John Arthur Peetz

  • picks July 24, 2018

    Bouchra Khalili

    With this survey, titled “Blackboard,” Bouchra Khalili stages an experience akin to a halqa, a Moroccan tradition of public storytelling. A halqa consists of a storyteller surrounded by a circle of listeners who interject to create a multiplicity of voices. Something similar happens here, where strategies of resistance, speech acts, and tales of migration mutually inform one another to layer and expand the subjects’ testimonies. For instance, in the video The Tempest Society, 2017, four Athenians from different backgrounds invoke and parse the legacy of Al Assifa, a Parisian 1970s revolutionary

  • performance April 17, 2018

    Break It Down

    ART GALLERIES have traditionally preserved the paradox between the everyday theater of art, and the spectacle of exhibition display, while artists have simultaneously bucked these artificial divisions, and challenged the systems that reify, and rarify, their work. Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas’s series of autoreconstrucción sculptures have formally investigated these tenuous distinctions through a material vernacular inspired by the low-income favelas, barrios, and shantytowns of Latin America. His assemblages are similarly constructed, utilizing found domestic materials to inhabit, and

  • diary February 28, 2018

    Warm Leatherette

    ON FEBRUARY 22 AT PARTICIPANT INC., an entire neighborhood Scruff grid, power lesbians, and Lower East Side art drunks feted Silvia Prada’s Tom, her new book of drawings made in collaboration with the Tom of Finland Foundation and produced by Capricious Publishing. The event unfolded in the gallery’s superb Jayne County painting exhibition (up until March 11). One poncey ayahuasca enthusiast said County’s art looked exactly like his psychedelic ritual visions. Oh, Mary—no.

    With perfectly mid-parted hair, Prada paraded around in an all-white denim ensemble, absorbing compliments about her delicate

  • diary February 12, 2018

    Beyond Homodome

    I HAVE BEEN TO PHILADELPHIA ONLY three times in my life. In high school, I went to nationals for speech and debate during that painful period when I was very clearly gay but had not yet come out (I did a performance of Ani DiFranco poems, for those interested to know). I went again in 2008 for a Manowar concert. And, more recently, I ended up on an accidental triple date that concluded with our car breaking down in the Holland Tunnel. So, when I was asked to write a Diary on the three coterminous exhibitions opening at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia––“Cary Leibowitz: Museum

  • picks November 03, 2017

    José Leonilson

    Alex Jovanovich

    José Leonilson was born in Fortaleza, Brazil, in 1957––seven years before the military coup that kept the country under the rule of military dictatorship until 1985. He spent most of his career working in São Paulo and traveling around the world until his untimely death due to complications resulting from AIDS in 1993, at the age of thirty-six. While his career was coterminous with the rise of the 1980s generation of Brazilian painters exploring a postdictatorship Brazil, his complex and diaristic intimacies set him apart from his peers.

    Leonilson once said that he only made work intended for

  • picks October 20, 2013

    A. K. Burns

    A fugue refers to the contrapuntal technique where a musical theme is introduced and then echoed or imitated in various pitches that can occur simultaneously. A. K. Burns’s latest exhibition, “Ending with a Fugue,” follows this compositional strategy in suturing posthumanism and the social dynamics of labor: Throughout the works on view, an original inchoate idea is rearticulated and ultimately altered through material and medium. Using three distinct material methodologies—sand casting, metallurgy, and video—Burns continues her career-long investigation into affect, identity, and economy.


  • picks July 18, 2013

    “Where The Sun Don’t Shine”

    Brooklyn’s Interstate Projects offers an alluring alternative to the Manhattan summer of trotting around Chelsea in a Tennessee Williams–style saturated daze. On view is “6<<<>>>6,” a project consisting of three installments over June and July in which six curators program three different shows. “Where the Sun Don’t Shine,” the current iteration and second wave of the project, is curated by the talented Brooklyn gallery collective 247365 and presents five young female artists––Elizabeth Jaeger, Julia Sherman, Heather Guertin, Brie Ruais, and Meredith James––confronting feminism and self-representation.

  • picks May 30, 2013

    “Jane Freilicher: Painter Among the Poets”

    The poet John Ashbery wrote, “[traditional art] can offer no very real assurances to its acolytes and since traditions are always going out of fashion it is more dangerous and therefore more worthwhile than experimental art.” It may be this sentiment that brought the poet and painter Jane Freilicher together as friends, though “Jane Freilicher: Painter Among Poets” suggests there was more than formal appreciation to their relationship. The exhibition consists of several landscapes and still lifes as well as a couple abstract paintings by New York–based Freilicher, whose career has extended over

  • picks January 26, 2013

    Paul Laffoley

    “The Boston Visionary Cell,” an exhibition named after the artist guild that Paul Laffoley founded in 1971 in Boston with several poets, filmmakers, and engineers, unfolds through two indistinct interpretive lenses: Laffoley as theorist and Laffoley as painter. Ultimately he resides in the art-historical canon as a “visionary artist”––a position in the dodgy omnibus “outsider” category that relegates too many artists to the margins––and his prophetic theories about the advent of medical nanotechnology are not only still relevant but have widely proved to be true. While a small portion of this

  • interviews January 13, 2013

    Nayland Blake

    Nayland Blake is an artist, teacher, activist, writer, and kink enthusiast who explores the ways in which artmaking and community construction can mutually inform each other. His latest show, “FREE!LOVE!TOOL!BOX!,” is on view at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco through January 27, 2013. Blake will also have a solo exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery in New York from February 2 to April 19, 2013.

    I HAD BEEN READING the historian Gayle Rubin and I ran across these descriptions of the Tool Box, which was a San Francisco leather bar that opened in 1962. The Tool Box was not only

  • interviews November 28, 2012

    Michael Duncan

    Michael Duncan is a critic and curator as well as a corresponding editor for Art in America. He is co-curator of the forthcoming traveling exhibition “An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and their Circle,” which opens in June 2013 at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California. Here he discusses his enduring interests in the artist Jess, the poet Robert Duncan, and the impact of the G.I. Bill on the culture of California. He edited Jess: O! Tricky Cad & Other Jessoterica, a book of Jess’s rarely seen book works, altered comics, word collages, and paste-ups, which was recently

  • interviews October 15, 2012

    Meredith Monk

    Meredith Monk is one of the most prolific artists of her generation. Her body of work extends across numerous media, and she has performed many roles throughout her career––including composer, singer, director, choreographer, and visual artist­. She has also pioneered fields such as interdisciplinary art and extended vocal technique.

    Born in New York City in 1942, Monk graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1964. It was at this time that she began to execute her works at Judson Memorial Church in the more theatrical “second wave” of performers. Soon Monk opened up her SoHo loft for workshops

  • picks September 28, 2012

    Mary Weatherford

    Los Angeles–based artist Mary Weatherford is quite the mistress of illusion—or allusion, as it were. Through her adept utilization of a variety of techniques and material manipulations, she conjures a phantasmagoria of postwar artistic references—from Helen Frankenthaler to Lucio Fontana, and Dan Flavin to Barnett Newman—while also imprinting her own point of view. Her current exhibition, “Manhattan,” consists of a series bearing the same title: five mixed-media painterly impressions of New York City rendered from memory. Weatherford has a long history in the city: She attended the Whitney

  • interviews September 08, 2012

    Bernadette Corporation

    Bernadette Corporation is a New York–based collaborative with three principal members: Bernadette Van-Huy, John Kelsey, and Antek Walczak. Since the early 1990s, the collaborative has explored processes of production from event planning to fashion design and from publishing to filmmaking. Artists Space will host a retrospective of the group's work, titled “2000 Wasted Years,” which opens on September 9 and runs through December 16.

    ARTISTS SPACE CAME TO US with the idea of a retrospective and were very flexible in framing the idea. They weren’t there to pin us down. Our immediate reaction was,

  • picks May 24, 2012

    Julia Rommel

    According to legend, Thomas Jefferson gave Delaware the nickname “the diamond state” (presumably for its strategic location on the eastern seaboard). Today, however, it seems as if the state exists in absentia––noticeably devoid of corporate taxes, elevation, and any remarkable qualities. Julia Rommel has chosen Delaware as the subject and title of her first solo exhibition, inviting us to examine the state through five modest and fastidious canvases that sweep across Bureau’s small space.

    These paintings relish in contradistinction: On the one hand, the canvases imply such delicately detailed

  • interviews May 04, 2012

    Matt Wolf

    Matt Wolf is a Brooklyn–based documentary filmmaker. His first feature, Wild Combination (2008), focuses on the avant-garde cellist and disco producer Arthur Russell. Wolf is currently at work on his second feature film, Teenage, and his short filmic portrait I Remember: A Film About Joe Brainard will play at The Kitchen on May 7.

    OVER THE PAST FOUR YEARS, I have been working on an unconventional historical film about the invention of teenagers. The film is based on Jon Savage’s book Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture, and it looks at the history of youth in America, England, and Germany

  • interviews February 29, 2012

    Richard Hawkins

    The Texas-born and Los Angeles–based artist Richard Hawkins makes work that probes the connections, juxtapositions, and slippages among classical sculpture, French literature, the abject, and the teenage dreamboat. His 2010 midcareer survey “Richard Hawkins: Third Mind” was organized by the Art Institute of Chicago. Hawkins is showing his new “Ankoku” series, a work partially inspired by Butoh, in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, which runs March 1–May 27.

    I AM NOT A STUDENT OF DANCE––or even much of a fan––but there is something about Tatsumi Hijikata, at least on film, that I really like. Reading

  • interviews February 23, 2012

    Dushko Petrovich

    Dushko Petrovich is a New Haven–based writer and painter and an editor of Paper Monument. The magazine’s second publication, Draw It with Your Eyes Closed: The Art of the Art Assignment, debuted at the 2012 CAA conference and is available to order online. Petrovich and coeditor Roger White have an exhibition of their work opening at the Suburban in Chicago on March 4.

    PAPER MONUMENT’S FIRST BOOK, I Like Your Work: Art and Etiquette, ended up being kind of a sleeper hit, so we wanted to follow it up with something similar—but better. As Roger White, my coeditor, and I get older, we find ourselves

  • interviews February 09, 2012

    Liza Johnson

    Liza Johnson is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and professor at Williams College. Her work has screened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Walker Art Center, and the Centre Pompidou, as well as the Cannes, New York, Berlin, and Rotterdam Film Festivals. Return, her latest feature film, premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival last May. Staring Linda Cardellini as a war veteran returning from the Middle East to her hometown in Ohio, Return will debut at Village East Cinemas in New York and Laemmle Santa Monica on February 10.

    A FEW YEARS AGO a friend of mine told

  • interviews January 06, 2012

    Mats Bigert

    Mats Bigert is half of the artistic and design duo Bigert & Bergström, along with Lars Bergström. In collaboration with Cabinet, they have created The Last Calendar, a project based on the Mayan long calendar calculations for 2012. Their exhibition “Meditations on Divinations” is on view at Forum Gallery in Stockholm until January 31. Here, Bigert discusses the research process for the calendar.

    THE INITIAL IDEA FOR THE LAST CALENDAR came while we were working on Tomorrow’s Weather, an installation that uses weather forecasts to explore how we try to control our living conditions by making