Steve Kado

  • picks August 20, 2017

    Liam Crockard

    For this exhibition, Liam Crockard gives us three works riffing on course readers—the photocopied spiral-bound tomes that warp the spines of undergrads everywhere. One piece actually is a course reader (Reader 3 [Party for the Printers], all works 2017), containing page after page of photocopied collages. The next is a video (Reader 4 [Hermit]) for which frames of found footage were Xeroxed and then scanned into a stop-motion animation. The final work is an audio file (Reader 5 [Small World]).

    All three are dense collages, with source material drawn from moments in which subcultures touch the

  • picks February 06, 2017

    The Harrisons

    The Harrisons have reconstructed two of their large 1970s “Survival Pieces” for this exhibition. Aesthetically, the works are weirdly rich, combining minimal sculpture, cybernetics, process art, color fields, and proto-relational aesthetics all within a sci-fi ecology that’s more Silent Running than Silent Spring. Survival Piece #2, 1971, has been remade as Notations of the Ecosystem of the Cargill Salt Works with the Inclusion of Brine Shrimp, 2017—five courtyard-filling trays of saltwater, each of which change color as different concentrations of salinity are added. This affects the resident

  • diary September 02, 2016

    Feel the Bern

    THE SOMMERAKADEMIE IM ZENTRUM PAUL KLEE has been a strange and secretive touchstone of the Bernese art world for ten years now. In fundamental ways it compares to other summer programs at a variety of European kunsthalles: The directors select a guest curator along with ten to twelve fellows (artists and writers under the age of thirty-five) to invite to Bern for two weeks of presentations and workshops.

    But what is amazing about the ZPK Sommerakademie is its decadelong commitment to building an institutional identity by inviting alumni back to Switzerland, at the expense of the Sommerakademie’s

  • interviews August 23, 2016

    Lock Up International

    Since 2015, Lewis Teague Wright has been running Lock Up International, a transient project space that houses itself in storage units worldwide. The project typically mounts a series of three weeklong solo shows in each location it chooses. Visitors must make an appointment to be personally guided to a show. This fall, two nearly simultaneous series of exhibitions will open in Istanbul and Tokyo, with the Istanbul series featuring Isabel Yellin (September 19–25), Sarah McMenimen (September 26–October 2), and Bahar Yürükoğlu (October 3–9), while the Tokyo series will comprise shows by Yuri Pattison

  • picks February 23, 2016

    Seth Price

    Seth Price’s exhibition “Wrok Fmaily Freidns” all but begs you to make this terrible pun: Has Price pushed the envelope too far? Having already produced countless prints, paintings, and images, as well as clothes, based on envelope security patterns and their unfolded shapes, the artist marshals these motifs into a few last stands here. They appear silk-screened over spilled paint in Spill Test, 2015, as if finally losing all physical coherence. The most notable extension of this focus on wrappings is his new take on those that we meatbags wear. Giant light boxes with images of minutely photographed

  • picks October 02, 2015

    Will Benedict

    “Bad Weather” is a riff on work Will Benedict did for the 2015 Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, which treated the story of biologist Tyrone Hayes. A professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Hayes's life and work were sabotaged by Swiss biotech firm Syngenta after he published research indicating that firm’s herbicides were carcinogenic. Benedict’s approach is both abstract and highly ambivalent. In the gallery along with some uncredited patio umbrellas are grim charcoal-on-plaster abstractions (Malaria [all works 2015]), gloomy gouaches (Wet Wheat III), sarcastic glass and wire

  • picks June 24, 2015

    Asha Schechter

    A plot summary of Asha Schechter’s film The Bucket, 2015: A quadracopter drone, hungry from a long night surveilling Los Angeles from above, decides to spin by the Western Avenue Kentucky Fried Chicken early one morning, only to find the restaurant is closed. The drone flies around and around the structure, even buzzing through the drive-through, but no luck. This KFC is an LA landmark: A Gheryesque deconstruction of the iconic chicken bucket explodes out of the ground, spiraling upward, fracturing and twisting as it goes—an alarmingly forward architectural statement for a fast-food chain, even

  • picks May 26, 2015

    Jeffrey Stuker

    Jeffrey Stuker’s new video, Fulgora Laternaria, 2012-2015, unfolds over nine minutes in punishing detail. The camera swoops and bobs around a winged Amazonian insect resting on a marble slab while an Attenborough-like narrator fires verbal salvos at the inert creature. This is not just any insect: Fulgora laternaria is famous for mimicry without any apparent goal or source. It can resemble both a juvenile alligator or a peanut—and scientists find that neither ruse saves it from being eaten by predators.

    The slabbed insect appears dead, but as the film progresses, it becomes apparent that this

  • picks May 21, 2014

    “Eternal Om”

    Casting the satori moment of enlightenment between the banality of daily experience and the grander slopes of memory, artist-curator Ian James selected works—mostly from LA–based studio photographers—that tightly reference each other even while varying widely along two axes, between sincerity and sarcasm, between memory and the ever-present everyday.

    Towards the show’s more earnest end are the works of Tarrah Krajnak, Seth Lower, and John Houck, which play heavily on individual narrative and history by relying on personal subject matter, as well as manipulation, rephotography, and studio staging

  • picks October 31, 2013

    Aaron Flint Jamison

    In Aaron Flint Jamison’s latest exhibition, a LiDAR room scanner on a tripod connects to a wired network switch that the artist has built into a table of dense purpleheart wood. The table supports a closed handmade book and an LED spotlight that shines its heatless light on the table’s surface. The network switch connects to a classic IBM ThinkPad X40 and to a large server rack that is built into a mausoleum-like cube, also made of purpleheart. Inside, a “glory hole” cylinder rotates within a lit chamber that is partially hidden behind half-mirrored glass, which is copied in a wall-mounted glass

  • picks March 14, 2013

    Slavs & Tatars

    Slavs and Tatars’ “Friendship of Nations: Polish Shi’ite Showbiz” explores the exchange, similarities, and differences—actual, past, and imagined—between the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the Polish Solidarity movement of 1989, and the Iranian Green movement in 2009. Exhibiting Polish-derived work, carpeted reading platforms, and a selection of print material, the collective here furnishes the viewer with an eerie awareness of one’s own place within a gaggle of global conversations—the size and scope of which extend far beyond the Anglo-(Western) European frame.

    Slavs and Tatars’ key strength is