Ana Finel Honigman

  • picks February 06, 2017

    Cindy Sherman

    In her sixteenth solo exhibition with the gallery, Cindy Sherman presents twenty large-scale self-portraits that evoke cinematic portrayals of women tortured by aging while demonstrating how women once wore their age with elegance, confidence, and chutzpah.

    The artist is known for spotlighting the limited options available to women via her personification of female stereotypes. Her work is poignant because it seems simultaneously intimate and generalized in its exploration of how identity can cause profound anxiety. Aging and society’s scorn for older women has become the artist’s principal topic

  • picks January 31, 2017

    Ricardo Brey

    Ricardo Brey’s current mixed-media exhibition consists of photographs, text, and various pieces of badly aged man-made detritus, such as old-fashioned metal buttons, broken crockery, threadbare work gloves, and rotting wool coats. The Cuban artist assembles these forlorn pieces of ordinary life around photographs of trees printed on weathered fabric. Almost all of Brey’s utilitarian objects are now useless. But the trees, which fell victim to deforestation in Cuba, retain their nobility and grace—they’ve aged beautifully. Brey’s complex series of works presents the simple message that we’re

  • picks December 07, 2015

    Otto Dix and David Nicholson

    The drawings and prints by Otto Dix and David Nicholson displayed in this exhibition were produced almost a century apart. But in many ways, the worlds they portray have more similarities than differences. Paired together here are their depictions of the horrors of war and portraits of sex workers—streetwalkers from Dix and porn stars or fetish entertainers from Nicholson—though in arrestingly different styles. The coarse, cynical works on paper that Dix made in Berlin in the 1920s and 1930s have a close kinship with today’s street artists and gestural painters, whereas Nicholson’s drawings—all

  • picks September 28, 2015

    Alona Rodeh

    For her solo show “Safe and Sound (Evolutions),” Alona Rodeh explores the irony that assaultive artificial light and reflective clothing are assets both in club culture and in a more municipal context, such as the uniforms and equipment of police, firefighters, and construction workers. In her large-scale MDF sculptures, photographs, video and sound installation, a catalogue, and a limited-edition reflective drawstring bag, all displayed here, she probes how light and the engineered fabric can represent both personal expressions of rebellion and institutionalized methods of maintaining order.

  • picks July 15, 2015

    Donna Huanca and Przemek Pyszczek

    Donna Huanca and Przemek Pyszczek both use a saccharine palette to demonstrate the hollowness of individuals’ and institutions’ attempts at masking bleak social realities with superficial glamour and artificial cheer. Just as candy and engineered sweeteners can be unhealthy substitutes for real sustenance, Pyszczek’s metal sculptures and the overly sweet colors in Huanca’s paintings—some made from high-end cosmetics on stretched suit wool rather than paint on canvas—signify the lack of real opportunities for personal expression, community support, and healthy play in many peoples’ lives and

  • picks June 03, 2015

    Amir Fattal

    Amir Fattal’s exhibition “Mesopotopography” deals with moments when art becomes the catalyst for or victim of cultural conflict. Through an animated video; a fabric tapestry; a series of untitled prints made from an industrial dust known as carborundum, raw pigment, and lacquer on aluminum; and 3-D prints utilizing the sand-colored carborundum, Fattal reflects on how the Arab news media has documented the decimation of sacred and historical monuments in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and North Africa during the last twenty years. To this Israeli artist with Iraqi origins who now lives in Berlin,

  • picks December 22, 2014

    Violet Dennison and Peppi Bottrop

    Clustered in the gallery’s elegant, domestic exhibition space, Violet Dennison’s cement and office equipment sculptures resemble a group of stir-crazy white-collar workers as imagined by Eugène Ionesco. Like Surrealists’ plays, Dennison’s works use absurdity to poke fun at debilitating social conventions. Daffy and manic, yet oddly elegant, her sculptures hint at darker psychological unrest. For each work, the artist augments the discarded office chairs with cylinder, square, and tombstone-shaped cement forms. She then wreaths these heavy, hard configurations with plastic plants, multicolored

  • picks July 03, 2014

    Peter Wilde

    For “Following G,” painter Peter Wilde constructs a portrait of a young Berliner based on photographs from her Facebook profile. In the tradition of such pioneers of Photorealism as Robert Bechtle and Charles Bell, Wilde generates conceptual tension by meticulously, even lovingly, reproducing snapshots of fleeting moments and easily overlooked subject matter as large-scale oil paintings. Although G (and her surrounding creative clutter) is striking, the subjects of Wilde’s finely rendered scenes are often ambiguous actions in which no faces are directly defined. Rather than replicate persona-defining

  • picks April 08, 2014

    Dorothy Iannone

    Like her contemporaries Niki de Saint Phalle and Pauline Boty, Dorothy Iannone uses ecstatic color and patchwork forms to express female sexuality. But the multitude of paintings, drawings, books, sound installations, and wood sculptures made between 1959 and 2014 that fill much of the ground-floor exhibition space for her retrospective present a darker and more compelling psychological story. As is told in a series of drawings with text, Iannone met Dieter Roth in 1967 during a trip to Iceland. For the next seven years they had an intense and complicated affair, the remainder of which is imbedded

  • picks March 10, 2014

    Sameer Reddy

    With “Tabernacle: A Metamorphic Healing Module,” Sameer Reddy invites visitors to suspend their disbelief and try, just try, his playful form of personal healing. Exhibited in a gallery adjacent to the museum’s James Lee Byars retrospective, “I Cancel All My Works at Death,” Reddy’s show extends Byars’s spirtualism but eschews the morbidity and heft of his work, while combining central iconography from various faiths with fragments from pop songs and pop culture.

    The sculpture Light as a Feather, 2012, for example, shows a balance scale with a bottle of Smart Water on one side and holy water in

  • picks February 26, 2014

    Neil Ayling

    For his first solo exhibition at this gallery, Neil Ayling presents two related bodies of work. The sculptures are not explicitly displayed as two distinctive projects, but they can be divided by subject matter—half the show is site-specific to this Mayfair gallery and the other half depicts a sixteenth-century Benedictine church. Ayling uses the same technique for both, in which he photographs architectural interiors, prints the images in black-and-white ink onto A4 paper, and transfers each onto geometric Jesmonite and plywood structures. The result is a nearly life-size reproduction of a

  • picks February 07, 2014

    “Body Language”

    Like language itself, the bodies in the Saatchi Gallery survey of contemporary figurative art contain ambiguities and multiple meanings that elude easy definition. The bodies painted by Henry Taylor, for instance, are as tough and rough as slang. His subjects shamelessly embrace their physical presences; they’re relaxed within their loosely molded bodies, constructed from Taylor’s broad brushstrokes. His Miss Kelly, 2010, presents a full-figured, middle-aged blond woman lounging on a sofa in a low-cut black dress. Her arm is slung over one side and she seems inviting—open to conversion or

  • picks January 23, 2014

    Eva Kotátková

    Using black-and-white collage, as well as film and live performances, Eva Kotátková playfully enacts the inner lives of Oxford University’s student population in her current show at Modern Art Oxford. First, she constructs an installation comprising both large-scale prints of vintage photographs that have been doctored and marked and metal sculptures that alternately resemble doodles and diagraphs. Drawings that could be the notes of a frustrated researcher line the ground under these sculptures. Then, for her performance installation, Speech Organ of Anna, A Girl Who Pronounces Words from the

  • picks December 19, 2013

    Art Spiegelman

    That just one artist produced the five decades’ worth of graphic art that constitutes Art Spiegelman’s first retrospective is baffling. Beginning with depictions of geeky guys and pinup babes that he created as a preteen and concluding with Open Me . . . I Am a Dog, 1997, a book he created for his children about a book that believes it is a puppy, his oeuvre can seem ideologically irreconcilable. Formally, too: The spiky geometric lines in his early comix are at odds with the soft curvy characters that pervade his later work. Greater gulfs loom between the smorgasbord of boogers and barf in the

  • picks December 13, 2013

    Malerie Marder

    For her most recent exhibition, Malerie Marder presents a series of photographs depicting prostitutes in brothels in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, places where sex work is both legal and normalized, affording those within it greater dignity than other places. Marder’s photographs visually reaffirm this: Each of her images shows her subjects—all women—relating to their own bodies in moments that are at once intimate and blunt. The women are pictured lying on beds, while bottles of cheap lotion and boxes of tissues are neatly displayed against wall-length mirrors and painted murals of island

  • picks September 17, 2013

    Anca Munteanu Rimnic

    The death wails belonging to the six professional Romanian mourners in the film sequences Lament III (Museum Curator Collector) and Lament V (Empty Bags) (both 2013) are not the most damning pronouncements on the fate of contemporary art in Anca Munteanu Rimnic’s latest eight-part video. The darkest statements are conveyed through the ladies’ bemused and exacerbated facial expressions as they chant the words “museum,” “curator,” and “collector.”

    Rimnic recruited the six wailers in her native Romania, where rural funerals include staged performances by women wearing black who theatrically mourn

  • picks August 04, 2013

    Enrique Martínez Celaya

    Enrique Martínez Celaya’s “The Pearl” is an affecting meditation on nostalgia. Martínez Celaya constructs this exhibition like a tightly composed narrative poem involving a small cast of characters—a boy, a fox, a gaggle of different kinds of small woodland birds, and a German shepherd—depicted through paintings, chintzy figurines, sculptures, and installation. Nothing feels extraneous in Martínez Celaya’s dreamlike vision of a lost home and distant boyhood. His surreal narrative unfolds through a series of installations that viewers explore from room to room by following a clear hose hung from

  • picks February 26, 2013

    Uri Aran

    Uri Aran’s solo exhibition “Here, Here and Here” tells a story of struggles to construct compelling, coherent, and relatable narratives. Using assemblage, video, and drawing, Aran shows bits of evidence that imply potential plots, though what he really demonstrates are failures to communicate.

    The aspiring raconteurs in Chimpanzee, 2012, Aran’s twenty-five-minute video, tell fragments of anecdotes. Talking to the camera alone or in pairs, Aran’s attractive adult actors sound like kids telling tales. But their rambling, breathless stories of climbing trees, liking or disliking their neighbors,

  • picks September 20, 2012

    Lisa Ruyter

    The images of impoverished Americans that Walker Evans made iconic in his collaboration with James Agee convey the dry, brittle tones of sun-bleached, barren land and faces drained exhaustion and hardship in the 1930s and ’40s. Lisa Ruyter reinterprets these iconic works by using her signature palette of bright, Day-Glo acrylic paint. While the shift in color updates the historical images to suggest the cheap plastic products endemic to today’s economic plight, the mood and message remain the same. Ruyter’s “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” is a moving and timely exhibition, appropriately installed

  • picks August 06, 2012

    Jenny Saville

    Jenny Saville’s ferocity while piling, pushing, and scraping oil on her massive canvases appears to wall her subjects into their bodies. Her retrospective at Modern Art Oxford demonstrates her evocative use of paint to articulate the experiences, not only the appearances, of blind, transsexual, obese, and brutally scarred people. As in the art of Lucian Freud, Chaim Soutine, and Francis Bacon, paint itself here appears uncommonly heavy, angry, and oppressive. Yet her choice of subjects and methods of depiction are ultimately empathetic.

    Saville’s work’s gestural nature recalls academic life