Andrea Gyorody

  • View of “For Ruth, The Sky in Los Angeles: Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt and David Horvitz,” 2022–23.
    picks December 28, 2022

    “For Ruth, The Sky in Los Angeles: Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt and David Horvitz”

    This surprisingly buoyant exhibition borrows its title from a tender 2016 drawing by David Horvitz, a text-based work consisting of the words “For Ruth, the sky in los angeles.” Written in blue-purple watercolor, Horvitz’s childlike scrawl conveys, more aptly than a photograph or a representational drawing, the beauty and elusiveness of a cloudless LA sky at dusk. 

    The “Ruth” to whom the sky is addressed is Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, an artist born in 1932 who was active in East Germany from the 1970s until 1990, when she retired from artmaking after the Berlin Wall fell. Unfettered freedom, she felt,

  • Lorenza Böttner, Face Art, 1983, digital C-print, 15 3⁄4 × 11 3⁄4".

    Lorenza Böttner

    If you visited the Kassel iteration of Documenta 14, chances are that the exhibition marked your first encounter with the work of Lorenza Böttner (known simply as Lorenza), an armless transgender artist active in Europe and the United States from the late 1970s until her death in 1994. Chances are also good that you, like me, were floored by what you saw. Installed in the Neue Galerie, two vitrines filled primarily with photographs occupied one space, while a dramatically hung, monumentally scaled self-portrait on unstretched canvas, which the artist painted, as the wall text explained, with

  • Meleko Mokgosi, Bread, Butter, and Power (detail), 2018, oil, acrylic, bleach, graphite, photo transfer, and permanent marker on canvas, twenty panels, this one 108 x 72".

    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

  • View of “The Ease of Fiction,” 2016.
    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

  • Belkis Ayón, La Cena (The Supper), 1991, collograph, 4 1/2 x 10'.
    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.

  • William O’Brien, Untitled, 2015, glazed ceramic, 15 x 13 x 11".
    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

  • View of “Jim Lambie,” 2014.
    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

  • View of “Reinhard Mucha, Frankfurter Block,” 2014.
    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

  • View of “Minimal Vandalism,” 2013.
    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

  • View of “Tatiana Trouvé,” 2014.
    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 African Twin Towers: Stairlift to Heaven, 2007, stairlift, digital video projection (color, sound, 29 minutes 20 seconds). Installation view.

    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

  • Karl Otto Götz, Giverny VII, 1988, oil on canvas, 78 3/4 x 102 1/3”.
    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