Emily Weiner

  • Karen Seapker

    On March 2, in her Nashville studio, Karen Seapker took stock of fourteen artworks, an ambitious series of quasi-abstract paintings completed over the course of the past year. The large-scale works were scheduled to be delivered to Zeitgeist the following day for the artist’s third solo exhibition at the gallery. But just before 1:00 AM, a devastating tornado tore through the city, killing dozens of residents and ripping through the roof of Seapker’s studio building. After the storm passed, the space was found to be structurally unsound and flooding, but the paintings were mostly unharmed (

  • picks January 30, 2020

    Jodi Hays

    Philip Guston said that ghosts, including those of “teachers, friends, painters from history, [and] critics,” haunted his studio whenever he started painting. On good days, his unsolicited influences would walk out, one by one. The abstract painter Jodi Hays demonstrates a different approach to such visitations in her exhibition “Outskirts” (titled after Guston’s cityscape from 1969): Her phantoms are invited to stay.

    Originally from rural Arkansas and now based in Nashville, Hays makes compositions that refer to the landscapes of her past and present by joining together disparate American fringe

  • picks March 27, 2019

    Eleanor Aldrich

    From Piet Mondrian to Agnes Martin, modern painters have steadfastly used the grid as a formal framework upon which to hang conceptual content. Eleanor Aldrich reconsiders this convention, favoring a grittier approach to both material and subject. “Main Squeeze” includes a series of ten impastoed paintings that zero in on the flesh of human figures, which physically pushes through the pictorial mesh of lawn chairs, hammocks, and chain-link fencing with silicone, paint, and found materials.

    Aldrich grew up in a rural, working-class Arizona town, populated by the types of people she reimagines in

  • picks April 10, 2014

    Timothy Hull

    In “Pastiche Cicero,” artist Timothy Hull nods to overlooked and off-the-cuff art of the ancient world, sourcing graffiti found at the Athenian Agora and in Pompeii as imagery for his cheeky, archeologically themed paintings and wall installations at Fitzroy Gallery. As its title suggests, the show presents stylized reproductions of classical phenomena: The oil painting Copy of a Copy of a Copy/Blue, 2013, depicts a two-handled urn that Hull has reduced to a graphic stamp, its pictorial simplicity tempered by an elaborate texture of obsessively wrought brush marks. The drawing For Amonis, Who

  • picks June 12, 2013

    Christian Holstad

    “The Book of Hours,” the title of Christian Holstad’s debut at Andrew Kreps’s new location, is painted across the gallery’s front doors, a cue to visitors that they are stepping into an allegorical space—a loose, modern take on the eponymous medieval manuscript used as a daily prayer manual during the fifteenth century. Inside, a garden of soft sculptures, wielded from crocheted yarn, twisted towels, bent wire, and other textural flotsam, spreads across the space. Holstad intersperses more bucolic works—a tree stump, a bush of flowers, even a flock of pecking chickens (their feet expressively

  • picks November 13, 2012

    Michael Byron and Stacy Fisher

    How do conventions in the history of art exhibition persist—or, alternately, break down—when familiar images are reproduced and reframed in a canvas, or common objects repositioned and rejigged upon a pedestal? In “The Study,” a show of paintings by Michael Byron and sculptures by Stacy Fisher, long-standing questions of display continue to pan out. While Byron’s approach is museological (his paintings incorporate frames, finishes, and plaques), Fisher’s is utilitarian (her works sit on raw-wood pedestals or directly on the floor). Despite their aesthetic differences, however, the two artists

  • picks August 30, 2012

    “Light and Landscape”

    Storm King, the Hudson Valley’s longtime mecca of outdoor steel-and-stone sculpture, gets a contemporary boost this summer, as associate curator Nora Lawrence brings in works by fourteen artists, all of whom bring a conceptual approach to the use of light as both subject and material. A tour of the exhibition “Light and Landscape”—snaking over five hundred acres, throughout permanent installations by the likes of Mark di Suvero, Alexander Calder, and Andy Goldsworthy—turns up some uninhibited examples of what the illuminated environment can mean to artists today.

    Those featured here take on (and

  • picks February 07, 2012

    Paul Heyer and Virginia Poundstone

    Painting and sculpture make peaceful bedfellows in this exhibition by two artists whose works, while formally dissimilar, mirror a taste for bucolic and understated beauty. The show’s title, “I know that I am awake,” is lifted from author and Zen Buddhist Peter Matthiessen, who in his 1978 memoir Snow Leopard climbs the Himalayas in search of the elusive titular beast, but finds exquisiteness in the pedestrian sights along the way. Following suit, Paul Heyer and Virginia Poundstone evoke a sense of the existential via more modest matter.

    Heyer’s subtle marks on canvas (stippled strokes, calligraphic

  • picks September 06, 2011

    “My Winnipeg”

    Manitoba’s wintry capital invades summertime Paris for this show, the first in La Maison Rouge’s series focusing on art scenes worldwide. Assembling work by seventy regional artists, the exhibition has avoided the tedium of an overhung survey by enlisting five curators to arrange seven separate chapters, each of which progressively unfurls the local characters of Winnipeg art.

    “There’s No Place like Home,” the title of the first room visitors encounter, introduces the area’s history via a salon-style arrangement of archival photos of nineteenth-century landscape paintings, early-twentieth-century

  • picks August 14, 2011

    Claude Cahun

    Raising the question “Why isn’t Claude Cahun a household name?,” this retrospective positions the artist (born Lucy Schwob in 1894) at the forefront of Surrealist photography, neck and neck with her contemporaries André Breton and Man Ray. The some 140 photographs and documents on view insinuate that Cahun’s marginality as a gay woman made for an oeuvre more audacious than those of her feted male contemporaries.

    The first works encountered upon entry are Cahun’s best-known. These portraits from the 1920s picture the artist in various guises: an androgynous, shaved-head Narcissus at a mirror, a

  • picks January 08, 2011

    Charles LeDray

    While Paul Thek’s revivalist survey commands the Whitney’s fourth floor, Charles LeDray’s midcareer retrospective just downstairs evokes a more intimate (but no less worthy) sort of reverence. Displaying numerous handmade works from, bafflingly, just over two decades, the exhibition reveals thousands of tiny sculptures within sculptures, which together reflect the strange sensitivity of a staggeringly focused and nimble-fingered artist.

    LeDray’s personal history and social consciousness bolster even some of the earliest pieces on view. The show’s eponymous installation, workworkworkworkwork,

  • picks September 22, 2010

    Andra Ursuta

    Romanian-born, New York–based artist Andra Ursuta cheekily confronts her cultural identity in the exhibition “The Management of Barbarism.” The first piece encountered on entering the show is a pile comprising thousands of eggshells painted in the Eastern European folk tradition and then systematically defiled: crushed, doused in spitlike resin, impaled with dozens of arrows, and buried with clumps of dirt as if a vulgar reenactment of a mass murder. Ursuta’s tendency to renounce and recognize patrimony resurfaces in Ass to Mouth (all works 2010), a sculpture propped against the wall that is