Chus Martínez


    Curated by Isabella Rjeille, Mariana Leme, Julia Bryan-Wilson, and Lilia Schwarcz

    This combined survey will illuminate how historical and ideological structures have influenced the interpretation and institutional validation of women’s artistic practices. “Histories of Women” will bring together some sixty pieces made during the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, with a special emphasis on lesser-known Latin American painters such as Maria Emília Campos (Brazil) and Magdalena Mira Mena (Chile). The second section, “Feminist Histories,” will include approximately one hundred works by artists

  • Stromboli, Italy, July 18, 2015. Photo: Giovanna Silva.

    Chus Martínez

    I HARDLY KNOW ANYONE who’s not either doing yoga or planning to take it up. I’d never given this fact a moment’s thought, but it recently struck me that more people than ever are seeking new forms of relaxation, meditative concentration, and somatic control. Though new is not the most apt term: Historically speaking, the popularity of this ancient practice in the West is a case of déjà vu all over again, for yoga was also all the rage at the close of the nineteenth century, when the trend resonated with a widespread fascination with the occult—yogis were viewed as the pop-cultural cousins

  • Gabriel Sierra

    Gabriel Sierra’s first solo show in a US institution finds the Colombian artist reflecting on the life of natural and built spaces. Does the experience of walking on grass, earth, or straw change when these materials are transposed into the gallery environment? Does the exhibition space—not only its defined architecture but also the lighting and the positioning of objects—inform our perception of these materials? Do we experience differently the surfaces of synthetic substances, whose skins artificially bind their disparate innards, and those of their natural

  • Lea Lublin, Fluvio Subtunal, 1969, mixed media. Installation view, abandoned department store, Santa Fé, Argentina, organized by Instituto Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires.

    Lea Lublin

    As the first major retrospective of the work of French-Argentinean artist Lea Lublin (1929–1999), this show is long overdue. Part of a generation associated with the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires—a cohort including such innovative artists as Federico Manuel Peralta Ramos, Marta Minujín, Alberto Greco, and David Lamelas—Lublin worked first in painting but quickly moved on to experiment with interactive installations, feminist actions, and, later, painting’s deconstruction. The linchpin of this show, which comprises more than eighty works produced

  • Pablo Helguera during road trip for School of Panamerican Unrest, 2003–, Tok, Alaska, May 19, 2006.

    trans-American modernism

    BY NOW, WE’VE COME TO UNDERSTAND MODERNISM as a far more hybrid affair than the likes of Clement Greenberg would have it; one defined, even, by a kind of border crossing that broke down traditional categories and subsequently reinvented art’s situation. Less often told is the story of modernist exchange across actual geographic boundaries, as explored in two recent publications: Making Art Panamerican: Cultural Policy and the Cold War by Claire F. Fox, and Mexico and American Modernism by Ellen G. Landau.

    Positioning art as the site and the arbiter of a complex twentieth-century narrative of

  • José Antonio Vega Macotela, Time Divisa 291 (Time Currency 291), 2009, altered book, 8 1/4 x 6 1/4 x 4 3/4". From Time Divisa (Time Currency), 2006–10.


    GOING DANCING, visiting a prostitute, watching a son’s first steps, getting drunk at the baptism of a nephew: These are the kinds of ordinary pleasures and transgressions that make up everyday life, and artist José Antonio Vega Macotela has partaken of all of these experiences. There’s nothing remarkable about that—except that in each case, the life Macotela was living belonged to someone else. Neither the son nor the nephew was his, he didn’t know the woman with whom he went dancing, and he limited his interactions with the prostitute to conveying a greeting from somebody else. Over the

  • Stephanie Sinclair, Self-Immolation in Afghanistan: A Cry for Help, 2005, one of nine color photographs, each 17 x 22".

    the Whitney Biennial

    “2010”: THE TITLE OF the latest edition of the Whitney Biennial, curated by Francesco Bonami and Gary Carrion-Murayari, is a literalist marker that establishes both the inexorable passage of the biennial calendar and the impossibility of subjecting any historical moment to a single explanatory theory. The result is an instant monument to the present that also describes a willing-forth of history, inviting us to conceive of a new 1922, perhaps, with its literary triumphs, or a new 1968, with its social and cultural upheavals, or even, maybe, the 2001 we never got. Such a blunt invocation of

  • Renata Lucas, Cruzamento (Crossing), 2003, wood. Installation view, intersection of Rua dois de Dezembro and Praia do Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro, 2003.


    TO CREATE HER WORK Cruzamento (Crossing), first realized in 2003 in Rio de Janeiro and reprised in São Paulo in 2004, artist Renata Lucas repaves a busy intersection with plywood—a seemingly simple gesture with complex ramifications. Layered on top of the asphalt, the wood, with its anomalous color and texture, claims a new territory for form and geometry: A curious shape—a cross or a plus sign, but one that is more curvilinear than angular—literally emerges, relief-like, from the street. The curbs that define the shape’s contours now read as negative space, while the two overlapping

  • Chus Martínez


    1 Alexander Kluge, winner of the 2008 German Film Prize for Lifetime Achievement One particular sentence in Kluge’s film Die Patriotin (The Patriot, 1979) keeps running through my head: “The closer you look at a word, the more distantly it looks back at you.” The word in question is Deutschland—Germany—the same subject that he chose for his first book, published under the title Lebensläufe (Case Histories) in 1962. Describing the lives of middle- and upper-class Germans during and after the Third Reich, the collection of short stories provides, in almost bureaucratic