Allese Thomson Baker

  • Left: Katie Holten, Constellations (maps of Louisiana oil and gas wells) (detail), 2012, chalk from the Cretaceous era on canvas, 10 x 12''. Right: Katie Holten, Study #81 (Bayou Portage, Louisiana), 2012, color photograph, dimensions variable.
    interviews July 02, 2012

    Katie Holten

    Katie Holten is an Irish-born, New York–based multimedia artist whose work explores the relationship between human beings and the natural environment. She represented Ireland at the 2003 Venice Biennale and in 2009 created Tree Museum, a public artwork celebrating the centennial of the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. She was recently selected by the New Orleans Museum of Art to create a site-specific installation for the institution’s Great Hall Project series. “Drawn to the Edge” opened June 15 and will be on view through September 9.

    I LOVE MAPS. I’m drawn to the macro and micro view of

  • Jackie Saccoccio, Portrait (Reverse), 2012, oil and mica on linen, 84 x 72".
    picks April 12, 2012

    Jackie Saccoccio

    Jackie Saccoccio’s latest solo show is flush with color. Aquamarines and dirty browns; pale purples and rusty yellows; neon greens and ruddy reds; petal pinks and mandarin oranges—all are swept over enormous linen canvases, creating panoramas of zestful abstraction. In each of her six works on view, it seems that up to fifteen, even twenty different hues coexist on one plane; the paints are poured in puddles and spread in light washes, drizzled and dashed in often overlapping brushstrokes, some curvaceous and swooping, others brief, at times bone thin. Saccoccio calls each work a portrait,

  • Haegue Yang, Towel Light Sculpture––Organic Hygienic, 2012, clothing rack, light bulbs, cable, towel, yarn, bells, wicker hamster tunnel, sushi mat, dog training dummy, pet toys, bamboo roots, grommets, glue press, 79 1/8 x 45 x 45".
    picks March 19, 2012

    Haegue Yang

    Haegue Yang’s fixation with absence and displacement—the increasing erasure of localized communities and dislodgment of the individual by transient lifestyles—persists in “Multi Faith Room,” her solo debut at Greene Naftali. Three new venetian blind installations hang from the ceiling and cast a slated pattern of light and shadow over the gallery floor, fracturing perception with streaks of light and conjuring that sacred environment so signature to Yang’s work. That said, an almost jubilant self-possession—not the melancholic sense of loss that has come to be associated with her artistic

  • Shady El Noshokaty, Stammer—A Lecture in Theory,  2009–10, multimedia installation, 14 minutes 7 seconds.
    interviews March 12, 2012

    Shady El Noshokaty

    Stammer, an ongoing project by the Egyptian artist and professor Shady El Noshokaty, began as a teaching demonstration for students at the American University in Cairo, and is on view until March 17 in “Histories of Now: Six Artists from Cairo” at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. For the Egyptian pavilion at last year’s Venice Biennale, El Noshokaty curated work by Ahmed Basiony, who was killed in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Here, El Noshokaty discusses the origins of Stammer.

    MY PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL MEMORY of being a child with a stutter is the subject that forms the crux of

  • Left: Cover of Wayne Koestenbaum’s The Anatomy of Harpo Marx (2012). Right: Robert Florey and Joseph Santley, The Cocoanuts, 1929, still from a black-and-white film in 35 mm, 96 minutes.
    interviews February 14, 2012

    Wayne Koestenbaum

    Wayne Koestenbaum is a poet and cultural critic and a distinguished professor of English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His previous books include The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality, and the Mystery of Desire (1993), Jackie Under My Skin: Interpreting an Icon (1995), Andy Warhol (2001), and Humiliation (2011). His latest volume, The Anatomy of Harpo Marx, has recently been published by the University of California Press. Koestenbaum will read selections from it at 192 Books in Manhattan on February 16 at 7 PM.

    HARPO IS, FOR ME, THE ONE. Not even the trinity—the

  • Paula Scher, Japan, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 88 x 67”.
    picks February 08, 2012

    Paula Scher

    As maps seem wildly alive today, endlessly radiating from smartphones while adapting to the pace of our very footsteps, graphic designer Paula Scher’s sprawling depictions of cities, countries, and continents painted in Technicolor hues on massive canvases feel especially nostalgic. Scher has spent the past two decades as a principal at the design firm Pentagram, creating logos that have become icons of our contemporary cityscape, and it is thus somewhat fitting that her first solo show evokes the rise of the city—which coincides with the age of modernism, a time when belief in the power of

  • View of “Experience,” 2011.
    interviews October 28, 2011

    Carsten Höller

    Carsten Höller’s first survey exhibition in New York, “Experience,” consists of merry-go-rounds, giant slides, sensory deprivation tanks, and spinning mobiles, among other experiential artworks. Here, the former scientist discusses his ambition to induce states of “madness” by creating immersive artistic environments that test the limits of human perception. The Stockholm-based artist has taken over the entire New Museum, and his show will be on view until January 15, 2012.

    ARE SLIDES ONLY FOR CHILDREN? I really don’t think they are, and I can’t see any reason why adults only use stairs, elevators,

  • View of “Accordion Thoughts and Everyday Superposition,” 2011.
    picks October 20, 2011

    Katie Grinnan

    To look at Brainwaves, 2011, one of the three sculptures in Katie Grinnan’s solo exhibition, is to witness the way environment shapes perception and vice versa—which, for Grinnan, is where individual subjectivity emerges. Brainwaves is a massive ovular orb made predominantly out of jagged shards of plastic and Plexiglas, which are layered on top of each other to roughly approximate the shape of a human brain.

    Each of the shards features ink-jet prints of photographs Grinnan has taken over the past three years (her childhood home, a trip to India, cities she has lived in) alongside screenshots of

  • Charles Mayton, The Long Exposure, 2011, oil on canvas, 66 x 51”.
    picks October 13, 2011

    Charles Mayton

    Charles Mayton’s first solo show in New York begins with a doormat placed directly outside the gallery entrance proclaiming the title of the exhibition: “THE DIFFICULT CROSSING.” The door is propped open to reveal two vivacious, brushy abstract paintings, dotted with words in a style of cursive we’ve come to associate largely with the artist René Magritte (think The Treachery of Images, 1928–29). Dozens upon dozens of lemons, limes, and oranges are scattered over the floor, which likewise recalls the Surrealist’s fixation with fruit. In the center of the room sits a coatrack with two paper eyes

  • Anicka Yi, Auras, Orgasms, and Nervous Peaches, 2011, wood, tile, olive oil, 96 x 20 x 80”.
    picks October 10, 2011

    Anicka Yi

    One might say that Anicka Yi’s solo debut in New York, “Sous-Vide,”—the title a French process of cooking food sealed in plastic—hinges on the story of Bradley Manning, the US soldier who released classified information to WikiLeaks. In the six works shown here, transparency and leakage are used as formal elements, arousing the American experience of war over the past decade: A tiled ceilingless room the size of a jail cell leaks yellow oil from the exterior of one of its stark white walls; a bouquet of tempura flowers has been jammed down the neck of a red sweater, as more oil seeps down the

  • John Outterbridge, The Rag Factory (detail), 2011, mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation view.
    interviews September 12, 2011

    John Outterbridge

    For “Pacific Standard Time,” the multisite initiative that runs from October 2011 to April 2012 and celebrates art made in Southern California between 1945 and 1980, the artist John Outterbridge has created a site-specific installation at LAXART made almost entirely out of rags collected from the streets of Los Angeles and from a downtown factory. Widely known as a teacher, mentor, and community organizer, and as the director of the Watts Towers Arts Center from 1975 to 1992, Outterbridge has made work for the past forty years that is widely associated with the California Assemblage movement.

  • Jemimah Patterson, Ajar, 2011, oil on mirror and wooden door inside vintage box, 8 x 13 x 5".
    picks August 31, 2011

    Jemimah Patterson

    British artist Jemimah Patterson’s first solo exhibition in the United States, “Two-in,” features many boxes—some sumptuous, the sort reserved for jewelry or silver, others less so, like vintage tin lunch boxes. Each is propped open and lined with mirrors, which refract the viewer’s reflection at odd angles, providing glimpses of one’s face and neck that are usually impossible to see: the bottom of the chin, the nape of the neck, the top of the eyelids.

    Patterson was born a conjoined twin—attached to her sister by her ear and surgically separated at birth—and grew up gazing at a girl that looked