Carmen Winant

  • George Rush, Lost, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40".
    picks September 21, 2018

    George Rush

    George Rush’s paintings have always lived in the space between agitation and total stillness. For example, the series “Rooms with Windows,” 2014, and “Walls, Windows, Rooms, People,” 2017, position static, washed-out subjects in front of or interwoven with hallucinogenic, textured color. The results, as much about the history of modernist architecture as they are about class, social alienation, and contemporary lifestyle, are consistently nuanced and psychologically affective.

    On view at Appendix, a compact gallery which opened earlier this year and is run by the artist Ryland Wharton, is “Middle

  • Lisa Oppenheim, The Sun Is Always Setting Somewhere Else (detail), 2006, fifteen 35-mm slides, dimensions variable.
    picks November 21, 2016

    “The Sun Placed in the Abyss”

    In the poem that serves as the namesake for this sweeping exhibition, the French writer Francis Ponge describes the sun as “the formal and indispensable condition of everything in the world . . . The condition of sight itself.” In his first exhibition as a curator at the museum, Drew Sawyer picks up this charge in order to contemplate all manner of ways in which our source of light and energy both complicates and enables the task of the photographer.

    “The Sun Placed in the Abyss” is divided into three sections: the intersecting histories of photography and science; images of the sun itself, or

  • Colter Jacobsen, Bridal Veil Falls [memory drawing], 2007, graphite on found book covers, 11 x 18”.
    picks January 14, 2015

    Colter Jacobsen

    In Colter Jacobsen’s first museum exhibition, two principal and overlapping strategies are on view, both of which animate memory and its certain loss. The first involves collecting discarded objects, the second, drawing from the artist’s memory. In Bridal Veil Falls [memory drawing], 2007, Jacobsen employs both methods. On found paper, he draws one version of a found photograph while looking at it and a second version from recall. The two are then paired side by side, with the reference-blind drawing watered down in its details neatly referencing the degenerative process of cognitive recollection.

  • Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, We Make You Us, 1985, C-print, 35 x 42”.
    picks April 02, 2014

    Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel

    Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel grew up a few miles from each other in the San Fernando Valley, just east of Los Angeles, but didn’t meet until 1973 when both men were graduate students at the San Francisco Art Institute. Sensing a shared interest in vernacular imagery and social practice (Sultan had briefly been a social worker; Mandel had aspirations to be a lawyer), the young artists began collaborating and would go on to create twenty-five projects together over the next twenty-seven years.

    For their lesser-known project Billboards, 1973–89, the artists secured a series of billboards around

  • View of “Holt Quentel,” 2013–14.
    picks December 15, 2013

    Holt Quentel

    In 1990, the young artist Holt Quentel exhibited a group of twenty-one Herman Miller-produced Eames chairs, variously covered in Grateful Dead stickers, shrink-wrapped in plastic, and overlaid in yellow fur at Stux Gallery in New York. For this reunion show, Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson, the museum’s director, has gathered seventeen of the sculptures, which are now beginning to arrive at the faux weariness the artist may have intended for them at the outset. The distressed chairs line the walls of two long galleries; one baseless cradle sits stationed in the middle of the walkway.

    Quentel’s most

  • View of “Heimrad Bäcker,” 2013–14.
    picks December 15, 2013

    Heimrad Bäcker

    Before his death in 2003, Heimrad Bäcker was a little-known Austrian poet and artist. He was also, for about one year at the end of World War II, when he was in his late teens, an avid member of the Nazi party. On display in this exhibition are his small, black-and-white photographs, collected objects, and sheets of sparse, restrained poetry. Bäcker denounced his Nazi ideology in the wake of the Nuremburg trials and made many return trips to the Mauthausen-Gusen camp between 1968 and 2003 to photograph what he sterilely referred to as its “technological traces.” For instance, the undated

  • Samira Yamin, October 1, 2001, 2013, TIME magazine, 10 1/2 x 16”.
    picks March 14, 2013

    Samira Yamin

    For her first solo museum exhibition, Samira Yamin has revisited President Bush’s portentous phrase, “We will not fail,” from his congressional address given in the wake of 9/11. For the past three years, the artist has been working on her “Geometries” series, which for this exhibition includes October 1, 2001, 2013, a piece created with an issue of TIME magazine that dates a few weeks after the attacks, dedicating all of its news coverage to the perpetrator and America's new target, Osama bin Laden. In a similarly devoted study, Yamin has laboriously cut sacred and ornamental Islamic geometries

  • Glenn Ligon, Mirror Drawing #9, 2006, oil stick and coal dust on paper, 30 x 22 1/4".
    picks November 14, 2012

    “Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art”

    In 1966, a thirty-four-year-old Gerhard Richter was filmed in his Düsseldorf studio while working on a canvas. “To talk about paintings is not only difficult, but perhaps pointless,” he said without once looking up. “You can only express in words what words are capable of expressing, what language can communicate.” This inherent problem—how to translate potential meaning and intentionality between the modes of visual art and language—is at the heart of this group exhibition.

    Loosely divided into five subsections (appropriation, constraint, redaction, transcription, and translation), the framework

  • Alex Da Corte, SCENE TAKE SIX (detail), 2012, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    picks May 25, 2012

    “First Among Equals”

    In his 2007 Harper’s magazine essay “The Ecstasy of Influence,” Jonathan Lethem probed the boundary between creative influence and plagiarism. Citing Bob Dylan’s borrowings from his contemporaries and forebears in service of his own material, Lethem concluded that appropriation (or its lure) can actually engender originality. It’s a good entry point into this exhibition, which considers mutual influence, connectedness, and collaboration between artists and art collectives across disparate generations and zip codes. Curated by Alex Klein and Kate Kraczon, the show will rotate seventy-seven Los

  • Erlea Maneros Zabala, “Exercises on Abstraction Series III,” 2011, India ink on offset paper, 36 x 24".
    picks March 26, 2012

    “Affective Turns?”

    The difference between affect and effect, as well as their correct application, can often times trip a person up. For the record (however reductive): To effect is to cause a direct result, and to affect is to influence. This discrepancy, and to a greater degree the conjectural implications of affectation-at-large, are the subjects of the astute and musing “Affective Turns?” curated by the Los Angeles–based artist Phil Chang. The show has a necessarily loose thematic center, as each piece questions and refers back to the power of its own creative or political influence––realized or unrealized––without

  • Spencer Finch, 8456 Shades of Blue (After Hume) (detail), 2008, 28 watercolors on paper, dimensions variable.
    picks March 23, 2012

    Spencer Finch

    As a graduate student at RISD, Spencer Finch copied Claude Monet’s Basin at Argenteuil, 1874, on a dare. The replica is now on view several paces from the original, in “Painting Air,” an exhibition staged by Finch that features his own work alongside pieces from the university’s collection. His choice of Monet is telling, reminding us that Finch—a maker of minimal and often abstract watercolors, photographs, and installations—is in fact a conceptual landscape painter. Like Monet before him, Finch probes his optical experience of the natural world—and the subjective limits of his perceptions. To

  • Jean-Luc Moulène, Météo (Weather), 2009, plastic hoses, 14 x 25 1/2 x 10 1/4".
    picks January 16, 2012

    Jean-Luc Moulène

    Jean-Luc Moulène’s yearlong exhibition “Opus + One” comprises three distinct modules dispersed throughout the vast building. The most beguiling of all is the large gallery of objects titled “Opus,” 1995–. Resting on the floor, hanging from the ceiling, and placed on tables that are so delicate they nearly float in space, thirty-five sculptures––made across the span of sixteen years––fill the cavernous space. The materials, though crude, never quite give themselves away; Lycra resembles liquid glass, water hoses twist and torque into perfect ellipses, and fiberglass takes on the appearance of