Fionn Meade

  • Anri Sala

    Toward the beginning of Andrei Tarkovsky’s science-fiction film Stalker (1979), three men, including the eponymous guide, stand at the edge of the “zone,” a mysterious off-limits realm said to contain a room where one’s innermost wishes may be granted. As the camera peers through a burned-out military vehicle at the apprehensive trio, framed in silhouette from behind, a short monologue ensues regarding what they might encounter beyond. A rupture between sight and sound occurs as one man looks back at the camera just as another begins to speak, creating an uneasy pairing of portent and disorientation

  • Alex Hubbard

    Alex Hubbard has described the action that takes place in several short videos he has made over the past few years as “Buster Keaton on a tabletop.” To make these works, the artist employs an overhead view onto a table to document the assembly, rearrangement, and subsequent destruction of objects—recalling the welter of bodily harm that awaits Keaton whenever he appears on-screen. Casting the materiality of art in the leading role as he captures this flurry of activity, Hubbard adeptly rifles through a catalogue of modernist references that extends to the flatbed effects, scatter strategies,

  • JOSH BRAND

    WHEN FIRST ENCOUNTERING Josh Brand’s modestly scaled photographs, it’s easy to get caught up in questions about facture: One wonders just how the works’ arresting depths and subtleties of hue and contrast have been achieved. For, along with contemporaries such as Liz Deschenes, Markus Amm, Eileen Quinlan, and Wolfgang Tillmans, Brand employs a repertoire of sleight-of-hand analog procedures and effects. More specifically, he embraces darkroom techniques and color-printing processes now shadowed by advances in digital photography—recalling a shift in the 1990s that saw artists return to 16-mm

  • “Modernism as a Ruin”

    Including installation, sculpture, film, drawing, and books, this group exhibition takes up the recurrent curatorial fascination with entropy, decay, and the aesthetics of aftermath as potential sources for renewal and innovation.

    Subtitled “An Archaeology of the Present” and featuring approximately forty works—including installation, sculpture, film, drawing, and books—this group exhibition takes up the recurrent curatorial fascination with entropy, decay, and the aesthetics of aftermath as potential sources for renewal and innovation. The show plumbs the formal skepticism of late modernism, including works by Dan Graham, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Isa Genzken, drawn from the Generali’s own signature collection, and its purview extends to encompass a subsequent generation of artists interested in mining

  • Rachel Harrison: Conquest of the Useless

    Several installations and a selection of sculptures and photographs made since 1995 compose the bulk of the show.

    Brash, dispersed, hyperassociative yet precise, New York–based artist Rachel Harrison’s work exacts virtuosity from cultural excess with wit and elegance to spare; one can see why her first major survey (starting at the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College, then reconfigured for Portikus, Frankfurt, and the Whitechapel, London) was initially titled “Consider the Lobster,” which comes from an essay by the late David Foster Wallace. Several installations and a selection of sculptures and photographs made since 1995 compose the bulk of the show, which is accompanied by a catalogue with essays by

  • Philippe Decrauzat

    The so-called neo-geo artists of the 1980s—New York painters Peter Halley, Ashley Bickerton, Philip Taaffe, and a few others—promoted an ironic distance from the often doctrinaire history of abstract painting, arguing that various art styles and effects be understood as nothing more than a series of ready-mades borrowed and brought together. Seeking to reveal complicity between the maker, viewer, and consumer in appreciating its own clearly simulated results and slick synthetic finish, this work, so the rhetoric went, could maintain its critical stance toward painting as an overt commodity fetish

  • Dirk Stewen

    Dirk Stewen’s assemblages perform a delicate balancing act, bringing together decorative abstractions and enigmatic arrangements of photography, appropriated text, and found objects. Elegant and reserved, the German artist’s second solo show in New York largely reiterated past successes while offering a few surprises. Each of three finely tuned works, Die Assistenten II, III, and IV (The Assistants II, III, and IV) (all works 2008), consists of two collaged compositions, between which a thin black wooden rod leans against the wall. In each configuration, one of the compositions combines three

  • Ján Mančuška

    An accumulation of deliberate false starts Ján Mančuška third solo exhibition at Andrew Kreps furthered his exploration of the theatrical space of art as diffracted by design. The video Reflection (all works 2008) begins with a man and a woman carrying out a Beckettian go-nowhere dialogue in which they ponder whether anything can be “seen” in a dark nearby space, qualifying each other’s lines with such novelistic rejoinders as “he said after a while” and “she answered.” With the brisk pace of seasoned performers (and wielding British stage accents), the pair ably enact the twists and turns of

  • Joseph Kosuth

    “Don’t Just Stand There—Read!” declares the headline of a 1970 review in the New York Times bemoaning “the cultural nihilism of Conceptual Art” in spite of its ability to keep “scoring points . . . [in] an art scene poisoned by the market mentality.” Penned by then–staff writer Peter Schjeldahl, the ambivalent article regarding “a movement which demands so much from its audience in return for so little” was writ large in a light box as part of Joseph Kosuth’s Information Room (Special Investigation), a 1970 installation re-created within this exhibition. The reading room is made up of two long

  • “HF | RG”

    Taking a titular cue from Roland Barthes’s S/Z, guest curator Chantal Pontbriand offers an unlikely and provocative pairing in Harun Farocki and Rodney Graham and seeks to trace “the Archive, the Nonverbal, the Machine (dispositif), and Montage” as concepts integral to both artists.

    Taking a titular cue from Roland Barthes’s S/Z, guest curator Chantal Pontbriand offers an unlikely and provocative pairing in Harun Farocki and Rodney Graham and seeks to trace “the Archive, the Nonverbal, the Machine (dispositif), and Montage” as concepts integral to both artists. Though it’s tempting to cast German filmmaker Farocki as the “straight man” or documentary foil to Canadian Conceptualist Graham’s often comedic guises, each is a master of the intertextual and sardonic, promising to open up suggestive readings of the other’s work. A far-ranging selection

  • Stan VanDerBeek

    When Stan VanDerBeek (1927–1984) wrote in a 1961 manifesto (“The Cinema Delimina—Films from the Underground”) that artists were increasingly “abandoning the logics of aesthetics, springing full-blown into a juxtaposed and simultaneous world that ignores the one-point-perspective mind, the one-point-perspective lens,” he could well have been describing the vertiginous presentation of this retrospective of his own work. In the main space, three film loops, six 35-mm slide projections (three looped and three still), and an image of a collage were projected on screens clustered in front of one wall,

  • Cosima von Bonin

    As the diminutive ending of its title, “The Pierres at the Petzellette,” made clear, Cosima von Bonin’s third solo show at Petzel was meant to be intimate. Encountered in the anteroom of the gallery space, the forlorn twenty-inch-high Doorstop (Concrete Mushroom #1), 2007, which also resembles an enlarged pincushion, further emphasized this deliberate scaling down of mise-en-scène, since it signaled that the toadstool, one of the artist’s enduring sculptural motifs, might be less prominent in the exhibition. The encounter proved a striking counterbalance to the artist’s last outing at the gallery,

  • George Maciunas

    Between 1957 and 1965, before establishing the downtown artist cooperatives that garnered him the nickname “The Father of SoHo,” Fluxus impresario George Maciunas drafted a set of ambitious building plans for newly constructed apartment complexes and single-unit dwellings. Unrealized in his lifetime, Maciunas’s Prefabricated Building System was intended not only to outdo the khrushchyovka apartment style—a concrete-panel system for multistory complexes that was used in the Soviet Union and throughout the Eastern bloc beginning in the 1950s—but also to promote a rigorously designed, multifunctional

  • Fia Backström

    The prodding began before you entered Swedish artist Fia Backström’s most extensive New York show to date, “That social space between speaking and meaning”; primary-colored vinyl lettering adorned the gallery’s front door, spelling out multiple directives, including STAY AHEAD OF THE IMAGES, placed directly below the open sign—both an impossible task and a playful gesture. According to the press release, such a tactic was central to the gallery-size installation, its somewhat iffy premise being that it was “an environment without any ‘images’ that takes the form of a discussion club: a space to