Andrea Gyorody

  • Meleko Mokgosi

    In a recent essay, theorist Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak articulates one of the double-edged cruelties of oppression. “Crimes of identity are always collective,” she writes, “although individuals suffer grotesquely.” The formulation applies broadly, but Spivak penned those words with gender—“our first instrument of abstraction”—in mind, positioning the division of the sexes as prologue to the insidious ideologies of nationalism, colonialism, and religion.

    Spivak’s writing features prominently in the panoramic painting cycle Bread, Butter, and Power, 2018, installed at the Fowler Museum

  • picks December 08, 2016

    “The Ease of Fiction”

    “The Ease of Fiction” brings together the disparate work of ruby onyinyechi amanze, Duhirwe Rushemeza, Sherin Guirguis, and Meleko Mokgosi, all of whom were born in Africa and now live and work in the US. Though these artists are in a unique position to comment on what constitutes African art and the stereotypes and caricatures to which it has been subject, the strength of this exhibition is not its ability to levy a cohesive argument but rather its insistence on formal and political diversity.

    That said, the artists negotiate between the freedom of play and the responsibility to reflect on

  • picks November 25, 2016

    Belkis Ayón

    If you have never seen a collagraph by the late Cuban artist Belkis Ayón, her first US retrospective will be a revelation. Created between 1984 and 1999, nearly all of the forty-three works on view are populated by mouth-less mythical characters who face outward to address us, in defiance of their inability to speak—a tension between form and composition appropriate to Ayón’s subject, the Afro-Cuban fraternal society known as Abakuá. The society’s secret rituals and beliefs consumed the artist’s too-short career, despite—or perhaps because of—the fact that she was excluded from participating.

  • picks September 23, 2015

    “Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.”

    The current show at Cherry and Martin’s auxiliary space presents a tightly knit arrangement of clay-based works by four artists who share an interest, as the title suggests, in pushing clay to its limits, rejecting the pristine, sleek aesthetic of traditional ceramics and embracing instead the volatility—and expressiveness—of chemical processes native to the craft.

    Katy Cowan’s slip-cast objects, dangling from wall-bound rope, are seemingly the most restrained, although hammers, donuts, and two-by-fours made from stoneware squarely—if politely—refuse functionality. Cowan’s assemblages feel light

  • picks September 25, 2014

    Jim Lambie

    Jim Lambie’s current retrospective opens with a deceptively simple installation. Shaved Ice, 2012–14, is a crop of brightly painted ladders, all extending from floor to ceiling; a mirrored panel fills each space between the rungs, distorting the reflected room and the visitors in it. It’s a trippy transformation that offers the perfect segue to the hypnotic floor-bound installation Zobop, 1999, which starts at the lower landing of Fruitmarket’s main staircase and proceeds to blanket the entire top floor. Composed of concentrically laid strips of Technicolor vinyl tape that follow the outlines

  • picks July 01, 2014

    Reinhard Mucha

    The centerpiece of Reinhard Mucha’s solo show at Sprüth Magers is the installation Frankfurter Block [2014], 2012, so named because it first appeared at Frankfurt’s Galerie Grässlin, where it occupied a space that has been loosely recreated for the current Berlin iteration. This embedding of a work’s exhibition history within that work itself, such that the two become inseparable, is characteristic of Mucha’s oeuvre, which is often obtuse and self-referential. The eleven works in the show, some of which date as far back as 1981, feel like clues or bits of a narrative that, by design, never quite

  • picks May 28, 2014

    Kay Walkowiak

    The lone work in Kay Walkowiak's latest exhibition at Feldbuschwiesner, a video cheekily titled Minimal Vandalism, 2013, opens with a shot of freestyle skater Kilian Martin balanced precariously in a handstand atop three stacked skateboards. He dismounts, hurling himself and one of the skateboards into the air, landing gracefully and sailing into a gallery filled with five minimalist sculptures. Over the next three and a half minutes, he makes quick work of skating up, around, onto, and over each of the sculptures, transforming the space of the Generali Foundation in Vienna into an unlikely

  • picks March 27, 2014

    Tatiana Trouvé

    For her first solo exhibition in Germany (co-organized with the Kunsthalle Nürnberg and the Museion in Bolzano, Italy), Tatiana Trouvé has transformed eight galleries of the Kunstmuseum Bonn into a series of separate but interconnected installations. Each room is presented as a work in itself, comprised of singular sculptures—and in a few cases, drawings—in combination with alterations to the space. One gallery, with an intervention titled Prepared Space, 2014, is blindingly white, thanks to a stark coat of paint that exacerbates the effect of sunlight pouring in from above, an aggression matched

  • Christoph Schlingensief

    The phrase “Spiel ohne Grenzen” (Game Without Borders), the subtitle of one of Christoph Schlingensief’s many outrageous theatrical productions, succinctly characterizes what held the vast range of work together in this posthumous exhibition staged by Klaus Biesenbach, Anna-Catharina Gebbers, and Susanne Pfeffer, and traveling to MoMA PS1 in New York this month. The manically prolific Schlingensief began his career as a filmmaker and morphed into a theater and opera director, TV-show moderator, pseudo politician, all-around provocateur, and finally artist before his untimely death at the age of

  • picks February 02, 2014

    Karl Otto Götz

    Most people today probably associate the squeegee as a painting tool with the German powerhouse Gerhard Richter, and not with his (and Sigmar Polke’s) influential but less well-known professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Karl Otto Götz. But for anyone who gets to see Götz’s current retrospective—mounted on the occasion of his hundredth birthday—that just might just change. The exhibition, comprised of prints, paintings, and drawings dating from 1934 to 2010, opens with a brief but mesmerizing film excerpt of Götz in action, circa 1964. Crouching over an unstretched canvas on the floor, Götz

  • Ilse D’Hollander

    The Belgian painter Ilse D’Hollander died in 1997 at the age of twenty-nine, and her work has seldom been exhibited since. She began painting in Ghent, where her earliest works were still lifes and portraits inspired by Cézanne and Nicolas de Staël. Her close relationship with her mentor Raoul De Keyser, an abstract painter who favored a style that was at once intuitive, economical, and ever so subtly referential, preceded (and predicted) her gradual transition to a similar brand of abstraction around 1995, about the same time that she moved a half hour’s drive outside of Ghent to the rural town

  • picks December 12, 2013

    “Brasiliana: Installations from 1960 to the Present”

    This multisensorial exhibition opens with a reconstruction of Lygia Clark’s A casa é o corpo (The House is the Body), 2013, a Freudian restaging of conception and birth that was first shown at the 1968 Venice Biennale. The outwardly austere installation conceals a tripartite passageway that facilitates a series of physical experiences of resistance, perseverance, and unease—a metaphor for life’s struggles crafted with air-filled balloons and plastic playhouse balls. A casa é o corpo serves as the perfect introduction to an exhibition of Brazilian installation art not only because it was an

  • picks December 08, 2013

    Katie Holten

    At first glance, Katie Holten’s six large-scale drawings on canvas and four smaller drawings on paper aim to reassert the medium’s vital relationship to nature—a historical bond that has been largely subsumed over the past century and a half by the ever-evolving medium of photography. While the stark black-and-white palette of Holten’s drawings hint at their mediation by photographic images, these works are magnified and fragmented such that they obscure their real-world references. Constellation (Earth at Night: Germany. Satellite image source: NASA Earth Observatory) (all works cited, 2013),

  • picks September 26, 2013

    Gottfried Helnwein

    In the many self-portraits on view in this retrospective, Gottfried Helnwein appears tortured: His head is tightly bandaged, his eyes obscured by menacing forklike instruments, his mouth contorted into a perpetual scream that threatens to break into insane laughter. Helnwein’s drawings, paintings, and photographs owe a clear debt to the work of the Viennese Actionists, who staged gruesome performances in the 1960s, just a few years before Helnwein became a student at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. But Helnwein’s relentless depictions of bodies in suffering also recall the Neue

  • picks August 05, 2013

    Pieter Hugo

    The South African photographer Pieter Hugo is probably best known for his 2005–2007 series “The Hyena & Other Men,” which depicts a group of men who stage impromptu performances with tamed hyenas and baboons across Nigeria. These haunting portraits of man and beast set against a desolate semiurban background appear in this retrospective exhibition alongside works from roughly one dozen other series, together forming a fragmentary document of an equally fragmented and geopolitically complex continent.

    The Africa that Hugo photographs has many distinct faces, from the seriousness of Ghanaian and

  • picks February 04, 2013

    Andreas Fischer

    Entering this exhibition, which is populated by sixteen of Andreas Fischer’s machine-sculptures, is like walking into the garage of a deranged hobbyist. These are not the well-behaved machines and appliances that populate our homes and businesses and ostensibly make our lives easier; rather, they are nightmarish personifications of failure, unrewarded perseverance, pointless repetition, anxiety, yearning, and unfulfilled expectation. Fischer has taken found objects and detritus in a predominantly morose palette of white, brown, black, and silver, and fashioned them into motorized sculptures that

  • picks April 03, 2010

    Jack Pierson

    Jack Pierson’s latest exhibition is titled “Some Other Spring,” but a more apt descriptor might be “some other place.” The installation, composed of photographs, drawings, and sculptures, is a travelogue of images taken or drawn abroad that range from the generic to the highly personal. Empty beaches and Greek sculptures are shown alongside Cyclops (all works 2010), a portrait of Ryan McGinley with a camera obscuring his face, which is tacked to the wall next to a picture of pixelated blinds. Some of the photographs tend toward artsy Flickr fare, but that amateur view is precisely the mode that

  • picks March 03, 2010

    Kamrooz Aram

    In Kamrooz Aram’s latest exhibition, “Generation After Generation; Revolution After Revelation,” the deft control of the cosmically inflected paintings for which he is known gives way to an explosive, nearly violent abstraction. From the endlessly entertaining configurations of Persian imagery that populate Aram’s vibrant earlier works, only simple decorative motifs are retained here—and these are alternately veiled by layers of monochromatic pigment and disrupted by energetic gestural marks.

    Propped on curious wooden blocks, the ten canvases that compose the series are arranged five on a wall