Daniel Gerwin

  • picks December 11, 2017

    Anastasia Douka and Shana Hoehn

    In Anastasia Douka and Shana Hoehn’s current two-person show, the past is pulled into the present while the present is pushed into antiquity. In The wife (Oz) 2017 (modified paper cast of “Aspasia” by Mara Karetsou, 1983), 2017, Douka recasts Karetsou’s bust of Pericles’s mistress from a public sculpture in Athens, adorning the figure’s head with a funnel. The work’s understatement pays homage to women who, despite their accomplishments, are known primarily for their associations with powerful men. Nearby, on a pedestal no more than two inches high, is Douka’s How to Hide, 2016, a collection of

  • Ruth Root, Untitled, 2017, fabric, Plexiglas, enamel paint, spray paint, 93 x 56 1/2".
    picks October 16, 2017

    Ruth Root

    From a distance, Ruth Root’s shaped paintings appear tight and formal, but up close her hand is loose, almost sloppy. Their surfaces reveal the brush’s starts and stops, where paint pooled in lumpy relief. Alternating bands of color are often done freehand, in wavering lines. The overall impression is similar to that of approaching somebody standing stiffly in a three-piece suit, only to discover he is drunkenly slurring his words, and finding everything he says to be riveting.

    Every work in this show is on Plexiglas, with a fabric component attached. Root gives the lie to the old saw that

  • Jim Shaw, Nebuchadnezzar in Abu Ghraib, 2017, acrylic on muslin, 40 x 75 x 3".
    picks July 20, 2017

    Jim Shaw

    A visual maelstrom of black-and-white screen prints and paintings opens Jim Shaw’s exhibit: their marks swirl and overlap, subsuming figures distorted as if they were reflections in a fun-house mirror. Meticulously rendered paintings on segments of worn theatrical backdrops distill and clarify this initial chaotic imagery. Here, Shaw paints vignettes that mash up politics, religion, comic books, Masonic tradition, and art history: Donald Trump plays the role of Satan in an update of William Blake’s Lucifer and the Pope in Hell, ca. 1805; George Washington ascends to the heavens as Zeus; and in