Janet Kraynak

  • THE STORYTELLERS

    ONE WOULD BE FORGIVEN for thinking the large-scale biennial has run its course. Since the onslaught of globalization, these exhibitions proliferated under the prevailing belief that supranational and geographically dispersed structures might overcome cultural, racial, and ethnic hierarchies, as well as Eurocentric bias. But we have entered what might be called a postglobal phase in history and culture, and the very premise of allocating power according to the twin mandates of geographic diffusion and international inclusion has come to mask the way that power now operates, accrues, and is reified.

  • Bruce Nauman

    Janet Kraynak on Bruce Nauman

    Bruce Nauman’s recent exhibition at Sperone Westwater was introduced by Untitled (Study for Slow Angle Walk [Beckett Walk]), 1968–69, a small, diagrammatic pencil drawing in which lines and arcs of various densities are interspersed with arrows, circles, and x’s. While modest, the work nonetheless succinctly embodies the conceptual conflict at the heart of the artist’s drawing production (and thus the exhibition as well): namely, what exactly are Nauman’s drawings? The answer may seem obvious; the majority of them are graphite, charcoal, or crayon works on paper.

  • Anselm Kiefer, Wege der Weltweisheit: Die Hermannsschlacht (Ways of Worldly Wisdom: Arminius's Battle), 1978, oil and woodcut on paper mounted on canvas, 6' 5 1/2“ x 7' 10 1/4”. From “Eye on Europe.”

    “Eye on Europe: Prints, Books & Multiples, 1960 to Now”

    This exhibition of some three hundred works demonstrates in six thematic sections—including “Language,” “Expressionist Impulse,” and “A British Focus”—the primary role printed matter (graphic works, publications, wallpaper) has played in transforming conventional European artistic processes and distribution networks and, in turn, contemporary art at large.

    Throughout art history, the printed form has largely been given a backseat to the “loftier” media of painting, sculpture, and drawing, all of which enjoy a veneer of originality unavailable to reproductive arts. This exhibition of some three hundred works counters that tendency by demonstrating in six thematic sections—including “Language,” “Expressionist Impulse,” and “A British Focus”—the primary role printed matter (graphic works, publications, wallpaper) has played in transforming conventional European artistic processes and distribution networks and,

  • OPENINGS: DORON SOLOMONS

    If any subject seems intractable, polarized, and at this point almost beyond reasonable commentary, it is the battle in the Middle East between Israelis and Palestinians. The two factions have been embroiled in a dispute over land, religion, claims to historical truth, and the moral righteousness of violent acts ever since Judea, the ancient home of the Jews, was conquered by the Romans and renamed Palestine. Predating modern history and territorially grounded in a sliver of land, the conflict lately embodies what New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman, in his study on globalization, terms