Sam Pulitzer

  • View of “ANDROID KOSCHMIEDER,” 2011.
    picks October 17, 2011

    Andrei Koschmieder

    In his first stateside exhibition, “ANDROID KOSCHMIEDER,” Andrei Koschmieder seizes the license contemporary art offers its producers to fabricate works wholly dissolved of custodial convention. Here, the distinctions that stratify media into concrete disciplines have liquefied—sometimes quite literally, as in this show’s thirteen epoxy resin pieces—into an elastic hybridity founded equally on gestural interpretation and industrial specifications. In keeping with this gravely irreverent stimmung, one is tempted to label Koschmieder’s pieces simply as “resins” in place of typical referents such

  • Xavier Cha, Body Drama, 2011, performance view.
    picks September 06, 2011

    Xavier Cha

    It is not every day that one is greeted with cries of anguish when entering the lobby gallery of the Whitney Museum. However, thanks to Xavier Cha’s performance-based work Body Drama, 2011, such wails are standard fare for visitors through the remainder of this exhibition’s tenure. In the first component of this gravely austere two-part work, at the top of every hour, a hired actor—an ostensible stand-in for the artist—emotes an anguished state of extreme anxiety as part of a roughly twenty-minute live performance in a bare gallery. For the work’s second part, a video projection of these

  • View of “Ryan Trecartin: Any Ever,” 2011. Photo: Matthew Septimus.

    Ryan Trecartin

    EMULATING THE INFORMATION NETWORKS that are its chief distribution platform, Ryan Trecartin’s digital cinema doesn’t tell stories—it generates content. And then some. His exhibition at MoMA PS1, “Any Ever,” presents seven films: the trilogy Trill-ogy Comp, 2009, and the quartet Re’Search Wait’S, 2009–10. Like all of Trecartin’s videos, these are replete with the fashion-conscious use of postgender drag, zeitgeist-baiting sound bites, hyperkinetic montages of live and animated footage, and a troupe of youthful protagonists who nimbly wend their way through a rapid sequence of surreally

  • David Ratcliff, No Sneakers, 2011, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 88 x 102".
    picks June 13, 2011

    David Ratcliff

    Given David Ratcliff’s predilection for monochromatic, stenciled paintings—museum-ready pieces augmented by the facture of punk graphics—comparing this California-based painter to an inveterate New York artist like Christopher Wool seems like a clean fit. When one settles for such an easy comparison, though, where does that leave Ratcliff’s hometown of Los Angeles—a city whose visual culture, thanks to its global entertainment industry, also stands in for America’s?

    His unlikely marriage of two of the city’s earlier practices—the highbrow pastiches of Lari Pittman and the subcultural scraps of

  • Dan Torop, Seizure, 2009, color photograph, 12 3/4 x 18 1/2".
    picks December 12, 2010

    Dan Torop

    If we are in fact “jetting through the world with our tails on fire,” as Ishmael Reed’s 1977 poem “Sky Diving” suggests, how might we approach photography, a medium that can uncannily seize a passing moment and give it a new life as an image? In a manner that is as erudite as it is modest, Dan Torop eloquently responds to this question with his current exhibition, “Skydiving.” Reframing the prephotographic depiction of nature––in particular Nicolas Poussin’s arcadian sensibility and the tradition it fostered––through the democratic camera of postwar photography, Torop’s fifteen photographs

  • Katharina Wulff, Maedchen mit Jagdhunden (Girl with Hunting Dogs), 2010, oil and charcoal on canvas, 52 1/4 x 73 1/2".
    picks September 28, 2010

    Katharina Wulff

    “Hysteric Whimsy,” the translated title of Katharina Wulff’s latest exhibition, “Wanwizzi,” could very well describe much recent figurative painting. The idea of paintings whose subjectively tailored idiosyncrasies, their very wanwizzi, lie in an ability to effectively claim ownership of the masterful subjects of premodernist painting—this, despite obvious ironies, draws artists such as John Currin, Lukas Duwenhogger, and Mark Ryden into dangerously close proximity. Or consider, on the other hand, the work of Karen Kilimnik and Elizabeth Peyton, where the uniform lack of a master’s surface is