Charity Coleman

  • View of “Eleen Lin and Tammie Rubin,” 2022. Photo: Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao.

    Eleen Lin and Tammie Rubin

    Eleen Lin and Tammie Rubin insightfully reinterpreted fiction and history in “Mythodical” at C24 Gallery. The title parses the show’s themes of personal and cultural mythologies—both the making and undoing thereof—and how each artist brings method to that madness. The curatorial pairing of Lin (painter) and Rubin (sculptor) was a complementary one, with each presenting work that spanned several years, demonstrating how their individual practices have evolved and deepened over time.

    Rubin’s broad coterie of serialized objects—more than a decade’s worth—were an exploratory index of lineage,

  • Shannon Ebner, Fret, 2022, ink-jet print, 9' 8" × 19' 9".

    Shannon Ebner

    One way to discern how something works is to take it apart, and Shannon Ebner does this dismantling well. For decades the artist has been exploring the materiality of language, but within very specific formal parameters across disciplines including photography and sculpture. Her variation on Conceptualism is both studied and subtle—her utilization of phrases, stanzas, or stand-alone letters situates us in the vicinity of content and asks us to take stock of its context and our own positioning. The torque is in the vagaries of meaning, and her show at Kaufman Repetto was a furthering of uncertainty.

  • Janice Nowinski, Nude on a Piano, 2021, oil on panel, 5 × 7".

    Janice Nowinski

    The world depicted by painter Janice Nowinski in her exhibition at Thomas Erben Gallery was an alluring one, and not merely because of its fleshy, often naked characters—rendered as solitary figures or arranged into clumpy groupings—that were gleaned from the artist’s personal photographs, evoking works by Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, to name a few. For all their erudition, the twenty-two small-scale oils on view disavowed formal refinement in favor of gestural awkwardness and a rambunctious sense of ambiguity. The gallery walls were partially painted a cool,

  • Jennifer Carvalho, Hellmouth, 2020, oil on canvas, 16 × 20".

    Jennifer Carvalho

    Jennifer Carvalho’s “Sign of the Times,” her exhibition of fifteen oil paintings at Helena Anrather, pulled the hefty weight of art history into the iffy present. The Canadian artist extracts details from well-known works of art—via cinema, antiquity, and the Renaissance—and reconstitutes them as a trove of murky reliquiae and amputations. She uses a uniformly dark palette, linking disparate eras and iconographies by filtering them through a very particular lens; her subjects are tightly cropped, close up, and dreamily out of focus. In Carvalho’s remakes, aqueous tones and daubed, bleedy lines

  • Shona McAndrew, Priyanka, Vidushi, and Ananya, 2020–21, acrylic on canvas, 44 × 60".

    Shona McAndrew

    Shona McAndrew’s solo exhibition “Haven” featured nine acrylic paintings and seven watercolor studies: all portraits of women who are personally known to the artist. The word haven says everything about these pictures, as McAndrew’s sitters seem at ease with themselves and one another. Each canvas is a safe space, and the models appear comfortable in their intimate surroundings: Docile pets, beds, cozy chairs, and muted palettes set the tone. McAndrew reworks eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European “conversation pieces,” paintings made by men that often showed women engaged in the stereotypically

  • Malia Jensen, Worth Your Salt, 2020, HD video, color, sound, 360 minutes.

    Malia Jensen

    Denaturation was implicit throughout Malia Jensen’s “Nearer Nature,” her solo exhibition at Cristin Tierney. The show featured five kiln-cast glass sculptures, four perched on reclaimed wooden blocks and one on a concrete block, set atop white pedestals. Each form represented a part of the body—a breast, hands, the stomach (interpreted here as stacks of doughnuts), a foot, and a Brancusi-inspired head. The objects are actually fabricated replicas of carved salt licks the artist placed in various habitats across Oregon as offerings or lures for the fauna—such as deer, elk, birds, and cows—that

  • Julia Haft-Candell, Woven Kick with Lavender and Slate, 2020, ceramic, 12 1⁄2 × 20 1⁄2 × 5 1⁄2".

    Julia Haft-Candell

    In “Carrier Bag of Fiction” at Candice Madey, Julia Haft-Candell’s ceramic sculptures were imbued with language; they read as origin stories in a state of revision. The show was named after and inspired by Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction,” a 1986 essay in which the author interrogates the trope of the heroic journey and argues for an antidote to “the killer story” of the hunter protagonist who slays all. In her text, Le Guin shakes up this male monomyth, insisting that “the reduction of narrative to conflict is absurd.” The author’s stance was the starting point for the

  • Andrew LaMar Hopkins, Self Portrait of the Artist as Désirée, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 12 × 12".

    Andrew LaMar Hopkins

    Maximalist splendor was in full effect across the thirty-two paintings in Andrew LaMar Hopkins’s solo exhibition here, “Créolité,” which was organized by art historian and curator Alison M. Gingeras. Hopkins, who lives in Alabama, creates fictionalized tableaux of America’s antebellum years that “[celebrate] the cultural mixing of European, African, and mixed-race peoples’ lives and material cultures . . . based on the histories of Creoles living in the South,” per the show’s press release. His works, set primarily in New Orleans, do not deny the reality of white supremacy or chattel slavery,

  • Zach Bruder, Bounty, 2020, acrylic and Flashe paint on linen, 50 × 60".

    Zach Bruder

    Zach Bruder’s thirteen acrylic-and-Flashe paintings formed a phantasmagoric time capsule of human endeavor, riddled with rupture. No matter how tidy or idealized, Bruder’s places are more haunting than they are enlivened, as in the truncated colonial home of Decorum (all works cited, 2020), its dark innards at odds with the affable peachy hue of its exterior. In each of the canvas’s four corners is a clock that features a well-heeled old-timey man captured midstride and looking purposeful. Not a leaf is amiss outdoors, and a brick wall behind the dwelling furthers a sense of stringency. Coffer

  • Michelangelo Lovelace, Residents in the Day Room on the Fifth Floor, 1993, marker on paper, 18 × 23 3/4".

    Michelangelo Lovelace

    The vulnerable are vital across twenty-two drawings by Cleveland-based artist Michelangelo Lovelace, who has worked as a nursing-home aide for more than three decades while maintaining a dedicated studio practice. The works in this online presentation for Fort Gansevoort, made between 1993 and 2008, felt especially resonant when viewed during the pandemic, which has disproportionately affected people of color and the elderly. The artist reminds us that our responsibility to one another has never been more urgent.

    Lovelace’s portraits, mostly done in either ink or marker on paper, bring warmth

  • Anonymous, Untitled, ca. 1930s–1950s, graphite and colored pencil on brown wrapping paper, 11 × 8". From “EPHEMERAMA: Hollywood”.

    “EPHEMERAMA: Hollywood”

    “EPHEMERAMA: Hollywood” presents a collection of anonymous amateur drawings of women from the first half of the twentieth century—an archive of unsolved mysteries from an estate-liquidation sale in Southern California. They are unsigned and undated (although the names of legendary actresses, such as Lucille Ball, Yvonne De Carlo, and Vivien Leigh, are written on some). Forty-seven of these headshot-like portraits, from a set of more than one hundred, are exhibited by Shelter online. Researchers at the gallery have begun the process of trying to identify each face. They have located some source

  • Benjamin Degen, Way, 2020, oil and spray enamel on linen on panel, 84 × 60".

    Benjamin Degen

    The paintings and drawings of “In Waves,” Benjamin Degen’s solo exhibition at Susan Inglett Gallery, are affecting reminders of those commonplace pleasures that we frequently take for granted but that are always deserving of reverence, especially in light of our alienating present: intimacy and human touch. Whether he is depicting two people watching a sunset, or bare feet stepping between seashells, Degen’s mark-making vibrates with an ardor that transforms quotidian experiences into extraordinary events. This is the fleeting stuff that life is made of, the gossamer threads that connect us to