Lisa Turvey

  • Vik Muniz

    Vik Muniz’s work of the past two decades is an art-historical hit parade, the subjects of his photographic series often famous images reconfigured in ordinary, humble materials—Leonardo’s Last Supper in chocolate syrup, Caravaggio’s Narcissus in junkyard flotsam, Monet’s water lilies in hole-punched paper circles. Until recently, one would never have confused his simulations with the real deal. “I don’t want the viewer to believe in my images,” he has said before, avowing an aspiration to produce “the worst possible illusion.” The duplicity in Muniz’s latest exhibition, however, was thoroughgoing,

  • John Altoon

    John Altoon’s short career offers near-perfect fodder for art-historical mythmaking. It contains all the ingredients of a durable fable: a fiery personality (he fought mental illness, often trashing his own work and threatening to destroy that of others); right-time-right-place fortune (late 1950s Los Angeles, coming into its own as an art community); the esteem and affection of fellow travelers (among them Ed Kienholz, Billy Al Bengston, Ed Ruscha, and others in the Ferus Gallery stable, of which he was a stalwart); and an early death at age forty-three in 1969 (due to a heart attack). True to

  • Daniel Richter, Ferbenlaare, 2005, oil on canvas, 86 x 66 1/4 x 1 3/4".

    Daniel Richter

    This midcareer retrospective, featuring some thirty large paintings and more than twenty small-format works, will present viewers with the full range of Daniel Richter's pictorial references, borrowed as freely from punk rock and the daily paper as they are from the legacies of abstraction and epic history painting.

    Often cited with the work of Neo Rauch and Franz Ackermann as exemplary of contemporary German painting, Daniel Richter’s turbocharged canvases call up Max Beckmann just as readily: They are often packed with cryptically menacing narratives in which the fate of the individual—alone or, more often, in a crowd—seems at once overdetermined and up for grabs. This midcareer retrospective, featuring some thirty large paintings and more than twenty small-format works, will present viewers with the full range of the artist’s pictorial references, borrowed as freely from punk

  • Matthew Brannon

    Spike-heeled, peep-toed, platform-soled, or sling-backed, the gaily colored silhouettes of footwear in Matthew Brannon’s recent letterpress prints summon Andy Warhol’s late-1950s shoe drawings in dash and whimsy, if not function. Warhol’s shoes, used in ads, were among his earliest successes; Brannon’s illustrate failure. The paragraphs that appear below them voice the plaints of various urban subjects who are unlucky in love or unhappy at work, facing middle age in the middle distance, and dithering in stews of regret, jealousy, and alcohol. In Role Playing, 2008, lace boots are paired with

  • Massimo Vitali

    In an 1867 letter to a friend, Eugène Boudin bemoaned an influx of vacationers to his native Normandy coast, writing, “This beach at Trouville which used to be my delight, now . . . seems like a frightful masquerade. One would have to be a genius to make something of this bunch of do-nothing poseurs.” A solution was found in selective attention: “Fortunately, dear friend, the Creator has spread out everywhere his splendid and warming light, and it is less this society that we reproduce than the element which envelops it.” Figures turn up, yet as in many Impressionist representations of recreation,

  • Ramak Fazel

    The story of “49 State Capitols,” Milan-based photographer Ramak Fazel’s first exhibition at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, begins with a suggestion from his mother. Fazel’s childhood stamp collection was stored in the attic of her home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, she reminded him while he was there visiting in 2006—why not do something with it? He retrieved the collection and, struck by a page of American state flag stamps, conceived of the odyssey that would take him 17,345 miles over seventy-eight days in the summer and fall of that year.

    Born in Iran but raised in the Midwest,

  • Leemour Pelli

    To paint an X-rayed body, as Leemour Pelli does in the works in her first solo exhibition at Daneyal Mahmood Gallery, is to confront several of the same formal problems that Wilhelm Röntgen’s 1895 discovery posed to early-twentieth-century artists. How does such an affirmation of the inadequacy of human perception hypostatize, and up the ante on, the task of picturing the unseen? What relationships of solid/void, surface/depth, and transparency/opacity does X-ray imagery occasion? Beyond issues of form, rendering skulls and bones engages the weightiest of weighty matters, that realization had

  • Scott Sherk

    For his third exhibition at Kim Foster Gallery, Scott Sherk used the act of walking as source and subject. The work on view, like that by various predecessors for whom perambulation was a theme, brings the outside inside via documentation, and the material consequence of Sherk’s wanderings is a teched-up, twenty-first-century extension of Richard Long’s geometric arrangements of rocks and mud, Hamish Fulton’s photo-text chronicles, and Stanley Brouwn’s obsessive measurements of distance. It’s an old project buttressed by new(ish) machinery, Conceptual art with the assistance of a satellite

  • Merlin James

    In a solo exhibition last year at the New York Studio School, “Painting to Painting,” Welsh artist Merlin James made plain his process of art historical mining. In the press release, titles of works were annotated with references (“after Delacroix,” “after Corot,” and so on), and a companion website cited the sources—modernism’s gamut, from luminaries to also-rans—of a practice that in the past twenty years has encompassed portraiture, still life, interior, landscape, and abstraction. The allusions in “Paintings of Buildings,” James’s latest show at Sikkema, Jenkins & Co., were less patent but

  • Wolfgang Tillmans

    Individual photographs: a sweeping view of a Venetian lagoon; members of the World Adult Kickball Association gathered on the mall in Washington, DC; a sheet of paper, curled into a teardrop shape and glinting against a reflective surface; a profile of a man’s face encrusted with an assortment of mottled stones. All were encountered in the main room of Andrea Rosen Gallery as part of Wolfgang Tillmans’s eighth solo outing there, “Atair,” where the photographer’s characteristic range of genre and format spurred an initial feeling described once by Thomas Pynchon as “antiparanoia,” “where nothing

  • Judi Werthein

    If two landmarks in the brief history of the carpet in contemporary art include Lawrence Weiner’s A SQUARE REMOVAL FROM A RUG IN USE, 1969, and Rudolph Stingel’s Plan B, 2004, the centerpiece of Judi Werthein’s “Corporate Logo” exhibition aims to combine the critical gravity of the former with the visual punch of the latter. The artist blanketed the floor of Art in General’s gallery with a custom-made wall-to-wall black rug patterned in a white, step-and-repeat motif with a logo she devised (with the help of a graphic designer) for the organization. And that was it: an expanse of carpet and bare

  • 
View of “Frank Stella: Painting into Architecture,” 2007, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Foreground, Gate House (Model), 1994. Background, from left: The Broken Jug (Model), 1998; The Dart (D-15) 1X, 1990; and The Broken Jug (Left-Handed Version), 2007. All works by Frank Stella © Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    Frank Stella

    “GIVEN THE FINE ARTS, architecture, painting, and sculpture, I feel caught in the middle,” Frank Stella said recently. For anyone with a passing knowledge of the work he has made over the course of the past fifty years, the statement is hardly surprising; for anyone who has kept up in the past fifteen, neither is the comment that followed: “Now I can’t stop thinking about architecture.” The oddity comes with what Stella said next: “I can only blame the pursuit of abstraction.”

    It may seem a little unfair, in order to decipher this last remark, to begin years ago and worlds away, with the “Black