Hannah Stamler

  • James Crosby, the Garrett Morgan safety hood allowing the wearer to breathe in a hostile environment (detail), 2015, fabricated coat/hat rack, heavy canvas, polycarbonate welding lens, dimensions variable.
    picks December 09, 2016

    James Crosby

    Canvas masks with square polycarbonate welding lens eyes and two tubes, each dangling like strange appendages, line one wall of the gallery. The masks, together titled the Garrett Morgan safety hood allowing the wearer to breathe in a hostile environment (all works 2015), are replicas of air-filtration hoods––originally conceived to protect firefighters from smoke––created by African American inventor Garrett Morgan. Here, James Crosby reinterprets them as defenses against both atmospheric and social threats. A large black-and-white photograph of a figure donning the hood highlights its capacity

  • James Hoff, Useless Landscape No. 37, 2016, copper etching on fiberglass, aluminum, wood, lacquer, 48 x 32''. From the series “Useless Landscapes,” 2016.
    picks November 18, 2016

    James Hoff

    In his last exhibition here, James Hoff showed how computer viruses could “infect” digital paintings to striking, sensuous effect. For his new show, he considers the banal side of technology with two series addressing how contemporary forms of photography dull our experience of the natural world. “Life Cycle” (all works 2016) comprises rocks painted a black-and-white camo pattern to confuse and escape the flattening, miniaturizing gaze of aerial photography. For his second and primary body of work, “Useless Landscapes,” Hoff translated cell phone pictures of upstate New York into copper etchings

  • The GALA Committee, Target Audience, 1995–97, paper, steel, plastic, pigment, 18'' diameter.
    picks October 14, 2016

    “Total Proof: The GALA Committee 1995–1997”

    If primetime is the ultimate venue for product placement, then shouldn’t it also work for plugging art? So wondered Mel Chin, who in 1995 contacted the set decorator of the sexy Los Angeles soap Melrose Place with an offer to make props for the show. She agreed, and Chin, with a network of artists collaborating under the moniker “The GALA Committee,” began a two-year project of churning out artworks for the series. In return for their unpaid labor, they demanded just one thing: the license to respond, subtly, to social issues.

    In “Total Proof,” more than ninety-four of the group’s pieces are on

  • Lillian Schwartz, Olympiad, 1971, video, color, sound, 2 minutes 33 seconds.
    picks October 07, 2016

    Lillian Schwartz

    The 1970s art world was, in general, skeptical of the computer’s artistic value. Fittingly, The Artist and the Computer, a 1976 documentary on Lillian Schwartz’s work at AT&T’s Bell Labs, possesses the corny vibe of an educational after-school special. The movie alternates between clips of Schwartz’s computer-generated films and footage of her explaining the skill and artistry behind them. In one scene, she flips through a book on nineteenth-century art (before a roaring fire, naturally) and pauses for an aside on modernism’s debt to science and technology. The camera, Schwartz reminds the

  • View of “Jesse Chun,” 2016.
    picks September 16, 2016

    Jesse Chun

    Jesse Chun’s “Blueprints” series, 2016, comprises twenty-three framed pigment prints, several of which are layered, and covered in dark-blue rectangles and lines. What are these strange schematics, one might ask? Machine diagrams? Alien communiqués? The answer is far more banal. Chun photographed immigration forms and digitally purged them of text, removing their national and linguistic markers. Only the uniform fill-in bubbles and answer grids remain, floating unmoored across the page in geometric patterns that point to a widespread visual language of global transit and expatriation.


  • Tobias Rehberger, Me as You II, 2014, papier-mâché, acrylic, electric light bulb, 24 x 37". From the series “Me as You II,” 2014.
    picks September 07, 2016

    “Solid Liquids”

    In the Ninth Berlin Biennale, DIS describes the present as a moment of paradox, when people are data and the virtual doubles as the real. Miles (or kilometers) west, curator Gail Kirkpatrick presents another contemporary contradiction, with a ten-artist show that dubs sculpture today “solid but also liquid.” In Berlin, artists attempt to give the immaterial networked form. In Münster, that which is already considered fixed and solid is revealed to be unstable and mutable.

    The Greek myth of Pygmalion recounts how the gods breathed life into a marble woman. Björn Dahlem’s Der goldene baum (The

  • Celia Hempton, Ben, 2015, oil on polyester, 20 x 24''.
    picks July 01, 2016

    “The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men”

    In a curatorial move akin to a Sadie Hawkins dance, this exhibition asks women to flex their female gaze and depict men. Thirty-two artists present varying perspectives on the male form—from neutral, detached portraits to ones steeped in obvious desire. Many offer up their sitters in attitudes historically reserved for female subjects, as come-hither nudes or odalisques. Others catch them in private moments of sleep or self-love, both literal and figurative, as in Grace Graupe-Pillard’s painting of a young artist mid iPhone selfie, hand curled in a manner that recalls Dürer’s Self-Portrait in

  • Martha Rosler, Tron (Amputee), 1967-72, photomontage, 24 x 18".
    picks April 22, 2016

    Martha Rosler

    The Vietnam War was the first to be televised, and though broadcasts of its carnage spurred many to antiwar activism, they also demonstrated modern media’s ability to compress images of violence behind screens and between commercials breaks. Online, banality mixes with atrocity with even greater ease. Pop-ups advertising resort getaways obscure environmental disaster reports. On our individual feeds, articles on war or terrorism pulled from the 24/7 news cycle are sandwiched between pet photos and brunch updates.

    In this mini survey, Martha Rosler proves deft at dissecting and reconfiguring mass