Sarah Moroz

  • Annette Messager, Daily (detail), 2015–16, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    interviews May 13, 2022

    Annette Messager

    Throughout a formidable career that spans six decades, Annette Messager has reconceived everything things—down puffers, bras, stuffed animals—into ambivalent emblems of collective dysfunction and desire. In her atelier in Malakoff, just south of the Paris perimeter, she toils between the playful and the macabre, between parody and critique, mining personal obsessions and slyly veering into social transgression. Below, the artist—whose latest show, “Comme si” (As If), runs from May 11 to August 21 at the Lille Métropole Musée d'Art Moderne (LaM) in France—discusses coping with angst, the pitfalls

  • Louise Bourgeois, Untitled, 1996, embroidered handkerchief, 19 1/2 x 18''.
    picks April 14, 2022

    “Louise Bourgeois x Jenny Holzer”

    In this exhibition, Louise Bourgeois’s work is presented through Jenny Holzer’s curatorial vision—with an assist from Kunstmuseum Basel’s Anita Haldeman—thus drawing parallels between the two artists’ use of the written word as an art form unto itself. During a press conference, Holzer recalled being marked by Bourgeois’s sculpture Femme Maison, 1982, and meeting the formidable Frenchwoman in person in the 1980s (“she was not playing”). The exhibition’s subtitle—“The Violence of Handwriting Across a Page”—accentuates the forceful charge of self-expression, even when masquerading behind wry humor.

  • Maja Bajevic, A Conversation / You Take My Breath Away (detail), 2022, LED holograms, fans, dimensions variable.

    Maja Bajevic

    In her book Everybody (2021), Olivia Laing describes corporeality as involving a “system of control and punishment that is invisible until you happen to transgress it in some way.” Maja Bajevic would likely agree. Born in Sarajevo, she arrived Paris in the 1990s and remained through the Yugoslav Wars. Since then, she has been grappling with the shattering effects of violence on personal identity. In new works created for her exhibition “Echos,” Bajevic conjured, through video and installation, the anxiety stemming from collective sociopolitical crises (so many to choose from). Sampling from

  • Benoît Piéron, Paravent, 2022, patchwork with repurposed hospital sheets, medical screen, 61 x 72 x 15 3/4''.
    picks March 17, 2022

    “Cottagecore”

    The home—as Carmen Maria Machado writes in her 2019 memoir In the Dream House, a queer love story gone rogue—“is never apolitical. It is conceived, constructed, occupied, and policed by people with power, needs, and fears.” During the height of the pandemic, the Cottagecore lifestyle spoke to the needs and fears of many people sheltering in place, its leisurely diversions marking a brief interruption (if only by force of circumstance) in the status quo of relentless productivity. While Cottagecore has been criticized for circulating images of nostalgia and for romanticizing traditionally gendered

  • James Barnor, Printmaking in the Darkroom, Studio X23, Accra, ca. 1983, gelatin silver print, sheet size 9 1⁄2 × 11 3⁄4".

    James Barnor

    From an early age, James Barnor, the nimble portraitist born in 1929 in Ghana, admired the way wedding photographers and police photographers alike commanded a scene. He apprenticed for a photographer cousin and eventually opened his own studio in Accra. Barnor highlighted “the fragmented experience of modernity and diaspora,” as curator Renée Mussai noted in an introductory text to the 2015 monograph James Barnor: Ever Young. The artist subtly harnessed the collective joy experienced in the wake of Ghana’s independence in 1957, as political consciousness and anticolonial movements swept the

  • Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Sophie Crumb, 4 Shades of Abortion, 2021, ink, correction fluid, and graphite on paper, 11 1/10 x 8 1/2".
    interviews February 23, 2022

    Aline Kominsky-Crumb

    A family affair, “Sauve qui peut ! (Run for Your Life),” on view at David Zwirner in Paris through March 26, brings together the work of Aline Kominsky-Crumb; her husband, cartoonist Robert Crumb; and their daughter, artist Sophie Crumb. The ensemble includes spontaneous scribbles on paper placemats, dense excerpts of comics scarred with whiteout, photobooth snapshots of the then-young couple, as well as new work—such as a commission in which Aline and Sophie recount their respective abortions (profits from the show will go toward a women’s health organization). An unabashed over-sharer whose

  • Graciela Iturbide, Autorretrato, Desierto de Sonora, México, 1979, silver gelatin print, 20 x 16".
    interviews February 11, 2022

    Graciela Iturbide

    Heliotropo 37,” at Paris’s Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, is named after the address of Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico City studio, a place vibrantly outfitted with folk art and plants within a brick fortress designed by her son, Mauricio Rocha (he did the exhibition scenography, too). “Helio means light; tropo means something that goes around: It just so happens I’m on a street whose name perfectly corresponds with photography,” Iturbide marveled over Zoom while smoking from her couch. On view from February 12 to May 29, 2022, the survey spans two hundred images, plus an exhibition-specific

  • César, Hayon corail (Coral Tailgate), 1986, compressed automotive element, painted sheet metal, 62 1⁄2 × 54 3⁄4".

    César

    The question of artistic influence stirs up ceaseless analysis and scrutiny. Probing the scope of creative sway—of the connective tissue between bodies of work—highlights not only aesthetic affinities but also relationships forged between cultural figures. One such recent dialogic configuration was “Hommage à César,” timed with the centenary of the French artist’s birth (he died in 1998), at Pablo Picasso’s former studio in Boisgeloup in Normandy. The display examined how César’s oeuvre was explicitly shaped by his admiring fealty to Picasso: interpersonally, based on their shared Mediterranean

  • Bruce Davidson, Façade of a building. East 100th Street, Harlem, New York City, USA, 1966, gelatin silver print, 10 7/8 x 8 5/8''.
    picks November 29, 2021

    Bruce Davidson and Khalik Allah

    Inaugurating a new space for the Magnum gallery and agency, “Bruce Davidson and Khalik Allah: New York” pairs the work of two photographers depicting Harlem residents and the charged realities of public space. Davidson’s vintage prints encircle Allah’s contemporary portraits, concentrated in the center of the gallery. In the ’60s, Davidson made images of Black communal life on East 100th Street: games inscribed onto the asphalt in chalk, fire escapes as gateways to the outdoors, crates on the sidewalk doubling as makeshift communal terraces. Twenty years later, he shifted from tender black-and-white

  • *View of “Paysages d’Intérieurs,” 2021. Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin and Almine Rech, Paris. © Photo: Tanguy Beurdeley.
    interviews October 19, 2021

    Claire Tabouret

    Claire Tabouret’s art has a feverish feel, something fervid roiling below the grave expressions of her composed subjects. Often inspired by internet deep dives, the French-born, Los Angeles–based artist’s recent paintings, drawings, and sculptures circle a sense of disquiet, be it hushed vistas or the charged group dynamics particular to youth. New work by Tabouret currently inhabits three Parisian venues. Almine Rech’s  “L'Urgence et la Patience” features self-portraits. Paysages d’Intérieurs,” at Galerie Perrotin, ascribes naturalist panoramas with a state of mind. (Both shows run from October

  • Saul Steinberg, Calligraphy IV, 1964, pencil on paper, 18.5 x 25".
    picks October 19, 2021

    Saul Steinberg

    Illustrator Saul Steinberg (1914–1999) believed his work to be self-evident, “something intellectual that must be perceived in a fraction of an instant.” (“The sort of people who need explanation deserve a mystery,” he quipped.) A Romanian-born refugee turned world traveler, Steinberg nimbly distilled personal feelings of cultural displacement into parodic vignettes. His ability to marvel at trifles was unparalleled, yet the seemingly innocuous, “legible” demeanor of his drawings belies their subversive bent, underpinned by a skepticism of any status quo. Believing that the public record was

  • Ayana V. Jackson, Judgment of Paris, 2018, ink-jet print, 40 × 60".
    picks October 08, 2021

    “J’ai Deux Amours...”

    Ahead of her Chicago gallery’s ten-year anniversary, Mariane Ibrahim has opened a European outpost on the murderer’s row of Avenue Matignon—alongside Emmanuel Perrotin, Kamel Mennour, Almine Rech—in a polished space formerly occupied by a concept store. The exhibition’s title, which references a Josephine Baker song, articulates both the richness and the turmoil of identifying with multiple cultures and territories, touching on how uprootedness shapes artistic perspective in a manner that transcends any one locus. Recent work by fifteen artists engages with the legacy of the African diaspora by