Jeffrey Kastner

  • Alex Da Corte, Hot Pie, 2018, neon, vinyl siding, laminate, plywood, epoxy clay, house paint, hardware, 72 x 79 x 5 3/4".

    Alex Da Corte

    Over the past dozen years, Alex Da Corte has developed a highly distinctive practice, one focused primarily on fashioning (and/or refashioning) overripe bits of commodity culture and then putting conceptual pressure on them until whatever uncanniness they contain starts leaking out. Da Corte is both a maker of boldly strange objects and a designer of the psychically disorienting immersive settings in which he presents them. He’s also crazily prolific: In the past half decade, he’s mounted some twenty solo shows featuring sculpture, video, and installations for which he created the lighting and

  • YINKA SHONIBARE MBE

    IN A 2005 INTERVIEW, British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE reflected on the questions around the fluid nature of identity—racial, national, cultural—that dominate his practice. “What I do is create a kind of mongrel,” he said. “In reality most people’s cultures have evolved out of this mongrelization, but people don’t acknowledge that.” The word may initially seem an inapt one for Shonibare’s sumptuous, baroquely elegant sculptures, videos, and installations, but it does conjure the fraught conditions of postcolonial identity, increasingly defined by discourses of globalization,

  • Survival Research Laboratories, Fanuc Robot Arm, 1992, steel, aluminum, HD television, Fanuc RT3 robot, electronics, dimensions variable.

    Survival Research Laboratories

    It was a brutally frigid Saturday afternoon in early January, but a few hundred people were nevertheless gathered on a blocked-off stretch of West Twenty-Fifth Street in New York’s Chelsea. They were huddled against the cold in front of Marlborough Contemporary’s story-high garage door like a class at recess ringing a pair of schoolyard combatants, their focus on a gaggle of jerry-rigged machines that had been let loose to brawl between the dirty curbside snowbanks. The contraptions—including a tall wheeled carriage with a swinging articulated arm that terminated in a grasping claw and a

  • Gerard Byrne, In Our Time, 2017, 4K video, color, sound, indefinite duration.

    Gerard Byrne

    Gerard Byrne’s brilliantly imagined and rendered film In Our Time proceeds from a concept that is, in its basic shape, so simple and straightforward that it almost eludes description. Set in a commercial radio station, the film—originally commissioned for Skulptur Projekte Münster in Germany in 2017—focuses on a DJ with a graying goatee and a magnificently fugly cardigan performing his duties in a cozily cluttered control room: introducing pop songs, cuing commercials, reading news and traffic reports. Meanwhile, on the other side of a soundproof window, a few men and women fiddle with

  • Omer Fast, August, 2016, 3-D digital video, color, sound, 15 minutes 30 seconds.

    Omer Fast

    In the autumn of 2016, Omer Fast had a solo exhibition in his adopted hometown of Berlin. Mounted by the Martin-Gropius-Bau, the show included a number of the elegantly perplexing, serious-minded video and film works the artist has made across his fifteen-year practice, including his newest, August, 2016, an impressionistic elegy for the early-twentieth-century German portrait photographer August Sander. In something of a departure for Fast, the show also featured a series of spatial interventions, with three of the show’s seven works set in installation environments meant to simulate transitional

  • Rometti Costales, Antonin Atónito, 2015, andesite on ink-jet print, 17 1/2 × 11 5/8 × 3 3/8". From “Artaud 1936.”

    “Artaud 1936”

    “I came to Mexico to look for a new idea of man,” wrote Antonin Artaud in the summer of 1936, a few months into his year-and-a-half-long sojourn in the Americas. Financially strapped and strung out, the poète maudit had arrived from Paris on a grant; while in the country, he wrote prolifically, gave lectures, and lived for a time in the mountains with the Tarahumara, witnessing their rituals and experimenting with peyote. As was the case for so much of his short life, Artaud’s time in Mexico was framed by his search for ecstatic authenticity and revolutionary potentiality.

  • Bernadette Mayer, Memory (detail), 1971, approx. 1,100 wall-mounted C-prints, dimensions variable.

    Bernadette Mayer

    A self-described “emotional science project,” Bernadette Mayer’s Memory—1,100-odd photographs made by shooting a thirty-six-exposure roll of 35-mm color slide film on each of the thirty-one days of July 1971, accompanied by six-plus hours of diaristic narration that the artist later revised into a book—is one of those conceptual pieces from the 1960s and ’70s that have been better known as anecdote than as physical fact. The work was first shown in its entirety in February 1972 at Holly Solomon’s 98 Greene Street space and has been re-created in various partial arrangements over the

  • Tom Sachs, The Cabinet, 2014, mixed media, 8' x 13' x 11 1/2".

    Tom Sachs

    Predictably winking but at times also unexpectedly personal and even wistful, Tom Sachs’s recent solo show was figured as a kind of material autobiography: a trip down an artistic memory lane paved with a thousand different things, each subsumed within the systematizing logic of his famously relentless, tongue-in-cheek didacticism. The exhibition showcased the ways his artistic persona can both charm and chafe—it was maniacally overstuffed with objects and language, rich in obsessive-compulsive tics, and marked by a cultivated mash-up of gravitas and juvenilia, of amiable self-deprecation

  • View of “Michel Houellebecq: French Bashing,” 2017, Venus, New York.

    Michel Houellebecq

    THE MAP AND THE TERRITORY, Michel Houellebecq’s Prix Goncourt–winning 2010 novel, takes its epigraph from the fifteenth-century nobleman and poet Charles d’Orléans: “The world is weary of me, / And I am weary of it.” The sentiment will be instantly familiar to anyone acquainted with the celebrated, controversial French author’s work, which teems with an apparently inexhaustible array of sad sacks and misanthropes—the damaged, the soul-sick, the emotionally stunted. Among other things, The Map and the Territory is the story of an artist and a satire of a particular kind of cosmopolitan

  • “MARK DION: MISADVENTURES OF A 21ST-CENTURY NATURALIST”

    Although the title of Dion’s first major US museum survey might imply a certain waywardness, in fact few artists can match the concentrated single-mindedness of his intrepid, polymorphously curious three-decade-long practice. Yes, Dion’s hands-on critiques of the protocols of cultural institutions—assays of the ideologies that shape collection and display, just as they shape our larger senses of history, value, and meaning—are often framed within a wry mode of address that would seem to subordinate the artist to the eclecticisms

  • Mona Hatoum, Cells (detail), 2014, zinc-plated steel, glass, 54 × 48 × 25".

    “MONA HATOUM: TERRA INFIRMA”

    Mona Hatoum has spent her nearly forty-year career sharpening the edges of the everyday. The London- and Berlin-based artist was a signal figure in the turn toward a conception of both the bodily and the domestic as sites of political complexity and psychic menace that stretched across the 1980s and 1990s; this exhibition will be her first major museum survey in the US in two decades, showcasing some thirty sculptures and installations, including such signature works as the electrified household space of Homebound, 2000. In recognition of the often uncanny estrangements

  • Allan D’Arcangelo, Landscape, 1976–77, acrylic and graphite on canvas, 54 1/8 × 60 1/4".

    Allan D’Arcangelo

    It’s no great trick to locate signs of American culture in Allan D’Arcangelo’s work. The paintings on which he made his reputation in the 1960s and ’70s are, of course, filled with them: road signs sleekly abstracted into directional tangles, advertising logos floating with uncanny serenity along the dark edges of empty highways. But even as D’Arcangelo, who died in 1998 at the age of sixty-eight, began to move away from these early signature motifs, he continued to conjure a kind of echt American landscape, producing enigmatic environments populated with elegantly stripped-down infrastructural