Chinnie Ding

  • View of “Michel Houellebecq,” 2016.
    picks September 05, 2016

    Michel Houellebecq

    French writer Michel Houellebecq is notorious for his novels of ideological sci-fi, set in the apocalyptic near present with faithless, feckless protagonists drawn from Europe’s self-consciously dying-white-male demographic. Given an exhibition here to curate as he pleases, the author has staged an elaborate nexus of chapter-like chambers, furnishing them with personal artifacts and artworks (by himself and others, such as Robert Combas and Renaud Marchand) that engage some of his favorite topics—sex, death, tourism, capitalism, and art. “Il est temps de faire vos jeux” (Time to place your bets),

  • View of “Shooshie Sulaiman,” 2016.
    picks July 21, 2016

    Shooshie Sulaiman

    Sift dirt, sniff roses, skip about polygons of dewy grass tiling an earthy floor in starry geometries: Malaysian artist Shooshie Sulaiman’s first solo exhibition in Europe unites gardening and drawing to explore the transmission of identity across time and space. In Married to a Malay in Paris (all works 2016), Sulaiman has grafted a ceremonial rose popular in Malaysia, the mawar, taken from a bush at her mother’s Johor grave, to a rose of a species native to France; the resulting hybrid now awaits full bloom. Meanwhile, clustering at hopscotch scale and forming Malay motifs such as the mangosteen,

  • Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (Expressed Dated Exposed, Cosco Mask M40.b), 2015, oil paint on bronze, 59 1/2 x 33 1/4 x 26 1/2".
    picks September 25, 2015

    Mark Grotjahn

    The vibrant weaves and prisms of splintering, bundled lines in Mark Grotjahn’s well-known “Butterfly” and “Face” paintings are matched in complexity only by their art-historical lineages. In the artist’s latest sculptures, finger-painting, drips and throws of paint, and hole-punched visages tease at Grotjahn’s indelible formal awareness, as does the long, skinny tube that he has pierced into a nose’s position in each work, evoking breath, death, erection, and deception alike. While earlier exhibitions presented more varied shapes, here the artist prefers repeated forms: tall, slender bronze

  • Harald Ancart, Untitled, 2015, oil stick on canvas, 113 x 81".
    picks June 19, 2015

    Harold Ancart

    The cosmic nightscapes riotously abloom in Harold Ancart’s new works on canvas land us on an exotic planet. Vibrant plants, bonfires, and astral confetti in the show’s seven oil-stick paintings thrum in tropical colors against abundant, magnetic fields of black that concentrate contemplation, evoking lacquerware worlds. But if believable blossoms top stems here, so do moons and gradient disks resembling telescopic iris shots onto other planet floors, upending figure-ground certainties. The echo between a restless treelike shape in one painting and airborne sawtooth blobs in another (all works

  • Ren Hang, Three Bodies, 2015, c-print photograph, 40 x 27”.
    picks March 27, 2015

    Ren Hang

    Beijing-based photographer Ren Hang has devoted his first New York exhibition to naked bodies deviously posed in surreal, emotional configurations. Figures find puckish fit with one another or amid flora and fauna—a nocturnal lily pond, a butter-yellow python. The protagonist of Untitled 14 (all works 2014) gazes neutrally at the camera as five manicured hands pinch her neck into a comely five-point necklace of skin. In Untitled 6, three kneelers interlock their heads for a triskelion of sexless backs. Locations keep to the anonymous urban spaces of white-wall apartments, rooftop edges, and

  • Petra Cortright, Andro-6 Greeting Cards, 2015, digital painting, duraflex, 3D print, UV print and stickers mounted on acrylic, 49 × 42 × 1".
    picks February 20, 2015

    Petra Cortright

    Petra Cortright’s latest paintings are born of plebeian Web tools and swatches, then printed onto clear Plexiglas. The artist mounts these images on mirrored or regular acrylic, where they take on a more resolutely physical feeling: Their stacked surfaces implore the viewer to peer between them; their underside imprints beg to be compared to their reflected marks. They also look better in person than on Instagram, which is not always the case with digital art incarnated into gallery solids. In chess and buffy keepers+kick.rom, both 2015, foregrounds of holiday GIFs or shiny blackberries, some

  • View of “I Am Your Mirror,” 2012.
    picks October 24, 2012

    O Zhang

    Surfaces sans image, the disused billboards in O Zhang’s series of road-trip snapshots from across America, “I Am Your Mirror,” 2011–12, present inquiring signs of the times. Captured at varying distances and angles, often through car mirrors or rain, they appear lonely, sometimes woozy against the sky, shabby yet orderly monuments to commodified desires along the open road. Some announce themselves “Available,” listing a phone number—the tersest personal ad. Others, dismantled to their skeletal armatures, linger as modernist grids partitioning the horizon. Most simply face us as widescreen

  • Jung Lee, Bordering North Korea # 15, 2007, color photograph.
    picks February 17, 2012

    “A Postcard from Afar: North Korea from a Distance”

    For all its coordinated means and forcible ends, North Korea’s official footage relaying the nation’s demonstrative mourning of Kim Jong Il may have let other woes escape into view. Coat-swaddled, sob-buckled—bare fists beating pavement—this suddenly visible public seemed possessed by still older grievances, vaster grief, deepened in Kim’s lifetime, irredeemable by his death. Or so observers outside “the hermit kingdom” might be tempted to glean, forced to parse through the country’s tethered tourism and constricted traffic of abductions and defections. The eight artists in this show roam just

  • Bill Morrison, The Miners’ Hymns, 2011, stills from a black-and-white and color film, 52 minutes.
    film February 07, 2012

    Miner Details

    BILL MORRISON’S The Miners’ Hymns (2011) is a remembrance of northeast England’s lifeworld of coal and an ode to the solidarities born of the struggle to survive it, before the industry was union-gutted and privatized unto extinction in the 1990s. Like Morrison’s Decasia (2002)—whose deliquescing cast included men fleeing a mining disaster only to encounter death by nitrate film stock—it is a necromantic collage, but it extends a homecoming to the past more than a final farewell. Black-and-white clips culled from archival footage since 1900 underscore strain and occlusion in the dug-out dark—miners

  • Jason Middlebrook, New New York, 2011, acrylic on English elm plank, 12 x 3”.
    picks December 15, 2011

    Jason Middlebrook

    Shimmering artifice embraces natural wonder in Jason Middlebrook’s new wooden-plank paintings, inscribing nature with the abstract patterns it inspires, in an act of closeness akin to tracing, gilding, gifting. Stele-scale cuts primarily of maple, walnut, redwood, and elm, the fifteen works have long, lean edges that are sometimes smooth, sometimes craggy or crusted with bark. Framed by, and occasionally wrapping, those edges, handsome lines or angular shapes traverse the fissures, streaks, and tawny eddies within the sanded, waxed surfaces. If the results acknowledge Ellsworth Kelly’s graceful

  • Nicola Tyson, Two Figures Touching, 2011, oil on canvas, 81 x 72”.
    picks October 26, 2011

    Nicola Tyson

    Boasting a promiscuous palette of tart, toxic brights and smudgy flesh-tones, Nicola Tyson’s recent oil paintings seethe with ambiguity. Their not-entirely-human protagonists bear scrambled faces and polyps more than limbs, as if subcutaneous stirrings have burgeoned new orifices and naked nerves. Often these characters are paired into riddling relation. It’s hard to determine, for instance, whether the veiled pantless biped in Two Figures Touching (all works 2011) prances or stalks toward that imminent touch; whether the boyish Figure with Sphinx is ward or prey to the taloned thing nearby;

  • Roman Ondák, Enter the Orbit (detail), 2011, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    picks August 18, 2011

    Roman Ondák

    An index of supply and demand, self-regulation and dependency, the queue has peculiar gravitational force for Slovakian artist Roman Ondák, whose patient pop-up version in the performance Good Feelings in Good Times, 2003, for instance, evoked both breadlines and faddish consumerism to contemplate shared histories of waiting. Enter the Orbit, 2011, the centerpiece of this compact exhibition, lines up ninety-six miniature approximations of Sputnik 1 along an empty gallery’s perimeter, one for each minute of the 1957 satellite’s inaugural voyage around the Earth. Handmade by the artist and unnamed