Paige K. Bradley

  • picks January 01, 2016

    Jean Baudrillard

    What did Jean Baudrillard like looking at? Based on this exhibition of his own photography, to say nothing of his authoring an essay called “The Conspiracy of Art” (1996), it certainly wasn’t art. If anything, this group of fourteen giclée prints from the late 1980s to the early aughts, featuring quotidian scenes of urban graffiti, torn posters, wrinkled facades, drapery, broken statues, and humdrum oddities seems like an ironically artistic attempt at shoring up that treatise’s proposition that contemporary aesthetic activity “truly is null.” The images displayed here, taken throughout a good

  • diary November 06, 2015

    Young at Art

    “IS THERE A MEMBERS’ area we can go to?” quoth two blandly handsome suits Wednesday at the bar of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s annual Young Collectors’ Council preparty gala (try saying it three times fast). At $350 per head to benefit the museum and sponsored by Christian Dior Couture, the naive might think we were already in exclusive territory, but I guess like any addiction the velvet-rope habit is about committing to going deep. While I was absorbed by my white linen napkin square (complimentary, like the champagne), a gaggle of plainclothed New York City Ballet dancers bustled

  • picks October 30, 2015

    Jacky Connolly and Flannery Silva

    The scene is twilight, the leaves are turning, and a girl logs practice time on her acoustic guitar in an animated world shot within the 2009 PC game The Sims 3. Tear-like droplets ambiguously fall from characters’ limbs throughout. Living in a house upstate with a smaller, surlier missy in Jack Skellington logo apparel, no one speaks, but they do bake calzones in their living room and have an ice-skating rink in the picturesque backyard. Jacky Connolly’s two videos—articulating this rustique mise-en-scène of lonely utopia—Hudson Valley Rock Chick and Forever Alone Calzone (all works 2015),

  • diary October 12, 2015

    Days of Future Past

    “GREATER NEW YORK,” MoMA PS1’s signature “quinquennial,” seems more like a Hunger Games Quarter Quell. A broad cross-section of artists is reunited to present an image of just what New York’s whole deal is these days. Judgments are made, and maybe by the end someone will make it out alive. This kind of survey show was once designed to take the temperature of a scene. Well, you don’t check your temperature unless you feel ill, and anyone who lives in New York knows all is not well in the state of us (especially if you made the grave mistake of going to college while poor in the past decade…).

    It’s

  • interviews October 06, 2015

    Hannah Black

    Hannah Black’s writings and artwork address race, gender, class, pop culture, and geopolitics, among other things. Her first solo show at Arcadia Missa in London, which she discusses here, opened on October 2 and runs through October 31, 2015. Black is also currently participating in two group shows: “Workland: the fence is a narrow place” at Chateau Shatto in Los Angeles, on view through October 31, and “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” at the Yarat Contemporary Art Center in Baku, Azerbaijan, which runs through January 7, 2016.

    THERE ARE SEVERAL DIFFERENT types of objects in this exhibition—airline

  • diary September 29, 2015

    Net Effect

    AFTER A COUPLE HOURS’ LAYOVER and lie-down in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport—site of Edward Snowden’s own private odyssey—I arrived last Wednesday in the former Soviet colony Azerbaijan’s capital: Baku. A city of ancient architecture hemmed in by a flowering of modern construction; producer of a supposed one million barrels of oil a day; metropolis of a country that imprisons elderly journalists with heart conditions: People live here. As for me, I was merely on the hunt for—what else—some contemporary art.

    Cruising down the freeway in a cab from Heydar Aliyev airport, named for the current

  • diary August 26, 2015

    Welcome Committee

    INVOLVING OVER SIXTY GALLERIES, project spaces, and museums in addition to the third edition of the Chart Art Fair and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art’s annual literature festival, the first weekend of Copenhagen Art Week suffered no lack of exhibitions, talks, performances, and shindigs to variously see, imbibe, and endure, in no particular order.

    I arrived early Friday morning and immediately commenced tromping around photographer Joakim Eskildsen’s exhibition at the National Museum of Photography and Anouk Kruithof’s show of sweat-inspired sculptures at soon-to-be-roving project space GREEN

  • picks July 17, 2015

    “What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present”

    It begins with a darkened room and a gleeful sheer-noise terror from a blank screen—a ghoul running its tendrils up and down musical keys, head thrown back and shredding out its wet, throaty mating call. It’s the 1990s Providence collective Forcefield, of course—audio tracks and a video dispatched straight from some utopian past. The impudence implied by the title of this exhibition of Chicago’s Hairy Who and Bay Area Funk artists, in addition to the freaks and no-goodniks of collectives Destroy All Monsters and Forcefield, is apropos. Then again, any nerves one might bring on board for this

  • interviews June 26, 2015

    Sarah Cain

    Sarah Cain is a Los Angeles–based artist whose work explores boundaries between painting, sculpture, and installation. “Bow Down,” her solo exhibition at Honor Fraser Gallery in Los Angeles, is on view through July 11, 2015. In tandem, her first solo museum show runs at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, in La Jolla through July 19, 2015. The latter includes selections from the institution’s permanent collection as well as the artist’s personal collection, which Cain discusses below.

    AT THE CORE of my work is a challenge to abstract painting—an attempt to expand it. It comes from a deep

  • interviews June 02, 2015

    Lydia Lunch

    Lydia Lunch is well known for her photography, writing, and music from the past three decades. Based in Barcelona, she recently released the new album Urge to Kill on Rustblade with her band RETROVIRUS; her 1990 spoken word work Conspiracy of Women (C.O.W.) will be rereleased this month on limited-edition vinyl by Nicholas Jaar’s label, Other People. Lunch will perform the piece on June 5, 2015, at 7 PM at Howl! Happening in New York, where an exhibition of new photography and selections from her archives are also on display through June 5. Here, she talks about her process, formative influences,

  • picks May 15, 2015

    Charles Burchfield

    Start anywhere, go everywhere—that would seem to be the calling card of mid-twentieth-century painter Charles Burchfield’s body of work, which predominately captures scenes from nature and rural, country life as charged by drama, tension, and a freewheeling style that rockets straight out of humble en plein air painting’s crypt and into the stratosphere of vision. The effervescent landscape drawings in this exhibition are often cut through with shafts of light, as in Dawn in Early Spring, 1946–66, which depicts a forest. The picture—done in watercolor and charcoal, as many works in the show

  • interviews April 29, 2015

    C. Spencer Yeh

    C. Spencer Yeh is a New York–based artist and musician who is well known for his voice-based performances. For the past twenty years he has recorded as Burning Star Core and under his given name. His new ten-track record, Solo Voice I – X, was released this month by Primary Information as an LP in an edition of 500. He will perform the record in entirety at Artists Space on June 23, 2015, as part of a 2015 residency at ISSUE Project Room.

    I’VE USED MY VOICE in a lot of other recordings, and for years I had been saying—or threatening—that I would do an all-voice record. A one-instrument album is

  • picks April 24, 2015

    Caitlin MacBride

    Fragments, ciphers, mirroring, and a whisper about lineage are hung as five oil paintings in Caitlin MacBride’s New York debut. Presenting a mysterious array of oblong forms severed from discernable context, MacBride’s works slink around the alleys of representation but have clearly inhaled the vapors of abstraction and had more than a few liaisons with “Pictures.” Orphaned from any alliances, they look like they’re searching for where they might fit in, as if wandering down art history’s halls, querying David Salle: “Are you my father?”

    The two largest works pull the heavier weight of ideas.

  • picks April 10, 2015

    Peter Saul

    Caught up in the fluorescent reds, acidic greens, and woozy ultramarine blues coating erotic entanglements of cartoons and classical figuration, politics and fantasy, in these acrylic and oil canvases, you could just miss the black marker insignia “SAUL ’68” on Target Practice. Hiding in plain sight is evidence that these large works hail from an era of riots, uprisings, the Vietnam War, and the flourishing of countercultural glee in America. Take equal parts hysterical protest and militaristic righteousness and you have a painting like Pinkville, 1970: A glistening orange American solider with

  • interviews April 07, 2015

    Natalie Frank

    Natalie Frank, an artist whose latest drawings investigate the Grimms’ fairy tales, will have an exhibition of these works at the Drawing Center in New York from April 10 through June 28, 2015, which will then travel to the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin. The work will also be the subject of a reading and panel discussion on April 30, 2015, at the Brooklyn Museum, and in May it will be published as a book by Damiani.

    I BEGAN THESE WORKS, which are based on the unsanitized version of the Grimms’ fairy tales, about four years ago. I picked up a copy of Jack Zipes’s The

  • picks March 20, 2015

    Lena Henke and Max Brand

    The exhibition starts in the stairwell, with battered sheets of painted cardboard woven through the banister and collaged with handmade sheets of rough, grody paper—welcome to the gallery, it’s been waiting for you. From there you ascend through two floors of discretely installed sculptures and large paintings, interrupted by hallways and landings displaying an array of manic collaborative efforts between Lena Henke and Max Brand, who studied at Frankfurt’s Städelschule together. The first floor hallway exhibits a zigzag pattern of shredded paper rectangles adhered directly to the walls with

  • diary February 26, 2015

    The Great Escape

    “TO BE AN ARTIST is incredibly downwardly mobile. You could ruin your career,” says K8 Hardy in the “What-the-fuck-ennial” segment of comedian-artist Casey Jane Ellison’s talk show “Touching the Art.” “And you should, try to ruin your career.” Premiering on YouTube a few days before the opening of the Third New Museum Triennial, Ellison’s show speculates that “all of art is just for insane people, like, exclusively.” Which sounds about right, though these days don’t we wish it were a little more ruined, a little more insane? Curated by former Rhizome director Lauren Cornell and Ryan Trecartin,

  • picks February 14, 2015

    Francesca Woodman

    Francesca Woodman’s brooding body of thirty, tiny photographs on view in this unassuming solo exhibition depict the artist, her friends in New York, or fellow students at RISD in the 1970s—common enough to her practice, but these works specifically come from a moment when the artist became keen on “trying her hand” at fashion photography. What emerged was a subversive meditation on how the feminized figure is variously enhanced and drowned by the cloaks and curves of fashion imagery and its coded imperatives. Across several black-and-white photographs, such as Untitled, New York (N.325), 1979–80,

  • picks January 15, 2015

    Saira McLaren

    For her first solo exhibition at this gallery, Saira McLaren shows nine paintings and three porcelain ceramic pieces that evince a keen empathy for materiality, color, and the mutability of form. The sculptures, all untitled and produced in 2014, are craggy lumps glazed in mint green and patched with gold, and sport alternating pockmarked or scaled surfaces like a coral fished from the deep.

    The paintings are wildly colorful yet somewhat ghostly due to how they’re less painted than stained with dye and pigment. Gestural marks are marshaled into a focused flow, evoking fantasy landscapes or the

  • interviews December 29, 2014

    John Waters

    John Waters is a filmmaker, writer, and artist. His latest exhibition of new photographs, sculptures, and a video is on view at Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York from January 9 through February 14, 2015.

    BECAUSE CELEBRITY IS the only obscenity left in the art world, it’s a subject I’ve had to make fun of and use. I titled this show “Beverly Hills John” because I’m in between pictures, and I don’t have a current box office profile in Hollywood. The press release image is me with the worst face-lift you could ever possibly get. I tried to imagine myself as if I’ve lost all reason. Many rich people