Lucas Matheson

  • Clara Ianni, Openings (Films Made by the Office for Inter-American Affairs 1941–1949), 2022, video collage, color, silent, 4 minutes 18 seconds.
    interviews August 26, 2022

    Clara Ianni

    At the root of Clara Ianni’s latest exhibition lies a thorny, overlapping network of powerful actors central to the history of twentieth-century art in the Americas: New York’s Museum of Modern Art, its former chair (and former US vice president) Nelson Rockefeller, The Walt Disney Company, the United States government, and the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art. Titled “Education by Night” and on view at Brooklyn’s Amant through September 4, the show revisits 1940s-era cultural programs intended to encourage US investment and deter Nazi influence in Latin America. The São Paulo–based artist pursues

  • Kristín Gunnlaugsdóttir, Silver Fountain, 2011, wool and silver thread on canvas, 70 4/5 x 70 4/5".
    picks August 23, 2022

    “Stitches and Threads”

    For many, embroidery connotes a certain bygone luxury, a delicate labor of love. A single hand pulling a needle and thread through fabric evokes a fantasy of rocking chairs and doilies, spindly fingers, and timid femininity. Since the 1970s, this fantasy has been exploded by feminist artists who have sought to reinvest craft traditions with subversive politics. Yet rather than push past the domestic, gendered assumptions about handiwork, the curators of “Stitches and Threads” dive headfirst into that thematic space to consider the overlapping questions that emerge from the histories and stereotypes

  • Alma Thomas, Pansies in Washington, 1969, acrylic on canvas, 50 × 48".
    interviews April 07, 2022

    True Colors

    Richard J. Powell, a leading scholar in African American art history and the John Spencer Bassett Distinguished Professor of Art and Art History at Duke University, is currently delivering the seventy-first A. W. Mellon Lectures, the storied public series hosted by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Titled “Colorstruck! Painting, Pigment, Affect,” the six-part lecture spans social history, personal experience, color theory, music, art, and design. Taking a thematic rather than specifically historical approach, Powell engages art historical questions from a somewhat heterodox vantage,

  • Thomas Demand, wren, 2020, pigment print, 42 3/4 x 56 1/2".
    interviews March 14, 2022

    Thomas Demand

    Having previously considered architects including Hans Hollein and John Lautner, Thomas Demand now turns to the work of the late fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa for “Model Studies,” on view at Matthew Marks Gallery in Los Angeles through April 9, 2022. The exhibition consists of four large photographs taken in Alaïa’s archive: patterns used by the French couturier and his studio to make and remake his garments known for their tight, exacting forms. Our conversation spanned questions of craft, translation, and models both physical and conceptual. We spoke over sandwiches in Santa Monica.


  • Heji Shin, Angel Energy 1, 2019, inkjet print, 38 x 28".
    picks December 23, 2019

    Heji Shin

    From birth to breastfeeding and Kanye to Kardashian, the bridges Heji Shin builds in her recent photographs lead to a vision of desire shaped by data systems and corporate content. Whereas in her previous series she considered the impenetrable specificity of individuals’ experiences and appearances (the singular, incommunicable nature of pain or the illegibility of a face), here the artist imagines an imminent future of increasing self-commodification, a phenomenon tied to a pornographic impulse toward hypervisibility, where everything is laid bare, marketed, and sold.

    A brand ambassador for the

  • Gabriel Kuri, Untitled (scratch lotto oysters), 2019, stainless steel and Plexiglas lightbox, oyster shells, scratch card, 62 5/8 x 39 3/8 x 2 3/8".
    picks December 04, 2019

    Gabriel Kuri

    The ocean is full of trash, and so is Gabriel Kuri’s show. It begins with a room full of sand. The overwhelming Donation Box, 2010–19, is no idyllic seaside, but a sprawling ashtray brimming with cigarette butts. Occupying the space is intolerable, breathing its foul air a repulsive experience. Yet magnification begets attention. In Untitled (stages in an event line), 2019, bread-bag clips connected by wires in a neat row stand knee-high, like recipients of some industrial growth hormone. In Magenta stripe polypthic gobelin tapestry (aeropuerto), 2008, the artist’s receipts are transformed into

  • Stephen Neidich, Making the rounds, 2019, steel camshaft, metal chains, urbanite, 12 x 10 x 13 3/8'.
    picks July 12, 2019

    Stephen Neidich

    The sole piece in Stephen Neidich’s exhibition “Making the rounds (a place to wait)” occupies the middle of the room. Dozens of chains connected to rotating camshafts hang from the ceiling. They flit above a loose rectangle of broken concrete chunks, slapping and sliding endlessly, senselessly, against the stones’ jagged surfaces. It all seems ultra-macho, industrial, coyly S and M. Yes, to all that. The swinging movement is dangerous and effete, the sashay of a giant squid idling near the bumpy ocean bottom.

    Ambivalent is the mood. The artist's adoption of a Minimalist vocabulary pairs the

  • View of “nepantla,” 2019.
    picks March 13, 2019


    Cracked adobe shelves line the gallery's perimeter, their shapes derived from the contours of three geographic boundaries: the Pacific Coast of the US, the Panama Canal, and the US-Mexico border. Made by curators Timo Fahler and Rafa Esparza, the ledges generate an axis of physical relationships, conjuring a top and a bottom in the space, a ground for sculptures to stand beside, a landscape above which paintings float. The earthen, hand-shaped platform is a new border, a means of generating the titular nepantla, Nahuatl for in-betweenness.

    Greeting viewers on the shelf nearest the entrance is

  • Katja Novitskova, Mamaroo (Storm Time 3D Embryo),  2016, electronic baby swing, polyurethane resin, epoxy foam  clay, wall fixtures, robotic bugs,  3-D print, 31 x 28 x 33".
    picks December 05, 2018

    “up the river down the tide”

    Winbot W830 window-cleaning robots slide across the clear glass of two framed photographs, suctioned to the picture planes. In Image Life, 2016, a man carries a young girl on his shoulders, their white face paint amplifying their joyous grins. On the opposite wall, Serenity Now, 2016, depicts a figure sinking into mud, the head nearly submerged, hands holding a DSLR aloft. These images, made by the artist collective DIS, emulate the slick finish and satisfying immediacy of stock photos, but with a disturbing, opaque edge. As the Winbots whir, Katja Novitskova’s hacked baby rocker, Mamaroo (Storm

  • View of “Anna Torma: Book of Abandoned Details.”
    picks August 17, 2018

    Anna Torma

    Using appliqué, embroidery, and freehand quilting, Anna Torma plunges into a storehouse of accumulated experience, charting the conversion of attention into memory and meaning-making. Her results are opaque and chaotic: Fragmented animals, isolated words, and anonymous human figures all vie for attention on crowded picture planes. These fiber works, ranging from diaphanous silk organza to comforter-thick quilts, are primarily exhibited framed or draped against the wall. But, crucially, curator Shauna Thompson introduces Torma’s work with a trio of pieces hung from the ceiling, including the

  • Mariita Guevara, Jesús expulsa a los mercaderes del templo (Jesus Expels the Merchants from the Temple), 1981, oil on canvas, 15 x 22".
    picks January 05, 2018

    “Dream of Solentiname”

    This group exhibition tells a story of the Nicaraguan Civil War through the lens of Solentiname, a utopian community established in 1965 by poet, sculptor, and priest Ernesto Cardenal. It features works by community members and other artists sympathetic to their mission. Cardenal is a focal point. His sculptures, vibrant depictions of plants and animals, have a gallery to themselves, as do the community’s paintings. These brilliant works, such as Marita Guevara’s Jesús expulsa a los mercaderes del templo (Jesus Expels the Merchants from the Temple), 1981, reimagine biblical stories in Nicaraguan

  • Thomas Demand, Klause II (Tavern II), 2006, C-print, 70 x 96". Installation view.
    picks August 04, 2017

    “The Boat Is Leaking. The Captain Lied”

    Spread across three floors of an eighteenth-century palazzo, this exhibition visualizes a broad question: What happens when falsehoods stand in for the truth? For this collaboration, curator Udo Kittelmann, artist Thomas Demand, set designer Anna Viebrock, and filmmaker Alexander Kluge look to the eternal worry over art’s duplicity. This time around, at issue are not the objects themselves as much as the walls that support them.

    The design of the show is provocative, blurring distinctions between discrete works and a single massive installation piece. Viebrock’s stage sets from previous theatrical