Gilda Williams

  • Eija-Liisa Ahtila, The Hour of Prayer, 2005, four-channel video installation, 14 minutes 12 seconds. Installation view, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, 2007. Photo: Pablo Mason.

    Eija-Liisa Ahtila

    Emerging in the 1990s—the decade when moving image–based art reached a kind of worldwide zenith—Eija-Liisa Ahtila earned unique respect for her emotionally charged films, videos, and photographs.

    Emerging in the 1990s—the decade when moving image–based art reached a kind of worldwide zenith—Eija-Liisa Ahtila earned unique respect for her emotionally charged films, videos, and photographs. The FInnish artist's first retrospective in France will present four of her sculptures and some seventeen diptychs in addition to a selection of her “human dramas,” multiscreen films often set in claustrophobic interiors furnished with equally claustrophobic relationships. Using what she calls fragment-based storytelling, Ahtila exploits contemporary museumgoers' itinerant

  • Graham Hudson

    After realizing that it was impossible to take complete written notes of the innumerable details in Graham Hudson’s installation—including a jumble of wooden boxes filled with lit bare lightbulbs, handsaws, two-by-fours, and other debris; multilevel crate flooring; rolls of striped packing tape dangling from the ceiling; a broken swivel chair transformed into a functioning electric lamp topped with a white paperbag “lampshade”—I then discovered that every careless photograph I took of the work came out looking ravishing. In photographs, the whole gallery-size installation, This sculpture

  • Peter Lewis

    Twenty-one large paintings on newspaper, containing hundreds of small images, hung salon-style on the gallery’s thirty-foot back wall. Made over a one-year period and completely concealing the newsprint underneath, the paintings together looked like a vast storyboard or endless comic strip. Many of their small images contain figures in landscapes—sometimes seen from a great distance, sometimes from up close, as in a film by Antonioni, in which tiny unrecognizable figures seen from afar reappear in extreme close-up; the Greek-inspired structures, with their white surfaces and geometric colonnades,

  • Varda Caivano

    Even before graduating from London’s Royal College of Art master’s program in 2004, Varda Caivano had been spotted by collectors, gallerists, and critics alike for her beautiful, small-scale, intensely painterly works. Caivano (born in Buenos Aires and based in London) is a young painter plainly enamored of her medium, bringing fresh eyes and hands to test the entire act of applying paint to a canvas. The brushstroke, the choice of palette, the canvas, the thickness of the paint; flatness and relief, figuration and abstraction, decoration and image, surface and depth: It all seems of infinite

  • Enrico David, Untitled, 2007, gouache on paper, 14 3/4 x 14 3/4".

    Enrico David

    David’s impressively varied body of work has involved embroidery, drawing, gouache, printmaking, and sculpture, incorporating references to styles ranging from Art Deco to 1970s interior design.

    A major exhibition by Italian-born, UK-based artist Enrico David bodes well as the first monographic show organized by Mark Sladen, the ICA’s new director of exhibitions. David’s impressively varied body of work has involved embroidery, drawing, gouache, printmaking, and sculpture, incorporating references to styles ranging from Art Deco to 1970s interior design. The resulting artworks—among them a series of canvases featuring exuberant, stiletto-heeled figures, and a stained-wood, friezelike sculpture of a dancing chorus line—make it clear that David marches to the beat

  • Thomas Schütte

    Modernism was pompous; long live modernism! This is among the contradictory critical sentiments running through Thomas Schütte’s work since the early ’80s. His art, which both undermines and continues artistic traditions of the early twentieth century, grows more complicated and fascinating as he becomes even more accomplished.

    On the ground floor of the recently relocated Frith Street Gallery were five large female nudes in bronze, steel, and aluminum, set atop steel tables and surrounded by a related group of delicately colored prints and beautifully rendered Nolde-esque watercolors. As with

  • Artists Anonymous

    Immediately upon entering the site-specific installation Alice Straight to Video, 2007, at the collective Artists Anonymous’s eponymous project space, one was plunged down the rabbit hole. Almost the entire front space of this two-room gallery was filled to the rafters with debris—wooden crates, old fencing, plywood. At one side of this pile of rubbish was a small opening; crouching and mystified, one entered a long tunnel lined with white faux fur, beginning a claustrophobic journey through the innards of the junk heap. Along the way were tiny, colored video screens showing dark, indecipherable

  • Victor Grippo

    An atmosphere of hushed stillness permeated this exhibition of nearly colorless sculptural work by the late Argentinean artist Victor Grippo. The silence was gradually broken as one became aware of a faint hum, like the noise of a smoothly functioning laboratory. In Analogía I, segunda versión, o Energía (Analogy I, Second Version, or Energy), 1977, dozens of potatoes—a recurring object in Grippo’s art—are scattered over a table and chair and attached to electrodes of copper and zinc, generating an electric current that is registered on a meter. In Vida, Muerte, Resurrección (Life, Death,

  • Jake and Dinos Chapman

    On the one hand, these painted cardboard sculptures of animals, farm objects, and country scenes are exactly the kind of thing that gives contemporary art a bad name. With their sloppy brushwork in cheap poster paint, kitchen-table construction materials (tape, glue, cardboard boxes, and toilet-papertubes), and subject matter straight out of elementary school, these small sculptures seem to have been concocted just to elicit the usual “My kid brother could make that!” On the other hand, this was a highly crafted, old-fashioned art exhibition, with each work placed centrally on its own white

  • Tod Hanson

    Experiencing Tod Hanson’s hallucinogenic, room-size Parlour Collider, 2006, with its allover flat, mostly primary colors and black outlines, was like walking into a Patrick Caulfield or Michael Craig-Martin painting—while buzzed on caffeine. In a dizzying combination of installation, architecture, drawing, and decoration, all the surfaces were painted in a bright yellow, gunmetal gray, or electric blue and covered by innumerable handpainted, endlessly billowing strips of ribbon weaving in and out of regularly spaced columns. It was as if the whole surface had been shredded and left to rearrange

  • Jonathan Wateridge

    Immense shipwrecks and the mysterious remains of plane crashes sur- rounded by magnificent natural landscapes—stormy oceans; steaming jungles; majestic mountains straight out of “America the Beautiful”—figure in “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,” Jonathan Wateridge’s debut exhibition. The four big, irresistibly romantic paintings that comprise the show are evocative of both nineteenth-century American landscape painting à la Frederic Church and Hollywood extravaganzas like Frank Capra’s Lost Horizon (1937). Wateridge’s sublime paintings turn contemporary, however, by virtue of the unique,

  • Charles Avery

    Forget about Charles Avery’s extraordinary abilities as a draftsman. Forget the complex relationships between text, installation, sculpture, model making, illustration, and the readymade; forget the overlap of abstraction, geometry, figuration, and mapping. These exhibitions (the one at Pollazzon was shared with Keith Wilson’s suspended sculpture Ring, 2006, a readymade, old-fashioned tubular iron structure that in bygone days functioned as a portable livestock pen—and which, like Avery’s work, examines notions of inside/outside) are merely introductory chapters in the slow unfolding of Avery’s