Anna Lovatt

  • View of “Mira Schendel,” 2013–14.

    Mira Schendel

    Brazilian artist Mira Schendel visited the UK only once during her lifetime, on the occasion of an exhibition of her work in London in 1966. She found the city surprisingly receptive to her artistic practice, contrasting the buzzing opening reception to the silence that had greeted another of her shows in Rio earlier that year. But although Schendel felt her early work had a “more resounding effect in England than in Rio de Janeiro,” her work has been most extensively shown and discussed within Brazil. Curated by Tanya Barson and Taisa Palhares, this exhibition was the largest international

  • View of “Cornelia Parker,” 2013. From left: Oil Stain (Bethlehem), 2012–13; Spilt Milk (Jerusalem),   2012–13.

    Cornelia Parker

    Despite its ostensibly humble, idiosyncratic materials and elegant post-Minimalist aesthetic, Cornelia Parker’s work is often infused with a frisson of danger, the aura of celebrity, or the lure of the spectacle. All three are manifest in The Maybe, her 1995 collaboration with Tilda Swinton, in which the actress lies, apparently asleep, inside a glass vitrine. Reprised intermittently at the Museum of Modern Art in New York over the course of this year, the work has drawn criticism for pandering to our culture’s obsession with celebrity, albeit in acceptably highbrow form. And indeed, there is

  • View of “Jo Spence,” 2012. Studio Voltaire.

    Jo Spence

    Jo Spence rejected the term “artist,” preferring to describe herself as a “photographer” or “cultural sniper.” This skepticism toward the art world was reflected in her distinctive modes of practice, the alternative networks via which her work circulated, and the unusual trajectory of her career. The catalogue for this two-part show characterized Spence’s aesthetic as “rough edged, recycled, personal—in essence positively amateur,” yet her works were far from dilettante dabblings, being so fundamental to the daily existence of their maker. Rather, Spence’s production was characterized by

  • Alighiero Boetti, Mappa (Map), 1971–72, embroidery on linen, 57 7/8 x 89 3/4".

    Alighiero Boetti

    IN 1968, to promote his solo exhibition at Milan’s Galleria de Nieubourg, Alighiero Boetti plastered a curious poster on walls across the city. It showed two men, one standing and facing the viewer and the other with his legs locked around the first man’s waist, hanging upside down and facing away. This image had been appropriated from occultist Eliphas Lévi’s Histoire de la Magie of 1860, but Boetti had superimposed his own features on the visible face. Titled Shaman/Showman, the poster simultaneously evoked a playing card and a tarot card, suggesting a form of game that had less to do with

  • Barry Flanagan, no. 5 ’71, 1971, fabric and wood, 25 x 104 x 99".

    Barry Flanagan

    The British sculptor Barry Flanagan (1941–2009) was best known for the bronze hares he began to produce in 1979, which earned him immediate and lasting commercial success. Despite their popular appeal, these leaping leporids were in many ways detrimental to Flanagan’s critical reputation, eclipsing the seriousness of his contribution to twentieth-century sculpture. Thankfully, this carefully selected and elegantly installed exhibition, “Barry Flanagan: Early Works 1965–1982,” provided an alternative perspective on the artist’s career. Foregrounding his radical sculptural production between 1965

  • View of “Rebecca Warren,” 2011.

    Rebecca Warren

    Over the past ten years or so, most accounts of Rebecca Warren’s work have included the same familiar list of names, conjured more or less explicitly by her sculptural forms and techniques. Degas, de Kooning, Helmut Newton, R. Crumb—this dubious patrilineage can be traced across decades and media, sustained by a tireless fascination with the female body. With virtuosity, Warren has mimicked and lampooned them all. But discussion of her work has often halted with the identification of these references, reducing her complex engagement with the politics of sculpture to a witty and pointed

  • View of “Atsuko Tanaka: The Art of Connecting,” 2011. From left: Spring 1966; Work 1968; Work ’91A, 1991.

    Atsuko Tanaka

    STANDING BAREFOOT ON A BEACH, Atsuko Tanaka drags the handle of an ice ax in an arc through the sand, drawing a circle around her body and closing it with extraordinary precision. The artist then steps out of this loop, moving sinuously but purposefully across the beach to trace a vast network of circles connected, traversed, and lassoed by lines. Captured in grainy 16-mm film, these furrows appear like skeins of rope, soon to be dragged from the shore as the camera pulls back to show the tide rolling in. Playful yet calculated, organic yet contrived, the spooled lines roll the timeless cycles

  • Dorothea Rockburne, Tropical Tan, 1967–68, wrinkle-finish paint on steel, four parts, overall 8 x 12'

    “Dorothea Rockburne: In My Mind’s Eye”

    Dorothea Rockburne’s precise configurations of paper, charcoal, chipboard, and crude oil—one of which was featured on the cover of Artforum in March 1972—were among the defining works of their period.

    Dorothea Rockburne’s precise configurations of paper, charcoal, chipboard, and crude oil—one of which was featured on the cover of Artforum in March 1972—were among the defining works of their period. Combining the phenomenological acuity of Minimal art with the conceptual rigor of set theory, these transitory installations renounced the autonomous art object in favor of contingent, shifting constellations of concepts and materials. Rockburne’s subsequent innovations in drawing, printmaking, and painting approached what is conventionally called the “support”