Paige K. Bradley

  • picks November 24, 2020

    “Wrecked Alphabet”

    Given the prevailing trend of infographics—think Hank Willis Thomas’s chart Colonialism and Abstract Art, 2020, a reimagining of Alfred H. Barr’s diagram for his 1936 exhibition “Cubism and Abstract Art,” or Dylan Louis Monroe’s ongoing QAnon-adjacent Deep State Mapping Project, 2017—it seems about time to scrutinize how texts and schematics proposing networks of connection and scattered over pages and screens, or even painted on cans of vegetables, became the look of the zeitgeist.

    The group exhibition here, “Wrecked Alphabet,” crams a whirlwind of propositions into a small parlor floor of an

  • A WORLD OF PURE IMAGINATION

    IMAGINE SOMEONE with “Q”-level security clearance in the American federal government joining an online message board’s anonymous hordes to post allusive crumbs of insider intelligence about Donald Trump’s plan to crush the “deep state.” And imagine that this Democrat-controlled shadow government comprises bloodthirsty, adrenochrome-addicted, sex-trafficking pedophiles obsessed with flaunting their vices through a symbolism both totally pervasive and curiously inscrutable. Can you conceive of plots involving secret connections between Obama.org tweets and George Floyd’s death and a premeditated

  • “Boro Textiles: Sustainable Aesthetics”

    Let’s stop promoting the nefarious free-market myth that sustainability is a choice, as if it were something that could be plucked from a delectable buffet of options. The at-hand presence of resources that can be used—or exploited—is less likely to guarantee quality than perhaps to inspire overindulgence.

    The Japanese folk tradition of boro—patched or mended textiles—and the contemporary designers and artists whose work adopts its spirit offer a timely statement on making do. Boro can be translated as “rags,” traditionally produced by the residents of Aomori, the northernmost prefecture on

  • 20,000 GECS FOLLOWERS CAN'T BE WRONG

    GURGLE-Y THUDS, chiptune squeals, breakcore beats, sirens, gleeful rapping, and enthusiastic screaming—no, a Gen Z ne’er-do-well isn’t having a party at your house; someone’s probably just turned on 100 gecs and now has some explaining to do. Formed in 2015 by Laura Les and Dylan Brady, 100 gecs make music by sending digital files back and forth to each other from their respective headquarters in Chicago and Los Angeles. So far they’ve released one EP (2016’s 100 gecs) and an album (summer 2019’s 1000 gecs) along with a handful of remixes. You can find the EP on YouTube and the LP on platforms

  • Niki de Saint Phalle

    Curated by Ruba Katrib

    Florid, bodacious, and unabashed—all words apropos to the work of Niki de Saint Phalle, an aristocratic dropout and unruly visionary. The first exhibition of her work at a New York museum will feature more than one hundred works, including sculpture, prints, and jewelry, as well as documentation of her public works, including original models for and photographs and drawings of Tarot Garden, open to the public since 1998. Inspired by Antoni Gaudí’s Park Güell in Barcelona and Ferdinand Cheval’s Le Palais Idéal in southeastern France, and surely influenced by Simon Rodia’s

  • picks November 12, 2019

    “AIL PALACES ARETEMPORARY HALACES: A Shanzhai Lyric”

    Regardless of whether it’s “high” or “fast,” fashion shouts (or dog-whistles) its way through the crowds with branded signifiers. But the linguistically opaque garments gathered here are shanzhai: Chinese counterfeits of branded merchandise, and often hectic amalgamations of homely graphic design, queerly philosophical lamentations, and grammatically errant versions of trendy political statements. Operating as an offshoot of Display Distribute, an “itinerant artistic research platform” and occasional exhibition space based in Hong Kong, Ming Lin and Alexandra Tatarsky—the duo that make up Shanzhai

  • picks September 27, 2019

    “Holly Village”

    This group exhibition, its title a portmanteau of Hollywood and East Village—both places suffocated by fanciful and rabid delusions alike—features a mélange of materials: a lamp, nail decals, night-lights, dish towels, jewels, and a smart speaker from Amazon.com, among other kinds of stuff. Of course, to call these items “stuff” is not an insult, but an acknowledgment that (any) things can be amplified to speak volumes. The late Lutz Bacher, for one, dipped her hands into the intersecting streams of past and present to deliver homely emissaries of the real—a realm that we know is just an

  • diary September 12, 2019

    Where Angels Fear to Tread

    I WAS A TOUCH DISPIRITED, then thwacked by nausea—and that was before New York Fashion Week started. It was not an auspicious beginning to what’s supposed to be the most . . . perhaps not wonderful, but certainly most telling time of the year, especially for those in touch with Virginia Woolf’s frock consciousness and harboring a serious concern for the soul’s window dressing—aka “fits”—or for those who just really personally identify with their place in a seating arrangement. As RuPaul once noted in his autobiography, “We’re all born naked, and the rest is drag.” So, what guises for cloaking

  • “IZUMI KATO: LIKE A ROLLING SNOWBALL”

    Curated by Kazuko Aono and Mariko Ogata

    Together with his contemporaries Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara, Izumi Kato made a splash in America as part of the cheerfully ironic, doom-with-a-hug Japan Society exhibition “Little Boy” in 2005. Despite some of their formal attributes—mainly the unsettlingly childlike personages—Kato’s precise, haunting oil paintings and unnerving wood figurines are not the pop-culture appropriations they can seem to be, but instead sprout from the common ground of folkloric totems and modernist figuration. With a particular focus on his large-scale sculptures, a

  • Leonora Carrington

    Leonora Carrington’s backstory is just as remarkable as her work. Born in 1917, the rebellious British textile heiress and art-school dropout had a passionate affair in her youth with Max Ernst, an elder statesman of the twentieth-century avant-garde. The mounting pressures of World War II seemed to parallel her own ascending audacity: After she was separated from Ernst by his internment in France, Carrington threatened to kill Hitler while at the British embassy in Madrid. Sometime thereafter, she entered a mental institution in Santander, Spain; the experience was traumatizing. By 1942, she

  • Mira Schor

    As a painter, writer, teacher, and recipient of this year’s Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award—in addition to being a dedicated cultural commentator on her blog, ayearofpositivethinking.com—Mira Schor freely roams between art criticism and artmaking. Her gestural renderings of text are as tactile as her fluid, figurative imagery, treating language and bodies as constitutive elements of consciousness. A keen feminist analysis is as present and salient in her images as it is in her thoughtful, clear-sighted essays. Schor’s show “California Paintings: 1971–1973” brought us back to

  • diary May 16, 2019

    As the World Turns

    PREVIOUSLY ON Days of Our Outrage, the Whitney Biennial was a political disaster in medias res. (And the first takes made it all look so hunky dory.) In the lead-up to the current edition (the seventy-ninth!), there was controversy over stunning revelations that extremely wealthy people—maybe the only ones who would buy your elaborate video installations and enormous paintings—don’t tend to come by their riches by doing good. #Notsurprised, I suppose? Taking an ethical position these days seems to be like picking and choosing from an entirely rotten buffet—it’d be lovely not to have a tumbler