Chelsea Weathers

  • “Art for a New Understanding: Native Perspectives, 1950s to Now”

    JAUNE QUICK-TO-SEE SMITH made her multimedia collage Mischief, Indian Land Series in 1992, during the quincentennial of Christopher Columbus’s minatory arrival in North America. Mischief is titled after a print advertisement affixed to its upper-right-hand corner in which a woman resembling Betty Boop in cartoonish Native dress stands holding a Mischief Washington apple, the company’s logo emblazoned above her. The image is typical of American pop-culture portrayals of Native peoples, and Smith juxtaposes it with images of men in elaborate headdresses and photographs of the Statue of Liberty,

  • Jordan Casteel

    Two portraits placed early in Jordan Casteel’s first solo museum show, in her hometown of Denver, feature sitters in nondescript environments. Mom, 2013, employs a muted palette. The background is beige, with plum scumbling in the upper corners; the absence of background details focuses the viewer on the figure. Casteel’s mother sits in a wooden chair, her eyes closed, head resting on her folded hands. Her face is a delicate patchwork of tans, browns, and grays, the scarf or sweater in her lap a complex, gestural pattern that repeats in the jewels of her bracelet. She doesn’t acknowledge us; we

  • “After Posada: Revolution”

    José Guadalupe Posada’s influence on Mexican visual culture was profound, but a comprehensive understanding of his body of work has remained elusive. Because many of his iconic images, including the calaveras (images of human skulls) for which he is famous, originally appeared in newsprint, on broadsheets, or in chapbooks, they are delicate and relatively tiny, and to display them can be difficult. In “After Posada: Revolution,” an installation of more than one hundred prints by Posada—admittedly a sliver of the approximately twenty thousand prints he produced, primarily between the 1870s and

  • SITElines.2018

    For SITE Santa Fe’s third biennial dedicated to art of the Americas, curators José Luis Blondet, Candice Hopkins, and Ruba Katrib chose a subtitle adopted from a short story by Julio Cortázar published in 1946. “Casa tomada” (House Taken Over) recounts the experience of a pair of bourgeois Argentinean siblings who are forced from their ancestral home by an unnamed force, characterized only by chaotic noises emanating from sections of the house. The tale is one of displacement whose overtones of government takeover allude to the writer’s own conditions—Cortázar penned his story during the

  • interviews April 17, 2018

    Harmony Hammond

    As a cofounder of A.I.R. Gallery in New York and Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics in the 1970s, Harmony Hammond was at the forefront of a feminist revolution in contemporary art. From her early sculptures that incorporate gendered notions of craft, such as her series of “Floorpieces” and hanging textile sculptures, to her book Lesbian Art in America: A Contemporary History (2000), to her more recent, almost monochromatic paintings, Hammond has expanded the possibilities of what might be considered queer art, often championing the idea that abstraction has the power to signify

  • “Future Shock”

    For the inaugural exhibition in SITE Santa Fe’s revamped and expanded space, director and chief curator Irene Hofmann took her inspiration from Alvin Toffler’s best-selling book Future Shock (1970), borrowing its title for her exhibition. The book casts the rapid change induced by technological development in the first world’s postindustrial age as a disease—a deadly malady with which we as humans must come to grips. As with conceptions of history, epistemological change is at the heart of any futurity; changes in knowledge supersede the invention of new devices and herald shifts in the

  • picks November 06, 2017

    William Cordova

    The handwritten words “collection of narrative bits” appear in the lower left corner of a collage from a suite of ten, titled untitled (constellations), 2017. Seemingly innocuous, this phrase suggests a through line for William Cordova’s dense installation of paintings, drawings, collages, found objects, books, photographs, sculptures, video, and sound works, all conjoined by massive spiral-shaped scaffolding built from two-by-fours. The motif of the spiral repeats in the grooves of an LP containing field recordings the artist captured in Chicago at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House and the Young

  • picks April 24, 2017

    “Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place”

    The show’s thirteen artists inhabit a dual space straddling the US–Mexico border: All either split their time between the two countries or have immigrated from one side to the other. Asked to engage with the idea of home, the artists present simultaneously personal and political works; issues of identity, social justice, and history all coalesce in this multifaceted and complex exhibition.

    In One-Way Mirror, 2017, Jaime Carrejo projects two videos—one of the Mexican landscape shot from El Paso, and one of El Paso as seen from Mexico—on the acutely angled walls of a cavernous passageway. Bisecting

  • picks September 12, 2016

    Rick Bartow

    One corner of Rick Bartow’s retrospective, organized just before his death earlier this year, features a suite of early drawings and prints dating back to 1979 and a later painting of a male figure with a crow twice its size resting on its torso. The crow in Hunter’s Tale Remembered, 2009, seems poised to devour the man. The painting’s rich black background and the furious marks shading the animal’s body are as ominous as the sinister situation depicted. Bartow consistently returned to this tension between human and animal—the idea that there is an animal inside all of us and that this hybridity

  • diary August 03, 2016

    SITE Specificity

    IT’S ALWAYS A DELICATE NEGOTIATION to arrive in a place and to participate without seeming an interloper, an outsider foisting ideas.

    The five curators of SITE Santa Fe’s biennial, “SITElines: much wider than a line”––Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Kathleen Ash-Milby, Pip Day, Pablo León de la Barra, and Kiki Mazzucchelli—have clearly made an effort to avoid simply parachuting into a region and imposing their values onto local communities. During the two days I spent at “ SITElines’s” opening events, a particular image kept recurring to me: a central, almost monstrous figure with a strength that amounts

  • picks June 27, 2016

    “Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: American Moderns and the West”

    The community of artists and writers revolving around salonièrre Mabel Dodge Luhan’s compound in Taos, New Mexico, in the early twentieth century provides the fulcrum for this sprawling exhibition. Works by well-known artists, such as Paul Strand, Ansel Adams, Marsden Hartley, and John Marin, occupy space alongside pieces by more obscure figures, including Rebecca “Beck” Salsbury James, Dorothy Brett, and Agnes Pelton. Many artists and writers traveled to Taos at the behest of Luhan, a prolific writer herself. Her fourth husband, Taos Pueblo Indian Antonio Lujan, opened the community to artists

  • picks June 27, 2016

    Kiki Smith

    In a talk she gave at the gallery on May 14, Kiki Smith cited the medieval French Apocalypse Tapestry and the weavings of the “hippie movement” as examples of the long tradition to which the eleven tapestries in this show belong. “Woven Tales” displays a mythical world wherein human and animal forms entwine with natural phenomena: A woman floats in the heavens among the stars; a man sinks below the earth amid tree roots, fossils, and ants. Smith made each tapestry in collaboration with Magnolia Editions, a studio that specializes in producing textiles with contemporary artists. To produce these

  • interviews January 22, 2015

    LaToya Ruby Frazier

    The photographs and text in LaToya Ruby Frazier’s first book, The Notion of Family (2014), depict the story of three generations of women—Frazier, her mother, and her grandmother—whose lives parallel the rise and decline of the steel industry in Braddock, Pennsylvania. Here, Frazier discusses her documentary photographs, which portray how the town’s industrial activities have left physical traces on the landscape and residents. Frazier’s latest exhibition “Riveted,” will be on view at the ISESE Gallery, the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, at the University of

  • picks June 11, 2013

    “Byzantine Things in the World”

    In this exhibition, Byzantine functions less as a historical or stylistic category than as a gambit for interacting with the material world: To be Byzantine is to allow things—not necessarily artworks, but all manner of objects—to be affecting in new ways, and to alter how one relates to things inside and outside the museum. The 159 works on view range broadly across time and media, and their presentation is resolutely eclectic and ahistorical. Each gallery houses items that date from various centuries and range in scale from miniature to larger than life size. This curatorial approach is meant

  • picks October 24, 2012

    Emily Roysdon

    Upon arriving in Austin a few weeks prior to the opening of her current exhibition, Emily Roysdon enlisted several people from the local arts and queer communities to participate in foraging for materials, assisting with printmaking, and acting in the short video that is the centerpiece of “Pause, Pose, Discompose.” Although assembling the show’s components may have been spontaneous and a bit disorganized—neither of which is particularly inappropriate, given the site-specificity of her previous works—the resultant installation seems far from ramshackle or unplanned. The untitled silent video

  • interviews April 02, 2012

    Douglas Crimp

    Curator and critic Douglas Crimp is a professor of art history at the University of Rochester. His latest book, “Our Kind of Movie”: The Films of Andy Warhol, which has just been published by MIT Press, is a collection of essays about Andy Warhol’s films, and the first book-length study of Warhol’s cinematic corpus since the artist pulled his movies from distribution in the early 1970s. Here Crimp explains how Warhol’s films show us a different side of Warhol, and addresses the works’ relationship to queer culture. On April 2 at 7 PM, The Kitchen will present an evening of readings and screenings

  • picks February 24, 2011

    Amanda Ross-Ho

    As part of her six-week residency at the University of Texas’s Visual Arts Center, Amanda Ross-Ho enlisted the help of a small army of eager volunteers to help construct UNTITLED NOTHING FACTORY, 2011. The enterprise was open to whoever wanted to join, and participants could work as little or as much as they wanted at three different stations set up in the large vaulted gallery, making paper out of discarded documents from the offices of UT’s fine arts department, stretching canvases, or shaping pots or figures out of the massive amount of raw clay on hand. Cameras installed high above the action

  • picks June 05, 2010

    Emilie Halpern and Eric Zimmerman

    A cosmos is a view of the universe as a system, an entity with its own intrinsic logic. “Cosmos,” Emilie Halpern and Eric Zimmerman’s collaborative exhibition, also follows a rigorous system of order––the show is dense, and the universe the artists present is one built by accretion. Images and concepts constantly overlap, and though “Cosmos” comes close to feeling like a hermetically sealed vacuum, the works’ subtle playfulness and the gallery’s airy spaciousness provide ample breathing room.

    The layout of the exhibition itself reads like a Venn diagram. Each artist has filled two small rooms

  • picks February 08, 2010

    Travis Kent

    Travis Kent’s recent photographs in “Hope You’re Well,” his first solo exhibition, are devoid of irony. Though many of the images approach cliché––the back of a head against a pristine rainbow, a hipster couple kissing in the trash-laden kitchen of a house party, a crocodile in a murky swamp––the artist has avoided the critical distance necessary to qualify his photographs as aloof commentaries on his subjects.

    What is ironic, however, is that Kent achieves such earnestness through the spontaneity of his approach. Each photograph is a carefully composed snapshot. This may at first seem like a

  • Ricci Albenda

    HOW DOES A HOUSE SPEAK? Le Corbusier’s famous declaration that a house is “a machine for living” may preclude any notion that a house—particularly an exemplar of austere postmodernism, such as Richard Meier’s Rachofsky House in Dallas—could say anything in the way of messiness or chaos or incongruity and subjectivity. The Rachofsky House sits moored to the ground, a tightly composed network of right angles, white planes, and plate-glass squares and rectangles. But of course, true to Meier’s ideals, the structure is not blind to its surroundings; it drinks them in and exposes the inside