Camila McHugh

  • View of “Feliza Bursztyn,” 2021–22. Photo: Annik Wetter.

    Feliza Bursztyn

    A frenzied jangling echoes intermittently throughout the Feliza Bursztyn retrospective in the converted twelfth-century monastery and brewery that houses the Muzeum Susch. The sounds made by the Colombian artist’s kinetic sculptures, which are activated on a timer for conservation purposes, seems to beckon one through the large-scale exhibition that spans Bursztyn’s oeuvre from 1964 through to her abrupt death in 1982 at the age of forty-eight. Propelled by electric motors attached to constructions in metal and fabric, this rattling encapsulates the drive to provoke that undergirded Bursztyn’s

  • Teresa Gierzyńska, Tęsknota (Longing), 1986, gelatin silver print, aniline, 11 3⁄4 × 15". From the series “O niej” (About Her), 1979–.

    Teresa Gierzyńska

    “Women Live for Love,” announced the title to Teresa Gierzyńska’s exhibition, broadcasting an essentialist declaration in order to complicate it. Curator Joanna Kordjak offered a decidedly feminist take on Gierzyńska’s oeuvre, bringing together works from three series dating to the 1970s and ’80s consisting of photographs, photomontages, and press prints portraying women. At that time, the Warsaw-based artist was particularly interested in material experimentation, messing with mechanical reproducibility by tinting her black-and-white photographs with synthetic dyes or pressing images cut from

  • Fausto Melotti, Teatrino (Little Theater), ca. 1950, glazed ceramic, painted clay, 18 1⁄8 × 11 3⁄4 × 3 1⁄2". From the series “Teatrini,” 1930–85.

    Fausto Melotti

    “Fausto Melotti: Theatre” traces the prolific Italian artist’s marked affinity for the stage in works ranging from pencil-and-ink drawings of Orpheus dating to the 1920s and ’30s to delicate, quasi-scenographic sculptures in brass, wood, and fabric made beginning in the ’70s through 1986, the year of his death at the age of eighty-five. Though hints of allegory and allusions to storytelling are part of the dramaturgical dimension of Melotti’s work, the show suggests that he approached theater as a material rather than a narrative form. In Da Shakespeare (After Shakespeare), 1977, for instance,

  • Joanne Robertson, Last Sun, 2022, oil on canvas, 70 3/4 x 59 x 1"
    picks March 18, 2022

    Joanne Robertson

    Joanne Robertson’s three large-format oil paintings hold the room at Sandy Brown, where the effusive quality of their bright, loping tangles seems to open up the Berlin gallery’s tiny storefront. Swathes of blue in subtly varied hues form a thread between Dawn, Howl, and Last Sun (all 2022), each of which conveys a state of tentatively resolved chaos. These are pretty paintings. There is something earnest about their attention to the emotive potential of complementary colors, as in the light orange and fainter purple that seem to rise to the surface against kinetic blue and yellow marks in Dawn

  • Caroline Bachmann, Nuages reflet (Cloud Reflection), 2021, oil on canvas, 15 3⁄4 × 11 3⁄4".

    Caroline Bachmann

    Caroline Bachmann started painting Lake Geneva and the surrounding mountains from the vantage point of her studio almost a decade ago, setting the landscape in frame-like openings within the composition. She lifted the device from the American painter “discovered” by Marcel Duchamp in 1917, Louis Michel Eilshemius, who often painted frames around his naturalistic scenes. Bachmann’s outlines are wonkier than Eilshemius’s, and those that contoured the depictions of ridge, lake, and sky in her exhibition “Nine Landscapes, Two Portraits, and One Candy Bar” resembled the windows of planes or trains,

  • Noah Davis, Mary Jane, 2008, oil and acrylic on canvas, 60 × 52 1⁄4".

    Noah Davis

    A girl clad in a wide-collared smock, knee-high socks, and black buckled shoes stands before a leafy green-and-black pattern, worked over in a thick impasto. Her dark skin and composed expression, by contrast, appear smooth, having been rendered in the artist’s characteristically dry paint application, which lends these figures their softness. Perhaps she’s posing on the first day of school. Just as the figure’s glinting gaze anchors the composition of this large-format work in oil and acrylic, the painting, titled Mary Jane, 2008, itself grounded the first London exhibition devoted to Noah

  • Adam Shiu-Yang Shaw, an interval between events, 2021, MDF, OSB, wood, glass, concrete, plaster, light fixture, acrylic paint, enamel paint, wood stain, wax, hardware, found materials, 6 x 2 x 3 3/4'.
    picks January 25, 2022

    Adam Shiu-Yang Shaw

    So banal is the immediate impression of Adam Shiu-Yang Shaw’s “What Time Has Left” that you could almost fail to notice the exhibition’s three freestanding sculptures and series of wall reliefs, even as you stand before them. But it soon becomes evident that this kind of overlookable presence is the very sensibility the Berlin-based Canadian artist is after in his abstracted composites of urban architectural details like door buzzers, sewer grates, and window frames. These structures in MDF, plaster, and other materials eventually command attention as the precise lines of their rectangular forms

  • Sharona Franklin, Drosophila Clock X, 2021, silver, brass, aluminum, mixed metal, expired pharmaceuticals, wood, foraged bone, antler, photographs, enamel, 19 3⁄4 × 19 3⁄4".

    Sharona Franklin

    IT AIN’T CARE IF IT AIN’T CAREFUL, read the black uppercase letters against lime-green shag in Sharona Franklin’s wool-carpet work If it ain’t careful, 2021. Stretching the length of the wood-paneled wall that faces the gallery entrance, alongside two other green-carpet text works, the piece functioned as a greeting—and an instruction of sorts—for visitors to Franklin’s exhibition “Axioms of Care.” (The show was curated by Laura Stellacci for the Pristina, Kosovo–based gallery LambdaLambdaLambda, which shares the Brussels space La Maison de Rendez-Vous with two other international galleries.)

  • Wilhelm Sasnal, Shoah (A Forest), 2003, oil on canvas, 17 3⁄4 × 17 3⁄4".

    Wilhelm Sasnal

    Wilhelm Sasnal’s deft shifts among painterly styles and techniques are positioned in his exhibition “Such a Landscape” as ways to broach the inadequacy—the inevitable lapse—of representations of the Holocaust. Curated by Adam Szymczyk and marking Sasnal’s first solo foray in his native Poland since 2007, the show brings together some sixty works made between 1999 and the present, ranging from the almost abstract green landscape Shoah (A Forest), 2003, which takes Claude Lanzmann’s 1985 film of the same name as a starting point, to a pair of photorealistic paintings, First of January (side) and

  • View of “Paul Neagu” 2021. Photo: Sandra Maier.

    Paul Neagu

    The Paul Neagu retrospective at the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein opened with a leap—a looped clip of the artist’s repeated attempt to run up a wall from a film of his 1976 Hyphen-Ramp performance at the Serpentine Gallery in London. Neagu’s feet tapped the wall with each jump, as a blindfolded Perry Robinson, a student of his at the time, marked the end point of an invisible ramp delineated by his split-second ascent. The video introduced the exhibition’s emphasis on the way in which geometries mapped by and onto the body formed the core of Neagu’s abstraction as he moved between drawing, sculpture,

  • Lawrence Abu Hamdan, The Witness-Machine Complex (detail), 2021, fourteen LED lightbulbs, seven steel stands, seven projectors, sound, 23 minutes.
    interviews October 12, 2021

    Lawrence Abu Hamdan

    Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s exhibition “The Witness-Machine Complex,” on view through November 14 at the Kunstverein Nuremberg, focuses on the system of simultaneous interpretation that facilitated the Nuremberg trials. Here, Abu Hamdan reflects on the absence of the translation from the official history of the trial and his understanding of interruptions as veracious moments.

    IN 2018, I was invited to respond to the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Nuremberg trials, which was exciting because I’ve been thinking about systems of simultaneous translation for a long time, and the very first use of such

  • Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Pertinho de Alphaville (Close to Alphaville), 2010, slide projection, color, sound, 20 minutes.

    Céline Condorelli and Wendelien van Oldenborgh

    Céline Condorelli and Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s “Work, Work, Work (Work)” opened with Condorelli’s wall vinyl Credits, 2021, acknowledging the dozens of people involved in mounting the two-artist show. Also noting the time (sixty days), the space (476 square meters), and the materials (digital files, paper, paint, and so on) that went into the exhibition’s production, the piece was emblematic of the show’s ethos: a concern with orienting infrastructure to facilitate collectivity. Echoing film credits, the piece anticipated the way in which many of Condorelli’s sculptural works appeared to shape