Catherine Taft

  • Left: Ariel Pink in chocolate. Right: John Baldessari with Doug Aitken. (Photos: Patrick McMullan)
    diary March 28, 2006

    Screen Memories

    Los Angeles

    “Is this the show?” quipped one would-be partygoer temporarily stuck in the uncooperative elevator at Hermès Beverly Hills. “Alan Kaprow would have loved this,” she enthused. Doug Aitken might have too. It took a bit of effort to locate the third-floor “Gallery at Hermès,” site of a party celebrating Aitken’s newly published book Broken Screen: Expanding the Image, Breaking the Narrative (D. A. P.), but the crowd inside appeared unfazed. The upbeat, decidedly well-heeled revelers appeared to appreciate the largesse of the temple to pricey chic. The evening was billed as the first of four bi-coastal

  • Blizzard 1, 2005.
    picks March 14, 2006

    Alex Katz

    A 1996 issue of Artforum features an essay on Alex Katz by (a flagrantly O’Haraesque) Jack Pierson in which the painter is quoted as claiming, “My art is fairly repressed actually.” Though this line may touch upon Katz’s hard-edged realism or earnest figurative subjects, the group of recent paintings on view here flaunts an uninhibited brushstroke and unrestrained scale. The eleven canvases, deemed landscapes by more categorical historians, are atmospheric and quite literally absorbing; the flat Southern sunlight that infuses the gallery’s front room seeps directly into the dense yellow background

  • Terence Koh, Untitled, 2006.
    picks February 28, 2006

    “A Lover's Discourse”

    In A Lover’s Discourse, Roland Barthes demonstrates how “the amorous subject has no system of sure signs at his disposal.” Presenting photographs, sculpture, and video by six international artists, curator Dean Sameshima, an artist himself, offers an image repertoire that seems to tease out such uncertainty. Taking advantage of the split-level gallery, Sameshima orchestrates a psychological space through an arrangement of images and objects that are at once kinky and familiar. Upstairs, the work is tight and approachable. The parallel black monoliths of Terence Koh’s Untitled, 2006, seem a totem

  • Installation view, 2006.
    picks February 07, 2006

    “Group Exhibition Organized by Clarissa Dalrymple”

    While historians and institutions attempt to brand “appropriation art,” artists continue to generate referential and mimetic images that often occupy thornier places in art history. With the veneer of appropriation loosely guiding her, Clarissa Dalrymple has brought together six such artists. Featuring the pointed and political work of both young and veteran practitioners—from Sari Carel and Gardar Eide Einarsson to Joseph Kosuth—the show offers blunt commentary on a profuse visual culture and its mechanical reproduction. Craig Mulholland's reedited, reanimated and replicated pieces

  • Untitled, 1988.
    picks January 20, 2006

    Otto Muehl

    Otto Muehl has probed psychosexual politics through art for over half a century, yet it is only now, at the age of eighty, that the Austrian artist is presenting his United States solo debut. Gathered from the Friedrichshof Collection and the Otto Muehl Archive in Paris, the gallery offers a small selection of the Viennese Actionist’s more puritanical paintings as well as three films by Kurt Kren that document Muehl’s elaborate and scatological performances. Marking Muehl’s turn against figuration in the late ’80s, ten abstract canvases display refined material surfaces while retaining the traces