Jeffrey Kastner

  • Emily Nelligan, 28 JUNE 92 (1), 1994, charcoal on paper, 7 1⁄4 × 10 1⁄2".

    Emily Nelligan

    Roughly two miles long and a mile wide, Great Cranberry Island is, like many of the settlements along Maine’s juddering Down East coastline, a place defined as much by water as by land. Reachable via a short boat trip from the bigger and busier tourist island of Mount Desert, it is itself a (much more modest) vacation destination, with a year-round population of a few dozen that swells by a magnitude of ten in the warmer months. Artist Emily Nelligan (1924–2018) was one of its part-time residents. Making work solely on the island in the summer and early autumn, she produced numerous quietly

  • John Gerrard, Flare (Oceania), 2022, simulation, dimensions variable.

    John Gerrard

    The first time I encountered John Gerrard’s work was five years ago, when he showed his X. laevis (Spacelab), 2017, at New York’s Simon Preston Gallery. An example of the Irish artist’s so-called simulations—immaculately made, confoundingly credible digital animations built on the backs of programming-rich game-engine technologies—it featured the eponymous creature, an African clawed frog, floating before a pair of gloved hands in zero gravity. (From time to time, the animal would spasm as an imaginary camera hovered around it.) The initially inscrutable piece actually turned out to be a conceptual

  • View of “Kazuko Miyamoto,” 2022. Photo: Naho Kubota.

    Kazuko Miyamoto

    The trio of pieces that greeted visitors at the entrance to this memorable survey of Kazuko Miyamoto’s art at the Japan Society succinctly triangulated the intellectually nimble, technically adroit artist’s practice. These three works—Stunt (181 Chrystie Street, 1981), 1982, a photocopy collage featuring Miyamoto, nude except for a Mardi Gras–style mask, executing a yogic leg raise in her studio in front of a pair of Sol LeWitt cube constructions; Untitled, 1973, a wall-mounted grid made from black cotton string and nails; and a large acrylic-on-canvas painting from the same year called Ways of

  • Pieter Schoolwerth, Unicorn Landing Page Real Estate (Rigged #16), 2022, oil, acrylic, and ink-jet print on canvas, 79 × 72".

    Pieter Schoolwerth

    With a mood that often suggests a trippy twenty-first-century recapitulation of Richard Hamilton’s iconic 1956 proto-Pop collage Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?, Pieter Schoolwerth’s newest works propose a world swollen to the point of disfigurement with the flotsam and jetsam of the capitalist now. The consumerist heartache at the core of Hamilton’s sardonic dream home was founded on a welter of newfangled appliances, product logos, and hypertrophically idealized male and female forms. For their part, Schoolwerth’s virtuoso paintings swarm with low-budget

  • Cristine Brache, Film Stills from Bermuda Triangle 1–12 (2), 2022, digital C-print, 9 × 6".

    Cristine Brache

    At the bottom of a long flight of stairs, a floor below Baxter Street on the edge of Manhattan’s Chinatown, Cristine Brache’s quietly elegiac presentation “Bermuda Triangle” bathed Anonymous Gallery’s space in an uncanny aquatic ambience. The show’s dreamily natant mood was due in part to its artifactual centerpiece: a blue inflatable pool set in the middle of the gallery. The object functioned as a double aide-mémoire—a physicalized symbol of the recollection at the heart of the project, as well as a site for the transmission of its phantasmal traces in beautifully grainy Super 8 footage

  • Dirk Braeckman, U.C.-T.C.I.-21, 2021, five ink-jet prints, each 70 7⁄8 × 47 1⁄4".

    Dirk Braeckman

    Among the many rewarding provocations in the oeuvre of the late, lamented English cultural theorist Mark Fisher was his retooling of Jacques Derrida’s punningly allusive notion of “hauntology”—a historical spectrality that hovers around ideas and institutions, unsettling them with a sense of the lost futures they unavoidably represent—as a way to think about his first and arguably greatest love, music. “The [musical] artists that came to be labelled hauntological,” Fisher wrote in an essay published in 2014, “were suffused with an overwhelming melancholy; and they were preoccupied with the way

  • Liz Larner, Bird in Space, 1989, nylon cord, silk, stainless-steel blocks. Installation view, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, 1991.

    1000 WORDS: LIZ LARNER

    ORCHIDS, PENNIES, BUTTERMILK. A sphere made from sixteen miles of surgical gauze and a cube woven out of thin strips of copper. Sly arranged marriages between rubber and wood; leather and false eyelashes; sand, stone, and bark. Gossamer lattices and sheets of chain. Forms rendered in polyurethane, steel, and bronze; in found objects; in porcelain and ceramic. Viewers who have only encountered Los Angeles–based sculptor Liz Larner’s work piecemeal across her more than three-decade career might be forgiven for feeling a certain bewilderment in the face of the stylistic and material diversity that

  • View of “David L. Johnson,” 2021. Photo: Sebastian Bach.

    David L. Johnson

    The unlikely affectual centerpiece of David L. Johnson’s inspired New York solo debut here was a silent, slowed-down thirty-six-minute video of a warbler sitting in the middle of a Manhattan sidewalk. Filmed in close-up at ground level in a static single take, the tiny bird had apparently only moments earlier slammed into the glass wall of a Hudson Yards skyscraper it had mistaken for a patch of clear sky. Feathers puffed up and eyes shut tight against the disorientation produced by the collision, the creature sits dazed and motionless—save for the occasional furtive blink—as people pass by to

  • Diane Simpson, Roof Shape (Ise), 2019, painted and stained LDF, perforated aluminum, canvas, crayon, 56 3⁄4 × 59 1⁄2 × 13".

    Diane Simpson

    Conventional relationships between the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional, between drawn forms and their volumetric realization, are deranged in fascinating, supremely elegant ways in Diane Simpson’s sculptures. The eighty-six-year-old Chicagoan, who began studying art in her mid-thirties and really only started showing in earnest outside of her hometown about a decade ago, has developed a trademark approach to creating work across her forty-year career. Starting with photographs typically depicting elements of architecture, she produces detailed isometric drawings that home in on particular

  • View of “Sarah Oppenheimer: Sensitive Machine,” 2021, Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY. Photo: John Bentham.

    1000 WORDS: SARAH OPPENHEIMER

    IN 2016, as Sarah Oppenheimer was preparing her project S-281913 for the Pérez Art Museum Miami, she had a telling exchange with the media theorist Alexander Galloway. The two were discussing the implications for Oppenheimer’s work of its deepening engagement with not just the spatial but also the temporal conditions of the built environment, and in particular her proposition that certain aspects of architecture might be thought of as “switches”: mechanisms, like doors and other threshold structures, that influence and modulate physical and perceptual flow. In the interview, which was published

  • Martin Roth, From 2017-2021 Martin Roth transformed a ruin into a garden for a plant concert (detail), 2017–21, soil, plants, speakers, sensors, hardware. Installation view.

    Martin Roth

    Austrian-born artist Martin Roth, who died in 2019 at the age of forty-one, created a string of memorable projects across his lamentably short career, building a poetic natural philosophy out of sly, deceptively simple collaborations with plants and animals. The archive of his practice preserved on his website serves as a reminder of his concerns and of his light conceptual touch: fish swimming across a gallery floor he had flooded; a shaggy lawn sprouting from a substrate of Persian carpets in a medieval castle; his studio transformed into a nursery for a brood of ducklings. But the site also

  • Genesis P-Orridge, Untitled (White Art), 1975, collage, 21 1⁄4 × 17 1⁄4".

    Neil Megson, Genesis P-Orridge, and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

    A cheerfully ferocious “wrecker of civilization”—kin to Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare, to William Burroughs and Brion Gysin, to Fluxus and Viennese Actionism—Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (1950–2020) occupied a crucial position at the nexus of interrelated postwar artistic streams for nearly a half century. “TIME=EMIT,” a recent show of the shape-shifting provocateur’s work at No Gallery, was billed with fitting impertinence as “a three-person solo exhibition,” revealing a sliver of the object-based strand of the polymath’s sprawling career via he/r tripartite personal and artistic identity.