Lisa Turvey

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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

  • Jason Meadows

    Considering that Paris Hilton, Richard Pryor, and porn star Nikki Nova have all played the role of subject for Jason Meadows in the past decade, and that the Los Angeles–based artist’s last exhibition at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery was titled after a Captain Beefheart album, the cultural references in his fourth solo outing there seemed almost quaint. The leitmotifs of “Frame Narrative” were two classics of that literary device in which one story contains or structures another, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Frankenstein. Lewis Carroll and Mary Shelley, like Meadows, consider the marvel—and

  • Carl Andre

    “First poem in the third grade,” Carl Andre recalled in 1963. “After the age of twelve a steady production”: so steady, in fact, that his poetic corpus exceeds one thousand sheets of paper. Many of these are owned by the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, and by the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, making the opportunity to see forty-three of Andre’s poems and works on paper in the back room of Andrea Rosen Gallery worth the trip alone. But this museum-caliber show of work made between 1958 and 1966 had much else to recommend it. First was the decision to forego the usual practice of exhibiting

  • Bruce Conner

    In early 1962, Bruce Conner decamped to Mexico, intending, he recalled, to “live cheaply and hide in the mountains when the bomb dropped.” His survivalist outing lasted less than a year. A nuclear attack never came, and the artist had trouble not only selling his work but making it: The junk from which he conjured his assemblages wasn’t cast off as readily in Oaxaca it had been in San Francisco. Conner’s sense of privation comes across in DESIGN FOR A NEW ART MUSEUM, 1962, one of eight early works that comprised a small recent exhibition. A morass of wispy pencil lines, some of which fall just

  • Marti Cormand

    “Offside” was the title of both Marti Cormand’s third solo exhibition at Josée Bienvenu and of its signal work. This oil-on-linen painting, one of six on view, retools the romantic sublime for a digitized, global warmed present—Caspar David Friedrich’s Monk by the Sea, 1809–10, as a tiny macaw dwarfed by a range of polar ice caps. The parrot, rendered in exacting hyperrealism and comically alien to its frozen surrounds, looks like a Photoshop addition. Brooklyn-based Spanish artist Cormand thus engages the apparent theme of this show: imperiled nature as a parable for the encroachments of the

  • OPENINGS: MATT SAUNDERS

    RARELY COMFORTABLE IN HIS OWN SKIN, Andy Warhol wrote in 1975 that, unlike stars who “turn on” and look “poised and confident” when being filmed, he felt most at ease in slumber—alone, under the covers, and in the dark, on the way to relinquishing consciousness. “Where do I turn on? I turn on when I turn off and go to bed,” he wrote, making a syntactic slip that succinctly describes the animating impulse of his 1963 film Sleep. Nearly six hours of John Giorno snoozing, its only action a twitching knee or a rising abdomen, the movie is a protracted proposition that even an activity as unthinking

  • Ryan Weideman and Sarah Stolfa

    The first part of the definition of patron in Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language (1755) is innocuous enough: “one who countenances, supports or protects.” It is in the second sentence that Johnson gets in a dig at his fickle sponsor, Lord Chesterfield: “commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, and is paid with flattery.” The provider-client relationships on view in “Patrons” are less fraught than those to which Johnson alludes, but are tangled in their own way. Photographers Ryan Weideman and Sarah Stolfa crystallize the transactional nature of the relationship between

  • Jeff Wall, A view from an apartment, 2004-2005, transparency in light box, 65 3/4 x 96 1/8".

    Jeff Wall

    Given viewers’ tendency to cluster around the two Jeff Wall works on view at MoMA in the hang for its 2004 reopening (Milk, 1984, and After “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, The Prologue, 2001), this retrospective of forty-one works, curated by Neal Benezra and Peter Galassi and co-organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, will likely be a smash.

    Given viewers’ tendency to cluster around the two Jeff Wall works on view at MoMA in the hang for its 2004 reopening (Milk, 1984, and After “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, The Prologue, 2001), this retrospective of forty-one works, curated by Neal Benezra and Peter Galassi and co-organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, will likely be a smash. Coming fast on the heels of the European Wall survey organized by the Schaulager and Tate Modern, the show gives US museumgoers an opportunity to consider the artist’s development over the past three

  • Lothar Hempel, Endless Journey, 2006, boat, drinks, photographic paper, lamps, 6' 7 15/16“ x 3' 8 7/8” x 10' 7 15/16".

    Lothar Hempel

    Brazenly unbound by medium, Lothar Hempel’s installations might include a coffeemaker, a black-and-white film, an oil painting of a harlequin, a mirrored minimalist sculpture, pages from the Frankfurter Allgemeine, and a felted wool puppet.

    Brazenly unbound by medium, Lothar Hempel’s installations might include a coffeemaker, a black-and-white film, an oil painting of a harlequin, a mirrored minimalist sculpture, pages from the Frankfurter Allgemeine, and a felted wool puppet. Such disparate objects get called into service as props in Hempel’s stagelike scenarios, which turn viewers into participants and bring to mind both Brecht’s epic theater and Joseph Beuys’s sprawling installations. This midcareer retrospective, curated by Florence Derieux and featuring projects from the past ten years, offers an

  • Nigel Cooke

    Nigel Cooke holds a doctorate in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, London, where he wrote a thesis on the death of painting in the twentieth century. To begin by mentioning this fact might seem to be stacking the deck if a concern with the medium’s various historical demises did not figure so markedly in the British artist’s work—but it does, to the extent that he titled his second solo show at Andrea Rosen Gallery “Dead Painter.” The phrase encompasses art-historical corpses (skulls and bearded old men populated the six oils and two drawings on view) as well as Cooke himself, as one who paints what’s

  • Jane South

    My initial impulse on seeing the nine sculptural assemblages in Jane South’s recent exhibition at Spencer Brownstone Gallery was a juvenile one: I wanted to touch them. The checklist described the objects on view as made of cut paper and mixed media, and, with the exception of one floor-bound structure, each contained elements that cantilevered out from the wall on dainty paper hooks anchored by straight pins. But the constructions’ size (up to fourteen feet wide), color (mainly industrial grays and deep, metallic reds), and iconography (nonspecific, but undeniably machinelike) lend them a

  • Michael Heizer

    The eight concrete sculptures included in Michael Heizer’s recent exhibition at PaceWildenstein spotlight a moment in his practice during which an interest in excavation was expanded to encompass the objects thereby unearthed. While the massive mesa gashes of Double Negative, 1969–70, for example, or the pits and mounds of his City project (1970–) often resemble the work of an archaeologist, here the allusion is even more direct: These sculptures, all of which were made in 1988 or 1989, are colossal replicas of an assortment of Paleolithic and Neolithic tools. (Biography is not an interpretive