Lauren O’Neill-Butler

  • Left: David Mazzucchelli, Discovering America (detail), 1992, ink on paper. Right: David Mazzucchelli, Near Miss (detail), 1989, ink on paper.
    interviews June 10, 2009

    David Mazzucchelli

    Dan Nadel, owner of the Brooklyn-based publishing house PictureBox Inc., organized “Sounds and Pauses: The Comics of David Mazzucchelli,” the first US retrospective of Mazzucchelli’s twenty-five year career. The exhibition is on view at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in New York through August 23. Pantheon Graphic Novels will publish Asterios Polyp, Mazzucchelli’s anticipated new graphic novel, on July 7.

    I GREW UP WITH DAVID’S WORK. I first saw his original and groundbreaking drawings in the seminal Batman comic Batman: Year One in 1987. He made those drawings when he was in his mid-twenties.

  • Xavier Cha

    Over the past few years, Xavier Cha has developed a quasi-mythic reputation for her strange, nearly gauche, performances. In her exhibition “Holiday Cruise!” in 2006, for example, she appeared in several ways: lounging in an enormous cornucopia; as a deity called Polyhedra; and gyrating while wearing a full-body costume of hair braided in cornrows. Anyone expecting such lavishness in her recent exhibition would have been surprised by the chilly, detached tone, by the stark and minimal presentation and less over-the-top subjects. But most unexpectedly, she did not perform here herself, opting

  • Left: Jennifer West, Led Zeppelin Alchemy Film (16mm film dripped with lemon juice, honey, wine, hit with a custard pie, tangerines, flowers, and cucumber—featuring strobe light hair performances by Jill Spector & Jwest), 2007, still from a color film in 16 mm transferred to video, 3 minutes 36 seconds. Right: Jennifer West, Skate the Sky Film (35mm film print of clouds in the sky covered with ink, Ho-Ho’s, and Melon—taped to Tate Turbine Hall ramp and skateboarded over using ollie, kick flip, pop shove-it, acid drop, melon grab, crooked grind, bunny hop, tic tacs, sex change, disco flip—skateboarding performed live for Long Weekend by a bunch of London skaters), 2009. Production still. Pictured: Finn West.
    interviews May 15, 2009

    Jennifer West

    In conjunction with “The Long Weekend” at Tate Modern, the Los Angeles–based artist Jennifer West will premiere a new piece, Skate the Sky Film. Here she talks about her practice of subjecting 16-mm, 35-mm, and 70-mm film to a wide array of substances and the new direction this work has taken her. The festival runs May 22–25; more information can be found here.

    THIS PROJECT IS DIFFERENT FOR ME because I’m working within a twenty-four-hour period in London, and part of it will involve a live audience. I’m also going to show a 35-mm print on a 35-mm projector (on a built platform), which is an

  • Unica Zürn, Untitled, 1961, ink on paper, 12 3/8 x 9 1/4".
    picks May 02, 2009

    Unica Zürn

    The black-and-white photographs of Unica Zürn’s body—bound by string, coiled, and reduced to a sack of bulbous flesh—are some of Hans Bellmer’s most admired works and, until recently, her mere cameo in art history’s canon. As a remedial course, perhaps, this elegant show offers a bounty of Zürn’s automatic drawings, a few shimmering paintings, and some brilliant pieces of her writing (for which she is most regarded). Although it reprises themes set forth in Ubu Gallery’s similar 2005 show, the Drawing Center exhibition thoughtfully and tenderly examines her short career and mental illness without

  • Xylor Jane

    Xylor Jane’s third solo exhibition at Canada, titled “NDE,” as in “near-death experience,” did not on first impression look to be about death. Products of a conceptual, task-based approach that Jane began developing in the mid-1990s, these new works, more explicitly than their predecessors, depict patterns through dabs of brightly colored oil paint. Some of these patterns have their origins in printouts of numbers from the Internet. Others are based in a system Jane has generated that links the seven colors of the rainbow to the seven days of the week. If their palettes were more consistently

  • Left: Emilie Halpern, Lost Weekend (detail), 2009, 540 sheets of photocopied paper, 11 x 8.5 x 6“. Right: Emilie Halpern, Apollo (detail), 2009, space blanket, halogen spotlight, 86 x 56”.
    interviews April 29, 2009

    Emilie Halpern

    The Los Angeles–based artist Emilie Halpern incorporates subtle explorations of time, memory, and longing into her films, photographs, drawings, and sculptures. Here she speaks about the new works that will debut at her solo exhibition at Project Row Houses in Houston on May 2 and the process of preparing for the show.

    I WAS VERY AWARE of the various parameters at Project Row Houses when putting together this exhibition. For example, the work typically isn’t for sale and the space is left unattended. It seemed like an opportunity to shift the way I was working, and the timing was ideal: I was

  • Left: Artists Kathe Burkhart and John Lovett. Right: Artist Kembra Pfahler. (All photos: Ryan McNamara)
    diary April 24, 2009

    Due East

    New York

    “I AM PARTICIPANT,” exclaimed artist Kathe Burkhart as we navigated the expanding crowd, a few hundred strong, at the nonprofit’s annual benefit on Sunday. “Well, really Lia is,” she finally allowed, giving credit to the institution’s founding director, Lia Gangitano. Burkhart gestured across the room toward the announcement card for her 2003 solo show, and I skimmed the crowd, spotting other artists who might also “be” Participant. The card, as well as some works by those artists, was amid a makeshift time line that stretched across one of the black-painted walls: the institution’s exhibition

  • Carol Bove and Janine Lariviere, Twentieth-Century Narcissus (details), 2009.
    interviews April 13, 2009

    Carol Bove

    Carol Bove is a Brooklyn-based artist known for incorporating made and found objects, primarily from the 1960s, into her works. Her solo exhibition at The Horticultural Society of New York opens on April 15 and features an accordion-fold book, which she discusses here. Her exhibition at the Tate Saint Ives will open on May 15.

    TWENTIETH-CENTURY NARCISSUS is a project that Janine Lariviere began in 2002 through her research on flower bulbs and their hybridization and registration. It is essentially a collection of daffodils (cut from catalogs) that are arranged on a time line according to their

  • Jennifer Bornstein, Phantom Limb, 2009, black-and-white film in 16 mm, 18 minutes. Production still.
    picks April 13, 2009

    Jennifer Bornstein

    The set in Jennifer Bornstein’s 16-mm abstract film Phantom Limb, 2009, is the same one used in the television show Boston Legal, but you’d never guess it. The eighteen-minute black-and-white work unfolds slowly and silently and ends where it began, with the opening scene flipped backward and in negative. Superimpositions and mirror reflections are spread throughout, in homage, perhaps, to early Surrealist film, and these transitions seem to suit her subject: mirror boxes, traditionally used to treat phantom-limb pains. Bornstein’s work feels a bit like therapy, too: As the camera’s roaming lens

  • Left: Mary Mattingly, Inflatable Home, 2008, color photograph, 40 x 50“. Right: James Halverson/Lux Visual Effects, The Waterpod, 2009, three-dimensional rendering, 30 x 40”.
    interviews April 01, 2009

    Mary Mattingly

    New York–based photographer and sculptor Mary Mattingly has designed The Waterpod, a floating eco-habitat that recalls the work of Buckminster Fuller, Andrea Zittel, and Constant Nieuwenhuis and that will launch this May in the East River. Here she discusses the evolution of the project. Mattingly’s second solo exhibition at Robert Mann Gallery in New York, titled “Nomadographies,” will open on April 2.

    THE WATERPOD is three years in the making. Prior to this project, I made wearable homes with three layers, fit for mobile people in different environmental conditions (arctic, desert/tundra, and

  • Keren Cytter

    Keren Cytter, who lives in Berlin, pulls from film history for her work, usually in service to video, the medium for which she is best known (though she redirected the practice to text in her novel from last year, The seven most exciting hours of Mr. Trier’s life in twenty-four chapters, which draws from Lars von Trier’s The Kingdom). The two short videos in her exhibition at Thierry Goldberg refer most directly to Blowup and Dial M for Murder, though they also bring to mind a range of other subjects: soap operas, reality television, Godard, Fassbinder. But while Cytter’s videos explore particular

  • Left: Lisi Raskin, Armada (work in progress). Right: Lisi Raskin, Armada, 2009, wood, paint. Installation view, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas.
    interviews March 24, 2009

    Lisi Raskin

    Over the past ten years, the Brooklyn-based artist Lisi Raskin has explored fear, cold-war tensions, and sites that rely on nuclear power in her works. Here she speaks about the process of making Armada, a new installation on view until June 21 at the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin.

    THE “MOBILE OBSERVATION” SERIES began over a year ago. The first part of the project, Command and Control, was commissioned by Bard College and was exhibited at the Park Avenue Armory for the ADAA fair in 2008. Following that, I was commissioned by Bard to take a road trip to expand the