Lisa John Rogers

  • Martha Mysko, What To Do With Windows, 2021, mixed media, 80 x 40 x 15".
    picks March 21, 2022


    Walking into the lower-level galleries of the Cranbrook Art Museum to see the group exhibition “Homebody,” I first encountered Martha Mysko’s What To Do With Windows, 2021. This large framed mixed-media work features a photographic reproduction of a living room, with three cream-colored accordion lampshades jutting out from the picture’s surface. Holes are cut into the image, and out of them rise various textiles based on the appointments in Mysko’s piece, like a patterned fabric that resembles a throw depicted on a sofa. One of the slits partially obscures a bouquet of white daisies resting on

  • View of “Mirage Detroit,” 2018–19.
    picks November 30, 2018

    Doug Aitken

    There is no natural light in the State Savings Bank, where Doug Aitken has built Mirage Detroit, 2018—a stark contrast to the setting of the previous iteration of this project, Mirage, 2017, which was exposed to the blazing sun of Palm Springs, California. The through line between the projects is the form of the installation, a ranch-style home plated with mirrored acrylic panels. Mirage Detroit is distinct in its control of not only surface and shape but also light. Aitken worked with stage designer Andi Watson to create an algorithm for the internal illumination, which often imitates daylight.

  • Maya Stovall, Liquor Store Theatre, vol. 4, no. 7, 2017, HD video, color, sound, 16 minutes 13 seconds. From the series “Liquor Store Theatre,” 2014–.

    Maya Stovall

    In Detroit, there are no bodegas, just liquor stores. This is part of why Maya Stovall’s 2014– video series “Liquor Store Theatre”—eighteen installments of which are currently on view at the Cranbrook Art Museum—could not have been made anywhere else. For Stovall, who is a Motor City native, these windowless mom-and-pops are neighborhood sanctuaries. With foreclosures of other types of businesses, liquor stores have expanded to become mini superstores additionally selling clothes, food, toys, cleaning supplies, and smoking paraphernalia.

    Each of the short videos showcased at the museum

  • Mary Ann Aitken, Untitled (Sherman Brothers Awnings), ca. 1985–89, oil on Masonite, 48 × 48".

    Mary Ann Aitken

    “Do I want to make a painting of it. Yes because of the yellow. No, because it’s not my idea; it’s familiar to someone else. Oh, keep the yellow. Make another arrangement.”

    This quote was taken from one of Mary Ann Aitken’s sketchbooks from the 1980s, a year after the artist’s death. The hue in question dominates the brightly lit facade depicted in Aitkin’s Untitled (Sherman Brothers Awnings) (all works ca. 1985–89), whose rows of muted-red awnings cast dun-brown shadows on the Naples-yellow building. Aitken used colors reminiscent of everyday objects (yellow like a daffodil, like an egg yolk)