips. Most of what was on view in this show—highlights from twenty years of deadline-sponsored creativity—is readily available, and more comfortable to peruse, in book form. So maybe the point was to encourage viewers to scrutinize the subtleties in the original drawings—to savor, for instance, careful archipelagoes of Wite-Out, lost in reproduction and now lustrously visible? Devoted Katchor fans could spend hours indulging in this kind of


    When Wolfgang Staehle's exhibition “2001” opened in early September at Postmasters gallery in New York, it offered a panorama of eventlessness. On three walls, static video images glowed in the darkness, like vast electronic postcards. One showed a picturesque hilltop monastery near Stuttgart, its ramparts culminating in fairy-tale pinnacles. Another featured the famous TV tower in Berlin's Alexanderplatz. The third was a diptych view of lower Manhattan, seen from south Willlamsburg, across the East River. All three projections—at least on cloudless days, at moments when the boat traffic

  • Philip Pearlstein

    AFTER ALMOST FORTY YEARS, we can presume to know Philip Pearlstein's art pretty well, and at first this selection of paintings seemed to fit snugly in the “more of the same” category. All the hallmarks of his wafer-dry style were in place—the axial, overlit limbs, the narcoleptic tristesse, the corny props. So it was easy to miss this show, which is to say, to see only an acknowledged master plugging away in his established idiom. Pearlstein himself, a taciturn gradualist, certainly wasn't going to advertise any changes.

    But they were there. To begin with, this exhibition marked the first

  • John Bock

    "I’m in New Yok, and in New Yok the tradition is that the ahtist makes a Happening,” John Bock announced while standing on a curious plywood platform that formed the stage for his most recent performance. Cheerfully, earnestly, the German artist urged his Chelsea audience to “Go do it, it’s a Happening!” The viewers, most of whom were probably in diapers during the Happenings era (as Bock himself was), responded with sluggish amusement, as if they had been asked to dance the frug. Some accepted the beer and cigarettes Bock proffered. Others allowed him to douse twists of their hair with hairspray.

  • Top Changtrakul

    NOT LONG AGO, uniformed Thai policemen raided Top Changtrakul's tiny studio in the countryside outside Bangkok, confiscated most of his equipment, and hauled him off to jail. Or did they? A video included as part of this show documents the arrest, but the footage was gleefully melodramatic, and the monitor was displayed sideways, hinting that the incident was something the artist might have dreamed up while lying down. Moreover, it was all too easy to recognize Changtrakul's “studio” as another sort of facility: an outhouse.

    The spectacle of heavily armed cops staking out a privy may not be

  • Julie Heffernan

    Julie Heffernan’s imagination looks suspiciously like the gift shop at some tourist-thronged beaux arts museum—the Prado, say, or maybe the Frick. Everywhere in her lavishly rhetorical paintings are passages borrowed from Spanish still lies, Flemish landscapes, English pet portraits, and furtive, nightmarish Goya vignettes. In her foregrounds, pale red-haired figures, all titular self-portraits, flaunt the dark-lipped Hapsburg underbite fixed in our memories by Velázquez (imagine Philip IV played by a naked Tilda Swinton). That underbite, the notorious symptom of royal inbreeding, suggests