Anne Prentnieks

  • Ane Hjort Guttu, Jason, 2015, metal advertising pylon with two video screens, 9' x 51".
    picks July 10, 2015

    Ane Hjort Guttu

    The title of Norwegian artist Ane Hjort Guttu’s exhibition of five film and installation works, “Eating or Opening a Window or Just Walking Dully Along,” refers to a line in W. H. Auden’s poem “Musée des Beaux Arts” describing artists’ portrayals of people’s busy indifference to those who suffer. Like Auden does in his poem, the characters in Guttu’s ambitious film Time Passes, 2015, reflect on Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, ca. 1558, and its depiction of farmers and seamen oblivious to Icarus, just fallen from the sun, splashing in the sea beside them.

  • Chantal Joffe, Self-portrait in a Red Dress and Orange Cardigan, 2014, oil on board, 83 7/8 x 60 1/4 x 2 3/8".
    picks June 05, 2015

    Chantal Joffe

    “Night Self-Portraits,” Chantal Joffe’s newest series of works includes fifteen sumptuous wet-on-wet paintings that depict Joffe and/or her daughter, Esme, in various poses, both solo and together as mother and child. A painter’s painter, Joffe treats the medium with an assured yet gentle, Hockneyesque irreverence, applying fluid and vibrant swaths of paint over richly colored grounds that she allows to peek through, subtly electrifying the images and suggesting the tint of artificial indoor lights. Like her pictures, Joffe’s titles are matter of fact and descriptive: Self-Portrait in a Red

  • Xylor Jane, Twelve Twenty One, 2015, oil and ink on panel, 24 x 30".
    picks May 22, 2015

    Xylor Jane

    In her latest show, Xylor Jane continues to explore the visual and cognitive qualities of numbers, mapping them onto canvases in compositions that resemble complex puzzles or decks for dark arts. In some works, such as Twelve Twenty One and Leap Second, both 2015, and RX Rose, 2012, Jane overlays staccato spots of paint on a solid ground. In others such as Threes, 2015, she applies a spectrum of hues in tightly packed, geometrically allocated spaces. This technique is magnified in Twenty Nine, 2015, a surface of glossy black paint brushed in different directions, each segment reflecting light

  • Jason Metcalf, (α 17h 45m 40.0409s / δ -29° 0′ 28.118″), 2015, airbrushed acrylic on canvas, 74“ x 9' 25”.
    picks April 17, 2015

    Jason Metcalf

    “Hie to Kolob,” Jason Metcalf’s cathedral-like exhibition, explores the quintessentially American qualities of regional evangelism and religious art, especially the pioneer’s folklore of Mormonism. Metcalf himself was raised in Utah, and his personal history is deeply steeped in the residual culture around the state’s predominant religion. Titled after a Mormon hymn that incants aspirations to reach Kolob, a star recognized by the LDS Church for its supposed proximity to God. “Hie to Kolob” is a winking homage to the massive Christus installation at Salt Lake’s Temple Square, colloquially known

  • Devin Troy Strother, I got 4 Michael Jordan's and a Lynda Benglis all over my brand new holograms, 2014, hologram mylar, mounted on acrylic sheet, poly-glue, water based vinyl paint, 36 x 50 x 2".
    picks January 23, 2015

    Devin Troy Strother

    Given the current acme of self-referencing Buzzfeed culture—the phrase 90s nostalgia is a nearly ubiquitous descriptor for the millennials’ tics—Devin Troy Strother’s new works are a timely celebration of the cannibalizing nature of this generation’s zeitgeist. Here, Strother gives the 1990s Warner Bros. flick Space Jam top billing as an aesthetic jumping-off point for his lively installations, paving two of three rooms with basketball-court-inspired flooring and the third with loopy, space-themed carpet. Though three life-size cartoon-cutout Knicks introduce the show, Michael Jordan is center

  • View of “Mary Queen of the Universe,” 2014.
    picks December 21, 2014

    Steven and William Ladd

    Like chapters from a Nordic storybook, the works in the latest show by brothers Steven and William Ladd, “Mary Queen of the Universe,” layer narrative over tradition with folksy sincerity. Created via rigorous collaboration, the prints, topographical sculptures, books, and drawings here embody a meditative additive quality, repeating unique gestures and forms across invented landscapes that pay homage to the brothers’ shared memories. Abstractly functioning as allegory rather than illustration, the works are visually carved neatly into two- and three-dimensional compartments; grid-like drawings

  • Niki de Saint Phalle, Horse and Bride, 1964, fabric, toys, steel frame 7 x 9 x 4’.
    picks October 24, 2014

    Niki de Saint Phalle

    Spanning two floors of galleries at the Grand Palais, this overdue comprehensive survey of Niki de Saint Phalle’s work begins with the French artist’s early “assemblages” of the late 1950s and ’60s, in which she packed together dolls, trinkets, and other domestic objects into densely textured sculptures of brides on horses, as in Horse and Bride, 1964, and of gigantic women giving birth, as in Bénédicte, 1965. The show is organized thematically, showing the evolution from these pieces to her iconic Gaudi-meets-Botero “Nanas” series from the mid-1960s, three of which rotate below spotlights on

  • Mickalene Thomas, Marie Femme Noire Nue Couchée 2, 2014, rhinestones, acrylic, oil and enamel on panel, 96 x 120 x 2".
    picks October 23, 2014

    Mickalene Thomas

    At the center of Mickalene Thomas’s new body of paintings, drawings, and video work, a stately portrait reprises the artist’s depictions of one of her longtime models, Marie (Marie Femme Noire Nue Couchee 2, 2014). Building on Thomas’s challenge to the machismo innate in the Western canon, Thomas has endowed Marie with a single large eye, integrating a theme of seeing and being seen that reaches back to Manet’s Olympia and Titian’s Venus of Urbino. The motif replays throughout this new series of portraits, which are richly constructed by Thomas’s uniquely styled applications of paint. Translucent

  • Brian Calvin, June, 2014, acrylic and flashe on canvas, 72 x 48".
    picks September 19, 2014

    Brian Calvin

    At a moment when social-media fatigue may be finally tempering the ebullient narcissism of practically a decade of “status updates,” Brian Calvin’s new works crystallize the inevitable malaise of an acutely self-aware population. His clever and luminous paintings—rendered in the Day-Glo colors of overexposed photographs—depict hyperexposed pretty young things casually mugging for an unseen observer, their faces flattened (visually and figuratively) with the stylized ennui of Modigliani’s oblong portraits. In Reflect, 2014, a nude woman gazes at herself in a makeup mirror, and alongside her we

  • View of “Salvatore Scarpitta: Traveler,” 2014.
    picks September 18, 2014

    Salvatore Scarpitta

    Salvatore Scarpitta, ever fascinated by the drug of extreme risk, spent many of his eighty-eight years testing the outer limits of mortality as a speed racer. His obsession with the mechanics of speed, and the emotional intensity it inspires, links the varied selections within this survey, which include race cars, sleds, and sculptural paintings. Though small, the show is comprehensive, beginning with Scarpitta’s wrapped and overlapping canvases. Swathes of fabric are woven in crude layers, each stretched so tightly along its weft that it curls along its warp—or vice versa. The suppleness of

  • KAWS, Untitled, 2014, corian, powder, aluminum, 84 x 89 x 31".
    picks September 13, 2014


    In “MAN'S BEST FRIEND,” KAWS, aka graffiti artist turned animator turned mass-productionist Brian Donnelly, has reimagined some of his invented characters (such as the Dilly Bar–like Warm Regards, which also resembles a googly-eyed steaming poop emoji on a stick, and KAWSBOB, a KAWSified version of SpongeBob SquarePants with X-shaped pupils) as supporting actors in a cast largely dominated by Charles Schulz’s Peanuts. Here, composite representations of these beings appear together or alone through installations of shaped canvas, sculpture, and mural-sized painting as well as fifty framed works

  • View of “Jerry Kearns: RRRGGHH!!!” 2014.
    picks August 15, 2014

    Jerry Kearns

    KNOCK KNOCK. Jerry Kearns’s latest show beats down its own door and invades the gallery walls with acid-colored expressions printed in large-scale comic-book bubble letters. Their onomatopoeic allusions—SKREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!—vibrate, animating the space and engulfing one in the narrative that unfolds in five wall murals and eight large paintings. The show simultaneously flattens and disbands Kearns’s layered, nuanced so-called psychological Pop paintings, which build on the American Pop tradition of painting begun by Roy Lichtenstein. Combining screenprinting and handpainting, the works