Chelsea Haines

  • picks November 09, 2017

    Tamir Zadok

    Nothing is what it seems in Art Undercover, 2017, the centerpiece of Tamir Zadok’s solo exhibition. The video traces the artist’s quest to find a lost oil painting by Charduval, purportedly a French artist who lived in Egypt in the early 1950s. With only a poor black-and-white reproduction of the piece and some anecdotal evidence, Zadok heads to Cairo to see the collection of the Egyptian Museum of Modern Art—what follows is a chronicle that reveals more via its meandering progression than any conclusive discoveries.

    Viewers eventually learn that the artistic persona of Charduval provided cover

  • picks December 15, 2014

    “The Unmaking of Art”

    The sweeping arc of Western art history is the subject of this voluminous exhibition, which consists of hundreds of photographs, paintings, drawings, sculptures, videos, books, and other ephemera. The project begins with a presentation of Salon de Fleurus, a meticulously researched yet extemporized re-creation of Gertrude Stein’s Paris salon, surreptitiously located on Spring Street in SoHo, which has been managed by an anonymous doorman for the last two decades and closed last spring. This is followed by a series of five galleries that have been temporarily erected, each devoted to exploring

  • picks August 27, 2014

    Charles Gaines

    Including several series which have never before been on public display, “Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1979–1989” takes a rare glimpse into the early work of the Los Angeles–based artist’s forty-year career. The exhibition fills a crucial gap in understanding his development: In the formative years of Conceptualism, Gaines—a longtime colleague of Sol Lewitt—created a complex, rule-based approach to his two-dimensional gridwork, which consisted of numerical sequences in pencil or ink on large sheets of gridded paper. Those familiar with Gaines’s more recent work may be surprised by the lack of any

  • picks August 06, 2014

    Zoe Beloff

    Zoe Beloff based her latest exhibition, “The Days of the Commune,” on the eponymous, little-known play Bertolt Brecht wrote in 1947 to commemorate the rise and fall of the Paris Commune in 1871, considered by many to be the world’s first proletarian revolution. Over the course of spring 2012, the artist directed a motley crew of professional and amateur actors, activists, and artists to perform Brecht’s drama at sites across New York City that loosely correspond to settings from the play. Throughout, the last dregs of Occupy Wall Street played an omnipresent role—invisible and unacknowledged

  • picks July 07, 2014

    “Confidence-Building Measures”

    The Hebrew title of this exhibition (“צעדים בוני אמון”) translates into English as “Confidence-Building Measures,” a term to which the world of international relations refers as CBMs. Developed during the Cold War, CBMs are strategies designed to increase trust between hostile parties through the establishment of common ground. A similar drive to reduce tension between warring factions—with others, with the environment, or within the self—is the basis for this ambitious show. Including thirteen artists and choreographers working from the early twentieth century to the present, “Set in Motion”

  • picks May 19, 2014

    “13 Most Wanted Men”

    Fifty years ago, architect Philip Johnson invited the edgy up-and-coming artist Andy Warhol to produce one of ten commissions for the facade of the World’s Fair New York State Pavilion—Warhol’s first and ultimately last public art project. Working in the midst of his “Death and Disaster” depictions of car crashes and race riots, while taking his initial photobooth strips of socialites, friends, and, of course, himself, Warhol devised a work for the pavilion that would merge the profane and the portrait: blown-up silk-screened mug shots of the thirteen most-wanted men taken straight from the City

  • picks April 18, 2014

    Leigh Ledare

    “Things I want—not to do mother again. Things she wants—to do mother again . . .” These words are scrawled underneath a black-and-white photograph of a mostly nude woman seated spread-eagled in elegant surroundings with her face redacted by a black bar, part of Leigh Ledare’s multiplex series “An Invitation,” 2012. The photograph is backed by an enlarged reproduction of the front page of the day’s New York Times, which, coupled with the woman’s blacked-out face and suggestive stance, charges the work with a preternatural mixture of standardized and subjective temporalities, public and private

  • picks March 01, 2014

    Laure Prouvost

    “For Forgetting,” Laure Prouvost’s solo museum debut in the United States, is a messy, cacophonic installation that latches onto the visitor’s subconscious ambitions and desires only to rashly relinquish hold moments later. The artist affirms her dark-horse win of last year’s Turner Prize by creating a dense sensorial experience, turning the New Museum’s ground-floor gallery into a three-room maze plastered with sculptures, videos, drawings, paintings, office furniture, printed e-mails, knockoff handbags, and crumpled dollar bills, among other items.

    The installation can be read through a web of

  • picks January 14, 2014

    “Alien She”

    “Because we must take over the means of production in order to create our own meanings,” wrote Kathleen Hanna in a 1991 manifesto published in the second issue of the Bikini Kill zine. Her words are posted in the front gallery of “Alien She,” the first exhibition to explore the legacy of the Riot Grrrl punk feminist movement. Organized by Astria Suparak and Ceci Moss, two Riot Grrrls turned curators, the exhibition dynamically aggregates art and craft, video documentary, print ephemera, and music, concentrating on Riot Grrrl’s sphere of influence in North America from the early 1990s to the

  • picks October 25, 2013

    “Descartes’ Daughter”

    For “Descartes’ Daughter,” curator Piper Marshall has invoked the effigy the philosopher created of his only child, Francine, following her untimely death at five years old. The binary Cartesian realms of mind and body are both conjured and complicated in this tale of Descartes’s attempt to maintain the memory of his daughter through her physical likeness. Alternating between the scientific and the emotional, “Descartes’ Daughter” evokes a transitional space that ultimately deals with dreams and desire—each piece suggesting a different way to understand empirical and subjective memory.

  • picks August 16, 2013

    “Homeward Found”

    The Wassaic Project is a quirky, informal yet surprisingly ambitious exhibition and residency complex in a sleepy hamlet in upstate New York. At its core is a four-story mill converted into a quick-and-dirty exhibition space. This is the site of the organization’s sixth annual summer exhibition, which includes the work of eighty artists, about half of whom are former residents and whose intimacy with Wassaic’s idiosyncratic spaces and tight-knit community is keenly felt.

    Installation and sculpture reign supreme in the exhibition’s barnlike setting, particularly Jonathan Schipper’s To Dust, 2009,

  • picks July 17, 2013

    “For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights”

    A traveling exhibition organized by Maurice Berger, this substantial show explores the trajectory of the civil rights movement in relation to mass media, popular trends, and visual culture in America at the time. Over 250 objects and artifacts from the 1940s through the 1970s are presented via a carefully crafted narrative that offers a multifaceted account of African-American struggles and triumphs.

    The exhibition opens with a powerful display on tropes of blackness: A minstrel makeup set used by performers in blackface is displayed alongside infamous “Coloreds Only” signs, among other jarring