Andrew Kachel

  • picks January 25, 2016

    John Outterbridge

    “Packages travel like people” reads a luggage tag affixed to John Outterbridge’s sculpture Case in Point, ca. 1970. A flat piece of brown painted canvas is buckled around seven stuffed oblong objects whose limb-like dimensions suggest the reverse of the tag’s claim. The work embodies a thinly veiled metaphor for the representation and treatment of black people as objects, and encountering it today insinuates an unsettling continuity between the eras of Black Power and Black Lives Matter. It’s a fitting point of entry into Outterbridge’s incisive and socially conscious work.

    This artist’s practice

  • picks January 15, 2016

    Em Rooney

    The press release for Em Rooney’s exhibition at this gallery is written in first person and ends with a list: “Future words for forest: apple, brazil, empire, expro, exxon, gate, gates, grass, fire, loneliness, love, sand, seed, sunrise, rattlesnake, rock.” Almost alphabetical, the list is imperfect, personal—much like the artist’s photographs. Rooney, no Luddite, nonetheless worries about the ephemeral textures and qualities of material—and memories—that are imperiled by transitions to digital storage and circulation.

    Rooney’s hand colored silver gelatin prints depict views of loft apartments

  • picks December 18, 2015

    Polly Apfelbaum

    In ecstatic floor compositions and ordered tabletop groupings of fabric, pigment, glitter, and rugs, Polly Apfelbaum’s work can be understood as a triangulation of painting, sculpture, and the readymade. But this artist often sets her sights on something more open-ended and playful.

    A square table occupying most of the gallery holds fifty or so ceramic bowls cradling different kinds of handmade ceramic beads, each one about an inch in diameter. They look supremely edible—like shiny olives, lychees, and cherries; or powdery wasabi peas and knobby key limes—all guaranteed to crack a tooth or dislodge

  • picks December 11, 2015

    Stuart Ringholt

    The printed page can conceal. Things can hide between the lines—subtext, implication, allusion, etc.—but they can also be stashed between the pages. Maybe your dad’s copy of Bob Woodward’s State of Denial (2007) is a hollowed-out hiding spot for his amyl nitrate. Or perhaps you once tried that rarely successful high school trick of slipping your comic book or porn rag within the chapters of your textbook during study hall.

    Stuart Ringholt’s spare and blunt little collage series, “Nudes,” 2013, offers up cutouts of Minimalist monoliths, abstract canvases, and other artworks that are pasted over

  • picks November 27, 2015

    Mindy Rose Schwartz and David Rappeneau

    In a scene from David Rappeneau’s series of drawings, “Untitled,” from 2014, a woman’s watch reads 9:66 as she raises her hand and her highlighter-yellow wraparound eyes widen: shit, spilled the stash. If the hour is any indication, linear time has been trashed in these works depicting two sharply featured, pseudofuturistic characters in a druggy chill sesh. Anxious expressions shuttle toward spiky rage and, finally, rapt pleasure. It seems that just a few minutes pass in this particular tableau, as the zooming perspective whips around while the same (laced?) joint is being slowly rolled. In

  • picks November 13, 2015

    Barbara Rossi

    Chicago Imagist Barbara Rossi had formal rules for drawing and painting. Like a latter-day Surrealist, her drawings eschewed planned composition. She rendered forms individually with colored pencil and graphite, isolating a single object in her mind and executing it fully before moving on. Through this method, she created interior landscapes populated by common objects—staircases, bows, an umbrella, a leaky nostril—woven into dreamlike, mischievous squiggles. In the drawing Untitled, 1967, something snap-pea-like with strings of lightbulbs evokes lips and cheekbones on what loosely resembles a

  • picks November 06, 2015

    Martha Wilson

    “Credibility equals reality,” begins a typewritten text in Martha Wilson’s work SELFPORTRAIT, 2014, “so that ‘self’ depends not on who you think you are, but on who others think you appear to be.” This aphorism lays a conceptual foundation for the artist’s instruction to viewers: “Write your impressions of me.” Wilson invests this invitation with authorial power, yielding her would-be self-representation, via multiple photographic approaches, to external perspectives: “In so doing, you are creating me.”

    For over forty years Wilson has plumbed the sociocultural mechanisms that construct and contour

  • picks October 02, 2015

    Barbara Hammer

    Barbara Hammer’s work in experimental film has incalculably shaped the collective memory of lesbian and feminist experience. But, before she came to the medium—and before she came out, leaving her marriage “on a motorcycle with a super-8 camera” and shooting some of the first lesbian films in history, Dyketactics (1974) and Women I Love (1976)—Hammer made drawings. Her first-ever solo gallery exhibition presents sixteen of these works.

    Hammer’s popularity and visibility in the art field has ebbed and flowed over the course of four decades—largely synchronous with vogues for and backlashes against

  • picks September 25, 2015

    Scott Lyall

    Light is a fundamental agent in Scott Lyall’s output, acting as both material and subject matter. The series “Black Glass,” 2014–15, includes twelve nearly seamless monochrome panels, each measuring some sixty-seven by forty-seven inches. The somber works are composed of pairs of glass panes, which Lyall has adhered with an ink-infused glue. They are coated with thick black ink on the reverse of the back pane and printed with a color gradient of diaphanous ink on the surface. These treatments ignite a reaction that recalls photographic development (some ambient light passes through the front

  • picks July 10, 2015

    James “Son Ford” Thomas

    James “Son Ford” Thomas began making skulls at the age of ten with the intent to scare his grandfather. Not amused, Thomas’s grandfather cried out when he encountered the first memento mori, ordering Thomas to get rid of the clay likeness. Not deterred, Thomas tied a string to his grandparents’ bedsprings, ran it through a crack in the wall, and tugged at it during the night—assuming the posture of a true prankster. He wanted to “shake ’em up.”

    Thomas recounts this anecdote in documentary footage presented in his first major institutional presentation, “The Devil and His Blues.” In a succession

  • picks June 26, 2015

    David Maljkovic

    Three works in David Maljkovic’s current show share the title Out of Projection: Two ink-jet-on-aluminum collages, both 2009/2014, and an HD video, 2009–14, depict retired Peugeot workers at a test track, milling around prototypes that look at once flamboyantly futuristic and hopelessly outdated. These works are set against wallpaper that reproduces a sparse view of Maljkovic’s 2014 exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo, whose interior is similar enough to Metro Pictures’s that the skewed black-and-white floor-to-ceiling images are mildly disorienting. More than producing a simple vertiginous effect,

  • picks June 05, 2015

    Harry Dodge

    The sculptures in Harry Dodge’s second show at this gallery, “The Cybernetic Fold”—a riotous group of mixed-media assemblages—are occupied with decidedly nonsculptural activities: leaning, bending, resting, and prevaricating. Among materials such as plywood, glass, MDF, and urethane resin, there are also socks, metallic rainbow glitter, and Bondo (an automotive body filler). This promiscuous constituency suggests a sophisticated dogging of pesky binaries: high/low, natural/artificial, human/nonhuman. In This Hole/Honey Bucket and Fuck Me/Who’s Sorry Now (all works 2015), are similar in construction,