Phil Taylor

  • picks September 02, 2015

    Laure Prouvost

    Things move quickly in the ludic world of Laure Prouvost, so listen close and try to keep up. Unexpected liaisons arise between words in her loquacious videos, which spill into accompanying installations and artifacts. For instance, sitting amid the quirky tea service surrounding the Turner Prize–winning Wantee, 2013, one occasionally hears an anguished lament from an adjacent room, accessed by a diminutive corridor worthy of Alice in Wonderland: “They don’t understand! They don’t fucking understand!” the artist protests in a video titled Stong Sory Vegetables, 2010. But misunderstandings become

  • picks August 14, 2015

    Louis Soutter and Victor Hugo

    In his sole contribution to the journal Minotaure in 1936, Le Corbusier admitted that his cousin Louis Soutter’s visionary conception of a life—or a house—predicated on interiority was entirely opposed to his own. A more apt alliance is made in this exhibition, pairing Soutter’s works on paper with those of the author Victor Hugo. Common literary themes and a predilection for the fantastic over descriptive fidelity unite the two artists, despite their stylistic differences. Soutter’s drawings flourish across notebooks and pages; Hugo’s washes of ink seep across leaves of paper in waves.

    Gothic

  • picks July 31, 2015

    “Images of Conviction: The Construction of Visual Evidence”

    Examining the epistemological structure of the image, this exhibition surveys nonartistic practices that have utilized visual information as evidence. The eleven case studies here, each introduced with texts by a team of scholars, range from Alphonse Bertillon’s 1903 protocols for metric photography of crime scenes to video testimony and satellite images analyzed by the Forensic Architecture research group to confirm American drone strikes in Waziristan. Since visual testimony can confound as much as clarify, these examples often highlight the norms established to validate the images’ claims to

  • picks July 15, 2015

    Phil Chang

    Photography seems increasingly difficult to delimit as it dissolves into an undifferentiated mass of imagery. By contrast, Phil Chang’s work in and around photography is insistently precise and deceptively simple. For the present exhibition, two bodies of work face off across the gallery, crossing digital and analog modes of photographic production and reproduction. One of these, a group of five untitled purple monochromes from 2015, is the result of a printing process that enables digital image files to be produced as traditional chromogenic photographs. The monochromes progressively increase

  • picks July 02, 2015

    Willem Oorebeek

    Funneled into a serpentine corridor of temporary walls hung with black-and-white printed imagery, visitors immediately confront their own images reflected in the dot-matrix-like patterns of Willem Oorebeek’s DIMEX ROOM, “VERSAILLES,” 2015. This hall of mirrors constructed from black rubber mats covered in glass panes announces the exhibition as a machine for the processing and circulation of images. Among these are the members of his Vertical Club, 1994–present, large-scale lithograph prints of standing figures snatched from the pages of magazines, arranged facing the viewer. These life-size

  • picks June 15, 2015

    Jack Whitten

    Charred circuit boards crossed with fractured cosmologies or perhaps cybernetic mandalas—that’s initially what one thinks of staring down many of Jack Whitten’s recent paintings. Others evoke aerial views of scarred landscapes or glittering, master-planned metropoles. Yet their tactile surfaces leaven their severity. Individual works name check Alexis Tsipras, among others, but this exhibition’s title, “Escalation,” announces a sort of arms race for abstract painting’s engagement with the world by an artist who has long emphasized painting as a technology. Here, acrylic tesserae from a process

  • picks May 21, 2015

    Carol Rama

    For those who would produce art irreducible to simple categorization and the constraints of genre and gender, this exhibition offers an intrepid model. An ambitious retrospective, it argues that Carol Rama’s seven decades of work challenges normative modes of art historiography. While largely unfolding chronologically, additional thematic overlays chart the recursive nature of Rama’s interests in particular motifs and strategies.

    Often Rama uses contamination to question rational knowledge, placing contrasting systems of representation in a single pictorial field, such as pulsating mythic figures

  • picks May 19, 2015

    Zak Kitnick

    Imagine “Peace.” No John and Yoko here—it’s Zak Kitnick’s exhibition title, and he’s cooking up something more fungible. Visitors are greeted by a poster reproduction presenting a buffet of olive-related products under the heading “L’OLIVE / THE OLIVE.” Titled Lifetime Archievement (all works 2015), it suggests the double-sided character of linguistic translations in Kitnick’s enterprise. Proceeding upstairs, steel panels with printed stock photos of olive branches literalize the symbol of peace. How to best distribute this concept in reified form? Press the pictured cash crop into liquid asset:

  • picks May 06, 2015

    “Yves Saint Laurent 1971: The Scandal Collection”

    Not all survivals are happy, and not all citations are affirmations: Yves Saint Laurent’s spring–summer 1971 collection retrieved the austere women’s dress of the Vichy era that Dior’s New Look hoped to annihilate some twenty years earlier. Inspired by the styles of the wartime years, the presentation provoked a rancorous response among the press, which deemed the collection “bitchy,” “hideous,” “deplorable,” and “insulting” to fashion. Drawing from and designing for the street, Saint Laurent brought couture and prêt-à-porter uncomfortably close, while evoking a period many would have preferred

  • picks April 22, 2015

    Hervé Télémaque

    Profoundly influenced by Surrealism’s investment in the unconscious and the artist’s own experience undergoing psychoanalysis, Hervé Télémaque’s particular inflection of Pop art renders the body as always somehow lacking and at risk of being revealed as such. These concerns are manifest in a wide range of mediums in this Haitian-born artist’s retrospective of over five decades of work, much of it produced in France. Throughout the exhibition, Télémaque dispenses irony and humor to serve his needle-sharp implication of political discourses around race and power. In an upper corner of My Darling

  • picks April 16, 2015

    Hicham Berrada

    Compelled by an ingenuous sense of wonder, artist Hicham Berrada is a programmer of chemical and organic processes, which is an approach that aligns him with thinkers such as Gaston Bachelard and Roger Caillois who sought to unite scientific and aesthetic modes of inquiry. A painterly use of color is evident throughout this exhibition, which is dominated by an indigo palette. In Azur, 2014–15, timed heating elements catalyze a color change in the cobalt chloride that the artist used to paint six rectangular supports, transforming them from monochromes into imperceptibly moving pictures of

  • picks April 01, 2015

    Eileen Quinlan

    It’s hard not to be seduced by the array of Eileen Quinlan’s shimmering vermillion and amber panels, which recall Turner’s feverish sunsets or the violent splendor Delacroix gives to Sardanapalus’s bed linens. In Quinlan’s current exhibition in Paris, the sole work on view is Double Charlie, 2015: two photographs of a nearly abstract metallic leather surface shot under similar studio setups. Alternating across two rows of six panels, the entire editions of both pictures are presented, a recurring device of the artist. This accumulation of near equivalences pushes the specificity of the photographic

  • picks February 09, 2015

    Trisha Donnelly

    With her mostly mute recent projections it becomes clear that noise is no mere synonym for sound for Trisha Donnelly but a constitutive aspect of any transmission. Featuring untitled works from this year and the last, this exhibition comprises six projections united by formal resonances and a hypnotic restructuring of time; their ambient light provides the only illumination for a single, demure drawing. Within the darkness glimmers a subtle approach to thinking through technological media and their relationship to language and experience.

    In the longest of the looping videos we may recognize an

  • picks February 05, 2015

    Dora Budor

    As with any good flick trafficking in the alien, one likely hears the thing before seeing it. The thing, in this case, is a cinema chair in the middle of the gallery. Its back gently, almost imperceptibly, expands and contracts in motored respirations. A robotic chest plate pierces the skin of the upholstery—not cloth, neither leather nor vinyl, but something fleshy and moist—revealing its mechanical core. It wants to be touched. This work, Mental Parasite Retreat 1 (all works 2014), introduces Dora Budor’s exhibition, which gleefully cloaks itself in the trappings and tropes of science

  • picks November 20, 2014

    Cécile B. Evans

    In the Dantesque world of Cécile B. Evans’s video Hyperlinks or it didn’t happen (all works 2014), a digitally rendered likeness of Philip Seymour Hoffman is our Virgil, among a number of other virtual actors, including a spam bot, an agoraphobic YouTube celebrity, and a holographic pop star crooning “Forever Young.” As if speaking from the beyond, PHIL implores, “And please, don’t call me uncanny.” A fair warning that the old critical models need not apply here.

    Identity is not obsolete, though. Race and gender are loaded issues throughout Evans’s exhibition, which is rounded out by photomontages

  • picks October 15, 2014

    Katinka Bock

    To visit Katinka Bock’s “Populonia” is to enter a complex conceptual geography. A pair of parallel hoses—one containing brackish and the other fresh water—courses through the gallery, each diverted from the same faucet. Before spilling onto the sidewalk, the tracks wend through configurations of ceramic, bronze, steel rebar, glass panels, and textiles that evoke or mirror city plans, the architecture of the gallery, anthropomorphic statuary, and archaeological digs. An aperture incised by the artist in a gallery wall frames a normally private viewing room in which additional works are installed.

  • picks October 15, 2014

    Letha Wilson

    Letha Wilson’s blend of photography and sculpture speaks to the entanglement of human and natural histories as we come to terms with the Anthropocene. In her latest solo exhibition, Wilson offers new composites of the natural and the architectonic, in an array of aleatory techniques that fuse cement and concrete with C-prints as well as with emulsion transfers of abstract phenomena rendered in high-saturation hues. Photographs are not mere images here but can also serve as printing matrix or casting mold.

    Categorical ambiguity reigns throughout the show, and it’s difficult to find a unified