Beau Rutland


    Curated by Melissa Blanchflower

    In the decade following the revelatory exhibition of Faith Ringgold’s paintings from the 1960s at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, New York, the artist, activist, author, and educator began, finally, to receive the sort of attention she richly deserved. For one, her American People Series #20: Die, 1967, an unflinching portrait of race relations through the lens of history painting, was acquired in 2016 by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, where it has largely remained on display since joining that storied collection. Ringgold’s solo show at the


    JENNIFER PACKER PAINTS intimate pictures. Her source material ranges from photographs to sittings to imagined scenarios, but the subjects are always the people she is closest to—friends, fellow artists, relatives, lovers. Unlike other contemporary artists who claim the portrait as their métier, Packer isn’t aiming to glamorize anyone, much less idealize them. She showcases ambiguity and hints at the fissures and contradictions of personality. With complex, confident paint handling and an increasingly restrained palette, she conveys affection and concern, yet establishes a respectful distance

  • Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art: “An American City”

    As anyone who’s been to Cleveland can attest, its civic pride runs deep. While the Cavaliers have recently brought much-needed acclaim to Believeland, the city continues to face hardships found throughout the Rust Belt. FRONT International, the Cleveland-based triennial debuting this summer, seeks to directly confront the city’s complex history and current realities through various initiatives, including the re-creation of a 1973 mural by Julian Stanczak, and Michael Rakowitz’s citywide project responding to the fatal police shooting of twelve-year-old Tamir Rice in

  • Peter Saul

    HOW LONG UNTIL Peter Saul is rediscovered once and for all? His off-putting yet oddly appealing paintings—marked by a Day-Glo palette, cartoonish (dis)figuration, and obscene imagery—emerged in the early 1960s, gaining him prominence and notoriety by the decade’s end. Though he has consistently shown at galleries and smaller museums, Saul’s work has always been seen as slightly out of step—puerile, even. Deeply irreverent toward art, the art world, and the world at large, his paintings maintain a willful distance from prevailing notions of good taste, assailing decorum with a vile

  • picks October 13, 2017

    Joan Brown

    Why isn’t Joan Brown taken seriously? Despite support from curators and collectors throughout her trailblazing, four-decade-long career, Brown remains shockingly left out of the conversation. There are a few factors to consider: Brown was closely affiliated with “West Coast art” in the 1970s and 1980s, when the term was still used pejoratively; her sentimental subject matter was way ahead of its time (consider her domestic scenes, kissing couples, animal portraits, as well as various family members); and most notably, Brown wasn’t afraid of painting an ugly picture, as her inclusion in Marcia

  • Reena Spaulings

    AFTER MORE THAN A DECADE of caustic yet playful teasing of the contemporary art apparatus, Reena Spaulings has been granted a retrospective—sort of. To offer some historical background for the uninitiated: In 2003, writer John Kelsey and artist Emily Sundblad opened Reena Spaulings, a gallery on New York’s Lower East Side, which has since launched the careers of many influential artists. In 2004, artworks made by Kelsey and Sundblad under the moniker “Reena Spaulings” began appearing in group shows. Audiences then learned a great deal about Reena—as both artist and gallery are usually


    Over the past three decades, the Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, an Alpine mystic of sorts, has gained international attention for a dizzying array of works in nearly every medium imaginable, bound by a humanist undercurrent. “The world just makes me laugh,” the artist’s first major show in the Bay Area, is the penultimate stop of a five-part “serial exhibition” that had previous iterations in Rotterdam, Rome, and Cincinnati, each installation featuring its own catalogue. This latest  manifestation will feature both iconic Rondinone works and more recent ones—figurative

  • Whitney Biennial 2017

    Following a three-year hiatus to accommodate the museum’s move downtown, the Whitney Biennial makes its Gansevoort Street debut this March. As the republic falls before our very eyes, one hopes that this divisive survey of American art will react against, and not just reflect, the current state of affairs. This year’s roster of sixty-three artists and collectives is thankfully diverse in perspectives and refreshingly full of emerging and underrecognized voices—absent are the many elder statesmen often gratuitously included in these affairs. The


    A SINK with a grim provenance—salvaged from a morgue—is filled to the brim with turquoise water that disguises the school of fish within; snails crawl inside an old-timey popcorn cart: Max Hooper Schneider has become known for artworks that fuse natural ecosystems with unlikely readymades, resulting in uncanny, otherworldly habitats. Hooper Schneider’s ephemera, including dishwashers, a porcelain birthday cake, and a coffin, become host sites for invasive species whose mere presence reminds us that no matter how hermetic our online, mostly indoor lives might seem, we can’t seal ourselves off

  • Kerstin Brätsch

    IS KERSTIN BRÄTSCH a skeptic or a believer? Throughout her practice, the artist subverts individual aesthetic gestures, technical skill, and objecthood, but it’s often difficult to tell whether Brätsch wants to critique the “institution”—or warmly embrace it. On one hand, her work can be overburdened with a proliferation of voices, so that any individual output is subsumed under other monikers and makers. On the other, her paintings are elegant, considered—ready to be wistfully contemplated and quickly acquired. Like Martin Kippenberger before her, Brätsch surrounds her work with

  • “Alex Da Corte: Free Roses”

    Despite a soft-spoken beginning, Alex Da Corte’s practice has become rather spectacular in recent years. His large-scale built environments—think low-end consumer goods encased in high production value—register as an amalgam of an advertising studio, a Christie’s day sale, and a domestic interior designed by an overzealous decorator with Memphis on the mind. Such installations feature everyday objects and artworks by Da Corte and others, as well as replicas of said works. The first institutional survey of the artist’s shape-shifting oeuvre, “Free Roses” will span

  • “Marina Pinsky: Dyed Channel”

    Marina Pinsky has quickly become known for material explorations that often enmesh photography and sculpture. For her first major institutional exhibition, Pinsky will train her eye on the host city itself, surveying Basel’s history as a capital of the chemical industry—from its aniline-dye factories in the mid-nineteenth century to its current gaggle of corporate pharmaceutical residents (e.g., Roche). Sprawling across the kunsthalle’s ground floor, the show will feature newly made work, including a commissioned installation of two dozen large-scale sculptures in

  • “Anicka Yi: 6,070,430K of Digital Spit”

    Anicka Yi can’t forget the “taste” of El Bulli recipe 1647, mentholated and matcha-infused water vapor sealed below a layer of ice. Like Ferran Adrià before her, Yi is drawn to enmeshing the scientific and the sensual. This vital aspect of her practice has been enriched by her experience last year as an MIT visiting artist, which granted Yi long-desired access to scientific expertise. This exhibition—a multifaceted installation—promises to be her most consuming outing yet. In the spirit of her molecular gastronomic madeleine, diffused menthol vapor and a curious

  • Sturtevant

    WHAT BECOMES A LEGEND MOST? For years, the artwork, actions, and life of Sturtevant operated like a trade secret, quietly scrambling preconceived notions of the origin of appropriation. Having been one of the first postwar artists to create paintings and sculptures that other artists had already created, she now appears to be the matriarch of a postmodern brand of screwing around with Serious Things. Like the recently revived work of pseudonymous artist Vern Blosum, Sturtevant’s “deliberate imitations” (as described by Lil Picard in a 1965 review) have increasingly been adopted by those seeking


    WHO HUNG the Sherrie Levine next to a David Hammons? If this curatorial decision seemed intuitive in one sense—which two artists since the 1970s have made greater strides while ignoring convention?—the pairing still left many visitors to the 2014 Whitney Biennial in New York perplexed or provoked. And most viewers were likely oblivious to the looming presence on the same wall of a third artist: Gaylen Gerber, under whose auspices the entire arrangement quietly took place. Indeed, such thoughtful but startlingly simple hangings are integral to Gerber’s now-signature “Backdrop” series.


    WHAT DO WE EXPECT OF PHOTOGRAPHY TODAY? Should it muse on the negotiations of our screen-filled lives? Or comment on Photoshop, the software that has seemingly come to stand for the medium itself? Recent essays and exhibitions have suggested as much, yet there are other paths too—escape routes from such technological determinism, for artists looking to extricate their work from the drop-shadow corner into which they have been backed. Los Angeles–based artist Marina Pinsky has found her own way by approaching the medium untraditionally: to put it simply, as a sculptor. Even if her photographs

  • Leslie Hewitt

    Leslie Hewitt’s artwork has remained admirably consistent since she began exhibiting around a decade ago, still strongly exuding intelligence and revealing the artist’s knack for mining the aesthetic possibilities of a given image. Replete with ideas about memory, iconography, representations of race, and models of display, her formally relaxed practice stands as a thought-provoking engagement with pictures en abyme. Typically, Hewitt arranges printed materials, photos, and the occasional object into assemblages, photographs them in her studio, and displays the works both on and leaning against

  • Jimmy DeSana

    At once anonymous and familiar, the figures populating Jimmy DeSana’s performative photographs are stripped of identity, their faces either cropped out of the frame, turned away from the camera, or obscured by objects both commonplace (gauze, motorcycle helmets) and of a more exotic variety (leather s/m masks). A sense of alienation pervades these images. Yet in this loose survey, the first exhibition of DeSana’s work at Salon 94, the inclusion of his portraits of downtown habitués—ranging from such notables as Debbie Harry and William S. Burroughs to more obscure denizens of the scene—adds

  • picks September 23, 2013

    Josh Kline

    “Quality of Life,” Josh Kline’s second solo exhibition, feels like a culmination of sorts, certainly in regards to the resurgence of posthumanism in contemporary art—in the context of his work, bodies that have surpassed the human condition and its inherent weaknesses—the discussion of which Kline has galvanized by his corporeal artwork and unflagging curatorial endeavors. Two years after his solo debut at 47 Canal, Kline’s new installation trades the sterility of a Duane Reade for that of a cryogenics lab, replete with glowing walls, sardonic empowerment cocktails hanging in minimally branded


    IT MAY SEEM RETARDATAIRE, but I’d like to have an intimate, lifelong relationship with an artwork, becoming so familiar with it that the effects of aging stand out against my memories of our initial acquaintance. Even those who don’t share this ambition are likely to agree that happening upon an artwork that has been too exuberantly restored or conserved can elicit a feeling of betrayal. Perhaps art should be subject to the risks of being alive, allowed to grow old, and even, ultimately, to die. If an entire generation of process and post-Minimal artists broached this possibility—the