Elizabeth Schambelan

  • Karen Kilimnik, Little Red Riding Hood Vampire, 2001, water-soluble oil color on canvas, 20 x 16".

    Karen Kilimnik

    Karen Kilimnik’s trademark cocktail of ardor and acidity, camp figuration and dispersed installation, pop iconography and historical idioms (most recently, maritime painting and French Empire design) has exerted such a wide influence that this exhibition, her first major US survey, feels long overdue.

    Karen Kilimnik’s trademark cocktail of ardor and acidity, camp figuration and dispersed installation, pop iconography and historical idioms (most recently, maritime painting and French Empire design) has exerted such a wide influence that this exhibition, her first major US survey, feels long overdue. Curated by Ingrid Schaffner with a generous selection of some eighty works made since the early 1980s—paintings early and recent, scatter pieces from the ’90s, heretofore rarely seen photographs and videos—plus an accompanying catalogue with essays by Wayne Koestenbaum

  • Sam Durant, The Old Mole of History, 2005, steel, miscellaneous hardware, rock, brick, concrete, banner, street barricade, megaphone, cable, wire.

    “Second Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art”

    Preceded last fall by a symposium examining the intersections of political and aesthetic theory, the Second Moscow Biennale, whose theme is “Footnotes About Geopolitics, Markets, and Amnesia,” is centered around an eighty-artist exhibition and includes numerous special projects, ranging from a survey of the art of the former Soviet republics to the mournfully titled “The Feminist Project Was a Utopia.”

    Preceded last fall by a symposium examining the intersections of political and aesthetic theory, the Second Moscow Biennale, whose theme is “Footnotes About Geopolitics, Markets, and Amnesia,” is centered around an eighty-artist exhibition and includes numerous special projects, ranging from a survey of the art of the former Soviet republics to the mournfully titled “The Feminist Project Was a Utopia.” Indeed, everything about the program indicates a post-utopian mood, with an emphasis on engagement over escapism. Elaborating their concept, the curatorial team—which includes Joseph Backstein,

  • Elizabeth Schambelan

    1 “Dada” (Museum of Modern Art, New York) “It often happens that the real tragedies of life occur in such an inartistic manner that they hurt us by their crude violence, their absolute incoherence, their absurd want of meaning, their entire lack of style.” Oscar Wilde’s aphorism, which came to mind as I wended my way through MoMA’s rendition of this sprawling bazaar of a traveling show (co-organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris), seems weirdly germane to the Dadaists. In their efforts to come to grips with “real tragedy”—World War I,

  • Norbert Schwontkowski

    Most artists, on the occasion of their first New York exhibition, might be expected to jealously hoard all the available wall space for themselves, but Norbert Schwontkowski, in a gesture that seems to typify the unassuming spirit of his practice, chose to incorporate works by fellow painters into his recent show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. Thus the exhibition was an unusual amalgam of solo debut and artist-curated group exhibition: Ten of Schwontkowski’s easel-size canvases were interspersed among a smattering of works by Forrest Bess, Philip Guston, Alex Katz, and Pablo Picasso—artists who

  • Diane Arbus

    ADAPTED FROM the 1984 biography by Patricia Bosworth, the new Arbus biopic has been a long time coming—twenty-two years, to be exact. Bosworth’s article in the August issue of Vanity Fair, detailing the two-decade odyssey that brought her book to the screen—as Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, with Nicole Kidman in the title role—is a classic story of development hell, full of the Molièrian drollery that characterizes the genre. And yet, as I read her tale of dropped options, fired writers, litigation, and really bad ideas (The Singing Photographer, starring Barbra Streisand), I felt

  • A. R. Penck

    A. R. Penck was born in Dresden in 1939 and lived there until 1980, when he emigrated to the capitalist side of the Iron Curtain. As a young man, in an environment in which any art outside the socialist realist mold was liable to be dubbed subversive, he made paintings whose abstract imagery was meant to render political and existential realities legible. In 1968, he coined the term Standart to denote “a method of making information products,” as he put it in a 1971 statement. Standart was “a production of the brain, made with the purpose of achieving a total perception of its visual information

  • Al Hansen

    “I am not at all interested in having a retrospective exhibition of my work,” artist Al Hansen (1927–1995) wrote toward the end of his life, adding that such a show “would take up at least an airplane hangar or two.” Putting together an overview of the innumerable assemblages, collages, paintings, and other objects that Hansen produced over the course of his lengthy career would indeed be a daunting task. But poignantly if implicitly absent from Hansen’s imagined hangars are works that challenge curatorial acumen not through unruly profusion but through evanescence. Somehow Hansen’s performative

  • Gabriel Orozco, Atomists: Evasive Action, 1996, computer-generated print, 78 5/8 x 37 1/2". From “Grey Flags.”

    “Grey Flags”

    “Grey Flags” rounds up a generation-spanning coterie of artists who, in a variety of mediums, flood the marketing circuits of the art world, engaging in direct interventions (à la Seth Price, whose work here is the commandeering of the exhibition’s title and promotional text from the institution) or simply dancing between the categorical raindrops (à la the protean John Armleder).

    “Grey Flags” rounds up a generation-spanning coterie of artists who, in a variety of mediums, flood the marketing circuits of the art world, engaging in direct interventions (à la Seth Price, whose work here is the commandeering of the exhibition’s title and promotional text from the institution) or simply dancing between the categorical raindrops (à la the protean John Armleder). All nineteen participants, including Lutz Bacher, Tacita Dean, Allen Ruppersberg, Shirana Shahbazi, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, resist pigeonholing and branding—something

  • Kelley Walker

    In 1967, advertising guru George Lois launched a famous print and television campaign for Braniff Airlines in which celebrity odd couples (Bennett Cerf and Ethel Merman; Sonny Liston and Andy Warhol; Rex Reed and Mickey Rooney) chatted while perched on the airline’s fashionably upholstered seats. In his recent show at Paula Cooper, Kelley Walker appropriated imagery from the campaign for a series of digital prints and a take-away poster. The prints feature the slightly off-register layering of imagery that inevitably recalls Warhol silk screens, but with a difference: Each Braniff photo appeared

  • Phil Collins

    In the nearly two decades since the Smiths broke up, the band’s music seems to have become a lingua franca for teens the world over who suspect that life is one big hatful of hollow. Photographer and video artist Phil Collins can attest that fans may be found in locales as far-flung as Bogotá, Istanbul, and Jakarta—the sites of a multi-phase project for which Collins invites local adolescents to perform karaoke renditions of Smiths songs, capturing their moves and vocal stylings on video. The results thus far have been two exceedingly engaging (and unusually danceable) video installations: el

  • de Rijke/de Rooij

    Dutch artists Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij are best known for their 16- and 35-mm films, which often push the moving image toward stasis in service of the duo’s coolly cerebral, career-long examination of the mechanisms of photographic and filmic representation. If that sounds dust-dry, the work is usually anything but, because de Rijke and de Rooij, collaborators since 1994, have a sneaky wit and a knack for mesmerizing visuals. Their recent film installation Mandarin Ducks, 2005, which debuted at the 2005 Venice Biennale, featured ten characters cryptically interacting in a modish

  • 1000 WORDS: JESSICA STOCKHOLDER

    TRYING TO COME UP with a taxonomy for the burgeoning idioms of contemporary sculpture is probably ill advised. But one can’t help wishing for a bit of handy nomenclature to categorize the abundance of recent work in which rigorously formal propositions achieve an odd, uneasy détente with, well, junk—tchotchkes, cast-offs, discount-bin merchandise. The result of this dynamically unstable alliance—visible in the work of artists as diverse as Jim Lambie, Gedi Sibony, and, perhaps most notably, Rachel Harrison—suggests less a simple rejiggering of old terms, e.g., assemblage, than an evolution of