Genevieve Allison

  • picks October 23, 2017

    Kudzanai Chiurai

    “You can’t escape politics,” Kudzanai Chiurai once said to CNN, not that anyone who has followed his meteoric rise to fame would ever accuse him of skirting the issues. Since gaining notoriety (and status as a political exile) for an incendiary portrait of Robert Mugabe—Abuse of Power, 2009—the thirty-six-year-old Zimbabwean multimedia artist has galvanized contemporary African artists to engage such thorny subjects as corruption, xenophobia, and internecine conflict. His arresting exhibition at this newly inaugurated institution, Cape Town’s first museum of contemporary art, brings together

  • picks December 02, 2016

    Loie Hollowell

    What is the female nude anymore? In Loie Hollowell’s idiom, female orifices are conflated with elements of the natural world: a canyon might be spread legs, or the sun, an anus. Her unflinchingly direct paintings sublimate aspects of the female experience in compositions that are both landscapes and anatomical abstractions, echoing a long tradition of feminist painters who claimed the female body for their gender’s own demesne. Synthesizing Judy Chicago’s hard-edge symbolism, Hilma af Klint’s diagrammatic visual language, and Georgia O’Keeffe’s sense of the iconographic, the fourteen paintings

  • picks October 28, 2016

    GCC

    GCC’s first exhibition with the gallery, which features multiple wall pieces, a sculptural installation, and sound work, is concerned with the evolution of various holistic practices—such as alternative healing and life coaching—that are gaining significant influence in Arab Gulf states. The eight artists who make up the collective are all strongly connected to the UAE and the Middle East, and their acronym loosely references that of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Here, they examine the multifocused, multifaceted synthesis of philosophies that fall under the rubric of “Positive Lifestyle” and

  • picks December 04, 2015

    Yun Hyong-keun

    The refusal to create a “clear image,” a critic once said of Yun Hyong-keun’s work after seeing it exhibited at the National Museum of Modern Art of Seoul in 1974, came out of a privileging of texture—which compromised painting’s “image-bearing function.” This turned out to be an appreciable understatement; over the course of three decades, Yun Hyong-keun would not only reject figuration totally, but also the notion that his painting should instruct any narrative or cultural signification. In the first posthumous exhibition of his work in the United States, twelve paintings from “Umber Blue,”

  • picks December 11, 2013

    Liam Gillick and Louise Lawler

    What’s most surprising about Liam Gillick and Louise Lawler’s first collaboration—for which both artists created separate installations dealing with modernist ideals—is how distinct their work is from the other. Lawler has taken over the walls with a narrow photographic relief that that spans the perimeter of the gallery while Gillick has engaged the ceiling, hanging aluminum cutouts of texts abstracted from his hypothetical account of labor relations after the shutdown of a factory. Lawler’s friezes are photographs she took of works by Edgar Degas, Gerhard Richter, and Carl Andre at various

  • picks July 22, 2013

    “Ambient”

    In the liner notes of his 1975 composition Discreet Music, Brian Eno shares that music, even at barely audible levels, will affect the color, frequencies, and timbre of its surrounding environment. Eno’s work, largely considered the benchmark of ambient music as a genre, is taken up by curator Tim Griffin as a proposition for considering modes of artistic production that are less aggressive to the senses and arguably more passive in authorship. Visually and operatically, the works included in this twelve-artist exhibition could be described as low-intensity: They are not pitched to make fixed,

  • picks November 28, 2012

    “Now Dig This!: Art and Black Los Angeles 1960–1980”

    Originally presented at the Hammer Museum as part of “Pacific Standard Time,” this illuminating exhibition telescopes in on African-American artists working in Southern California during these particularly formative decades for art and social reform. Of the thirty-five artists included, the checklist includes denizens such as David Hammons, Betye Saar, and John Outterbridge, among a larger contingent of artists that have had little to no exposure in a museum context. The artwork is presented with elegant spaciousness, loosely organized in a succession of smallish galleries to reflect key contextual

  • picks February 07, 2012

    Gudmundur Thoroddsen

    Working in a method that strongly evokes an archaeological study, Gudmundur Thoroddsen has made the image––or imagining––of the patriarchal figure the focus of his solo debut in New York. A video, carvings, drawings, and small excrement-based sculptures form a pantheistic vision of “The Father”–– factual, mythical, and hypothetical. The drawings depict dynastic figureheads, desecrated idols, and scenes of men urinating and defecating on one another. Loose, saturated washes conjure a distinct sense of posthumous portraiture; shadowy faces bleed into the paper as if, like the Shroud of Turin, they

  • picks November 28, 2011

    Claire Fontaine

    As the title, “Working Together,” foregrounds, this exhibition considers the social aspect of production. Beyond a concrete practice, industry is presented as an essential social force inseparable from economic-philosophical and ontological dimensions. To an extent, the show’s collection of sculptures, videos, paintings, and neon signs made by the French collective pairs the social logic of late-capitalist organization (characterized by principles of fraternity, interdependency, and competition) with other forms of collaborative and cooperative enterprise. As a group of assistants, the artist

  • picks November 23, 2010

    Collier Schorr

    Collier Schorr has been returning to Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, for nearly two decades. Curious visitor turned assimilated outsider turned intinerant resident: The artist’s ongoing relationship with this provincial southern town has been the subject of several of her well-known photographic series. For example, “Neighbors/Nachbarn,” 2006, comprises sometimes staged, sometimes documentary images that explore the intimacies of daily life with a rich aesthetic that can be at once bucolic, political, sentimental, and erotic; images of flowers, farm animals, and fields are rendered alongside those

  • picks August 16, 2010

    Mona Hatoum

    Though modest in size, the exhibition featuring the 2010 winner of the Käthe Kollwitz Prize, Mona Hatoum, highlights the vicissitudes of her prodigious career over three decades. Hatoum was born in Beirut to Palestinian parents and has resided in Europe since 1975, when civil war broke out in Lebanon. Consequently, the powerful stamp of her personal history has often dominated the reception and interpretation of her art—particularly her earlier, more explicitly political videos and performances (including pieces on view such as Roadworks, 1985, and Deep Throat, 1996). However, her increasingly

  • picks July 27, 2010

    “Celluloid. Cameraless Film”

    This exhibition traces the evolution of experimental filmmakers and artists who have dispensed with the camera altogether by directly manipulating film. Twenty-one creators to 160,000 images is an impressive ratio for any show, and for the most part these works were created via industrious means of production including (but not limited to) painting, drawing, etching, and collage. From the Minimalism of Dieter Roth’s Dot, 1956–62, a 16-mm film reel repetitively stamped with a leather punch, to Stan Brakhage’s frenetic moth-wing collages on celluloid, curator Esther Schlicht has considered a

  • picks February 18, 2010

    Graham Anderson

    With four small paintings and two drawings, Graham Anderson’s solo exhibition at this gallery is one of the more intimate and understated shows on view now in Berlin. The title of the show is “New Paintings and Drawings,” despite the fact that these works have emerged over a period of three years, and in 2008, one was exhibited at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery in Brooklyn, where the artist lives. Anderson’s pace is slow, however, and his rarefied output presents a considered and delicate process of making choices and execution.

    Similar to the ways in which such painters as Gerhard Richter, Luc

  • picks December 21, 2009

    Isa Genzken

    “You take a photograph of a situation and then you think about what’s missing,” Isa Genzken once said of photography as a starting point for sculpture. Given Michael Jackson’s recurrence as a motif throughout “Wind,” her concurrent exhibitions at Galerie Daniel Buchholz and Neugerriemschneider, it’s tempting to imagine that any absence here is a morbid or spiritual one, belonging perhaps to the myths and fictions surrounding Jackson, or more generally to vacuous cultural industries of glittery facades and denaturalized objects. Genzken’s fragile and extravagantly motley works, however, are