Michelle Kuo

  • Arnulf Rainer, Spuren, 1973, oil on cardboard, 29 x 40".
 

    Arnulf Rainer: The Overpainter

    Calling himself TRRR—an onomatopoeic dog’s growl instead of a proper name—Rainer began his career with a contradictory burst of aggression and self-effacement.

    Calling himself TRRR—an onomatopoeic dog’s growl instead of a proper name—Rainer began his career with a contradictory burst of aggression and self-effacement, and it was to drive his lifelong engagement with the graphic gesture. His early-1950s automatist “Blind Paintings” (executed with eyes closed) and “atomizations” (particulate, textured woven tableaux) segued into ruffian “overpaintings” that defaced extant images (including self-portraits) into monochromes, affirming his bravura hand while obliterating his person. This focused survey of some 150 paintings and

  • Cory Arcangel, CA 09 photoshop CS 110 by 72 inches, 300 DPI, RGB, square pixels, default gradient “Yellow, Violet, Red, Teal” mousedown y=16450 x=10750, mouse up y=18850 x=206002009, 2009, color photograph, 110 x 72".

    “Cory Arcangel: The Sharper Image”

    This solo museum show presents nearly thirty of Cory Arcangel’s multimedia works, which always appear to radiate a liquidcrystal halation.

    Keep your Ray-Bans on: This solo museum show presents nearly thirty of Cory Arcangel’s multimedia works, which always appear to radiate a liquid-crystal halation. Glowing cyan Nintendo projections, C-prints of Photoshop’s slick color gradient, and unsightly 1990s HTML palettes are sure to add to the shine. But the artist’s slow burn follows a precise logic. He purposefully feeds various display technologies through different levels of time and skill, producing retro “structural films” made via consumer-friendly video software or splicing YouTube clips of cats walking on

  • Urs Fischer, Untitled, 2003, nylon filament, banana, theater spotlight, dimensions variable.

    TASTE TESTS: THE ART OF URS FISCHER

    Whether making work with moldy bread, melting wax, or Froot Loops screenprinted on massive mirrored boxes, Urs Fischer probes the inner workings of embodied experience and cultural production—reframing both process art and kitsch in turn. On the occasion of the artist’s first major solo exhibition in the US, currently on view at the New Museum in New York (through January 31, 2010), Artforum’s Michelle Kuo explores Fischer’s feverish range of materials and means.

    SITTING IN THE KITCHEN IN URS FISCHER’S STUDIO, you hardly notice the mirrors. Yet there they are, panels upon panels of them lining the walls, casting an auratic glow onto the counters and quietly reflecting boxes of pasta and bowls of fruit, the remains of crushed walnuts or Vietnamese noodles from lunch. Mirrors are usually not a good idea for kitchens, amplifying every crumb and smear, but Fischer doesn’t mind, privileging instead the effect of visual extension: The area opens seamlessly onto the yawning Brooklyn loft, so standing at the stove you would not only see your torso reflected but

  • John Cage preparing a piano, ca. 1950. Photo: Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

    John Cage and Experimental Art

    This large-scale survey at MACBA, produced with Henie Onstad Art Centre, promises to unveil the full and often paradoxical swath of John Cage’s practice with more than two hundred recordings, scores, and objects.

    For John Cage, immanence was bliss. His work and worldview perennially straddled radical materialism and romantic yen. Letting sounds be sounds, allowing chance to rule, Cage’s anarchic leveling of materials and events redefined the work, the score, the act. This large-scale survey at MACBA, produced with Henie Onstad Art Centre, promises to unveil the full and often paradoxical swath of Cage’s practice with more than two hundred recordings, scores, and objects—from his early prepared-piano compositions, to works that emphasize his pedagogical impact at Black Mountain

  • Claes Oldenburg, Soft Toilet—Ghost Version, 1966, canvas filled with kapok painted with acrylic, on metal, 51 x 33 x 28".

    Claes Oldenburg/Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

    The hard gone soft, the raw cooked: This is the Claes Oldenburg we know and love, the Oldenburg of Soft Toilet, 1966, and Giant BLT (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich), 1963—shiny and tasty American wares fallen victim to gravity and deflation.

    The hard gone soft, the raw cooked: This is the Claes Oldenburg we know and love, the Oldenburg of Soft Toilet, 1966, and Giant BLT (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich), 1963—shiny and tasty American wares fallen victim to gravity and deflation. But beginning in 1976, the artist’s collaborations with the late Coosje van Bruggen seemed to reverse course, stiffening into polished monumentality. While the Guggenheim and the National Gallery’s shared 1995 Oldenburg retrospective struggled to tie together these bodies of work, this survey leaves

  • Tomás Saraceno, Flying Garden/Air-Port-City/12SW iridescent, 2008,
PVC balloons, elastic rope, fabric webbing, balloon cluster, approximately 45 x 45 x 45".

    Tomás Saraceno

    Tomás Saraceno's airborne structures and blow-up sculptures are actually prototypes for floating gardens or houses. Such constructions—along with photographs, drawings, and a new installation for the Walker’s terrace—are the focus of “Lighter than Air,” the artist’s first solo US museum show.

    Pneumatic dreams hover over the work of Tomás Saraceno, just as they wafted through the hot-air balloons of the frères Montgolfier or the late-1960s inflatable architecture of the Utopie group. But if it seems that all we got from such techno-futurism was puffy IKEA chairs, Saraceno won’t let the bubble burst. His airborne structures and blow-up sculptures are actually prototypes for floating gardens or houses. Such constructions—along with photographs, drawings, and a new installation for the Walker’s terrace—are the focus of “Lighter than Air,” the artist's second solo

  • Josh Smith, Untitled, 2008, mixed media on panel, 60 x 48".

    1000 WORDS: JOSH SMITH

    PAPER MIGHT RIP, paint might spill, or the game might be on television, but Josh Smith doesn’t stop. The artist’s fulgent pictures withstand all diversions and relentlessly multiply—their motifs, in his best-known series, traversing the loping letters of his own name and the gaudy facture of “expressionist” brushstrokes. If Smith previously took up the argot of abstraction, over the past year he has increasingly focused on the trappings of representation: renderings and photographs of things. But, as always, interruptions and deflections occur along the way. He often paints a leaf—a

  • Annette Kelm

    Tight and tucked, the photographs of Annette Kelm exhibit a curious collapse. Often foreshortened or flattened in appearance and presented in lapidary series, her pictures of houses, hats, textiles, and handbags would recall Dan Graham’s systematically drab Homes for America, 1966–67, if they weren’t so pleasing. The emphatically designed compositions and chroma of Kelm’s found objects and settings (Dorothy Draper’s patterns, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House) push through the camera’s compression. The show will feature nearly fifty such historically and visually packed

  • Laboratory of Architecture/Fernando Romero, Ixtapa House, 2001. Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico.
 

    Laboratory of Architecture/Fernando Romero

    This survey of twenty-three projects, including illuminated models and large-format photographs, will emphasize the tectonic dazzle of Fernando Romero's designs—but also show that they are often structures in transition.

    Visionary starchitecture may not quite be going the way of the dodo or the dot-com, but modesty and sustainability are doubtless the new watchwords of the built environment, and the Laboratory of Architecture/Fernando Romero firm seems poised to directly engage them. This survey of twenty-three projects, including illuminated models and large-format photographs, will emphasize the tectonic dazzle of the architect’s designs—but also show that they are often structures in transition. Museum Bridge Mexico/USA (2000–) is a proposed museum that would cross the international

  • Caption TK.

    “Art/Tapes/22”

    This exhibition surveys the center’s astonishing output through thirty-four newly restored videotapes (many never before screened in the United States) from John Baldessari's Italian Tape, 1974, to Daniel Buren's meditative video installation from the same year.

    By turns lablike and homespun, early experimental video workshops were surprisingly widespread in an age of ascendant media privatization. Yet their cosmopolitan tenor is often lost. Art/Tapes/22, for example, run by Maria Gloria Bicocchi in Florence, Italy, between 1973 and 1976, was the first European studio for artist videos, and it attracted geographically and aesthetically diverse participants, including Joseph Beuys, Rebecca Horn, and Les Levine. This exhibition surveys the center’s astonishing output through thirty-four newly restored videotapes (many never before

  • Bruce Conner, Looking for Mushrooms, 1959–67, strips from a color film in 16 mm, 3 minutes.

    “Looking for Mushrooms: Beat Poets, Hippies, Funk and Minimal Art”

    Like a well-timed dose of psilocybin, the recent resurgence of interest in the 1960s Bay Area scene has triggered a lambent, delirious picture of that moment.

    Like a well-timed dose of psilocybin, the recent resurgence of interest in the 1960s Bay Area scene has triggered a lambent, delirious picture of that moment. “Looking for Mushrooms” promises to add substance to the apparition with some two hundred artworks made in and around San Francisco between 1955 and 1968. As well as tracing the way fervor met system in the raga-laced intonations of Terry Riley or in the assemblages of Wallace Berman, the exhibition features documentation of performances by the circle around choreographer

  • David Tudor, Bandoneon!, 1966. Performance view, 69th Regiment Armory, New York, 1966. Photo: Robert R. McElroy.
    film August 17, 2008

    Sound and Vision

    No maudlin Behind the Music—but tinged with drama of a different kind—a new series of films is chronicling the seminal multimedia series “9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering,” which took place in October 1966 at New York’s 69th Regiment Armory. Led by Robert Rauschenberg and Billy Klüver of Bell Laboratories, a group of artists and engineers banded together to collaborate on ten experimental performance pieces. They brainstormed, argued, and pulled all-nighters, producing an event that détourned existing technologies and aesthetic conventions. Critic Brian O’Doherty called it “the major scandal,