Dawn Chan

  • View of “Restore.”
    picks October 28, 2007


    “Restore” aims to bring together works that rethink and retell their creators’ “authentic experiences.” Absent, however, are the highly insular vocabularies one might expect in such art. Instead, even the show’s sparser—or more specific—pieces reference the larger-scale predicaments of Hong Kong culture. Wallace Chang Ping-hung’s sculptures, stacks of dim-sum steamers towering precariously above eye level, are humorous caricatures of bamboo and become heartbreaking when seen as futile postconsumption reconstructions of nature—perhaps an apt parallel to the local government’s conversion of

  • Su Casa Mi Casa, 2007, oil on stone dust on panel, 72 x 48".
    picks October 09, 2007

    Quentin Curry

    Using a unique process in which successive layers of pigment are leached through fabrics onto his canvases, Quentin Curry has created a series of paintings that depict explosive illumination and postexplosion detritus. A tone of nihilistic celebration pervades the works: Mexican-style skulls conjure Dia de los Muertos revelries, what seem like searchlights suggest a nighttime aerial raid, and a tropical sunset glimpsed through sliding doors evokes the living-room view of a Florida retiree in his last years. The best pieces in the show have in common Curry’s treatment of light, which he by turns

  • Left: Artist Robert Wilson. Right: Artist Mick Reinman and actor Bill Paxton. (Photos: Patrick McMullan)
    diary August 03, 2007

    Animal Farm

    Long Island

    At last Saturday’s summer benefit for the Watermill Center—the annual Hamptons bash thrown by the institution’s founder, Robert Wilson—art and corporate sponsorship dovetailed with unusual ease, all the way down to the evening’s animal theme: “VOOM Zoo” (a not-so-subtle nod to the HD-TV provider). To that end, arriving guests were greeted by a photo-op alongside artist Andrey Bartenev’s performers, who wore frog costumes bedecked with ads.

    Reeds and torches lined the steps leading up to the Watermill’s main hall, through which guests had to pass in order to reach the party. For the evening's

  • Island of Shattered Glass (detail), 2007, cotton cloth, shredded origami paper, camera, and camera tripod. Installation view.
    picks August 01, 2007

    Futoshi Miyagi

    To the extent that Futoshi Miyagi’s recent works and the offerings of Kaikai Kiki’s artists both peddle visions of Japanese childhood, Miyagi’s newest show functions as a welcome, timely foil to the ubiquitous anime-inspired output of Takashi Murakami and his like-minded brood. Where these progeny of the Superflat movement are interested in products and characters with universal appeal, Miyagi’s take on growing up stems from private memories barely accessible to himself, let alone a horde of six-year-olds weaned on cartoons. The Okinawa-born artist alludes to personal experience through a mix

  • Deposition, 2007, tree branch, slide whistle, beads, motors, and switches, 7' 8“ x 13' 2” x 3'.
    picks May 08, 2007

    Tim Hawkinson

    Humorous and solipsistic are two terms that have been used to describe Tim Hawkinson’s art—quite a mix, if you consider that humor aims to please an audience, while solipsism renders any such audience superfluous. Perhaps obsessive self-portraiture and extroverted drollery meet best in The Fin Within, 1995, in which an elegant aluminum mermaid’s tail, cast from the space between Hawkinson’s legs, suggests both sexual frustration and gender confusion. In Ranting Mop Head (Synthesized Voice), 1995, humor takes an absurd turn: Synthetic vocal cords—consisting of motors, valves, and compressed

  • Left: Artist Michael Portnoy, New Museum director Lisa Phillips, and Swiss Institute director Gianni Jetzer. Right: Artist Michael Bell-Smith and Rhizome.org director Lauren Cornell. (Unless noted, all photos: David Velasco)
    diary April 18, 2007

    Net Benefit

    New York

    Am I the only one disconcerted by the decor at Chelsea megaclub Hiro Ballroom? Any flat surface that isn’t wood-paneled is embellished with either kanji characters or questionable pseudoerotic tableaux. Otherwise, it’s a lovely space, and Rhizome.org, the New Museum’s new-media affiliate, which curates both real-world and virtual art exhibitions, made the most of the intimate lighting and cozy booths for its benefit on Monday evening. Organized by director Lauren Cornell, the event featured three bands with legs in the art world—Gang Gang Dance, Professor Murder, and YACHT—and multimedia artist

  • Passage, 2005, gouache on paper, 30 x 22".
    picks March 21, 2007

    Amy Cutler

    With a predilection for gravity-defying structures made delicate by Amy Cutler’s use of thin, wobbly lines, the thirteen graceful gouaches in this exhibition compound the artist’s previous imagery—women with deer limbs; upside-down tree houses—to reveal a central interest: structures of support that undergird the mundane yet chimerical rituals she has imagined for her paintings’ female subjects. In Siberian Jackfruit, 2007, a woman on a scaffold picks fruit from trees with the aid of a rustic, jury-rigged mechanical arm, while her companions, seated on harnessed reindeer, look on. When women