Bethany Anne Pappalardo

  • picks June 21, 2005

    “Make It Now”

    “Make It Now” presents work by twenty-eight artists (most of whom are not included in “Greater New York 2005,” the broader survey on the other side of the 7 line) and aims to take the pulse of current sculptural practice in New York City. Does it succeed in doing so? Yes, but the curatorial trio of Mary Ceruti, Anthony Huberman, and Franklin Sirmans, who collectively made over two hundred studio visits, is not one to force a narrative. Instead, they show current sculpture in all its big, loose, energized, skeptical, and persistent glory, highlighting the contributors’ willingness to take part

  • picks March 04, 2005

    Amy Globus

    For her first solo exhibition in New York City, Amy Globus has created an evocative installation with three sculptures and a video. The work extends the investigation and sensual indulgence begun with the 2001–02 video Electric Sheep, a stunningly edited sequence of close-ups of a slithering octopus in a tank set to a remix of an Emmylou Harris ballad. Globus’s new video, Electronic Sheep, 2003–2004, returns to the tank to produce an equally mesmerizing and seamless meditation on this animal’s strange existence. The emotional resonance that Globus builds from the footage makes for what seems a

  • picks January 20, 2005

    Laylah Ali

    The creatures in Laylah Ali's most recent paintings seem to be watching, waiting, for someone—or something—to creep in from the side of the frame. None look straight out. Instead, they glance steadily sideways, with beady eyes, proper posture, and hidden limbs. They are all members of Ali's signature and strange humanoid species, but in this exhibition the artist zeroes in on the individuals who have populated the multi-figure scenes of years past. She gives us blown-up faces, with hole-punched nostrils and tense, toothy smiles, but this move toward portraiture is countered by a

  • picks September 15, 2004

    Amie Dicke

    In her New York solo debut, Amie Dicke unleashes the common impulse to attack the hyperreal images of women that surround us, deploying a sophistication that is not about dismantling the idealized body but about carving it, displacing its volume with linear lace. Taking her X-acto knife to bus-stop posters and fashion spreads, she creates haunting web-like women who seem to snake up from the bottom of the page (and are always capped by an untouched head of hair). Dicke may or may not have been one of those teenagers who compulsively cuts images from magazines and pastes them to a wall or scrapbook,

  • picks March 19, 2004

    Laura Owens

    One of the pieces drawing substantial attention in the Whitney Biennial is Laura Owens’s painting of a Tim Burton–esque tree, its branches laden with forest creatures. A study for the piece sits quietly downtown at GBE (Modern). There is more blank space, and it feels a little like a plein air sketch, but it’s just as interesting and self-assured as the more elaborate version uptown. The confidence Owens has in each of her brushstrokes has always been one of the prepossessing qualities of her work. What appears clumsy, hesitant, and unrefined turns out to be sophisticated, brash, and surprising.

  • picks February 24, 2004

    Amelie von Wulffen

    The collages in this young German’s New York solo debut call to mind a broad range of references including German Romantic landscape, early-twentieth-century avant-garde montage, and cinematic tropes of a more recent vintage (horror-movie establishing shots, solarized representations of domestic bliss). Forgoing the confinements of the notebook page, von Wulffen unrolls large, loosely composed collages of painting, drawing, double-exposed photographs of landscapes and lovers, and carefully cut-out pictures of upper-crusty furnishings. She blends interior and exterior, opening up her pictorial

  • picks January 16, 2004

    “A Triple Alliance: de Chirico, Picabia, Warhol”

    “A Triple Alliance” offers the chance to consider three protean artists of Dada, Surrealism, and Pop outside the context of the movements they pioneered. Picabia’s late paintings are here, along with Warhol prints and graphite drawings from his 1982 “After de Chirico” series. De Chirico is represented by the gladiators and bathers that preoccupied him from the '20s through the '50s, as well as a few early metaphysical landscapes. The installation emphasizes the correspondences among these artists who both defined and questioned modernism. Works like de Chirico’s I gladiatori (Combattimento),

  • picks December 23, 2003

    Moyra Davey

    All the photographs here were taken in and around Moyra Davey's six different living and work spaces over the last ten years. The most remarkable ones record the unexpected and usually unobserved ways in which we inhabit our environments: dust (80 percent of which is human skin) sunlit under a bed, long brown hairs stuck to the side of a bathtub. In photographs of shiny stereo parts stacked on shelves, flies fixed on amber-colored fly paper, and small rectangles of heavy pastel lint on unidentifiable surfaces, Davey riffs on the mystery in banality. In addition to fourteen larger photographs,

  • picks November 12, 2003

    Gabriel Orozco

    Gabriel Orozco’s large hanging sculptures, now on view at Marian Goodman Gallery, are made of polyurethane foam, an industrial material the yellow ivory color of bone. Their elegant composite forms call to mind the fossilized skeletons of fish, dinosaurs, or birds, and, despite their size, they hang without strain, moving just slightly as if floating in water. Though they evoke a lineage of creations that sought to meld the organic and the mechanical—Leonardo da Vinci’s armadillo-like tanks, Vladimir Tatlin’s flying machine—for Orozco these works are essentially formal investigations.

  • picks November 04, 2003

    Jason Middlebrook

    Jason Middlebrook has reproduced the eight-hundred-mile Alaskan Pipeline (at a scale of 2.5 miles to 1 foot) as a formal and narrative thread winding in silver paint around Sara Meltzer Gallery. Along the way, it connects thirty or so drawings, beginning with a depiction of Prudhoe Bay, where the APL originates, and ending with the Port of Valdez, where the oil departs for the lower forty-eight. The multitude of graphic languages that Middlebrook brings to his work—in particular, the merging of artistic and scientific codes—has always been a major strength; here he draws on the

  • picks October 10, 2003

    “Sculpture”

    This group show could be seen as a single, quirky, dreamlike tableau—if not exactly vivant, then certainly lively. Robert Gober’s prison window, set into the wall and backed by an illusionistic sunset-saturated sky, seems to watch protectively over a trio of works—Katharina Fritsch’s eerie, robed monk, Ugo Rondinone’s shimmery cast-fiberglass olive tree, and Gober’s own oversize stick of butter—while Tony Smith’s modular cast-bronze Smug, 1973, appears to encroach menacingly upon them. Another, less fanciful reading of the show might trace relationships between Minimal and post-Minimal sculpture

  • picks September 16, 2003

    Barnaby Furnas

    In his recent watercolors, Barnaby Furnas continues to engage the eternal topoi of love, war, destruction, and ecstasy while exploring the paradigmatic dichotomies of modernist painting (figure and ground, figuration and abstraction). Furnas executes these investigations viscerally and joyfully, synthesizing a number of graphic influences ranging from nineteenth-century history painting to Carroll Dunham and contemporary cinema. His palette is bright and jewel-toned, verging on neon, giving the smaller pictures the look of mosaics or icons. The adrenaline-filled images of suicides, battles, and

  • picks September 09, 2003

    Matthew Sontheimer

    For the last few years, Matthew Sontheimer, a Houston-based artist making his New York solo debut, has been working on a project based on the myth of Sisyphus. “Within a Name” includes six of the works from this series–-four small ink–and–Wite-Out drawings on Mylar and two modestly sized vinyl wall pieces. They’re quiet and unassuming works, but they hold up under the weight of the myth. In fact, Sontheimer’s formal restraint seems crucial to his endeavor’s viability. For each piece, he uses a simple code (derived, for example, from a telephone keypad) to transpose a short text into graphic