Paige K. Bradley

  • diary September 12, 2019

    Where Angels Fear to Tread

    I WAS A TOUCH DISPIRITED, then thwacked by nausea—and that was before 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 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 our ancient shame

  • “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

  • picks May 13, 2019

    Doreen Garner

    In her 1975 mission statement “A Letter to Women Artists,” Hannah Wilke laid out some terms of engagement for her work: “Feel the folds . . . expressive precise gestural symbols.” Doreen Garner’s tumid sculptures of affecting and undeniably vaginal forms can be read along similar lines. Though reminiscent of the uncanny valley à la Paul Thek, the trompe l’oeil corporeality on view here chiefly addresses the threats that black women are uniquely vulnerable to—take the 2015 arrest of Sandra Bland, which led to her untimely death in a jail cell. An audio recording of the traffic stop that instigated

  • picks May 01, 2019

    “Surrealism in Mexico”

    Whether they were seeking a new context and inspiration for their art or fleeing from strife in Europe, many in the twentieth-century avant-garde long held a fascination with Mexico. Overlapping with the last few weeks of a Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, this show brings together three paintings by Kahlo—including the modestly sized yet famous La Venadita (The Little Deer), 1946, and an unusual oil-on-metal composition framed in Oaxacan tin titled The Survivor, 1938—with pieces from a whole circle of lesser-known Surrealists who came to live and work in the country during and

  • “SILICONE: SCULPTURE AND SELF IN THE AGE OF COMPUTER GENERATED IMAGERY”

    Curated by Chen Tamir

    Like heat-seeking creatures drawn to a flame, artists have a tough time resisting the surreal allure of the online universe. This survey of more than twenty works of the post-internet genre will consider how visual art is shaped by digital technology. But post-internet, like the silicone of the show’s title, is a euphemism, one that has become useful for critics describing performative representation that utilizes computerized means. Since a number of the artists in the show (Lu Yang, Jacolby Satterwhite) appear obsessed less with being on the Web than with repurposing its

  • film March 21, 2019

    All the Young Dudes

    BRITAIN’S NATIONAL IDENTITY CRISIS! Angry young white men! The depraved, authority-huffing upper class! The stifling production line of corrupt Western educational institutions! And don’t forget a side of gun violence. If…, Lindsay Anderson’s tale of British boarding school bedlam, was released at the end of 1968 but seems primed to punch the buttons of today’s audiences, which hardly need to set a Google Alert to be inundated with horrific happenings related to the aforementioned topics. Then again, this is a film from a country where more than 90 percent of police officers don’t carry guns.

  • Lee Kit

    Lee Kit’s exhibition “‘We used to be more sensitive.’” turned most of the rooms of this 1930s-era building into a temporary home for feather-light interventions. While painting in Lee’s practice can certainly refer to the process of applying paint to a substrate, it is just as likely to refer to that of articulating light through the utterly utilitarian but thoroughly contemporary means of a video projector. What is most thrilling is when he throws footage of flapping fabric, or that of a painter in a studio adjusting a work in progress, onto plain or painted planes in a kind of trompe l’oeil

  • OPENINGS: FLANNERY SILVA

    FLANNERY SILVA MAKES COVERS. That is, she takes already-extant cultural works, whether they be songs or signifiers, and adapts these pieces of media into cover versions—music, sculptures, digital-print collages, or labyrinthine websites that bear hazy traces of a beloved original. The act of creating a cover is different from appropriation. While appropriation is a crisp or violent steal, a repurposed excision or theft from a culture, a cover can oscillate wildly. It may be the poor performance—made degraded and lossy through a translation of one personal expression into another—or

  • “REE MORTON: THE PLANT THAT HEALS MAY ALSO POISON”

    The first major US retrospective in nearly forty years of the sculptor, painter, and installation maven Ree Morton is upon us—praise be! When a car crash tragically cut her life short in 1977, Morton was forty and just hitting her stride. Riffing on the ascetic forms of her Minimalist peers, she incorporated markers of more quotidian affairs: The recurring dotted lines in her work bear a similarity to craft-project instructions. Then there are the flouncy, poetic, banner-like sculptures, one of which serves as the namesake of the exhibition: The Plant That Heals May Also

  • LILY VAN DER STOKKER

    Bubbly fonts, floral doodles, medicinal pinks, buttercup yellows, and rolls of toilet paper: These are motifs and hues one might expect to find decorating a day care or in a supply closet. Lily van der Stokker liberated such unassuming forms and scoff-worthy aesthetics long ago, fluffing her conceptualist gestures with the pathos of the pooh-poohed. This survey of the Dutch artist’s work, focusing on her output from the late 1980s to the present, will include drawings and wall paintings, such as the proudly declarative I am an artwork and I am 3 years old, 2004; the

  • interviews May 18, 2018

    Amalia Ulman

    Amalia Ulman’s Excellences & Perfections, 2014, a durational performance that took place on her Instagram account, featured the artist playing a young ingénue with the kinds of finely calibrated displays of taste we’ve come to recognize as typical of the pageantry of aspiration many people gamely engage in across social media platforms. By virtue of the work's placement on Instagram, the artist garnered attention for being a person she wasn’t, just as the rest of us do all the time. The posts, along with public comments, were published earlier this month in a book by Prestel that also includes

  • film February 02, 2018

    Dear You

    HOW LUXURIOUS TO BE ALONE in a theater for a double-bill screening of two love-rhymes-with-hideous-car-wreck films at Spectacle Theater. French director and actor Emmanuelle Bercot’s Backstage (2005) and German director and writer Eckhart Schmidt’s Der Fan (1982) suggest that fandom, like a diamond, is forever. In each, the center of gravity is a younger girl pining for an older pop star, seeing her idol as the physical embodiment of the love that she longs for—at least as a one-way ticket out of banality.

    Horror makes a major of the minor, an opera out of suggestion, and treats fantasy as

  • diary November 21, 2017

    Welcome to (ようこそ) the Jungle

    “THERE WERE SIGNS.” A small Totoro charm hanging off a mini Fjallraven just so, spotted on the Q train; the Shoto Aizawa from My Hero Academia button on a backpack moving along Thirty-Fourth Street. Clearly something was afoot.

    ’Twas an anime convention, dear reader, the inaugural edition of a gathering of weebs in New York: AnimeNYC. Held for three days last weekend at Hillary Clinton’s Waterloo (though most around these parts just call it the Javits Center), it marked a terrific opportunity for Midtown councilman Ben Kallos (D) to hail the money and tax dollars that this fan base would bring

  • slant October 20, 2017

    The Unbearable Lightness of Paris / I Know What I Did Last Summer

    Since I’m already screwed

    Here’s a message to you

    My heart’s wide open

    I’m just not getting through to the lover in you

    Yet I’m still hoping

    That tonight, tonight, you’re gonna turn down the lights

    And give me a little more room just to prove it to you

    THAT’S HOW SHE PUT IT ON “SCREWED,” the eighth track of her debut album, Paris, released in August 2006. Screwed, with an open heart and hope for a little more room, that’s as much as any femme is allowed to be in this world.

    Bio: She was born in the 1980s in Los Angeles to wealth and privilege. Her middle name is Whitney. Her middle name is Katharine.

  • picks October 18, 2017

    Yokohama Triennale 2017: “Islands, Constellations, & Galapagos”

    With thirty-eight artists and two collectives represented, the 2017 Yokohama Triennale is kitted out in cheap plywood scaffolding and furniture, courtesy of architect Teppei Fujiwara, in aid of its mission to tackle flotsam, jetsam, and aftermath. The show holds all this up as if to query whether, in a future comprising a bit of land, some people, and quite a lot of ocean and trash, we might want to prepare ourselves ahead of time and learn how to read today’s excess and tragedy to anticipate tomorrow’s reality and refuse.

    Reappearances and returns make a strong case here for a circulation that

  • diary May 05, 2017

    Game On

    IF YOU AREN’T THERE TO SHOP, art fairs are like plugging into a video game where someone’s already taken care of the bosses. Down this aisle, a friend to talk to, down that one a costumed bear spinning out on the floor at your feet; maybe go watch a digital film, ogle some colors, take the ferry—it doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you ride the ride. It all blurs and holds together if you don’t slow down to remember you’ve been chewing on dried mango all day.

    Relentless attention to art and society keeps the body’s needs at bay—at least until a rainy day, with storm clouds looming over the

  • picks April 14, 2017

    Rene Ricard

    The poet Rene Ricard, who died in 2014, was once called “as hip as it gets . . . but he wasn’t cool.” There’s nothing cool about staking your own heart before a hardened audience. And in a post-Barthes world, neither is lavishing your authorial signature all over everything. “Rene Ricard,” or his initials, often scrawled on the works here, are at the same scale as his painted poems, which are accusations, recriminations, reproaches, and, of course, odes. Over and over, spoken and written, he insisted on his name, not as a point of pride but rather as resignation to an inescapable fate. What a