Kate Sutton

  • Jadé Fadojutimi’s And willingly imprinting the memory of my mistakes, 2023, at Gagosian in London. All photos: Kate Sutton.
    diary June 08, 2023

    Your Place or Mine?

    MORE THAN THREE YEARS after the pandemic brought the international art world screeching to a halt, we’re still figuring out how to put ourselves back together again. Dealers who stepped off the hamster wheel of the fair circuit were surprised to discover you could actually skip a franchise or two (or even more, depending on your jpg game.) In the run-up to Art Basel, galleries around the globe have been banding together for various permutations of the “Gallery Weekend,” a homegrown attempt to lure collectors to the brick-and-mortar locations everyone’s been paying so dearly for.

    The question

  • Karan Shrestha, in these folds, 2019, ink on paper, 60 × 94".

    Karan Shrestha

    Not long after Anton Chekhov framed the narrative principle now known as “Chekhov’s gun”—if there’s a rifle on the wall, it must fire eventually—Andrei Bely unleashed Petersburg, a 1916 novel about turn-of-the-century terrorism, whose parricidal plot unfolds to the ticking of a bomb ignominiously concealed in a sardine tin. The question never is, will the device explode, but who will it destroy when it does?

    Karan Shrestha’s solo exhibition “apparatus at play” was steeped in a similar tension, a jitteriness that resists commitment to any one particular form. Much as Bely draws the comparison


    WHAT IS IMPRACTICAL can never be beautiful,” architect Otto Wagner, one of the guiding forces of the Vienna Secession, wrote in his 1896 book Modern Architecture. And yet it’s hard to apply the rubric of practicality to the triple bridge at the heart of Ljubljana. The unconventional arrangement—a more traditional central thoroughfare flanked on either side by a scrawnier, slightly askew counterpart, like a blue whale and her two calves—was designed by Wagner’s Slovenian protégé Jože Plečnik (1872–1957), who used what he learned in Vienna to breathe new life into the Slovenian capital’s urban

  • Nazar Strelyaev-Nazarko, Basement View, 2022, oil on panel, 11 3⁄4 × 11 3⁄4". From the series “watergames (Plóshcha Svobódy),” 2022. From “Extraneous.”


    The exhibition “Extraneous” was a quietly devastating addition to this year’s Curated By festival. Assembled by Zasha Colah and Valentina Viviani, the compact group show took as its emblem the Indian tradition of leaving a matka, a clay pot of drinking water, on the street for thirsty passersby as an act of communal hospitality. Foregrounding generosity as a response to violence, the exhibition opened with a series of staggered pedestals, each bearing a sculpture in shades of slate and both fired and unfired clay. Part of Margherita Moscardini’s ongoing project The Fountains of Za’atari, 2015–,

  • View of “Diana Tamane: Flower Smuggler,” 2022.
    picks November 22, 2022

    Diana Tamane

    Diana Tamane wields her camera as a means to get to know those closest to her, producing psychological portraits steeped in an alert stillness. In recent years, the artist has turned her lens on her family members’ individual relationships to photography. For instance, Blood Pressure, 2016, collates the backs of family photos that her great grandmother had used to jot down her daily medical information, while Sold Out, 2016, gathers her father’s snapshots of goods he had imported from Central Europe—a lightly-scratched silver Volvo, a Pioneer record player, and a set of standing speakers,

  • Marwan Bassiouni, New British Views #6, 2022, pigment print on fine art paper mounted on Dibond, 65 × 49 1/5".
    picks November 02, 2022

    Marwan Bassiouni

    Marwan Bassiouni’s ongoing series of photographs “New British Views” (all works 2022) offers landscapes of a changing terrain marked not only by the continuing fallout from Brexit but also by the stagnant social policies of a country that has yet to fully reckon with its evolving demographics or the lasting legacies of its eclipsed empire. Printed at a near life-size scale, the images have an astonishing clarity about them; the window-framed vistas of urban Lidls, old English churches, row houses, and suburban streets studded with minivans and sensible sedans feel, at times, almost three-dimensional,

  • The Grand Palais Éphémère. Photo: Paris+ par Art Basel.
    diary October 28, 2022

    Plus Ça Change

    CORSETED IN CONSTRUCTION SITES, Paris may be visibly bracing itself for the 2024 Summer Olympics, but there’s been another kind of restructuring going on in its art world. While the city has nourished (or indulged) its homegrown scene for decades, the recent arrival of blue-chip transplants like Gagosian, Zwirner, and soon, Hauser & Wirth (which is plotting an Olympic-scaled takeover of a hôtel particulier) has ushered in the much-ballyhooed resurgence of the city as an international art hub. More specifically, the continental set see it as an alternative to London in the post-Brexit world (a

  • David Fesl, Untitled, 2021, smooth brittle star, plasterboard grid, plasterboard grid cover, tile adhesive, hot-melt glue, varnished beech wood, wood putty, metal ointment tube cap, birch bark, trekking stick tip, 6 × 3 1/4 × 1 7/8".
    picks October 03, 2022

    “I Had a Dog and a Cat”

    Organized by Hana Ostan Ožbolt, “I Had a Dog and a Cat” is a nimble group show that pays tribute to artist and self-professed “old child” Josef Čapek’s 1929 children’s book, All About Doggie and Pussycat: How They Kept House and All Sorts of Other Things. Like the house-pet protagonists, the works on display dabble in a kind of understated domestic bliss, marked by the quiet mischief of the self-entertained.

    Working together with artist David Fesl, Ožbolt developed an exhibition design that nixes artificial illumination in favor of natural light. This simple gesture emphasizes the architectural

  • Julian Rogers, Ranch Hand, 2021, oil on canvas, 48 x 36".
    picks July 29, 2022

    Julian Rogers

    This July, NASA released the first pictures from the James Webb Space Telescope, forever altering the precision with which we visualize the cosmos. The images’ aesthetics, however, are unsettlingly familiar, with their twinkling stars and smudge-like spiral galaxies drawing comparisons to bowling-alley carpets and the covers of pulp paperbacks.

    With the exhibition “Wave Upon Wave,” Julian Rogers taps into a similar vibe as he turns our gaze skyward through a series of sunsets and cloudscapes rendered with exquisite verisimilitude. Rogers previously worked in the studios of Jeff Koons and Bjarne

  • Jasmina Cibic, The Gift, 2021,4K three-channel video, color, sound, 23 minutes 43 seconds.
    interviews May 20, 2022

    Jasmina Cibic

    Through her films, images, installations, and objects, Jasmina Cibic pulls back the curtain on hegemonic powers, exposing the formulations and ideologies that create and maintain political authority. Cibic’s latest exhibition, “Most Favoured Nation,” on view from March 5 until June 12 at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, features, among other recent work, a major new installation for which the artist surveys the crumbling state of Europe.

    IN 1920, in the wake of the First World War, the city of Salzburg resolved to return humanity to a Europe that had been completely desecrated: socially,

  • Katharina Fritsch, Elephant, 1987. Installation view in the Central Pavilion. All photos, unless noted: Kate Sutton.
    diary April 22, 2022

    Sweet Dreaming

    THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE in this world: those who really listen when they hold a seashell to their ear and those who don’t. Cecilia Alemani’s exhibition “The Milk of Dreams,” the main project of the Fifty-Ninth Venice Biennale, is for the former. Titled after a whimsical children’s book by Leonora Carrington, the show harbors a dark-kerneled exuberance, embracing sensuality, sentimentality, and spirituality to yield a surprising light, even joy.

    Alemani’s biennale was delayed due to Covid, and she clearly spent the extra time wisely. You can feel the research saturating the rooms. Of the

  • View of “Latifa Echakhch: The Concert,” 2022, Swiss pavilion, Venice. Photo: Annik Wetter.


    IN DEVELOPING THE PROJECT for the Swiss pavilion, I knew I wanted to make a radical break from what I had been doing before. The Venice proposal was an opportunity for me to unlearn my way of working as a visual artist and approach the exhibition as a musician. To help me, I recruited the curator Francesco Stocchi, who, in his former life, was a DJ of dub music. I also invited the musician and composer Alexandre Babel. I know how I project visual art in space, but I wondered what happens in his brain when he’s projecting music.

    I read all this fantastic history of sound and composition. I took