Christina Schmid

  • picks January 13, 2017

    “Question the Wall Itself”

    An international group show featuring work by twenty-three artists, “Question the Wall Itself” probes compromised interiorities; the political bleeds into the domestic, while the institutional frames emotional bonds and bodies alike, most palpably in Akram Zaatari’s installation All Is Well on the Border, 2008. Poetic and cerebral, the exhibition features a wide range of media, including paintings, tracings, texts, drawings, moving images, sculptural objects, and room-filling installations, such as Rosemarie Trockel’s ominous As Far as Possible, 2012—an uncomfortably bright, white-tiled room

  • picks November 09, 2015

    Yui Yaegashi

    Yui Yaegashi’s paintings are small, but despite their size, they own the gallery. Their humble presence fills the white walls with rectangles of muted colors. Their intricacy demands intimacy. Up close are minute topographies: Here, a ridge captures the edge of a delicate movement; there, lines weave into a texture reminiscent of upholstery fabric. In two untitled pieces (all works 2015), muted beige fields cover up the gridded interactions of blue brushstrokes, but slivers of color peek out at the margins, as if to illustrate the difficulty of seeing what hides underneath the blanket of the

  • Lukas Geronimas

    “Geatest Show on Rearth,” the title of Lukas Geronimas’s summer solo exhibition, appears to contain typos but doesn’t. “Being a Rearthling is Geat,” wrote Geronimas in the show’s press release, which doubled as a travelogue about the artist’s recent road trip from Brooklyn to Minneapolis. Despite the title’s allusion to P. T. Barnum’s circus spectacle, the exhibition insisted on the allure of the emphatically unspectacular. A tabletop propped up on sawhorses, an empty bookcase, and an array of objects enshrined in Plexiglas were poised between sincerity and affable irony, offering humor with a

  • picks October 06, 2014

    Alexa Horochowski

    In a photograph at the Soap Factory’s current exhibition, two collapsible chairs on a concrete rooftop terrace face the sunset. Welcome to Casa Poli. Straight out of modernist fantasy, the white-cube cultural center sits above the surf-pounded cliffs of the Chilean coast, where Alexa Horochowski spent two artist residencies. The resulting body of work presented in this show, titled “Club Disminución” (Club of Diminishing Returns), consists of sculptures, found objects, digital scans, and videos. But only the photograph, in which customized white letters spell CLUB Disminución on the chairs’

  • picks October 15, 2013

    Jacolby Satterwhite

    In Jacolby Satterwhite’s dizzying digital multiverse of 3-D animations, nothing is as it seems. Take, for instance, his video The Country Ball, 1989–2012, in which exuberant scenes of celebration give way to tortured netherworlds. The ground beneath an all-American picnic cracks, falls, and reveals characters caught in the frantic push-and-pull of competing demands. One crowned figure whose hands are tied reclines on a throne while another’s stomach swells from being mysteriously force-fed by creatures wielding outsize credit cards. Inside the swollen belly, something sparkles: Children, their

  • picks June 07, 2013

    “Plaisance”

    Contrary to its pleasant title, this exhibition presents an array of troubling histories. For example, the legacies of Belgium’s colonial past feature prominently in Sven Augustijnen’s series of photographs “Les Demoiselles de Bruxelles,” 2008, while Henrik Olesen’s A.T., 2012, engages with the life and suicide of Alan Turing, whose homosexuality, once discovered by authorities in 1952, precipitated a fall from war-hero fame to government-controlled “treatment.” Riddled with demonized desires and illicit pleasures, these histories revolve around power: the power to control resources and bodies,

  • picks October 07, 2012

    Pamela Valfer and Christina Empedocles

    “Exactitude,” the title of Pamela Valfer and Christina Empedocles’s elegant exhibition, may capture the artists’ impeccably precise technique, but it misses the point: What makes the drawings compelling is not craft per se but, especially in Valfer’s case, the works’ haunting conceptual complexity. Both artists create an afterlife for the objects they depict. For Empedocles that means patiently drawing crumpled-up notes, old movie posters, cutouts, and paper dolls, while Valfer conglomerates images familiar from popular culture, iconic tourist landmarks, and pieces of architectural history into