Alpesh Kantilal Patel

  • Nasreen Mohamedi, Untitled, 1970, ink and graphite on paper, 18 3/4 x 18 3/4”.
    picks September 27, 2013

    Nasreen Mohamedi

    This large-scale retrospective—the artist’s second posthumous exhibition in India—of 135 drawings, paintings, and photographs by Karachi-born Nasreen Mohamedi (1937–1990) stands out among a trio of shows the museum has ambitiously organized to explore links among artwork by women of South Asian descent over the last century. Educated in London and Paris, Mohamedi eventually settled in India by the early 1970s, when she began combining expressive brushwork and collage to produce atmospheric landscapes. A pithy quote from her diary sums up the ethos of the rest of her career: “The Maximum out of

  • Shinique Smith, Fields of Joy, 2013, acrylic, fabric, and paper collage on canvas over panel, 84 x 84".
    picks June 21, 2013

    Shinique Smith

    The title of New York–based Shinique Smith’s exhibition “Kaleidoscopic” aptly describes her paintings, in which colorful acrylic flourishes often burst forth dramatically from a smaller swirl of fabrics, found objects, and paper. In the canvas-over-wood panel Tiny Dancer (all works cited 2013), for instance, pastel curvilinear lines seem to emerge from a cluster of boldly colored, patterned textiles and even a Middle Eastern slipper, which has the face of a blue-skinned deity silk-screened on fabric tucked inside. Particularly striking is the manner in which Smith employs various collage elements

  • Charles LeDray, Mens Suits, 2006–, mixed media. Installation view.

    Charles LeDray

    Human labor revealed itself as the core of this tightly curated show. Featuring only four of Charles LeDray’s meticulously crafted pieces, the exhibition was a concentrated extract of the New York–based sculptor’s fifty-some-piece retrospective “workworkworkworkwork,” organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston in 2010.

    Mens Suits, 2006–2009, occupied the bulk of this presentation, as it comprised three tableaux, generously spaced across the expanse of one full, dimly lit floor. The sets—replete with such convincing details as well-worn linoleum flooring, fluorescent lighting,

  • Fiona Rae, Maybe you can live on the moon in the next century, 2009, oil and acrylic on canvas, 72 x 59".
    picks August 08, 2012

    Fiona Rae

    In this exhibition, a survey of Fiona Rae’s output since 2000, seventeen oil and acrylic paintings on canvas—assembled across two rooms in the gallery—draw on everything from the Technicolor of cartoons Rae watched as a child in Hong Kong to images connected with contemporary Asian popular culture, such as pandas, hearts, flowers, and fawns. Indeed, the Young British Artist label often used to describe Rae fails to shed light on her peripatetic upbringing: Prior to moving to the UK with her family, she lived not only in Hong Kong, where she was born, but also in Australia and Indonesia. While

  • View of “The Woodmans,” 2012.
    picks March 11, 2012

    “The Woodmans”

    This exhibition presents the prodigious output of the talented Woodman family––parents George and Betty, son Charlie, and daughter Francesca, who committed suicide at the age of twenty-two and is arguably the most famous. Rather than underscoring the familial, the assemblage of work here shifts the discussion to the formal, specifically each artist’s penchant for troubling medium-specificity. For instance, Betty’s freestanding ceramic pieces function as both paintings and sculptures. Rendered on the upright, flat side of the two fragmented pieces of Spring in Athens, 2011, is a Greek black-figure

  • Quisqueya Henriquez, 99 bad mirrors, 2011, one hundred color photographs, 50 x 70”.
    picks November 30, 2011

    “Don’t Get High on Your Own Supply”

    This exhibition’s title references a well-known line from the 1981 film Scarface that foreshadows the self-destruction of Al Pacino’s character from cocaine abuse at the apogee of his power. Unlike the movie, the works on view have little to do with 1980s drug culture in Miami, but they do betray an obsessive-compulsive quality—usually in technique—that is nonetheless reined in, never becoming excessive, trivial, or superfluous. This show is tightly knit—literally, given the range of handwoven textiles here—and presents a refreshing mix of emerging and established artists.


    Both of Jayson

  • Xu Bing, The Living Word 3, 2011, laser-cut acrylic, paint, dimensions variable.
    picks September 04, 2011

    Xu Bing

    For its second annual contemporary art commission, the Morgan has fittingly chosen to work with Xu Bing, who has a long-standing fascination with the written word. The Chinese-born artist was a gifted calligrapher at an early age, and it is worth noting that his mother was a university librarian. At the same time, growing up during the Cultural Revolution and coming of age during the tumultuous 1980s in China—both periods during which one could be imprisoned for one’s choice of words alone—made him deeply aware of the limitations of language, and wary of its potential for perversion by the state.

  • Amy Jean Porter, Of Lamb #8 (Lamb stuttered), 2008, gouache and ink on paper, 11 1/2  x 8 1/2“. From the series ”Of Lamb," 2008.
    picks July 12, 2011

    Amy Jean Porter

    Over the past decade, the Connecticut-based artist Amy Jean Porter has drawn over twelve hundred species of animals, often coupling her renderings with quotes from sources as varied as the Bible and hip-hop songs. Her latest series comprises 106 ink and gouache drawings, nestled together in P.P.O.W.’s project space, that focus on just one animal: a lamb. These pieces come out of a collaborative book project with Brooklyn-based poet Matthea Harvey titled Of Lamb, which was published last month by McSweeney’s and inspired by Harvey’s selective erasure––literally whiting out––of David Cecil’s

  • Asad Faulwell, Les Femmes D'Alger #3 (Women of Algiers #3), 2011, acrylic and paper on canvas, 64 x 48”.
    picks March 11, 2011

    Asad Faulwell

    Algerian women have served as muses for artists as diverse as Eugène Delacroix, Pablo Picasso, and, more recently, Lalla Essaydi. In his first New York solo exhibition, appropriately titled “Les Femmes D’Alger” (Women of Algiers), Los Angeles–based artist Asad Faulwell deifies the largely unsung female freedom fighters who struggled from 1954 to 1962 to end French occupation in the African nation. As Frantz Fanon writes so eloquently in his book A Dying Colonialism (1959), these women were often called upon to plant bombs in the French sections of cities because they could enter without detection

  • View of “We Done All We Could and None of It’s Good,” 2011.
    picks February 28, 2011

    Trenton Doyle Hancock

    On display in this exhibition is a broad range of Trenton Doyle Hancock’s recent output, from paintings and works on paper to site-specific installations and prints, all of which reveal an ongoing narrative about the mythic conflict between what the Texas-based artist calls “Mounds”—half-plant, half-animal creatures—and those who prey on them, “Vegans”—skeletal figures inhabiting a Boschian underworld.

    A standout work is Flower Bed II: A Prelude to Damnation, 2008, screen-printed wallpaper in fluorescent inks that covers an entire wall in the exhibition. Created in collaboration with the

  • Wangechi Mutu, Sprout, 2010, mixed media, ink, paint, collage on Mylar, 54 x 51”.
    picks November 17, 2010

    Wangechi Mutu

    The new mixed-media works in Wangechi Mutu’s latest exhibition, “Hunt Bury Flee,” expand on her past seductive and shocking collages on Mylar. In the large-scale Sprout (all works cited, 2010), the artist depicts an upside-down figure with legs splayed, knees bent to touch the ground, and arms almost elbow-deep in muck. Contorted into a perversely vulnerable position and consigned to the earth, the figure literally embodies the colonial construction of non-Western subjects as being close to the ground—and thereby precivilized, hypersexual, and animalistic in nature. Indeed, magazine cutouts of

  • View of “Queening,” 2010. From left: Q02, 2010; Q03, 2010; Q01, 2010.
    picks October 27, 2010

    Brice Brown and “Sèvres and Savage”

    Two distinct yet conceptually intertwined exhibitions mark the debut of Schroeder Romero & Shredder’s new location. The front gallery includes works by Brice Brown that subtly explore broad notions of identity and the value of objects as highly unstable. Q03, 2010, is cast from a nineteenth-century side table in sterling silver and is carved with abstract depictions recalling beard hair (a reference to the subculture of hirsute gay men known as bears), which morph into decorative foliage and filigree. In the process, the fetishistic sexual charge associated with the curl of hair becomes