Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva

  • picks October 18, 2019

    Charles Benjamin

    Swedish-born painter Charles Benjamin’s cumbersome canvases balance on squat little legs, lined up against the walls of the gallery like pieces of oversize furniture. Minimally rendered in ocher oil stick, his works are sometimes figurative, as in New day opening (all works 2019), where the outlines of several glass bottles hint at wine-soaked festivities, and sometimes abstract, as in Diagonals for Manuela, with its five parallel stripes agitatedly slicing across the canvas’s surface. Benjamin’s forms resemble trivial doodles scribbled in the margins of a grocery list, but at the same time they

  • picks August 22, 2019

    “Weather Station”

    In the Azores, it is common to experience what feels like all four seasons in a single day. For “Weather Station,” Manuela Marques and Sandra Rocha inhabit the roles of artist, meteorologist, and geologist in order to explore the islands’ topography and history. In the exhibition’s first room is Rocha’s Escuta (Listen) (all works cited, 2019)—a wall-spanning grid of sixty photographs, taken during a three-minute window, of the white and blue swirls of coastal waters. Projected on the opposite wall is Marques’s R.A.S, a graphic projection based on seismic records registered by the local volcanology

  • picks June 10, 2019

    Paulo Brighenti

    For “Cascata” (Waterfall), Paulo Brighenti has convened encaustic paintings and roughly molded sculptures in variations of dark brown and sienna. Two somber paintings, Bacchus #1 and #2, 2019, show the face of a man sticking out his tongue. Bacchus #3 and #4, 2019, rendered in concrete, are installed on plinths nearby; what unrolls from the mouths of these disfigured, fossilized skulls are not tongues but gently perched copper leaves. The reference to the Roman god of wine and madness invites ritualistic associations, as does “Árvore” (Tree), 2019, a septet of oil sketches of forests, though in

  • picks April 07, 2019

    Francisco Tropa

    “The Pyrgus from Chaves,” Francisco Tropa’s latest exhibition, is set in a dark, vault-like gallery, where an eclectic array of small figurative sculptures is assembled on asymmetrically arranged tables. A selection of Tropa’s works since 2006 are featured alongside artifacts found in the Roman baths of Chaves in northern Portugal, a site exceptionally preserved by a landslide that buried it around the fourth century CE and rediscovered in 2016.

    Tropa collaborated with archaeologist Sérgio Carneiro, who was involved in the excavation of the Chaves baths, to create a natural history Wunderkammer

  • picks October 16, 2018

    Marcius Galan

    Entering Marcius Galan’s installation Exercício de divisão (Exercise of Division) (all works 2018) feels like stepping into a mirror. In the white industrial space of the gallery, various objects surround the visitor: minimal wooden frames slanted against the wall or arranged on the floor; glass; bent iron rods that hang from the ceiling’s beams or twist toward it from the floor. Galan’s symmetrical environment splits the hall in two, creating one big mirror in trompe l’oeil. Upon closer inspection, other optical illusions appear. There is no glass, only faint variations in the wall and floor

  • picks May 14, 2018


    Three generations of Brazilian women are represented in “imannam,” an exhibition that is less a collaboration than a safe shelter of sound, site-specific installation, and film. Visitors are immediately encouraged to bow in the dark—for Snail, 2018, Laura Lima has lowered the ceiling to about five feet—before they reach the rest of the concrete curves of Oscar Niemeyer’s Copan building. Close by is Ana Linnemann’s The studio’s table, 2018, a long supply-chain-like construction of plywood and hinges furnished with books and repurposed objects, including those from her series “The world as an

  • diary April 09, 2018

    Star Light, Star Bright


    Impossible! It is exhibited in a gallery.”

    Yolanda Choy Tang, a former reporter, was talking to a friend who saw her in a Wolfgang Tillmans photograph, holding up a microphone in a meat market (Hong Kong TV Reporter, 1993). The photo was part of a solo show at David Zwirner’s new Hong Kong outpost in the H Queen’s Building. “It was twenty-five years ago!” said Tang to Tillmans, who came to greet her during the vernissage. Tillmans had just finished talking to the press about making one-of-a-kind images: “Many photographers have a sense of inferiority and feel the need

  • diary March 30, 2018

    What’s New Is New Again

    “IT IS THE SECOND EDITION, but really it feels as though it’s the first,” said Amber Wang, this year’s director of Gallery Weekend Beijing, or GWBJ. She’s eager to break the city’s recently uncharismatic relationship with the art world. And it seems to be working, as enthusiasm abounded across the participating twenty-two galleries in the 798 and Caochangdi arts districts as they welcomed an international crowd of curators, dealers, and collectors who came through, readying themselves for Art Basel Hong Kong. Shanghai is still on the rise, opening new museums and attracting artists fleeing an

  • picks January 09, 2018

    “Binet, Divola, & Stoerchle”

    Before he became an essential figure of the 1970s Southern California art scene and professor in the legendary Post-Studio program at CalArts, Wolfgang Stoerchle studied painting at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). There, he experimented with a series of performances and videotapes prior to receiving his MFA in 1970. Last year, Alice Dusapin, one of the founders of this cooperative space, unearthed from the artist’s effects a handful of 8-mm films he made during his time at UCSB. In one of the more notable works from this cache, Wolf’s Master of Fine Arts Show, 1970, he jumps

  • picks October 19, 2017

    Mika Tajima

    Central to Mika Tajima’s current exhibition is Force Touch (Manibus, 1) (all works 2017), a large wall facing the gallery’s street entrance and blowing air from several gold-chromed stainless-steel spa jets. Although these allude to the meridian points of the human body, it is their alternating gushes of air—irresistible to some visitors’ hands—that suggest life energy, in remarkable contrast with the sterile coldness of the white surface. Pranayama, D, a wooden bust reminiscent of a cervical collar and dotted with Jacuzzi jets, stands on a pedestal nearby. The sculpture’s tactile qualities come

  • diary September 23, 2017

    Rama Lama Ding Dong

    “MARSEILLE WAS BUILT ON A HISTORY OF FAILURES,” curator Cédric Aurelle gushed. Our friendly little group—which included Véronique Collard Bovy, the chic producer of the city’s flagship event Art-O-Rama—stood sipping white wine and philosophizing about the decline of French civilization outside M-Arc/Le Box, the space that collectors Marie-Hélène and Marc Féraud were opening with an homage exhibition to artists Pierre Bertrand et Francois Morellet. That evening, the former coastal slaughterhouse turned art hangar hosted a bizarre mix of fellow travelers from Berlin, Warsaw, Lisbon, Paris, Mexico

  • diary September 08, 2017

    Emory Memories

    THE MODICA STOP on the erratic airport bus from Catania was more rugged than I expected for an ancient UNESCO World Heritage spot. But a few hills down the road we were engulfed by the voluptuous Baroque architecture that defines this beautiful Sicilian comune: “The historical center is over there,” the driver beamed.

    Sveva D’Antonio of Laveronica Arte Contemporanea met me at the parking lot with a disarming smile and the equally disarming presence of seventy-four-year-old Emory Douglas, the graphic artist behind the Black Panther newspaper (1967–80). Douglas had wanted to go on a stroll, and

  • diary June 05, 2017

    Down the Loophole

    ON A RECENT SUNNY WEDNESDAY, I walked by the skateboarders riding in front of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and descended to the dark auditorium just in time to hear director Ferran Barenblit introduce Video Data Bank’s Abina Manning. Manning had selected works by women artists—Hermine Freed, Lynda Benglis, Barbara Aronofsky Latham, Suzanne Lacy, Linda Mary Montano, and Susan Mogul, all pioneers of video art in the 1970s—who had taken advantage of the emergence of Sony’s Portapak camera. The grainy, poignant experimental films made a couple of people flee, but mostly they

  • diary June 03, 2017

    Lisbon Rendezvous

    “WE THOUGHT ABOUT EXPANDING TO LATIN AMERICA, but it was more complicated. So we decided to open a gallery here,” Pedro Maisterra said at the inauguration of his and Belén Valbuena’s new gallery branch in Lisbon’s Alvalade barrio. “Spain and Portugal don’t usually look at each other, which is crazy when you think about it! But it’s ripe with great energy.”

    The Portuguese art scene was lush indeed, as lush as the blue jacaranda blossoming across the city. The patio in front of the new space was already lively when we arrived, straight from the opening of Carlos Garaicoa’s massive installation

  • picks May 18, 2017

    Zhou Li

    In the pitch-black two-room gallery, Zhou Li’s cream-gray paintings on the walls glow in the dark. The opening work, Reflections in the Mirror, 2017—a drawing that turns out to be a light box painted black but for a single snaking line allowing light through—could be mistaken for a twisted neon tube. At the end of the second, bigger room, two paired, grand red monochrome paintings (the only instance of the hue in the show) titled Loving No1 and Loving No2, both 2017, provide a quieting emotional release, as a contemplative form of color-field painting, to a tumultuous inner journey conjured by

  • diary March 24, 2017

    Best in Show

    “THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE in this room than there are in all of Marfa, Texas. Although—it’s just as international,” said Chinati Foundation director Jenny Moore to an agreeable Jay Jopling.

    It was Monday night, and we were at the Balinese Potato Head’s bar in Sai Ying Pun celebrating the opening of Theaster Gates’s solo show as well as the soon-to-open fifth edition of Art Basel Hong Kong. And the crowds were international indeed, including patrons Ivan Pun and Alan Lo, artists Carlos García de la Nuez and Eddi Prabandono, collector Serge Tiroche, RA’s Tim Marlow, and Taipei-based model and designer

  • diary March 09, 2017

    Good Humor

    I HAVE YET TO FIND a taxi driver who thinks wrong of president Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte since his election last May. His approval ratings regularly exceed 80 percent, despite the controversial hero’s burial he organized for former dictator Ferdinand Marcos last November, or the indiscriminate slaughtering of suspected drug dealers and users—including children. His war on drugs amounts to more than seven thousand shot dead so far (more than during the martial-law period, artists tell me), reinforcing the “doing what it takes” attitude gaining popularity worldwide. And yet the economy seems pleased,

  • diary January 17, 2017

    Attitude Adjustment

    “FINALLY!” was all anyone could think last Tuesday when Myanmar-based artist Aye Ko received the 2017 Joseph Balestier Award for the Freedom of Art. He’d been nominated for the prestigious prize three years running.

    Ko immediately promised to “share it with the community, with the children, and for their education.” Kirk Wagar, US ambassador to Singapore, and Art Stage director Lorenzo Rudolf presented the elated artist-activist with an oversize check for $15,000. “His work is a good investment too,” said Rudolf, who apparently gets asked about this a lot. The other nominees, Indonesia’s Arahmaiani

  • diary January 04, 2017

    The Lucie Show

    THE INDONESIAN ISLAND OF BALI isn’t (yet) an art-world hotspot. “It’s like you are coming to the forest with us before all the trees are cut,” joked Esti Dewi, the wife of artist Filippo Sciascia, hinting at the promise for industry scouts. Nested in a vacant joglo (a traditional Javanese house) containing intricate folk treasures, Kayu, the Balinese branch of conceptual “art employer” Lucie Fontaine, was launching its fifth project. “Ritiro” (retreat) opened at the beginning of last month and then moved on to Java’s Gereja Ayam, or Chicken Church—the weirdest of the anti-white-cube spaces on

  • diary November 15, 2016

    The Wild Bund

    LAST WEEK I SPENT THE SHOCKING, watershed days around the dawn of Trump’s America in Shanghai. While the events resonated here, it was less a shake than a quiver. After all, China and its overheating art world are far from the center of that particular storm—even if “Shyna,” as Trump so dismissively puts it, is in his crosshairs.

    It wasn’t that long ago that Beijing, with its massive network of artist studios, underground movements, and exhibition spaces, was the center of the Chinese art establishment. But the past seven days confirmed a shift east toward Shanghai, with the business of exhibiting