Elizabeth Schambelan

  • Fritz Haeg, Sundown Schoolhouse: Animal Lessons, 2008. Performance view, Park Avenue Armory, New York. Photo: James Ewing.

    the Whitney Biennial

    IN AMY GRANAT AND DREW HEITZLER’S 2007 double-screen film, T.S.O.Y.W., on view in the 2008 Whitney Biennial, a motorcyclist travels from Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, on the banks of the Great Salt Lake, to the Mojave Desert. But the primary sense of movement is in the back-and-forth between the two projections: Sometimes the images on the screens are just slightly off-register, as if Granat and Heitzler were shooting standing next to each other; sometimes they’re completely divergent. The lateral dynamic cuts across and impedes the linear momentum of the journey, as does the intermittent

  • Seth Price, Untitled, 2008, European black poplar, olive wash wood, and diamond acrylic plastic, overall 7' x 15' 2".

    Seth Price

    This exhibition will feature at least as much new work as old and will likely blur the distinction between the two, as befits a practice so invested in dispersal, circulation, and recursion.

    Crumpled sheets of clear polyester film screenprinted with stills from mujahideen videos pulled off the Internet; precision-cut pieces of wood and metal delineating the negative space around images of people kissing or lighting cigarettes; vacuum-formed polystyrene that registers the shape but jettisons the mass of objects like bomber jackets and ropes: Even at their most insistently material, Seth Price's works gesture toward some state of antimatter, invoking voids, transparency, and the weightless flux of the digital. This exhibition, organized by Beatrix Ruf, will

  • Andrea Zittel, sfnwvlei (Something for Nothing with Very Little Effort Involved) Note #2, 2002, gouache and pen on birch, 25 1/8 x 37".

    Andrea Zittel, Monika Sosnowska 1:1

    In this exhibition, roughly one hundred of Zittel's quasi-utilitarian objects, plus gouaches, drawings, and paintings on wood, occupy the Schaulager's first floor, while on the lower level, Sosnowska presents nine sculptures.

    Andrea Zittel's multiplatform practice elaborates a high-design, postmillenarian vision of rugged individualism—which is to say, one that remains very much on the grid, engaging with, rather than retreating from, the encroachments of consumer culture. The grid with which the Warsaw-based Monika Sosnowska concerns herself, on the other hand, is the geometry of modern architecture: Her sculptures and installations skew verticals and horizontals and expose the latent irrationalities of even the most soberly institutional setting. In this exhibition, organized by Theodora

  • Ulla von Brandenburg, Untitled, 2007, ink and watercolor on tissue, 58 1/4 x 45 1/4".

    Ulla von Brandenburg

    Like some other artists for whom the world is a stage—to paraphrase the title of the Tate Modern group exhibition in which she recently appeared—Ulla von Brandenburg reanimates outmoded theatrical tropes (notably, the tableau vivant), along with nineteenth-century source materials drawn from that moment when the avant-garde seemed as enamored of the occult as of industrialism and science.

    Like some other artists for whom the world is a stage—to paraphrase the title of the Tate Modern group exhibition in which she recently appeared—Ulla von Brandenburg reanimates outmoded theatrical tropes (notably, the tableau vivant), along with nineteenth-century source materials drawn from that moment when the avant-garde seemed as enamored of the occult as of industrialism and science. Her 16-mm films, watercolors, murals, and labyrinthine installations of moving-image projections on fabric panels—all of which will be represented in this exhibition of new and

  • The So-Called Utopia of the Centre Beaubourg

    HENRI LEFEBVRE CALLED IT an “immense boutique,” the “Palm Beach of the poor,” and a “complete failure”; Gordon Matta-Clark dubbed it a “brave-new cobweb”; and Jean Baudrillard, in a single short paragraph, likened it to a “carcass,” an “incinerator,” a “black monolith,” and a “mad convection current.” Architectural history is full of snarky disparagements of newfangled buildings, but the wave of criticism that greeted the 1977 opening of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers’s Centre Pompidou was remarkable not only for its intensity but also because so much of the opprobrium came from the intellectual

  • Francis Alÿs, Still from Rehearsal I, 1999-2004. Video projection.

    Francis Alÿs

    Francis Alÿs has proposed “the politics of rehearsal” as the organizing principle of his first major US museum exhibition, which brings together some half dozen video installations, as well as preparatory drawings and paintings from the past decade.

    Francis Alÿs has proposed “the politics of rehearsal” as the organizing principle of his first major US museum exhibition, which brings together some half dozen video installations, as well as preparatory drawings and paintings from the past decade. If a rehearsal is an enactment of an event that has yet to occur, then its politics would seem to locate possibility in perpetual deferral. This is one way, in any case, to think about the artist’s wryly Sisyphean projects (most recently, he traced Israel’s contested Green Line with a leaky can of paint and connected Havana

  • Kelley Walker, Untitled, 2007, four-color process silkscreen on canvas with newspaper, 48 x 96".

    Kelley Walker

    This exhibition, the artist’s first institutional solo show, consists of some thirty pieces, most of them new works created for the occasion.

    Kelley Walker takes mass-media images (ads, magazine covers, mug shots of Michael Jackson) and subjects them to various manipulations—scanning, cropping, rotating, enlarging, abstracting, superimposing, sometimes using toothpaste or chocolate at various points along the way. The resulting artworks—whether screenprints, CD-ROMS, sculptures, or posters—behave more like waves than like particles, in that their materiality seems less at issue than the processes of their dissemination and the velocity at which they move across sites of reproduction. This exhibition, curated

  • Paul Poiret

    To understand the radicality of Paul Poiret’s designs, you have to compare his “look” to the starchy, buxom, Edwardian silhouette that preceded it. True, the “Pasha of Paris,” as he was known, released women from their corsets only to encrust them in a kind of Orientalist carapace. But he also implied that a woman’s allure lay not in the shape of her torso but in her gestures, attitude, and presence—a step in the right direction that blazed the trail for Chanel’s protofeminist modernism. Featuring fifty Poiret ensembles dating from 1903 to 1928, Art Deco

  • Andrea Fraser

    There’s a storied moment in Andrea Fraser’s 2001 video Little Frank and His Carp: Touring the Guggenheim Bilbao, the artist, exhorted by her audio guide to admire the architecture, proceeds to share an erotic interlude with a wall. Fraser’s twelve-minute video A Visit to the Sistine Chapel, 2005, on view in her recent show at Friedrich Petzel, has a similar premise. It, too, follows the artist on an audio-guided tour, this time through the Vatican Museum. But its humor is less outré, as befits the setting. The laughs derive mainly from Fraser’s deadpan reactions to the inevitable rhetorical

  • A.R. Penck

    A. R. Penck’s painterly language—a kind of visionary semaphore forged under the pressures of life in the GDR and refined in the hothouse of the 1980s art world after his move to the West—could use some revisionist lexicography. This ambitious retrospective will present some 150 works, including large-format paintings, sculptures, and artist’s books. Together with the accompanying catalogue, which includes essays by Isabelle Graw and others, the exhibition should help redefine an important oeuvre that has often been overshadowed by that of wilder Neue Wilde. Travels to

  • Chris Hammerlein

    In George Eliot’s Middlemarch, the character Edward Casaubon famously devotes his life to deducing “the key to all mythologies”—a sort of ur-fable underlying and explaining all others—only to realize that there is no such thing. He dies a beaten man, leaving behind a mountain of disorganized notes. Brooklyn-based artist Chris Hammerlein seems to have something in common with Casaubon: For the past eight years, he has been making drawings that delve into the mythic iconography of various locales and epochs, including that of modern pop culture. But instead of evincing a desire to unify the field,

  • Amy Granat, Circle Jerk (for N.S.), 2006. Installation view, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York. Photo: Amy Granat.

    Amy Granat

    NEW YORK–BASED ARTIST AMY GRANAT makes films but generally dispenses with the camera, producing images by damaging film emulsion through direct manipulation. Or, as she put it in a recent interview, “Whatever kind of assault you can make on film material, I’ve done.” Her first such attacks were carried out when she was studying for her BA at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, in the late ’90s; working in total darkness, she would dump a spool of 16-mm stock into a bathtub full of (highly toxic) chemicals, then mash and grind the film against itself. Around the start of the current