Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith

  • Patrick Graham, The Life and Death of Hopalong Cassidy, 1988, tetraptych, mixed media on canvas, overall 6' × 18' 1⁄8".

    Patrick Graham

    “Patrick Graham: Transfiguration” was the most extensive solo presentation the Hugh Lane has mounted for quite a while. Apart, that is, from its permanent housing of the studio of Francis Bacon, whose tortured sensibility and renditions of the body in extremis have parallels in Graham’s work. The show encompassed almost two dozen substantial paintings—the six-by-eleven-foot-plus diptych was a format the artist favored during his heyday in the 1980s—as well as sixteen drawings, none of them small and all among his signal achievements. Though most of these mixed-media works on paper were from the

  • View of “Scampolo!,” 2022. Photo: Denis Mortel.
    picks April 28, 2022

    Eric N. Mack

    Known for formally agglutinative, strikingly hued, large-scale three-dimensional works composed of stained or dyed fabric and sometimes augmented by small objects and found photographs, Eric N. Mack prefers his art to be construed within the expanded field of painting. While this suggests an intriguing set of antecedents, from Robert Rauschenberg’s “Jammers” to the draped canvases of Sam Gilliam, viewers of this particular exhibition are required to negotiate it as they would an immersive installation. Titled “Scampolo!,” the Italian word for “remnant,” the show was born of an invitation to

  • Joëlle Tuerlinckx, B (bèche), 2021, found object, metal base, welded metal rod, coins, magnet, 51 1⁄8 × 7 7⁄8 × 4".

    Joëlle Tuerlinckx

    I once saw Joëlle Tuerlinckx spend the preview of a solo exhibition at a prestigious institution in her native Belgium shifting her works around the gallery spaces and gradually adding to their number, to the bemusement of the invited guests. By the time the show opened to the public the following evening, it was unrecognizable, seeming to contain twice as much material as before. Instability, flux, and recombination have always been fundamental to her artmaking, as has a unique mode of site responsiveness. This is an artist who once likened being invited to exhibit in a particular space to

  • View of  “L’Âme Primitive,” 2021.
    picks February 02, 2022

    L'Âme Primitive

    Located in the former home and studio of the Russian-born sculptor Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967) near the Jardin du Luxembourg, this quiet haven with its sculpture-filled garden hosts several special exhibitions a year. “L’Âme Primitive” (The Primitive Soul), curated by Jeanne Brun and Claire Le Restif, is an exquisitely modulated presentation of works by thirty artists ranging from Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) to Morgan Courtois and Corentin Canesson (both born in 1988). Given the domestic scale of the gallery spaces, the profusion of works could have been bewildering, were it not for the exhibition’s

  • Magali Reus, Sentinel (Waterfall Plot), 2017, sprayed fiberglass and polyester resin, air-brushed aluminum embroidered custom weave viscose, polyester, cotton, sand-cast bronze, laser engraved leather, cotton twine, powder-coated steel, aluminum, dimensions variable.

    Magali Reus

    Eagle-eyed visitors to “Hot Cottons,” Magali Reus’s first solo presentation in Scandinavia—and the London-based Dutch artist’s largest exhibition to date—will have noticed a short column of numbers, ascending in regular intervals, discreetly incised into the plastered walls at the gallery’s threshold. This ghostly calibration was echoed intermittently elsewhere, a tantalizing complement to a myriad of glyphs, graphemes, motifs, and devices that adorned the disparate surfaces of Reus’s sculptures, as if they had swarmed through the exhibition and settled at will. Those familiar with

  • View of “Lydia Ourahmane: Paralysis,” 2015.
    picks June 11, 2015

    Lydia Ourahmane

    “Paralysis,” Lydia Ourahmane’s latest solo exhibition, deliberately invokes the theme of James Joyce’s classic short-story collection, Dubliners (1914), which obliquely charts Ireland’s closing days as a British colony. The show suggests that, a century later, a comparable miasma of stifling bureaucracy, disillusion, and yearning suffuses daily life in postcolonial Algeria. The exhibition’s showpiece is The Third Choir, 2014–15, a neo-Minimalist grid of twenty empty oil barrels from the Algerian oil company Naftal, each containing a Samsung mobile phone and functioning as sound amplifiers for

  • Leonora Carrington, The Giantess, 1947, tempera on wood, 46 1/8 x 26 3/4".

    Leonora Carrington

    Born in England to an Irish mother, Leonora Carrington began spending significant time in Paris at the age of nineteen, finding her community among the Surrealists before escaping to Mexico during World War II, where she lived out her adult life. Now, two years after her death at age ninety-four, Carrington is given her first full-scale retrospective—a survey of paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and works on paper from 1939 on. The exhibition, organized by theme rather than chronology, draws on Carrington’s writings and suggests some Irish folkloric roots for the

  • View of “Friedrich Kuhn,” 2013. From left: Untitled, 1969; Untitled, 1969; Palm Tree, 1969.

    Friedrich Kuhn

    Der Malerals Outlaw” (The Painter as Outlaw), the title of the 2008–2009 exhibition at the Kunsthaus Zürich devoted to local legend Friedrich Kuhn (1926–1972), gives a fair indication of how he is remembered in the city he called home. Like that of many a larger-thanlife bad boy who drank himself into an early grave, his mythology is a catalogue of bohemian outrages—the rows with collectors or would-be benefactors, the terrorizing of upmarket restaurants, the unruly entourage—that risks overshadowing the work itself.

    Some of Kuhn’s most remarkable work, or at least that most resonant

  • David Maljković, Images with Their Own Shadows, 2008, projector, stand, screen, metal studs, plasterboard, 16-mm film (color, sound, 6 minutes 16 seconds). Installation view.

    David Maljković

    A few short years ago, there appeared to be substantial common ground shared by certain artists of different nationalities from the former Eastern Bloc. At least from a distance, this group, who came of age in the post-Communist 1990s, seemed to similarly deploy a mixture of film and other media to worry over the broken monuments and movements of the not-so-distant past. The Albanians Anri Sala and Adrian Paci, the Romanian Mircea Cantor, and the Lithuanian Deimantas Narkevičius spring to mind as representative of that moment. This shared ground has receded from view somewhat, perhaps inevitably,

  • Hans Josephson at the Kesselhaus Josephsohn, St. Gallen.
    passages January 14, 2013

    Hans Josephsohn (1920–2012)

    WHEN I WAS INVITED last spring to chair a roundtable discussion of the work of Hans Josephsohn at Lismore Castle Arts, in the south-east of Ireland, I had no idea it would prove to be such a resonant occasion. That the exhibition whose opening it marked would turn out to be the last in Josephsohn’s long life was unexpected, though hardly shocking. He was, after all, ninety-two years of age; still active, but not robust enough to travel, we were told by his hardworking assistants. These were the assistants, I gathered, to whom he had finally entrusted aspects of the manual facture of his works,

  • Hans Josephson at the Kesselhaus Josephsohn, St. Gallen.

    Hans Josephsohn

    Hans Josephsohn once prepared for a visit from a critic he had yet to meet by inquiring about the shape of his head—an odd request, perhaps, but one consistent with the sculptor’s lifelong dedication to the timeless task of representing the human figure in three dimensions. No doubt the pursuit put him at odds with his age and can at least partially explain why it wasn’t until a decade ago, at the age of eighty-two, that he began to receive international attention. Born into a Jewish family in East

  • View of “Bill Bollinger,” 2011–12. Foreground: Pipe Piece, 1968–69. Background: Cyclone Fence, 1968/2011.

    Bill Bollinger

    This touring retrospective—organized by the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, subsequently shown at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany, as well as at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, and opening this month at SculptureCenter in New York—offered the welcome opportunity to reassess an artist whose contribution to the crucial decade between 1966 and 1976 had all but faded from view by the time of his premature death in May 1988. As with Paul Thek, who died a few months later, Bollinger’s last years were shadowed by frustrations born of a neglect that was both unfortunate