Piper Marshall

  • picks December 18, 2015


    Julie Ault’s mutable exhibition as archive, “afterlife,” 2014–15, first shown at the 2014 Whitney Biennial, continues loosening—or “queering”—the straightened seams of narrative by bringing together objects, homages, and conversations from cult protagonists: Liberace, Martin Wong, Ted Kaczynski, and David Wojnarowicz, among others. These personalities linger in the space of the gallery while inhabiting another, active moment of historicization: the 1980s. Rather than showing only artwork, Ault presents ephemera, such as agendas, sketches, memory boxes, and transcripts, bits of lives that occupy

  • picks October 16, 2015

    Luther Price

    In the 1980s, he traveled to Nicaragua to make work with a group of artists. The accident happened so quickly, the bullet piercing the skin in advance of reflex. One photograph foregrounds this accident in his latest exhibition: We see Luther Price in a hospital bed. We see the wound. This image inscribes itself in light on the surface. We see the lesion travelling from subject to object, one formally opening onto the other through the now-thirty-year-old puncture in the photograph.

    The wound appears on 16-mm film, on 35-mm slides. With each press of the celluloid, each splice of the film, and

  • picks September 25, 2015

    Mike Kelley

    Let’s begin with the allegory of Superman and the way the cultural icon pushes the conventions of heroics (alien on Earth and alienated from Kandor), all expressed within the concision of a comic strip. Beyond the habit of metaphor, the story of Superman, his displacement between here and elsewhere, haunts the exhibition—where the artist is definitively not present.

    In his absence, models of the vigilante’s home planet—an assembly of many sculptures—litter the floor, while a series of lenticular light boxes limn their presence. The skylines of these cities mutate from elongated twisting spires

  • picks July 24, 2015

    Ebecho Muslimova

    A particular smell clings to New York City’s Chinatown in the summer. The aroma makes its way to Orchard Street. It inflects the eight drawings hanging at Room East. These direct cartoons depict FATEBE. FATEBE is artist Ebecho Muslimova’s alter ego. We may not know Muslimova, but FATEBE is a black line on white ground. And Fatebe is doing things (think Garbage Pail Kids). FATEBE is playing with herself; she is playing with her fat body. She stares at her face in a stream of shit. She twists her form into a mess on the potter’s wheel. She folds her flab over a wire. She flatulates out into the

  • picks April 10, 2015

    Barbara Kasten

    Barbara Kasten did not study with Josef Albers, but the Bauhaus ghosts her work. The photographs on view in her latest exhibition are constructions, geometric props positioned to throw colored light and shadows across the page. The plastic forms in these images delineate space but neither rise into the foreground nor fall into the background.

    A spatial visual exchange registers on the photographic paper. Where De Stijl jockeys color and line in two dimensions, Kasten’s “Transpositions,” 2014, opt for a manipulation of volume and air. This respiration of form into space appears as an intentional

  • picks June 29, 2014

    “Guyton, Price, Smith, Walker”

    They sling readymade fabric over stretchers and call it painting (Thomas Sauter), download open-source software to build digital utopias (Emanuel Rossetti), splice samples of Ciara and R. Kelly with disregard for copyright (Hannah Weinberger), and scan the holograms of CDs with the choreography of a graffiti tagger (Tobias Madison). With a studious charm, the ten artists in “Guyton, Price, Smith, Walker” detourne the artistic strategies solidified by the predecessors referenced in the show’s title. A direct nod to Beatrix Ruf’s seminal exhibition of Wade Guyton, Seth Price, Josh Smith, and Kelley

  • picks March 30, 2014

    Jordan Wolfson

    Jordan Wolfson is a filmmaker in the traditional sense, drawing more from the history of cinema than from art. The specific strategy of his celluloid, digital, and animated beauties involves layering, where one film exists within or on top of another. Success is derived from a calculated dissonance. See his 2006 short of a tuxedoed figure signing Charlie Chaplin’s parody of Hitler: “I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an Emperor . . . that’s not my business.” Or the footage of milk inserted into marching Diet Coke bottles in Con Leche, 2009, or his recent effort Raspberry Poser, 2012, where CGI

  • film August 27, 2012

    Reality Bites

    OH MY GOD, I’m having a quarter-life crisis. Should I quit my job to join the rank of interns at SoHo’s infamous Eli Klein Fine Art? Sigh.

    It might be a recession, but a girl can dream and drain her trust fund.

    Who doesn’t have a plan? A business plan? A life plan? A night plan? Or, God forbid, a day plan? The only decisive statement in the first two episodes of Gallery Girls comes from Chantal, co-owner of End of Century, a boutique/gallery on the Lower East Side. She knows that she’ll go to yoga in the morning, and then maybe show up to her “job” two hours late. Live free or die trying.


  • film April 03, 2012

    Girls Girls Girls

    THE CHRISTMAS after I moved to New York, my mom gave me the complete DVD set of Seinfeld. “Piper,” she said, “your real life is like Carrie Bradshaw, why not try some Kramer?” If only we all lived in a rent-controlled, West Village apartment with a boatload of disposable Manolo Blahniks (remember when those were “in”?) monetizing whinings-on about boys and the dramas of imaginary people. Instead I, like my friends, lived with college coeds in a shabby unchic Morningside Heights eighth-floor walkup. The freshest fashion was sported by advanced elderly moonlighting in nightgowns on Riverside Drive,

  • picks February 17, 2012

    John Miller

    John Miller’s revered output finds inspiration in the writings of Henri Lefebvre and Walter Benjamin, the drawings of Douglas Huebler, and the indisputable hospitality of the Midwest. His latest site-specific installation, Suburban Past Time, 2012, a work in three “sites,” seems to expand the scenes depicted by Miller’s ongoing series “Middle of the Day,” 1994–, in three-dimensional space and scale by presenting familiar landscapes whose jarring mundanity disarms viewers.

    A behemoth concrete and foam board rock, a synthetic sugar maple tree, and decorative wallpaper depicting an apartment block

  • diary January 24, 2012

    Finish Fetish

    WHO DOESN’T SHOW UP to their own funeral? And who, in god’s name, sends friends and strangers as surrogates? Maurizio Cattelan, that’s who. The ostensible occasion for The Last Word, Saturday’s seven-hour-long endurance “symposium”/roast at the Guggenheim, was the end to Cattelan’s much-ballyhooed retrospective and the beginning of his early retirement from artmaking. Too bad the artist wasn’t present. (He and many of the advertised speakers were probably at a better party).

    You want to die. Me too. Especially when the incentive of the main event is a cash bar, and I’m on antibiotics. By the way,

  • diary September 02, 2011

    Hash the Planet


    The temperament of our generation can be summed up by the hashmark. If the ’90s were full of “quotation marks” indicating irony, a decisive sarcasm and a distance from the opinion of norms, our current climate is dominated by pithy punch lines that summarize the solipsist’s always already uploaded narrative. The hashtag is the redemption of Internet statements—written to be read by everyone you know, obviously. Until they are recycled via a chaotic circuit of retweets, reposts, and reblogs, eventually rendered as vapid as that ubiquitous Facebook prompt: “What’s