Nicholas Cullinan

  • “Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915–2015”

    Marking the centenary of Kazimir Malevich’s iconic (in both senses of the word) Suprematist painting, this ambitious exhibition will examine abstraction as an international phenomenon, considering its relationship to politics, its potential as a catalyst for social change, and its imbrication with design. Taking a broad chronological and geographic approach, and with a particular focus on geometric abstraction, the survey will encompass painting, sculpture, film, and photography by one hundred artists as diverse as Carl Andre, Hélio Oiticica,

  • “Cy Twombly: Paradise”

    Assembling selections from six decades’ worth of Cy Twombly’s production, including paintings, works on paper, and sculptures—some never shown before—this exhibition will, incredibly, be the first major solo presentation in Latin America of the late abstractionist’s work. His inimitable art, reflecting both the universal and the highly personal and eccentric, dissolves language into line and elides the distinction between writing and drawing, collapsing, in the process, the brushstroke and the word, mark-making and text, and, indeed,

  • Paweł Althamer

    Over his roughly twenty-year career, Polish artist Paweł Althamer has fashioned a singularly thoughtful and intuitive body of work, body being the operative word. Despite the varying mediums he has adopted—sculpture, video, installation, and diffuse forms of social praxis (from leading ceramics workshops to flying more than 150 of his Warsaw neighbors, clad in gold space suits, to Brussels)—the corporeal remains at the heart of Althamer’s endeavor. In addition, his first US retrospective includes a new iteration of The Draftsman’s

  • Mel Bochner

    MEL BOCHNER, heir to Henri Matisse? This seemed to be the surprising thesis put forward by curator Achim Borchardt-Hume in the delightfully revisionist exhibition of more than four decades of the renowned Conceptualist’s work at the Whitechapel Gallery (remarkably, the artist’s first survey to be staged in the UK). Not only were Bochner’s appreciative nods to the master colorist of modernism highlighted in the accompanying catalogue, and Bochner’s paintings privileged over his earlier sculptures, drawings, photographs, and measurement pieces that make democratic use of the gallery space, but

  • 1000 WORDS: CHRISTINA MACKIE

    WHY DO ATOMIC CLOUDS AND JELLYFISH LOOK ALIKE? One can imagine the London-based artist Christina Mackie posing this strange query to her viewers, because the unseen vectors of force—pressure, currents, gravity—behind such astonishing resemblances are the very stuff of her work. Take suppression, repression, depression compression, 1995, one of Mackie’s best-known pieces. In this group of squashed polystyrene cups, which were compacted under increasing levels of air pressure in a laboratory and can be configured in a variety of ways, force is the true yet invisible medium. And while

  • “Chantal Akerman: Too far, too close”

    Though museums have long given Akerman pride of place in their cinema spaces, this is, remarkably, the pioneering artist’s first proper retrospective in Europe.

    Though museums have long given Akerman pride of place in their cinema spaces, this is, remarkably, the pioneering artist’s first proper retrospective in Europe. Showcasing the filmmaker’s deft interweaving of the formal with the biographical, and her prescient merging of film and video with installation, the exhibition surveys a career of more than forty years, beginning with Saute ma ville (Blow Up My Town), 1968, among her other early 16-mm experimental films (all of them, regrettably, to be shown on DVD), and concluding with the immersive, four-channel installation

  • NICHOLAS CULLINAN

    HOW LONG IS A PIECE OF STRING? This is the banal question prompted by the twine trailing down the wall in the first room of the Russian pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. Emerging from seemingly nowhere, it beckons one to pull it—and lengths of it have already piled up on the floor, a record of previous tugs from passersby. The situation is one without any real origin or end. And it is, therefore, an apt introduction to the work of the Collective Actions group, which married futility with visceral experience in a kind of never-ending now.

    By choosing Collective Actions, and its founder

  • “Arte Povera 2011”

    Spread across five cities and numerous institutions (including MAMbo, Bologna; the Triennale di Milano; and Castello di Rivoli, Turin), this Italy-wide look back at Arte Povera reunites its founding theorist, Germano Celant, with the group of artists—from Anselmo to Zorio—who particpated in what the curator dubbed a movement in 1967.

    Spread across five cities and numerous institutions (including MAMbo, Bologna; the Triennale di Milano; and Castello di Rivoli, Turin), this Italy-wide look back at Arte Povera reunites its founding theorist, Germano Celant, with the group of artists—from Anselmo to Zorio—who particpated in what the curator dubbed a movement in 1967. Spanning the decades from that date to the present, Celant’s ambitious survey aims to merge the monographic with the thematic, the historical, and the contemporary. When Arte Povera emerged, it chimed enthusiastically with the sociopolitical

  • “Mario Merz: What Is to Be Done?”

    One of the most politically committed artists associated with Arte Povera, Mario Merz engaged issues of process and proliferation that seem more current than ever, making this focused survey especially timely.

    One of the most politically committed artists associated with Arte Povera, Mario Merz engaged issues of process and proliferation that seem more current than ever, making this focused survey especially timely. The question raised by Merz’s numerous versions of the neon sculpture Che fare? (What Is to Be Done?), first made around 1968, chimed with the Leninist problematic adopted by Italian students in that tumultuous year. This exhibition promises to move past such polemics to examine instead the radical potentiality inherent in the array of materials Merz employed, with

  • “Marisa Merz: It Doesn't Match, Yet It Flourishes”

    Marisa Merz is one of the subtlest, most elusive artists affiliated with Arte Povera.

    Marisa Merz is one of the subtlest, most elusive artists affiliated with Arte Povera. This long-overdue survey promises not only to shed light on her quietly and consistently impressive body of work from the 1960s through the present but also to install it within the singular context of the Querini Stampalia’s collection of Venetian art and artifacts and the high-modernist architectural interventions of Carlo Scarpa. This schizoid setting will serve as the backdrop for different facets of Merz’s multifarious practice: her works exploring the contingency and transformative

  • GROUP THINK: THE COLLABORATIVE ART OF SLAVS AND TATARS AND CHTO DELAT?

    MODERNITY, MONOBROWS, AND MONOTHEISM: These are just a few of the concerns of Slavs and Tatars, a collective dedicated to examining the region “east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China,” as they so neatly put it. Founded in 2006 and consisting of an American, a Belgian, a Pole, and an Iranian raised in Texas, Slavs and Tatars aim to recuperate the history of exchange between Slavs, Caucasians, and Central Asians in the territory loosely known as Eurasia, which is, notably, the only area where Islam and the West have historically coexisted peaceably. The collective’s

  • Michaelagelo Pistoletto

    This exhibition situates Michelangelo Pistoletto’s emergence in postwar Italy by concentrating on the first two decades of his career.

    This exhibition situates Michelangelo Pistoletto’s emergence in postwar Italy by concentrating on the first two decades of his career. Including more than 100 loans encompassing a variety of media, “Michelangelo Pistoletto: From One to Many, 1956–1974” features the “Quadri specchianti” (MirrorPaintings), 1962–, which reflected, quite literally, Italy’s tumultuous social and political transformations of that time; “Stracci” (Rags), 1968, whose consumer remnants are the closest to the aims of Arte Povera, with which Pistoletto is often associated; documentation of the

  • 1000 WORDS: HENRIK OLESEN

    IMAGINE A PECULIAR, ERSATZ VERSION of the censoriously right-wing British newspaper the Daily Mail: Alongside pedestrian stories on pension funds and gossip items about Jude Law, one finds conspicuously incongruous features on Édouard Manet’s lesbian muse and cross-dressing in colonial America. In fact, Berlin-based artist Henrik Olesen has shown us just what such a cheek-by-jowl pastiche would look like. Called Manipulating Media, 2002, the work also defaced headlines with agitprop statistics such as “The USA currently imprisons two million of its citizens,” lifted from sources including Noam

  • the 2nd Turin Triennial

    LESS A THEME AND MORE A MOOD, the saturnine was the tragic muse of the second installment of the Turin Triennial, curated by Daniel Birnbaum. Subtitled “50 Moons of Saturn”—one for each artist included—and spread across three sites, this triennial was symptomatic of a spate of recent exhibitions that seem to have developed feelings in place of concepts. Last year’s group exhibition at Stockholm’s Moderna Museet, “Eclipse: Art in a Dark Age,” and Massimiliano Gioni’s “After Nature” at the New Museum in New York were similarly despondent and dejected, while at the other end of the emotional

  • Pablo Bronstein

    Pablo Bronstein is the latest artist to take on the challenge provided by Galleria Franco Noero’s new space in the Casa Scaccabarozzi, a quirky building designed by the nineteenth-century architect Alessandro Antonelli and known locally as the “slice of polenta” because of its extremely narrow triangular shape. Titling his exhibition “Palazzi Torinesi” (Palaces of Turin), Bronstein immersed himself in this princely milieu to revisit and reimagine some of the city’s landmark buildings in works in a range of media, from painting to video, spread over six floors.

    Gone were the capriccios grafting

  • “Warhol’s Wide World”

    Andy Warhol’s entire operation—much like the diptych portraits to be included in this exhibition—was always a Janus-faced endeavor.

    Andy Warhol’s entire operation—much like the diptych portraits to be included in this exhibition—was always a Janus-faced endeavor. Both the depth and face value of his work relied on binaries—before and after, ugly and beautiful—and the tension that ricocheted between the two. This survey will examine Warhol’s dalliances in the outmoded genre of commissioned portraiture, particularly during the 1970s and ’80s, when the aspirational Andy flattered the faces of the rich and famous, from Fiat mogul Gianni Agnelli to Brigitte Bardot. Recent attempts to