Cat Kron

  • Vikky Alexander, Ecstasy (detail), 1982, triptych, framed C-prints, overall 24 × 102 3/4".

    Vikky Alexander

    What happens to a copy as it ages? This show of Vikky Alexander’s photographs from 1981 to 1983, produced at the apex of appropriation art, put the question front and center. Though Alexander’s work was not included in 2009’s lauded “Pictures Generation” overview at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, her photographic strategy from this period maps neatly onto that of the loosely affiliated group (most of whose members hailed from California and were slightly the Canadian artist’s senior). Alexander culled these photographic images—pictures of leggy women—from fashion editorial

  • Ginny Casey, Balancing Act, 2017, oil on canvas, 70 × 75".

    GINNY CASEY AND JESSI REAVES

    A bulbous, raunchy anthropomorphism runs through the paintings of Ginny Casey and the sculptures of Jessi Reaves. Casey’s paintings, featuring cool-toned, swollen hands and vases, and Reaves’s furniture-based constructions both confront the life of the decorative object. While these emerging artists clearly share a fascination with the everyday, the most striking common aspect of their practices is an uncanny, subtly grotesque emphasis on the body as it assumes the forms of (or interacts with) household objects. This two-person show features more than thirty recent

  • Annabeth Rosen, Talley, 2011, ceramic, wire, steel, casters, 46 1/2 × 29 × 22".

    “ANNABETH ROSEN: FIRED, BROKEN, GATHERED, HEAPED”

    CAMH brings together more than two decades’ worth of Annabeth Rosen’s work in the prolific ceramicist’s first major survey. Eighty-some sculptures will be accompanied by forty works on paper, all reiterating the artist’s longtime method of composition: aggregating discrete forms to produce a cohesive whole. While the two-dimensional ground in her flat works unites myriad small shapes, Rosen’s three-dimensional pieces evidence a pragmatic engagement with the dynamics of gravity. Her small clay pieces are bound with wire or pressed together prior to firing, allowing

  • Brandi Twilley, Napping by the AC, 2016, oil on canvas, 60 × 84".

    Brandi Twilley

    The reclining female nude continues to extend her long arm over figurative painting. Formally agreeable and subjectively compelling, she sprawls languidly across the horizontal axis of the canvas—an alluring body in repose, inviting inquiry. The trope is also singularly affiliated with the legacy of male painters portraying female prostitutes. Brandi Twilley repurposed this art-historical motif as the locus of her most recent body of work, in which the artist re-creates fanciful figure drawings she made as a girl, inspired by the sex-worker protagonists of films such as Pretty Woman (1990)

  • Left: Mary Grace Wright, dealer Eivind Furnesvik, and Girko. Right: OSL Contemporary manager Magnus Jorde with OSL Contemporary directors Emilie Magnus and Aurora Aspen and Sonja. (All photos: Cat Kron)
    diary February 18, 2017

    Oslo Peace

    THERE’S NEVER A GOOD TIME to travel under the auspices of cultural representation on behalf of a country with demonstrated fascist and xenophobic leanings. Three days before I embarked for Oslo, our president enacted the so-called travel ban; two nights prior to my departure, a Brooklyn federal judge issued an emergency block temporarily barring deportations as protesters demonstrated worldwide. But even now, with 45 promising a new executive order, the ordinance’s fate remains uncertain.

    Norway, nevertheless, was as reservedly gracious in its reception as its reputation would suggest. On the

  • Austė, Nine Powers of Nine Flowers, 1981, acrylic on paper, 29 1/2 × 41 1/2".

    Austė

    “So bad it’s good.” In his 1987 review of a show by Austė in these pages, critic Carlo McCormick cited this patronizing qualifier as one possible read on the artist’s darkly campy work. It is perhaps no surprise that her unabashedly treacly confections baffled many 1980s viewers, even as Austė herself secured her place in New York’s downtown nightlife scene. The artist’s most prolific decade was coterminous with the vying neo-geo and neo-expressionist movements, neither of which had much truck with the scrawled curlicues and unapologetic girliness of her acrylics and works on paper.

    For Austė’s

  • Talia Chetrit, Cable Release, 2016, ink-jet print, 14 × 10".

    Talia Chetrit

    At first glance, the thirteen photographs in Talia Chetrit’s show seemed to be “about” genitalia. The artist’s vulva, memorably depicted in Untitled (Bottomless #4), 2015, was again the unambiguous subject of her work, alternately pictured in a full-frontal view, facing the audience from behind a gutted pair of pants in Jeans (all works 2016), or via not-so-subtle allusion, as in Legs, a portrait of a tripod-mounted camera pointing downward, coolly aimed at the artist’s crotch.

    Chetrit’s practice has always been marked by an acutely referential display of photographic apparatuses, and for these

  • Morgan Thorson, Still Life, 2016. Performance view, September 10, 2016, Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Oregon. Photo: Kat Jarvinen.
    performance October 07, 2016

    Time and Time Again

    THE ARTISTS, MUSICIANS, CURATORS, AND WRITERS that work in and support time-based art are a small, necessarily close-knit tribe. Performance is, after all, easily the least lucrative of genres, a fact that has consistently made it the repository for work that is less monetarily driven and less safe, but which has also sometimes made it feel insular and uninterested in courting an audience outside its fold. This is why the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time-Based Art Festival, one of only a handful of such festivals in the US, feels so consistently fresh, both in its programming and

  • Eric Mack, Avonte, 2015, acrylic on moving blanket and felt blanket, elastic rope, metal grommets, 81 × 72 × 7". Installation view, Company Gallery, New York.

    OPENINGS: ERIC MACK

    DRAPED OVER ARMATURES or pinned to the wall in drooping swags, Eric Mack’s magpie conglomerations of found textiles and various sundry objects stage the morphing and buckling of the painterly support, the messy intrusion of surface into space. They recall the complex artistic history of such interventions while registering as ambiguously yet unmistakably sartorial. This impression stems partly from the thrift-store garments that Mack often incorporates into his (de)constructions, and it’s further bolstered by his use of dyeing, bleaching, and hand-stitching. But more fundamentally, the works

  • View of “Oa4s,” 2016.

    Oa4s

    As Joyce Carol Oates would have it, “Our lives are Möbius strips, misery and wonder simultaneously.” Yet in a climate of xenophobia, political tension, and violence throughout the European Union, the Amsterdam- and Mexico City–based Oa4s (On All Fours) used this single-planed surface as the prompt for an exhibition heavy on wonder and free of misery. The duo (Michael Ray-Von and Temra Pavlović) positioned the Möbius strip as a literal and figurative motif by which to frame a collection of poetic (if occasionally precious) meditations on atemporality. The exhibition’s weighty title, “The Fencer

  • Lui Shtini, Skin I, 2016, oil on board, 29 x 24''.
    picks May 06, 2016

    Lui Shtini

    Like George Condo portraits stripped of specificity and affect, the Albanian-born, New York–based painter Lui Shtini’s whimsical, bulbous abstractions are centrally positioned against monochromatic backgrounds. While meticulously labored, Shtini’s works are refreshingly spare. They are also explicitly spiritual—an attempt to make manifest the aura of the supernatural jinni beings who, according to Arabic mythos, influence the fates of those in our own realm.

    Shtini’s works are best when they explicitly evoke the corporeal “skins” of these supernatural creatures. His careful etchings and concise

  • Amy Yao, Doppelgängers, 2016, rice, PVC, polyester resin, epoxy resin, freshwater pearls, plastic, 42 × 88 × 94".

    Amy Yao

    The viewer’s initial impression of Amy Yao’s “Bay of Smokes,” primarily installed in Various Small Fires’s sun-drenched main gallery (carpeted in a cream hue for the occasion), was one of blinding white light. This was not to last. Once one’s eyes adjusted, one noticed ready-made and crafted objects of various hues, each vaguely befouled or compromised, positioned on the tufted carpet and installed on the gallery walls. Brightly colored plastic flowers, crammed into a drywall recess, were trapped behind Plexiglas; a vacuum fixture encrusted with resin and activated charcoal (the sort used in