Quinn Latimer

  • Kiki Kogelnik

    Austrian artist Kiki Kogelnik understood the female body as a kind of technology, both operated by and producing femininity, female desire, and feminist militancy. Kogelnik (1935–1997), traveling between New York and Vienna, created a prescient and brazen body of work that expertly underlines gender as a scientific process as well as an aesthetic. See her articulate series of silhouettes cut from colored vinyl, as slick and synthetic as the modern anxiety they betrayed. See, too, her Tongue Operation, 1970, in which a mouth is propped luridly open with scissors. Late this

  • OPENINGS: OLGA BALEMA

    AN ARM STRETCHES across a concrete floor, a Lonely Arm, 2013. Salmon-colored, latex, it is not, in fact, an arm; it is a glove. Still, the allusion to an arm animates it, narrates its—what—well, technically material loneliness. In another white cube, another city, painted-metal and foam-and-latex biomorphic shapes—“Her Curves,” the exhibition’s title tells us, wittily—are leaned and loosed, approximating a brilliant, laconic apparatus, almost ergonomic. Matte and pastel or high gloss and jewel tone, the discrete sculptures shape and are shaped by the room. Like garments or

  • diary February 04, 2014

    Poets’ Problems

    “POETRY AS DRIFT, as presentation, not representation,” notes Norma Cole in a series of letters addressing the work of the exacting, exemplary French poet Emmanuel Hocquard. I was rereading Cole’s epistolary essay, titled “ ‘A Formal Type Of Work’: Rereading Emmanuel Hocquard,” recently on a train in Switzerland, which seemed right. Dérive, détournement, draft, etc. And something about this observation of a poetics of presentation, which Cole tersely ascribes as a practice of “assembling fragments, phrases. Arrange together equals syntax,” came back to me last week in Zurich, during the

  • Thomas Julier

    We increasingly look to screens for our views of our world rather than to the world itself. Light, the occasion for our sight, reaches our eyes from laptop, phone, camera—any of our interchangeable monitors. It glows as evenly as an infinity pool or refracts into rainbow effects and sunspots, each with its own emotional field and index of meaning. The Swiss artist Thomas Julier is uniquely preoccupied with this phenomenon. His photographic, moving-image, and sculptural works, concerned with both analog and digital light processing, adjust seamlessly to our present condition, like an eye

  • Viktor Korol

    Refusal and withdrawal are familiar themes in contemporary art; their traces and spectral shadows stretch everywhere, touching each medium. Beyond all the examples catalogued by Susan Sontag in her 1967 essay “The Aesthetics of Silence,” consider Lee Lozano’s infamous boycott projects (withdrawing from the New York art world, refusing to speak to women) or, more generally, the many artists and writers who have renounced honors on political grounds: Jean-Paul Sartre refusing the Nobel Prize in Literature, Asger Jorn refusing the Guggenheim International Award, Adrienne Rich refusing the National

  • Paulina Olowska

    STYLE NEVER REALLY GOES OUT OF STYLE. Paulina Olowska knows this. She also knows resurrection—its rules and its rust—which she uses as a speculative tool, invoking a litany of historical, elegant forebears, mostly women (finally and thank God). But in order to resurrect something, a stage must be set, a room prepared and fixed. And the rooms in which we make our way and our work—bars, studies, studios, theaters, parlors—have long occupied the Polish artist (or she has occupied them). Take her 2004 exhibition “She Had to Discard the Idea of the House as a Metaphor,” at

  • Javier Téllez

    Rarely does a pedagogical practice rooted in a deeply ethical consciousness produce such incandescent work—and if said practice primarily concerns “madness,” the architectonics of confinement, and structural film, its lack of ponderousness is all the more remarkable. Venezuelan artist Javier Téllez is uniquely gifted in this regard. In his moving-image works, often made in collaboration with psychiatric inpatients, Téllez employs simultaneously lucid and hallucinatory admixtures of fact and fantasia to rework accepted ideologies of mental health and artistic production.

  • Nicola Martini, Virginia Overton, Magali Reus

    “Shiftings, displacings . . . sets of membranes, one inside the other, dense bodies, soft, thin, rigid.” Nicola Martini’s recent artist statement evokes an undeniable corporality, though no figures occur overtly in his work. The Italian sculptor is thus both naming the specter that hovers above his abstract practice (and those of so many of his contemporaries) and personifying his works so that the inanimate materials he uses—tangible sheets of sandstone and wax, among them—suddenly take on human attributes. After all, there is a certain ambiguity to adjectives such as soft, thin, and

  • Dunja Herzog and G. Küng

    Materials and their metamorphoses might have been the casual thesis of “Under a hunch,” organized by Rahel Schelker. This subtle yet convincing exhibition of works by Dunja Herzog and G. Küng (with a singular assist by an elder, Terry Fox, and his classic 1974 video Children’s Tapes) explored Minimalism, both as a movement and as a more general tendency. The artists produced the disparate objects shown by exploring the consequences of bringing basic, even elemental, materials into formal or alchemical proximity. In parallel to this material simplicity, the show asserted a diminutive scale, both

  • Akram Zaatari

    “THERE’S A CAMEL IN THE PICTURE,” a woman’s voice intones with dry precision in the first lines of Akram Zaatari’s magisterial feature-length video This Day, 2003, which stands at the center of the artist’s affecting survey at Le Magasin, “Aujourd’hui à 10 ans” (This Day at Ten). She is describing a black-and-white image taken in the 1950s by the Syrian historian Jibrail S. Jabbur and the Lebanese photographer Manoug (the two worked together, with Jabbur often proposing subjects for Manoug to shoot). Details of the photograph fill the screen while the woman continues: “The picture is a perfect

  • Heike-Karin Föll

    “Now, / About what to put in your poem-painting,” John Ashbery suggested, in a neighborly fashion, in an old poem: “Flowers are always nice, particularly delphinium.”And so he gave Elaine Scarry part of the subtitle, if not the seed, for her ravishing essay “Imagining Flowers: Perceptual Mimesis (Particularly Delphinium).” I found a photocopy of the essay underneath a window in an exhibition of Heike-Karin Föll’s subtle, disarming works at the (aptly named) Elaine project space in Basel. Across the room from numerous spotlit white tables carefully laden with the Berlin-based artist’s open handmade

  • Keiichi Tanaami

    In 1975, Keiichi Tanaami—having designed record covers for the Monkees and Jefferson Airplane, worked with Robert Rauschenberg, and visited Warhol’s Factory—became the first art director of Japanese Playboy. But Tanaami, born in Tokyo in 1936, as Japan battled in Manchuria and prepared for its forthcoming Tripartite Pact with Nazi Germany, is more than just an illustrator. The psychedelic pleasures called forth by his multifarious work—graphic design, animation, painting, film, and sculpture—belie its dark and restive content. The industries of sex and war are the parallel

  • Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs

    There is a specifically Swiss sense of humor—droll, dark, sweetly absurd, weirdly winning—that effortlessly explodes smallness yet resoundingly resists critical explanation. See, for example, Robert Walser’s modernist literary set pieces that chart the delusions of grandeur of clerks who would be kings (i.e., all of us), or Fischli and Weiss’s more profanely material take on the existential traffic between the provincial and the urbane. Another Swiss duo, Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs, might be the latest entry into this singular national lineage. For the past decade, the pair, who

  • Valentina Stieger

    Valentina Stieger’s recent exhibition “Good Figures” found new power in familiar ideas. Exploring a high/low dialectic that is now a well-trod path by marrying the austere forms of modernism to a kitschy domesticity evoked by quotidian household materials, her work still incites a frisson of recognition. The show’s constellation of works employed the bright or banal emblems of the hausfrau—pillowcases, a clothes-hanger railing, decorative plaster—to more art-historically driven ends. But even if the works’ persuasive abstraction began between quotes, that is not quite where it ended.

  • diary September 09, 2012

    Local Color

    SWITZERLAND IS SMALL, petite, pocket-size, economic, the same size as Presidio County in West Texas, however you want to call it, so any season opening invariably involves three or more cities. Thus Zurich’s anticipated early-autumnal kickoffs actually began in Bern, the weekend before, when Emanuel Rossetti and Tobias Madison’s latest curatorial endeavor—the hyperdiscursively titled group show “TCCA NEW THEATER 2012-2013 APN Research あぷん autoslides #1-3 shindisi home videos the deleted scene a fanzine as a museum / a museum as a fanzine cut-out bin / apnegative sci-fi sounds from the alienated

  • diary June 19, 2012

    Play It Again

    WHAT TONE SHALL I ADOPT to describe the familiar fun-cum-freakiness of Art Basel week? Exhaustion, elation, tipsiness, world-weariness, boredom, excitement? Whatever. Let’s begin, as they say, at the beginning. I arrived in Basel with a vicious cold gleaned from either Rome, where I had spent three days at the Swiss Institute’s gorgeous villa as part of Paweł Althamer’s Draftsman’s Congress, or Kassel, where, well, you know. So Art Basel’s opening days comprised events that I only heard tale of from the spy I sent in my stead.

    Among these was a Sunday night kickoff dinner that artist Matthew

  • Jonathan Binet, Lydia Gifford, and David Ostrowski

    The gestural, the provisional, the elliptical, the casual, the specific, the latent; the cool, the warm; the frame, the floor, the wall: Perhaps it is right that this show of abstract paintings (or framelike, wall-supported assemblages or two-dimensional-ish sculptures in the posture of paintings) should invoke so many abstractions and oblique architectural referents. If the three young artists gathered here work in a contemporary language of painting that is familiar—its roots in post-Minimalism, its present in the long, glittery shadow of current abstract painting influenced by photographic

  • Thomas Huber

    Some years ago at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, I saw an exhibition of architectural maquettes depicting buildings and cities that in some strange, spectral sense were instantly familiar, though they didn’t approximate buildings from real life; instead, they were modeled from the architectonic worlds of literary classics. The show’s premise was unique yet not unfamiliar. The singular relationship between language and architecture might be distilled by the most common term for a poetic unit or grouping of lines: the stanza, which means “room” in Italian. This relationship can also be

  • Javier Téllez

    One of the guiding images that drives his practice, Javier Téllez has said, is a memory from childhood. As a kid in Venezuela, Téllez would visit his psychiatrist father at the hospital where he worked. During carnival, when the world turns upside down, the mental patients would trade their uniforms for the doctors’ sterile white coats. In that strange, mutable moment, the paternalistic binaries of doctor and patient, normative and pathological, broke down. And so, eventually, Téllez’s videos and films—with their carnivalesque admixture of fiction and document, fantasia and poetic

  • Diango Hernández

    Diango Hernández has in the past noted, both slyly and acutely, his own “tropical sensitivities.” Certainly they could be discerned in the Düsseldorf-based Cuban artist’s quietly exhilarating exhibition in Basel, though not in the conventional or clichéd forms that evocations of the tropics so often take; there were no potted palms or brightly patterned tiles. Instead, the elegant if strangely alien modernism (Europe by way of the Caribbean and back again) emanating from the objects, paintings, and assemblages on view seemed keyed to a peculiar humidity. That is to say, if one were to gauge the