Rebecca Dimling Cochran

  • Shinique Smith, Asleep from Day, 2009, ink, acrylic, fabric, and collage on wood panel, 84 x 60 x 6".
    picks June 30, 2011

    Shinique Smith

    The rigorous structural compositions at the heart of Shinique Smith’s art are highlighted in her latest exhibition of wall-mounted works. Four “Bundle Studies” from 2005 reference Smith’s ongoing series of sculptures that comprise heaps of old clothing bound with twine or ribbon. These collages, made with cutouts from patterned fabric and fashion magazines, reveal the artist’s sensuous combinations of disparate patterns, textures, and colors into mellifluous arrangements. They also illuminate Smith’s deft handling of space, namely her use of the blank white page not just as a backdrop but also

  • Dana Schutz, Eyelashes, 2010, ink and conte crayon on paper, 38 x 50”.
    picks February 09, 2011

    Dana Schutz

    Dana Schutz has blazed to fame with her paintings built from thick applications of brightly hued paint on canvas. So what happens when she takes away the impasto of oils? What happens when she removes color from her work?

    This exhibition of her drawings and prints reveals that something is clearly lost. The four prints in the show, all polychromatic, have no soul. They are flat and lifeless, qualities particularly evident in the woodblock Poisoned Man, 2005, as compared with her 2006 canvas of the same name. The early monochromatic drawings such as Untitled, 2005, also feel like uncomfortable

  • iona rozeal brown, a children’s story, 2009, mixed media on panel, 60 x 48”.
    picks October 26, 2010

    iona rozeal brown

    Having first garnered attention for her “a³” series, 2001–2006 (the three a’s stand for “afro-asiatic allegories”), iona rozeal brown is well known for exploring the appropriation of hip-hop culture by Japanese youth. This early work was marked by a representational style with colorful yet flatly painted surfaces influenced by Japanese woodblock prints. While her more recent output retains much of that style, her subject matter has expanded to take a more global look at the negative influence of hip-hop culture on young women.

    The artist conveys this concern through a complex mythological narrative

  • View of “Substitute Teacher,” 2010. From left: Brian Dettmer, Wagnalls Wheel, 2010; Michael Smith, Sears Class Portraits #1 (1999–2007), 2008; Paul Ramírez Jonas, Album Fifty State Summits, 2002; Andrea Fraser, Little Frank and His Carp, 2001.
    picks April 14, 2010

    “Substitute Teacher”

    We typically think education occurs within the four walls of a classroom. But the impartation of knowledge can take many forms, as evidenced by the twenty artists and collaboratives selected by curators Regine Basha and Stuart Horodner for “Substitute Teacher.”

    The show contains a good balance between the serious—like Lisa Anne Auerbach’s I Used to Be Part of the Solution, 2009, whose titular sentence has been knit into the sweater of a woven top-and-skirt set, or Luis Camnitzer’s Last Words, 2008, which transcribes the final phrases spoken by death-row inmates—and the humorous, such as the empty

  • Jiha Moon, Painter’s Argument, 2009, ink and acrylic on hanji paper, 33 1/2 x 32".
    picks February 18, 2010

    Jiha Moon

    Jiha Moon’s increased confidence is evident in this new series of paintings. The tension between figuration and abstraction still pervades her repeated layering of traditional Asian landscapes and gestural expressionism. But this new work seems to revel in the joy of painting, alternating thin washes of ink with delicately rendered objects and thick impasto brushstrokes, all on Moon’s favored handmade hanji paper. Collage also figures in some of the works, as when she adds paper to extend her painted surface from the rectangular picture plane or incorporates fabric appliqués, possibly an influence

  • Zineb Sedira, MiddleSea, 2008, still from a color video, 16 minutes.
    picks February 10, 2010

    “Wild Is the Wind”

    “Wild Is the Wind” brings together seven artists whose work shares a sensibility that the curator, Laurie Ann Farrell, connects to the mood and lyrics of the 1957 American song of the same title, a slow, melancholic ballad of longing, discovery, and love. To translate these emotions into a coherent visual exhibition, Farrell casts her net wide. MiddleSea, 2008, a hauntingly beautiful video by Zineb Sedira, follows a middle-aged man who is alternately lost in contemplation and pacing the deck as he travels as the lone passenger on a ferry. Ghada Amer’s equally compelling installation, Le Salon

  • Nandipha Mntambo, Europa, 2009, archival ink on cotton rag paper, 39 1/2  x 39 1/2".
    picks October 16, 2009

    “Undercover: Performing and Transforming Black Female Identities”

    Physical representation of the black female is explored in this thoughtful and thematically rich exhibition. Curators Andrea Barnwell Brownlee and Karen Comer Lowe have brought together more than seventy-five often-challenging examples of video, painting, sculpture, drawing, and photography that explore how black women sometimes disguise, adorn, and otherwise manipulate their appearances in an effort to conceal or reveal their identities.

    The cross-referencing of voices throughout the show—which, crucially, are neither just black nor just female—is fascinating. The legacy of blackface performance

  • Jennie C. Jones, Red, Black, Blue—Woofers, Wires, and Such (detail), 2007, collage and ink on paper, 11 x 15".
    picks July 21, 2009

    Jennie C. Jones

    “Red, Bird, Blue” is a wonderful fusion of the various passions of Brooklyn-based artist Jennie C. Jones, intelligently installed across two galleries at this museum. The first space introduces Jones’s passion for jazz and geometric abstraction. As Diz, Not Bird, 2004, is a humorous photograph of the artist in three-quarter view, with cheeks puffed, imitating the famous portrait of Dizzy Gillespie blowing his trumpet. Another of her heroes, Ellsworth Kelly, is represented by his print Dark Blue, 2001, borrowed specifically for the show. Between these are two groupings of works on paper in which

  • Torsten Slama, Walt-Whitman-Gedenk-Raffinerie (Walt Whitman Memorial Refinery), 2005, ink on illustration board, 28 x 40".
    picks June 16, 2009

    Torsten Slama

    In his debut solo exhibition in the United States, the Berlin-based artist Torsten Slama introduces us to his unnerving postapocalyptic world. Part science fiction, part prophecy, his desolate landscape paintings and drawings depict a sinister, mechanized environment where technology and science rule.

    For his accomplished paintings, Slama utilizes oil, acrylic, and airbrush to create flat surfaces that erase the hand of their creator, a style particularly appropriate for the works here, which are themselves often devoid of humans. His barren views are populated by industrial buildings, yet no

  • Vee Speers, Untitled #37, 2008, color photo, 36 x 29".
    picks March 01, 2009

    Vee Speers

    Vee Speers’s “The Birthday Party” is not your typical cake-and-candle celebration. The children depicted are dressed in costumes—bird wings, a monkey mask, a princess dress, a gladiator’s helmet—but rather than creating a festive air, the subjects’ appearances evoke an ominous coterie. The guests at this party seem near the end of childhood and headed for lives not found in the rosy picture books of youth.

    Unnatural costumes and props fuel often-sinister implications. A young girl in a beautiful white lace dress serenely grasps a dead rabbit in one hand. A shirtless boy in a helmet is poised with

  • María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Dreaming of an Island, 2008, nine Polaroid photographs, 85 1/2 x 74 3/4" overall.
    picks October 06, 2008

    María Magdalena Campos-Pons

    This elegant eighteen-year survey reveals María Magdalena Campos-Pons’s versatility across a range of media. From video to installations, sculpture to photography, the Cuban-born artist has forged a body of work that celebrates the history of her relatives and explores her role in the continuation of their legacy. Both of her parents are honored in strong installations that highlight the dignity with which they did their proletarian jobs. The Herbalist’s Tools, 1994, is an homage to her father, who collected plants for use in medicinal and religious practices. Spoken Softly with Mama II, 1998–2008,

  • Black Table Setting (Homage to Duke Ellington), 1974, acrylic on canvas, 72 x 60".
    picks May 08, 2008

    Jack Whitten

    Jack Whitten has been working as an artist for over forty years. His explorations with paint have taken the form of highly gestural figurative works, thickly layered abstractions with manipulated surfaces, and mosaiclike collages built from shards of hardened acrylic medium colored with various materials. Exhibition organizer Stuart Horodner has found a creative way to represent these different stylistic series by selecting works that share Whitten’s tendency to pay tribute to deceased family members and friends who have influenced his life. The earliest piece in “Memorial Paintings” is a canvas