Lillian Davies

  • Still from The End, 2006.
    picks September 26, 2006

    Mark Wallinger

    Distilling epic stories into their nominal signifiers, Mark Wallinger proposes a beginning and an end for complex religious and political histories. The alpha, A ist für Alles, 2005, draws on the work of Edward Said, specifically his collaboration with Daniel Barenboim in the organization of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which brings together musicians from Arab and Jewish communities in the Middle East. The pregnant sound of the orchestra uniformly tuning to the A note bathes the physical element of Wallinger’s installation—a black Mies van der Rohe day bed positioned in the center of

  • A Bigger Puddle near Kilham, November 2005.
    picks September 26, 2006

    David Hockney

    Coming home to the English countryside, David Hockney has recently painted his native Yorkshire with the rigor and fascination he first bestowed upon the shimmering swimming pools of LA. In almost all of the twenty-five canvases on view here, Hockney includes a dirt road, muddy, shaded, or overgrown. The windy trails, including Rudston to Sledmere, August 2005 and Path Through Wheat Field, July 2005, stand in for the artist’s journey, the evolution of his identity and work. Meanwhile, Hockney’s lush fields, village rooftops, trees, and a distant church steeple appear heavy and permanent, suggesting

  • Some Translations: Andrea, 1999–2006.
    picks September 18, 2006

    Harrell Fletcher

    Asking his students, friends, and fellow artists to share their skills and imagination, Harrell Fletcher generously incorporates interpretations of a list of project ideas into this collaborative exhibition. For Some Translations: Andrea, 1999–2006, Fletcher uses a display unit by Andrea Blum to realize his plan to present an artist’s source material on an existing sculpture. Fletcher turns Blum’s lean structure into a sort of frame for itself, covering the sturdy metal shelves and screens with the books, films, and newspaper clippings that filled Blum’s studio (and mind) at the time she conceived

  • Storm in a Teacup, 2006.
    picks September 15, 2006

    Julie Verhoeven

    A veritable decadence, Julie Verhoeven’s installation saturates this intimate and precious space with fantastical designs and textures. Referencing the historical milieu of central London’s Soho neighborhood yet offering a trendy contemporary appeal, Verhoeven has set up a series of dressing screens decorated with Victorian decoupage, soft fabric, and dozens of her iconic fashion sketches. These folding structures divide the space into a series of small chambers, granting visitors privacy in which to savor the dreamy atmosphere. The installation comes alive with Graham Coxon’s pulsing sound

  • Installation view, 2006.
    picks August 21, 2006

    Mike Kelley

    Mike Kelley's multimedia installation, nestled amid the remnants of the Louvre's medieval foundations, resurrects two prominent American paintings that the artist discovered during his youthful forays into the Detroit Institute of Art. Immersing audiences in atmospheric sound and luminous film projections, Kelley revisits the formal compositions of John Singleton Copley's Watson and the Shark, 1777, and Thomas Wilmer Dewing's The Recitation, 1891. Animating these historic works, Kelley's films zoom in on the paintings’ details, exaggerating Copley's vicious shark jaws and Dewing's haughtily

  • Cover of Documents (issue 1, 1929).
    picks July 27, 2006

    “Undercover Surrealism”

    Guided by Georges Bataille’s avant-garde journal Documents, Dawn Ades has orchestrated an exhibition that hews close to the publication’s diverse range of playful, often subversive content. Published in Paris from 1929 to 1930, Documents juxtaposed reviews of contemporary art, music, and film with academic studies of numismatics and linguistics. Ades has picked up on the political resonance of the journal (expressed by the dissenting voices of Bataille, Robert Desnos, and Joan Miró, among others). For example, André Masson’s painting The Abattoir, 1930—reproduced in the journal and included

  • Installation view, 2006.
    picks July 18, 2006

    Mike Nelson

    Invoking his mythical biker gang, the Amnesiacs, to help with his latest installation, British artist Mike Nelson has created a sparse, imposing structure of chicken wire, wood, and plaster. With just one tightly sprung door allowing both entrance to and exit from this flimsy cage, Nelson’s “amnesiac shrine” offers little choice in movement through the space. The transparent structure directs visitors along a spiraling path through a series of passageways and triangular rooms littered with a series of pyres, brittle and charred wood, and five lumpy white plaster globes, each with a gaping hole

  • Endless Comfort, 2006.
    picks July 18, 2006

    Nayland Blake

    In artworks both brutal and tender, Nayland Blake puts his personal relationships, emotions, and anxieties on display, linking his own memories to a range of popular references. Blake’s drawings, sculptures, and manipulated photographs included in this show, titled “The Expulsion from the Garden,” seem like the lonely traces of a tormented nightmare. At times, Blake’s work is present and tactile, as in the enormous swath of plush fake fur slung on an oversize towel rail in Endless Comfort, 2006. Elsewhere, works are distant and enigmatic, as in the film Cruise/Blue, 2006, which combines elements

  • Table with Curios and Plants (detail), 2006.
    picks June 20, 2006

    Liz Craft

    Acutely aware of the eccentricities of Californian alternative lifestyles, Los Angeles native Liz Craft playfully infuses the tacky implications of bronze figurative sculpture with the quirky charm of flea-market kitsch. In these new works, Craft recalls objects once abandoned in empty lots or dusty junk-shop corners, whimsically embellishing both composition and surface with details that flash back to hippie culture and rock ’n’ roll. For Tire with Bird, 2006, Craft balances material solidity against fanciful superficiality as she softens an encounter between the detritus of an urban wasteland

  • INKA SNOW (detail), 2006.
    picks May 31, 2006

    Armando Andrade Tudela

    Peruvian artist Armando Andrade Tudela unearths a web of multiplicities in an exhibition of photographs, drawings, collages, and one extraordinary architectural proposal, INKA SNOW, 2006. Amid a rugged tabletop landscape reminiscent of the desert surrounding Lima, Tudela presents a model designed to look like three inhabitable lines of cocaine. Next to the massive imprint of a credit card in a white surface that glistens like Andean snow, each “bump” incorporates images of modern chicken farms and the utopian designs of Archigram. Tudela uses the narrative of cocaine’s production—it is

  • Cube #17 (Amber/Green), 2005.
    picks May 18, 2006

    Larry Bell

    Returning to the model of his trademark glass box, Larry Bell's new series of cubes, displayed here in his first solo exhibition in France, reveals the artist's continually evolving attentiveness to the perfection of construction and finish. Flawless pieces of glass are cut into clean squares and fastened together to make uniform cubes with dimensions slightly larger (20 x 20 x 20“) than his classic '60s boxes. Using a vacuum-coating process, Bell has treated the surfaces with Inconel, a metallic alloy that fractures light according to levels of oxidation and density. Shifting from opaque to

  • Installation view, 2006.
    picks May 17, 2006

    Vidya Gastaldon

    As if looking after her children, the soft-yet-sturdy, papier mâché–and-wool body of Swiss artist Vidya Gastaldon’s God-mother (baba), 2006, stands as a proud and peaceful presence on two six-toed feet. Five tetrahedrals, wooden frames wrapped with colored, knitted wool, surround her. Sleeves of dark blue and grey wool clothe the thin wooden beams of Dark Tetrahedral, 2006, while the structural elements of Erotic Tetrahedral, 2006, are wrapped in pink and red. Divine Tetrahedral, 2006—dressed in blue, yellow, and golden orange—refreshes the characteristic symbol for a universal