Chloe Wyma

  • Ilana Harris-Babou

    “Home decor corrals time,” Ilana Harris-Babou writes in her artist’s statement for “Reparation Hardware.” Through the delicate and strategic acquisition and display of objects, “we can conjure a perfect past and fold it into an aspirational future.” The show’s eponymous video parodied the slick, desirous collection videos of the upmarket home-furnishings retailer Restoration Hardware, juxtaposing the company’s breathless appeals to timeless quality and artisanal craft with the political demand for the delivery of reparations to African Americans in recognition of the stolen labor of their enslaved

  • Kathe Burkhart, Mindfuck: from the Liz Taylor Series (The VIPs), 1988, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 82 x 96".

    Kathe Burkhart

    Elizabeth Taylor’s penis dangles beneath her coattails in Cunt: from the Liz Taylor Series (Raintree County), 2010, one of eight bold, brassy paintings selected by curator Piper Marshall and exhibited from Kathe Burkhart’s ongoing, decades-long series devoted to the superstar. The painting’s profane title is emblazoned across the top in red letters, polarizing the male member between Liz’s legs. Between the cock and cunt, an impertinent, flatly painted Taylor stands against a brick wall with her hands on her hips, her famous violet eyes gazing disaffectedly beyond the picture’s surface.

    Burkhart

  • View of “After the Orgies: Bill Beckley, The Eighties” 2018.
    picks February 23, 2018

    Bill Beckley

    According to Bill Beckley, “everything changed” in the 1980s. Reagan and AIDS cast intersecting shadows over the New York art world, where—as the official story goes—bohemian poverty, experimentation, and idealism vitrified into professionalization, cynicism, and knowing irony. In the essay “What Are You Doing After the Orgy?,” published in the October 1983 issue of Artforum, postmodernist oracle Jean Baudrillard frenetically adumbrated the zeitgeist: “viral contamination of things by images”; “the glazed extreme of sex”; “pornography of information”; a “state of radical disillusion which is

  • Brook Hsu, Psychedelic Outfit (Sweatshirt and Bellbottoms), 2017, felted llama wool, mesh, wooden plinth, 2 x 48 x 84".

    Brook Hsu

    “On an April evening in the year AD 1,” wrote British classicist Robert Graves, and quoted by Brook Hsu in the essay that accompanied her first solo show, “a ship was sailing to Northern Italy along the coast of Greece, when the crew heard distant sounds of mourning, and a loud voice from the shore shouted to one of them: ‘As soon as you reach the next port, be sure to spread the sad news that the great god Pan is dead!’ But how and why he had died nobody ever knew."

    Pan—the caprine god of wilderness, shepherds, and rustic music—died in the traditional Anno Domini 1, symbolically marking

  • Emma Amos, All I Know of Wonder, 2008, oil on linen, African fabric, 70 1/2 x 55 1/2". © Emma Amos/VAGA, New York.

    Emma Amos

    In Tightrope, 1994, Emma Amos paints herself as a circus performer. In star-spangled underwear and a black duster, she tiptoes on a high wire over a woozy crowd of blurred faces and headless eyeballs. In her left hand are two paintbrushes; in her right, she holds a T-shirt emblazoned with a pair of pendant breasts over a platter of red mango blossoms. This fragment of a body belongs to one of the subjects of Paul Gauguin’s Two Tahitian Women, painted during the disaffected Frenchman’s Pacific sojourn in 1899. Amos’s vicious brushstrokes and high-key colors burlesque Gauguin’s colonial primitivism

  • Manolis D. Lemos, dusk and dawn look just the same (riot tourism), 2017, still from the three-minute color video component of a mixed-media installation. From the 2018 Triennial: “Songs for Sabotage.”

    2018 Triennial: “Songs for Sabotage”

    Three long years ago, under Obama’s presidency and a seemingly boundless neoliberal horizon, the last triennial investigated “new visual metaphors for the self” in an expanding digital surround. Today, as institutions falter and certitudes crumble, the Janus-faced character of technology reveals itself. While enabling new modes of identity construction and self-broadcast, it is also accessory to the rise of demagogues and the impoverishment of discourse, yielding social anomie and networks of fascism. Whereas 2015’s triennial examined an

  • Sadie Barnette, My Father’s FBI File: Government Employee (detail), 2017, five ink-jet prints, each 22 × 17".

    Sadie Barnette

    On the ground floor of Sadie Barnette’s solo exhibition, a group of five framed and enlarged COINTELPRO-era documents, sporadically misted with passages of black and hot-pink spray paint, reported that Rodney Ellis Barnette was observed wearing a postal uniform at a meeting of the Black Panther Party in Los Angeles on December 18, 1968. Barnette, we learned, was also “living with a woman to whom he was not married” at the time and, on June 6, 1969, received a letter from the US Civil Service Commission advising that he did “not meet the suitability requirements for employment in the competitive

  • Jess Johnson and Simon Ward, Whilst in Genuflect, 2017, HD video, color, sound, 31 seconds.

    Jess Johnson

    “What is being described here is in fact a machine,” Roland Barthes wrote of the Marquis de Sade’s pornographic scenarios, “ . . . a meticulous clockwork, whose function is to connect the sexual discharges.” While there is little if any, sex in Jess Johnson’s meticulous drawings, rendered in pen, marker, and gouache on paper, there’s more than a hint of the structuralist Sade in her unindividuated, compliant nudes, which function as fungible units in a fabulous and brutal visual grammar. Divested of sexual or psychological characteristics, they are arranged in esoteric diagrams in complex,

  • Rosemarie Trockel, Studio Visit, 2017, glazed ceramic, 24 x 20 x 2".
    picks October 06, 2017

    Rosemarie Trockel

    In both German and English, the past perfect describes a time anterior to another moment in the past. Conjugating “to be” in the temporally aloof, twice-distanced “had been” abstracts the relation between subjects and their prior actions. Titled after the German word for this grammatical tense, “Plus Quam Perfekt,” a solo exhibition of Rosemarie Trockel’s photographs, ceramics, and sculpture made within the last decade, embraces this grammar of estrangement, materializing it into things of austere beauty.

    Entering the gallery, the viewer confronts the issue of time in Clock Owners (all works

  • Betty Blayton, Souls Transcending, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 40 × 40".

    Betty Blayton

    Ten circular canvases graced Elizabeth Dee’s upstairs annex in a jewel-box exhibition dedicated to Betty Blayton, the late abstract painter whose artistic achievements have been partially eclipsed by her roles as cofounder of New York’s Studio Museum in Harlem and as an advocate for African American artists. Housed at the original address of the museum she helped launch in 1968, and organized by independent curator Souleo, Blayton’s first solo show since her death in 2016 began to mend this imbalance. Works from the 1970s—heady, terrestrial abstractions turned out in spicy oranges, browns,

  • View of “Amy Yao: Weeds of Indifference,” 2017.
    picks September 15, 2017

    Amy Yao

    At the entrance of Amy Yao’s exhibition here, the viewer is blocked by a chain-link fence draped with laser-cut, red-and-yellow, faux-silk brocade. Though the work’s title, Foreign Investments (Bottarga in Costa Mesa) (all works 2017), refers to a city in Orange County south of Yao’s Los Angeles home, the swags of low-rent chinoiserie index the gallery’s address at the crux of Manhattan’s Lower East Side and its rapidly gentrifying Chinatown. Two smaller draped fences—Foreign Investments (Good Ramen) and Foreign Investments (Baked Alaska)—likewise work as metonyms for the real and symbolic

  • Sonja Sekula, Ethnique, 1961, gouache on paper, 20 1/8“ × 20 1/8”.

    Sonja Sekula

    “Everyone from the fifties in New York has a Sonja Sekula story,” Brian O’Doherty wrote in 1971, “yet, though she contributed to period mythology, she herself has no myth.” “Sonja Sekula: A Survey,” the first New York solo exhibition of the artist’s work in more than twenty years, begins to construct one after decades of relative obscurity.

    The daughter of a Hungarian philatelist and a Swiss confectionery heiress, Sekula was born into wealth and privilege in Lucerne, Switzerland, in 1918, moving to New York when she was eighteen. In the 1940s, she showed with Betty Parsons and Peggy Guggenheim