Jeffrey Kastner

  • the Istanbul Biennial

    THE ORGANIZERS OF THE 8th International Istanbul Biennial could be forgiven for looking over their shoulder as the show’s opening approaches later this month. After all, the last two installments of the exhibition coincided with tragic circumstances—the 1999 show, curated by Paolo Colombo, debuted only a month after one of the most devastating earthquakes in Turkish history, while Yuko Hasegawa’s 2001 edition had the misfortune of kicking off just ten days after the World Trade Center attacks. Despite these unhappy coincidences, Istanbul has managed over the last decade and a half to successfully

  • John Snyder

    John Snyder transformed the studiously blank setting of his first solo museum show into a kind of funky chapel. Sporting a nave, aisles, and a transept, and dotted with nichelike shelves bearing vases full of fresh flowers, the painter’s mystic gallery-cum-basilica also included a soaring, barrel-vaulted apse dolled up like some apocryphal Victorian parlor. This idiosyncratic layout chosen by Snyder for his presentation—with formal origins in ancient Christian and secular architecture, cheerfully injected with a healthy dose of down-home kitsch—aptly symbolizes the various tensions he balances

  • Mel Chin

    Like the material Mel Chin employed in his recent works—mud and mahogany, olive wood and Hebron marble, dirt from a Minneapolis landfill and African grass—his conceptual perspective dances between the lyrical and the mundane, into a realm where the global and the personal dovetail. Marked by the complex symbolism viewers have come to expect from this multimedia conceptualist, Chin’s recent sculptures are sensual, romantic takes on geopolitical strife and cultural dissonance. Rather than adopt conventional historical perspectives, these works frame alternative views that are simultaneously lyrical