Beau Rutland

  • “Outside The Lines”

    This year, a string of six shows based around the current state of abstract painting will commemorate CAMH’s sixty-fifth anniversary. Forgoing a voguish focus on the medium’s networked aspects, “Outside the Lines” will position “painting” and “abstraction” as foils for genre- defying artworks of the recent past. While Arning’s “UIA: Unlikely Iterations of the Abstract” will address contemporary reworkings of modernist ideals and his “Painting: A Love Story” will explore gestural pleasures, Daderko’s “Rites of Spring” and “Outside

  • Faith Ringgold

    Faith Ringgold’s paintings from the 1960s stand alone and they have for some time. Long excluded from art-historical narratives, the canvases are frank and unforgiving in what they depict (racial conflicts, gender troubles), but they also have a rather curious way of being so. Ringgold constructs her pointed subject matter via anomalous means, deploying odd but successful color choices, imbuing figurative compositions with bold geometry, and implementing a wending of Matissian line. This body of work—which was culled by Dorian Bergen from the 2010 survey organized by the Neuberger Museum

  • Peter Wächtler

    How do we describe our everyday existence? Colloquially, we might cheekily use the term rat race. In his first US exhibition, “B.A.C.K.,” German-born, Brussels-based artist Peter Wächtler seemed to take up this idiom, presenting a cartoon that addresses the nuanced emotions that shade the experience of daily life and stars a beleaguered, vest-wearing rodent. Untitled, 2013, smartly encodes quotidian routine and the slippages therein with a recursive structure—time may progress, but outfits and countenances don’t.

    Set in a stone chambre de bonne with peeling wallpaper and warping floorboards—a

  • Trisha Baga

    I once considered Trisha Baga a video artist, but the appellation doesn’t really fit any longer. Increasingly over the past two years, Baga has allowed the objects that have always accumulated around her projections—which she composes from off-the-cuff footage, pop-culture samplings, and fleet Final Cut edits—to enter the rarefied space of the moving image. Such dispersion plays a large role in her most recent works. Intervening mirrors, water bottles, and bits of foam, all part of an extended engagement with notions of medium and objecthood, further enables, at the risk of belaboring,

  • OPENINGS: ANICKA YI

    THE TOFU WAS OOZING FASTER than Anicka Yi had expected. Untitled, 2011, her contribution to the 2011 New York group exhibition “Skin So Soft,” organized by fellow artist Josh Kline for Gresham’s Ghost, took the form of a winkingly medium-specific video—a grid of tofu blocks and packages—projected onto a craggy tofu-brick wall. But the wall wasn’t holding its shape particularly well. To temporarily absorb the discharge (and mask the stench of deteriorating food), Yi dumped foot powder onto the rotting protein. And why not—since health food, body parts, and quotidian accessories

  • slant December 13, 2012

    Beau Rutland

    I’M TEMPTED HERE to list off some of the great monographic undertakings of 2012. They were certainly satisfying, but the year’s instances of artists refusing to supply demand seem to be more memorable in the end.

    What should have been a staid pairing of two bastions of art history, “Rembrandt and Dégas” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art left a surprisingly earnest impression of the young modernist, who defied academic standards by looking to the Dutch master’s penumbral canvases for inspiration. The resulting exhibition included several self-portraits of a vulnerable artist worried over what he

  • picks May 31, 2012

    Jana Euler

    Don’t let the blonde by the window fool you. The three paintings in Jana Euler’s solo exhibition feature closely cropped women’s faces that mislead as agreeable representations of jeunes filles, but thinly painted (and veiled) skin fails to mask an assertive substratum. The backgrounds, harlequin grids filled with quickly sketched icons, contain unsavory stimuli that provoke the response of the overpainted figures above. In the artist’s self-portrait Identity Forming Processes Overpainted, (all works cited, 2012), Euler stares stolidly outward as three autonomous brushes awkwardly deliver the

  • picks March 26, 2012

    Frances Stark

    MMM I DIDN’T THINK I HAD IT IN ME TO DO THIS. Frances Stark’s camsex epiphany also reflects her decision to continue exhibiting her ongoing risqué virtual fixation. “Osservate, leggete con me” (Observe, Read Along with Me), the latest exhibition in which she takes herself to task, is more of a continued self-evaluation than a sequel to her engrossing 2011 video My Best Thing, which incisively documents Stark’s online hedonistic proclivities with two Italian men. The two videos on view are relatively pared down in terms of composition, yet they more fully elaborate the underlying concerns in

  • picks March 17, 2012

    Anne Truitt

    “Anne Truitt: Drawings” has little to do with Anne Truitt’s sculpture, which couldn’t be better for both media. The elegantly installed retrospective of Truitt’s works on paper spotlights her career-long formal investigations, laid flat in two dimensions instead of the standard vertical three, and to dramatic effect. Made between the 1960s and ’90s, the drawings range from slight pencil lines to intense prismatic swaths of paint, the latter of which convey acts of ecstatic defilement and reveal an alter ego whose impulses Truitt never dared indulge in the presence of her august columns. 28 Dec

  • picks February 03, 2012

    George Ortman

    George Ortman’s math doesn’t always add up. His colorful geometric relief paintings, while seemingly well behaved, are anything but. Diamonds, octagons, arrows, and the occasional obtuse angle—all made of canvas, wood, and plaster—nearly align in these surprisingly relaxed constructions of less than fastidious manufacture. Ortman’s inclusion in Donald Judd’s 1965 Minimalist sermon “Specific Objects” promised a legacy that never quite materialized, perhaps due to Ortman’s ambivalence in a moment that asked artists to abandon both painting and sculpture. Yet Ortman’s independent aesthetic has

  • picks November 15, 2011

    Llyn Foulkes

    Llyn Foulkes never really “fit in” and didn’t try to either—not with the “Cool School” surrounding the Ferus Gallery, the site of his first solo exhibition in 1961, and not with the contributors to Wallace Berman’s Beat magazine, Semina, of which Foulkes was one. The bellicose Los Angeles legend has evaded artistic affiliations and classification by resisting any one recognizable style throughout his unruly oeuvre, which consistently illustrates his fraught relationship with his hometown. This much can be seen in his current exhibition of just six paintings featuring his signature rock formations.

  • “Hasta Mañana”

    “Hasta Mañana,” ABBA’s 1974 Swedish hit, barely cracked the charts overseas. But the sappy tune’s tale of a summer fling that never fully blossomed—and the attendant pain of losing, pleasure of forgetting, and indifference one needs to move on—remains universal. Though the organizers of “Hasta Mañana,” a group show at Greene Naftali, may not have had this song in mind, the doleful dirge is nonetheless a fitting anthem for the contemplative yet spirited exhibition. Employing current modes of art production and an up-to-the-moment perspective, the five artists on view use the past to

  • picks July 18, 2011

    Nancy Grossman

    Some may see Nancy Grossman’s current exhibition as a move in accord with MoMA’s pledge for gender parity, a five-year initiative that began in 2005 with the establishment of the Modern Women’s Project and concluded with the publication of the 2010 tome Modern Women. (Curiously, not one of its 512 pages mentions Grossman). Organized by Klaus Biesenbach and Christopher Y. Lew, “Heads” is a decisive presentation of Grossman’s most well-known work, which was seen in the extensive survey of early feminist art “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution,” which took over MoMA PS1 in 2008. A selection of

  • picks June 17, 2011

    “SKIN SO SOFT”

    “The future,” not quite as distant as it once seemed, generates both anxious curiosity and romantic infatuation. Gresham’s Ghost, Ajay Kurian’s itinerant curatorial project, hosts “SKIN SO SOFT,” a rather forward-thinking group show organized by Josh Kline that introduces a future that may already be here. The seven artists in the exhibition playfully and persuasively address the questions of, in Kline’s formulation, “how we’re living today and how we’ll be living tomorrow,” engaging performance and digital projects as well as New Agey materials including kudzu extract, tofu, acidophilus, and