Joanna Fiduccia

  • Mark Geffriaud

    Following his “module” at the Palais de Tokyo in 2008, Mark Geffriaud’s first solo gallery exhibition was marked by a change of scale. In 2007– 2008, Geffriaud participated as one of four artists in Elodie Royer and Yoann Gourmel’s exhibition cycle “220 jours” (220 Days)—a kind of gestation tank for young French art that went so far toward defining a new tendency that its name has begun to double as an epithet. It was thus easy to look to his wistfully titled debut “Si l’on pouvait être un Peau-Rouge” (If One Were Only an Indian) for a perspective on the future of this tendency, if not of French

  • “Une Exposition chorégraphiée”

    The contemporary art world has shown increasing interest in dance and theater in recent years, from exhibitions like Bernard Blistène’s “A Theater without Theater” in Barcelona and Eva Schmidt’s “Ver bailar” (Seeing Dance) in Seville to reconsiderations of the choreography of Michael Clark or Yvonne Rainer, not to mention the cross-continental enthusiasm for Jérôme Bel and Tino Sehgal. For Bel and Sehgal, this interest has progressed to the shrewd incorporation of dance and the- ater in order to stage a theoretical soft-shoe around issues of spectacle, the commodity, the institution, and aesthetic

  • Wolfgang Tillmans,
Gold (a), 
2002,
 color photograph,
 24 x 20".
    picks March 10, 2009

    “Family Jewels”

    These are inauspicious times to parade what the title of this exhibition proposes—for who has patience right now for jewels or for genitals, with the economy in free fall and more than a few everyday fortunes hanging in the balance? Then again, duress might make it all the more enticing to peer into the coffers. Hung with more elegance and certainly more historical gems than the average gallery show, “Family Jewels” has works that address eroticism and assets (gold)—which often boils down to the titillation of the nonpareil and the valorization of the art object. There is gold abundant, from

  • Patrick Hill

    Perhaps the most unlikely thing about Patrick Hill’s recent work is the fact that someone like Hill made it. Sternly elegant forms and somber opulence seem improbable for a former surfer dude; hence the frequent reference, in the titles of some of his previous paintings and in articles written about the artist, to Hill’s brain tumor (discovered and subsequently removed in 2001)—as though this biographical nugget could account for either the sculptor’s avid formalism or his tendency to sully it with organic and abject substances. Cancer appears to complicate the surfer stereotype in just the way

  • Francesco Gennari, Il luogo dove non c’è piu posto per la coscienza (angolo no.1) (The Place Where There Is No More Space for Consciousness [Angle No. 1]), 2008, silver. Installation view.
    picks December 18, 2008

    “Insoluble Solids”

    This elegant show, organized by artist Cyril Dietrich, benefits from the special purchase of the artist-curator: Although intuitively coordinated, it features a counterintuitive group, bridging generations of artists and mingling conceptual moves with moments of optical indulgence. An enormous woodcut by Franz Gertsch, rippling with innumerable, minutely rendered wavelets, is so stunning that no curatorial conceit need buoy it. In the rest of the work here, formal concerns dovetail with ontological, what-context-makes-this-art? questions with the subtlety and intimacy of a “possible personal

  • Josef Strau

    The sheer quantity of language in Josef Strau’s installations generates a logorrheic din that could test the patience of even the most committed viewer. Yet his installations are by no means chaotic, but instead rather modest or even cozy: Floor lamps huddle near posters of type-written text, discreetly pinned up, strung on ribbons, or stacked in piles for distribution. A Dissidence Coincidence but W.H.C.T.L.J.S, 2008, created for the Malmö Konsthall, is another example of Strau’s typical narrative overload: Seven texts that revisit the artist’s biblical namesake go alongside writings from past

  • View of “Eva Rothschild,” 2008.
    picks November 28, 2008

    Eva Rothschild

    Two intersecting wooden frames, painted glossy black and trussed with a web of beams, dominate Eva Rothschild’s recent exhibition. Fat cables coil around the frames, capped with serpent heads and molting sheaths of woven leather. Supernature, 2008, is complemented by a wall paneled in black Perspex, imprisoning a murkier reflection of the structure and its heterogeneous suggestions, from Constructivism to folk art to Martin Boyce and Louise Bourgeois. Eva Rothschild’s practice courts opposites—organic/inorganic, craft/industry, abstract/figurative—and it is perhaps her ease amid these antipodes

  • Mats Adelman, Evil Dead, 2006, watercolor on paper, 39 x 59".
 
    picks November 18, 2008

    Mats Adelman

    Mats Adelman’s drawings are reminders that weirdos make art, too—in this case, the kind inspired by Black Sabbath lyrics and elaborately illustrated on the reverse side of class notes. Yet Adelman’s work is far more ambiguous than his backwoods aesthetic might suggest: as indebted to the imagination’s lofty reaches as to its lower fixations. In his current show, the young Swedish artist presents sculptures and a pair of films alongside landscapes befitting horror movies and antisocial adolescent fantasies—two settings that self-consciously find their high-culture likenesses in the avant-garde’s

  • Mike Kelley

    Educational Complex, 1995, marks a breakthrough in Mike Kelley’s career, though not as one might expect. An architectural maquette combining all the schools the artist ever attended, it initiated Kelley’s work on Repressed Memory Syndrome, the pop-psychology notion that critics had grafted onto his earlier exhibitions. But if Educational Complex triggered the body of work presented at Wiels, it also managed to bracket the autobiographical sincerity behind any art-therapeutic revelation. Kelley’s “breakthrough” consisted of rendering his own liberally falsified biography as a foamcore campus,

  • Sergej Jensen, Du und Ich (You and I), 2003, watercolor, vegetable and fruit juice, and dissolved coal on linen, 68 7/8 x 55 1/8".
    picks October 01, 2008

    Sergej Jensen

    This exhibition of over forty paintings describes Sergej Jensen’s prodigious range, from tonic ink bleeds to abstract motifs of iron-on patches, Color Field painting to Op art, and Blinky Palermo to Jasper Johns. Sensuous depth alternates with conceptual remove in paradoxically delicate and rough-and-tumble paintings made with unprimed canvas, jute, money bags, metallic mesh, accidental stains, purposeful tears, and needles and thread. What makes Jensen’s paintings disarming, however, is not the heterogeneity of their means or references, but rather the stately indifference with which the artist

  • Danh Vo, Good Life (detail), 2007, photographs, letters, and various objects, dimensions variable.
    picks October 01, 2008

    “Reality Check”

    The curatorial concept for this exhibition of contemporary art in the halls of Denmark’s royal collection is shrewdly vague: ample enough to include a diverse selection of great works, while imprecise enough to excuse any glaring omissions. Under the conceptual headings of reenactment, recontextualization of the object, and the dubious neologism docufication, “Reality Check” addresses the representation of reality, uniting the crowd-pleasing predictability of Fischli & Weiss’s polyurethane studio and Elmgreen & Dragset’s hospital in-patient simulacra with more dialectical treatments of the theme.

  • Sechs Flächen und ein Raum (Six Planes and One Room), 2008, clay, dimensions variable. (Photo: Olivier Dancy)
    picks August 11, 2008

    Katinka Bock

    The Synagogue of Delme was desanctified nearly thirty years ago, but its transformation into a contemporary art center hardly dimmed its poignancy. The work of young German artist Katinka Bock, whose interest in displacement and equilibrium already makes her a kind of mystical physicist, has no problem integrating into such a charged milieu. Bock’s exhibition “Kanon” presents sixteen recent works, some created for the space, and the rest readily precipitating into its pathos.

    Ja, 2008, one of the former, is a pipeline that routes water from the women’s bath (now the reception room), up through