Reuben Keehan

  • “JAPAN SUPERNATURAL”

    Curated by Melanie Eastburn

    The malevolent yōkai spirits of Japanese folklore have been a mainstay of the country’s visual culture since the middle Edo period, eventually fueling the J-horror boom of the mid-2000s and the global popularity of Studio Ghibli. This rich narrative field is the subject of an expansive survey encompassing some 180 works, with an artist list that runs from such luminaries as Hokusai and Utagawa Kuniyoshi to the darker visions of feminist photographer Miwa Yanagi and contemporary Nihonga painter Fuyuko Matsui. This exhibition will also feature wood carvings, ukiyo-e,

  • Michael Stevenson

    As mercilessly as Stevenson—part cultural historian, part paranoid conspiracy theorist—lampoons forgotten moments of artistic hubris, misjudgment, and parochialism, his nuanced pseudo-documentary installations and films belie a fascination with, even an empathy for, the romance of pretense and failure

    As mercilessly as Stevenson—part cultural historian, part paranoid conspiracy theorist—lampoons forgotten moments of artistic hubris, misjudgment, and parochialism, his nuanced pseudo-documentary installations and films belie a fascination with, even an empathy for, the romance of pretense and failure. Now the MCA Sydney has brought together some twenty of this New Zealand–born, Berlin-based artist’s works, including objects, drawings, installations, and films. Taken as a whole, despite shifts in medium and ambition, his career forms a consistent, if idiosyncratic,

  • picks February 08, 2010

    Sixth Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art

    When Queensland Art Gallery’s fifth Asia Pacific Triennial opened in 2005, it could not help but play second fiddle to the vast new Gallery of Modern Art it inaugurated, where it complemented QAG’s remarkable collection of contemporary work from the region. Its successor seems much more up for the game, occupying the entirety of the space (and then some) to provide a more concentrated and coherent installation that lives up to the event’s reputation for breaking new ground.

    In this edition, established superstars like Subodh Gupta, Runa Islam, and Yoshitomo Nara sit alongside lesser-known

  • picks December 05, 2009

    Joyce Hinterding

    Drawing––or, more precisely, highly formalized, quasi-modernist drawing––isn’t the most popular medium in contemporary art, nor does it generally have much role in sculpture or installation. Yet the drawings that make up Joyce Hinterding’s Aura, 2009, manage to exceed their modest format and take on a dynamic spatial presence as a function of their materiality.

    Hinterding corrals the conductive elements of graphite and gold into single, continuous lines on paper, which are carefully formed into crystalline mathematical patterns of dizzying intricacy. Electronic pickups embedded at the ends of

  • picks September 21, 2009

    Meiro Koizumi

    Occupying two tiny areas in the bowels of the Mori’s vast Ai Weiwei survey, Meiro Koizumi’s project is modest but not insubstantial. The two video installations by Koizumi pack considerable emotional punch, predicated as they are on unraveling the dynamics of melodrama and then stitching them back together for full tragicomic effect. The sophistication of Koizumi’s work lies in its refusal to fall into smug self-satisfaction at exposing the superficiality of culturally constructed sentiment, opting instead to tease out clichés and see what gives them such purchase on human relationships.

    Human

  • picks August 13, 2009

    Nick Mangan

    Nick Mangan’s Between a Rock and a Hard Place, 2009, channels the artist’s preoccupations with cultural and material fragmentation through ready-made sculpture and archival presentation. Marking a departure from his well-known handmade models, Mangan’s latest project takes the form of a disjointed travelogue, offering documentation of his voyage to the Pacific nation of Nauru to bring a useless lump of limestone to Melbourne.

    That mineral is all that remains of Nauru’s once-vast phosphate deposits, the accumulation of centuries of seabird droppings mined into nothingness in the course of a few