Jacquelyn Davis

    picks September 23, 2014

    Michael Manning

    For his solo debut, Los Angeles–based artist Michael Manning presents large-scale paintings, videos, and installations that revolve around his interest in punk counterculture movements and their rapport with “reactionary network politics,” which use the Internet as medium. One initially encounters a wreath of blue hyacinths, in part paying homage to Darby Crash’s suicide (from the California punk band The Germs). The artist’s mélange of “trill” abstraction—including vibrant colors digitally printed onto nylon, as in Wild Salmon and Salted Avocado Hecado, 2014, which is displayed across the main

  • Martin Jacobson, Landscape 7, 2014, oil on canvas, 100 3/8 x 76 3/4”.
    picks June 12, 2014

    Martin Jacobson

    In Martin Jacobson’s third exhibition at this gallery, titled “Landscapes,” the Swedish artist has appropriated the archetypal nature panoramas of the decorative art often found in hotel rooms and flea markets. Jacobson has altered these images by incorporating unbelievable shades and hues that are nonexistent in reality. In Landscape 8, 2014, for example, he depicts skies that are neon blue and a forest that harbors rich shades of violet and plum. In Forest Pond, 2012, the artist has delicately painted the leaves in contrasting light and dark greens and speckled them with pink and yellow,

  • View of “New Reproductions,” 2013.
    picks January 06, 2014

    David Maljković

    Boredom and unnecessary repetition are looming threats for any contemporary artist or astute curator. Croatian artist David Maljković’s current solo exhibition, in a location that purports to be the largest exhibition space in the Baltic region (nearly 26,000 square feet), attracts attention due to the artist’s decision to reassess his previous projects with an emphasis on altering perception. The same exhibition space hosts an extensive Fluxus archive highlighting the creative efforts of Lithuanian-born American artist George Maciunas. The newly revisited work by Maljković appears linked to

  • View of “A Dormitory for Celebrities,” 2013.
    picks September 17, 2013

    Leif Elggren

    Leif Elggren is unavoidable in Scandinavia: Not only is he known for his profound oeuvre of sound pieces and performances, his collaborative spirit (see his work with Thomas Liljenberg and their DIY initiative Firework Edition), and his insight into the absurdities of power and privilege but the artist also owns a specific style marked by his use of yellow and black, a color combination that he has claimed as his domain since 1977. In this exhibition, Y&B, 2013, and Y&B Bed, 2012, visually alert one to caution or danger. The show as a whole appears to be a retrospective culmination of Elggren’s

  • Camilla Wills, Psychic cabaret and crudités, 2013, screenprint, 33 x 23 1/2".
    picks August 05, 2013


    In Oslo, summer is full-on, accompanied by the hedonistic joys brought on by a tenacious sun that hardly ever sets. A current exhibition at 1857, heralded by a press release remarking, “Everything is more pleasant now that it is warm outside,” features the title “Sunbathers,” which may call to mind Morrissey’s mope-rock lyrics on the subject: “Nothing appears to be between the ears of the lazy sunbathers / Too jaded to question stagnation / The sun burns through to the planet's core / And it isn't enough, they want more.” This exhibition brings an intensity akin to a sky aflame.

    The Latin root

  • Ulrik Samuelson, Untitled, 2012, oil on canvas, 71 x 79".
    picks March 14, 2013

    Ulrik Samuelson

    Though this exhibition—an interplay between paintings, installation, and sculpture—is Ulrik Samuelson’s first at the gallery, the Swedish artist has for decades made work with a distinctive style that also characterizes his public commission at the Kungsträdgården metro station. What strikes one as particularly Samuelsonesque is both a sense of regal power (evoked via classic architectural motifs, Nordic nature scenes, and intersecting geometric shapes), and notions of masculinity explored through sublime color schemes and unflinching landscapes that penetrate the psyche. Shades of amber and

  • View of “Beyond Good and Evil,” 2012.
    picks September 24, 2012

    “Beyond Good and Evil”

    “Beyond Good and Evil,” an exhibition named after Nietzsche’s philosophical treatise on phenomena such as how cultures lose sight of creativity and are responsible for their own demise, is part of the Copenhagen Arts Festival and shares its theme with other exhibitions, public artworks, performances, lectures, and screenings in the festival. It appears useful to slide between viewing this exhibition as both an end in itself and as a supplementary chapter of the festival’s thematic inquiry into “community.”

    Iraqi-born artist Jananne Al-Ani’s A Loving Man, 1996–99, sets a melancholic yet carefree

  • View of “(I)ndependent People,” 2012.
    picks July 19, 2012

    “(I)ndependent People”

    Displaying collaborations and artist initiatives from twenty-nine collectives including some one hundred participants, “(I)ndependent People” works against the tendency of biennials to promote the lone artist. While no collective functions without individual will, the unmapped terrain between the solitary artist and artist group seems a primary theme here. This exhibition harbors ambitions of reformulating inherited lexicons (e.g., subjectivity, authorship) through interventions, negotiations, workshops, and performances. Even though most collaborations are Nordic, highlighting those living and

  • Thomas Broomé, A Stone by Any Other Name, Would Weigh as Heavy, 2011, paper, engraved crystal, 10 x 12 x 8”.
    picks May 13, 2012

    Thomas Broomé

    Partially inspired by a three-month residency in the summer of 2011 at Hammars, Ingmar Bergman’s isolated estate on the Swedish island Fårö, Thomas Broomé’s latest exhibition seems to walk in the iconic director’s footsteps, with works that celebrate and reveal the intimate dwelling, room by room, as it appears in the films Hour of the Wolf (1968) and Faithless (2000). Most of the paintings in “The Guest” portray these spaces with thin, sketchy lines that emphasize the half-lit interior of this elongated house by the sea. The new video, Wanderer, 2012, with eerie score by Swedish pop star and

  • View of “Abstract Possible: The Stockholm Synergies,” 2012.
    picks March 30, 2012

    “Abstract Possible: The Stockholm Synergies”

    This exhibition examines the abstract from multiple perspectives: formal, economic, and the contemporary artist’s “withdrawal strategies”––a manipulation of already existing spaces in order to create a “space apart” from the rest of society. Curated by Tensta Konsthall’s new director Maria Lind, the show inhabits revamped space (a triangulated design of energetic yellow and black) and cajoles visitors to reassess their rapport with abstraction as it applies to a changing world influenced by money, politics, and persuasion. Formal treatments of the concept are addressed via diverse media, as in