Gregory Williams

  • Lara Schnitger

    Across a wide spectrum of artistic practice, craft materials are in vogue, with Sarah Sze, Tom Friedman, and Jim Lambie among the many prominent artists using handworked odds and ends such as drinking straws, sugar cubes, and Q-tips in their sculptures. Lara Schnitger seems to take a similarly obsessive pleasure in manipulating objects in her chosen sphere, the musty world of cheap textiles. Filling up the gallery, the artist installed a forest of awkward forms that jutted out in all directions and had to be carefully navigated, suggesting the abundance and eclecticism of a flea market.

    Schnitger's

  • Sven Påhlsson

    In the more than forty years since the publication of Jane Jacobs's Death and Life of Great American Cities, her groundbreaking critique of postwar urban development, a wide array of voices have joined the writer in lamenting the negative effects of urban sprawl. Thus it comes as no great revelation when Norwegian artist Sven Påhlsson Sprawlville or Life at Highway Exit Ramp, 2002, a digitally animated riff on mass-produced tract housing and strip malls, once again draws our attention to the soulless properties of these land-hungry environments. Yet Påhlsson has utilized the most appropriate

  • Diego Perrone

    From Alberto Burri’s tachiste allusions to blood-soaked bandages to the quasi-alchemical experiments of arte povera, postwar Italy has produced numerous artists captivated by the transformative properties of elemental matter. Diego Perrone’s new series of photographs “I Pensatori di buchi” (The thinkers of holes; all works 2002) depicts solitary figures posed at the edges of yawning pits in the dirt. These pensive loners seem to be pondering their gritty surroundings before merging with the darkness.

    Perrone hails from the Northern Italian town of Asti, not far from Turin, Milan, and Genoa, where

  • Harun Farocki

    Harun Farocki has made nearly eighty films for both the big and small screen since he was a graduate student at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin in the mid-’60s. Having emerged during the international student protest movement, he has dedicated his career to unmasking the hidden abuses and blatant hypocrisies of the powers that be. Farocki’s typical format is the film essay: text and narration combined with images lifted from newsreel and industrial footage, a hybrid of political sloganeering and documentary.

    Only recently has Farocki begun to present his films in a gallery and museum

  • Andrea Fraser

    In 1998 Andrea Fraser announced that she would no longer perform as Jane Castleton, the museum docent whose tours had left unsuspecting audiences scratching their heads over the past decade. While her work as Castleton had been based on a misrepresentation of her true status within cultural institutions. Fraser was now going to operate strictly as an artist. Yet after a five year hiatus from showing solo in New York, these concurrent, related gallery appearances demonstrated that her sense or institutional belonging has only grown more complex and ambiguous.

    Two works at P.H.A.G. examined the

  • Edward Burtynsky

    Gone are the days of big canvases glutting exhibition spaces, now that photography has largely replaced painting as the medium of choice among contemporary artists. The “new painting” often has little to do with painting itself, of course, except perhaps in terms of scale; indeed, the ubiquity of the photograph almost makes one yearn for fleshy oils on canvas. Edward Burtynsky’s photographs, however, seemed geared to satisfy that yearning. In this small survey of work from the past decade, Burtynsky presented a mini-history of postwar art, complete with references to Abstract Expressionism and

  • Albert Oehlen

    More than twenty years after Albert Oehlen's first solo show, in Stuttgart in 1981, these two exhibitions presented works that function as bookends to the painter's career so far. Like his collaborators Martin Kippenberger, Georg Herold, and Werner Büttner, Oehlen came on the German art scene at the peak of neo-expressionism, when Baselitz, Lüpertz, et al. were finally being “discovered” on an international scale after having exhibited in Germany since the ‘60s. From the outset Oehlen and his peers responded satirically to the older artists’ painterly excesses and self-importance, quickly

  • Rico Gatson

    In the heyday of modernism, numerous theorists of art and architecture considered pattern and ornamentation to be synonymous with an archaic mind-set. For example, the architect Adolf Loos notoriously labeled ornament a crime against the purity of white walls, while the art historian Wilhelm Worringer argued that geometric abstraction helped “primitive” cultures live in denial of the corporeal world's frightening realities. Though not commenting directly on these early-twentieth-century biases, Rico Gatson's recent work seems geared to revive the debate. He turns well-known American films into

  • Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

    Though it’s been years now since Chelsea became the new SoHo, the area still seems to exist at the edge of the action. There are more places to eat and drink, but thankfully it hasn’t yet acquired the outdoor-mall atmosphere of its cousin to the south. Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s recent sound-and-video installation invited the viewer to become intimately familiar with one of the neighborhood’s unremarkable comers. The modesty of the short stretch of West Twenty-first Street near Tenth Avenue was well matched by the artist’s straightforward presentation, which, despite the relatively sophisticated

  • Amy O'Neill

    Installation art is in a precarious state. It has been criticized in recent years of cultivating a kind of blasé site-specificity that caters to the demands of large-scale exhibition organizers needing to fill space and provide a temporary spectacle—for being what Peter Schjeldahl calls “festival art.” At the same time, it’s been around long enough to be open to parody at the hands of a younger generation. Specifically ripe for analysis is the strain of installation that deals with historical reenactment in that deals with historical reenactment in the manner of Ilya Kabakov. Amy O’Neill’s

  • Kathleen Gilje

    Kathleen Gilje's line of inquiry is anything but unfamiliar. The unmasking of the male gaze has been a mainstay of critical theory and contemporary art since before Cindy Sherman staged her first photograph. But Gilje's complex, often surprising project questions the terms of the feminist reading previously advanced by her colleagues: A degree of considered complicity with the object of her critique is undeniable.

    Gilje, a New York-based artist, trained as a restorer of fine art and has worked with master paintings from private and museum collections. Her recent show included portraits of women

  • Peter Rostovsky

    THE QUESTION AT THE HEART of Peter Rostovsky's recent work is one that haunts many artists: To what extent must a contemporary painter confront the medium's long-running critical dismantling? On the surface, Rostovsky makes use of a now-familiar brand of humor to, in essence, apologize for carrying on with a practice that has routinely been written off over the past few decades; the knowing wit that infuses his work conveys the requisite degree of skepticism toward the discipline. Yet such qualifiers cannot hide a serious attachment to technique, the very emphasis on craft that the parodic