Chris Murtha

  • picks July 11, 2018

    Jason Dodge

    Presented without specific details—such as work titles, dates, or any other elucidating information—Jason Dodge’s puzzle of an exhibition encourages viewers to make their own sense of the seemingly incongruous objects dispersed across the gallery floor. Reflecting his engagement with poetry, Dodge does not treat his ready-made materials as indifferent objects, but rather as charged symbols to be arranged in service of allegorical readings. It doesn’t take long for themes to materialize: Migration, displacement, and transience are just a few.

    The dead bees and ant traps that line walls and dot

  • picks November 04, 2016

    Honza Zamojski

    For this compact installation, Honza Zamojski formalizes a new idiom, which is also the title of the exhibition: “Ghostism.” The term refers to a haunting and crippling doubt instigated by inspiration and influence—a “negative reflection,” says the artist, of spirituality. Zamojski’s ghostism takes literal form in Curtain, 2016, a white floor-to-ceiling drape perforated by two large eyeholes through which we can partially view a picture of a brick wall constructed out of interlocking magnets.

    This black-and-white photograph, along with seven others here, belongs to the artist’s “Magnetic Sculpture”

  • picks October 28, 2016

    Arlene Shechet

    One of the first sculptures you encounter in Arlene Shechet’s current exhibition is I Saw the 18th Century (all works 2016), which is crowned by a block of wood carved to resemble a circular saw blade. This tongue-in-cheek object sets the tone for the paradoxical and polymorphous works within. Though perhaps most widely known for her genre-defying ceramics, Shechet has shifted among mediums for her entire career, never settling on one long enough for it to become predictable. Here, she combines her explorations into a new material—hardwood—with expertly glazed ceramics.

    Shechet has used wood as

  • picks September 23, 2016

    Allison Schulnik

    Allison Schulnik’s previous exhibitions employed theatrical settings to display her stop-motion animations, ceramics, paintings, and drawings. Here, she narrows the focus to her two-dimensional output. Her heavily impastoed narrative paintings, which possess the same physicality and rawness of her works in clay, warrant the attention.

    The exhibition’s title, “Hoof II,” alludes to Schulnik’s training as a dancer, as well as to the central role unicorns and centaurs occupy in the show. With their suggestive horns and erections, Schulnik’s unicorns are decidedly male, though their eyes are depicted

  • picks July 22, 2016

    “Empirical Intuitive Absorption”

    As an extension of a lecture he gave in March 2016 at Miami’s Pérez Art Museum, Matthew Ronay contextualizes his own recent wood sculptures with works by Fernand Léger, Serge Charchoune, Terry Riley, and Graham Marks to investigate how abstraction can intuitively tap into and communicate elemental concepts. With the exception of Léger’s foreboding, nebulous form in Green Foliage, 1930, the artist’s graphic, object-centered works struggle to transcend their subject matter and are the least effective here. But we do get a rare opportunity to view the work of Léger’s contemporary, Charchoune, an

  • picks June 03, 2016

    Peter Linde Busk

    Working across a range of mediums and practices, Peter Linde Busk channels classical and popular culture to conjure protean figures and mythological narratives in his first solo exhibition in the US, “Any Port in a Storm.” Many of his multifaceted works, which include mosaics and reliefs, are assembled like intricately interlocking puzzles. Linde Busk creates these patchwork objects primarily with detritus salvaged from the studio, such as cardboard and wood scraps, tile, lithographic stones, and broken shards from his own ceramics.

    He coats his ceramics with a matte white glaze that settles into

  • picks May 27, 2016

    Alicja Kwade

    In her New York gallery debut, Alicja Kwade presents a fun house of cerebral sculptures that play with and challenge perceptions of space. The artist displayed a similar sleight of hand with her recent commission for Public Art Fund, Against the Run, 2015, a street clock with a backward-revolving face that disorients passersby yet, nevertheless, gives the correct time. Here, Kwade makes efficient use of sculpted and ready-made materials to construct a series of works that portray objects at an impasse, oscillating between various states of being and meaning.

    Three central sculptures—whose titles