Hunter Braithwaite

  • picks May 01, 2015

    Nate Lowman

    When America sneezes, the world catches cold. In this show of five new bodies of painting and sculpture by Nate Lowman, that cliché of superpower economics summons the spirit of the American working class. For instance, front and center is Untitled, 2013–15, a colossal installation of a map of the United States with each state made out of a bit of soiled drop cloth wrapped around a shaped stretcher. Excepting Alaska and Hawaii, all are installed on a wall inclined away from the viewer. The best seats in the house for this work are atop a set of found bleachers that Lowman chose for their ubiquity

  • picks March 07, 2013

    Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza

    “Drywood,” the title of this exhibition, refers to Cryptotermes brevis, a termite that can survive with barely any water, relying on six rectal glands to retain all moisture from digested matter. Endemic in Florida, it is an apt symbol in the hands of Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza, who here use the insect to signify another tropical infestation—the tourist souvenir. Just like a termite gnaws through walls, a souvenir eliminates the distance between cities and undermines their autonomous identity by propagating a simplistic, generic reading of a place. For their first exhibition at this gallery,

  • picks December 06, 2012

    Ohad Meromi

    The title of this densely packed exhibition comes from the first volume of Das Kapital, where Marx likens the factory to a stage, and the workers to players. The conflation of pleasure and production that this analogy represents gives form to Ohad Meromi’s latest show, where figurative sculptures, titled Gravediggers, act out the modernist dream of achieving utopia through the aestheticization of daily life. The factory is the titular work, a large installation of wooden circles and triangles that seemingly float in space—never fastened, just leaned against each other or temporarily held with

  • picks November 28, 2012

    Theaster Gates

    “Soul Manufacturing Corporation” is both the title of Theaster Gates’s latest exhibition and the name of a cottage industry he recently started, currently staffed by three master potters—Matthew Dercole and Pei-Hsuan Wang of Chicago, and Yoko Fukata of Aichi, Japan. In the present iteration, the three artists make “things” (Gates’s term) out of clay during normal gallery hours. Dercole uses a traditional handmade mold to pound out about twenty bricks a day, Fukata throws pottery, and Wang slip casts a series of sculptures that roughly mimic the shapes of items like candlesticks and teapots but

  • picks March 26, 2012

    “Practices Remain”

    “Practices Remain” features work by thirteen Miami-based artists who critique the act of artmaking and the finished object, complicating the interdependence of both. The provisional truce these artists sometimes arrive at takes several forms; the first is a retreat to sloppy formalism. The show’s curators––Alexandra Hopf, Odalis Valdivieso, and Marcos Valella––contribute spartan works of their own, in which a priority is placed on geometry. Hopf’s Posters, 2012, have the most basic visual skeleton of a street poster. Valdivieso’s printed abstract photographs are made on paper that she has

  • picks February 12, 2012

    Paul Cowan

    As a regional counterposition to the aesthetic lingua franca, vernacular painting is often populist to a fault. However, with the transatlantic popularity of Cologne-style “bad” painting, the distinction between local and global has been muddied. Realizing this, the Chicago-based artist Paul Cowan celebrates the myriad ways of imagemaking by dressing the conceptual ploys of recent painting––rapacious de-skilling, outsourcing of production, and presentation within a diffuse environment bordering on installation––with visual mores of Main Street USA. The results, generous and wily, would seem at

  • picks January 26, 2012

    Fernando Mastrangelo

    Fernando Mastrangelo has spent the past few years condensing powders into bricks of social critique. He pressed corn meal pressed into an Aztec calendar criticizing NAFTA. Human ash became MS-13 gang tattoos in a blend of violence and religious iconography. Seventy thousand dollars’ worth of cocaine became a sculpture of life-size Colombian coca farmer Felix, 2009. All of these represent an exact pairing of content and meaning, and a direct relationship between the piece and how it should be understood. Now, in a look back at the cold war’s existential dread and ideological infighting, Mastrangelo

  • picks December 26, 2011

    Blake Rayne

    As if there wasn’t enough art to buy at Art Basel Miami Beach, this year’s edition marked an unprecedented move into retail. While several artists teamed up with luxury brands for limited edition purses (Anselm Reyle with Dior, Liam Gillick with Pringle of Scotland), Blake Rayne’s understocked exhibition at this gallery, with its three variations on one simple yet declarative sentence, took the whole fiasco to task. The piece, UNTITLED, 2011, features this single line replicated on two canvases displayed in a vertical column, and in an enlarged version projected onto the gallery’s back wall. In

  • picks December 02, 2011

    Laurent Grasso

    Lately, the Bass Museum of Art has been asking contemporary artists to produce exhibitions that incorporate the museum’s collection of Renaissance and Baroque art. In this iteration, “Portrait of a Young Man,” Laurent Grasso has taken up questions of authorship and lineage by hiring a group of art restorers to create compositions based on visual notes of Fra Angelico, Mantegna, and Botticelli. These new pieces are then tagged with elements from Grasso’s work. Studies into the Past, No. 2, 2011, for example, features a cloud engulfing a Flemish city identical to the one in Grasso’s Projection,

  • interviews November 30, 2011

    Naomi Fisher

    Naomi Fisher’s latest video and installation, Jungle Sweat, Roseate, is a site-specific work commissioned by the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami as part of its Contemporary Arts Project (CAP). Here Fisher discusses the show, which is on view until January 16, 2012.

    VIZCAYA IS a historic house that was built in 1916 as part of the Gilded Age expansion in Florida. It’s a miniature Versailles plopped in the mangrove swamp. When I was growing up in the tropics, it became a symbol for me of the balance between nature and so-called civilization. I was born in Miami, and I mostly grew up here; we

  • picks September 26, 2011

    Andy Coolquitt

    Anyone who came of age in an American suburb has a particular understanding of those sites of delinquency that are curiously adjacent to places of industry and growth: banks of canals, strip mall loading docks, construction sites after dark. These are some of the sites that inspire the Austin, Texas–based artist Andy Coolquitt. After collecting detritus from these liminal areas in cities such as Miami, Baltimore, and Portland, Oregon, and then slightly altering his finds, Coolquitt presents the resulting works in a way that might be best described as sculpture in an abandoned field.

    For his

  • picks September 11, 2011

    “Behind the curtain, a lock of hair falling”

    It is the season of the body. Everything from the reexamination of AbEx’s gestural politics to online dating urges us to consider touch in the expanded fields of technological and cultural transmission. The group show “Behind the curtain, a lock of hair falling” is a timely take on how cultural bodies brush together, creating an almost sexual excitement at the possibility of unexpected influence.

    The oldest work on view is George Woodman’s symbolically charged La Pietra Madonna, 2007, a black-and-white nude photograph of a pregnant woman painted over with a golden triangle. Despite Woodman’s