Kaelen Wilson-Goldie

  • Joe Overstreet, St. Expedite II, 1971, metal grommets, cotton rope, acrylic on constructed canvas, dimensions variable.

    Joe Overstreet

    Joe Overstreet’s experimental paintings from the early 1970s were made to be suspended from ceilings and tied to floors using a system of ropes and grommets. As a result, they occupy a good deal of three-dimensional space, and by design their shapes change every time they are installed, depending on how they are stretched out, draped, or crumpled. In some works, such as St. Expedite II and Untitled, both 1971, and Untitled, 1972, Overstreet has painted squares of canvas in solid colors—red, green, navy blue, deep purple—edged in contrasting stripes. Other works, such as the enormous

  • León Ferrari, untitled, 1987, collage, 8 x 8".
    picks May 18, 2018

    León Ferrari

    In the mid 1960s, the legendary Argentinian artist León Ferrari caused a scandal when he took a life-size statue of Jesus and nailed it to a model of an American fighter jet. It was Ferrari’s way of protesting the Vietnam War. The piece, La Civilización Occidental y Cristiana (Western Christian Civilization), 1965, was made for a specific exhibition but whisked away before anyone could see it. It was included in a major retrospective of Ferrari’s work in 2004, but a local Catholic official denounced it as blasphemous and had the whole thing closed down. At the time, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was

  • Ala Younis, Baghdad Diaries – Bread  Tree, 2018, ink-jet  print, 14 x 11".
    picks May 11, 2018

    Ala Younis

    Ala Younis walks such a fine line between art and nonart that it is thrilling to follow her, even through piles of meticulous (read: boring) research, to see where she’ll land. Ten years ago, Younis created a memorable installation of discarded sewing machines (and a related video), titled Nefertiti, 2008, delving into the history of manufacturing as a nationalist, notably unfeminist endeavor in Egypt. In 2015, she unveiled Plan for Greater Baghdad, which took a handful of old 35-mm slides, taken by the architect Rifat Chadirji, of a gymnasium—designed by Le Corbusier and named after Saddam

  • Moyra Davey, 1943 (detail), 2018, 108 C-prints, tape, postage, ink, each print 18 x 12".

    Moyra Davey

    The only coin ever made in the United States that can be picked up with a magnet is the 1943 steel cent. It was produced in a time of austerity at the height of World War II, when copper was being rerouted to munitions manufacturing. Steel pennies coated in zinc may have conserved necessary metal, but they caused all kinds of problems, too. They were unusually light. They were often mistaken for dimes. They got stuck in vending machines. They rusted quickly. A few years ago, someone gave the artist Moyra Davey a whole cache of them as a gift. They had aged weirdly and unevenly, having become by

  • “Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Sunset, Sunrise”

    As the sculptor Siah Armajani has noted, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian was the first Iranian artist of her generation to use cut-glass mosaics as a medium, as art without religious function. Farmanfarmaian was born to a family of ayatollahs, merchants, and Ottoman aristocrats. She studied painting and sculpture in Tehran and had wanted to move to Paris but ended up in New York via Bombay in the 1940s. She fell in with a crowd of artists. She made a disco ball for Andy Warhol. She returned to Iran in 1957 and apprenticed herself to local craftspeople. She experimented

  • “74 million million million tons”

    In the past few years, Lawrence Abu Hamdan has made vital contributions to the developing discourse around questions of evidence, narrative, and atrocity, while outgoing SculptureCenter curator Ruba Katrib has offered deeply compelling curatorial investigations of the vexed status of artistic materiality; pairing the two promises a most intriguing show. This exhibition brings together ten artists (and artist groups) who are working in the space between an occurrence and the consensus that forms around it. That gray area is predicated on ambiguity

  • Jumana Manna, Wild Relatives, 2018, HD video, color, sound, 66 minutes.
    film April 30, 2018

    Seeds of Change

    ONE DOESN’T NEED to go far to find a meaningful connection between art and serious farming, especially when the art in question is driven by political urgency. The example of John Berger, the poet, critic, and painter who lived half his life on a remote working farm in rural France, is close enough. For the past ten years, the Palestinian artist Jumana Manna has been making dazzling films and quizzical objects about the historical strata and lived experience of cities, namely Jerusalem. Her works draw upon many sources and experiment with many genres, but virtually all of them are urban—with

  • Ghada Amer, Lovers in Blue, 2017, glazed ceramic, 24 x 33 x 12".
    picks April 27, 2018

    Ghada Amer

    A handful of new ceramics hang high on the walls of Ghada Amer’s latest exhibition. One might describe them fairly and accurately as large, misshapen bowls. Amer is famous, of course, for her paintings that layer the very masculine gestural language of Abstract Expressionism (all splashes and dashes and drips of paint) over delicate embroideries and tangles of thread, which yield to even fainter stencils of women in autoerotic poses, taken straight from softcore porn. But ever since the 1990s, Amer has been making three-dimensional objects, too. To make a sculpture of a wedding dress, she once

  • View of “Yto Barrada: How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself,” 2018.
    picks April 20, 2018

    Yto Barrada

    Over the past fifteen years, Yto Barrada has made photographs, films, posters, prints, textiles, toys, mechanized models, games, collages, oversize blocks, fake fossils, and vast collections of sundry other objects that nearly defy categorization as art. She has moved through dramatic phases in the formal development of her work, lurching from humor and whimsy to a damning critique of colonialism, underdevelopment, and injustice. She has tumbled headlong into obsessions with historical figures, including members of her own family (her mother, her grandmother) and unknowable strangers (her

  • Peter Hujar, Boy on Raft, 1978, gelatin silver print, 14 x 11". © Peter Hujar Archive, LLC.

    Peter Hujar

    In one of the most enduring passages from Teju Cole’s 2011 novel Open City, the protagonist, a young man named Julius who has recently arrived in New York from Nigeria to complete a psychiatry fellowship, takes a series of ever-longer walks around the island of Manhattan. His observations are cool and detached until he hits upon a singular and exasperating fact: This is a place surrounded by water that has totally turned its back on the flow of its rivers and the ocean beyond them. “The shore was a carapace,” thinks Julius, “permeable only at certain selected points. Where in this riverine city

  • Fabiola Jean-Louis, Madame Beauvoir’s Painting, 2016, archival pigment print, 26 x 33".
    picks March 30, 2018

    “Bordering the Imaginary: Art from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and their Diasporas”

    In the spring of 1863, the southern photographers McPherson and Oliver took an indelible portrait of a man who had escaped from a Louisiana plantation and sought refuge in a Union camp. It was at the height of the American Civil War. The man, his full name lost to history, was known as Slave Gordon, or Whipped Peter. McPherson and Oliver photographed him with his back turned three-quarters to the camera, elbow bent, a fist to his hip. Six months before crossing a river and rubbing his body with onions to throw off search dogs, Gordon had been brutally beaten by an overseer. Scars gouge his back.

  • Taysir Batniji, Black Arab, 2017, video, color, sound, 6 minutes 7 seconds.
    picks March 23, 2018

    Taysir Batniji

    The Gaza-born, Paris-based artist Taysir Batniji has made so many orderly sculptures and austere installations—all of them clever and conceptual, with emotionally charged references to art history and the Palestinian condition—that one can easily forget that the foundation for all of his work is and always has been photography. This exhibition, titled “Home Away from Home,” is both dense and expansive, with more than a hundred artworks, the majority of them photographs. These color images include portraits, landscapes, and the kind of accidental or abandoned still lifes that are Batniji’s