Daniel Quiles

  • “Antonio Berni: Juanito and Ramona”

    Remarkably, given the longstanding ubiquity of Antonio Berni’s work in his home country of Argentina, “Juanito and Ramona” will be the artist’s first major international exhibition. This show of 115 works will concentrate on Berni’s iconic characters Juanito Laguna and Ramona Montiel, archetypes of the villas miserias of Buenos Aires whom he repeatedly depicted between the early 1950s and the late ’70s in a series of drawings, paintings, and assemblages made of discarded materials. In addition to showing the monster sculptures from the ’60s that

  • David Hartt

    David Hartt’s exhibition “For Everyone a Garden” took its name from a 1974 book of the same title by Moshe Safdie, architect of the iconic Habitat 67 apartment complex in Montreal. Safdie’s democratic proclamation more generally echoed the utopian modularity of late-1960s architecture (both “paper” and realized). In Hartt’s hands, Safdie’s phrase became a slogan appearing—in one of two sixty-by-eighty-inch framed illustrations by Marvel Comics draftsman Kalman Andrasofszky—as the message on protesters’ signs in a march through a generalized urban setting derived from Katsuhiro Otomo’s

  • picks January 21, 2013

    “Perder la forma humana”

    For at least the past fifteen years, exhibitions have been at the forefront of the field of Latin American art history, excavating new objects of interest for scholars. Curated by members of the Red Conceptualismos del Sur, a network of art historians and curators focused on Conceptual art throughout Latin America, “Perder la forma humana” (Losing the Human Form) opens this relatively untouched field consisting of dozens of underrecognized 1980s artists. It is by turns important and overwhelming—the exhibition is more like a colossal, open archive than a focused statement—and should be seen by

  • Jimmy Robert

    Jimmy Robert subjects paper to a series of operations that read like an excerpt from Richard Serra’s famous Verb List: to rip, to append, to curl, to stuff, to crumple, to fold, to hang, to lean, to drop. Sturdy ink-jet prints, various paper stocks, found posters, bits of fabric, masking tape, and drawn elements appear collaged together or isolated, in ways that invariably force attention to the sculptural qualities of what we would normally think of as two-dimensional surfaces. If paper hangs on the wall, as it did in Robert’s recent installation of Untitled (Mickael), 2006—part of “

  • picks December 15, 2012

    Irena Knezevic

    The discrete works that make up Irena Knezevic’s NIGHT OF THE WORLD, 2012, incorporate an evil incantation, not a mythological one but a real one: Jedenje Bogova (Theophagia), a diary of a chief officer at the Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia during World War II. Operated by Ustaše fascists, the camp subjected ethnic Serbs, Jews, and Roma to unspeakable horrors. The diary was banned under Tito, only to resurface in 1982 in time to enflame tensions between Serbs and Croats at the end of the Cold War, thus producing violence in two different eras. Knezevic’s direct translation of the diary

  • Leandro Katz

    A series of images produced according to preset constraints, Leandro Katz’s S(h)elf Portrait, 1972, recalls, at first glance, the Photoconceptualism of Ed Ruscha or John Baldessari, yet close inspection reveals something altogether more labyrinthine than anything those artists ever did. Fifty photos, set in six uneven, vertically aligned rows, document the artist converting his studio into an office, working around a pay phone hung incongruously above a desk. The topmost photographs show shelves being constructed and filled with books and knickknacks. Starting in row 2, the photographs from row

  • picks November 28, 2012

    Danh Vo

    The narrow entrance to Vietnam-born, Berlin-based Danh Vo’s “Uterus” is adorned with fourteen sheets of paper, recessed behind glass and backlit, titled Untitled (The Collection of Leonard Lyons Letters from Henry Kissinger), 2008. Purchased by the artist at auction, they were sent from Kissinger to the New York Post’s Broadway columnist during the US bombing of Cambodia. In one letter, which includes a shockingly offhand mention of covert operations during the Vietnam War, Lyons is thanked for his gifts of theater and ballet tickets as welcome distractions. Sensation is not Vo’s aim, however;

  • picks October 01, 2012

    Rey Akdogan

    Open only between dusk and midnight, “Rey Akdogan: night curtain” is so inconspicuous as to be camouflaged among its surrounding Chinatown storefronts. Under cover of darkness, the artist’s meticulous arrangements of industrial objects and lighting accentuate contrasts between inside and outside the gallery—between obdurate materiality and exhibition as tableau, seen from afar.

    In the front room, visible from the street, is Carousel #1, 2010–12, a projector running through handmade abstract slides (mixtures of translucent lighting gels and opaque elements, like black Cinefoil). Further inside,

  • picks August 06, 2012

    “Ghosts in the Machine”

    With poetic exuberance, “Ghosts in the Machine” considers relationships between human and machine throughout a century’s worth of visual culture: Dada, cartoons, mystic contraptions, the Independent Group, Op, kineticism, cybernetics, and contemporary art. Curators Massimiliano Gioni and Gary Carrion-Murayari eschew historical continuity in favor of frisson, such that a single section juxtaposes a 1959–60 “study” for an unbroken replica of Duchamp’s “Large Glass” (his “bachelor machines,” both erotic and dysfunctional, are emblems for the show), a life-size rendering (from 1975–77) of an ominous

  • picks July 10, 2012

    Andrew Norman Wilson

    “ScanOps,” 2012, a series of ink-jet prints in painted frames, is one of the latest entries in Andrew Norman Wilson’s performances, videos, and installations about Google’s Library Project (which began in 2004 and is now known as Google Books). In 2008, Wilson lost his job as a contract worker at Google when he started interviewing the temporary, low-wage, “yellow badge” ScanOps employees who have thus far helped to scan some 20 million books, but he has continued to make art inspired by the digital giant. For instance, the 2011 video Workers Leaving the Googleplex features illicit footage of

  • picks June 05, 2012

    Gustavo Díaz

    At first glance, Gustavo Díaz’s drawing De natura sonorum invisibilis (Sounds of the Nature of the Invisible), 2011, seems premised on the smudge. Two fuzzy, roughly equivalent shaded areas, aligned vertically and connected by faint skeins of pencil lines, can be read in either abstract or representational terms: They bring to mind Peter Halley in soft focus, or a pair of lungs or kidneys. Get in closer, however, and a wealth of detail spills forth: The apparent contours are made up of countless tiny shapes, each filled with nearly microscopic stippling. In Díaz’s drawings and similarly intricate

  • Oswaldo Goeldi

    A key figure of prewar Brazilian modernism who participated in São Paulo’s pivotal Semana de Arte Moderna festival in 1922, Oswaldo Goeldi is known for wood engravings that adapted the rough draftsmanship and haunted street scenes of German Expressionism (which he experienced as a young adult in Switzerland) to depict an urban Brazil in flux

    A key figure of prewar Brazilian modernism who participated in São Paulo’s pivotal Semana de Arte Moderna festival in 1922, Oswaldo Goeldi is known for wood engravings that adapted the rough draftsmanship and haunted street scenes of German Expressionism (which he experienced as a young adult in Switzerland) to depict an urban Brazil in flux. Unlike his better-known contemporary Tarsila do Amaral, who conjured brightly lit tropicalist paintings, Goeldi favored restrained accents of rarely more than a single color submerged in black; his subjects

  • Jesús Rafael Soto

    Vibration noire (Black Vibration), 1960, exemplifies the confusion of optic and haptic registers that defined Jesús Rafael Soto’s work between 1957 and the late 1960s. Fragile sculptural elements—twisted red, blue, and black metal wires—are affixed to a black cloth marked with dozens of ultrathin white vertical lines. With the slightest change in the viewer’s position before the work, the alignment of the physical and pictorial elements shifts, resulting in “vibration”—a disorienting shimmer that adds to a sense of movement to this otherwise static object. Yet in the area around

  • Fernando Bryce

    Fernando Bryce’s Visión de la pintura occidental (Vision of Western Painting), 2002, consists of thirty-nine offset reproductions of canonical Western paintings hung salon style, surrounded by two additional walls of printed copies of ninety-six ink drawings aligned in double rows. The offset reproductions are original objects from the Museo de Reproducciones Pictóricas in Lima, Peru, which was initiated by the city’s Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in 1951 and closed in 1997. The museum’s aim was to provide access to reproduced European masterpieces that Peruvians could not otherwise

  • Iain Baxter&

    ART IS ALL OVER reads a lithographed document issued in 1971 by the N. E. Thing Company Limited (NETCO), a business founded in 1966, incorporated in 1969, and run by Iain Baxter (now IAIN BAXTER&) and his then wife, Ingrid, until 1978. This punning declaration (which appears as a sort of speech balloon floating on the surface of an official-looking form) marries Duchamp and Pollock, wherein the “allover” technique of AbEx is extended beyond the canvas’s edge to become something that appears everywhere, or “all over.” BAXTER& may have also meant this in another sense, one that points to a post-1968

  • Bruce Nauman

    “For the solipsist reality is not enough. He denies the existence of anything outside the self-enclosed confines of his own mind,” Mel Bochner wrote in 1967, addressing the increasing use of serial operations in art. At first glance, Bruce Nauman’s recent exhibition at Donald Young Gallery recalls this tendency: Taking the most basic of artistic tools, the hands, Nauman presents four drawings that explicate thirty-one possible combinations of flexed and extended fingers—an open hand, an open hand with the thumb flexed, both the thumb and the index finger flexed, and so on. Projected onto

  • Conrad Freiburg

    WHICH EYE DO YOU CHOOSE TO LOOK WITH? reads a handwritten text on the side of Conrad Freiburg’s Andromeda Galaxy with Hovering Eye (all works 2011), a viewing device installed in the artist’s third solo exhibition at Linda Warren Gallery, “The Blind Light, the Pyre of Night.” Like wall text in a science museum, this label of sorts encourages the viewer to look through one of many holes—set in the pattern of the Andromeda constellation—that had been bored into a large, white-painted wooden disk. Several incense burners were visible through these apertures, strung across the room against

  • Juan Downey

    Juan Downey’s video Plato Now, 1973, combines footage of the artist’s early-1970s performance-installations with studio images, often shot through water. A motif that runs throughout his work, water’s many potentialities—to flow, to mark time, to distort whatever is beyond or submerged within it, to signal its own mediating presence via ripples on its surface, and to reflect its viewer—echo the layered aims of this Chilean-born artist, whose formal training in architecture, abiding interest in cybernetics, and quixotic faith in combating late-capitalist alienation through technologies

  • “Recovering Beauty: The 1990s in Buenos Aires”

    Frankly, there is little beauty to be found in “Recovering Beauty: The 1990s in Buenos Aires,” a survey of seventy works by thirteen representatives of one of the first post-dictatorship artistic formations in Argentina. Loosely known as the “Grupo Rojas” for their close association with Galería Rojas at the Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas in Buenos Aires, these artists were represented in Austin by a selection of sickly sweet colors, glistening surfaces, grotesque dioramas, and garish found objects. With this in mind, the exhibition’s lamentable title can only be read as a provocation. What could

  • “Juan Downey: The Invisible Architect”

    This long-overdue retrospective will span the three decades of Chilean-born Juan Downey’s brilliant and idiosyncratic career.

    This long-overdue retrospective will span the three decades of Chilean-born Juan Downey’s brilliant and idiosyncratic career. While training in architecture in the 1960s, Downey developed a series of electronic environments derived in part from his experience with Parisian kinetic art. By the early ’70s, he had become associated with the alternative media think tank Raindance Corporation and was creating pioneering video works that culminated in the ambitious projects Video Trans Americas, 1973–79 (made up of footage from trips to South America), and The Thinking Eye,