Jeff Gibson

  • Wickerham & Lomax, The Migration 7.25/8.11 Bag, 2021, digital rendering.


    If it is a human thing to do to put something you want, because it’s useful, edible, or beautiful, into a bag, or a basket, or a bit of rolled bark or leaf, or a net woven of your own hair, or what have you, and then take it home with you, home being another, larger kind of pouch or bag, a container for people . . . then I am a human being after all.
    —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction,” 1986

    THE DENSELY PACKED COMPOSITIONS of collaborative duo Daniel Wickerham and Malcolm Lomax pulsate with a formal and referential dynamism that binds the work’s mess of elements into something

  • T. J. Wilcox, Spectrum, 2020, six HD videos, color, silent, various durations.

    T. J. Wilcox

    A luxuriant garland of rainbow-hued video projections greeted visitors to T. J. Wilcox’s solo show at Gladstone Gallery. Landing shoulder to shoulder upon a long narrow screen diagonally spanning the main space were six silent, color-drenched, filmic vignettes, subjective meditations on the chromatic components of the original LGBTQ pride flag. The color sequence here ran left to right as the flag does top to bottom—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet. Kicking off proceedings, the video on the far left zeroed in on the extravagant scarlet living room of the legendary Vogue editor Diana

  • Philip Taaffe, Altarpiece (detail), 2018, mixed media on canvas, 102 × 75 5⁄8".

    Philip Taaffe

    Philip Taaffe is a human search engine, an old-school “image scavenger” hoovering up an encyclopedic array of abstract, symbolic, and representational material to populate the transcultural painterly pastiches for which he is famous. No Google sourcing or pixelation here: The library and the bookstore conspire with the entire catalogue of analog mark-making and a variety of increasingly quaint or nostalgic printmaking and image-transfer techniques—e.g., decoupage, frottage, mono- and screen-printing—to produce visual fields of varying pictorial and affective intensity. This show, Taaffe’s third

  • Amy Myers, A Dream Perimeter; Dimensional Inter-Repetition, 2019, oil on canvas, 72 × 72".

    Amy Myers

    “Daughter Universes,” the title of Amy Myers’s first solo show with Malin Gallery (formerly Burning in Water), aptly connotes a kind of cosmic femininity. Google-dig a little deeper and one learns that the term also refers to a hypothetical offshoot of quantum mechanics, which postulates that all material and energetic encounters spawn separate spheres of possibility. At this point, it might help to know that Myers’s father was an aviator and physicist who apparently suffused his daughter’s universe (sorry) with a lofty perspective and an enduring fascination for invisible, elemental forces and

  • Amy O’Neill, The Zoo Revolution, 2006–19, 16 mm transferred to HD video, color, sound, 4 minutes 42 seconds.

    Amy O’Neill

    To behold a ruin is to bask in melancholia. Add misty, early-childhood memories and a primal, punk-metal soundtrack, and one sinks deep into the affective murk. Amy O’Neill concocted just such a heady brew of emotive stimuli for her first solo exhibition at Paula Cooper Gallery—a single four-and-a-half-minute video projection immingling original, observational footage; a chopped-up antique animation; and a pounding, growling, death-stalking lament by the now-defunct Brooklyn band Orphan, with whom the artist had previously collaborated.

    The bedrock of the video—and the ruin running through its

  • David Kennedy Cutler, Double Exposure, 2019, ink-jet transfer, Permalac, and acrylic on canvas, 45 × 32 × 4 1⁄2".

    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™, The World Again, 2017, mixed media, 29 × 41".

    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, Vacuuming the Gallery, 1949, 2018, quadriptych, painted aluminum light boxes with transmuted chromogenic transparencies, overall 9' 11“ × 24' 6 1/2” × 7".

    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

  • View of “Paulina Olowska,” 2018. From left: Vitebsk Station, 2018; Univermag GUM, 2018; Prospekt Niezalezhnosti, 2018. Photo: Genevieve Hanson.

    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, Tilting, 2017, diptych, oil on linen, overall 50 × 100".

    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, The Language of the Underworld, 2017, acrylic and charcoal on linen, 90 × 108".

    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

  • Alan Belcher, Oil On Canvas (G), 2018,
oil on tarpaulin, 24 x 24".
    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