Johanna Fateman

  • Johanna Fateman

    1 GARY INDIANA, VILE DAYS: THE VILLAGE VOICE ART COLUMNS, 1985–1988 (SEMIOTEXT[E]; EDITED BY BRUCE HAINLEY) Intellectually generous and casually eviscerating, Gary Indiana, in his three years as an art columnist, embraced the pretension and debasement inherent to the weekly gig. This demi-doorstop of uncensored observations, high compliments, and serious shade reads like Bleak House as much as it does a collection of criticism—it’d make a great Christmas gift for someone who loves the former and wishes they could make it through the latter, as well as for those mourning the Voice (may it

  • Ree Morton, Signs of Love (detail), 1976, acrylic, oil, colored pencil, watercolor, and pastel on nitrocellulose-impregnated canvas, wood, and canvas with felt, dimensions variable. Photo: Constance Mensh.

    Ree Morton

    Ree Morton’s first large-scale US museum exhibition since 1980, “The Plant That Heals May Also Poison,” at the Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art, captures the unparalleled, heartbreaking hot streak, from 1971 to 1977, that constitutes her brief career. She got a late start: She was married with three kids by age twenty-five, and her subsequent pursuit of an art education was as arduous as it was anomalous. And then she died tragically, in a car accident, when she was just forty. So all of her work is early work, and in this show curated by Kate Kraczon, we see her in flux, forging her

  • “Cheryl Donegan: GRLZ + VEILS” 

    Gingham is both motif and material in Cheryl Donegan’s boundless multimedia oeuvre, which since the 1990s has famously included performance and video as well as object making. In her paintings—the focus of this exhibition—the workaday checked print conjures the modernist grid as well as a pixelated expanse. untitled⎽jade green⎽neon red, 2016, one of the forty or so canvases that will be on view, is representative of Donegan’s sensibility (and sense of humor): It takes the name of a digital file but, with its appealingly

  • Judy Chicago, Crippled by the Need to Control/Blind Individuality, 1983, acrylic and oil on linen, 108 x 72".

    Judy Chicago

    In one startling painting from Judy Chicago’s show “PowerPlay: A Prediction” at Salon 94’s Bowery space this winter, a proud nude—a muscled and hairless man with his dick out—pisses deep into the ground. Thanks to the psychedelic, multi-perspectival composition of the scene, we can see a cross-section of the earth and his amber stream of pee flowing and widening until it runs out of canvas. His silhouette glows as the sun sets on a strange desert. It’s almost as if he stands at the base of the viscous formation in Georgia O’Keeffe’s Rust Red Hills, 1930—as if, were we able to zoom

  • Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room—Let’s Survive Forever, 2017, wood, metal, glass mirrors, LED lighting system, monofilament, stainless steel balls, carpet, 10' 3“ x 20' 6” x 20' 5 1/4".

    Yayoi Kusama

    The experience of standing in line for hours in the cold, on the blustery West Side, in order to be immersed for forty-five seconds each in three successive environments by Yayoi Kusama falls somewhere, culturally speaking, between waiting to skate beneath the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and staying out all night at a club in the hope that Grace Jones will show up. On the one hand, it’s tiring, touristy, and probably not worth it; on the other hand, it’s Yayoi Kusama. When the eighty-eight-year-old phenom signs her name with the regal title Avant-Garde Artist after a comma—as she does

  • Ana Mendieta, Rape Scene, 1973, C-print, 10 × 8". © The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC.


    IN 1973, Ana Mendieta, then an art student at the University of Iowa enrolled in Hans Breder’s Viennese Actionist–inspired Intermedia Program, staged an imprecise reenactment of the aftermath, as reported in the press, of the brutal rape and murder of her fellow student Sarah Ann Ottens. Mendieta invited her class to her small apartment, where she had left the door cracked open, so they could walk in and discover her tableau vivant of a corpse. You could say she wanted to trigger them.

    Forty-five years later, it’s not news that our culture is suffused with sexual violence, but, suddenly, the news

  • Charles Atlas, Institute for Turbulence Research, 2008, four-channel video projection, color, sound, 6 minutes.

    Charles Atlas

    Since the 1970s, Charles Atlas has worked at the limits of video technology with a range of luminous collaborators, from choreographers such as Merce Cunningham and Michael Clark to nightlife luminaries including Leigh Bowery, Dancenoise, and, recently, the raunchy leftist drag queen Lady Bunny. The Migros Museum, however, will present five multichannel installations that represent Atlas’s interests beyond performance-based work. One gallery will juxtapose Plato’s Alley, 2008, featuring an orderly black-and-white grid, with Institute for Turbulence Research, 2008, a

  • Kara Walker, Christ’s Entry into Journalism, 2017, sumi ink and collage on paper, 11' 8“ x 16' 4”.

    Kara Walker

    Kara Walker made all of the works for her September show at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. this past summer. She offers this information as a kind of afterthought, along with a dry, technical description of her awesome, stomach-turning output (“This is a show of works on paper and on linen, drawn and collaged using ink, blade, glue, and oil stick”) in the concluding paragraph of her accompanying statement. The text, save for its matter-of-fact ending, is an artful paroxysm of frustration and despair. Walker, an African American woman artist, who has for decades merged historical fact and fable to depict

  • Carey Young, Palais de Justice, 2017, HD video, color, sound, 17 minutes 58 seconds.

    Carey Young

    The quiet of Carey Young’s video Palais de Justice, 2017—also the title piece of her recent exhibition at Paula Cooper Gallery—is, in fact, an unrelenting roar. Footsteps and murmuring voices bounce off the endless marble surfaces of the eponymous domed, nineteenth-century court building in Brussels, reminding us of its architecture’s fearsome grandeur even in her closer shots. With Young, we spy on people, catching unguarded moments in corridors and peering into closed courtrooms to watch female judges at work. Shown as a large projection in a darkened room, the transfixing, dialogueless

  • Artist unknown, Sailor’s Quilt, late nineteenth century, wool felt, embroidery thread, 90 x 70".
    picks October 06, 2017

    “War and Pieced: The Annette Gero Collection of Quilts from Military Fabrics”

    Hands with rifles in them seem like better playthings for the devil than just idle ones, but most of the devastatingly beautiful nineteenth-century quilts on view here are the products of assiduous busywork that likely kept the British Empire’s working-class soldiers and sailors out of trouble in their leisure time. Blood-red, blue, gold, and cream hues dominate the rich, matte mosaics, which are sewn from thousands of tiny hexagons, diamonds, triangles, and squares, excised primarily from the heavy wool of military uniforms. While some of these quilts are embroidered with heraldic or narrative

  • Travis Boyer, Astrodome Hustle, 2017, cotton, wool, natural dyes, faux pearls, rhinestones, and sequins handwoven in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, with master dyer and weaver Mariano Sosa Martinez at the Biidaüü Weaving Collective, 96 x 42 x 42".

    Travis Boyer

    A fan who became a friend and an employee—and then an obsessed, disgruntled ex-employee—shot and killed the singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez (known as Selena) in 1995, at a Days Inn in Corpus Christi, Texas, when the beloved “Queen of Tejano” was just twenty-three, and the Texas-born artist Travis Boyer was sixteen. He was a fan, too. For his exhibition at Signal Gallery in Brooklyn this summer, titled “Ahora y Nunca” (Now and Never), Boyer mined a long-standing daydream to present an array of Selena memorabilia, including an only partially visible treasure trove of Selena-related

  • Diamond Stingily, Kaa (detail), 2015, Kanekalon hair, plastic barrettes. Installation view, Ramiken Crucible, New York.


    DIAMOND STINGILY tells me it’s important to keep a journal in order to look back, to see how you’ve changed. And, she adds, it’s even more important to see how you’ve stayed the same. The New York–based artist, who was born in 1990 and grew up on Chicago’s West Side, began writing at age eight in a diary given to her by one of her grandmothers—a Christmas-themed volume with a tiny padlock and Victorian-era white girls printed on its cover. In 2014, the carefully penned cursive text within was published as a foldout poster as Love, Diamond by Dominica, a press run by the artist’s friend and