Mara Hoberman

  • View of “Raphaël Zarka,” 2017. Photo: Florian Kleinefenn.

    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, Cat infected with daisies, 2017, oil on canvas, 37 x 28 3/4".

    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

  • View of “Marion Verboom,” 2017. Photo: Nicolas Brasseur.

    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.

  • View of “Jean-Marie Appriou: Sonde d’arc-en-taupe” (Mole’s Rainbow Ring), 2014, Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Photo: Aurélien Mole.

    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, Installation, 2017, wood, ink, polyurethane paint, plaster. Installation view. Photo: François Doury.

    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, En Masse (blue and black iridescent pull), 2017, acrylic on glass, 63 × 47 1/4". From the series “En Masse,” 2017–.

    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, Mono-no-aware, 2016, ink-jet print, aged silver metallic paper, mirror, metal objects, and coins on canvas board, 20 5/8 × 28 1/2".

    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

  • Inji Efflatoun, Untitled, 1942, oil on canvas, 23 5/8 × 31 5/8".

    “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, Life as an INFJ, 2015–16, HD video, mixed media, dimensions variable.

    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, Untitled (Tripod series), 1975, acrylic, graphite, grease pencil, collaged paper on vellum and paper, 23 1/4 × 19 5/8".

    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

  • View of “Robert Breer,” 2016. Photo: Aurélien Mole.

    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, Watermelon, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 15 3/4 × 11 3/4".

    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