Brian Curtin

  • View of "Communication: We Are Not the Only Ones Talking,” 2023.
    picks February 01, 2023

    George Bolster

    George Bolster’s exhibition “Communication: We Are Not the Only Ones Talking” immerses viewers in a mixture of fact and fiction, of documentary and mythology. A rounded alcove, The Impermanence of Protection: Big Bend National Park, 2023, constructs a panorama from a Jacquard tapestry of the Texas land preserve, a recent target of then-President Trump, who wanted to roll back land protections along the Mexican border. The tapestry has a cinematic quality about it, but, on closer inspection, the imagery reveals itself as pixelated and frayed in parts, upsetting the illusion. The installation

  • Pan Daijing, Uncut, 2022. Performance view, Ghost 2565, Bangkok Dock, Bangkok, October 29, 2022. Alin Charuamonchit. Photo: Kanrapee Chokpaiboon.

    Ghost 2565: “Live Without Dead Time”

    The title of this year’s Ghost, the video and performance triennial founded by artist Korakrit Arunanondchai and gallerist Akapol Op Sudasna, was Ghost 2565: “Live Without Dead Time,” its subtitle citing graffiti from the May 1968 Paris uprising, a call to revolt against the pacifying effects of consumerism. Curated by Christina Li, this edition took place in a city awakening from its Covid-19 slump. The triennial conjured a radical spirit of time and change, presenting events and exhibitions that connected and invigorated distant venues and sites. In prompting viewers to travel throughout the

  • Corban Walker, Cubed, Drawn, Halved, 2012, amber acrylic, 25 3/8 x 25 3/8 x 25 3/8." Installation view. Photo: Aisling McCoy.
    picks January 09, 2023

    Corban Walker

    For the exhibition “As Far as I Can See,” Corban Walker stripped the Crawford Art Gallery’s permanent collection from its main three rooms, whose walls he painted a neutral off-white. Within this denuded interior architecture, Walker arranged four freestanding sculptures ranging in size from relatively modest to the dominant Observation, 2012. The latter was accompanied by Beyond the Rail I–IX, 2022, a series of mirrors buttressing the venue’s low-slung panels and railings. Overseeing this blurring of exhibition and installation was TV Man, 2010-2022, a video portrait of the artist encased in

  • Anna Vogel, Neo II, 2014, pigment print, varnish, polished stainless-steel frame, 21 x 16 cm".
    picks February 18, 2015

    Anna Vogel

    Anna Vogel’s small and highly mechanical photographs have a strange impact. The artist supplies clearly delineated forms in neutral colors that claim objectivity in terms of their coolness or inexpressiveness, yet she also achieves a great sense of significance for minor and culturally marginal images. The motorcycle helmets in Tinted Transformers I and II and Pygmalion Agents (all works 2014), for instance, are oddly ominous. Signifying the industrial reduction and concealment of human bodies, these objects nevertheless appear unique and precious, suggesting proxies for an intimacy with the

  • View of “Traversing Expanses,” 2014.
    picks August 12, 2014

    “Traversing Expanses”

    The three artists in this exhibition were born in Cambodia and in refugee camps on the Thailand-Cambodia border before, during, and after the brutal reign of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. All three were subsequently raised abroad, and in this exhibition, as transnational artists showing in Phnom Penh, each aptly investigates the force of history and memory to unsettle a sense of self in the present. For instance, Amy Lee Sanford’s prints and video relate fragments of her father’s 1974 letters to her—he arranged her migration to the US prior to the emergence of the Khmer Rouge—in a personal,

  • View of “The View Through the Bull of a Manual Laborer of Menagerie Gussied over White Ground: Twenty Years of Self-Loathing and Intestinal Mishaps,” 2012, Tyler Rollins Fine Art, New York.
    interviews December 11, 2012

    Manuel Ocampo

    Philippines-born artist Manuel Ocampo is currently based in Manila, where he runs the gallery Dept. of Avant-Garde Cliches and is about to launch an alternative art school called Bureau of Artistic Rehab. Ocampo’s curatorial project “Bastards of Misrepresentation,” a multivenue survey of current art from Manila, recently opened in New York and will continue at Topaz Arts in Queens until December 30. A solo exhibition of his recent work is on view at Tyler Rollins Fine Art in Manhattan until December 22.

    THE ART SCENE IN MANILA is very dynamic and in 2003, I decided to move back here from Los

  • Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Power Boy (Evening), 2011, Epson print on paper, 59 x 89 1/2".
    picks February 01, 2012

    Apichatpong Weerasethakul

    British critic Jonathan Romney once wrote in The Independent, “We shouldn’t mistake Apichatpong [Weerasethakul]’s true nature as a hyper-sophisticated modernist with complex, innovative ideas about time and narrative,” but he didn’t elaborate on what this actually means, and he concluded his article by reminding us of the magical and bewitching aspects of the lauded artist’s works. It’s arguable that the enthralling qualities of Weerasethakul’s films and installations have generated enough discourse that the possibilities for description have been exhausted. However, Weerasethakul’s compelling

  • Richard Wright, (no title), 2011, acrylic on wall, dimensions variable. Installation view.
    picks July 20, 2011

    “Still Life”

    The inclusion of Sherrie Levine in this show alongside five younger artists—Gillian Carnegie, Anne Collier, Mark Leckey, Seth Price, and Richard Wright—was an inspired decision. Levine’s presence here not only demonstrates the continuing significance of the Pictures generation’s legacy, but also points to how expanded that tradition has become. “Still Life” reveals her methods of repetition and copying as now so diffuse in contemporary art practices as to warrant consideration beyond challenges to notions of uniqueness, authenticity, and originality.

    The curator Polly Staple perceptively suggests

  • Sopheap Pich, Compound (detail), 2011, bamboo, rattan, plywood, metal wire, dimensions variable.
    picks April 08, 2011

    “Singapore Biennale 2011: Open House”

    The declared nontheme of this year’s Singapore Biennale is “Open House,” which alludes to Asian festivals such as Dewali and Chinese New Year, a time when people open their homes to one another. In this respect, visitors are invited to experience contemporary art in terms of the everyday. But in view of 2010’s seemingly universally lauded Gwangju Biennale, which explored the contemporary, global status of the image, questions of the possibilities of what a large curated show can do hang heavy over such an open-ended approach. On the other hand, to resist or refuse a tighter theme merely brings

  • View of “Rirkrit Tiravanija,” 2010.
    picks August 17, 2010

    Rirkrit Tiravanija

    The title of Rirkrit Tiravanija’s first solo show in his ethnic homeland is “(who’s afraid of red, yellow and green)”—surely a reference to the 1982 attack on Barnett Newman’s similarly titled painting in Berlin. The vandal defended himself by claiming Newman’s painting was a “perversion” of the German flag. In Thailand, the colors of Tiravanija’s title represent factions within local nationalist politics: Those protesting the recent governments have organized themselves under the mantles of “red shirts” and “yellow shirts.” (Green, one can assume, is a reference to the army). His show comes in

  • Olivier Pin-Fat, Woman in Bar. Bangkok, October 2009, gelatin silver print, 20 x 16.”
    picks April 20, 2010

    Olivier Pin-Fat

    Photographic representations of Bangkok usually tend toward one of two poles: seamy or spiritual. The satiric online magazine recently ran a fake-news item about CNN ordering its correspondents to report on current political unrest in Bangkok from outside the “Super Pussy” bar––the joke being that international media coverage typically and gratuitously references this country’s famous sex industry. On the other hand, the tourism authority of Thailand and any number of local photographers and publishers portray Thailand as halcyon, full of Buddhist architecture and enriching

  • Ohm Phanphiroj, Untitled, 2009, black-and-white photograph, 10 x 14 1/2". From the series “The Disabled,” 2009.
    picks November 16, 2009

    Ohm Phanphiroj

    Ohm Phanphiroj’s latest series of photographs, “The Disabled,” 2009, was shot at the “Male Disabled Center and Rehabilitation” in southeast Thailand. In these works, Phanphiroj eschews the high production values of his previous images of beautiful young men and Thai transsexuals for heavily shadowed and mostly gritty black-and-white shots. Many of the figures lie or crouch; some are naked, including one man who is tied to a pipe while, nearby, a dog dozes in the shade. Phanphiroj also resists the conventions of portraiture for views of the disabled men in situ. Soulless concrete architecture is