Anthony Hawley

  • film March 31, 2021

    Terra Infirma

    “TODAY WE ARE KNOCKING at the door of the modern world,” says the politician to the villagers of Nazaretha, bloviating into a megaphone’s detachable mic. “Your voice has been heard,” he reassures them, as if they’d asked for this, as if he, this bloated hype-man, their elected official, were doing them a favor. But representation is tricky when you stand out from the masses, clad in a sports coat, button-down shirt, and shiny gold belt buckle. “I assure you it will be worth it.” His constituents gaze at him silently. Meanwhile, throughout this bombast, the camera tracks a petite elderly woman,

  • picks March 30, 2021

    Cory Arcangel

    Stand in front of Cory Arcangel’s giant video wall long enough and you’ll get spammed with an array of offers: “Seven day free VIP trial,” the opportunity to “turn up your jam,” invitations to connect with a virtual “celebrity psychologist,” online-sofa-sale coupons. You’ll even get to go to the executive lounge at LAX with a skinny-jeaned Brat Pitt wannabe forever styling his hair. But all of this is filtered through a complex machine clunkily reading the screen area. After all, Arcangel’s work /roʊˈdeɪoʊ/ Let’s Play: HOLLYWOOD, 2017–21, is actually a live feed of a custom computer navigating

  • picks February 09, 2021

    Jason Moran

    Jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran’s new pigment-on-paper abstractions in this show, created during the pandemic, greatly broaden the relationship between the body and sound. The impressions captured by the artist in these images are, in some sense, acoustic: Moran made these works by laying sheets of paper on a piano keyboard, coating his hands with color, and then playing the instrument, producing a frottage of mechanical and musical activity. These indexical, machinic imprints function as several things at once: a performance record, a sensory stamp, and perhaps even an ex post facto

  • picks December 28, 2020

    Roger White

    I could have stayed inside Roger White’s new solo show here until 2038. Or 2086. Or 2021. From canvas to canvas, time and how we contain, categorize, and dwell within it suffuse this stellar exhibition. There are paintings of lists; paintings of disposable food containers; a portrait of a pigeon; and one glorious fusion of moods that features a Decameron-era figure writing out what appears to be sex-room bot chat in a Late Middle Ages script. All of the works are modest in scale, unassuming.

    Three rectangular and vertically oriented pieces have been made to look like mass-produced flip calendars.

  • picks December 03, 2020

    Hélio Oiticica

    A well-manicured terrain of white sand and pebbled paths stretches across the cement floor of Lisson Gallery’s 504 West Twenty-Fourth Street location. A land mass made of gentle geographic curves, Hélio Oiticica’s islet is home to a trio of shed-like structures and clusters of large tropical plants in terra-cotta pots as well as hand-painted signs on wood and clay with delicate script. Two of the makeshift constructions possess walls crafted from variously colored fabrics, tarps, and boards. The one in the back of the space, however, is a cage housing two live macaws.

    Conceived in 1966 and

  • picks September 08, 2020

    Ina Archer

    Murmurs of old Hollywood echo across the gallery in Ina Archer’s first solo exhibition here. But two entrancing noises stand out—a tolling bell and a percussive snap, which almost resembles a synth drumbeat. The former hails from a scene in the film Gone with the Wind (1939), when a pair of enslaved young men ring a giant bell signaling the end of day in the cotton fields. The latter, stretched out and on a loop, is the sound of Sidney Poitier slapping a “genteel” bigot across the face in In the Heat of the Night (1967).

    Archer masterfully samples America’s racist history in film and print while

  • picks July 22, 2020

    Daniel Canogar

    Daniel Canogar’s sinuous, ripple-like sculptures emanate colorful LED light in “Billow,” his solo exhibition here. It’s no accident that his bending architectural forms mimic hills, valleys, and mountains: Their slumbering shapes make the works’ cascading waves all the more hypnotic. As time passes, unexpected color shifts arise. Rich Prussian blues turn turquoise, only to be invaded by swaths of lemon yellow. Periodically, eroded alphabets also course along their curves, mingling with abstracted tints and tones. Outside bitforms gallery’s windows, passing cloud formations cause subtle modifications

  • picks June 01, 2020

    Barbara Hammer

    Celluloid decays, as do we. Nowhere is this more perceptible than in Barbara Hammer’s film Sanctus, 1990, a symphonic arrangement of rephotographed, moving X-rays stitched together. Part of the ongoing online series “In Company With,” this work was screened during the ’90s installment of a program dedicated to Hammer’s filmography. In it, liquids pass through organs; muscles flex around bones; skeletons shave faces and touch surfaces barely visible. Sanctus puts its viewers deep inside the human corpus; everything appears as though it were a delicate membrane—be it a bladder, tissue, or the

  • picks April 16, 2020

    Josephine Meckseper

    Josephine Meckseper’s film Pellea[s], 2017–18, is a loose adaptation of Maurice Maeterlinck’s 1893 Symbolist play Pelléas et Mélisande_,_ which features a love triangle that includes the work’s titular characters. Meckseper’s story opens on January 20, 2017, the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration. Pelléas here is a soldier, disoriented by having “goose-stepped” all day in the presidential parade, expressing bewilderment throughout the film in a magnetic voice-over combining operatic grandeur and cool detachment: “I’d arrived at this space of mirrored glass and infinite memories as if I were an

  • picks March 16, 2020

    Kevin Jerome Everson

    Two silent films frame Kevin Jerome Everson’s newest exhibition here. They feature a character, Derek Whitfield, ironing . . . and ironing. He never speaks, nor does he look out at the camera. The lens focuses primarily on his torso and hands working their way across a stark white bed sheet. In both films, Whitfield goes about his task using a rubber cast sculpture of an iron, made by Everson. Neither appliance has an electrical cord, emphasizing the ineffectual nature of such a repetitive endeavor.

    There’s something strikingly Kafkaesque yet incredibly tender about the way that Everson captures