Suzanne Hudson

  • Sean Kennedy

    Sean Kennedy Thomas Duncan Gallery For his second show at Thomas Duncan Gallery, Sean Kennedy abandoned the hanging wood-and-Plexiglas boxes that dominated his first solo presentation in the same space. Those 2012 pieces—dangling platforms that reveal, from below, tableaux of everyday objects arranged by the artist—addressed themselves to the ceiling and the floor, rather than projecting out from the wall or standing on a pedestal. These works maintain irresolution, hovering between image and object, and they occupy space uncertainly, always one jostle away from disarray or total

  • Sergej Jensen

    In the decade since his star turn in Yilmaz Dziewior’s “Formalismus: Moderne Kunst, heute” (Formalism: Modern Art, Today) at the Kunstverein Hamburg in 2004, Sergej Jensen has only consolidated his claim on post-Conceptual painting. The “paintings without paint” that first garnered attention—compositions found and nominated as much as made (from fabrics dyed, stitched, or repurposed)—are asubjective, if startlingly aesthetic, pictorial manifestations that embrace all manner of supports as incidental images and substrates. With these works, Jensen has occupied various spaces within the

  • Brion Nuda Rosch

    For an artist who recently shipped, to Toves Galleri in Copenhagen, not finished pieces but studio documentation of his sculptures together with instructions for their re-creation, Brion Nuda Rosch’s show at ACME settled surprisingly close to its source. In this first solo outing in Los Angeles for the San Francisco–based artist, such a return to the authorial fount was a matter not only of facture (Rosch handled these works himself this time) but also of content, since the assemblages made from layered book pages and various objects are reportedly stand-ins for the artist’s body parts. According

  • Juan Uslé

    Juan Uslé’s recent outing at L.A. Louver—his first at the gallery since 2008—set his small-scale abstractions under the dreamy and evocative title “Entre Dos Lunas” (Between Two Moons). It was named for a dark blue painting (not included here) that the artist made shortly after moving from Spain to New York in 1987, when he would walk the Williamsburg Bridge at night, sky-gazing, habituating himself to the city. In a text printed for the occasion, Uslé describes his feeling of displacement when watching the lunar reflection on the East River: “I felt good there, between the two moons,

  • Louise Nevelson

    Louise Nevelson is so frequently invoked as a primary representative of postwar sculpture—and especially that made by women—that even the United States Postal Service has commemorated her with a series of stamps. Perhaps this neat apotheosis owes to Nevelson’s self-presentation: Her turbaned head and shellacked face, her mink-adorned eyelashes and rich caftans could only contribute to a hagiography that was established early on through tales of her birth in czarist Ukraine and was even more widely embraced in the years after the artist’s death, in 1988. Hers is a great story—so

  • “Ellen Gallagher: Don’t Axe Me”

    The first major American presentation of Ellen Gallagher’s work—opening a month after her concurrent survey at Tate Modern—spans the past twenty years, ranging from the panels pocked with abject signifiers of race that put Gallagher on the map in the 1990s to a new series of paintings. Drawings, prints, and film installations, including Osedax, 2009–11 (a room of 16-mm film and painted slide projections referencing whale-carcass-eating worms), made with her partner, Edgar Cleijne, will round out the selection. The show promises to traverse the artist’s

  • “Painting”

    Kudos to the director of the Box, Mara McCarthy, who, with this timely group show, wrested the discipline from cliché. Featuring the work of eleven artists from the early 1950s to the present, “Painting” considered its titular subject not just as material but also as designation and as act, sometimes all at once. This held no less true of the earliest work in the show, Wally Hedrick’s folksy-seditious pre-Johns representation of the American flag with the antiwar message peace scrawled across its stripes (Peace, 1953), than of the most recent, Paul McCarthy’s Foam Pallet, 2012, a shit-colored,


    THE DESKILLING OF ARTISTIC PRODUCTION is a century-old story. But the “smell of turpentine” that Duchamp so detested has not proved all that easy to leave behind, nor have the qualities—composition, pictoriality, Romantic creativity, the aesthetic—that traditionally come with it. Deskilling painting is a Sisyphean task, one enacted continually and never completed, not even with the advent of digital technology. Eliminating subjective choice, it turns out, is hard. Efforts to undo composition may only deliver it anew, with exigencies produced by external constraints recuperated as

  • Nikolas Gambaroff

    Last September, Ei Arakawa commenced his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, “I am an employee of UNITED, Vol. 2,” at Overduin and Kite (Volume One preceded at Galerie Neu in Berlin), with a performance skewering the model of the peregrine, contemporary artist, who racks up frequent-flier miles en route to the far-flung venues where he carries out cultural services. The opening event involved a host of actions, including Arakawa alongside fellow New York artist and collaborator Nikolas Gambaroff and others hoisting and manipulating mannequins while slotting Gambaroff’s painting panels into

  • Sarah Cain

    The main event of “Freedom Is a Prime Number,” Sarah Cain’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, was a room-scale installation titled so there, it’s air (all works 2012). While the piece involved an enveloping spread of paint and canvases (not necessarily conjoined) that spilled onto the floor, a twosome of dollar bills ($ thirty five and $ forty three) flanking the gallery’s entryway offered viewers a key for reading what lay beyond. Cain’s riotous additions of color and shimmering planes covered the cash so totally that only the minutest sections were left bare. These details matter. The

  • Mickalene Thomas

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    Courbet’s L’Origine du monde (The Origin of the World), 1866, was staged to great effect in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2008 retrospective, where a protective wall, rather than secreting it away, none too subtly called attention to the infamous painting of a crotch splayed open. Mickalene Thomas’s rejoinder—the crux of her first solo museum exhibition, “Origin of the Universe,” which opened at the Santa Monica Museum of Art and is currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum—is rooted in this retrospective, and the physical fact of confronting the panel seems key to what she

  • “Fore”

    As the Studio Museum’s legendary “F” series has been a veritable launchpad for numerous artists to date, “Fore” is sure to get the art world’s attention.

    The latest installment of the Studio Museum’s legendary “F” series (which brought us “Freestyle” [2001], “Frequency” [2005–2006], and “Flow” [2008]) promises a wildly heterogeneous installation of works made during the past five years, highlighting twenty-nine emerging artists of African descent including Sadie Barnette, Jamal Cyrus, Noah Davis, Taisha Paggett, and Nate Young. As this exhibition series has been a veritable launchpad for numerous artists to date, “Fore”—taking as its title the heads-up alert to those in the path of

  • “Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective”

    In 1958, Beat ingénue Jay DeFeo began work on a silvery mixed-media painting known as The Rose; it would consume her for the better part of eight years and eventually stand eleven feet tall, weighing nearly a ton.

    In 1958, Beat ingénue Jay DeFeo began work on a silvery mixed-media painting known as The Rose; it would consume her for the better part of eight years and eventually stand eleven feet tall, weighing nearly a ton. First made public by Bruce Conner—who filmed the object’s defenestration from DeFeo’s Fillmore Street studio in 1965—The Rose has long afforded a romantic mythologizing of DeFeo’s biography, to the extent that her other paintings, drawings, wire sculptures, photographs, jewelry, and collages are still virtually unknown. This retrospective, organized by

  • Albert Oehlen

    In the 1980s, Albert Oehlen began exploiting hackneyed figuration to exquisitely perverse effect, thereby rendering “bad painting” an unassailable good object. By the end of that decade, he had mounted a reaction-formation-like foray into pure abstraction that was equally, if oppositely, estranging. These approaches are two sides of the same coin, yet the artist nevertheless took some time to hold them in tension, together. In his work of the past few years—including the seventeen canvases in this show, his first at Gagosian—they finally intermingle, a critical collusion that, no doubt,

  • Zak Prekop

    The works in Zak Prekop’s second show at Harris Lieberman—sixteen canvases limited to a range of white, black, cobalt, tan, and yellow—may at first register as positively anodyne, yet they instantiate surprisingly nuanced optical and material effects. Operating within parameters he sets for himself (and through which, by extension, he seems to allegorize the notion of possibility as manifested therein), Prekop works with limited implements and strategies. Many of the paintings employ collage: namely, brown paper bags, dismembered and splayed across a support, or heavy paper, affixed

  • Jason Fox

    It sounds like the setup to a misbegotten revolutionary—or, even worse, adolescent—joke: What do you get if you cross Bob Marley and Barack Obama? But in Jason Fox’s most recent show, the seamless transposition of these quite literal figureheads—carefully rendered atop one another, with the latter’s tidy hairline positioned at the base of the former’s trademark mane—had a surprisingly profound effect, by turns pictorial and social. Appearing at the outset of “Eating Symbols”and recurring in various pieces throughout, this emblematic mash-up managed a slow burn. Like Jasper

  • Günther Förg

    A fixture of the storied Cologne scene of the 1980s, Günther Förg is still recognized in this country for what he produced during that formative decade: Blinky Palermo–inspired paintings on lead, whose puckered surfaces register raw materiality, even as the monochrome bands applied to the supports provide a sensuousness that all but negates the lead’s astringent qualities. Given the rough-hewn sophistication of these works, it is perhaps unsurprising that they are the output for which Förg is chiefly known. Yet they may also loom so large because Förg has not had a solo show in New York in over

  • Byron Kim

    Best known for Synecdoche, 1991—a project comprising a grid of hundreds of monochrome “self-portraits,” the color of each faithfully corresponding to its sitter’s skin tone—Byron Kim has long been associated with contemporary art’s so-called multicultural turn. But of course, the very medium for which his work first gained traction (in the famously polemical 1993 Whitney Biennial, no less) sets him apart from artists such as Janine Antoni, Lorna Simpson, and Gary Simmons, with whom he is often grouped. Instead of shunning abstract painting—once widely deemed inadequate for conveying

  • Jeremy Deller

    Jeremy Deller’s first midcareer survey foregrounds the artist’s collaborative tendencies as much as it does the wrenching social critique for which his work is known.

    Assigned the deadpan title “Joy in People,” Jeremy Deller’s first midcareer survey foregrounds the Turner Prize–winning artist’s collaborative tendencies (as artist, publisher, filmmaker, archivist, and even parade organizer for Manifesta 5) as much as it does the wrenching social critique for which his work is known. In this comprehensive show, the breadth of Deller’s still-developing career will be relayed via some fifty projects—from his first exhibition (Open Bedroom), staged in his parents’ house in 1993, to his famed An Injury to One Is an Injury to All, 2001,

  • Josephine Halvorson

    Josephine Halvorson’s small oils of archaic machines and overlooked domestic and industrial surfaces channel the lost tradition of American still life—a genre ghettoized, even in its late-nineteenth-century heyday, as “novelty art.” Like her precursors John Peto and William Harnett, whose trompe l’oeil confections depicted pistols and hanging game, old books and musical instruments, Halvorson creates tightly cropped registrations of the world at literal arm’s length, mining a tangible, profoundly sensate landscape of material things. An ode to Americana—or better, Americanana, as Katy