John Arthur Peetz

  • Bouchra Khalili, The Tempest Society (still), 2017, video, 4:3, color, sound, 60 minutes.
    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

  • Abraham Cruzvillegas, Autoreconstrucción: To Insist, to Insist, to Insist, 2017/2018. Performance view, The Kitchen, New York, 2018. Barbara Foulkes. Photo: Paula Court.
    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

  • Spread from Silvia Prada’s book, Tom, 2018.
    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

  • Artist Dusty Shoulders and artist-curator Nayland Blake at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. (All photos: Constance Mensh)
    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

  • José Leonilson, O ilha (The Island One), 1991, thread and metal on canvas, 14 x 11".
    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

  • A.K. Burns, Barrier Island (Overextended Stay), 2013, sand, resin, cayenne, bee pollen, spirulina, beet powder, catalogue pages, bamboo, 78 1/4 x 32 x 3 1/2".
    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.


  • View of “Where The Sun Don’t Shine,” 2013. Center: Elizabeth Jaeger, Reclaimed Milk, 2013, glass, steel, ceramic, Hydrocal, dimensions variable.
    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.

  • Jane Freilicher, Portrait of John Ashbery, 1968, oil on canvas, 20 1/4 x 18".
    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

  • Paul Laffoley, RELATION BETWEEN ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM BY AMPÈRE: AN EXPERIMENT, 1967, oil and acrylic on canvas, 37 1/2 x 27 1/2".
    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

  • Left: Spread from LIFE Magazine Vol 56, no. 26 (June 1964). Paul Welch, “Homosexuality in America.” Photo: Bill Eppridge. Right: Nayland Blake installing “FREE!LOVE!TOOL!BOX!,” 2012–13.
    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

  • Left: Cover of Jess: O! Tricky Cad &amp; Other Jessoterica (2012). Right: Jess, Tricky Cad, Case V (detail), 1958, collage, 13 1/4 x 25”. Courtesy of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Photo: Lee Stalsworth.
    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