Domenick Ammirati

  • An audience member is pushed through a painting as part of an Ei Arakawa performance at David Zwirner last week. Photo: Santiago Felipe.
    diary September 16, 2022

    Open City

    A LOT WAS GOING ON LAST WEEK. The opening of the season sloughed off the last couple years’ tentativeness for something that verged on overcompensation. Wednesday, for example, was VIP day at the Armory Show and Independent 20th Century. Thursday saw the Wolfgang Tillmans opening at MoMA; a reception for Nan Goldin at the Swedish Consulate in honor of her exhibition at Stockholm’s Moderna Museet; various downtown gallery openings and fêtes by and for places like Company, Essex Street/Maxwell Graham, Derosia, and Housing, the last at newly designated hotspot Skinos; and a rave, loosely defined,

  • Promotional poster for Yevgenia Belorusets’s Modern Animal (Isolarii, 2021).

    SMALL PRESS

    IN THE FUTURE, there will be no writing; we will communicate solely like bees through TikTok dances. In the interim, during the slow/fast glide toward the desuetude of the written word, attention spans dwindle, readers seem to cathect increasingly onto texts the length of a caption, and people like myself pen mournful eulogies that may reasonably be labeled “tl;dr.”

    The new subscription-based press Isolarii is experimenting with a cunning strategy for attracting readers to medium-length reading: It makes books with pages the size of the display on a second-generation iPhone SE. The design is a

  • At the opening of “HRGNYC,” featuring work by H. R. Giger. Photo: Alex Gvojic.
    diary February 04, 2022

    Alien Encounters

    GAMBLING CAME TO NEW YORK at just the right moment. Yes, for a long time we have had the ponies, and yes, technically, it has been legal to bet on sports at a few physical locations around the state since 2019. But as of January 8, 2022, gambling on sports became legal in the Empire State via smartphone app, making it as easy for its residents to lose their life savings as it is to swipe a fatefully wrong direction on Tinder. The timing was no fluke: The NFL playoffs began the following weekend. Artforum readers may be unfamiliar with so-called American football, but for reference, you could

  • UNDER THE SKIN OF NEWNESS

    1

    IN A WORLD WHERE CONTINGENCY has never loomed larger, why not begin with a book found lying on the street? At the beginning of autumn, which seemed like nothing but an extension of a hot, dread-filled summer, I came across a copy of Theodor Adorno’s Minima Moralia on the sidewalk. When I began flipping through it that evening, I found something completely different from what I had expected. Far from page after numbing page elaborating theoretical constructs, Minima Moralia is a collection of hot takes: short, numbered prose pieces, rarely more than a few pages, that are sharp, grouchy, riddling,

  • Cheryl Dunn, Moments Like These Never Last, 2021, DCP, color, 96 minutes. Dash Snow.
    film September 04, 2021

    Prodigal Son

    FOR THE UNINITIATED: Dash Snow was a New York City street kid, graffiti writer, and artist who died at in 2009 age twenty-seven of a heroin overdose, leaving behind an infant daughter, a partner, and many grieving friends. These are facts. He left behind little in the way of art-historical significance. This is an opinion, though one with which most presumptive experts agree. I mention this only to clarify the stakes of a new documentary about Snow. Moments Like These Never Last is a movie about a debatably compelling personality whose arc pierced an art world enthralled by youth, glamour, and

  • The Hotel Roosevelt’s Hockney-muraled pool. All photos by author.
    diary August 06, 2021

    A Bigger Splash

    AMONG THE MANY PROBLEMS the United States finds itself confronting in the summer of 2021 is a shortage of chlorine for its swimming pools. This shortage is not, as you might guess, because of ongoing hygiene theater or because you can cure Covid by injecting yourself with bleach. Rather it results from the (accidental) detonation one year ago of a chemical plant in Louisiana that produces half the US supply of chlorine tablets. Despite some workarounds, the explosion put a crimp in the sanitizing pipeline.

    Los Angeles is a town smitten with swimming pools, absolutely nuts for them. During the

  • Justine Kurland, Twilight, 2021, collage, 9 3⁄4 × 24 3⁄4".

    Justine Kurland

    Justine Kurland’s latest exhibition “SCUMB Manifesto” found her swerving for the first time from photography to a more plastic medium and a loosely conceptual framework, yet with her usual mode of expression still in mind. Kurland has taken up collage, but with a provocative and very specific set of raw materials: The artist culled her extensive photo-book library of its roughly 150 volumes by white men and went at them with an X-Acto. SCUMB (Society for Cutting Up Men’s Books) is, obviously, a tribute to Valerie Solanas’s hilarious, violent, and critically perspicacious SCUM Manifesto (1967).

  • A Mungo Thomson work in Karma Gallery’s booth at Frieze New York. Photo: Casey Kelbaugh/Frieze.
    diary May 12, 2021

    Yard Sale

    FRIEZE’S LITTLE CARNIVAL SNUCK UP ON US, much like Andrew Yang’s mayoral campaign. Fellow New Yorkers, I implore you, do not space on the primary election (June 22), and do not vote for this jovial empty suit. Perhaps his support for the recent Israeli violence in Palestine will have gotten your attention? The motherfucker will trade affordable housing for the Olympics or an Iron Dome. It will just be Bloomberg 2.0, which resulted in criminal offenses like Hudson Yards.

    Hudson Yards, coincidentally, was the site of this year’s Frieze art fair, which abandoned Randall’s Island for the first time

  • OPENINGS: WHITNEY CLAFLIN

    WHITNEY CLAFLIN’S EARLY PAINTINGS were all ground, patterned found fabrics and weltering marks encrusted with street garbage and drugstore staples—a compact disc, a necklace, a club-entry wristband, eye shadow, psoriasis cream. Her 2014 exhibition “Crows” at Real Fine Arts in Brooklyn appeared to showcase a departure: Claflin filled the gallery with a suite of wide-open works featuring diaphanous clouds, drips, spatters, and clusters of spiky strokes arrayed on white backgrounds. From paintings that were all ground, she had moved to paintings that were all gesture, and in so doing she created

  • Taylor Swift performs during the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry on September 16, 2020, in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo: ACMA2020/Getty Images for ACM.
    music April 07, 2021

    Taylor Made

    SPRING IS IN THE AIR, and with it the buzz of a new work by that most accomplished execrator of man-children, a musical artist who penetrates deep into the American psyche with ballads of love and loss: That’s right, Taylor Swift is dropping an album. Yes, there is that other icon with a record out, nostalgiste de la boue Lana del Rey, the voice that launched a thousand think pieces, but now is the time to give the author of “Dear John” the intellectual consideration she so richly deserves. It’s a love story—just say yes.

    Swift’s newest venture is to revisit an old one: a rerecording of her

  • Margaret Lee, B.I., 16, 2020, oil and news­-paper on linen, 68 × 50". From the series “B.I.,” 2020.

    Margaret Lee

    The visitor to Margaret Lee’s latest exhibition at Jack Hanley Gallery, her first New York solo show in five years, might be forgiven for having thought they’d walked through the wrong door. In the main gallery was a series of abstract oil paintings titled “B. I.,” 2020, each some five-and-a-half feet high by four feet wide, done in a calm restricted palette of lavender, gray, and black, with patchy rectangles the predominant motif. The canvases were simple, not overworked; sometimes the linen wasn’t even fully gessoed. A few featured large, ambiguous, and roughly geometric icons—what you might

  • Matt Keegan, 1996 (2020, Inventory Press).
    books January 20, 2021

    After Party

    IN FALL 2020, artist Matt Keegan produced an artist book called 1996, a compendium of ephemera, essays, and interviews circling around the year in question, which Keegan sees as a tipping point for the American left—the moment its capitulation to neoliberalism was complete. It also happens to be the first birth year for Gen Z, whose members have recently begun populating Keegan’s art-school classes. In trying to come to grips with shifts in American electoral politics, ensure that key histories are passed on to posterity, and chart changes in queer identity, the book provides a nonfatalistic,