Nicolas Linnert

  • Anthea Hamilton, Natural Livin’ Boot, 2015, leather, lichen, cauliflower, resin, ceramic, 9 x 12 x 18".
    picks September 25, 2015

    Anthea Hamilton

    “Lichen! Libido! Chastity!” Anthea Hamilton’s debut solo museum exhibition in the US is an arrangement replete with ostensibly handcrafted objects that engage desire and fetish. Such discrete works include suites of knobby eating utensils, precarious chastity belts, and flamboyant knee-high boots. Here, parts of everyday life are taken as whole—that is, as whole worlds of their own—in which marketing, pleasure, design, and biology influence the objects’ composition and comprehension.

    Of the five boot sculptures on view, Natural Livin’ Boot (all works 2015) is a droll pastiche of earthy-chic media

  • Wu Tsang with Fred Moten, Film still of Miss Communication and Mr:Re, 2014, two channel HD color video with sound, 17 minutes.
    picks September 11, 2015

    Wu Tsang

    For Wu Tsang, dialogue is the primary actor by which subjectivities are accorded representation. In the artist’s latest outing, her voice musingly floods the gallery, in dissonance with that of writer and theorist Fred Moten. This audio track, playing independently from the images on display, forms half of Miss Communication and Mr: Re, 2014, a two-channel work that pays homage to a fortnight when Moten and Tsang delivered each other lengthy voicemails. Both their countenances play respectively over HD screens, which the artist has positioned like portraits. Tsang and Moten silently drift in

  • Benjamin Carlson, Untitled, 2015, oil and gesso on canvas
40 x 40".
    picks August 06, 2015

    “Villa Aurora Revisited”

    A collective imaginary exists surrounding Los Angeles that is characterized by its contradictions: arcadian but synthetic, decadent yet arid—an impossible paradise for the far-flung West. “Villa Aurora Revisited,” organized by the Los Angeles gallery Park View, makes a dissociated, retrospective musing of California’s sprawling metropolis through works by artists who spent time at Villa Aurora, a residency program housed in its Spanish-style mansion overlooking the Pacific coast.

    “The apparent ease of California life is an illusion, and those who believe the illusion real live here in only the

  • Seth Price, Books are Weapons, 2003, pen and graphite on paper, 11 x 14".
    picks May 22, 2015

    Seth Price

    For an exhibition of more than sixty items produced largely since the turn of the millennium, “Drawings: Studies for Works 2000–2015” coheres with an unusual syncopation. Little wonder that these ink-jet prints, gouaches, ink drawings, and other media works on view by Seth Price, whose heterogeneous output has often concerned distribution as much as it has distraction. Some pieces such as Books are Weapons, 2003, read as bits or fragments from a broader narrative, as if excerpted from an author’s meandering plot: This pen-and-graphite drawing displays a cartoonish publication against an upright,

  • View of “N. Dash,” 2014–15. From left: Untitled, 2014; Untitled, 2014.

    N. Dash

    N. Dash’s first solo museum exhibition was staged in the Hammer’s distinctive Vault Gallery; with its diminutive, bullet-shaped floor plan and arched ceiling, the chamber is one of the museum’s more unusual spaces, and the room’s obdurate layout underscored the role of architecture within Dash’s incisive painting practice. Here the artist mounted five untitled paintings, all 2014. A series of unframed photographs depicting frayed, curling fabric were interspersed between the seductive planar compositions, and similar images were embedded, marquee-like, within the backlit panels dotting the

  • Taslima Ahmed, North, South, East, West, Gun, Safe, 2015, beretta 9mm pistol inside steel safe, 12 x 17 x 4"
    picks March 06, 2015

    Taslima Ahmed

    Risky scenarios clash with compulsions toward stability in “I: A High Stakes Gamble,” Taslima Ahmed’s New York solo debut. Including a factious composite of glossy PVC-laden prints and sculptures, wall-embedded security safes, and a two-player card-game sculpture, the exhibition questions contemporary art’s relationships with uncertainty. Seven laminated C-prints mounted to Sintra populate the gallery walls, each of which displays an atmospheric, digitally rendered environment punctured by subtle moments of urgency. Helter Skelter (all works 2015) shows a struggling pair of hands clutching the

  • James Benning, Tulare Road, 2010, three-channel HD video, 18 minutes.
    picks February 13, 2015

    Peter Hutton and James Benning

    It has only been a few years since Peter Hutton and James Benning began working with film in a digital format. In these artists’ two-person exhibition, one sees a trio of three-channel video installations. The works here advance—both topically and technically, as descendants of analog—the argument that cinema’s once-dominant aesthetic status has given way to more flexible, immersive moving forms.

    Hutton’s At Sea, 2004–07, originally a single-channel 16-mm silent film, is here digitally converted and split into three distinct elements. Each frame documents a different stage of a cargo ship from

  • Still from Danji Buck-Moore, Henning Fehr, and Philipp Rühr’s Polyrhythm Technoir Pt. III: The Rattle Snake:
A Film About the Future (work in progress), digital video, color, sound.

    OPENINGS: HENNING FEHR AND PHILIPP RÜHR

    BETWEEN MAY '68 and the military-postindustrial complex, between Situationism and the Situation Room, the word situation may well appear depleted—a term that once held promises of utopian revolution now repurposed as the vacant, adjudicated language of bureaucracy and crisis. But the young Düsseldorf-based duo Henning Fehr and Philipp Rühr give the term new currency: They embrace “situations” as the thrust of their work. The noun is suggestive in this context not only because it aptly describes the varied episodes from contemporary urban life that are typically the focus of the artists’

  • Josh Brand, Face, 2010–14, mixed media on photographic paper, 6 × 4".

    Josh Brand

    In his 1981 essay “The Cancerous Image,” the writer, critic, and photographer Hervé Guibert narrates the tale of a photograph he stole from someone’s home by hiding it beneath his coat. The purloined image showed an unidentified young man gazing soberly toward his unknown photographer. The writer’s unfolding relation with the print quickly evinces his obsession with and wholehearted belief in photography’s capacity to stir he spirit: “The photograph became the boy and the back of the photograph became the boy’s back. . . . And my affection for it became more and more abstract as the paper became

  • View of “One Blow In Anger (Evidence 2011–2014),” 2015.
    picks January 23, 2015

    Villa Design Group

    Villa Design Group’s first exhibition in New York, “One Blow In Anger (Evidence 2011–2014),” sinisterly flirts with the porous, parasitically connected lifestyles and aspirations of bohemia and the bourgeoisie. Here, aristocratic values shape the blueprint for a restless social circle’s ambitions, and in turn isolate these young bohemians as they strive for la dolce vita. The thread connecting the exhibition’s framed array of fine sketches and collages on graph paper is Evidence of Childhood I–XIX, 2015, a nineteen-part tale etched on aluminum plaques that are positioned individually below the

  • View of “Chuck Nanney,” 2014. From left: mobile pink flipper cloud lingum, 2014; mobile purple flipper cloud lingum, 2014.

    Chuck Nanney

    The sculptures that constituted “BODY PARTS & ORACLES,” Chuck Nanney’s first solo exhibition in more than a decade, abide by a lurid color scheme of lime green, neon pink, scarlet, and cerulean, which cumulatively generated an electric lyricism. Most of the objects here on view, mounted to the gallery walls or resting on its floor, were constructed of unassuming materials—household hinges, wooden dowels, Plexiglas sheets, plywood bits—whose acrylic painted surfaces occasionally gleamed with gold, copper, or aluminum leaf. Several were marked with sigils, those mystical emblems constructed

  • View of “The Blue Album,” 2014.
    picks September 26, 2014

    Joshua Smith

    Seven abstract monochrome canvases are displayed between unframed black-and-white photographs in Joshua Smith’s solo exhibition “The Blue Album,” some of which document a day trip to the beach that the artist took with two friends. Liz at the Beach, 2014, depicts one of his companions sunbathing along a calm ocean shore as she scrutinizes the screen of an iPhone. A large untitled arched canvas painted bubblegum-pink is positioned to the image’s right—its vertical orientation conjures a malformed Roman letter. The intimate proximity of Smith’s camera to his leisurely subject adds a tender air