Leland de la Durantaye

  • “Fleeting Impressions and Abundance of Detail”

    In 2013, Tif Sigfrids opened her idiosyncratic gallery in Los Angeles with a solo show occurring exclusively in her right ear. During the opening hours of her otherwise empty space, visitors could ask to see Joe Sola’s micro-paintings, executed with acupuncture needles, hanging in a tiny white cube that had been custom-fitted to Sigfrids’s ear (and is now in the collection of the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, a gift of Ed Ruscha). A subsequent Sola show so filled Sigfrids’s space gallery with perilously balanced wooden chairs as to make it impenetrable. More recently, when Los Angeles philosopher

  • “Répétition”

    Some exhibitions of contemporary art aspire to abstraction in their location, such that what is presented in New York might be seen without sensible alteration in Paris or Mexico City. Other shows speak more immediately of their times and to their places, and this category includes Nicola Lees and Asad Raza’s “Répétition.” It could hardly be otherwise, given that it was hosted by an institution—the Fondation Boghossian–Villa Empain—dedicated to fostering a dialogue between the Middle East and the West through art, and that the show opened in Brussels a mere two months after the attacks

  • Peter Osborne’s Anywhere or Not at All

    Anywhere or Not at All: Philosophy of Contemporary Art, by Peter Osborne. London: Verso, 2013. 282 pages.

    WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CONTEMPORARY? As a rule, it means to miss a great deal. A visitor to the Sistine Chapel circa 1525—barely a decade after Michelangelo finished painting it—referred in his diary to what is today perhaps the most famous image in the Western world as one “of an old man, in the middle of the ceiling, who is represented in the act of flying through the air.” The diarist in question (the bishop of Nocera) should not be judged harshly for not recognizing God, since,