Joanna Fiduccia

  • Guillaume Leblon

    Guillaume Leblon’s art is in transition, but it doesn’t show the growing pains that render the phrase “in transition” a charitable way to disparage unsuccessful new work. Whatever his newest sculptures have lost in elegance they have gained in texture and expansiveness. Indeed, his exhibition “Réplique de la chose absente” (Replica of the Absent Thing) seemed to recast maturation itself as lush, autumnal decay rather than patchy springtime blossoming and, as a result, his transition looked altogether melancholic and profound.

    If his earlier work was characterized by an almost phlegmatic engagement

  • Jochen Lempert

    Capturing a moment and capturing a specimen are not so very different: Both acts take an acute eye and some cunning; and in either case there’s a chance you may kill what you mean to preserve. If the flora and fauna in Jochen Lempert’s photographs escape such a fate, it is because he photographs nature without making nature photographs—no small achievement for a photographer who depicts wildlife in abundance, from cormorants and gulls to sponges, flies, and plankton, who shows us both the North Sea and the full moon. “Field Work,” a remarkable body of recent photographs by the German artist (

  • Latifa Echakhch

    So much is in a name—particularly when that name happens to sound like Latifa Echakhch’s in a country like France, still reeling from postcolonial reckoning. “Pendant que les champs brûlent Part 2” (While the Fields Burn Part 2) was Echakhch’s second solo exhibition at Kamel Mennour and part of an attempt to define her name against the clichés associated with it, especially the aesthetic cliché that non-Western artists produce only sumptuous, ornamental art. The constant of both shows, the appreciable déjà vu that united two otherwise distinct propositions, was the installation A chaque stencil

  • “HF|RG”

    Rarely has a title’s punctuation been so warranted as the vertical slash cleaving the initials in this double billing, “HF|RG”: simultaneously soldering and severing the names and careers of Harun Farocki and Rodney Graham. Both artists were born in the 1940s and work with the moving image, but their similarities ostensibly end there. In this joint retrospective, Farocki is the doyen of reticulated montage and cracker of documentary codes, while Graham is the deadpan jack of many trades, whose dry wit pricks the profligate beauty of his installations. Where Farocki is systematic, Graham is

  • Nam June Paik, Robot: The Baseball Player, 1989, mixed media, 67 x 55 x 18".
    picks August 18, 2009

    Soudain l’Été Fluxus

    For a movement united around its own dispersal—from George Maciunas’s mail-order catalogs that marketed Fluxshop goods worldwide, to the more utopian distribution of artistic agency to anyone who could follow directions—Fluxus occasionally shows a great capacity for accumulation. “Soudain l’été Fluxus” (Suddenly, Fluxus Summer) takes stock of what the movement has amassed, consolidating a cornucopia of Fluxus works, museological in scope and fanatic in density. Conceived by Ben Vautier (who goes by his first name only), with help from Bernard Blistène, the exhibition draws on a confederacy of

  • Amy Sillman, Platypus, 2009, oil on canvas, 85 x 90 1/2".
    picks May 29, 2009

    Amy Sillman

    Over the past decade, Amy Sillman has built a reputation on a lively palette and bold chops, proceeding intrepidly into the twenty-first century without the common armor of irony. This year found her in Berlin on residency, where she had a breakthrough in mediatory if not painterly terms: To accompany new paintings and ink drawings exhibited in “zum Gegenstand,” Sillman produced a zine with images and excerpts drawn from such sources as David Joselit, Ad Reinhardt, and Francis Ponge, as well as a lucid and candid text by the artist and an additional section of notes and diagrams. The latter runs

  • Jack Goldstein, Untitled, 1999, vinyl, wood, metal, lacquer, 23 1/2 x 6 3/4".
    picks May 19, 2009

    Jack Goldstein

    Jack Goldstein’s second posthumous exhibition at this gallery spans thirty years of production and about as many conceptual touchstones, from his glyphic word totems to his objectified sound works (vinyl records in vitrines) to the dislocated imagery of spectacle that placed him among the bright stars of the Pictures Generation. Goldstein’s star faded faster than the rest, before flaring up in the several years prior to his death in 2003; however, as this show demonstrates, his preoccupations carried through the decades.

    In “Untitled,” a suite of sculptures from 1999, each work comprises a copy

  • Braco Dimitrijevic, Casual Passer-By I Met at 1:43 PM, Venice 1976.

    Braco Dimitrijevic

    “Louvre is my studio, street is my museum” runs the motto of Sarajevo-born, Paris-based Conceptualist Braco Dimitrijevic. The artist’s audacious interventions, which critique the univocal authority of cultural heritage, will be well represented in this retrospective, which offers nearly ninety works made since 1963.

    “Louvre is my studio, street is my museum” runs the motto of Sarajevo-born, Paris-based Conceptualist Braco Dimitrijevic, who for forty years has upended notions of masterpiece and genius. The artist’s audacious interventions, which critique the univocal authority of cultural heritage, will be well represented in this retrospective, which offers nearly ninety works made since 1963, including selections from two ongoing series: “The Casual Passer-By,” 1968–, photographic portraits of pedestrians on banners that drape magisterially over facades, and “Triptychos Post Historicus,”

  • Jimmie Durham

    Pierres rejetées . . .” (Rejected Stones . . .) surveyed the work made in the fourteen years since Jimmie Durham relocated to Europe—away, it would seem, from the immediate milieu of his American Indian identity. But like the character Nobody in Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man, 1995, the more Durham habituates himself to Europe, the more potent come to seem the tropes of this identity, a development probably owing to his increased renown. Any number of platitudes about the American Indian correspond with clichés about the artist: his reciprocal, mystical relationship to materials, his shamanistic

  • Julian Hoeber

    One problem with postmodernist pastiche might be that, like postmodernism itself, one can’t say for certain where it stops. With all things liable to fall into its ken, contemporary art sometimes resembles a no-holds-barred citational frenzy, where even pastiche itself is fair game. Julian Hoeber’s work might act as a barometer for this twenty-first-century license, referencing everything from Op to Pop to post-painterly abstraction. But Hoeber avers that he has simply arrived at a post-postmodernity, having “properly digested” postmodernism, “chewed it up and made some shit out of it.” Though

  • Jochen Lempert, Oiseaux-Vögel (Birds), 1997/2004, twelve silver-gelatin prints, 78 x 90 1/2" overall.
    picks April 20, 2009

    Jochen Lempert

    If any complaint can be levied against Jochen Lempert’s first solo survey outside Germany, “Field Work,” it would be that there is simply not enough work to compensate for his deficient exposure. For Lempert’s photographs of the natural world and its animal subjects are so ripe with prodigious, idiosyncratic beauty that their scarcity on the international scene can appear like an indictment of that scene, as much as testimony to all it overlooks. The artist’s inconspicuousness at this stage in his career might be due to the quiet heterodoxy of his vision: His silver-gelatin prints on thick paper,

  • Manon de Boer, Laurien, 1996–2007, still from a black-and-white film in 16 mm, 10 minutes.
    picks April 15, 2009

    “The Space of Words”

    Despite its title, visitors to this group exhibition curated by Christophe Gallois will find nary a word in most of the works. Inspired by Jacques Rancière’s discussion of Marcel Broodthaers’s 1969 “barred-out” version of Mallarmé’s typographically radical poem Un Coup de dès jamais n’abolira le hasard (A Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance), “The Space of Words” is an elegant and elegiac colloquy on reading, meaning, and the spatialization of language. The aforementioned work by Broodthaers is responded to by the mum, historically oblique response of Ed Ruscha’s Trouble Your Way IF YOU