Canada Choate

  • Herbert Zangs

    The late German artist Herbert Zangs (1924–2003)—who worked primarily with cardboard, staples, wood, and white paint in the years following World War II—generated a sorely underrecognized oeuvre that’s as blissfully meditative as it is dense with painterly innovation. “Plus Minus” at Blain|Southern—the first New York exhibition of Zangs’s work in fifty years—unearthed yet another example of the white monochrome’s presence during the early 1950s. When Robert Rauschenberg was showing his 1951 White Paintings to audiences both dubious and offended and Robert Ryman was observing the modernist canon

  • Joan Brown

    When the goings-on in contemporary San Francisco weigh heavily on the conscience, a reexamination of the work of the city’s earlier visionaries can provide a fleeting moment of relief. The painter Joan Brown was born in the Bay Area in 1938 and lived there until her tragic death in 1990. Selections from her oeuvre were recently on view at Anglim Gilbert Gallery, located in the new Minnesota Street Project gallery complex—just over a mile from the recently constructed Golden State Warriors stadium and surrounded by garish property developments that threaten to erase the neighborhood’s industrial

  • music June 19, 2019

    Dub Daze

    “A FACT OF ANY SUCCESSFUL POP RECORD,” Brian Eno argued in Artforum’s summer issue in 1986, “is that its sound is more of a characteristic than its melody or chord structure or anything else.” The advent of recording technology and synthesizers had by that time already exponentially broadened composers’ sonic palettes, and musical interest was no longer merely in melody, serialization, or polyphony, but in “constantly dealing with new textures.” Over the last three decades, composer, visual artist, and turntablist extraordinaire Marina Rosenfeld has built up a library of dubplates—those rare,

  • “KIM GORDON: LO-FI GLAMOUR”

    Curated by Jessica Beck and Benjamin Harrison

    In 1988, Sonic Youth borrowed an Eric Emerson monologue from Warhol’s Chelsea Girls (1966) for the lyrics of the Daydream Nation track “Eric’s Trip.” In 2019, on the occasion of her institutional debut, the Andy Warhol Museum has flipped the script by commissioning Kim Gordon to score Warhol’s silent Kiss (1963–64). Alongside Sound for Andy Warhol’s Kiss, which Gordon recorded live in the Warhol’s theater with guitarist Steve Gunn and experimental rock stalwarts Bill Nace and John Truscinski, “Lo-Fi Glamour” will feature a selection of Gordon’s

  • Ger van Elk

    The art of Dutch Conceptualist Ger van Elk (1941–2014) arrived stateside for a solo outing, the artist’s first in America since the dealer Marian Goodman, organizer of fellow jokester Marcel Broodthaers’s inaugural US exhibition, showed his work back in 1986. Though the two men share many poetic and intellectual concerns—most notably an affinity for Duchampian wit—Van Elk’s exploration of the life of images centers on the photograph, which he called his “faithful friend and basis.” In order to reintroduce Americans to Van Elk in advance of a 2021 retrospective at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum,

  • music February 27, 2019

    SO SO DEAF

    WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE between being boring and being uninteresting? Panda Bear’s show at Pioneer Works earlier this month, during which he played almost exclusively material drawn from his 2018 EP A Day With the Homies and his 2019 LP Buoys, left me wondering which of those adjectives best describes his musical sin. Noah Lennox (aforementioned Panda Bear, and member of Animal Collective), with the help of Person Pitch (2007) producer Rusty Santos, built the nine tracks on Buoys out of repetitive acoustic guitar strumming, a few samples, a deep, almost inaudible bass, and his wheedling voice.

  • ALTERNATIVE MATH

    IN HER 1979 TREATISE on language’s limited capacity for communication, “An Inscription / / / A Work in Progress,” Swedish-American polymath Catherine Christer Hennix invokes Sylvia Plath’s radio play Three Women: “It is these men I mind. They are so flat that they want the whole earth flat.” Such resistance might well characterize Hennix herself, whose work, spanning mathematics, music, sculpture, and poetry, is anything but one-dimensional. Though she played a central role in the development of minimalist music in the late 1960s, Hennix has neither performed nor exhibited much since 1976, when

  • “CHARLOTTE POSENENSKE: WORK IN PROGRESS”

    Curated by Jessica Morgan and Alexis Lowry

    Though Charlotte Posenenske conscientiously ejected herself from the art world fifty-one years ago, it can’t bear to let her go without a fight. This spring, as part of a larger push to bring more work by women into the Dia universe, Dia:Beacon will premiere the first North American retrospective of the German serial Minimalist’s dense yet abbreviated oeuvre of drawings, wall reliefs, and modular sculptures. Posenenske’s prototypes for these freestanding works, designed to be configured and reconfigured by their audiences, will be on view alongside more

  • picks November 09, 2018

    “Focus: Wiener Werkstätte Jewelry”

    Literally a jewel box of a show, this exhibition of jewelry, made by the Wiener Werkstätte (1903–32)—a coalition of Viennese artists and artisans committed to fusing traditional craftsmanship to modern design principles—is hidden amid a sea of contour drawings by Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. Curator Janis Staggs has assembled an impressive collection of recherché miniature masterpieces here, many drawn from private collections, and displayed them in a wooden vitrine lined with a luscious black fabric that sets off their polychromatic, semiprecious stones. Diamonds have little place in the

  • picks September 20, 2018

    Marlene McCarty

    Marlene McCarty’s mammoth, unframed drawings of homicide and hellfire occupy two smaller spaces in the back of this gallery. Both multipart works on display—one of Patty Columbo (guilty of familicide at only nineteen years old) and another, of the China Camp site in San Rafael, California (where sixteen-year-old Marlene Olive and her boyfriend burned the bodies of her adoptive parents)—hug the gallery walls. McCarty allows viewers to get as dangerously close as they like to her exquisite ballpoint and graphite strokes. Titled “The Enormity of Time,” the exhibition takes as its locus the United

  • “HILMA AF KLINT: PAINTINGS FOR THE FUTURE”

    More than a century after the fact, Hilma af Klint’s unfulfilled dream of displaying her divinely inspired abstract paintings in a spiral-shaped temple will finally come true. For her first major retrospective in the US, Frank Lloyd Wright’s “temple of the spirit” will host more than 160 of Klint’s works, most made in secret in Sweden between 1906 and 1920, while the artist was under the influence of theosophy, Rosicrucianism, and the occult. Some consider these paintings the earliest examples of modernist abstraction. By bringing her seldom-seen

  • picks August 24, 2018

    Emily Furr

    For her first-ever solo exhibition, “Mother Lode,” painter Emily Furr has adorned the white walls of this gallery with intimately scaled oils of rockets, vents, chains, and buzz-saw blades floating in celestial skyscapes. The artist’s boxy yet sexually suggestive paintings, executed on board, combine rough surface textures with formal exactitude. In Hole Glory (all works 2018), an oblong, gray object enters from the left to pierce the center of a reflective, red torus set in a field of impastoed cerulean paint, lightly abutting the right edge of the canvas on its way out. Clap Trap 2 treats a

  • music August 13, 2018

    Reheat Waves

    THERE IS NOTHING I LOVE MORE than seeing bands of older white men reunify—off the top of my head, I can say that I’ve seen Faust, Television, the Patti Smith Group, Sonic Arts Union, and the Beach Boys all within the last four years. It’s an unholy hobby, but a hobby nonetheless. I missed the Fall, which will always be a disappointment to me, but I wasn’t going to sleep on a chance to see what remains of This Heat, the Camberwellians known for their two studio albums, This Heat (1979) and Deceit (1981), as well as their lone 12-inch, Health and Efficiency (1980). And so I forsook The Bachelorette

  • picks May 11, 2018

    Tony Cokes

    “On Non-Visibility,” Tony Cokes’s first show here, opened just as Kanye West’s Trump tweets turned the internet upside down. Could the gallery have known what was coming? Cokes, who teaches in Brown University’s Modern Culture and Media department, has spent the last thirty years crafting films that examine contemporary Western culture’s multifarious (and often contradictory) manifestations by presenting text appropriated from theory, advertising, the news, and myriad other sources on solid-colored backgrounds. Pop songs from a wide array of genres accompany these PowerPoint-y slides, doubling

  • music May 07, 2018

    Hey Superstar

    FROM THE RECENT BROADWAY REVIVAL of the postmodern epic Cats (1981) to NBC’s live broadcast of Jesus Christ Superstar (1970) starring Chrissy Teigen’s husband as the Son of God, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber is everywhere these days. The tsar of the mega-musical has long been on the mind of the British experimental musician Klein, who recently graced New York with a live performance, her first since the premiere of her musical Care at London’s ICA this past February. Care, which was in part inspired by her appreciation for Lloyd Webber’s melodramatic, melodic storytelling, gave Klein a chance to work,

  • picks April 02, 2018

    “Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55”

    I was taught the common myth of art’s disappearance in Germany immediately after the war and its reemergence in the early 1960s in my first-year introductory course on twentieth-century art. Lynette Roth, the curator of “Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55,” smacked me in the face with my own ignorance in this staggering survey of works made between the beginning of the fall of the Nazi empire and Germany’s entrance onto the world’s stage of mass consumerism. Using a loosely chronological format, “Inventur” tracks Germany’s economic recovery alongside artists’ developing access to materials—both

  • music March 16, 2018

    Pop Is Pop

    YOU MIGHT NOT BE SURPRISED to learn that there are only four degrees of separation between Jacques Derrida and Charli XCX. The father of deconstruction and the atomic pop songstress form the ends of a chain held together by A.G. Cook of PC Music and Green Gartside of Scritti Politti. Cook, who produced XCX’s late 2017 “mixtape” Pop 2, has hailed Scritti Politti’s Cupid & Psyche 85 as an example of pop music taken to its “extreme,” a limit toward which he himself aspires. As evinced by its title, Pop 2, like Cupid & Psyche 85 before it, is all about popular music. Curiously though, there is no