Mara Hoberman

  • picks December 28, 2020

    Linus Bill + Adrien Horni

    “GIFs,” 2020, Linus Bill and Adrien Horni’s latest work, is both a product and critique of our collective digital dependence, a reliance that has taken on complex new forms under lockdown. Created on smartphones, the artists’ “moving paintings” flicker across LED displays whose proportions and verticality suggest supersized and ultraluminous touch screens.

    Reclaiming passive solitary screen time in the name of creative collaboration, Bill + Horni set a goal back in early 2020 to produce and share five GIFs daily. For months they traded files via WhatsApp, composing colorful collages of [could

  • Elsa Guillaume

    As its taxonomic title indicated, Elsa Guillaume’s recent show “Tritonades & coelacanthe” (Tritons & Coelacanth) was teeming with prehistoric-looking newts and fish. The artist’s interest in these species lies in their relationship to the evolutionary aquatic-to-terrestrial migration made by vertebrates millions of years ago. The coelacanth (once thought to have gone extinct before being rediscovered in the mid-twentieth century) is a transitional organism that links lobe-finned fish to tetrapods. Tritons, commonly known as newts, migrate from water to land over the course of their lifetimes.

  • Niele Toroni

    STILL A CARRIER OF THE PAINTING VIRUS. These words, handwritten by Niele Toroni and posted near the gallery’s reception desk, greeted visitors to the artist’s recent exhibition “Un tout de différences” (A Set of Differences). The show featured the same monochrome imprints the artist has been making for more than fifty years, and the works were all titled, as usual, with blunt descriptiveness (e.g., Empreintes de pinceau N°50 à intervalles réguliers de 30 cm [Brush Impressions No. 50 at Regular Intervals of 30 cm]). Yet the familiar marks looked quite different post-Covid-19. Developed by Toroni

  • picks September 21, 2020

    Piero Gilardi

    Piero Gilardi is best known for the polyurethane “Nature Carpets” he has made since the mid-1960s. Depicting realistic landscapes such as seashores, agricultural fields, and woodlands, these rugs vary widely in size, format, and orientation. Of the fifteen such works on view here, two five-foot squares—Temporale e pesche cadute (Thunderstorm and Fallen Peaches) and Greto di torrente (Riverbed) (both 1967), a peach-littered lawn and a stony creek, respectively—are displayed on the floor. The remainder, which includes five smaller tondos produced while the artist was in coronavirus confinement in

  • Jean-Charles de Quillacq

    Having opened just days after Paris ended its strict two-month coronavirus lockdown, Jean-Charles de Quillacq’s exhibition “Autofonction” (Auto-function) inevitably adopted a pandemic-related subtext. A last-minute addition to the show, Momie (Mummy), 2020—a braided loaf of bread, baked by the artist and posed on the gallery floor—was a direct response to the global health crisis, nodding to the uptick in home baking during confinement. It was a reminder of socially distant behavior, which is one way to describe the artist’s studio practice. For de Quillacq, artmaking is an erotic experience

  • Zhenya Machneva

    Zhenya Machneva uses a Finnish Varpapuu floor loom and colorful cotton, linen, and synthetic yarns to create detailed renderings of machinery she has observed and covertly photographed in derelict factories or abandoned industrial ports in and around her native Saint Petersburg—still Leningrad when she was born there in 1988. The artist’s interest in such sites is both personal and political. Having long admired factories from afar, Machneva first stepped inside one in 2012 to visit her grandfather at the now defunct Krasnaya Zarya (Red Dawn) telephone factory. She was struck by what she perceived

  • slant May 12, 2020

    Letter from Paris

    THE LOUVRE was the first to go. On March 1, the world’s most-attended art museum (averaging 15,000 visitors per day) went dark after some three hundred staff members walked out over concerns about the transmission of Covid-19. Although this initial closure lasted only three days, by March 14, the museum had announced it was shuttering again—this time indefinitely, in accordance with the government-ordered nationwide shutdown of all nonessential businesses in France.

    After more than eight weeks of lockdown, France is poised to begin loosening its strict stay-at-home orders. Starting Monday May

  • David Salle

    The eleven recent large-scale paintings in David Salle’s exhibition “Self-Ironing Pants and Other Paintings” featured dapper gentlemen and dolled-up dames. These cavorting protagonists were copied from Peter Arno cartoons originally published in the New Yorker and dating from the 1920s through the ’60s, but Salle rid the cartoons of their editorial bent, scaling up, cropping, splicing, and rotating Arno’s bold-stroked satires of American café society and adding color and consumerism to the mix. He complements Arno’s grisaille vignettes with vibrant images appropriated from midcentury advertisements:

  • Farah Atassi

    For more than a decade, Farah Atassi has painted imaginary interiors that range from mundane tiled bathrooms to exotic patterned tepees and fanciful Mondrian-inspired playrooms. United by a compressed depth of field that the artist achieves via her dizzyingly masterful subjection of geometric motifs to one-point perspective, Atassi’s paintings have also, until recently, been unpopulated. Her latest exhibition, which comprised more than a dozen paintings made between 2017 and 2019, showed Cubist-style figures and musical instruments occupying her signature shallow spaces.

    Atassi cites Picasso as

  • “Silke Otto-Knapp: In the waiting room”

    Curated by Solveig Øvstebø

    Joining the likes of Florine Stettheimer, Trisha Brown, and Yvonne Rainer, the Russian protofeminist painter, performance artist, and costume designer Natalia Goncharova is the latest female avant-gardist to have inspired Los Angeles–based artist Silke Otto-Knapp. The five new multipanel watercolors in the show, several of which feature silhouettes of female dancers, allude to Goncharova’s affiliation with the Ballets Russes. Incorporated into a multidimensional installation of temporary walls—a stage set of sorts—these large-scale paintings of intimate backstage moments

  • Louis Fratino

    Albissola Marina, on the Italian Riviera, has a near-mythic reputation in the history of ceramics. An important center of production since the fifteenth century, the Ligurian town became a hub for avant-gardists in the twentieth century, when the likes of Lucio Fontana, Asger Jorn, Wifredo Lam, and Piero Manzoni came to it and created sculptures from clay. Albissola—with its many in situ examples of radical and traditional pottery—recently provided a change of scenery for the New York–based American painter Louis Fratino, who spent a month in residency at the local ceramic center Studio Ernan

  • picks December 10, 2019

    Golnaz Payani

    In her first solo show at this gallery, Golnaz Payani deftly—in some cases, defiantly—uses embroidery techniques and tools to alternately conceal, reveal, and subvert traditional Persian motifs. Working on paper, canvas, linen, or soft mesh, the Iranian-French artist adds or subtracts threads to evoke floral and geometric patterns. For L’Ombre en lin (The Linen Shade) (all works 2019), Payani painstakingly removed vertical strands from linen canvas to create a frayed Gol-O-Morgh (flowers and birds) design at the center of the composition. Whereas this paradisal Persian motif is typically rendered