Daniel Quiles

  • picks May 15, 2019

    Laura Aguilar

    The “culture wars” of the 1980s and ’90s never ended—one of the many lessons of the retrospective “Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell,” curated by Sybil Venegas. Aguilar’s many series, from the testimonial “Latina Lesbians” portraits, 1987–89, to the utopian nude landscapes of “Stillness” and “Motion,” both 1999, gave voice and image to an intersectional range of marginalized people, including those who identify as Latinx, LBGTQ, differently abled, depressive, and nonconforming.

    Writing on an earlier version of this show, in 2018, Andy Campbell rightly noted the “radical intimacy” of Aguilar's portraits

  • “CITY PRINCE/ESSES”

    Curated by Hugo Vitrani

    As an exhibition theme, the megacity guarantees a heady mixture of aesthetic approaches, and “City Prince/esses” promises to be no exception. Indeed, curator Hugo Vitrani sees the topic as a call to exceed the purview of contemporary art and reach into an expanded creative field. Discarding the condescending associations of “developing world” terminology, this show opts both to celebrate metropolises’ “dynamic creativity” and to investigate their concerns about overcrowding and economic inequality across the work of fifty-some practitioners, photographers, filmmakers,

  • “Un arte sin tutela: Salón Independiente en México, 1968–1971”

    A PUBLICITY PHOTOGRAPH from the second Salón Independiente depicts nearly half of the exhibition’s artists, most standing against a wall, their hands up, and a few others sprawled on the ground. The massacre of approximately 325 student protesters in Tlatelolco’s Plaza de las Tres Culturas one year prior, on October 2, 1968, was an unmistakable reference. The first Salón Independiente opened just two weeks after Tlatelolco; it had been organized between July and October of that year, during the student protests and their ensuing repression by the government of Gustavo Díaz Ordaz. The Salón’s

  • interviews September 11, 2018

    Maria Gaspar

    Over the past year, artist Maria Gaspar has been leading workshops with a group of men at the Cook County Department of Corrections in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. Together, they have produced audio recordings and visual artworks that will be compiled into a digital animation and radio broadcast titled Radioactive: Stories from Beyond the Wall, 2018, which will be projected onto the compound’s north-facing wall for three hours after sundown on September 15 and September 16, 2018. Here, Gaspar discusses her related and ongoing 96 Acres Project, 2012–, and this new work.

    WE WILL USE THE

  • RUBEM VALENTIM

    The oeuvre of self-taught painter, sculptor, and printmaker Rubem Valentim does not easily fit into the prevailing categories of Brazilian modernism. Tridental forms in the painted reliefs and sculptures that the artist described as “emblems” recall works of geometric abstraction by Alfredo Volpi or Lygia Pape, yet they are specifically drawn from the Afro-Brazilian religion candomblé. Valentim understood this faith as the foundation of a national symbology, one he tapped for his showings at the First Festival Mundial das Artes Negras in Dakar,

  • interviews May 11, 2018

    Gordon Hall

    Gordon Hall’s The Number of Inches Between Them, 2018, replicates a found sculptural bench and serves as a platform for choreography. It is on view at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, through May 20, 2018. Below, Hall addresses their integrative approach to object making and performance.

    THE SHOW AT THE LIST CENTER, which includes sculptures, a letter, and a performance, is quiet and slow. I think of it both as a space of grief and a space to grieve. The performance features four people in their seventies and eighties, who sit on and use a concrete bench in a variety

  • “Teresa Burga:  Aleatory Structures”

    The international art world’s reappraisal of Peruvian artist Teresa Burga in the 2010s emphasized her Conceptualist approach in the 1970s. Her Autorretrato. Estructura. Informe, 9.6.1972 (Self-Portrait. Structure. Report, 9.6.1972), for example, provided physiological information about the artist in various media, and served as an allegory of biopolitics under Juan Velasco Alvarado’s left-wing dictatorship. Perfil de la mujer peruana (Portrait of the Peruvian Woman), 1980–81, was more ambitious in scale: a sociological survey of middle-class women in their late twenties.

  • Lucas Simões

    Corpos de Prova” (Bodies of Proof), Lucas Simões’s first exhibition at Patron, conjured a stark, almost antiseptic atmosphere, its compressive sculptures evenly spaced throughout the gallery. In pieces such as White Lies 14 (all works 2017),stacks of nonarchival computer paper—destined to curl and yellow over time—were pressed beneath or between rectangular or polygonal concrete slabs. Most of the unforgiving assemblages were in turn suspended on the wall or held aloft by empty metal rectangular prisms. These objects could be regarded as bravura meditations on interdependence, grounded

  • interviews March 16, 2018

    Huong Ngo and Hong-An Truong

    Hương Ngô and Hồng-Ân Trương’s work The Opposite of Looking is Not Invisibility. The Opposite of Yellow is Not Gold, 2016, pairs vernacular photographs of the artists’ mothers with texts from 1970s-era US congressional hearings regarding Vietnamese refugees. It is featured in “Being: New Photography 2018,” which will be on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from March 18 to August 19, 2018. Here, the artists discuss the political and personal impetuses behind their approach and how race, gender, and labor are often made invisible in cultural narratives.

    VERNACULAR PHOTOGRAPHY speaks to

  • Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985”

    ONE OF EIGHTY-SOME EXHIBITIONS in the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, “Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985” explicitly endeavored, as curators Cecilia Fajardo-Hill and Andrea Giunta put it, “to write a new chapter in twentieth-century art history” by correcting the field’s long-standing obfuscation of women artists’ contributions. On this count, “Radical Women” was a triumph, introducing dozens of neglected artists (including some from such rarely represented nations as Panama, Paraguay, and Costa Rica) to new audiences. It was more a feminist curatorial

  • “Concrete Matters”

    Having long ago supplanted “fantastic” figuration as the face of Latin American modernism, Concrete art is now enjoying a victory lap of sorts, with recent shows at David Zwirner in New York, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Matilda Olof-Ors is organizing this sampling of some seventy works by Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica, Tomás Maldonado, Jesús Rafael Soto, Gego, and others, with an emphasis on Brazil’s Grupo Ruptura and Grupo Frente (based in 1950s São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, respectively). A catalogue edited by María

  • Tania Pérez Córdova

    For “Smoke, Nearby,” Mexican artist Tania Pérez Córdova’s first US retrospective, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago made the unusual decision of leaving one of its downstairs galleries clear of any dividing walls. The open expanse was bathed in a uniform white light, which lent a still, clinical appearance to the sculptures hanging from, leaning against, or tucked within a series of irregular wooden display structures. These constructions functioned as stations at which the viewer could pause, gradually building conceptual connections between the different sculptures as she navigated the

  • picks February 23, 2017

    “One Day This Kid Will Get Larger”

    In David Wojnarowicz’s Untitled (One day this kid…), 1990, a photograph of the artist as a young boy is surrounded by descriptions of the violence he will someday suffer at the hands of a homophobic society. Curated by Danny Orendorff, this survey of contemporary North American artists’ responses to HIV and AIDS sets up similar relays between a “chronic disease” in the present, defined by unequal access to treatment, and a devastating epidemic in the past. For many younger artists, Wojnarowicz’s ominous future tense––what will happen––has shifted to what could have been, a sense of the possible

  • picks January 27, 2017

    Brian O’Doherty

    “The grid glides, stammers, and blurts with different lengths and colours,” Brian O’Doherty wrote regarding his use of Ogham, an ancient Irish linear alphabet, in his paintings and sculptures from between 1968 and 1979. In groupings of perpendicular lines, Ogham vowels mark O’Doherty’s quizzical, skinny wall sculptures from this period, tethering abstraction to both language and the body. These wooden constructions adapt Mondrian’s modernist lexicon: Primary colors and black decorate their sides. Mirrored aluminum forms a V-shaped depression in each of their centers, with the Ogham marks etched

  • Harold Mendez

    Harold Mendez’s American Pictures, 2016, consists of one gridded industrial mat, sprayed with a fine layer of enamel paint and laid flat on the floor, against which another painted mat is propped at a perpendicular angle, creating a sort of stage for the work’s focal point: a tree trunk impaled on a wrought-iron rod. The gnarled trunk has been covered, almost beyond recognition, with wine-red powder made from the crushed bodies of cochineal insects, while white carnation petals have been sprinkled on the base of the construction. White carnations are used by indigenous Mexicans to commemorate

  • “Oscar Masotta: Theory as Action”

    A singular combination of cultural critic, teacher, occasional artist, and unrepentant Lacanian, Oscar Masotta was the key theorist of 1960s Buenos Aires’s fervent avant-garde. Fired from his university job by the dictatorship in ’66, he led workshops on structuralism and Marshall McLuhan from his apartment, ultimately yielding a wholly informational genre—“mass media art”—that marked one of the earliest instances of Conceptualism in Latin America. This exhibition will survey Masotta’s production and influence across multiple platforms: writing, teaching, his own

  • Larry Achiampong

    THE LAST IMMIGRANT IS IN CAPTIVITY THE GALAXY IS AT PEACE reads one of the blackboards constituting Larry Achiampong’s #OPENSEASON, 2016, installed on the wall’s of the Logan’s main gallery. The words, furiously and repeatedly scrawled in chalk, may recall Adrian Piper’s Everything #21, 2010–13, but Achiampong is invoking the opening words of the 1990s Super Nintendo game Super Metroid. Substituting the word immigrant for Metroid (the game’s jellyfish-like aliens), the artist intermingles vintage gamer culture and Brexit-era xenophobia, in a gesture that encapsulates the oscillations between

  • passages November 14, 2016

    Jaime Davidovich (1936–2016)

    “AND ONE LAST THING: AVOID ASSHOLES,” Jaime Davidovich deadpanned, in a final piece of advice to my art students when, in the summer of 2015, we met him in his Bronx Museum retrospective, “Adventures of the Avant-Garde.” Coming from this singular Argentinean artist, who moved to New York in 1963 and participated in post-Minimalist and video-art experiments before becoming one of the pioneers of public-access cable in the late 1970s, this was no empty provocation or joke. It is a challenge to summarize the many twists and turns of Jaime’s career, but he was, above all, a profoundly ethical artist,

  • picks October 14, 2016

    “Every Building in Baghdad: The Rifat Chadirji Archives at the Arab Image Foundation”

    As Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Okwui Enwezor, and many others have observed, the photographic archive inevitably exceeds its function as repository of exhaustive records; the viewer adds mnemonic and affective experience in encountering this informational space. Focusing on Rifat Chadirji, a key figure in Iraq’s postwar modernization, “Every Building in Baghdad” accentuates this archival excess to devastating effect.

    Chadirji copiously photographed his nearly one hundred realized architectural projects—factories, universities, and office buildings, as well as other sites in and around Baghdad and

  • “Sanford Biggers: Subjective Cosmology”

    Over the past two decades, Sanford Biggers has woven references to African American culture, Eastern spirituality, and global music and dance traditions into patchwork myths and rituals. This exhibition promises to broaden our perspective on the artist’s ambitious speculative histories, with a presentation of recent and newly made site-specific works, including Shatter, 2016, which makes its debut here. Following Shuffle, 2009, and Shake, 2011, Shatter is the final installment of Biggers’s multichannel video trilogy filmed at key points along the North Atlantic