Meghan Dailey

  • Polly Apfelbaum, Carpet of Color, 1990.

    Polly Apfelbaum

    It seems fitting that Polly Apfelbaum’s first major museum show would be in Philadelphia. After all, the artist is a Pennsylvania native who graduated from Philly’s Tyler School of Art.

    It seems fitting that Polly Apfelbaum’s first major museum show would be in Philadelphia. After all, the artist is a Pennsylvania native who graduated from Philly’s Tyler School of Art. ICA director Claudia Gould and senior curator Ingrid Schaffner (who, along with Irving Sandler and Artforum senior editor Tim Griffin, contribute to the catalogue) bring together examples of Apfelbaum’s now signature “fallen paintings,” mostly horizontal arrangements of vibrant, irregularly shaped velvet forms that merge into a sea of color at the ICA. Who says you can’t go home again?

  • Kissing the Wall #1, 1988.

    Jessica Stockholder

    Theatrical, chaotic, but always tethered to a compositional logic, Jessica Stockholder’s practice continues to advance despite the ubiquity of her whimsical constructions.

    Theatrical, chaotic, but always tethered to a compositional logic, Jessica Stockholder’s practice continues to advance despite the ubiquity of her whimsical constructions. Nearly fifty works by the doyenne of the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to installation have been selected by CAPC’s Thierry Davila, and there is also a sprawling new 1,500-square-meter Stockholder creation (consisting of linoleum and carpet, among other materials—not to mention a wooden hut) made especially for Bordeaux, the exhibition’s sole venue. A range of sculptures big and small as well as drawings are on

  • “Living Inside the Grid”

    By now, the uses and abuses of the grid are well known and well theorized. That simple network of verticals and horizontals is thoroughly modern in concept and perhaps as far from nature as you can get. It’s as vulnerable to technological metaphors as it is receptive to spiritual ones, which is why Mondrian liked it so much. Having spawned innumerable canvases and reams and reams of artspeak, the grid can be employed to suggest the limitless—or to delineate a structure of tight control.

    In “Living Inside the Grid,” curator Dan Cameron’s thematic emphasis is on the “inhabited grid.” Though this

  • Ivan Morley

    Ivan Morley’s paintings are inspired by the frontiersman’s lore of scrappy, dried-out California towns with names like San Gabriel, El Monte, and Tehachapi. Such locales and their all-but-forgotten (and possibly artist-fabricated) histories—if you can call tales of memorable cockfights and observations on the behavior of squirrels histories—seem unlikely sources of inspiration. Yet, from a mass of myth, a dose of his own vivid imagination, and a range of raw material, Morley has created some mighty idiosyncratic pictures. The show as a whole was pulled together with a keen sense of detail, with

  • Elements from “Masses”, 1976.
    picks March 17, 2003

    Öyvind Fahlström

    Since his untimely death at the age of forty-seven, Öyvind Fahlström (1928–76) has gradually gained a wide audience and is now a firmly established presence, rather than just a perennially rediscovered subject of the occasional retrospective. His output was tremendously varied: poetry, manifestos, performance, and installations, as well as painting and sculpture. The current show at Feigen focuses on his engaging graphic works, including some of his enamel-on-metal pieces, which feature magnetic elements that can sometimes be manipulated like tokens in a board game. Fahlström’s iconography—a

  • Jennifer Bartlett

    Jennifer Bartlett established her reputation with her 1975–76 work Rhapsody. The painting consists of a grid of 987 square panels offering a compendium of artistic genres and motifs—geometric structuralism, representation, abstraction, the monochromatic, hatch marks, brushstrokes, pencil lines, and on and on. The piece fit perfectly with the nascent postmodern, pre-“Pictures” moment, a time when young artists were beginning to appropriate freely from and play with myriad historical styles in art, B movies, and other image banks in culture. Rhapsody also set the terms for the rest of Bartlett’s

  • Rosie Lee Tompkins

    The decorative arts are noticed more widely now and then in fine-art circles, effectively deflating categorical hierarchies of media and genres—having been brought into the museum context to widen the scope of modernism so that it might be thought more as a history of making. Hierarchy-busting though they may be, the place of craft in non–craft museums is often attributable to how they nudge the internal rules that govern their own making. As an example, just this winter the Whitney Museum featured quilts from the African American community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, showing about sixty examples

  • Andreas Slominski, Washing the tiles of a roof in a dishwasher, 2002, color photograph.

    Andreas Slominski

    Pair the inscrutable Andreas Slominksi—setter of traps, collector of objets trouvés, performer of ephemeral actions—with the poetically inclined curator Germano Celant, and things esoteric will undoubtedly result. His devices can be whimsical (an elaborate mechanism to transport a teaspoon of cough syrup without spilling a drop) or menacingly literal (fully functional animal traps straight from the hunting-and-fishing store). The accompanying catalogue ought to include a chapter on survival tactics for ensnared viewers.

  • “Time Is Free”

    Boredom used to be a sin, attendant cousin of sloth, a welcome state for the devil to seduce weak minds. We know what it did to Emma Bovary. For most people now, boredom is instead a name given to a lamentable, persistent discontent. But boredom would also seem like a luxury today, having been displaced by the new collective condition of mass anxiety. In order to avoid guilt, dread, and other unpleasant thoughts, we prefer our time to be organized, eschewing purely contemplative hours spent doing nothing in favor of constant activity. So what about that state of just being, and where does artistic

  • José León Cerillo, Eden, Eden, 2002.
    picks December 02, 2002

    “Painting as Paradox”

    Will the shiny bubble of these multiartist painting shows eventually burst like an overheated dot-com? Not likely, given that artists (and curators) can’t resist the siren song of painting’s potential, its tortured history, and, as this smart though sprawling show points to, its many paradoxes. Shifting, questionable, relevant, obsolete—painting in “Painting as Paradox” at Artists Space offers as many approaches as could possibly fit on the walls. The hectic, salon-style installation demonstrates the profusion of painting-based practices of young artists and also hints at a number far greater

  • “Gloria: Another Look at Feminist Art in the 1970s”

    Any pop icon worth her salt is known by a single name: Jackie, Marilyn, Madonna. Back around 1970, there were plenty of Glorias around: Ms. magazine founder and activist Gloria Steinem; Archie Bunker’s liberal daughter; Gena Rowlands’s unforgettable character in the eponymous film; and the Van Morrison song that spelled it all out—g–l–o–r–i–a. The name Gloria captures woman as activist, sex symbol, girl next-door, and destabilizing emotional force. This multivalent signification in a single name prompted Ingrid Schaffner and Catherine Morris to choose it as the title of their important

  • Demon Tower, 1997.
    picks November 14, 2002

    Carroll Dunham

    The time feels ripe for another look at Carroll Dunham’s paintings, which make the ’80s look pretty good after all. Curated by Dan Cameron and Lisa Phillips, the show moves from early-’80s Polke-esque juxtapositions of styles and motifs to works to which the artist added colored Styrofoam balls, as if their already densely worked surfaces demanded still more allusion. At thirty-three paintings it’s a lean show, but each selection is a visual feast, all nervous geometry and gesture and knockout color: shocking purple and pink, acrid yellows, and saturated oranges, as in the vivid background of