Jeffrey Kastner

  • Juergen Teller

    Although Juergen Teller’s recent show at Lehmann Maupin (his fifth solo there) was billed as a project “blurring the distinction between his commercial and non-commercial work,” for the photographer it’s essentially a distinction without a difference. His practice moves with lucrative ease between the two worlds—in the pages of Vogue or W one day and on the walls of the Fondation Cartier or Tate Modern the next. Teller has made a tidy career selling precious things without appearing to be selling them (is it any wonder he’s found a home in the contemporary art world?) and does it so nimbly that

  • Laurel Nakadate

    For viewers who have struggled to untangle the wicked snarl of contradictions that animate Laurel Nakadate’s provocative and polarizing oeuvre, the artist’s recent show—her debut at Tonkonow and her first solo exhibition in New York since 2006—suggested one possible solution. A number of the works in “Fever Dreams at the Crystal Motel” are meant, according to their titles, to be thought of as “exorcisms.” Incongruous ecclesiastical overtones aside, this notion of a battle with tormenting spirits, taking place along a continuum from the ecstatic to the psychotic, does provide a useful way to

  • Bruce Nauman at the 53rd Venice Biennale

    “BRUCE NAUMAN: TOPOLOGICAL GARDENS,” the title of the exhibition organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the United States pavilion at this year’s Fifty-third Venice Biennale, may at first seem incongruous. Why use a mathematical term in connection with an artist famous for focusing on language and the body? Yet topology—a field of math that, as the museum puts it, “examines the continuity of space amid changing conditions”—does turn out to be slyly apropos. Already invoked by critics to describe post-Minimalism’s torqued and twisted forms, here it suggests a way of understanding not

  • “Dreamtime”

    Nineteen international artists were invited to execute site-specific projects conceived for the Mas d’Azil cave complex in the Ariège region of the French Midi-Pyrénées and to exhibit work recently made while in residence at the nearby Caza d’Oro.

    Channeling the prehistoric, contemporary art goes subterranean with this unique partnership between an archaeological park, a residency program, and an exhibition space. Nineteen international artists (including David Altmejd, Miquel Barceló, Mark Dion, and Xavier Veilhan) were invited to execute site-specific projects conceived for the Mas d’Azil cave complex in the Ariège region of the French Midi-Pyrénées and to exhibit work recently made while in residence at the nearby Caza d’Oro. The exhibition will be split between the park and the Toulouse exhibition space Les Abattoirs—the latter (on

  • “Matthew Buckingham: Time Proxies”

    This first comprehensive museum overview of Matthew Buckingham’s work will survey the New York–based conceptualist’s nuanced and erudite investigations of time and memory. Comprising sculpture, film and video projection, photography, and sound, the exhibition will present a broad selection of work.

    This first comprehensive museum overview of Matthew Buckingham’s work will survey the New York–based conceptualist’s nuanced and erudite investigations of time and memory. Always evocatively oblique and deeply informed by scientific and historical study, Buckingham’s practice transitions readily among media—a quality this show will take particular advantage of. Comprising sculpture, film and video projection, photography, and sound, the exhibition will present a broad selection of work, including Celeritas, 2009, a consideration of the limits of our temporal perception from

  • Michaël Borremans

    Welling up over and over in the sepulchral chamber carved out for it from David Zwirner’s cavernous Chelsea multiplex, Michaël Borremans’s looped film The Storm, 2006, is poised—like the concise, affecting show it fronted—at the extremities of both visibility and logic. Just over a minute long and projected to cinematic scale on a wall of the blacked-out space, the film is anything but tempestuous. Instead it’s all stillness, pure mood and palette: With a static gaze the camera blinks drowsily between light and darkness, eyeing three men sitting impassively in a corner, their black skin and

  • Lothar Baumgarten

    A long hallway separated the two primary elements of Lothar Baumgarten’s recent show at Marian Goodman, suggesting the distance between the locales of the projects—one focused on the South American rain forest, the other on the Hudson River Valley north of New York City—as well as the contrast in approaches (soundless imagery for the former, imageless sound for the latter) to what turned out to be congruent conceptual goals, namely an investigation of how “knowledge” of a given place is constructed.

    The exhibition demanded real commitment from viewers, with the works unfolding over hours rather

  • Matthew Day Jackson

    Any exhibition that name-checks Jorge Luis Borges while explicitly quoting a list of artists including Goya, Bierstadt, Brancusi, Buckminster Fuller, Bruce Nauman, and Charles Ray would seem all but fated to read as a hopelessly derivative muddle. Yet Matthew Day Jackson’s recent project rarely felt like simple epigonism. (And make no mistake: While it was split into two independently titled shows, each in its own Chelsea gallery, this was unmistakably one project.) In fact, it rarely felt like simple anything—rummaging through the histories of culture and society, looking for fungible commodities

  • Tetsumi Kudo

    This tantalizing introduction to the work of Tetsumi Kudo, via twenty-five of his wildly idiosyncratic and often strenuously lurid multimedia sculptures, constituted the first gallery show in the United States devoted to the late Japanese artist. It was also intended to do some advance work for his major retrospective, which opened last month at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, by demonstrating that Kudo—little known beyond his native country and his adopted home of France, where he lived from the early 1960s until the late 1980s—was, as the Rosen show’s essayist and curator Joshua Mack

  • Robert Therrien

    The difference between the colossal and the merely big is more than just a matter of size. Take Robert Therrien’s recent show at Gagosian: Like much of the Los Angeles–based artist’s sculptural work over the past decade and a half, the bulk of the objects installed in the cavernous space (here reconfigured to roughly half its regular dimensions) painstakingly reimagine a selection of quotidian objects at outlandishly exaggerated scales. Yet the fact that most everything shown here is large does not necessarily mean that everything is larger than life, and the reasons for this disparity suggest

  • “Badlands: New Horizons in Landscape”

    Taking its title—and some of its conceptual ambience—from both the bleak terrain of the high plains and Terrence Malick's magisterial film of doomed lovers on the run there, “Badlands” casts an anxious eye on a natural landscape where beauty and brutality walk hand in hand.

    Taking its title—and some of its conceptual ambience—from both the bleak terrain of the high plains and Terrence Malick's magisterial film of doomed lovers on the run there, “Badlands” casts an anxious eye on a natural landscape where beauty and brutality walk hand in hand. The exhibition promises a range of approaches to our contemporary environs, from the aesthetic to the historical to the remediative, in work by sixteen artists and groups—including Boyle Family, Alexis Rockman, Melissa Brown, and Marine Hugonnier—as well as five commissions by the likes of the Center

  • Jeff Koons

    The clinically poetic work that introduced Jeff Koons to the art world in 1980 initially might have seemed the product of some isolated small-appliance cargo cultist.

    The clinically poetic work that introduced Jeff Koons to the art world in 1980 initially might have seemed the product of some isolated small-appliance cargo cultist. But the artist actually hailed from Pennsylvania and had his formative moment in the American Midwest in the mid-1970s, when, as a student of bold iconoclasts like Ed Paschke and Jim Nutt at the Art Institute of Chicago, he began to synthesize his highly idiosyncratic form of pop-cultural bricolage. In the decade and a half since his last museum survey, Koons has become an art-world brand in a way few

  • the future of Spiral Jetty

    Two dilapidated shacks looked over a tired group of oil rigs. A series of seeps of heavy black oil more like asphalt occur just south of Rozel Point. For forty or more years people have tried to get oil out of this natural tar pool. Pumps coated with black stickiness rusted in the corrosive salt air. A hut mounted on pilings could have been the habitation of “the missing link.” A great pleasure arose from seeing all those incoherent structures. This site gave evidence of a succession of man-made systems mired in abandoned hopes.

    About one mile north of the oil seeps I selected my site. —Robert

  • Ana Mendieta and Hans Breder

    A salutary foray into the history of postwar performance art and video, this pairing of work by Ana Mendieta and Hans Breder conjured an informative, if somewhat uneasy, reunion between the late, celebrated Cuban-born artist and her former professor, longtime romantic partner, and frequent collaborator. The work on view—mostly photographs but also films and videos made by the two during the course of a relationship that spanned the 1970s—did share the same central fascination: the female body, specifically Mendieta’s. But the dramatic distinctions between the two artists’ tone and approach, and

  • Alan Saret

    The art world loves lost-and-found stories, tales of marginalized mavericks whose good work is later rehabilitated by enterprising curators on the prowl for underappreciated achievements. The recent exhibition of Alan Saret’s “Gang Drawings,” 1967–2003—the first solo show by the pioneering SoHo “anti-form” artist in over seventeen years, featuring works on paper made between 1967 and 2003 with “ganged” handfuls of colored pencils—only dipped into a single precinct of a much broader career, but nevertheless did a service by reintroducing one intriguing insider-turned-outsider.

    In the late 1960s,

  • “Paul Chan: The 7 Lights”

    The upward trajectory of Paul Chan’s career should hearten anyone who frets over the fate of passionate, politically committed art in these Bush-era end-times. Barely a half decade into a wildly promising practice, Chan is producing nuanced work—in film and video, animation, text, drawing, and performance—that seems to deepen with each showing. This major exhibition is anchored by the US premiere of the artist’s complete Creation-based shadow play, “The 7 Lights,” the first installment of which debuted at the ICA Boston in 2005. With its unnervingly stately

  • OPENINGS: DIRK STEWEN

    When choosing a title for his first solo exhibition outside his native Germany, held in the summer of 2006 at New York’s Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Hamburg-based artist Dirk Stewen selected a literary fragment that evoked both the melancholy psychogeography of his host city and the refined poetic instincts of his conceptual program. The phrase he settled on, “Even in its blackness, the sky did not rest,” appears near the end of City of Glass, the first book in Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy. In the tale, the protagonist, an accidental gumshoe named Daniel Quinn, finds himself in an Upper East Side

  • assume vivid astro focus

    Insinuating its groovy self into every conceivable nook and cranny of the gallery, the most recent manifestation of assume vivid astro focus—the zany lowercase nom de jeu of Brazilian artist/impresario Eli Sudbrack, as well as the moniker for the shifting cohort of artists and performers with whom he collaborates in his extravagantly heterogeneous practice—once again confirmed the group’s special affinity for the surface of things.

    Avaf’s methodology revolves around deconstructing a certain ravey psychedelic milieu and then recombining its stylistic and temperamental elements in an attempt to

  • James Turrell

    With an atmosphere that was equal parts chapel and fun house, an exhibition of recent works by James Turrell demonstrated not only the obvious achievements but also the nagging limitations of the artist’s practice. Seventeen pieces from the last several years represented two primary impulses pursued by Turrell across his distinguished career-long engagement with light: deploying it, on the one hand, as a paradoxically material presence designed to draw our perceptual attention outward, toward the spectral volumetric “objects” it creates, and, on the other, as a dematerialized emanation designed

  • Peter Piller

    A quietly persuasive lesson in how destabilizing—and enriching—the effects of experiments with accumulation and strategic recontextualization can be on the function and meaning of images, the absorbing New York solo debut of German Conceptualist Peter Piller demonstrated once again the almost inexhaustible latent potential for menace, humor, or pathos that resides within even the most colorless visual artifacts.

    Piller brings a rich set of source materials to his enterprise. During a stint at an advertising agency, where his job was to sort through regional German newspapers to verify that the