Lauren O’Neill-Butler

  • interviews April 28, 2014

    Tauba Auerbach

    Tauba Auerbach is a New York–based artist whose debut solo exhibition in the UK will be at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London from April 16 to June 15, 2014. The show extends her interests in chirality and topology and takes up Martin Gardner’s book The New Ambidextrous Universe: Symmetry and Asymmetry from Mirror Reflection to Superstrings (2005) as a source for both the work on view and the exhibition’s title.

    ONE OF THE CONCEPTS that confounded me in Gardner’s The New Ambidextrous Universe is how, on a molecular level, asymmetry is a distinguishing feature of life. An asymmetric

  • interviews April 23, 2014

    Jeanine Oleson

    Jeanine Oleson is an interdisciplinary artist based in New York. This spring, the New Museum is hosting the first museum presentation of her work, which springs from her four-month residency at the institution and which will include an experimental opera, an exhibition, and a series of public programs and workshops. The exhibition, “Hear, Here,” is on view from April 23 to July 6, 2014.

    I’VE BEEN THINKING about the importance of the audience, and more specifically about what constitutes an engaged audience member. Fran Lebowitz once made a comment about the loss of artists, cultural producers,

  • interviews April 16, 2014

    Sam Pulitzer

    Sam Pulitzer is an artist and writer based in New York who works with a wide array of materials, from hand-drawn vinyl transfers to ear gauges. His current exhibition, “A Colony for ‘Them,’ ” features a complex architectural warren and numerous vinyl transfers of commissioned texts, signs, and slogans. The show is on view at Artists Space in New York from March 16 to May 18, 2014.

    LET’S START with the title, “A Colony for ‘Them.’ ” This is the third occasion that I have opted for a title that includes these cumbersome scare quotes—the first was in 2011 at Real Fine Arts in Brooklyn, with “Gauges

  • diary April 07, 2014

    Aim High

    IT’S NOT EASY TO GET TO CUENCA, and if you were going a few weeks ago it may have been under the guise of the Bienal—one of the more extrasolar on the circuit. But it’s also likely that you went for the Andes, the Inca ruins, the hot springs, the shamans, etc. The participating artists, curators, collectors, dealers, visiting journalists, and others in town for the opening of the show’s twelfth edition didn’t distinguish so much between spending time with art or with nature. And many—whether incoming from New York, Sydney, Paris, Mexico City, or São Paulo—logged at least three flights to arrive

  • Kazuko Miyamoto

    In 1969, Kazuko Miyamoto was working in her live-in studio at 117 Hester Street when the fire alarm went off. Congregating on the street below with other artists from the building, she met her neighbor Sol LeWitt, and soon after became his assistant. For several decades, she executed his wall drawings and oversaw the production of his modular cube sculptures. Today, the Japanese-American artist is best known for her signature post-Minimalist work, as well as for establishing Gallery Onetwentyeight, a Lower East Side storefront space, in 1986. Fourteen years earlier she had cofounded the feminist

  • Jason Dodge

    Critics of Jason Dodge’s sparse exhibitions over the past decade have frequently cited and relied upon the “narratives” and “poetry” bodied forth by his unassuming, enigmatically undated objects. Yet these oft-repeated terms have seemed increasingly facile in the face of his expansive output, with its sometimes radical testing of belief, fictions, and facts. Of the works in his recent New York show, take, for example, The mayor is sleeping. The mayor of Nuremberg is sleeping., a pillow the artist asserts has been slept on only by the mayor of Nuremberg. This backstory is fanciful, yes, but serves

  • interviews February 19, 2014

    Mel Chin

    “Mel Chin: Rematch,” a traveling retrospective organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art and curated by NOMA’s Miranda Lash, presents more than seventy works and documents related to Chin’s collective interventions. Chin is perhaps best known for Operation Paydirt, 2006–, a project that supports solutions to end childhood lead poisoning. As part of the endeavor’s ongoing efforts, in 2014 Operation Paydirt will host a “Make It Real” meeting, convening at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Community Innovators Lab (CoLab), which will bring together leaders in the effort against lead

  • interviews February 14, 2014

    Virginia Dwan

    In the second segment of this two-part series, Virginia Dwan addresses the closure of her New York gallery in 1971 as well as the bequest of her collection this past fall to the National Gallery of Art. In the first segment, Dwan discussed her life as an art dealer and philanthropist. “From Los Angeles to New York: The Dwan Gallery 1959–1971,” an exhibition curated by James Meyer, will open at the National Gallery’s newly renovated East Building in 2016.

    THE QUESTION of why I closed the gallery always comes up. I just ran out of energy to do it. I call it burnout. I liked having a gallery, though:

  • interviews February 11, 2014

    Virginia Dwan

    Virginia Dwan’s philanthropy was of another art world. In 1969, she financed Michael Heizer’s Double Negative and provided funding for the publication of Carl Andre’s Seven Books of Poetry to publisher and dealer Seth Siegelaub. A year later, she sponsored Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. Also well known in the 1960s as a dealer, Dwan opened her first Los Angeles gallery in 1959, giving Yves Klein his debut West Coast solo show in 1961. In 1965, she opened a new space in New York with Ed Kienholz’s installation Barney’s Beanery and produced landmark Minimal, Conceptual and Land art shows. After

  • interviews February 05, 2014

    Beverly Semmes

    Beverly Semmes is a New York–based artist who has exhibited internationally since the late 1980s. Her latest shows span the US: Los Angeles’s Shoshana Wayne Gallery is presenting two of Semmes’s large-scale dress works, produced in 1992 and 1994, from January 11 to March 1, 2014. In New York, Semmes will show selections from her ongoing Feminist Responsibility Project, as well as ceramics, at Susan Inglett Gallery from February 6 to March 15, 2014.

    IN THE EARLY 2000S, I inherited a stack of 1990s-era porn magazines. It’s a long story in itself, but basically I was helping a friend in upstate New

  • Rosemarie Trockel

    Rosemarie Trockel’s exhibition at Gladstone Gallery appeared to encompass three distinct bodies of work: twenty-eight striped or monochrome “wool paintings”; six wall-based sculptures of meat cast in Acrystal and mounted on pieces of Perspex; and two pieces of furniture, including a long, modernist sofa made, cushions and all, from cast steel. Yet in spite of their apparent heterogeneity, these pieces were, in fact, closely interconnected: All engaged a slippery dialectic of aspiration and deprivation.

    Copy Me, 2013, the steel sofa, was draped with a thin plastic sheet, which both framed the

  • Robin Bruch

    Over the past forty years, Robin Bruch’s facture has remained constant—unwavering, even—while the simple shapes she sets in non-illusionistic space have been anything but. Her quivering and shivering forms refuse to be pinned down; some of her best paintings have a biomorphic quality that recalls cells mutating under a microscope’s lens. This recent, fifteen-work show consisted mostly of canvases made in 2012 and 2013, with a handful of works on paper from the 1970s and a single painting from the mid-’80s.

    A motif Bruch returns to again and again is the triangle. Take, for instance,

  • Amie Siegel

    Provenance, 2013, Amie Siegel’s new video and the linchpin of her recent exhibition in New York, focuses on furniture pieces designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret for their utopian building project in the northwestern Indian city of Chandigarh, tracking these sofas and stools as they travel from India to the high-end homes of collectors in Europe and the United States. The video progresses in a counterintuitive fashion. Rather than start with the furniture’s origin, Siegel begins with its destination, and then moves backward in time through each stage of the voyage. The work’s first

  • 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