Sabrina Tarasoff

  • Miriam Laura Leonardi, Hypocritical One Percent – Club, 2021, circuit-breaker panels, LED lights, Arduino, cables, cable ties, powder-coated aluminum, 107 1⁄8 × 48 × 4". From “Barbe à Papa.” Photo: Arthur Pequin.

    “Barbe à Papa”

    Perhaps the most conceptual of treats, cotton candy is a beautiful deception—all surface, textural fluff, and the taste of sweet nothings. Lending its name, en Français, to “Barbe à Papa,” an exhibition curated by Cedric Fauq, it functions as the show’s metonymic brain center: a sentimental icon for the carnival’s sticky, provisional materiality and unstable forms. True to form, the fairy-floss thread is a bit of a ruse, leading to speculative trifles such as: How is an idea spun into substance? How much fluff to expect? How far will the concept go before it collapses on its own structure? Fauq

  • View of “Nick Zedd: There Will Be blood, Shame, Pain and Ecstasy,” 2021.
    picks June 16, 2021

    Nick Zedd

    Droning, gratuitous scenes of violence and scumminess, nightmarish characters, and deep perversions, certainly, but, also, from this side of the “noughties,” a kind of charming quirkiness found in the amateurism of early green screens, ad hoc props, and Halloween-store gore. Currently on view at Paris’s Goswell Road (lit in ghoulish green for the occasion), Nick Zedd’s films offer up shock (self-mutilation, sex with the disfigured) and lo-fi special effects (plastic tentacles, impaled baby dolls) in voluptuous quantities, exquisitely and excruciatingly protracted across squeamishly long,

  • John Bauer, Ännu sitter Tuvstarr och ser undrande ner i vattnet (Princess Tuvstarr Gazing Down Into the Dark Waters of the Forest Tarn), 1913, watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper. 9 7/8 × 10 5/8".

    John Bauer

    In “Trollbunden—John Bauer och den magiska naturen” (Spellbound—John Bauer and the Magic of Nature), we are led into the dark heart of the Swedish artist’s style as it reflects a fin de siècle gothic revival in its levitating perspectives, processional poses, and tenebrous palette folded into the melancholic atmospheres of Nordic folklore. Equally committed to wandering through the mythic as a forest of symbols were Bauer’s belle epoque contemporaries such as his fellow Swede Agnes de Frumerie, Finland’s Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Hugo Simberg, Denmark’s Louis Moe, and Norway’s Theodor Kittelsen,

  • Matt Copson, Death (Again), 2019, FIAC Special Projects at the Petit Palais, Paris. All photos: Sabrina Tarasoff.
    diary October 31, 2019

    Monster Mash

    LET’S BEGIN WHERE MY FAIR WEEK ENDED, feeling left for dead lying on a bed, under an eldritch green glow emanating from some mysterious source (art?) at the Normandy Hôtel, a Haussmannian relic under partial renovation in the first arrondissement, where the Finnish collective the Community were hosting their inaugural salon. Evocative of something between a haunted house, a Kubrick film set, and, less excitingly, an art fair, the salon’s setting promised to channel the wicked fun of art’s unruliness, theatricality, and imaginative displacements. Yet as I moved through the hotel’s narrow corridors,

  • Davide Stucchi, Personal Effects, 2019, cardboard, tape, dimensions variable.
    picks August 04, 2019

    Davide Stucchi

    To speak of a perfume’s sillage is to evoke the trail of scent that follows its wearer, to contemplate how a fragrance diffuses around a body, or, more metaphysically, to consider what lingers in the air after one has left the room. Sillage, in other words, is an afterlife: the ghost of a scented body, a projection. Sometimes it fades fast, while other times it hangs heavy in the atmosphere, not unlike lovers who leave lasting imprints, or mental images that dwell with varying shades of clarity. Such trails of sense, skin contact, and romance make up the conceptual underpinning of Davide Stucchi’s

  • View of “character limit,” 2018–19.
    picks December 31, 2018

    Darren Bader

    By now, it is standard practice for Darren Bader to excavate the soft luster and mutability of certain aesthetic horizons. Enter his illusory oeuvre and find incursions, disintegrations, and restructurings of the familiar faces and facades of the art world. In Bader’s exhibition at Blum & Poe, “character limit,” he pushes this methodology further, asking: What happens to an economy of means when you engage what scholar Eve Sedgwick called elsewhere the “epistemologically unstable shimmer of allusion and, sort of, possibility”?

    Tossing aside curatorial savoir-faire, Bader has strewn around the