Nick Stillman

  • Akosua Adoma Owusu, Kwaku Ananse, 2013, 35 mm transferred to HD digital video, color, sound, 25 minutes.


    “PROSPECT.3: NOTES FOR NOW” was the third iteration of Prospect New Orleans, the city-spanning exhibition that calls itself a biennial although it has never occurred at biannual intervals—after the 2008 financial crash marred the inauguration, Prospect.2 didn’t open until 2011. In spite of these delays, Prospect occupies a definitive node within the city’s art ecosystem, symbolizing for some the hope for recognition of New Orleans as a major contemporary art destination and, for others, the dread that so much outside influence might water down the city’s quixotic localism. (My own

  • “Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic”

    In last year’s PBS documentary Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace, one of the artist’s associates offhandedly introduces him to a stranger in New York as “the black Andy Warhol.” Not only has Wiley’s work become singularly recognizable (since emerging in the early 2000s), but the artist also shares with the King of Pop an utter reliance on the charismatic, glimmering stars of the street. In his first museum survey, at the site of his first institutional solo show in 2004, Wiley will present approximately sixty works, including recent pieces in bronze and stained glass.

  • Katherine Bradford, Titanic Orange Sea, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 10 x 10".

    Katherine Bradford

    New York– and Maine-based painter Katherine Bradford has been active since the 1970s, yet her ambiguously narrative, color-saturated paintings have recently assumed newfound relevance in the context of work by younger artists such as Katherine Bernhardt, Dan McCarthy, and Michael Williams. Considering both career arc and choice of painterly themes, however, Bradford’s closest peer may be Joyce Pensato, who also began eliciting attention relatively late and whose works resonate with Bradford’s cheekily dramatic cartoon-character portraits, which shuffle interestingly close to bathos.


  • Stephen Collier, Untitled, 2013, oil, acrylic, enamel, photocopy, Sheetrock, plywood, 60 x 40".

    Stephen Collier

    A cofounder in 2008 of the New Orleans–based collective Good Children, Stephen Collier is central to a local scene that has spawned a number of artists’ groups and off spaces—enough to position the Crescent City in recent years as a bastion of DIY possibility. True to form, the art that Collier makes is deeply invested in the myths, violence, and cult activities that constitute the dark underbelly of the American imaginary.

    In his spring show at Acadiana Center for the Arts in Lafayette, Louisana, Collier homed in on the razor’s edge separating mystic from psychotic, the millimeter of

  • Agnes Denes, Napoleonic Series II: Investigation of World Rulers—Some More Napoleons Overlooking the Elba, 1971, fingerprinting ink and colored ink on gr

    Agnes Denes

    WHEN AGNES DENES planted and harvested almost one thousand pounds of wheat in what is now New York’s Battery Park City, the action—and the astonishing photographs showing the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty looming over the endless golden grain—cemented her reputation as an unconventional Land artist and environmental visionary. In becoming her signature piece, however, Wheatfield—A Confrontation, 1982, has also somewhat obscured the complexity of her long career. From the literally germinal work of eco-art Rice/Tree/Burial, 1968–79, through her more recent plans for

  • Shelby Lee Adams, Hazel and Mimie, 2005, gelatin silver print, 20 x 16".

    Shelby Lee Adams

    In a statement introducing Shelby Lee Adams’s “Salt & Truth” exhibition (on view through January 7), the artist claims it has become difficult to find “authentic, salt-of-the-earth people” to photograph. Adams’s words are those of a man who, for nearly forty years, has been photographing mountain dwellers in the eastern Kentucky Appalachians (not far from where he grew up), focusing always on the lifers rather than on the newcomers, many of whom are affiliated with corporate strip mining. But if change is apparent in this part of the country, Adams’s portraits stubbornly suspend it. Recent forays

  • Aaron McNamee, Complete Year Times–Picayune (August 3, 2010–August 2, 2011), 2011*, newspaper, glue, twelve panels, each 66 x 9 x 1 1/2". From the series “Complete Year Times-Picayune,” 2009–12.

    Aaron McNamee

    Following Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill, and a murder epidemic described by the city’s mayor as nothing less than “unnatural,” New Orleans lays claim to another tragedy—one that has been afforded comparatively little national attention. In late May, it was announced that the Times-Picayune, the region’s venerable newspaper, would be reduced to a thrice-weekly print run. The stunning cutback has earned New Orleans a new ignominy: It will be the largest American city without a daily paper. Among the countless readers whom this impacts is Aaron McNamee, a New Orleans–based artist who

  • Ted Bafaloukos, Rockers, 1978, color film, 100 minutes.
    film August 01, 2012

    Back to the Roots

    REGGAE’S STEREOTYPE as the breezy sound track of good moods may have enabled its pop-cultural integration, but something was also lost in that assimilation. Its relationship to the Rasta movement that produced the music’s most famed musicians (Bob Marley, Horace Andy, Gregory Isaacs) is often—when not cartooned—opaque.

    BAMcinématek’s fourteen-film “Do the Reggae” program (August 2–6) is a multifaceted contextualization of Jamaican music history during reggae’s golden age: the mid-1960s through the early ’80s. The popularization of Jamaican music coincided with reggae’s distinct turn to Rasta

  • Sophie T. Lvoff, Purple Rain, 2011, color ink-jet print, 47 1/2 x 40 1/2". From “Spaces: Antenna, the Front, Good Children Gallery.”

    “Spaces: Antenna, the Front, Good Children Gallery”

    Here’s an intimidating curatorial gambit: a museum exhibition venturing to manifest a palpable web of energy spun by a triad of emerging artists’ collectives. The collectives are located in a working-class, historically black, increasingly multicultural enclave that is literally on the other side of the tracks from the Contemporary Arts Center, which is situated in a well-trafficked touristic business district. From the outset of this project, potential pitfalls for the museum abounded. On the one hand, ideological and class tensions would be there for the stoking; on the other (and maybe more

  • Barbara Kasten, Construct PC/I-A, 1981, Polaroid photograph, 24 x 20".

    Barbara Kasten

    The history of abstract photography begins with the inception of the medium itself. The first recorded photograph, taken in 1825 by Frenchman Nicéphore Niépce (he called photography “sun-writing”), depicts a view outside his window. But exposing an image back then demanded a full day’s sunlight, and that grainy picture is most notable for the weird, impossible angles of its shadows. Technology necessitated that early photographs such as Niépce’s capture a palimpsest of accumulated seconds (or hours)—that is, function as images of abstracted time—and yet, overwhelmingly, the medium,

  • William E. Jones, Berlin Flash Frames, 2010, still from a sequence of black-and-white digital files, 9 minutes 18 seconds.


    In her iconic 1976 essay “Video and Narcissism,” Rosalind Krauss considers early works in the nascent medium (by artists such as Joan Jonas and Vito Acconci) as echo chambers that dissolve the notion of present tense.

    In her iconic 1976 essay “Video and Narcissism,” Rosalind Krauss considers early works in the nascent medium (by artists such as Joan Jonas and Vito Acconci) as echo chambers that dissolve the notion of present tense. “Time Again,” curated by Fionn Meade, runs with this premise, investigating how repetition engenders a disjunction between past and present. Both the roster of two dozen artists—Blinky Palermo, Ull Hohn, Rosalind Nashashibi, and Rosemarie Trockel, to name a few—and the materials included are diverse, with works such as Troy Brauntuch’s collection of

  • Clifford Owens, Studio Visits: Patty Chang, 2006, still from a digital color video, 28 seconds. From the series “Studio Visits,” 2004–2008.

    Clifford Owens

    Clifford Owens has written that he doesn’t want to be pigeonholed as a performance artist, yet his work is deeply enmeshed in classic performance-art interrogations: What is the role of the document? Can performance and the museum coexist? Most explicitly, what are the codes mediating a performer’s relationship to an audience? And feedback—both via artist-to-artist conversation and as an exchange between performer and viewer—is crucial to what he does. This exhibition (Owens’s first solo museum show) not only actively involved the artist’s immediate audience but, laced with references