Christopher Howard

  • Jim Herbert, Untitled, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 10 x 9'.
    picks October 07, 2010

    Jim Herbert

    The subjects of Jim Herbert’s ten new bombastic paintings are young attractive Caucasians in throes of sexual passion. The seventy-two-year-old Brooklyn-based artist has focused on the youthful nude for years, not only in painting but also in filmmaking, and the cinematically sized canvases—most are nine by ten feet—are actually smaller than what he normally uses. In one work, a young man watches his lover stroke himself pleasurably; in another, a slender-bodied boy and girl (they look like teenagers) get undressed, comfortable in their skin and anxious to explore. Though a depiction of two

  • Louise Despont, Moon Face and His Carrier Birds, 2010, graphite and watercolor on antique ledger book pages, 68 1/2 x 49 1/2”.
    picks September 29, 2010

    Louise Despont

    Created during a nine-month Fulbright fellowship in India, the eleven stunningly beautiful drawings in “House of Instruments,” Louise Despont’s second exhibition at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, present highly complex patterns and symmetrical forms rendered largely in graphite on antique ledger paper and yellowed Indian parchment. Influenced by the vibrant sights and sounds of South Asia, Despont intimates a kind of spiritual transcendence from these modest materials, and further develops her interest in conceptual dualisms, visual pairs, and suggestive abstraction. The two panels of Garden Interior

  • Charles Lutz, Price List (Double Fantasy), 2010, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 113” overall.
    picks July 21, 2010

    Charles Lutz

    The silver-and-red pie chart in Charles Lutz’s painting New Values (Silver 2007) (all works 2010) indicates that contemporary art sales at the top two auction houses, Christie’s and Sotheby’s, reached $1.7 billion in 2007. Today, despite two and a half years of global recession, the art world barely flinches at sales in excess of $100 million. Critiquing the unrestrained spending and unabashed hype are Lutz’s glossy, detached works that combine the photographic silk-screen process of Warhol with the meticulous finish of Koons—artists whose oeuvres notoriously accommodate both supporters and

  • Left: Cover of Dennis Oppenheim, Public Projects, 2009. Right: Dennis Oppenheim, Garden of Evidence, 2008, water-jet-cut aluminum sheet, prefinished diamond-plate aluminum sheets, acrylic, translucent fiberglass, fiberglass grating, galvanized bar grating, galvanized steel, perforated metal, pigmented aqua resin cast benches, dimensions variable. Installation view, Ace Gallery, Los Angeles.
    interviews October 26, 2009

    Dennis Oppenheim

    A pioneer of Earthworks in the late 1960s, Dennis Oppenheim has pursued an adventurous career in sculpture and installation, film and video, and body and performance art, but he never stopped making outdoor work. For the past ten years, Oppenheim has concentrated almost exclusively on public art, which is documented in a new book published by Charta this month.

    SOME PEOPLE WOULD SAY the age of experimentation in art has ended, but if it has, it’s also created an opening for a new camaraderie of artists working in architecture and public space, making work with people in mind. Functionality and

  • Ruby Sky Stiler, An Earlier Vessel, 2009, acrylic gouache, archival foamcore, hot glue, 38 x 24 x 24".
    picks May 25, 2009

    Ruby Sky Stiler

    Archaeological reconstruction, the writing of history, and the arbitrary value of objects—these are big ideas in Ruby Sky Stiler’s first solo exhibition, “High and Low Relief.” While some artists might treat such subjects with a heavy hand, she approaches them with wit and lightness, especially through the use of foamcore in her sculptures. To piece together an amphora, An Earlier Vessel (all works 2009), she covers shards of the material with cartoonlike drawings on colored paper that depict elements from Greek vase painting—warriors, chariots, horses, maidens, and decorative patterning—in mock

  • Norman Lundin, Room with an Electrical Cord, 2009, oil on canvas, 40 x 66".
    picks March 30, 2009

    Norman Lundin

    Light is a primary subject of Norman Lundin’s recent paintings, but so is air, a matter much harder to depict. In these flattened, shallow realist interiors, Lundin, who has lived in Seattle since 1964, provides both spaciously. The warm brown window frames in Shoreline from the Boathouse Window and the doorjambs and floor planks in Room with an Electrical Cord, both 2009, begin rousing this ethereal atmosphere, but it’s the way that Lundin expertly paints the muddy grays and sullied whites of diffused light as it covers a room that transforms his formalist compositional exercises into something

  • Allan Sekula, Meditations on a Triptych, 1973/78, color photographs and mixed media, 71 x 48 x 24".
    picks March 28, 2009

    “San Diego and the Origins of Conceptual Art in California”

    While New York’s history of Conceptual art might evoke SoHo lofts, analogous West Coast practices are more often inextricably tied to the university—which isn’t to say that Californian Conceptual art is academic. On the contrary, the twenty-five works in “San Diego and the Origins of Conceptual Art in California,” made by artists who remain a part of progressive education, are as surprisingly playful as they are implacably serious.

    Allan Sekula’s hilarious video of the artist and a friend as hyperactive cooks in the re-creation of a Del Mar pizza parlor sits next to his intense Meditations on a

  • View of “Robert Barry,” 2009.
    picks January 18, 2009

    Robert Barry

    A first-generation Conceptualist, Robert Barry abandoned his painting practice in the 1960s and began experimenting with radio waves, noble gases, and nylon string—teetering on the edge of a radically imperceptible art. Since the ’70s, his work has explored, among other subjects, the visual, verbal, and conceptual qualities of language, and he’s also found ways to merge the immaterial and the physical. This exhibition of new wall texts, sculptures, and paintings—supported by several seminal pieces and by re-creations of older works never before exhibited—continues these investigations.

    Presenting

  • Kate Gilmore, Walk This Way, 2008, still from a color video, 4 minutes 33 seconds.
    picks December 15, 2008

    Kate Gilmore

    Although Kate Gilmore describes herself as a sculptor––she often builds and maneuvers through constructions of lumber, plaster, wooden chairs, and plastic buckets in her work—her true medium is video, and like a true material girl, she’s the star in every one. In her third solo show in New York and her debut at this gallery, Gilmore further develops ideas about women and empowerment, but a tempestuous aggression replaces the heartfelt vulnerability of her earlier work.

    Captured with a stationary camera in a single take, the four videos in this show portray Gilmore as an urban everywoman: chicly