Jeff Gibson

  • David Kennedy Cutler

    Over the past few years, David Kennedy Cutler has drawn notice for installations and performances centering on bizarre interactions among multiple selves—his own ineluctable one and those of a cluster of life-size Kennedy Cutler clones, doppelgängers fashioned from ink-jet prints of images gleaned with a handheld scanner. While some of these stand-ins remained flat like cardboard cutouts, others were grafted onto flexible mannequins, ready for uncanny action. In the weirdest of these productions, the artist—sheathed in the artificial skin of his digitized, casually attired self and sharing space

  • Simon Evans™

    IMHO, a lot of text-based art is lame. It’s a field thick with glib one-liners and cynical quips, stilted poetry and borrowed—or, worse, homespun and failed—profundities. Neither edifying nor invigorating, such efforts elicit, at best, dumb chuckles and dulcifying consensus. Not so, Simon EvansTM (the faux-corporate moniker of the collaborative couple Simon Evans and Sarah Lannan). Sure, their work contains some of the above, but in such abundance, and organized with such wit and complexity—roping in all manner of quotidian and illustrative material—that, with rare exception, each piece constitutes

  • Rodney Graham

    One could not help but marvel at the formal and technical mastery required to produce the mammoth four-section light box that dominated Rodney Graham’s latest show at 303 Gallery; nor could one fail to be amused by its subject matter. Measuring roughly ten feet high by twenty-five feet wide, the picture boasted an alluring glow so even, and a resolution so sharp, as to rival the implausibly crisp hyperrealist sheen of the iMac retina screen I’m staring into as I type these words. The highly—yet seamlessly—digitally manipulated image floating atop this triumph of photographic representation

  • Paulina Olowska

    Nostalgia is a dodgy gambit when it comes to contemporary art. After all, it is, in its evocation of the past, not contemporary and, in its inherent familiarity, not in and of itself art. What’s more, as with kitsch and cliché, the accompanying emotion tends toward a mawkishness that smothers exegetic impulse, leaving one to wallow in simplistic pleasures. Even its ironic deployment would seem a spent gesture, post-post-Pictures generation: Is there anything more referentially threadbare at this point than pulp fiction or dystopian sci-fi? Yet in my book, Paulina Olowska gets a pass. In bringing

  • Malcolm Morley

    Malcolm Morley’s late oeuvre, which this show to some extent encapsulated, has an undeniably boyish core. Having worked his way through various isms and influences in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s to considerable acclaim, the transplanted Brit (Morley moved to New York in 1958 when he was in his late twenties) returned in the ’90s to an early preoccupation with nautical themes, wartime imagery, and model making. Repressed memories of traumatic events had bubbled up via psychoanalysis from the turbulent depths of his famously troubled childhood: As the Wiki-myth would have it, Morley spent the first

  • Charline von Heyl

    Many of Charline von Heyl’s paintings crackle with an awkward intensity. Though her works occasionally lapse into relatively uncomplicated decor, the lion’s share of her oeuvre, a thirteen-year sampling of which was recently on display at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg (with condensed versions traveling to museums in Deurle, Belgium, and Washington, DC), is marked by the deliberate upending of formal expectation. Indeed, in attempting to describe the New York– and Marfa, Texas–based German artist’s modus operandi, the writer, musician, and gallerist John Corbett cites—in a catalogue essay for

  • picks May 18, 2018

    Alan Belcher

    As my Instagram feed would attest, I have a thing for stuck-on signs and vehicle wraps. I’m taken with the conflation of utilitarian objects and instrumental images, of public displays and commodity come-ons. For someone whose roots lie in Pop, such amalgamations feel more like accidental art than advertising. Toronto-based artist and East Village legend Alan Belcher seems to share this fascination for photographic transposition and dimensional confusion, which, in his hands, open the commerce of imagery to pointed usurpation, poetry, and critique. Given that contemporary art increasingly

  • Erik Parker

    Calibrated for maximum hallucinogenic effect, Erik Parker’s ultra-vivid, hyper-pictorial paintings go all out to grab and hold one’s attention. For this show, his first with Mary Boone, the artist’s hyperbolic solicitations came in three distinct forms—portraits, pyramids, and planks. The portrait paintings, of which there were five (three of solitary visages, one bearing two heads, and one comprising a group of four severely discombobulated busts), were either medium or large in scale, and constituted the most labor-intensive, complex, and accomplished works in the show. Each portrait was

  • “Cosmic Communities”

    Like a magazine article come to life, this exhibition, enticingly subtitled “Coming Out into Outer Space—Homofuturism, Applied Psychedelia & Magic Connectivity,” existed primarily as illustrative accompaniment to a thought-provoking essay. In lieu of a press release, Berlin-based scholar and critic Diedrich Diederichsen—who organized the show in collaboration with Galerie Buchholz codirector Christopher Müller—provided a feature-length work of art-historical exposition drawing comparisons among historically and geographically disparate cultural phenomena, fleshed out by loosely

  • Peter Halley

    Peter Halley’s latest show—his first with Greene Naftali—was spectacular, though severely and queasily so. Setting the tone for severity, the artist commandeered the Brutalist ambience of the gray, cinderblock-enclosed courtyard adjacent to the gallery entrance with a prominently placed, bodily scaled, faux-concrete-and-asphalt work from 1994, Cell with Conduit, thrust several inches out from the wall by a hefty steel armature. A distilled (one-cell, one-conduit), quintessential Halley composition that signaled, as always, a core contemporary paradox—the isolating effect of mediated

  • Mark Mothersbaugh

    Best known as cofounder, singer, and keyboardist of archetypal art band Devo, Mark Mothersbaugh has cut a singular path through the intersecting margins of art and popular culture. Born (1950) and raised in Akron, Ohio, the artist spent his formative years, which were marked by creative inclination, subjected to the kind of banal cruelties routinely administered by boomer jocks to nerdy, bespectacled kids. (Mothersbaugh has severe myopia.) In a podcast interview with comedian Marc Maron, recorded on the occasion of this exhibition, Mothersbaugh describes his experience of kindergarten through

  • Erin O’Keefe

    More than a little of the considerable appeal emanating from Erin O’Keefe’s photographs lies in the difficulty we encounter deciphering them. With these works—razor-sharp depictions of abstract, brushily painted, sculptural tableaux, for the most part—not only does one struggle to identify the medium, but the compositions traffic in shadowy illusion and spatial ambiguity, making it hard at times to know exactly what is being portrayed. Consequently, the eye moves searchingly across the picture plane, propelled by the pleasures arising from the work’s bold construction and rich yet

  • Jeff Donaldson

    Jeff Donaldson (1932–2004) attained many distinctions in his lifetime. In addition to chalking up a highly impressive list of academic and pedagogical achievements, culminating in a Ph.D. in African and African American art history from Chicago’s Northwestern University and, later in life, a long-standing deanship at Howard University in Washington, DC, he played a defining role in the development of a “trans-African” aesthetic that endeavored to help shape attitudes toward the African diaspora via unifying signs of protest, positivity, and cultural pride. A founding member of the Organization

  • Theo Triantafyllidis

    For his New York solo debut, Theo Triantafyllidis, an Athens-, Los Angeles–, and Berlin-educated architecture graduate turned artist, presented one small sculpture; a medium-size wall relief composed of shape-fitted shards of colorful trash; two ink-jet-on-nylon wall hangings; and, most notably, three self-generating videos, two of which were accompanied by comical props and cosmetically augmented computer hardware. The sculpture, Mountain (Ceramic) (all works 2016), a piled-up mound of extruded white clay bearing splashes of color and bright plastic appendages, crowned a plain white plinth.

  • John O’Connor

    John O’Connor revels in schematic mutation. Ceding varying degrees of aesthetic agency to programmatic procedures that give visual and linguistic form to statistics, sociocultural phenomena, and chance operations, he is best known for large, labor-intensive, colored-pencil-and-graphite drawings that creep and sprawl across their supports in accordance with eccentric, self-imposed directives. Pertinent examples include A Recurrence Plot, 2013, in which economic data and markers of social stratification are gaudily plotted onto a cross-sectional chart of planet Earth’s geologic layers, and Cleverbot

  • Ross Knight

    One of my favorite Instagram feeds, going by the handle @techappeal, sifts for pictorial gold among athletic, medical, and technological product photography. Featuring such psychoactive eye candy as space-age sneaker soles set against ethereal gradients, flawless limbs sporting latex prophylaxes in antiseptic-blue environments, and spotless anatomical teaching aids shot against pastel infinity screens, its imagery is routinely airless and otherworldly yet grounded in an ineluctable mortality. The feed catalogues a nascent zone of our collective digital imagination, a creepy realm of artificial

  • Lauren Silva

    There’s something not quite right about the paintings in Lauren Silva’s second show at Zieher Smith & Horton. At first glance, they appear not so much off, as overly on. The best ones register immediately as implausibly charming, working a confectioner’s palette to recall such feel-good pop-cultural genres as vintage and contemporary comics and children’s-book illustration. Yet there’s something else. The paintings’ surfaces shimmer slightly, and as you draw near you’ll see that the softly hued, blurry grounds extend around the sides of the stretcher frames. You might then notice that the

  • “Double Standard: Ed Ruscha & Mason Williams, 1956–1971 (Part 1)”

    Legend has it that in 1956 an eighteen-year-old Ed Ruscha set out solo from Oklahoma City in a customized Ford, taking the fabled Route 66 to Los Angeles (passing twenty-six gasoline stations along the way), where he would study at the Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts) en route to elevating urban graphic vernaculars to the status of art. It’s a tidy account of a no doubt messy affair. Of course, the factual distillations and narrative compressions enabling such myths of origin are, necessarily, founded on omission. Case in point: Riding alongside Ruscha on his move to LA was childhood friend

  • Pieter Schoolwerth

    Pieter Schoolwerth knows how to paint. In recent years, he turned his hand to no less daunting a task than the subjective reinvention of old-master iconography, which he deftly reconstituted via digital and analog overlays and abstractions—a contemporary remastering, if you will, of the compositional mainstays of Western figuration. Yet for his latest show, Schoolwerth put his considerable skills in the service of a throwaway gag: The press release informed us that while using a cheap, ineffectual vacuum cleaner, the artist blurted out, “This vacuum sucks!” and was so amused by the unintended

  • film September 28, 2012

    Permanent Thirst

    OUTBACK AUSTRALIA is an inhospitable environment. The light is blinding, the heat searing, and the arid, burnt-earth expanse goes on forever. Yet, ironically, it is the hospitality of those hardy souls desperate or crazy enough to live there that poses the greatest threat to civilized mind and body. Wake in Fright (1971) contrives to ensnare an educated city boy in the hard-drinking, hypermasculine pastimes of a fictional, but all-too-real, outback mining town named—as if to summon the Aussie drawl—Bundanyabba. A reasonably faithful adaptation of Australian author Kenneth Cook’s 1961 novel of