Mara Hoberman

  • picks May 21, 2018

    Daniel Turner

    Working with salvaged materials, Daniel Turner has transformed psychiatric-hospital sinks, restaurant-kitchen appliances, and other old machinery and fixtures into sleek geometric cast-metal sculptures. Belying their minimalist aesthetic, Turner’s soulful reincarnations are rife with historical, political, and personal connotations. The suite of works presented here was made using I-beams removed from the exhibition venue during a recent renovation project. Turner’s sculptures are accompanied by a selection of archival materials that trace the evolution of the site, which was originally built

  • Laurent Montaron

    Shining a spotlight on rampant post-truth discourses, French artist Laurent Montaron demonstrates how various media effectively blur the line between fact and fiction. His videos and photographs on view at the Center for Contemporary Art Tel Aviv range from 2016 to a new commission, and are poignant, pertinent reminders that a camera is not necessarily an objective witness; rather, Montaron’s works illustrate what Gilles Deleuze described as “camera consciousness.” The artist also makes use of a flock of kites designed by French World War I army general Jacques-Théodore

  • “Daphné Le Sergent:  Geopolitics of Oblivion”

    Born in Seoul and raised in Paris, Daphné Le Sergent has spent the past decade investigating how borders—geographical, political, and psychological—impact identity. Coproduced by Paris’s Jeu de Paume, Bordeaux’s Musée d’Art Contemporain, and Puebla, Mexico’s Museo Amparo, the artist’s first major institutional exhibition incorporates her videos and photographs—as well as her writing in a catalogue—all focusing on how language shapes us. The four works on view (all 2018) describe two fictional retro-futuristic societies striving to create a common mode

  • CAROLINE MESQUITA

    CAROLINE MESQUITA’S humanoid metal sculptures are a wild bunch. They like to dance and make mischief; they hump each other and have orgies; sometimes they get violent. In galleries, art centers, and, most delightfully, on top of a bar during a Paris art party in 2015, Mesquita’s copper and brass figures have presented a retro-futuristic vision of robots gone wild. Arranged into tableaux inspired equally by nineteenth-century French history paintings and the 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner, dramatically posed life-size bodies beckon the viewer, embrace one another, and lie collapsed on the floor.

  • Anna Solal

    La convalescence,” French artist Anna Solal’s first solo show in Paris, featured devotional objects made from dollar-store finds (plastic shoes, kitchen utensils, car-floor mats, combs, neck massagers, and hair clips) and broken electronics (cracked smartphone screens, parts of remote controls and keyboards) salvaged from repair shops. Using tulle and wire to ritualistically bind together these cheap sundries and various forms of electronic waste, Solal creates freestanding sculptures as well as elaborate frames for her drawings. The artist’s aesthetic appreciation for junky products results

  • Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz

    In the recent exhibition “Silent,” Berlin-based duo Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz used a self-described practice of “queer archaeology” to out archetypes of modern art. Attaching themes of self-censorship (closeting) and silent protest to monochrome painting, geometric sculpture, and—most specifically—John Cage’s resounding silences, the artists debunked canonical heteronormative interpretations. Whereas Boudry and Lorenz have previously relied heavily on archival documents to expose systemic homophobia (which has resulted in some very dense, didactic works), the pieces presented

  • Raphaël Zarka

    For the past decade, Raphaël Zarka’s work has prominently featured images of skateboarders taking advantage of the slick surfaces, hard edges, and smooth slopes of monumental public artworks. For the series “Riding Modern Art,” 2007–, Zarka, himself a skater, compiled an impressive portfolio of video clips and still photographs that show sculptures by the likes of Pablo Picasso and Richard Serra serving as improvised ramps and illicit half-pipes. Similarly irreverent, the artist’s recent exhibition, “Monte Oliveto,” also raised questions about the relationship between form and function. Commingling

  • Justin Fitzpatrick

    A gas pump with two backward-counting clockfaces in place of a meter (Time Pump, all works 2017) established the theme of time travel in Justin Fitzpatrick’s recent show. Suggesting ghosts from the past poking urgently into the present, several white-cast resin fingers protrude from the braided-rope base of the sculpture. Creepy though this imagery may be, the inspiration for Fitzpatrick’s work is not science fiction, but rather a cult historiographical text by author and activist Arthur Evans, whose 1978 book, Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture, argues that accurate accounts of gay culture

  • Marion Verboom

    Presented under the title “Temporaldaten” (Temporal Data)—a philosophical term coined by the father of phenomenology, Edmund Husserl—Marion Verboom’s recent exhibition explored the problem of how we experience and describe time. Eschewing chronology, Verboom juxtaposed references to artworks, artifacts, and architecture hailing from far-flung cultures, leaving the viewer to connect the dots—or daten, as Husserl might have said.

    At the heart of the exhibition, an installation of five totem pole–like columns from the series “Achronies” (Anachronisms), 2017, evoked the Roman Forum.

  • OPENINGS: JEAN-MARIE APPRIOU

    JEAN-MARIE APPRIOU’S anarchic, witchy work is simultaneously heroic and humble. His deeply strange forms—some mythical, some near kitsch—are created through processes involving the intuitive handling of traditional materials including bronze, ceramic, glass, and, next up, marble.He is by no means the first contemporary artist to reclaim such substances, yet Appriou’s approach is unique: Rather than collaborating with skilled craftsmen, celebrated foundries, or high-tech laboratories, the French-born artist adopts an emphatically DIY method. More interested in alchemy than in artisanship,

  • Elodie Seguin

    Despite being an outlier in many ways, Peinture cherche le mur A (Painting Looking for the Wall A) (all works 2017), a small painting of a simplified orange flashlight, fittingly illuminated Elodie Seguin’s usually less straightforward explorations of form, color, and texture. The cylindrical orange and red shaft emitting a conical gray-white beam—the most overtly representational element in the artist’s recent exhibition “Peinture sculpture peinture”—encouraged viewers to seek out figuration and symbolism in other works on view, which might otherwise be mistaken as exemplars of pure

  • Mel O’Callaghan

    For the better part of the past decade, Mel O’Callaghan has produced large-scale performances and installations for venues including the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2016 and 2017) and the Sydney Biennale (2014), all the while quietly making paintings in the privacy of her studio. The artist’s recent exhibition at Galerie Allen (which she cofounded in 2013 with curator Joseph Allen Shea) marked the first public glimpse of this heretofore unseen body of work. While representing a significant material departure for the Paris-based Australian—whose better-known work typically combines elements

  • Ricardo Brey

    Ricardo Brey’s recent exhibition, “All that is could be otherwise,” comprised mainly recent collages on drawings and photographs, but its physical and conceptual centerpiece was a sculptural work that dates to the dawn of the millennium. For those unfamiliar with the Cuban-born artist who rose to prominence in the 1980s as a founding member of the avant-garde Volumen I collective, Birdland, 2001—a large nest made of old coats cradling several ostrich eggs and a swanlike saxophone—introduced two of Brey’s hallmarks: a strong association between nature and music (specifically Afro-Cuban

  • “Art and Liberty: Rupture, War and Surrealism in Egypt (1938–1948)”

    THE PROLIFIC EGYPTIAN SURREALIST COLLECTIVE Art and Liberty has been directly inserted into the center of its European counterpart this winter. In Paris, the Pompidou’s “Art and Liberty: Rupture, War and Surrealism in Egypt (1938–1948)” demonstrates the vibrant contemporary interest in Egyptian modernism, paralleling a similarly themed exhibition this past fall at the Palace of Arts in Cairo. Framed in the city of Breton et al., the work drove home the relationship between anticolonialism and antifascism, East and West. (Indeed, the group’s manifesto, with which the show opens, makes a pointed

  • Shana Moulton

    The latest chapter in Shana Moulton’s ongoing video and performance saga “Whispering Pines,” 2002–, is Act One from Whispering Pines 10, 2016, a nine-minute video based on an opera she developed and performed with composer/vocalist Nick Hallett. In the live version, which premiered at the Kitchen in New York in 2010, Moulton’s alter ego Cynthia, a hypochondriac introvert with a wild imagination, mimes and dances in front of projections of mountains, forests, and her wacky home, which is decorated with a Himalayan rock-salt lamp, a yoga mat, a crystal pyramid, and other assorted New Age tchotchkes,

  • Jay DeFeo

    In 1951, just after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, and before settling into San Francisco’s vibrant Beat community—where her cohorts included Allen Ginsberg, Wallace Berman, and Bruce Conner—Jay DeFeo traveled to Europe and North Africa on a fellowship. Bringing attention to rarely seen works from this prolific period, DeFeo’s first solo show in Paris featured two drawings made in this city in 1951, presented in the company of twenty-two paintings, collages, drawings, and photographs made between 1972 and 1987 (all lent by the Jay DeFeo Foundation). The budding

  • Robert Breer

    In the early 1950s, Robert Breer, at the time a geometric abstract painter living in Paris, came to the realization that his interest lay in “the process of painting rather than any fixed composition.” This epiphany, which would eventually lead the artist to abandon painting altogether, inspired his first films, a tetralogy of short animations in which forms previously locked down on canvas were freed to morph and dance about the frame. Thematically bookended by Form Phases 4, 1954, and a 16-mm film from Breer’s mature period, Fuji, 1974, the recent exhibition “Between Cinema and Fixed Imagery”

  • Adam Cruces

    Sometimes moving forward requires looking back. This seems to be the case for Adam Cruces, whose recent exhibition “Pastel” was spawned from one of the artist’s earliest works. Still Life, 1993, 1993/2016, a remake of a pastel done when Cruces was all of eight years old, is a far cry from the slick multimedia art for which the Houston-born, Zurich-based artist is known. Presented in a traditional gilded frame, Cruces’s textbook still life features an overflowing fruit basket with a knife and a metal pitcher arranged on red drapery. The studious composition conjures a vision of the young artist

  • Thomas Fougeirol

    Thomas Fougeirol is a painter who paints as if he were printing, meaning he uses paint to take imprints of actions and objects rather than using it to represent them. Channeling another French artist, Yves Klein, who famously attached canvas to the roof of his car in order to capture the effects of wind, rain, and dirt, Fougeirol has left paintings out in the elements. Whereas the moonlike cratered surfaces of his “Tableaux de pluie” (Rain Paintings), 2010–, document natural phenomena—rain falling on wet oil paint—the artist’s most recent works chart an intimate universe: his own

  • Larissa Fassler

    Writing about “pickpockets and paranoia in France” for the New Yorker in 2014, Adam Gopnik described Paris’s Gare du Nord as a place where tourists, “looking for a week’s pleasure, mingled with travellers recently arrived from Bulgaria and Romania, looking for a job or a new life.” This same crossroads—the French capital’s oldest and, notoriously, unruliest train station—became the focus of Larissa Fassler’s attention while on a residency in Paris in 2014. Over the course of three months, the Berlin-based Canadian artist spent hundreds of hours, day and night, surveying and documenting