Annie Godfrey Larmon


    IF WE WANTED to pin down an operation that tethers together Patricia L. Boyd’s work across media, it might be inversion. In the London-born, New York-based artist’s somatic, industrial work, objects turn inside out, oppose themselves, or reveal their other possible natures.This happens via form: sculptural molds hung as reliefs (in her untitled works from 2017 recently exhibited at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco), photograms (in her “Impressions” series, 2015–), and video footage presented in the negative (in Operator, 2017). But it also happens on the level of

  • Oliver Laric

    Oliver Laric’s iterative video treatise “Versions,” 2009–12, defined a certain moment of “post-internet” discourse during which the status of the image seemed bleak. It was as though the digital world and its posse of copies, avatars, and remixes were hunting down the conventions of originals and authors. Sutured together from uncredited fragments of texts by Gilles Deleuze, Heraclitus, and RZA—and read by an actress who seems to be imitating Siri—the voice-over narration for 2010’s Versions begins: “Degradation followed display; reified and emptied, the image was treated like the

  • “Analia Segal: Contra La Pared”

    Ever since Charlotte Perkins Gilman set her protagonist against the walls of the room that provoked her hysteria in “The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892), we’ve been reckoning with the Janus face of domestic design. Haven or prison, the interior is fodder for Argentine artist Analia Segal, who remembers her childhood home in Buenos Aires as decorated with the paranoia of living under a military dictatorship. The title of her exhibition at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum—which will feature an installation comprising works in sculpture, furniture, and textiles alongside

  • Channa Horwitz

    “I hope I didn’t lose you in this minutia,” concludes Channa Horwitz in a 2002 description she wrote of “Sonakinatography,” her method of graphic notation. This statement’s air of self-deprecation makes it easy to disregard, but I’d wager its inclusion warrants its significance. It was the Los Angeles artist’s intention not to lose anyone who might be inclined to engage the series of polychromatic scores she produced for five decades, from 1968 until just before she died in 2013. She used an explicitly simple language to chart time and motion for any discipline that might find it useful, and

  • Barbara T. Smith

    Barbara T. Smith, and her definitively SoCal brand of corporeally oriented Conceptualism, has until recently been underrepresented on the East Coast. In 2015, the artist’s first exhibition with Andrew Kreps Gallery centered on her work in resin, a medium she was drawn to in 1968 for its seemingly contradictory qualities of transparency and resilience. This, her second exhibition with the gallery, examined these qualities in regard to her visionary engagements with technology in the 1960s and ’70s. Archival materials documenting three cultish performances were shown alongside a suite produced

  • Meriem Bennani

    Hafida, presumably a baby boomer, wears a hijab and is leathery and principled. Siham, unquestionably a millennial, totes a Yves Saint Laurent bag and has perfected her selfie angle. Both are chikhas—female singers of the Moroccan aita musical tradition—and each sits on one side of a generational rift as wide as neoliberalism’s reach. For her thirty-minute video Siham & Hafida, 2017, Meriem Bennani arranged for the performers to meet at a café in Morocco. The resulting document weds a Bravo-bitchy feud with an empathetic account of the intergenerational complexities of a country

  • Nicolas Party

    Ingrid Sischy once located a disjunction in the critical response to the doughy imps of Fernando Botero’s paintings—there didn’t appear to be a consensus as to whether the Colombian artist’s work was a parody of the bourgeoisie or a bourgeois parody. A similar ambiguity might be attributed to the comely chalk pastels of Swiss artist Nicolas Party. With crisp, saturated graphics, Party moves through the genres of portraiture, landscape, and still life, keeping each categorically distinct, and keeping it all contemporary by borrowing art-historical styles with post-internet abandon. We see

  • picks November 14, 2017

    Olga Balema

    Fifteen of Olga Balema’s modular foam-and-vinyl sculptures—bubble-gum pink, mint green, gender-neutral yellow—form a dissembled matrix spanning the rococo molding of this gallery’s walls. Composed to first draw the eye to discrete spaces and then cohere, the attenuated shapes recall the pixilation of a degraded image, producing the illusion of a big picture but offering up instead the reality of missing information. The works function not unlike Richard Artschwager’s “blps”—sculptural lozenges that reconfigure space into the viewer’s vertical and horizontal coordinates. But where Artschwager

  • Ellie Ga

    In the opening lines of narration in Ellie Ga’s two-channel video installation Strophe, a Turning, 2017, the artist discusses Russian poet Osip Mandelstam’s comparison, in a 1912 essay, between writing a poem and lobbing a bottled message into the sea. Both acts, Ga suggests, level distance between the self and some unknown receiver—but to what end? Ga’s discussion of Mandelstam, who was persecuted by the Communists for his nonconformity, exiled, and later left to die in a Soviet work camp, is characteristically dexterous. It economically introduces the work’s ostensible subject—the

  • Willa Nasatir

    Camp, as Susan Sontag once described it, is expressed as a love of artifice and hyperbole, of “things-being-what-they-are-not.” Willa Nasatir makes pictures in this spirit; she coaxes both illusion and its failure from abstracted still-life photographs. Nasatir’s exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art—her first major institutional show in New York—includes ten large-scale C-prints and seven more modest gelatin silver prints (all works 2017). Glossy, a little melancholic, and very cinematic, each features illusion functioning variously. Though the images appear to have been

  • picks September 22, 2017

    Eliza Douglas and Anne Imhof

    Unlike the spare, languid performance of Faust, 2017—which won Anne Imhof the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Biennale and made art partner/model Eliza Douglas’s face more recognizable than Balenciaga did—the duo’s exhibition rings in as cynical excess. But perhaps that’s the point.

    The gallery is rammed with work, much of it scaled to fit just between the ceiling and floor. Examples of each artist’s paintings sit alongside fourteen new collaborative ones: variations on what appear to be the pair’s signatures, the script rotated to form a spine down the center of each black-and-white canvas.

  • Baseera Khan

    SOME FAMILIES STACK THE DOLLA BILLS. MY FAMILY STACKS THE TRAUMA. NOW I’M TRYING TO MAKE SOME MONEY OFF UNDERSTANDING MY MAMA’S DRAMA. These lines appear in the print Prayer (prostrating in submission five times a day to an entity outside of your body), the first work encountered in “iamuslima,” Brooklyn-based artist Baseera Khan’s New York debut. One of five works interpreting the five pillars of Islam (we see also Pilgrimage, Fasting, Oneness, and Zakat), Prayer has a brassy transparency that is typical of Khan’s project. The artist often levies the contradictions underlying contemporary

  • picks May 05, 2017

    Céline Condorelli

    “Epilogue,” the architect-artist Céline Condorelli’s current exhibition about exhibitions marks the swan song of P!, Prem Krishnamurthy’s “mom-and-pop Kunsthalle,” which has, in its fleeting five years, staged more than forty shows and offsite projects, many of them prodding the fraught marriage of form and the social. A happy pairing, then, as Condorelli’s work has long been invested in ransacking the political implications of historical models of display while proposing new ones. Here, the artist, in the spirit of the gallery, is reflexive: The exhibition takes as fodder the institutional

  • Ann Greene Kelly

    Of all the words that have suffered the abuses of our new administration’s slippery rhetoric, drain might have it the worst. In October, Ronald Reagan’s “Drain the swamp” refrain entered the MAGA camp’s repertoire of chants, and in January we learned that the promise to kick bureaucracy and big money out of Washington in fact meant building a cabinet of Republican establishment goons and Goldman Sachs executives.

    Drains—burdened as they are with the GOP’s semantic disassociations and destabilizations—were everywhere in “May Not Be Private,” Ann Greene Kelly’s second solo exhibition in

  • Michele Abeles

    What’s black and white and red all over? Such a question, of course, is a riddle whose punch line could be “a sunburned zebra” or “a newspaper.” Michele Abeles nods to this joke in the announcement for her recent exhibition at 47 Canal: The word zebra, her show’s title, runs vertically down an iPhone screenshot of the New York Times’s home page. The riddle’s obsoleteness—obsolete because it suggests that, in this attention-dry digital era, newspapers might be black-and-white or read to completion—is a distillation of the themes that ran through the exhibition.

    In the show were nine

  • Camille Blatrix

    Camille Blatrix’s equivocal objects seem borne from some familiar future—a yet-to-arrive moment about which we are already inexplicably melancholic. They recall the technological effluences of a bygone era: phone booths, ticket kiosks, radios, speakers, and related apparatuses intended to streamline transmission and transformation. And the works do travel, if only via the ahistorical narratives they drum up in their viewer. A font might recall the logo of a long-obsolete brand from one’s childhood, or a curve the Art Nouveau brooch worn by one’s grandmother. Often Blatrix’s works appear to

  • Caitlin Keogh

    Like that of many painters seeking to replicate the conditions of our hypernetworked moment—its recombinatory and citational visual culture, and the material disconnect between the depths of seemingly infinite information and the flat, hard reality of a screen—Caitlin Keogh’s methodology is something of an ahistorical exquisite corpse. Her work brings to mind a multitude of art-historical references: She appears to pull her sharp but voluptuous line from Jean Cocteau’s fashion illustrations from the 1930s; her dismembered figures from the dolls of Hans Bellmer and Cindy Sherman; and

  • Rosalind Nashashibi

    “To remember, one must imagine,” art historian Georges Didi-Huberman once wrote. Rosalind Nashashibi’s films task the viewer with considering this inescapable problem of memory: The recollection of an event is always corrupted by the mind that calls it forth. She often exaggerates or otherwise lays bare the unreliable mechanisms of imaginative reconstitution, interjecting documentary footage with staged elements (Jack Straw’s Castle, 2009) or restaging scenes of others’ work (The Prisoner, 2008; Carlo’s Vision, 2011). At times, she points up the tainted products of memory; at others, she provides

  • Nicholas Mangan

    Nicholas Mangan’s inquiry into the transformation and commodification of the natural world has become increasingly self-aware. The Melbourne-based artist often uses materials as metonyms for complex geopolitical and eco-financial histories. Take Nauru: Notes from a Cretaceous World, 2009–10, a video that details the financial collapse of the Micronesian island of Nauru due to the colonial exploitation of its phosphate. Or his 2013 video installation Progress in Action, which traces the history of the Pacific island Bougainville’s fight for independence from Papua New Guinea. Following protests

  • Unica Zürn’s Trumpets of Jericho

    The Trumpets of Jericho, by Unica Zürn; translated by Christina Svendsen. Cambridge, MA: Wakefield Press, 2015. 80 pages.

    “MINE IS THE REALM OF SILK.” So Surrealist artist Unica Zürn weaves a material backdrop for her slender but gutting 1968 novella about childbirth. And yet nothing here is smooth. As she dips and stutters through telegraphic references to mythology and personal memories, hypnagogically recounting a violent delivery, she can’t help but see the fiber everywhere. Silk is the blood that runs from the naked breasts of pillaging Tartars to mix with the semen from a duck’s love nest.