Andrew Witt

  • View of “Tears Shared: Marc Camille Chaimowicz Featuring Bruno Pélassy,” 2016.
    picks July 08, 2016

    “Tears Shared: Marc Camille Chaimowicz Featuring Bruno Pélassy”

    A beaded curtain that spells out “VIVA LA MUERTE,” (Sans Titre [Untitled],1995), hangs on the far wall from the entrance to this South London gallery. Alas, this is the final exhibition before the venue closes forever. The show—a sprawling display of ornaments, vessels, and fetishes—features glassware made and collected by Marc Camille Chaimowicz, as well as a group of works by Bruno Pélassy. It is Pélassy’s untitled sculptures, such as the aforementioned hanging, that truly stand out. The artist, who died in 2002 due to AIDS-related illnesses, is known for his bejeweled assemblages, objets that

  • View of “Josh Bitelli,” 2016.
    picks May 19, 2016

    Josh Bitelli

    In Josh Bitelli’s recent exhibition, “A Partition,” the artist has compressed the gallery with a false ceiling, rendering the ample space compact, claustrophobic. Snaking throughout is a white antibacterial curtain that bisects the room. In the western corner, two monitors are stacked, showing Bitelli’s video All Doors and No Exits, 2016. The work’s script, performed by health-care professionals, borrows from generic medical diagnostic texts and determines a set of prescriptive actions. As the artist’s camera shows his actors rehearsing over and over again, both image and sound begin to lose

  • View of “DAS INSTITUT,” 2016.
    picks April 07, 2016

    DAS INSTITUT

    Kerstin Brätsch and Adele Röder, who collaborate under the name DAS INSTITUT, conjure polymorphic forms that merge painting with cosmology. Brätsch’s series of prints, “Unstable Talismanic Rendering,” 2014/16, mimics the psychedelic surfaces of marble. Her prints are composed horizontally in water baths, where ink droplets fall and take shape along a mercurial surface. Brätsch’s prints are affixed to temporary walls and act as ceremonial gateways for the rest of the exhibition. In one room, large-scale slide projections, collectively titled Dark Codex, 2016, combine images of Brätsch’s paintings

  • View of “NEO-PAGAN BITCH-WITCH!,” 2016.
    picks February 26, 2016

    “NEO-PAGAN BITCH-WITCH!”

    As if assembled by a whirlpool of dead matter, Tamara Henderson and Julia Feyrer’s sculpture System of the Hag, 2016, is a ragpicker’s fantasy. For this group exhibition, Henderson and Feyrer have cooked up a witches’ brew of disparate objects within a lattice of frayed rope. Dyed fabric, egg cartons, pinecones, berry LEDs, salt, a glass bottle—and so much more!—are entwined within textured cords, copper wire, and plastic tubing. At the apex of this assemblage is a spiraling green disco light, its faint glimmer skipping along this sculpture’s spangled surface. Perhaps the closest formal equivalents

  • View of “Darren Bader,” 2016.
    picks February 10, 2016

    Darren Bader

    What better example is there of the corrupted flesh of the contemporary art object than a resplendent sculpture, its gleaming surface polished within an inch of its life, stuffed with rotting garbage? Darren Bader’s exhibition, “such are promises,” delights in this cunning play. A number of Bader’s pieces are teeming with refuse culled from the waste stream. From the derivative sheen of a John McCracken–like plinth to twelve metal pétanque boules, Bader conceals his waste in glossy shells. Placed in the middle of the gallery is a pétanque court, titled Sculpture #2 (all works undated). Bader’s

  • Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, God's Reptilian Finger, 2015, polystyrene, fiberglass, fluorescent pigment, resin, UV black light, dimensions variable.
    picks January 11, 2016

    Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa

    Shattered fluorescent minerals, illuminated by ultraviolet light, hover and spin theatrically in Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa’s exhibition “God’s Reptilian Finger.” These sculpted stones, carved from polystyrene, disperse light like a kaleidoscope—here, color relations are dynamically shifting. Neither plinth nor vitrine bind these minerals to the ground. Instead, the stones appear frozen and floating, as if their fall was eternally suspended within a void. Floating in the middle of the room amid these psychedelic minerals is a representation of God’s reptilian finger. What does God’s reptilian finger

  • Thea Djordjadze, Ma Sa i a ly e a se – de, 2015, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    picks October 13, 2015

    Thea Djordjadze

    An aesthetics of recovery and recollection animates Thea Djordjadze’s installation Ma Sa i a ly e a se – de, 2015, which alternates between austere sculptural reliefs and floor works constructed from reclaimed timber, paint, and Plexiglas. Djordjadze’s surfaces resemble platforms, evoking stage set, shelf, kitchen table—structures used on a day-to-day basis, hosts of human activity. These platforms, however, are without subjects or objects to support, and each stands so low to the ground it seems to be sliding into some indistinguishable plane where the ground merges with its setting.

    Placed

  • View of “Peles Empire,” 2015.
    picks October 09, 2015

    Peles Empire

    A large jesmonite slab sits against a side wall of the project space. Molded within a Perspex frame, DUO 14 (all works 2015) mixes jesmonite with digital prints, paper, and pigments, resulting in a surface as luxuriously mineral as it is eerily evanescent. Peles Empire, the collaborative alias for artists Katharina Stoever & Barbara Wolff, exploits the malleability of industrial and digital forms to materialize the shipwreck of history: Images float to the surface like spume from wreckage, only to dissolve into the corrosive bath of the sea. In other words, they break apart as quickly as they

  • Agnes Martin, Untitled, 1977, watercolor and graphite on paper, 9 x 9”. © Agnes Martin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
    picks September 03, 2015

    Agnes Martin

    Within this retrospective, there is a small, darkly lit room containing a collection of works on paper made throughout Agnes Martin’s career. The room functions as a miniretrospective, where drawing is positioned as a spiral from which to view the vertiginous movement of Martin’s practice as a whole. The movement is the act of decreation. Martin’s watercolor Summer, 1964, figures decreation as bathos: The viewer is invited to plunge headfirst into the surface of her watercolor, only to drown in its content, as if the viewer were overwhelmed by its pull downward to the depths of the picture.

    In

  • *Günther Förg, Untitled, 1990, acrylic on lead laid down on panel, 86 5/8 x 55 1/8".
    picks June 30, 2015

    Günther Förg

    No conventional geometry distinguishes Günther Förg’s late series, “Lead Paintings,” 1987–94. Förg’s compositions are polymorphic. Muted blocks of paint are set against an agitated surface. In a few instances, squares of acrylic overwhelm a corner of the canvas, whereas in other instances, bands of color split the support in half. The eye is constantly thrown askew when moving between works, engulfed by paint. Color is marshaled to deny the viewer any affective attachment

    Recall Blinky Palermo’s aluminum paintings, Times of the Day I–IV, 1974–76, where horizontal bands of acrylic alternate between

  • View of “Entrée, Stage Left,” 2015.
    picks June 30, 2015

    Lauren Godfrey

    Lauren Godfrey’s Entrée, Stage Left, 2015, on view in her latest exhibition, closes the distance between aesthetic and culinary experience. The work treats the gallery as a theatrical three-course meal. One enters the exhibition space and is asked to place an order. Instead of food arriving, furniture gets rearranged. Tables, chairs, and menus are mobilized as sculptural material to be performed and reworked. Sculpture is as much a relational element in Godfrey’s Entrée as it is an antirelational one. As in Luis Buñuel’s Discrete Charm of the Bourgeoisie, 1972, where the characters are always

  • View of “Wendelien van Oldenborgh: From Left to Night,” 2015.
    picks June 01, 2015

    Wendelien van Oldenborgh

    The central work in this exhibition, Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s film Left to Night, 2015, unfolds over two days and three locations around West End London’s Edgware Road. The work brings together five characters who reflect on political violence and the forgotten histories of the area, which span the 2011 London riots, police harassment, and the punk lineages of a previous era. Throughout the film, Edgware Road is continuously historicized through through violence and the quotidian. Two characters of the film, Mehrak Golestan and Dean Burke, are filmed intermittently, weaving together the