Johanna Fateman

  • “CAMILLE HENROT: DAYS ARE DOGS”

    Camille Henrot renders the dysfunctions and perversities of everyday life in an Umbrellas of Cherbourg palette that makes them all the more absurd. Her imaginative and often profound multimedia work—which includes such things as giant watercolors, cartoonish phones, and mesmerizing zoetropes—tends to be immersive and disorienting, so her takeover of the Palais de Tokyo’s entire exhibition space should be a thrill. Organized in seven thematic parts, one for each day of the week, her show promises frescoes, drawings, installations, sculptures, and video works,

  • Maureen Gallace, Clear Day, 2011–12, oil on panel, 14 × 18".

    Maureen Gallace

    “Clear Day,” Maureen Gallace’s serene and dazzling retrospective at MoMA PS1, spans twenty-five years and includes more than seventy small oil paintings, though it seems there might be more like seven hundred of them, winding through the exhibition’s second floor in an airy parade. As you wander from room to room, the succession of white walls dramatizes not just the light-flooded intensity of Gallace’s canvases and their compact proportions (which hover around the intimate, sketch-book scale of nine by twelve inches), but the inexhaustibility and expansiveness of her narrow project. The artist

  • An-My Lê, November 5, Sugar Cane Field, Houma, Louisiana, 2016, ink-jet print, 40 × 56".

    Johanna Fateman

    THE 78TH WHITNEY BIENNIAL is full of beautiful, smart, and trenchant art. It unfolds as a series of crisscrossing conversations and exhilarating moments where things simply feel good together—and yes, everything feels better in the new building. Cauleen Smith’s glittering, handmade banners, emblazoned with poetically mournful slogans in protest of black lives lost to racist violence, announce both the museum’s most inclusive Biennial yet and curators Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks’s attunement to injustices that long predate Trump’s win, but that are sure to tragically intensify under

  • View of “Allyson Vieira,” 2017. Center: You. Us! It’s personal., 2017. Netting: Neither Here Nor There, 2017. Photo: Kyle Knodell.

    Allyson Vieira

    In her two concurrent gallery exhibitions, sculptor Allyson Vieira leveraged the kind of aghast grief induced by images of whale autopsies—when we’re shown the colorful array of plastic bags cut from their stomachs—with a dose of the approving wonder inspired in us by straw-into-gold recycling feats. There’s a sober classicism to her strange urns and square, tapestry-like works made from postconsumer waste, as well as an efficient, impersonal quality to their mysterious serial production. These qualities fend off the threat of discordant wackiness that often curses such found-material

  • BUNNY ROGERS

    From the vintage virtual realm of Neopia (home to magical Neopets) to online communities of Columbiners (devotees of the 1999 Colorado high school massacre), the young multimedia artist Bunny Rogers mines the morbid, sentimental, and emboldening cybermythologies of girl culture to produce talismanic objects and sorrowful installations. Her sensibility is inimitable—she finds impossible, resonant connections between disparate images or events—and her exquisitely handmade or fabricated objects, as well as her videos, are united by a startling,

  • “CANDY JERNIGAN: A COUPLE OF PENCILS AND SOME PAPER”

    Candy Jernigan indexed tiny found things—including Cheez Doodles, crack vials, and chewing gum—in her drawings and assemblages, the faux dispassion of her intimate illustrational style (which extended even to her found-object collage work) somehow imbuing familiar, throwaway items with pathos and personality. This category-defying artist, who deserves far greater recognition than she has received to date, died of cancer at age thirty-nine in 1991, leaving behind a singular body of work documenting her short life, as well as the accumulation of drug paraphernalia

  • View of “Wangechi Mutu,” 2017. Photo: David Regen.

    Wangechi Mutu

    Absent from “Ndoro Na Miti,” Wangechi Mutu’s latest exhibition at Gladstone Gallery, were her signature collage elements—the magazine lips, eyes, and limbs and the cut-up animal imagery that have previously marked the fantastical, hybrid female protagonists in her work. The only paper on view was in the form of pulp. The Kenyan-born, Brooklyn-based artist mixed it with wood glue and red soil to form many of the austere and otherworldly objects in her show, whose title translates from Gikuyu as “Mud and Trees.” With her striking installation of figurative and abstract sculptures, most of

  • View of “Ken Tisa: Objects/Time/Offerings,” 2017.
    picks March 10, 2017

    Ken Tisa

    For “Objects/Time/Offerings,” Ken Tisa has transformed the gallery into a magical grotto, decorated with all manner of beautiful and funny things from his extensive collections. Dolls, puppets, masks, devotional objects, trinkets, and artworks from every continent mingle in dense, layered arrangements along with campy ephemera, dollar-store treasures, and the artist’s own small colorful paintings from the 1980s and 1990s. A wall-spanning grid of more than three hundred of the paintings, each just eight inches tall, is the result of a long-standing daily practice, reflecting Tisa’s sponge-like

  • View of “prismataria,” 2017.
    interviews March 02, 2017

    Becca Albee

    In her slyly personal, obsessively researched work, Brooklyn-based artist Becca Albee uses photography, video, sculpture, and scent to evoke overlooked historical figures and cultural moments. Her current solo show, “prismataria,” curated by Jeanne Gerrity, employs a custom rotating light fixture to bathe an enigmatic suite of photographs, many depicting feminist books, in cyan, magenta, and yellow while an energizing blend of essential oils is diffused in the space. The show is on view at Et al. in San Francisco through March 11, 2017.

    THE FIRST TIME I VISITED HILAIRE HILER’S PRISMATARIUM, an

  • Katharina Grosse, Untitled, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 12' 4 7/8“ × 12' 11 7/8”.

    Katharina Grosse

    The acclaimed German painter Katharina Grosse is known for her boundless approach to her chosen medium, spraying with an industrial paint gun not only canvases, but also mounds of soil, uprooted trees, architecture, sculptural elements, and—for the pleasure of beach-goers last summer—an entire one-story building, inside and out. In Rockaway!, 2016, a startling neo-Earthwork, superhuman gestures in wild sunset hues transformed a decaying structure, part of the old Fort Tilden army base on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, that was condemned in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation.

  • Jimmy Wright, Anvil #1, 1975, color ink on paper, 10 1/4 × 10 1/4". From the series “New York Underground,” 1973–90.

    Jimmy Wright

    Though freshly painted and well lit, David Fierman’s new Lower East Side gallery is something of a hole-in-the-wall—a very tiny, these days rare, unrenovated storefront space that lends itself to intimate and focused shows. Painter Jimmy Wright’s “New York Underground,” a collection of voluptuous, ebullient, and funny works on paper from between 1974 and 1976, felt especially appropriate to the charming, bare-bones venue, as his casually explicit depictions of gay nightlife—cruising, public sex, and socializing in clubs, bathrooms, and bathhouses, speak to a bygone era of downtown

  • Sam McKinniss, Prince, 2016, oil and acrylic on canvas, 96 × 84".

    Sam McKinniss

    The young figurative painter Sam McKinniss selected the source images for his solo show “Egyptian Violet” at Team Gallery and translated them onto canvas—rendering them lusher and more fiery, finding menace in their dark areas, simplifying them slightly with his signature sentimental panache—all before the November presidential election. His beautiful paintings of celebrities, flowers, a swan, and a dolphin, which come in small or big but not medium sizes, were hanging in the gallery on Election Day, and on the terrible day after. His work fulfilled its obligation to hang there until