Annie Godfrey Larmon


    BEVERLY PEPPER’S TENSILE, totemic sculptures often register an acute sense of contingency. Over her nearly six-decade-long career—which has evaded recognition commensurate with her contributions to the development of public sculpture since its proliferation in the 1970s—the American-born, Italy-based artist has bodied forth a semiotics of flux, one playing out everywhere from the precarious angles of her cantilevered steel to her mutable surfaces of rusted iron.

    Already established as a painter, Pepper turned to sculpture in 1960, following a transformative visit to Angkor Wat, where the sinewy

  • interviews July 02, 2018

    Bracha L. Ettinger

    The most comprehensive museum exhibition in the United States so far of artist and theorist Bracha L. Ettinger’s work is on view at the UB Anderson Gallery in Buffalo, New York, until July 29, 2018, featuring four decades of paintings, notebooks, and drawings, as well as three video works. Additionally, “Bracha’s Notebooks,” a solo show curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev at Castello di Rivoli in Turin, will be on view in 2019. Here, Ettinger discusses the eclipse of the female subject in historical abstraction, the relationship between abstraction and compassion, trauma, and the remedial

  • Cosima von Bonin

    In the paintings gallery at Kunsthaus Zürich, there is a wonderfully odd work from 1892 by the Swiss symbolist Arnold Böcklin titled Saint Anthony Preaching to the Fish. It depicts the Franciscan friar addressing a beached, slack-jawed shark, grumpy groupers, and confounded barracudas; a couple of crabs raise their claws in praise. A poem by the seventeenth-century Augustinian priest Abraham a Sancta Clara tells the story of the friar, who found his church empty and went to the river to preach to more willing subjects. The poem was set to music by Gustav Mahler in 1893, and in 1979 Glenn Gould


    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