Mara Hoberman

  • Jacqueline de Jong, Gitane, coup de force (Gitane, Take Over), 1978, oil on canvas, 26 1⁄2 × 38".

    Jacqueline de Jong

    In the late 1970s, still in her thirties but having made a name for herself as editor of the Situationist Times (1962–67) and as a Cobra-adjacent painter of suicides and car crashes, Jacqueline de Jong turned her attention to a rather Pop subject: billiards. Created in Amsterdam, the eight paintings on view here—part of a series comprising more than twenty “Billiards” paintings, 1976–79—featured different permutations of felted tables, glossy balls, wooden cues, cubed chalk, and male players depicted from odd angles and intimate proximities.

    The particular game featured in these paintings is

  • Zoe Williams, Algol’s Mistress, 2021, glazed ceramic, 19 5⁄8 × 18 7⁄8 × 8 5⁄8".

    Zoe Williams

    Voracious green-and-purple creepers infested Zoe Williams’s recent show, evoking predatory tubers and feelers. The show’s title, “Tendresse Tendril,” pointed to the artist’s interest in etymological roots as well as physical ones. Both words come from the Latin tener, which means “soft” or “delicate.” While tenderness was not always obvious in the works on view, tendrils ran rampant—sprouting up in the form of sea anemones (real and digitally animated), Medusa-like ceramic locks, and long wormy glass tears.

    The centerpiece of the show was the seven-minute video Tendresse Tendril (Worms’ Meat) (

  • Omer Fast, Der oylem iz a goylem (The World Is a Golem), 2019, 4K video, color, sound, 24 minutes 40 seconds.

    Omer Fast

    In his exhibition “Surplus,” Omer Fast presented new and recent videos, drawings, and sculptures within domestic settings that appeared hastily abandoned. Arrangements of furniture, personal items, moving boxes, trash, and portrait busts covered with cherry pits (Cluster #2–#5, all 2020) created an ambience of transition and deterioration. Adding an eerie vibe, many of the artworks presented in these liminal spaces suggested that our increasingly connected and digitized world is haunted by specters.

    An unmade bed surrounded by nearly empty bookshelves, open storage bins, a rumpled carpet, and

  • Anonymous, Pinch pot, ca. late 1800s–early 1900s, enamel on porcelain, 4 3/4 x 4".
    picks January 05, 2022

    “Les Flammes: L’Âge de la céramique”

    Heroically recontextualizing contemporary ceramics within a long history of clay idols and vessels, this Anne Dressen–curated exhibition comprises over 350 works made between the Neolithic period and today. Organized thematically rather than chronologically, geographically, or stylistically, the show confronts issues ranging from form and function to intentionality and accident, advocating for a broadened appreciation of a traditionally marginalized medium.           

    Les Flammes” opens with a selection of artworks intended to illustrate ceramics’ diversity in terms of materiality and technique.

  • Cathy Josefowitz, Sans titre, ca. 1988, oil on canvas, 4 3/8'' x 37 3/4''.
    picks January 03, 2022

    Cathy Josefowitz

    Pregnant women, harlequins, and human-animal composites appear throughout “The Thinking Body,” the largest retrospective ever dedicated New York–born Swiss national Cathy Josefowitz (1956–2014). Around 1972, these characters first turn up as paper marionettes, which the artist made for her application to study stage design at the Théâtre National de Strasbourg. As representations of bodies in motion, these puppets call to mind Alexander Calder's Circus, 1926–1931, or Matisse’s cutout dancers. Josefowitz’s expressionistic acrobats, however, are more sideshow than big top or ballet—featuring nude

  • Jochen Lempert, Untitled (Aquarium, Toronto), 2017, gelatin silver print, 19 × 15".

    “La Mer Imaginaire”

    Situated on the island of Porquerolles, with views of the Mediterranean, the Villa Carmignac lends itself naturally to a marine-themed exhibition. So titling an exhibition “La mer imaginaire” (The Imaginary Sea) seemed a bit obvious, but curator Chris Sharp overcame that trap with a selection of artworks—bringing Yves Klein, Dora Maar, and Henri Matisse together with the likes of Allison Katz, Mathieu Mercier, and Alex Olson, among others—crafting a pointed rebuke of anthropocentrism in Western culture, science, and politics.

    This overarching theme was most plainly and painfully articulated by

  • View of “Lydia Ourahmane,” 2021. Photo: Aurélien Mole.

    Lydia Ourahmane

    Lydia Ourahmane’s exhibition “Barzakh,” which opened at the Kunsthalle Basel in March 2021 before traveling to Marseille, comprised the contents of the artist’s Algiers apartment. Packed and shipped by friends while Ourahmane was in France, the furnishings (bed, couch, armchairs, dressers, refrigerator, chandeliers) and personal effects (books, papers, makeup, linens, clothes) were arranged in Triangle – Astérides’s airy industrial space according to a floor plan the artist sketched in 2018, the year she moved into the flat. Within this reconstituted home, visitors could move freely from one “

  • Kamrooz Aram, Untitled (Arabesque Composition), 2021, oil, wax crayon, and pencil on linen, 54 × 48''.
    picks October 08, 2021

    Kamrooz Aram

    “Un objet, un geste” (An object, a gesture,) Kamrooz Aram’s first solo exhibition in France, calls into question critical hierarchies perpetuated by qualifiers like decorative and non-Western. In the largest painting on view, Untitled (Arabesque Composition in Lapis Lazuli), 2019, curvaceous forms in contrasting shades of brilliant blue are surrounded by a border of untouched linen support. As in other paintings from the Iranian-born artist’s “Arabesque” series (2018–), Aram here recasts so-called ornamental flourishes as the main event while creating a frame—typically, a marker of value that

  • View of Emeka Ogboh’s Migratory Notes, 2021, five-channel video, color, sound, 6 minutes 59 minutes.
    picks October 01, 2021

    Emeka Ogboh

    Known for works addressing community and migration through food, music, and video, Emeka Ogboh offers a multisensorial feast with “Stirring the Pot.” For Ámà 2.0, all works 2021, the artist arranged twelve speakers into a large circle, each speaker playing a different single voice performing the same Igbo folk song. From the room’s center, where large cushions covered in Akwete textiles beckon, the dozen voices merge into an immersive harmony. Walk right up to one speaker, however, and a unique voice breaks through and drowns out the rest. This interplay of solo and choral voices beautifully

  • Alain Jacquet, La danse (The Dance), 1995, digital print and acrylic on canvas, 5' 6 7⁄8" × 11' 5".

    Alain Jacquet

    Born near Paris, Alain Jacquet decamped to New York in 1964 in his mid-twenties. Seen as a French artist in his adoptive home and lumped in with American Pop by the French, Jacquet, who died in 2008, was ultimately underappreciated on both sides of the Atlantic. The recent miniretrospective “Jeux de Jacquet” (Jacquet’s Games) framed the artist’s best-known work—paintings and silk screens inspired by Édouard Manet’s Le déjeuner sur l’herbe, 1863—within a career-long exploration of how reproduction (manual and mechanical) reveals the continual intertwining of abstraction and representation.

    The

  • Kafka et l'écureuil (Kafka and the Squirrel), 2019, oil on canvas, 28 3/4 x 21 1/4".
    picks June 13, 2021

    Gérard Garouste

    Although he first showed at Leo Castelli in New York and Rudolphe Zwirner in Cologne during the 1980s, Gérard Garouste remains best known in his native France. His dreamy, distorted, and sometimes garish figurative canvases evoke the literary worlds of Cervantes and Ovid along with religious themes from his rigorous Talmud studies. The artist’s whimsical painterly style and spiritual, folkloric, and historical scenes also recall fellow Franco-Jewish painter Marc Chagall.

    Many of the twenty-six large oils currently on view here feature Jewish subjects, including Franz Kafka, philosopher Gershom

  • Interior of the Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection. © Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Niney et Marca Architectes, Agence Pierre-Antoine Gatier. Photo: Patrick Tourneboeuf.
    slant May 20, 2021

    Tour de Bourse

    MAY 19 WAS A HISTORIC DAY IN FRANCE. After six months of Covid-19 lockdown, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, and museums finally reopened to the public. In Paris, a hub for fine dining and fine art, this major step toward normalcy was feted like a national holiday as institutions including the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou, and Musée d’Art Moderne welcomed back visitors. Adding to the excitement, the city will gain a brand-new shrine to contemporary art on May 22: François Pinault’s collection at the Bourse de Commerce.

    The Bourse seems uniquely well suited to house works acquired by the