Matt Morris

  • picks October 19, 2018

    Krista Franklin

    Krista Franklin’s modular wall mural “…to take root among the stars”, 2016–, functions like the naming of constellations. It takes the potential for making meaning from the celestial realm and applies it to the uneven strata of cultural history, which she represents with archival materials, handmade papers, passages of quoted texts, and found objects. Cursive writing runs across this appropriated ephemera and onto the expanse of white wall.

    Downy black feathers burst from a sheet of paper as delicate as tissue; black faces cut out from magazines and product packaging peer through ripped pages.

  • picks July 17, 2017

    Tania Pérez Córdova

    Tania Pérez Córdova’s “Smoke, Nearby” is a hushed assembly of sculptures that indicate their fragmentation. The wall text next to We Focus on a Woman Facing Sideways, 2013/17, lists, among the piece’s materials, a single crystal earring and the brass bar on which it is hung, along with “a woman wearing the other earring.” An accompanying explanation notes that until the jewelry “is reunited with its mate, the sculpture exists in both places simultaneously.” A Man Flexing His Biceps to Show Off His Strength (Dropped Things Are Bound to Sink), 2012/17—the muscular contours of a bent arm impressed

  • picks October 07, 2016

    Sheida Soleimani

    Sheida Soleimani’s exhibition “Civil Liberties” expounds on the dearth of photographic traces as a consequence of unjust executions of women in Iran. To create the five photographs and three soft sculptures on view, Soleimani has gathered scant low-resolution documentation from the victims’ lives and then constructed elaborate sets in which their faces—sometimes solemn, sometimes weeping—are repeated across surreal, alarmingly colorful tributes: a high contrast with the lack of global media coverage of their deaths. These tableaux, populated by lumpy sculptures printed with the women’s faces,

  • picks May 24, 2016

    Lise Haller Baggesen

    It’s daring that this venerable arts nonprofit—which came under new leadership at the beginning of the year, announced deficits and staff layoffs, then moved out of its premises of over a decade—would resume programming with Lise Haller Baggesen’s dystopian exhibition “HATORADE RETROGRADE.” As if the world had fallen apart but the party persisted, this moody boutique peddles a survivalist feminism that cuts across styles, layering glam with grunge, pop with punk. A cast of characters represented as dress forms donned in recycled fashions caked in glitter glue plays host to a set of sound tracks

  • picks May 18, 2016

    Maria Gaspar

    In the installation Brown Brilliance Darkness Matter (all works 2016), a maze of curtains suspended throughout the gallery periodically opens upon tableau of stoneware ceramic sculptures set atop custom variations of bright turquoise Acapulco furniture. Tropes of domestic spaces give way to further explorations of interior headspaces, as Maria Gaspar explores the ways that a museum’s collection and archive might be incorporated into one’s inner life. The translucent curtains are digitally printed with collages that weave images owned by the museum with photographs of the artist’s family and from

  • picks March 09, 2016

    Courttney Cooper

    The conventions of mapping that organize Courttney Cooper’s immense ink drawings of Cincinnati, Ohio, provide a structure for his more cognitive cartographies. An array of landmarks punctuate dark congestions of scribbled grids and city blocks on collaged sheets of paper portraying the psychology of these spaces where the mood contradicts revelry with riot. These works—which mostly span the past decade—depict a city, perhaps an alternate reality called “Zinzinnati,” per the exhibition’s title, that is perpetually in celebration, evinced by the balloons and banners decorating some of the maps

  • picks June 15, 2015

    “Militant Eroticism”

    ART+ Positive, an art action group first organized in New York in 1989 to combat homophobia in public policy and art censorship, displays a timeline of their exhibitions and demonstrations for this show. Ray Navarro’s installation of photographs, Equipped (assisted by Zoe Leonard), 1990, is here presented for the first time since its exhibition twenty-five years ago on the occasion of Navarro’s AIDS-related death. This triptych of black-and-white photographs might have been exercises in laissez-faire, Duchampian literalism, if not for the charged erotic phrases captioning each image. A wheelchair

  • picks April 29, 2015

    Todd Kelly and Morgan Mandalay

    Todd Kelly’s and Morgan Mandalay’s works reference paintings that are absent from their two-person exhibition—source material that is circumscribed and effaced rather than explicitly revealed by their respective moves. Kelly’s Still Life after Chardin, 2015, and several others like it are derived from Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin’s 1763 canvas Brioche, a plucky little morsel that Kelly remixes into ebullient chartreuse and violet abstractions. The original’s cordial bottle, stone fruits, floral stem, and titular pastry are here rendered in cartoon doodles and green checks that would all be so

  • picks December 24, 2014

    Lucy McKenzie

    By connecting selections from culture with instances from earlier years in her own creative practice, Lucy McKenzie scrutinizes both the apparatus of history and conceptions of selfhood. A shop window from Fritz Lang’s M, the 1972 Olympics, and Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange are among McKenzie’s source materials in this exhibition, and—as a hallmark of appropriation’s effects—she destabilizes these references through their duplication and recontextualization. But the mystery set forth is why these touchstones have been evoked, a query that McKenzie anticipates pointing back to herself, the author

  • picks September 19, 2014

    Magalie Guérin

    Back in 2006, wealthy magnate Steve Wynn accidentally elbowed Pablo Picasso’s Le Rêve, tearing a hole through the painting. The rambunctious manner in which Magalie Guérin sets abstract body parts swinging around the compositions of her modestly scaled paintings could recall such a gaff. In Untitled (Hat—Ham), 2012–14, for instance, engorged lavender and lemon appendages jab beyond the rectilinear framing devices the artist has deeply incised into the canvas’s surface.

    Guérin parodies pictorial devices from painting’s history and employs clunky color schemes in choice moments as if engaging them

  • picks May 09, 2014

    Carmel Buckley and Mark Harris

    In their installation Sparrow Come Back Home, 2014, Carmel Buckley and Mark Harris investigate processes of recollection. The British duo accomplishes this through translations of Trinidadian calypso singer-songwriter Mighty Sparrow’s album covers into digital ceramic decals fired onto 270 twelve-by-twelve-inch tiles. At a time when artists are showing a renewed interest in performing as archivists, Buckley and Harris distinguish themselves not only by presenting evidence of their research but also through their craft of ceramic simulations. Sparrow is not solely a send up to one of calypso’s

  • picks April 17, 2014

    “Tony Greene:”

    Synchronized with a capsule exhibition of Tony Greene’s canvases in the current Whitney Biennial, this group show curated by John Neff gathers works by the late painter and pieces from eight (queer-identified) artists. If the roster seems a bit obvious given the cachet that many of the featured are currently enjoying, the works and the telling rapport produced by their placement and proximity to each other prompt the viewer to imaginatively construct lineages that were interrupted by the devastation of AIDS. (Greene died in 1990 from AIDS-related complications.) Loss and lust permeate the

  • picks January 03, 2014

    Dana DeGiulio

    Over the past thirteen years, wounds and ruins (and ruined bodies) have occupied Dana DeGiulio’s paintings. With a similar gravitas, she is presenting new work at the Suburban, an exhibition space in the backyard of Michelle Grabner and Brad Killam’s home. DeGiulio is a former student of Grabner’s; to underwrite the expenses of her latest project, she sold a painting by Grabner that she’d received as a gift. DeGiulio consigned the work with James Cohan Gallery, which began representing Grabner recently. With the proceeds of the painting’s sale, DeGiulio purchased a 1996 Buick Le Sabre sedan.

  • picks November 25, 2013

    Elijah Burgher

    In a year marked by widespread disillusionment over ineffective systems of government and other bureaucratic power relations, Elijah Burgher’s blending of modernism and mysticism proffers enchanting alternatives, through colored pencil works on paper and accompanying paintings on canvas drop cloths used as ritual objects, currently on view in “Friendship as a way of life b/w I’m seeking the Minotaur.”

    Central to Burgher’s magical arts are sigil drawings—symbols designed from the letters that comprise a written desire or incantation—incorporated into elegantly stylized abstractions, such as the

  • picks July 03, 2013

    “The Living Room”

    This exhibition features a group of midwestern artists who employ tropes of domestic interior decorating in a series of tableaux that form the titular living room, along with a modern design-inspired communal table and a tree fort whimsically decorated with clusters of nostalgic framed prints and tchotchkes. Bear Skin Rug (all works 2013) from design collective Such + Such is rendered in wood rather than the expected fur, while ceramicists Katie Parker and Guy Michael Davis’s ornamental White Light, Bear offers a chandelier that illuminates Such + Such’s Table beneath it. Terence Hammonds’s