Lori Waxman

  • The Illuminator, 2005.
    picks November 23, 2005

    Michael Mahalchick

    Michael Mahalchick’s compassion for destitute objects compels him to knot them into gentle, dirty bundles, bandage them one around the other, and tie them together so that they may never be lonely again. Taking as his working material the unlovely, soft refuse of urban existence—unwanted clothing, used bedsheets, matted stuffed animals—Mahalchick transfigures it through his particular form of assemblage magic: wrapping. Some sculptures disclose armatures of found chairs, picture frames, or carpet rolls, while others, like the disco-ball-esque Form.a, 2005, seem constructed, from core

  • Almost Visible, 2005.
    picks November 04, 2005

    Kim Simonsson

    Kim Simonsson does not make your grandmother's tchotchkes, though he does fashion ceramic figures in the form of little girls and deer. Scaled to near life-size, however, and glazed in thick, matte black or glossy white car paint, Simonsson's sculptures, shown here in his first US solo exhibition, achieve an altogether otherworldly pose, one surprisingly mute on the subject of kitsch. Owing more to manga than fairy tales, these works bring the digital children of japanimé to solid, material existence. But something is always eerily, emptily askew: a body pockmarked by large funnels of silvered

  • Chelsea White House, 2005.
    picks September 22, 2005

    Yoshitomo Nara

    Little devils one just can't get enough of, Yoshitomo Nara's bevy of mischievous, big-eyed girls are back, refusing as ever to grow up. This solo show of new work looks a lot like the Japanese artist's old work, but it hardly matters: Nara's vicious-naïf style remains as infectious as ever. The twist here is in the setting, which Nara dramatically controls by building two separate showcases. The smaller, Crated Room #3, 2005, contains a spotlit mise-en-scène of Nara's “Little Pilgrims”—mute, closed-eyed, colorful buggers that one imagines do only angelic things when let outside their box.

  • Two Geysers, 2004.
    picks June 06, 2005

    Heide Fasnacht

    A contradiction lies at the heart of Heide Fasnacht’s current exhibition of drawings and small sculptural works at Kent: “Drawn to Sublime,” the show’s title, though witty, is wrong. The sublime is an aesthetics of fear—and Fasnacht’s renderings of shooting geysers and mountain eruptions and high-rise-building implosions are not frightening but wondrous. Fasnacht has employed that most familiar, intimate, bright medium, the colored pencil, using it to mark the uncommon, disruptive effects of man and nature in a way that is surprisingly delightful and pastel-sweet. Though the works are relatively

  • For Sale, 2003.
    picks April 09, 2005

    Gonzalo Puch

    Not all strange scenarios engender wonder, but Gonzalo Puch's do. In his first solo exhibition outside his native country, the Spanish artist presents five giant color photographs of “Incidentes,” neutrally set in a classroom or a room in his apartment, that induce delighted puzzlement. How did all those plastic water bottles end up precariously stacked atop a simple coffee table, plant cuttings sprouting from their cut tops, a vine of plastic grapes dangling ridiculously from a string up above? That man, lying under the room-sized globe covered in paper maps—is he being crushed? Or is he

  • Orange Alert: USA, 2005. Installation view.
    picks March 25, 2005

    Diana Cooper

    On a day when the historical weightiness of painting had got me down, along came Diana Cooper, whose lightly explosive wall reliefs resemble paintings set free from the heft of pigment on canvas. Like doodles come to life, ballpoint pen scribbles and colorful squiggles join together and keep on flowing, up off the wall and down onto the floor, along X, Y, and Z axes, gaining momentum as they meet other haphazard materials along the way. Variously made of paper, foamcore, felt, corrugated plastic, and acetate, her multi-layered objects have the temporary, fragile feel that only such provisional

  • Inbox, 2004–05 (detail).
    picks March 04, 2005

    Emily Jacir

    E-mails from Emily Jacir often bear an epilogue in the form of a trenchant quote; the current one, from Dante Alighieri, reads, “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis”—fair warning to those who engage with “Accumulations,” her quietly devastating exhibition at Alexander and Bonin. As is the case with her past work, any neutrality the viewer may affect towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict crumbles in the face of the individual humanity upon which her projects insist. The show is composed of two parts: Ramallah/New York,

  • Exhibition view.
    picks February 11, 2005

    Ludwika Ogorzelec

    A glinting, translucent promontory seems to poke through the front end of 523 West 25th Street, as if an icy ship has crashed through the window of the Nancy Margolis Gallery from the inside out. That thought passes quickly, replaced not by other associations but by the pure phenomenological experience of entering the cellophane web Ludwika Ogorzelec has densely spun across the gallery. Ogorzelec, a Polish-born environmental artist based in Paris, has re-knit the space into something magically fragmented and intensely present, as she has previously done in locations as diverse as a forest in

  • Still from For You, 1999.
    picks January 28, 2005

    Liliana Porter

    Ever wondered what intrigues consume your tchotchkes when you’re not around? Liliana Porter knows. In this Argentinean artist’s magical exhibition—a panoply of still photographs, simple assemblages, and a rudimentary stop-motion film—inch-tall plastic hunters, wooden penguins and ducks, kewpie dolls, and an electric Jesus lamp come to life. Dialogue with Tea Pot, 2002, spies an improbable encounter between the country girl who lives in the pot’s painted bas-relief and a pure white Chinese statuette that happens to be passing by. In Brief Event, 2005, an armed toy-soldier-size man dressed

  • Still from Echo, 2003.
    picks December 28, 2004

    Su-Mei Tse

    The highlight of Su-Mei Tse's multipart installation at Peter Blum (the Golden Lion-winning artist's first show in the US) is an enigmatic möbius strip composed of two adjacent video loops. In one, we see an endless multitude of French street sweepers (balayeurs) engaged in the existential-absurdist task of cleaning the desert floor, their elegant green brooms sweeping sand into piles that neither wax nor wane. The audio track, recorded on the streets of Paris but paradoxically sounding more like the perpetual waves of the ocean, overlaps with that of a second video in which the artist, who was

  • Big, 2002/2003.
    picks November 19, 2004

    Louise Lawler

    Louise Lawler is really, really smart. Yes, it's an academic kind of smart—the kind that understands photography as a medium both beloved by the art world and eminently suited to exposing its inner workings—but it works on the gut as well as the mind. “Looking Forward” offers a tight selection of recent pictures shot behind the scenes at MoMA, Christie's, various galleries, and the Basel and Miami art fairs. Wicked juxtapositions provide the most fun: In Big, 2002/2003, a framed Thomas Struth museum picture hangs behind Maurizio Cattelan's 3-D Picasso caricature, the latter's angry-looking,

  • 3 years old artwork, 2004.
    picks November 10, 2004

    Lily van der Stokker

    Lily van der Stokker’s modus operandi hasn’t changed much in the last ten years, but her irony-free, profusely decorative style feels especially charming and welcome right now. The centerpiece of this exhibition of recent work—which also features a dozen sketches and three slightly smaller wall installations—is at the top of the short flight of stairs to the gallery mezzanine. Three more steps, these ones kiddy-size, lead up to a bubbly pink blob of a wall drawing, doodled all around with hearts and flowers in baby blue, mint green, and chickadee yellow, the whole painted in perfect