Patrick Price

  • picks June 16, 2017

    Ron Nagle

    The first artwork in outer space, the so-called Moon Museum, is a stamp-size ceramic panel on which four Minimalist designs have been etched alongside a Mickey Mouse head by Claes Oldenburg and rude graffiti by Andy Warhol. As a gesture of goodwill toward alien passersby, NASA should consider Ron Nagle’s trippy ceramics for future moon-monuments. They’re easily transportable, and there’s a chance a hitchhiking non-Tellurian might recognize, among the slabs, blobs, and prongs, some cheering reminder of home.

    A rock musician as well as an artist, Nagle has been exhibiting since the mid 1960s. His

  • Matt Paweski

    Artists using a modernist-influenced vocabulary these days tend to pointedly downplay grandiosity. The functional look of Matt Paweski’s sculptures might have something do with this tendency (he also designs furniture). So does the works’ small scale, which gives them the feeling of models or proposals rather than final statements.

    Materially speaking, Paweski’s new work seems to derive in part from the monochrome-painted metal sculptures of Anthony Caro or Phillip King. But its deepest affinity with 1960s modernism might be related to what Michael Fried, writing about Caro in 1963, called “

  • picks April 14, 2017

    John McAllister

    Looking fairly flat in reproduction, John McAllister’s paintings reveal, in person, a delicate concern with spatial conventions. Recurrent motifs include linear, Matissean still lifes, landscapes, mise en abymes, and striped or hatched patterns, often merging into an implied surface as wallpaper or parquet flooring. But these are not merely reframed Matisse, or neon Nabis. Slackening the tight calibration and push-pull dynamics of The Red Studio–era Matisse, McAllister often situates the main compositional tension in the relations between the rectangular framing devices. A shallow illusionistic

  • picks February 16, 2017

    Patricia L. Boyd

    Patricia L. Boyd works in various media, including photography and film. Each new work is executed according to a formula conceived in response to a sociopolitical situation. Nothing, however, is reducible to any obvious logic. An earlier video (Carl dis/ assembling w/ self, 2013) was made by giving a camera to a mechanic and asking him to take apart an engine using one hand while filming himself with the other. The outcome is a jolting portrait of strained efficiency, resembling a verité remake of Richard Serra’s Hand Catching Lead, 1968.

    In this new show, evidence of the work’s making appears

  • picks December 16, 2016

    John Currin

    John Currin’s sixth solo show here sees him revisiting old territory. Five paintings each depict a woman or a couple. Two of the couples are elderly and heterosexual (Newspaper Couple and Pistachio, all works 2016); one consists of two middle-aged women taking a break while housepainting (Happy House Painters). The figures all inhabit more or less undefined beige space.

    There should no longer be controversy over whether Currin can paint as well as he wants us to think he can. While his work from the 1990s occupied an uncomfortable position between self-conscious badness and an approximation of

  • picks December 08, 2016

    Richard Oelze

    The German painter Richard Oelze spent part of the 1930s in Paris, where he first encountered the Surrealists. His eccentric personality (he lived in squalor, rarely left his apartment, and destroyed much of his work) inspired the title character in Mina Loy’s novel Insel—published posthumously in 1991 then republished in 2014—contributing to a revival of interest in this neglected artist.

    On first encounter, it’s tempting to see Oelze as an epigone of Max Ernst. Ernst’s use of decalcomania, where paint is pressed between surfaces to create random patterns, out of which the artist then elicits