Emily Newman

  • picks May 21, 2012

    Duncan Campbell

    In his latest exhibition—comprising three films and a set of screenprints— Duncan Campbell juxtaposes television network footage with dramatic reenactments while using structuralist techniques, for instance incorporating scratched film and garbled audiotape, to undercut intimate biographical monologues. The effect arrived at is a kind of melancholic antiportrait, one whose viewers may well understand Campbell’s subjects less and less as the films progress. Best illustrating this point is Bernadette, 2008, one of the three films on view, which takes on Bernadette Devlin—the Irish republican

  • Boris Turetsky

    At the new Moscow art space Art4.ru, a large selection of drawings by Boris Turetsky resembles a display in a library archive: Hundreds of drawings of exactly the same sketchbook size fill the walls and hang in makeshift Plexiglas cases in one large room. The earliest works displayed are from the early 1950s—cheerful, colored-pencil sketches of the artist’s room in a communal apartment, as well as abstract pieces. These betray his academic training and his enthusiasm for the domestic—tender depictions of table lamps and crumpled linen, foldout beds and pickling jars—through an almost pathological

  • “Time of the Storytellers”

    With four works from Russia and ten from former Soviet republics, “Time of the Storytellers: Narrative and Distant Gaze in Post-Soviet Art” took viewers on a tour east of Helsinki. Although the region is not, in fact, all that far from Finland geographically, its numerous cultures can seem far removed. Some works, such as two video pieces by Kazakh artists emphasized difference: A game of polo played with a sheep’s head for a ball is shown in Said Atabekov’s four-channel video Battle for the Square, 2007; a shamanistic dance on snowy mountaintops appears in Almagul Menlibaeva’s Apa, 2003, an

  • Second Moscow Biennale

    Moscow in 2007 is at once a construction site, a ruin, and a cathedral. Beliefs teeter on top of ideologies, and skyscrapers soar beyond even the Stalinist imagination. Perched like oligarchs on high floors of the unfinished Federation Tower, soon to be the tallest building in Europe, were four of the five main exhibitions of the Second Moscow Biennale. While orange hard hats swarmed below, and mighty cranes swung chains just outside the glass walls, a team of Russian and international curators—Joseph Backstein, Iara Boubnova, Nicolas Bourriaud, Rosa Martínez, and Fulya Erdemci—sought to give

  • “Thaw”

    “Thaw: Fifteen Years of the Marat Guelman Gallery,” at St. Petersburg’s Marble Palace, is a tribute to the ingenuity and taste of the gallerist who changed the rules of Russian art. The show’s title refers to a second political thaw in Russian expressive freedom (following the earlier one under Khrushchev) that has characterized the last decade and a half; during this same time, Russian art made the leap from the arms of the state to those of the private gallery. Cemented by Guelman’s donation of thirty works to the State Russian Museum, the exhibition reads as a formal historicization of this