Joanna Fiduccia

  • interviews June 08, 2015

    Christine Rebet

    Christine Rebet is an artist who has worked across diverse media and with traditional animation for over ten years. Her debut solo gallery exhibition in New York, “Paysage Fautif,” features drawings made in Haiti as well as a new hand-drawn film, all of which she discusses below. The show is on view at Bureau until June 14, 2015.

    I’VE BEEN MAKING ANIMATIONS since 2002, when I received a grant to study with a team of DDR-era animators in Berlin. There, I learned how to animate in 35 mm, and I have stayed faithful to this traditional technique, even as I’ve watched the medium obsolesce. I decided

  • picks May 15, 2015

    Pam Lins

    To reach the main gallery of Pam Lins’s “Model Model Model,” the viewer must first pass through a gauntlet of hand-built ceramic phones, calling to mind less the art-historical corridor of Pop art than the hall of a community center. Along with their pedestals, priority mail boxes sloshed with paint, the works are as homely and economical as the notion of a model itself: dummy, replica, didactic—in short, not quite sculpture. Beyond the telephones, five tables built from Enzo Mari’s 1974 open-source designs host some thirty earthenware constructions, which Lins has rendered from photographs of

  • picks March 27, 2015

    Victor Man

    Light them as you will; Victor Man’s nocturnal paintings insist on their place in the long, dark corridor of art history. Their subjects emerge from the gloaming, buoyed by a bright tunic or foulard—or a gloss of Picasso, Balthus, or Mantegna—that hovers, almost protectively, over his tenderly rendered models. Yet Man is no timeless painter. His citations follow a historical dialogue between painting and photography, with precedents from Manet to Richter, here extended discerningly into our century. In Grafting/or Lermontov Dansant Come [sic] Saint Sebastien, 2014, the “double exposure” of a

  • picks August 25, 2014

    Aaron Curry

    The Day-Glo figures gamboling through Aaron Curry’s retrospective “Bad Brain” seem like an answer to Wallace Stevens’s lament for modern imagination, written exactly a century ago. For the poet of “Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock,” all marvelous fancies have abandoned the middle-class mind, haunted henceforth only by the soberest ghosts.

    Curry's exhibition is haunted, too, but with the exuberant nightgowns that Stevens was missing: “purple with green rings/ or green with yellow rings/ or yellow with blue rings.../ with socks of lace/ and beaded ceintures” — or, say, Picasso with H.C. Westerman,

  • picks June 04, 2014

    Ry Rocklen

    One can spy the first objects in this exhibition from the street: a beanbag chair and a marble table decked with an elaborate floral arrangement, like the collision of a condominium lobby and a basement rec room. Only, the marble is laminate, and the struts holding it aloft are not polished brass, but cheap trophy components, while the beanbag, for its part, has been carefully, even lovingly tiled—a mosaic technique that Rocklen has plied in the past on a gamut of domestic cast-offs, from old mattresses to ratty rugs.

    In the main space of the gallery, this disposition to preserve domestic life

  • picks June 02, 2014

    Sanya Kantarovsky

    You can leave your antihistamines at the door. “Allergies,” the title of Sanya Kantarovsky’s first solo exhibition in New York, might best be taken like the old pharmakon: an irritant in the largely bloodless body of contemporary painting that acts, marvelously, as a philter. The eighteen works here are huge in ambition and gratification. Kantarovsky’s work was formerly mood driven, vignettes centered around a dandy in states of creative duress. In these recent paintings, the artist has plunged headfirst into the headiest relations: power struggles between genders and classes, and art-historical

  • picks December 01, 2013

    Jessica Mein

    When São Paulo’s ban on outdoor advertising went into effect in 2007, it left the city’s billboards looking something like Jessica Mein’s paintings: sun-blanched color fields with the scaffolds showing through, like perspective grids held up to the sky. In Mein’s case, the scaffolds are canvas stretchers, exposed not by progressive urban policy but by X-Acto knives and unthreaded hemp. The urgency of these destructive gestures is, at first blush, no clearer in Mein’s work than in any other contemporary canvas-vandal, punishing a medium without caring to indict it for anything in particular. Yet

  • picks January 04, 2013

    Andra Ursuta

    For Friedrich Schiller, our aesthetic accomplishments owe themselves to the Spieltrieb, or “play drive”: the expenditure of energy in an unimpeded outpouring of imagination. Romanian-born Andra Ursuta, an artist who plumbs bleak and benighted notions about her birthplace, might seem like the last person to evoke Schilleresque playtime in her acerbic mode of cultural anthropology–cum-sculpture. Yet a certain kind of diversion nonetheless has its day in her exhibition “Mothers, Let Your Daughters Out into the Street.” A diminutive model of a WWII bunker squats in the foyer. Cast in concrete from

  • picks April 06, 2011

    Steve Roden

    Don’t be deceived by the provinciality implied in “stone’s throw,” the title of Steve Roden’s latest exhibition—the imaginative routes in his work are as elaborate as his paintings. Bundles of boldly dappled lines congregate in murky, tectonic grounds, or hover atop motifs that stream over the canvas like so much exuberant bunting. Roden has had years of practice cultivating the impression of spontaneity in his works, but in fact his output derives from complex transductions of texts or musical scores into inscrutable visual code, with pieces here spanning collage, drawing, painting, sculpture,

  • picks November 28, 2010

    Carol Bove, Blinky Palermo, Renwick Gallery group exhibitions

    On a visit to Carol Bove’s exhibition at Kimmerich in New York last March, the gallery assistant kindly asked me to refrain from blowing on the peacock feathers. Apparently, a number of visitors had been so disarmed by Bove’s exquisite compositions that they had committed surprising lapses in decorum, and the gallery had begun preemptively beseeching the rest of us to control ourselves. Truth be told, Bove’s sumptuous mantles of feathers on canvases were enticing. In this show, arrangements of organic, ornamental, and industrial materials participated in a familiar conversation about display,

  • Goldin+Senneby

    This exhibition, “The Decapitation of Money,” marked the latest installment of a project titled “Looking for Headless,” initiated three years ago by the Swedish artists Simon Goldin and Jakob Senneby. Actually, it comprised the epilogue, though one should not thereby assume that “Looking for Headless”—an investigation of the offshore corporation Headless Ltd and its possible cloak-and-dagger correspondence with Georges Bataille’s secret society Acéphale (from a-cephalus, or “headless”), told in part through a novel (in addition to a blog, lectures, interviews, and even rumor)—is complete. For,

  • Gérard Gasiorowski

    Recommencer. Commencer de nouveau la peinture” (Starting Again: Starting the Painting Again) surveyed the career of French painter Gérard Gasiorowski (1930–1986), who began his career as a successful Photorealist in the mid-1960s and then rebelled, violently, and spent the following two decades producing abstract paintings, naive acrylic sketches, syrupy kitsch, and modest painted objects. In the atrium, where the exhibition began, curators Frédéric Bonnet and Éric Mangion introduced their strategy, an achronological presentation of the work that sought to patch through alternative narratives

  • picks June 08, 2010

    Alisha Kerlin

    Alisha Kerlin paints failed games of solitaire, but it would be a disservice to take that allegory of painting-as-stalemate at its word. Judging by her lustrous, lively palette, there is more to her position than just an admission of failure. A trio of paintings in this exhibition depict playing cards disposed in their terminal positions over a ground of atmospheric color—brassy ocher, periwinkle, and rose-amber, as luminous and conflicted as a Turner sky. The cards themselves come in an array of greasy hues, and though their arrangement and rendering are disheveled, Kerlin’s active brushwork

  • picks May 04, 2010

    Meredith James

    Meredith James’s first solo exhibition at this gallery is titled “Espalier,” which nicely captures the artist’s elaborate conceptual frameworks and her work’s natural charm. This rare combination might account for why James’s material investigations—which often consist of hermetic, media-based puzzles—seem so oxygenated. To make Six (all works 2010), for instance, James filmed the eponymous subway train through a small hole, zooming through this aperture as the train ground its way through Grand Central Station, and then refilmed the footage while it was projected onto a TV set that simultaneously

  • “Les Sculptures meurent aussi”

    The third and last in a cycle of exhibitions curated by Lorenzo Benedetti at the Kunsthalle Mulhouse, “Les Sculptures meurent aussi” (Sculptures Also Die) looked like a primer on recent European sculpture, however predicated on such sculpture’s extinction. A twist on the opening lines from Chris Marker and Alain Resnais’s 1953 film of the same name—“When men die, they enter into history; when statues die, they enter into art”—Benedetti’s title evoked a familiar endgame while suggesting that there might be a more concrete, or at least pithier, solution: Maybe dead sculptures enter purgatory, a

  • picks April 20, 2010

    Josh Kline and Anicka Yi

    Capping off (and gamely repudiating) a series of exhibitions at 179 Canal featuring collaborations, Josh Kline and Anicka Yi’s exhibition “Loveless Marriages” playfully suggests the kind of irreconcilable differences that make good creative bonds go bad. Although Yi and Kline work together in the collective Circular File, they’ve staged a split for the purposes of this show, dividing the space down the middle to feature work from their individual practices. On one side, Kline’s treacly mural of a blue sky with puffy white clouds foregrounds computer workstations, slathered with paint in the (

  • picks April 14, 2010

    Simon Faithfull and Christoph Keller

    A Plexiglas panel, installed above the entrance to the Crac Alsace, reads, “Je haïs les voyages et les explorateurs” (I hate traveling and explorers)—the first line from Claude Lévi-Strauss’s Tristes tropiques (1955), as well as German artist Christoph Keller’s apparent riposte to the exhibition title. A survey of works by Keller and English artist Simon Faithfull, “Voyages extraordinaires” (Extraordinary Voyages) cultivates this kind of contrariness against a background of Jules Vernian escapades. Faithfull’s beguiling film OºOO Navigation, 2008, captures the artist as he walks the length of

  • Armando Andrade Tudela

    The stereograph was first popularized in the mid-nineteenth century as a device for “parlor travel,” a way to see the world’s exotic sites in 3-D from the comfort of one’s home. Figuratively speaking, however, stereoscopy—the juxtaposition of two perspectives that, viewed together, create an impression of depth—has always been the domain of the émigré, a class to which the Peruvian-born, Berlin- and St. Etienne–based artist Armando Andrade Tudela belongs. His exhibition at the frac Bourgogne came equipped with room-size View-Masters—again, figuratively speaking: two ad hoc walls staggered in

  • picks March 28, 2010

    “Solace”

    The exhibition “Solace” could be one of two things: a reflection of the timeless function of art, or a response to the perfect storm of global misfortune that has left us all in need of a little consolation. To judge by its punch-drunk side-programming—a big medley of maudlin and musical performances—the latter seems more likely. Yet the variety of sensibilities offered throughout, which shows real curatorial derring-do, suggests a far more general, and generous, reach.

    Curated by Severin Dünser, Christian Kobald, Emanuel Layr, Andreas Stadler, and Rita Vitorelli, the show presents a range of

  • film March 27, 2010

    Moving Picture

    IN 2000, American dance patron and philanthropist Anne Bass spotted a Cambodian teenager perform in a classical Khmer dance recital in Angkor. Impressed by his grace and charisma, Bass spirited the kid—Sokvannara “Sy” Sar, then sixteen years old—to Manhattan to study at the School of American Ballet. Thus begins Dancing Across Borders (2009), Bass’s documentary about Sar’s arduous progress and uneasy assimilation into the role nominated for him: a ballet prodigy, modeled after Rudolf Nureyev’s unconventional rise. (Nureyev, too, began his ballet training in his late teens.)

    Undeterred by frustrations