Frances Richard

  • Jessica Rankin

    Jessica Rankin’s first solo show in New York was titled “The Pale Cast of Thoughts,” and it’s worth considering what this reference might mean. “And thus,” says Hamlet, “the native hue of resolution / Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.” He is berating himself for not doing anything about his father’s murder when his soliloquy is interrupted by his virginal female foil, the dutiful daughter and future suicide. “Soft you now,” he murmurs, “The fair Ophelia. – Nymph, in thy orisons / Be all my sins remembered.” Ophelia is fair, just as thought is pale, and she thinks too much; her

  • Pipilotti Rist

    Pipilotti Rist’s new video installation, Herbstzeitlose, 2004, immersed the viewer in a multimedia bath of transcendent female power under the gaze of the Mother. Part earth goddess, part techno-banshee, Rist’s alter ego or animating idea inhabits a symbolic register in which sight, sound, and touch have never been split apart. Neither ironic nor sanctimonious, this presiding spirit assumes as the baseline of experience an enveloping, polymorphous, often lulling but sometimes scary physicality.

    Rist’s vehicle in this case was a multiscreen panorama filmed in the green Swiss hills around St.

  • Karel Funk

    The great recycling bin in which art history, critical theory, and market analysis dispose of their castoffs is crawling with post-ironic ironists scavenging for material not yet reworked. And as anyone who has browsed for high-end vintage clothing knows, “composite neo-retro” can look fabulous. Karel Funk is one such smart ragpicker, assembling an audacious mix of clashing styles and strategies that takes in Ellsworth Kelly, Alex Katz and Andy Warhol, Northern Renaissance altarpieces, photorealism, and the J. Crew catalogue, as well as, of course, “the male gaze.”

    Key to this eclecticism is

  • Michal Rovner

    Michal Rovner’s “in stone” consisted of a series of cavernous, darkened rooms filled with perfectly aligned rows of internally lit vitrines, each containing a stone tablet marked with hieroglyphs. Brooding and sterile, the installation recalled an antiquities museum or archaeology department cleansed of dust and clutter. Drawn close to the glowing glass-and-steel displays, the viewer realized that what appeared to be ancient and inert was flickering, technological; what one thought was etched in stone was written in light. Black jots and squiggles were projected against the unincised surfaces

  • Franz Gertsch, Patti Smith IV, 1979, acrylic on canvas, 9' 4 1/2“ x 13' 9 3/4”.

    Franz Gertsch

    In 1977, after the albums Horses and Radio Ethiopia but before Easter and Wave, Patti Smith came to Cologne to perform at the adventurous Galerie Veith Turske. Franz Gertsch was a forty-seven-year-old Photorealist painter then. Like many fans before and since, from avant-gardists to punk-rock teenagers, he had fallen in love with the magnetic butch-sylph portrait of Smith by Robert Mapplethorpe on the cover of Horses, and he came to the show to shoot his own pictures. He used a flash that annoyed the diva, and she crumpled a piece of paper and threw it at him—a storied moment captured in the

  • Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller

    Someone is being followed; someone is not telling the whole truth; footsteps crunch on gravel; the view careers along a lonely pedestrian underpass or through dark trees; an urgent whisper startles in one’s ear. Shots ring out. Somewhere the narrative conventions of cinematic thrillers, detective stories, and radio serials and the frustration of such conventions by strategies of appropriation and fragmentation slap each other on the back and acknowledge that, as paradigms for storytelling, they are no longer opposites but instead old pals who, as it were, can finish one another’s sentences. We,

  • Liz Craft

    A macho female magickal childe whose parents, siblings, babysitters, and alter egos smoke too much pot; a coolly uncool troller in the junkyards, souvenir shops, dens, and bedrooms of an ur-’70s California of the mind; a savvy navigator of the lineage of hyperreal figurative sculpture that plays oedipal anxiety against consumerist ennui: The sensibility animating Liz Craft’s busy roomful of cast bronze objects was all these. Now participating in the 2004 Whitney Biennial, the young Angeleno was groomed for art stardom before she finished UCLA, and she has no qualms about asserting an abject

  • Gregor Schneider

    “517 W. 24th,” Gregor Schneider’s first solo show in New York, was noteworthy not least because self-contained installations are unusual in his oeuvre. The German artist’s lifework is the Haus u r (ur-house), 1985–, an outwardly unassuming building in his hometown of Rheydt. For over fifteen years, he has been reconfiguring the interior of what was once his family’s home on Unterheydener Strasse, creating a morbidly unstable fun house of false walls and sealed chambers. He also makes videos and photographs in the house and duplicates its rooms in other locales—in 2001 his re-creation of sections

  • Belcher Slaughter, Penthouse, 2003.

    HarlemWorld: Metropolis as Metaphor

    Thelma Golden continues to reinvent the themed group show as a curatorial statement, further establishing the Studio Museum as the paradigm for the small, tightly focused exhibition space that acts locally and thinks globally.

    Thelma Golden continues to reinvent the themed group show as a curatorial statement, further establishing the Studio Museum as the paradigm for the small, tightly focused exhibition space that acts locally and thinks globally. Here, she examines the quintessentially twentieth-century city neighborhood—cradle of jazz and street preachers, riots and regentrification—as a field for twenty-first-century urbanist and architectural thinking. Inviting seventeen prominent black architects to present proposals for various Harlem sites, Golden offers a multimedia meditation on

  • The Flooding of Ba Don, 2003.

    Yun-Fei Ji

    Fame has come upon Yun-Fei Ji with the subtly breakneck speed of a thunderstorm: A solo show at Brooklyn’s Pierogi gallery in 2001 led to inclusion in the 2002 Whitney Biennial, and now the Contemporary presents six large-scale paintings in his first one-man museum exhibition.

    Fame has come upon Yun-Fei Ji with the subtly breakneck speed of a thunderstorm: A solo show at Brooklyn’s Pierogi gallery in 2001 led to inclusion in the 2002 Whitney Biennial, and now the Contemporary presents six large-scale paintings in his first one-man museum exhibition. Amid misty crags appropriated from classical Chinese landscape, “The Empty City” unfolds a dystopic visual ballad of a community abandoned; only scavengers are left among the ghosts of local dead and vanished refugees. Catalogue contributions include essays by critics Gregory Volk

  • Mismatched Pair, 2002.

    Chloe Piene

    Recently selected for this year’s Whitney Biennial, Chloe Piene is also in line for a significant European showing.

    Recently selected for this year’s Whitney Biennial, Chloe Piene is also in line for a significant European showing. The Kunsthalle Bern dedicates its entire space to her recent gender-dysphoric, sonically hypnotic videos and haunting, gothic-erotic works on paper. Playing on genres as disparate as feminist performance art, heavy-metal videos, and the death-and-the-maiden drawings of Munch and Schiele, Piene’s examination of concepts of violation and desire draws a fine line between meditation and provocation. The catalogue includes essays by Lee Triming and Kunsthalle

  • Gabriel Orozco

    Typically Gabriel Orozco operates as flaneur and bricoleur, with a fugitive, arranger’s touch (oranges or cans of cat food strategically placed and photographed; mobiles made of toilet paper, dryer lint, and plastic bags). But he has also produced some expensive, highly finished things (a reconfigured Citroën DS automobile; a full-size, pocketless billiard table). At the core, Orozco’s sculptural concerns are patrimony from ever-generous Old Uncle Marcel—eros, humor, motion, game theory, a backhandedly voluptuous insistence on mixing accident with intentionality, appropriating commodity objects