Jeffrey Kastner

  • Eleonore Koch, Private pier, abandoned, 1974, tempera on canvas, 35 × 45 3/4".

    Eleonore Koch

    A German-born Brazilian who developed her signature aesthetic while living in London for two decades, Eleonore Koch (1926–2018) is a vibrant outlier in the global history of postwar painting. Her enigmatically spare, jewel-toned canvases conjure a cosmopolitan network of artistic kinship, a way of thinking about objects in space that owes something to the depopulated metaphysical vistas of Giorgio de Chirico and the lambent stillness of Giorgio Morandi—but also to a certain strain of British Pop art that wends its way from Patrick Caulfield and David Hockney to Michael Craig-Martin—all set

  • Justin Sterling, Broken Windows, 2016–19, found windows, glass, caulk, expandable foam, live plants, soil, gravel, spray paint, plastic, dimensions variable.

    Justin Sterling

    The multivalent figure of the broken window—emblem of both thoughtless neglect and mindful disobedience, of a certain species of policing and righteous resistance to it—presided over “Orange Chapel,” Justin Sterling’s stirring solo show at Cathouse Proper in Brooklyn. Provocative and contemplative in equal measure, and shot through with rough melancholic beauty, the artist’s intervention into the Court Street space consisted of three sculptural scenarios placed around the gallery, whose six large windows had been replaced by his signature injured ones. Sterling first shatters and then reassembles

  • Serena Stevens, Kylie, 2019, oil on canvas, 72 × 90".

    Serena Stevens

    If the various isolative protocols necessitated by the recent lockdown have changed our relationship with the wider world, they have just as surely reshaped the ways we perceive and inhabit our own personal spaces. The altered rhythms of these pandemic days have made us suddenly aware of the heretofore unfamiliar: a pet’s midday routines, for instance, or a graceful slant of afternoon light that has always been present in our absence. These attentional shifts can have the effect of making captivating, and even profound, what had previously seemed like inconsequential minutiae. In the work of

  • Rachel Libeskind, What Happens in the Kitchen?, 2020, video, color, sound, 7 minutes 54 seconds.

    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, Density 1930s (Gevaert Gevaluxe Velours), 2019, four gelatin silver prints, each 8 1⁄2 × 6 1⁄2".

    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

  • View of “Maximilian Schubert,” 2020. Foreground: Stations, 2020. Background: Untitled (fracture), 2020.

    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, Plain Air, 2018, acrylic and paper on canvas, 40 × 60".

    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, Fear of Softness (No. 1) (detail), 2020, mixed media, 43 1⁄2 × 22 × 22".

    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, After the Rapture (Border Town), 2019, acrylic, spray paint, oil, enamel, and photo transfer on canvas, 8 × 12'.

    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, Blessed Avenue, 2018, disco balls, lights, potted plants, HD video (color, sound, 19 minutes 19 seconds). Installation view.

    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, Telling me where to bend, 1946, ink on paper, 11 × 8 1⁄2".

    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

  • View of “Mrinalini Mukherjee,” 2019. From left: Basanti, 1984; Yakshi, 1984; Pakshi, 1985; Rudra, 1982; Devi, 1982.

    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