Jeffrey Kastner

  • Rachel Libeskind

    In her classic 1975 video Semiotics of the Kitchen, Martha Rosler inhabits a character she has described as “an anti-Julia Child” who “replaces the domesticated ‘meaning’ of tools with a lexicon of rage and frustration.” Reciting a deadpan domestic abecedarium—apron, bowl, chopper, dish—as she stares into the camera and proffers the inventoried items to her audience from behind a countertop, Rosler reappropriates the setting and accoutrements of food preparation to stage a personal rebellion against the drudgery of that odiously limiting category of gendered labor, “women’s work.” Rachel

  • Alison Rossiter

    “Every photograph is a certificate of presence,” wrote Roland Barthes in his 1980 book Camera Lucida, the final and most personal of his many engagements with the medium. The presences Barthes had in mind—an ancient house, a table set for dinner, strangers and loved ones—were at once corporeal and temporal, representing specific moments of physical tangibility fixed precisely in time by light and chemistry. The elegant, conceptually expansive work of Alison Rossiter also conjures extraordinary ordinary presences, but of a very different kind. Since 2007, the artist has been collecting expired

  • Maximilian Schubert

    The spirit of Felix Gonzalez-Torres presides over Maximilian Schubert’s show “Doubles” at Off Paradise, not in any easily identifiable formal way, but rather as a kind of genius loci—a sense of refined, melancholy simplicity and intelligence that suffuses the eleven works on view. The presence of Gonzalez-Torres, now nearly twenty-five years gone, is not unbidden. As he began to produce the works for the show, Schubert and Natacha Polaert, the gallery’s founder and director, made a request to the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation for the loan of one of the late artist’s pieces, to be included in

  • Gladys Nilsson

    “Honk! Fifty Years of Painting,” an energizing, deeply satisfying pair of shows devoted to the work of Gladys Nilsson that occupied both Matthew Marks’s Twenty-Fourth Street space, where it remains on view through April 18, and Garth Greenan Gallery, took its title from one of the earliest works on display: Honk, 1964, a tiny, Technicolor street scene in acrylic that focuses on a pair of elderly couples, which the Imagist made two years out of art school. The men, bearded and stooped, lean on canes, while the women sport dark sunglasses beneath their blue-and-chartreuse beehives. They are boxed

  • Quay Quinn Wolf

    Like a tastefully styled crime scene, Quay Quinn Wolf’s show at Jack Barrett greeted viewers with bits of twisted metal dressed in scraps of fur and set on a floor freshly painted in lavender, a vaguely sickly tang hanging in the air above them. As is characteristic of Wolf’s work, the exhibition was a strategically coordinated series of sculptural scenarios composed from poetically repurposed found materials. The artist has often juxtaposed “soft” domestic objects—such as articles of clothing and other textiles, as well as flowers and plant pigments—with infrastructural flotsam, including latex

  • Rosson Crow

    Hard to believe, but sixteen years have passed since Rosson Crow’s debut at the New York gallery Canada, which announced the recently minted twenty-two-year-old BFA as a precociously talented painter. Within just a few years, she would complete an MFA at Yale University and go on to have solo exhibitions at blue-chip galleries in Paris, Los Angeles, and London before mounting a major solo show in New York (her final until recently) in 2010 with Deitch Projects during the last days of Jeffrey Deitch’s first space in SoHo. By then, Crow had developed a style in which some detected an incongruously

  • Jacolby Satterwhite

    Jacolby Satterwhite’s kaleidoscopically immoderate show at Pioneer Works was built from a million little things that ultimately boiled down to a couple of big things. The exhibition was a trippy two-way cathexis, its parallel rituals of memorialization and individuation routed through an exuberant array of artistic strategies. Though “You’re at home,” as the extravaganza was called, was physically set within the vast expanse of this Brooklyn space, it felt everywhere and nowhere, at once brimmingly available and elusively decentered. Much of this effect was due to the nature of the project,

  • Joe Massey

    In his essay for the catalogue accompanying Lynne Cooke’s recent exhibition “Outliers and American Vanguard Art” at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the scholar Darby English unpacks the complicated relationship between the avant-garde and the work of self-taught makers. “Outsider art,” he writes, “has served modernist culture as a bastion of artlike activity symbolic of urges still more anarchic than the vanguard’s best revolutionary impulses.” Whatever their material conditions, style, or content, these expressions vibrate with difference, and this otherness clearly rhymed in

  • Mrinalini Mukherjee

    The retrospective at the Met Breuer of the late Indian sculptor Mrinalini Mukherjee (1949–2015) was also the first solo presentation of her art in the United States. Aptly titled “Phenomenal Nature,” the show—featuring nearly sixty objects, including her signature fiber sculptures and works in ceramic and bronze produced during the latter part of her career—was an overdue introduction to a formally audacious and technically exquisite oeuvre that defies easy art-historical and ethnographic classification. Although her engagement with textiles came in the wake of related midcentury investigations

  • Harry Dodge

    Poised in a sweet spot between ugly and beautiful, kind of dumb and rather brilliant, Harry Dodge’s dense, idea-rich show at Callicoon Fine Arts proposed incongruity and indeterminacy as a tonic for worn-out subjectivities. “User” was Dodge’s first exhibition with the gallery and included a range of formats typically deployed by the artist: sculptural bricolage for the tabletop or floor; lo-fi video in the service of hi-fi philosophical queries; and works on paper, especially his Raymond Pettibon in the Land of Ooo–style drawings, which often contain wry, heady commentary by sentient inanimate

  • Isaac Julien

    “It seems to us next to impossible for white men to take likenesses of black men, without most grossly exaggerating their distinctive features,” Frederick Douglass wrote in 1849. “And the reason is obvious. Artists, like all other white persons, have adopted a theory respecting the distinctive features of Negro physiognomy.” Douglass, an escaped slave turned abolitionist writer and orator, understood all too well how the racist image-repertoire of white America structured its relationship with its black citizens, and the ways in which the literal dehumanization of people of color not only impelled

  • Luke Stettner

    Rich in damaged detail, formally austere, and affecting in often unpredictable ways, Luke Stettner’s exhibition at Kate Werble Gallery demonstrated both the potential and the limitations of language as a conjurer of personal and historical memory. The show’s stuttering title, “ri ve rr hy me sw it hb lo od,” sent an oblique signal about its organizing principles: incompleteness, misprision, false starts, and missed connections. Perhaps best seen as a kind of fraught, makeshift whole rather than a series of discrete works, the project argued that obliqueness should be understood as the default

  • Jane Dickson

    In 1978, the Chicago-born painter Jane Dickson was a few years out of college and looking for a job in New York. She answered a newspaper ad for artists “willing to learn computers,” and soon found herself on the night shift, designing animations for the first digital light board in Manhattan’s Times Square. Although she disdained what she called the “commercial propaganda” being broadcast on the Spectacolor screen, Dickson did manage to make the display work in her favor. First, she talked her boss into letting her commandeer it briefly to advertise the “Times Square Show,” the legendary 1980

  • Banks Violette

    When he effectively withdrew from the art world more than half a decade ago, Banks Violette left behind a pair of entwined legacies: as the prolific creator of persuasively ominous sculptures, paintings, and installations, and as a classic cautionary tale for early success and its excesses. His glamorously dark work of the early 2000s, which gave the then-trending thread of abjection an infusion of black-metal mordancy, was icy and slickly sullen. Meanwhile, his oft-recounted personal history—he was a richly tatted high-school dropout who’d kicked a meth habit, earned a studio-art MFA at


    In a 1988 interview, Bruce Nauman expressed his sculptural interest in negative space by quoting a statement he attributed to Willem de Kooning: “When you paint a chair, you should paint the space between the rungs, not the chair itself.” Over the past hundred-odd years, artists have sought to recalibrate the balance between the traditional foundations of sculptural forms—mass and volume, the body—and the spaces they occupy and thereby produce. This sprawling exhibition argues that such reconsiderations have been fundamental to the trajectory of sculptural

  • Hannes Schmid

    The seventy-two-year-old Swiss artist Hannes Schmid—the subject of a compact, fascinating show at Mitchell Algus Gallery—is not a household name, but he can lay claim to a pair of intriguing distinctions in the postwar-image canon. First, he was among a select group of commercial photographers responsible for the pictures of handsomely weather-beaten cowboys in wide-open spaces in the iconic Marlboro Man ads, a campaign that turned a languishing brand originally pitched to women into the echt embodiment of consumerist masculinity and, not coincidentally, the best-selling cigarette in

  • Fred Wilson

    Intelligent, expansive, and elegantly trenchant, Fred Wilson’s exhibition at Pace was a clarion announcement of conceptual sophistication during the dog days of the summer gallery season. “Afro Kismet,” a sprawling collection of objects, images, paintings, and text, was shown in New York after being presented in slightly different forms at both the 2017 Istanbul Biennial (where it originated) and Pace’s London outpost earlier this year. The innovative strategies of research-based reappropriation and museological critique that Wilson employed in “Mining the Museum”—his landmark 1992 intervention

  • Peter Roehr

    A fascinating—and, at least as far as the conventional canon goes, mostly missing—link between Pop art and Minimalism, Peter Roehr’s work identified a vein of astringent poetry in the image world of an emergent global consumer culture. An exhibition at Ortuzar Projects provided a bracing overview of the five-year career of the German Conceptualist, who died of cancer in 1968, only weeks before his twenty-fourth birthday. Focused on his rigorously ordered photomontages, and featuring a revelatory suite of film montages, the show presented a practice very much in dialogue with the dominant conceptual


    Five years after its previous iteration, America’s oldest international contemporary art survey—inaugurated in 1896 by industrialist Andrew Carnegie to acquire, as he put it, “the old masters of tomorrow”—opens its fifty-seventh edition, this time under the curatorship of the innovative Ingrid Schaffner. Organized in collaboration with a group of five international curatorial “companions,” who traveled with Schaffner, a Pittsburgh native, to far-flung locales, the show was conceived as a sprawling, multivocal research project. It features thirty-two artists and


    Across the past two decades, the provocatively ecumenical Italian-born, London-based artist Enrico David has forged a singular practice that proceeds from drawing to a dizzying array of other media. The human body is almost always present—whether considered in works on paper, paintings, tapestries, installations, or the difficult-to-pigeonhole sculptures for which the artist is perhaps best known—but his figural forms inevitably gesture as much to the psychological as to the corporeal. This major survey will include some fifty works showcasing both David’s mastery of