Lauren O’Neill-Butler

  • interviews November 26, 2013

    Eleanor Antin

    Throughout her nearly fifty-year career, Eleanor Antin has played many roles, from artist to filmmaker to author and beyond. Antin was born in the Bronx in 1935 and moved in June 1968 to Southern California, where she embarked on her early conceptual works and fictional personas, including the King of Solana Beach, Eleanor Nightingale, and Eleanora Antinova. “Multiple Occupancy: Eleanor Antin’s ‘Selves,’ ” a survey exhibition of her videos, photographs, performances, and films is on view at Columbia University’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery until December 7, 2013, and highlights these

  • “La Poussière de soleils”

    Borrowing its title, which translates as “the dust of suns,” from a 1926 play by Raymond Roussel, the influential beau ideal of the Surrealists, Olivia Shao’s curatorial venture at Real Fine Arts this past summer was a tone poem on myth: from the myth of time as vast continuity to the myths that often surround obscure artists. The carefully planned installation of tight corridors and intimate galleries in some ways recalled a line from a 1963 study of Roussel by Michel Foucault: “La Poussière de soleils is constructed like steps descending down a well to the treasure.” Yet the dominant feeling

  • diary October 08, 2013

    Kid ‘n’ Play

    EAGERLY ANTICIPATED, the 2013 Carnegie International is a down-to-earth, homegrown affair. Without a title, a theme, or any kind of tagline, it’s a special show that doesn’t put on any special airs, which is no small feat given the International’s status as the oldest, grandest, most august exhibition of contemporary art in the US. (For contrast, dial back to the 2008 edition “Life on Mars,” which pondered, Do aliens exist?) The 2013 CI curators—Daniel Baumann, Dan Byers, and Tina Kukielski—are likewise unafraid to speak candidly about their project: “We love art because it is a troublemaker

  • Barbara Bloom

    This past spring, Barbara Bloom reimagined the installation of five galleries at the Jewish Museum in New York, crafting a suave, literary exhibition that set objects from the institution’s holdings in dialogue with her own words and site-specific assemblages. No stranger to working with museum collections, Bloom is well known for her permanent intervention at Vienna’s Museum für Angewandte Kunst (MAK) from 1994, for which she placed the institution’s display of Thonet bentwood chairs behind a translucent wall, illuminating the objects from behind so they are visible only as shadows. At the

  • picks September 21, 2013

    Paul Elliman

    Paul Elliman’s Untitled (September Magazine), 2013, the centerpiece of his debut and long-overdue solo exhibition in the US, is a copy full of copies without an ounce of copy, more or less. Mimicking a hefty high-gloss fashion periodical, the majority of its 592 pages features a lone image of cropped body parts from a similarly sleek advertisement or editorial feature, yet without any accompanying text. But stick around to flip through the entire book: Page by page, the work produces an assembly of letters, symbols, and other glyphs—abstracted limbs as found poetry. Elliman’s unusual wordplay

  • interviews September 10, 2013

    Ashley Bickerton

    After graduating from CalArts in 1982, Ashley Bickerton spent twelve decisive years in New York before relocating to Bali, where he currently lives and works. For his fourth solo show at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York, Bickerton is presenting new pieces that strive for an “overlay” among painting, photography, and sculpture. The show runs September 11 to October 26, 2013.

    PARODY HAS ALWAYS BEEN IN MY WORK. In the 1980s, I was parodying Judd’s boxes, making them into slick consumables covered in logos—which were the iconography of that era, just as they are the iconography of our present

  • Constance DeJong

    This past May, Contstance DeJong delivered twelve performances of SpeakChamber, 2013, a nearly hour-long narrative recited from memory. The gallery’s intimate space was swathed in dark gray soundproofing foam, with a spotlight illuminating a chair where DeJong sat adjacent to a table supporting an iMac and a few books. Five simple wooden benches could accommodate a maximum of eighteen people per show. Unsurprisingly, all spots were claimed quickly by RSVP—DeJong, a beacon of video and new-media art, known for her collaborations (notably with Philip Glass for the 1979 opera Satyagraha), had

  • interviews August 27, 2013

    Jason Dodge

    Jason Dodge’s first permanent installation is located in the tower of a former MaxMara electrical factory, adjacent to the Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, Italy. A permanently open window consists of a window that is perpetually ajar, two cedar doors, and a sculpture titled Alphabet. Dodge is known for works that poetically defy everyday perception, and here he discusses the specificities of transforming this window into a “beacon.”

    FUNDAMENTALLY, I’m interested in abstraction, and presence. I was thinking about how I wanted to make an abstract body that is not obviously detectable but

  • picks August 26, 2013

    Tomoko Yoneda

    Tomoko Yoneda’s somber miniretrospective traces a taut chronology in a selection of sixty-seven photographs culled from eight clinically cool series, mostly made in Asia over the past decade. Near the entrance, a wall text trumpets that the exhibition aims to introduce her work “in the present progressive tense,” a tactic that gathers momentum room by room as the Japanese photographer continuously examines collective memory and the interstitial zones where cultures intersect and overlap.

    Yoneda’s focus on materials and texture in the first few galleries is impressive: The colors in a fading

  • diary August 23, 2013

    General Electric

    A SHINKANSEN FROM TOKYO TO NAGOYA, the fourth-largest city in Japan and the capital of the Aichi Prefecture, speeds along at 200 mph for nearly ninety minutes southwest, briskly passing houses, factories, and fields. As your eyes lose focus, the view transforms into broad basics: horizons, striations, and soft earth. Landscape, abstraction, landscape, abstraction.

    The Friday before last, Nagoya was hosting the opening of the Second Aichi Triennale, a sprawling, multisite festival spread over traditional exhibition spaces as well as a former bowling alley, a train station, a dusty department store,

  • interviews August 21, 2013

    Sakiko Sugawa

    Social Kitchen is a small but industrious social and cultural center in Kyoto. Founded in September 2010, the center has initiated a variety of participatory projects, often involving local communities—from supporting emerging artists to selling rice, and from engaging citizens to participate in a mayoral election and raising awareness about nuclear energy to reading books on relational art. Here Social Kitchen cofounder Sakiko Sugawa talks about the origins of the project and some of its work.

    SOCIAL KITCHEN BEGAN after five successful years of working on the project Kissahanare, a weekly

  • interviews August 06, 2013

    Hong-Kai Wang

    Hong-Kai Wang is a Taiwanese artist primarily working with sound. Two of her projects are concurrently on view in New York this August. For “Soundings: A Contemporary Score,” MoMA’s first major exhibition of sound art, which is curated by Barbara London, Wang is presenting Music While We Work, 2011, a two-channel video and multichannel audio installation that will be on view from August 10 to November 3, 2013. For “The String and the Mirror,” a group show organized by Justin Luke and Lawrence Kumpf at Lisa Cooley, Wang is contributing the performance The Musical Condition of Reasonable Conspiracy

  • interviews July 17, 2013

    Lucy Dodd

    Lucy Dodd is an artist based in New York. Her latest exhibition, “Foss,” opens at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles on July 20 and remains on view until August 31, 2013. Here Dodd discusses the origins of the eight new paintings on view in the show, as well as a tale she cowrote in 2004—a chief source of inspiration for this project.

    IN 2004, Jason Rhoades, Paul Theriault, and I began a project in LA called the Foss. It’s hard to explain how the project started or what it was because none of us knew at the time. Foss was the word to describe this dilemma and in the beginning it was also the acronym for

  • picks July 12, 2013

    Erika Vogt

    A black, plaster-cast anchor dangles precariously from the ceiling near the entrance to Erika Vogt’s debut solo museum exhibition. It is a harbinger of exchange, and of the invisible and enigmatic transactions at play throughout the show, particularly in the eleven additional suspended objects—some found, some fabricated—that visitors navigate in the space. The anchor extends from a rope connected to a pulley above, and it hovers in the air because the same rope is secured to a counterweight on the floor, to a cast of a less recognizable object. The effect favors tension and illusion, but there

  • interviews June 18, 2013

    B. Wurtz

    B. Wurtz’s first solo exhibition in London is on view at Kate MacGarry from June 7 to July 13, 2013. The show will include a range of his work, most of it made with found objects and raw materials—such as wood, metal, and marble—from the 1970s to the present. Here, Wurtz reflects on his long career and his recent exhibitions.

    WHEN I WAS VERY YOUNG I had the Eames Giant House of Cards, which unfortunately I destroyed because I played with it so much. Those cards and the images on them were some of my earliest tools (and inspirations!) for making sculptures. I would often make tall towers out of

  • interviews June 11, 2013

    Rhonda Lieberman

    CATS AND ART TOGETHER AT LAST AT WHITE COLUMNS proclaims the press release for “The Cat Show,” an exhibition curated by writer and artist Rhonda Lieberman and developed in partnership with New York’s Social Tees Animal Rescue. Here Lieberman discusses the origins of the project and the “Cats-in-Residence Program,” where cats will be offered for adoption in the gallery on June 14 and 15, and July 19 and 20. The show is on view at White Columns from June 14 to July 27, 2013.

    BACK IN THE MID-’90S, I lived in a loft in Long Island City and started tending an outdoor cat colony in an empty lot on my

  • Birgit Jürgenssen

    Austrian-born feminist artist Birgit Jürgenssen produced a wide variety of work—paintings, photographs, performances, sculptures, collages, drawings, and clothing, among other forms and media—before her untimely death in 2003 at age fifty-four. Inspired by the writings of Sigmund Freud, her oeuvre features classically Surrealistic juxtapositions that allude to the associative operations of the unconscious, and often seems abuzz with psychosexual energy. Her work marries this interest in Freudian psychoanalysis to a political optimism—“between ‘waking and dreaming’ we can learn ‘

  • Dana Hoey

    The title and content of Dana Hoey’s latest series of photographs riffs on classic works of French feminist theory—Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949) and Luce Irigaray’s This Sex Which Is Not One (1977)—while ushering in a contemporary take on representations of women’s rights and “femininity.” Named “The Phantom Sex,” 2010–13, the series portrays the female form in traces, all phantasmagoric: a “death mask” of actress Sean Young; a concrete cast of the artist’s face that resembles an antique statue; and a silicone cast of a friend’s torso, white and opaque like a (bizarre)

  • interviews April 29, 2013

    Richard Foreman

    Theater pathfinder and MacArthur “genius” Richard Foreman has played many roles over the past five decades, diligently writing, directing, and designing his numerous plays, operas, films, and videos. This year his Ontological-Hysteric Theater, a touchstone for several generations of artists, celebrates its forty-fifth anniversary.

    Foreman was born in 1937 in New York City. He received a BA from Brown University and an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama. In 1993, Brown presented him with an honorary doctorate. Foreman’s latest work, the chamber play Old Fashioned Prostitutes (A True

  • interviews April 22, 2013

    Lucy McKenzie

    Lucy McKenzie is a Brussels-based Scottish artist. In 2008, with designers Beca Lipscombe and Bernie Reid, she launched Atelier E.B., a company that works on fashion and design projects with a particular emphasis on applied arts and artisan techniques. McKenzie’s first exhibition in Amsterdam is currently on view at the Stedelijk Museum until September 22, 2013. Along with the show, Atelier E.B. will have a temporary showroom at Magazijn in Amsterdam from May 15 to 18.

    THE STEDELIJK SHOW BEGAN with my impressions of visiting three different sites at the end of 2012: the Alhambra Palace in Granada,