Quinn Latimer

  • Wade Guyton

    “In these days of austerity and cutbacks, the artist is saving ink.” The artist is Wade Guyton, of course, and the wry sentence (Occupy Epson?) is from the press release for his recent two-part exhibition in Zurich. Guyton’s process is now implicit—any lay student of contemporary art knows that he feeds folds of primed canvas into his taxed and sputtering Epson printers—as are the conceptual and critical implications of that process and its resulting works: painting after the fact, postindustrial manufacture of gorgeously distilled canvases offering the retro payoff that comes of

  • Fabio Marco Pirovino

    Last year, one of Kunsthalle Basel’s exterior walls was given over to an abstract mural featuring a jumble of black, white, and gray planes. If the work conjured the camouflage worn in the bleached-out cities and wars of the Middle East, another reference, just as politically potent and war-saturated, also asserted itself: Picasso’s Guernica. Fabio Marco Pirovino’s mural had started as a Google reproduction of this work, which the Basel-born artist flipped around and processed through Photoshop, so that its figurative details became flat, graphic shapes. Using a fresco technique, Pirovino then

  • Lucy Stein

    After an interviewer in 2009 asked the then thirty-year-old Lucy Stein how her career had thus far been marked by feminism, the Glasgow-based English artist noted, “I fully expect to be marginalized and then become a grande dame and then a ‘treasure’ at the age of eighty or so, the usual trajectory for a woman making so-called raw paintings.” Her acerbic answer evoked a rainbow of greats: from late-life images by painters Maria Lassnig, Alice Neel, and Joan Semmel, to sculptors such as the Louises Bourgeois and Nevelson—all scraped-back hair and jutting, geometric jewelry—each of whose

  • Mai-Thu Perret

    Utopias—imaginary, historical, political, emotional—are often mentioned in the conversations that swirl around Mai-Thu Perret’s multifarious oeuvre, yet there is a subtle dystopian fever to her project. Take the Geneva-based artist’s more than decadelong work The Crystal Frontier, 1998–, a body of writings describing a fictive women’s commune in the New Mexico desert, where the authoritarian strictures of patriarchal urban capitalism have been shrugged off like so many old robes. The satirical potential of the subject, focused as it is on a decidedly outdated feminist model of society,

  • Sung Hwan Kim

    “The aspirations of those who would isolate art from the social world are analogous to those of Kant’s dove, which dreamed of how much freer its flight could be if only it were released from the resistance of the air. If we are to learn any lesson from the history of the past fifty years of art, it is surely that an art unattached to the social world is free to go anywhere but that it has nowhere to go.” Victor Burgin’s statement sets the tone for Sung Hwan Kim’s spectral, socially invested works—and not just because Kim alluded to Kant in titling a 2007 performance Pushing Against the Air

  • Kerstin Brätsch and Adele Röder

    Like certain young artists of the moment, DAS INSTITUT duo Kerstin Brätsch and Adele Röder can’t shake the form, function, and history of abstract painting—who can?

    Like certain young artists of the moment, DAS INSTITUT duo Kerstin Brätsch and Adele Röder can’t shake the form, function, and history of abstract painting—who can? With limber, color-soaked virtuosity, they turn its legacy into design-conscious commodity: leisure wear and decor, posters and cakes, performance photographs and, yes, paintings. Brätsch and Röder speak of their collaboration as an “import-export agency” that deals exclusively in their own products. For this exhibition, created for the Kunsthalle Zürich’s temporary home at the Museum Bärengasse, they will

  • picks August 01, 2011

    “Human Valley”

    The press release for “Human Valley,” a yearlong installation and screening space created by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Tristan Bera for the Kunsthalle Zürich’s temporary site, describes the project as consiting of “hybrid presentations of borderline topics” and “sentimental research on stimulating links.” In its current iteration, the first of four planned phases, the project mines the oeuvres of Balzac and the French New Wave—the connection being, of course, the deep debt the latter’s fervently literary auteurs owe the legendary writer.

    Like late New Waver Éric Rohmer’s film quartet “Tales

  • diary June 14, 2011

    Touching Based

    I WAS JUST GETTING my sea—nay, canal—legs when I suddenly found myself disembarking in Berlin last Tuesday for the controversy-knows-no-bounds mega-exhibition based in . . . well, you know. After Venice’s art marathon, I should have known that the running wouldn’t stop just because I had landed in the sober (?) north. To be sure, the exhibition’s organizers took on Berlin’s geographic largess with relish: The six-week show spreads over a labyrinthine main space in the Atelierhaus at Monbijoupark, art studios soon to be torn down, and four other assorted venues of varying elegance—Kunst-Werke

  • Kim Seob Boninsegni

    “Where is this famous word which is said to be so important in present art?” So asks an upside-down figure in a 2007 drawing by Kim Seob Boninsegni. His buddy, in a Rastafarian knitted cap, breezily answers with stoner precision: “Hey we have not arrived man.” Displayed at Galerie Guy Bärtschi in Geneva the same year, this work, Strategy/Cartography, succinctly laid out the Swiss artist’s impish if anxious sensibility. At once rigorous and laconic, Boninsegni’s drawings, photographs, objects, and performances sample high art, popular culture, and myriad forms of DIY, mapping the network of

  • Emil Michael Klein and Kaspar Müller

    Two artists, two rooms, five works each: Compare and contrast. At first glance, Emil Michael Klein’s series seemed of a piece: a kind of allover (anti-)painting featuring decorous lattices of biomorphic shapes in a retro palette of Day-Glo orange, yellow, and red; color fields connected by an artery-like network of pale lineation. But his canvases—which suggest an odd but joyous marriage of Sue Williams, Brice Marden, and Milton Glaser—were not consistent among themselves. The Basel-based artist painted the two largest (Awenger and Komposition in Rot, Orange und Gelb [Composition in

  • diary February 22, 2011

    Going Dutch

    “WELL, ART AMSTERDAM IS SAID to be the most important fair in the Netherlands,” a Dutch artist who will go unnamed said to me with a wink and some mock allegiance at Art Rotterdam’s slow-simmering preview a little over a week ago. Whether he was slyly slamming the larger, older Art Amsterdam in that fairer city just an hour away, or affectionately undercutting his hometown project, was unclear, but I got his point. Situated in the oddly retro-glam Holland-America Line hall in Rotterdam’s former cruise terminal—I nearly expected to see portmanteaus emblazoned with stickers from the world’s grand

  • picks January 13, 2011

    Pierre Leguillon

    Recently, at Geneva’s Art HUG, Pierre Leguillon presented his ongoing project La Promesse de l’écran (The Promise of the Screen), 2007–, in which he projects films “dedicated to the peripheral” on a display that conceals a diminutive bar (at which Leguillon becomes the attentive bartender as soon as the films end). Between drinks, we watched a 1972 Lacan lecture and the artist’s own La Promesse du divan (The Promise of the Couch), 2010. The program’s discursive wit spoke to Leguillon’s larger oeuvre—in which critique, montage, and pleasure are central––currently on view across town at the Musée

  • picks December 17, 2010

    “Sgrafo vs Fat Lava: Ceramics and Porcelains Made in West Germany, 1960–1980”

    “All vases aren’t the same,” Nicolas Trembley notes with sly understatement in his introduction to Sgrafo vs Fat Lava, the exhibition catalogue detailing his collection of fabled 1960s- and ’70s-era West German ceramic vases currently on view at Centre d’Édition Contemporaine. If his observation campily conjures the famous opening of Anna Karenina, as well as the inverse of Thomas Jefferson’s maxim that “all men are created equal,” so it should: Trembley’s collection is the apotheosis of the high-low collision. The vases, exhibited on a plywood table in discrete arrangements that evoke pale

  • picks November 28, 2010

    Rosemarie Trockel, Lili Reynaud Dewar, Carol Rama and Leonor Antunes

    If the exhibitions that lingered long and low in my consciousness this year had a sound track, it just might be Nina Simone’s 1966 expert generational delineation “Four Women.” So, to begin: Rosemarie Trockel’s small, dazzling survey at Kunsthalle Zurich comes first, last, and always. As I wrote for this website, “Deliquescence of the Mother” was a dream (or nightmare) of domesticity and its oft-gendered (dis)appointments. It deftly showcased her magisterial “knitted pictures,” collages, and, most triumphantly, her recent pale and lucid ceramic sofas, which demonstrated that her work remains as

  • picks October 30, 2010

    Marieta Chirulescu

    When one speaks of “painting practices” nowadays, it’s often the stuff of photography—analog and digital printing, the ever-investigated photocopy, even Photoshop—that is meant. Still, the Berlin-based Romanian artist Marieta Chirulescu stands out: Her subtle, suggestive works on canvas and paper, though invested in profane photographic processes and proposals, immediately invoke the pointedly sublime abstract painting of the mid-twentieth century.

    The gray fields in her ink jet–printed canvases and Laserchrome prints on view in this exhibition conjure both Color Field paintings and 1960s-era

  • picks October 12, 2010

    Nikolas Gambaroff

    Hanne Darboven’s horizontal waves of even, looping, wordless script are immediately suggested in Nikolas Gambaroff’s affecting show of mixed-media paintings “Time Is Brain”—though Darboven’s ascetic vision would probably preclude her from ever orchestrating a kitty photo shoot in a gallery of her works. Gambaroff did, though: Flip books of black-and-white photographs evince a crew of kittens swishing their tails under canvases, skulking across New Jerseyy’s floor, and perched inside a wooden frame extending out from a canvas featuring Gambaroff’s wavelike script. If the photo shoot is simply a

  • picks June 22, 2010

    Rosemarie Trockel

    One could be forgiven for viewing Rosemarie Trockel’s most recent and most astonishing survey, “Deliquescence of the Mother,” as a dream (or nightmare) of domesticity and its oft-gendered (dis)appointments. There are sofas, “hot plate” works, “knitted paintings,” and ceramic objects that project off the wall like exploded dishware, yet each piece—no matter how familial or housebound its reference or material—seems distilled through the wary brilliance of the mind. In one of the huge glass vitrines filled with sculptural works that punctuate the show, a black bust reveals a sleeping face adorned

  • picks May 04, 2010

    Luis Camnitzer

    “In learning how to write, the first step was always to fill pages with letters. In art, it was to fill pages with horizontal and vertical parallel lines,” wrote Luis Camnitzer in a recent essay for the e-flux journal. That the Uruguayan Conceptual artist and writer’s observation should conjure so much of his own visual work—on view in this retrospective spanning 1966 to the present—is perhaps not a surprise, but it does make for a nice parallel. See, for example, This is a mirror. You are a written sentence, 1966–68. A white wall sign announcing the title in five horizontal lines of black

  • picks April 27, 2010

    Pamela Rosenkranz

    The body is the central motif of Pamela Rosenkranz’s current exhibition, and yet, like some spectral suitor, it is everywhere anticipated and nowhere to be found. This is apt, however, as her primary concern appears to be the figure as understood—and perhaps embodied—by the mind. Nothing Unbound, 2009, for example, consists of two vertical, human-size mirrors that bisect each other like a cross. Viewers can make out myriad reflections, though none of these include the most expected—the viewer’s own.

    If physical absence is here indicated via a favored material of Conceptualism, two other series

  • picks April 06, 2010

    “While Bodies Get Mirrored: An Exhibition About Movement, Formalism and Space”

    The term performative has become weirdly pervasive lately, as has the elasticity of its meanings (in both the spectacle-on-stage sense and J. L. Austin’s or Judith Butler’s usage). Formalist objects, abstract photographs, and innumerable installations are wrapped in its bendy, rubber-band embrace, often to numbing effect—thus the relief provided by Migros’s incisive group show, whose many dance-y, movement-based works in various media provide truth in advertising, for once. The exhibition’s title conjures Joan Jonas’s seminal “Mirror” dances from the 1960s onward, but it is her contemporaries—Trisha