David Carrier

  • Thomas Kinkade, Sweetheart Cottage III, The View from Havencrest Cottage, 1994, oil on canvas, 18 x 24". © 1994 Thomas Kinkade.

    Thomas Kinkade

    Thomas Kinkade: The Artist in the Mall, edited by Alexis L. Boylan. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011. 320 pages. $26.

    THOMAS KINKADE’S ART IS EVERYWHERE: An estimated one in twenty American homes owns a print of his work. At the same time, his pictures are nowhere to be seen in the art world, where they are reviled, if not simply ignored. Why? This is not a question of quality per se: It is hardly polemical to suggest that his pictures bear comparison with canonical works of art history. His Jerusalem Sunset, 2006, for example, brings to mind Corot’s Roman scenes. Other pictures—those

  • Sheng Qi, Under the Shadow, 2007, acrylic on canvas, each 31 1/2 x 47".
    picks June 23, 2009

    Sheng Qi

    Sheng Qi, famous for his performance art and for photographing his self-mutilated left hand, paints enormous groups of small figures, most viewed from above and generally in black and red. His painting in this exhibition of a one-legged child performing for a crowd is terrifying, and his representation of a dead girl in a bikini, seen from the back, is oddly mysterious. Under the Shadow, 2007, a diptych––red on the right, black on the left––presents figures in the rain walking in Tiananmen Square. Like Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych, 1962, this piece demonstrates how the cinematic aesthetics of

  • Ding Yi, Appearance of Crosses, 2006–2007, crayon and charcoal on canvas, 83 x 118".
    picks June 23, 2009

    “Domus Collection”

    The Beijing art world is moving from 798, which is fatally touristic, to Caochangdi. The perfectly proportioned spaces of this gallery are inside a gated courtyard in a poor suburb beyond the fifth ring road near the airport. In this exhibition, which juxtaposes dramatically different visual cultures, a large concave work by Anish Kapoor is hung at the far end of each of the two long rooms. One, a mirror, reflects the butterflies of Damien Hirst’s majestic Soulful, 2008; the other, painted steel, is set against Barnaby Furnas’s abstract landscape Dark Day I, 2008. Ding Yi’s Appearance of Crosses

  • Wang Guangle

    Wang Guangle makes artworks in various typologies. His “Terrazzo” series, 2002– , re-creates in oil or acrylic paint a distinctive Chinese floor material. Terrazzo 200807, 2008, has an allover pattern; Terrazzo 200808, 2008, and Terrazzo 090105, 2009, surround simple geometric forms (a square at the center, for example) with monochromatic color fields. And he produces two types of acrylic-on-canvas work called “Coffin Paints,” 2004–: large, dark, vertically oriented gray canvases and somewhat smaller, heavily painted panels in a variety of colors and patterns. In Coffin Paint 090119, 2009, the

  • View of “Arcadie dans les collections du Centre Pompidou,” 2009. Foreground: Projection onto macramé of Nicolas Poussin's The Arcadian Shepherds, 1638; background: François-Xavier Lalanne, Troupeau de moutons (Flock of Sheep), 1968.
    picks May 08, 2009

    “Arcadie: Dans Les Collections du Centre Pompidou”

    Beginning with Poussin’s The Arcadian Shepherds, 1638, projected onto a macramé partition in front of François-Xavier Lalanne’s Troupeau de moutons (Flock of Sheep), 1968, this thematic exhibition closes with the enormous Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, 2002, by Vladimir Dubossarsky and Alexander Vinogradov, which depicts Cézanne, Monet, and Pissarro in a crowded landscape populated with model and animals.

    Exhibition curator Didier Ottinger presents eighty-three utopian drawings, films, and paintings by forty-two artists. Some famous French figures (Braque, Matisse, and Picasso) and a host of intriguing

  • Wu Ershan, Club Revolution, 2009. Performance view. Left: Dead J.
    picks April 30, 2009

    “Music to My Eyes”

    Synesthesia was a frequent fascination of Western modernists. In “Music to My Eyes,” Beijing-based curator Karen Smith’s variation on this old theme, visitors heard bands including Girl Kill Girl, Dead J, and ZigZag. They see Liu Ye’s small paintings of Mozart, Chet Baker, and Taiwanese pop singer Teresa Teng and enter Kaleidoscope (all works 2009), a cycloramic environment designed by Chen Hangfeng and Ben Houge, which displays—on six walls and in real time—images taken through a kaleidoscope at the door of the museum. Changing Street Orchestra by Mathieu Borysevicz uses three-screen cinematic

  • Jorge Pardo

    Organized by Bonnie Clearwater of the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, Florida—and here overseen by Margo A. Crutchfield—Jorge Pardo’s first museum survey is constructed as a spacious, well-furnished house. The domestic spaces (front garden, kitchen, dining room, office, bedroom, and living room) are filled with their attendant objects—sculptures and installations Pardo made between 1987 and 2007. Dispersed throughout are ten enormous photomurals depicting architectural exteriors and interiors designed by the artist. But while this may be a house, it is certainly not a home: You are

  • Oscar Oiwa

    Oscar Oiwa, born in Brazil in 1965 to Japanese parents, exhibited Whale I and Whale II, both 1989, in the 1991 Bienal de São Paulo. By comparing the great mammal’s bones to the equally expansive top view of a nuclear-propelled submarine, this pair of twenty-one-meter images painted on kraft paper presents one of his basic themes, the kinship between the organic and the mechanical. The year of the Bienal, Oiwa moved to Tokyo, arriving just as the bubble economy burst. He later spent nearly a year in London, and in 2002 he relocated to New York, where he now lives and works.

    This full retrospective

  • McDermott & McGough

    Using obsolete printing techniques and an 8 x 10" camera, David McDermott and Peter McGough in the 1980s and ’90s, made photographs that look like they were produced a century ago. This display of 120 small pictures in four rooms, newly decorated for the exhibition with faux-antique handpainted wallpaper and an eighteenth-century floor pattern copied from an old Dublin design, surveys nearly twenty years of the artists’ career. No cars, computers, or modern machinery appear in these photographs. The pair’s cyanotype An Assortment of Studio Props, 1913, 1997—fake composition dates are part of

  • Diana Cooper

    Using acetate, acrylic, aluminum tape, corrugated plastic, felt, felt-tip markers, foamcore, ink, map pins, paper, photographs, pipe cleaners, 296 pom-poms, velour paper, and vinyl, Diana Cooper makes “three-dimensional drawings,” many of them extremely large. Her recent exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art featured a range of these hybrid constructions and wall reliefs, as well as two freestanding sculptures. The lush green construction Daphne, 2006, is based around a set of radiating forms that emerge from its center, while the sprawling Emerger, 2005–2007, joins a vast array of small

  • Spencer Finch

    What better subject for a summer exhibition in a museum located near the picturesque Berkshires than the art of Spencer Finch, which deals in the observation of weather and natural light? Here, Finch shows four installations produced this year, two of them being exhibited for the first time, and a new assemblage involving filtered fluorescent light, all of them—as is now customary for the artist—alluding to the environmental conditions of specific times and places. (A selection of earlier works—drawings, watercolors, lightbulb and neon assemblages—is also on show).

    Facing Mass MOCA’s courtyard

  • Joseph Cornell

    Joseph Cornell loved the ballet, broken glass, nude models from photography manuals, jewels and jewel boxes, airplanes and ships, old books, old master paintings, optical devices, palace facades, penny arcades, photographs of movie stars, sand, soap bubbles, star maps, stuffed birds, and toys. Scouring Woolworth’s, bookstores, second-hand and antique stores, and other promising-looking outlets across the US and Europe, he gradually accumulated materials presented in the 177 boxes, collages, graphic design projects, dossiers, and films that were shown in a recent exhibition—the artist’s first