Stephanie Bailey

  • Evgeniy Antufiev

    It’s hard to believe that Evgeniy Antufiev was born only in 1986, given the sense of timelessness typical of his work. His solo show at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, aptly titled “Immortality Forever,” was part of the parallel program for the Sixth Moscow Biennale. It attempted to map out “the essence of Russian culture,” placing objects linked to Tolstoy, Pushkin, and Anna Pavlova alongside items drawn from the artist’s personal history—among them drawings by his ailing grandmother of her childhood memories, and a video of his mother, Nadezhda Antufieva, chief editor of the Centre of

  • David Sampethai and Antonakis

    “Two Johns” was the visual articulation of a movie not yet made. The exhibition was a collaboration between two young artists, David Sampethai and Antonakis, who together wove an elaborate narrative that involves a vampire and a werepanther—the Two Johns—and their “sworn eternal enemy (Mr. Grin),” a tower and a pink mansion on the island of Naxos, and a series of “unexpected events.” The result was a show that introduced a narrative stitched together from set pieces, disconnected scenes, and character studies presented by two artists in very different ways.

    The tale was told in the main

  • Tassos Pavlopoulos

    In the catalogue essay Tassos Pavlopoulos wrote for his exhibition “Phantasmagoria,” the artist lays out a surprising thesis for a show that brought together drawings from the 1980s onward with recent works on paper and canvas, a film, and bronze sculptures. His early drawings, which he had intentionally kept hidden from viewers until now, Pavlopoulos writes, are “the seeds of [his] art,” underpinning all of his better-known works. These were mounted on a single wall: a dizzying, absurdist array that included a 1991 proposal for what the artist calls the “box with the crocodiles” project, in

  • picks August 20, 2015

    “Dio Horia in Mykonos”

    The exhibition “Dio Horia in Mykonos” marks the launch of a platform for reviving the Greek island of Mykonos—famed for its Kardashian-grade holiday scene—as a summer salon. Curated by Dio Horia founder Marina Vranopoulou, this inaugural exhibition brings together a vast number of works by international and Greek artists, across two floors. These include Honza Zamojski’s Father God, 2014, a large spectacle-wearing stone placed atop an elegant blue column; Aleksandar Todorovic’s Iconostasis of Communism, 2008, in which the history of Marxism is told in the language of Eastern Orthodox iconography

  • picks June 24, 2015

    “Terrapolis”

    This is the first time the French School at Athens has opened its garden to the public—a result of the second collaboration between the Athens-based nonprofit NEON and the Whitechapel Gallery in London. The setting makes this exhibition, intended for a general audience, a success due to the garden’s kinship with many of the works on view. Never has Yayoi Kusama made so much sense, thanks to the placement of a bronze pumpkin sculpture with a black pattern—Pumpkin (M), 2014—on a patch of verdant grass. Likewise, Angus Fairhurst’s The Birth of Consistency, 2004, a bronze gorilla staring into a

  • Nadia Kaabi-Linke

    There is something unbearable about the lightness of Nadia Kaabi-Linke’s work, articulated in the diversity of material and form she employs to suit concept and site. Take Flying Carpet, 2011, a suspended cage-like sculpture shaped from the measurements of carpets used by illegal street vendors on the Ponte del Sepolcro in Venice. Or “In confinement my desolate mind and desires,” the artist’s Discoveries Prize–winning presentation at Art Basel Hong Kong in 2014, courtesy of Kolkata gallery Experimenter: Its central work—standard measurements for prison cells around the world, outlined with

  • “A Hundred Years of Shame”

    “A Hundred Years of Shame: Songs of Resistance and Scenarios for Chinese Nations” traced the expression of dissent and pluralism in the work of eighteen artists from the “Chinese world.” The phrase is interesting: It presents an interpretation of “China” as a nation not only contained within the current state’s borders but dispersed in communities the world over—the diaspora, a contested nation (Taiwan), and a “special administrative region” (Hong Kong) included. The intention of the organizers, Para Site’s executive director and curator, Cosmin Costinas, and Asia Art Archive senior researcher

  • OPENINGS: MONIRA AL QADIRI

    COMING IN at just under three minutes, Travel Prayer, 2014, one of Monira Al Qadiri’s latest videos, is brief, but its focus is precise: The artist distills into this short span the momentous collisions between tradition and technology, desert culture and global capital, that increasingly define the Gulf states. The work consists of a tightly framed view of a camel race that the Beirut-based artist recorded from a television broadcast, slowed down just enough to turn a gallop into a glide. The found footage has a grainy, almost nostalgic quality to it, which the artist has emphasized by tinting

  • Vlassis Caniaris

    Vlassis Caniaris was insider and outsider, observer and participant, artist and citizen, all at once: a humanist who grasped the world in all its nuances and complexities. This sensibility is most evident in his “Gastarbeiter-Fremdarbeiter” (Emigrants) series, 1971–76, first presented in 1975 while the Greek-born artist was in Germany on a German Academic Exchange Service scholarship. Empathizing with the experience of itinerants came easily to Caniaris: He left Greece in 1956 and moved from Rome to Paris to Berlin before returning to Athens nineteen years later. During his years abroad, he

  • Tseng Kwong Chi

    The image of Tseng Kwong Chi dressed in a Mao suit, wearing Ray-Bans, and posing for a self-portrait in front of the World Trade Center for his photograph New York, New York, 1979, is undeniably iconic. After all, selfies were not yet a thing back then—and the twin towers represented a kind of optimism. Rendered in black-and-white, the picture was shot from a low angle. As Tseng gazes upward, light glinting off his sunglasses, his face takes on the same kind of sun-kissed metallic sheen of the monolithic structures rising into the clear sky behind him. The image forms part of the artist’s

  • Alex Hubbard and Jon Pestoni

    This was not the first time Alex Hubbard and Jon Pestoni have collaborated. In 2010 they paired up for a show at Shane Campbell Gallery in Chicago, and in 2012 they produced a conversation between a “man” (in the role of the interviewer) and a “horse” (in the role of a painter) for Mousse magazine on the occasion of Hubbard’s exhibition at Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zurich. In this colloquy they talk about painting’s “hardware,” and “particularly the recursive program known as Abstract Expressionism”—produced from “explosive formal innovations (qua Malabou’s plasticity),” which the

  • Cécile B. Evans

    Cécile B. Evans’s recent exhibition “Hyperlinks” centered on a roughly twenty-three-minute looped video, Hyperlinks or it didn’t happen, 2014, which was shown in the corner of the gallery on a flat screen positioned in front of a carpet. The carpet was an invitation to sit down, put on a pair of headphones, and engage with “Phil,”a digitally animated dead ringer for the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who narrates a vast exploration of how grief is transmitted, circulated, and archived through digital culture. Donning the headphones felt like an act of connection in which the physical space of the

  • Kai Althoff

    Walking into this exhibition was like stepping into a time warp. Was this Kai Althoff’s imagining of a workshop of some seventeenth-century Puritan dressmaker? After all, linens were draped from ceiling to floor, and three clothed dress forms were positioned among a worktable and chairs. Yet at the same time, four thick knitted sweaters and brightly colored plastic paintbrushes were also strewn about the scene, while music from Althoff’s latest LP, Fanal 4, provided the sound track to the strange scene. Paintings, some of them oddly shaped, were positioned around the room. They alluded to such

  • Mary Kelly

    One line in the 1959 Situationist film from which Mary Kelly’s exhibition “On the Passage of a Few People through a Rather Brief Period of Time” took its name hovered over the show: “When freedom is practiced in a closed circle, it fades into a dream, becomes a mere representation of itself.” Take Circa 1968, 2004, around which the show revolved: a large-scale cast that took some six months to make from the lint of roughly ten thousand pounds of laundry collected from a tumble dryer (using a process Kelly devised in 1999). The piece depicts Jean-Pierre Rey’s iconic image for Life magazine taken

  • Karen Mirza and Brad Butler

    Karen Mirza and Brad Butler’s “The Unreliable Narrator” presented the emergent twenty-first century as one that is both authoritarian and anarchic, a divide articulated through the division of the single gallery space into two rooms via red theatrical curtains. The first room one entered resembled an examination hall, in which a neon sign reading YOU ARE THE PRIME MINISTER (reflecting the title of the piece; all works 2014) shone over three school desks. An examination paper had been placed on two of them, with a question taken from a real Eton College King’s Scholarship exam, while the answer

  • Elias Hansen

    In Elias Hansen’s work, glass objects, including beakers, test tubes, and flasks—some found, others specially made, many brightly colored—are assembled with other secondhand items and light fixtures, often on wooden shelving, to suggest alchemical systems and processes of distillation. References to industrial-age apothecaries, the grit of basement meth labs, and Color Field formalism are often embedded in Hansen’s material compositions. In the work’s titles, jabs of morbid profundity are usually softened by a certain ordinariness, as with A handful of nothing, 2013: brown beer bottles

  • Nikos Markou and Kostis Velonis

    The title of this exhibition of recent works by Kostis Velonis and Nikos Markou—“The Future Lies Behind Us: Two New Proposals Beside an Older One”—was explained by the inclusion of a work by Vlassis Caniaris, produced during his DAAD residency in Berlin in 1973–75. Caniaris’s Possible Background, 1974, was shown in a room separate from the one where works by Markou and Velonis commingled. Caniaris’s installation presents a background of sorts, made from a black plastic drop cloth, in front of which found objects such as a tattered suitcase, a tricycle, a couple of battered baby carriages,

  • Sun Xun

    The animated film What Happened in Past Dragon Year (all works cited, 2014) was the centerpiece of Sun Xun’s recent exhibition “Brave New World.” It formed part of a sculptural installation—also depicted in a drawing titled Organism of Civilization—in which a taxidermied horse emerges out of the back of a flat screen supported on either side by a wooden totem, each with a rooster perched at the peak. Ten minutes in length, the animation opens with a series of quotes, which hover over scenes that were also presented in the gallery as grayscale pastels on canvas hung among other works

  • Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian

    The sensory overload produced by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian’s exhibition “The Exquisite Corpse Shall Drink the New Wine” was immediate. There was work everywhere, from paintings, collages, and videos to assemblages and sculptures, arranged within a number of partitioned spaces that divided the gallery floor, which was painted with a black-and-white triangular pattern that evolved into colorful floral forms and other more organic-looking motifs as it snaked around the gallery. On this writer’s visit, the sound of Nancy Argenta performing Henry Purcell’s “O Solitude,

  • Helmut Schweizer

    The exhibition statement for Helmut Schweizer’s “Melancolia. 8/6–3/11. A Chi di Competenza” (Melancholy. 8/6—3/11. To Whom It May Concern) begins with Walter Benjamin’s famous description of the angel of history. Benjamin’s angel does not perceive the past as a chain of events, but rather as “one single catastrophe” that “keeps piling wreckage.” And though the angel would much rather “make whole what has been smashed,” it is blown onward by the “storm” called “progress.” This vision of a tempestuous, historical pileup is what directed the selection of old and new works in this show, which