Suzanne Hudson

  • “Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940–1976”

    Although Abstract Expressionism is hardly undertheorized, this exhibition nevertheless promises a fresh take on those fabled denizens of Tenth Street.

    Although Abstract Expressionism is hardly undertheorized, this exhibition nevertheless promises a fresh take on those fabled denizens of Tenth Street. Featuring fifty seminal works by thirty-one stalwarts, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, and Lee Bontecou, the show contextualizes postwar cultural production between the Holocaust and the blithe likes of Levittown. By placing unprecedented emphasis on contemporaneous academic criticism and the mass media, this show—organized in collaboration with the Saint Louis Art Museum and the

  • Rosy Keyser

    Inside of a three-month span in late 1811 and early 1812, four massive earthquakes—and thousands of aftershocks—convulsed the midwestern and southern United States. Emanating from the New Madrid fault line, they were felt as far away as New York City and Boston. As in an episode from some apocalyptic tract, fissures opened, lakes were drained and re-formed, and, in what seemed the ultimate act of divine intervention, the Mississippi River changed course and appeared to flow backward. On December 15, 1811, Scottish naturalist John Bradbury was docked just upstream from the Chickasaw

  • Dirk Bell

    That painting might be something like a map of the mind is an old cliché, and the homunculus theory—the notion that art is the product of an anthropomorphized subconscious—is mustier still. But in Dirk Bell’s most recent New York show, “Openeng,” these hoary concepts played to savvy effect. Insisting upon a nonspectacularized yet highly choreographed installation, Bell turned the design into a visual argument in which found paintings—many more than a century old—facilitated a shift from the retrospective to the fantastical. (This passage was also figured through Openeng, 2008, the namesake work,

  • Diana Thater

    On wall-mounted flat-screen monitors, well-groomed hands move without hesitation over chessboards turned at an angle to the screen, hitting clocks and grabbing pieces in confident advances. Thus did Diana Thater’s most recent show at David Zwirner offer what her work so often does: a technologically mediated abstraction dependent on yet oddly divorced from the representations through which we perceive it. Yet in these deft moves, chess initiates will no doubt recognize a narrative after all, since Thater, in the jejune spirit of battle reenactment, has staged—with the help of various members

  • Jose Alvarez

    In 1988, Jose Alvarez toured Australia channeling the spirit of “Carlos,” a 2,000-year-old shaman who held forth on Atlantis, “corrected” the date of Jesus’s birth, reported on the movements of UFOs, and divined other sundry matters before capacity crowds at the Sydney Opera House. In the voluble tradition of fundamentalist televangelists, healers, and cultish gurus of all stripes, Alvarez charismatically staged the visionary with the help of his mentor James Randi, himself a debunker of paranormal phenomena, who also appears in the recent video Dejeuner Sur Le Dish, 2007, playing chess with

  • “Falling Right into Place: The Fold in Contemporary Art”

    Taking a cue from Gilles Deleuze's invocation of the fold as a basic ordering unit—in turn borrowed from Leibniz's theory of the monad—“Falling Right into Place” will bring together twenty videos, photographs, installations, and sculptures that riff on this theme.

    Also on view at Museum Haus Lange

    Taking a cue from Gilles Deleuze's invocation of the fold as a basic ordering unit—in turn borrowed from Leibniz's theory of the monad—“Falling Right into Place” will bring together twenty videos, photographs, installations, and sculptures that riff on this theme. More exploratory than didactic, the two-venue show intends to function as a “basic research” effort into the idea of folding and its related, Serra-esque processes: e.g., wrapping, stripping, appearing, postponing. Gareth James's architectural models and Pierre Huyghe's origami

  • Karin Sander

    In 1926, Edward Steichen tried to bring his version of Constantin Brancusi’s Bird in Space, 1923, into New York on the occasion of the sculptor’s retrospective, only to have the work held up at customs on the grounds that it was not art but a duty-entitled industrial implement—a kitchen utensil. As the story goes, Steichen had to pay a heavy tax, as did Marcel Duchamp when he imported another Brancusi some weeks later. The verdict in Steichen’s case was subsequently overturned when a court decreed that, despite its not looking particularly like a bird, the work was “nevertheless pleasing

  • Aleksandra Mir

    In her essay “No time like the present,” literary critic Deborah Esch quotes another critic, Werner Hamacher, discussing a kind of thought trial: “Many years ago . . . Max Horkheimer recommended a little experiment during a television interview. He suggested reading newspapers a few weeks or months after their publication. . . . The reader of these old papers will notice that the imperatives, attractions and threats heralded in them reveal themselves as such only to the degree that they no longer directly affect him.” In making Newsroom 1986–2000, 2007, Aleksandra Mir makes good on Horkheimer’s

  • “Stubborn Materials”

    “After innovation—the critical deluge; after the deluge—fashion; after fashion—the group show; after the group show (and its coverage by mass media)—criticism of criticism. These episodes replace each other rapidly on the art scene today, crowding good and bad art alike off the stage in preparation for the next act.” The words, Lucy Lippard’s, are from 1966, but they couldn’t feel less dated. The banality of most group shows, compounded with their inevitably short shelf lives, makes a good one—summer or otherwise—that much more arresting. “Stubborn Materials,” curated by gallery director Simone

  • Yuri Masnyj

    “Are you decorating a room? Building a library? Designing a theater or film set?” The Strand bookstore’s website offers to help you assemble collections—overnight!—of books by the foot, arranged by binding material (antique leather or the winsome “leather looking”), subject (art monographs, cookbooks, biographies, or contemporary fiction), or color (also a subset of the subject option, as in law books in “green, black, red, maroon, and blue”). That such a service is utilized in Manhattan is unsurprising. Nonetheless, its viability is but a telling instance of a persistent, broader repackaging

  • Frida Kahlo

    Frida Kahlo has long been subject to hagiography, a propensity abetted by her revelatory self-portraiture, her film portrayal by Salma Hayek, and her frankness about her unredeemed circumstances. (She famously quipped that she had suffered two grave misfortunes: a brutal traffic accident and Diego Rivera.)

    Frida Kahlo has long been subject to hagiography, a propensity abetted by her revelatory self-portraiture, her film portrayal by Salma Hayek, and her frankness about her unredeemed circumstances. (She famously quipped that she had suffered two grave misfortunes: a brutal traffic accident and Diego Rivera.) Now, on the centenary of Kahlo’s birth, the Walker, in association with SF MoMA, is organizing a massive tribute that ups the ante, bringing together roughly fifty canvases from 1926 to 1952, two years before her death, and 150 family snapshots

  • Cosima von Bonin

    Artist, curator, DJ, collaborator, raconteur: These are just some of the roles Cologne-based Cosima von Bonin has occupied in her oft-hyphenated conceptual-feminist practice, which shuffles among as many media—including photography, painting (in oil and fabric), sculpture, installation, and performance—as discursive frames.

    Artist, curator, DJ, collaborator, raconteur: These are just some of the roles Cologne-based Cosima von Bonin has occupied in her oft-hyphenated conceptual-feminist practice, which shuffles among as many media—including photography, painting (in oil and fabric), sculpture, installation, and performance—as discursive frames. Her protean approach will be played up in this survey of approximately fifty works from 1990 to the present, including Untitled (Krebber über Krebber), 1990, an appropriation of a 1960s gallery advertisement; Kapitulation, 2004, a large-scale multimedia

  • Zoe Strauss

    Philadelphia-based photographer Zoe Strauss’s first New York solo show might be described as the art-world equivalent of Sylvester Stallone’s run up the art-museum steps: a life-affirming, fist-pumping, I am here! performance. (As she elegantly put it, “A super fancy gallery in Chelsea? Fuck yeah! It was awesome.”) But lest the ethos be wholly, or even principally, buoyant, her exhibition’s title, “If you reading this”—culled from a graffiti-plastered wall, captured in the first work on view, which reads in its blunt entirety, IF YOU READING THIS FUCK YOU—expediently brought things down to earth,

  • Josh Smith

    Around 1957, Robert Ryman began using his name (at first RRYMAN and subsequently just RYMAN) as a compositional element in his paintings. When asked about this some decades later, Ryman explained that the signature was a traditional device, albeit not in the way he put it to use. Cleaved both from signification and subjective presence, these inscriptions read first and foremost as lines or curves, which is to say, visual incidents not unlike—or qualitatively distinct from—the surrounding passages of brushy facture. Akin to a word spoken so often as to void it semantically, RYMAN, repeated again

  • John Armleder

    Q: What do you get when you cross flower-encircled scaffolding, abstract painting, fluorescent lights, mirrors, silver Christmas-tree limbs, stuffed animals, piles of coal, and disco balls? A: The first comprehensive show of Swiss Conceptualist John Armleder’s work in the United States.

    Q: What do you get when you cross flower-encircled scaffolding, abstract painting, fluorescent lights, mirrors, silver Christmas-tree limbs, stuffed animals, piles of coal, and disco balls? A: The first comprehensive show of Swiss Conceptualist John Armleder’s work in the United States, which is curated by Raphaela Platow and will include more than forty objects made since 1986—from gestural “Pour” and “Puddle” paintings to “Furniture Sculptures” (used furniture paired with abstract canvases) to installations (many created specially for the Rose), all set against his wallpaper-like designs—as

  • Ian Davis

    It’s possible to describe Ian Davis’s paintings in just a few words: tidy, faux-naive compositions populated by near-identical men who, in enacting futile rituals in unison, become elements of notation more than agents of narrative. Or so it would seem to judge by the twelve paintings and one collage on view in Davis’s first New York solo show. Here, the primary impulse was the methodical (or is it empty?) act of painting itself, the artist harnessing rudiments of modernist abstraction to figurative ends. Thus the grid is recast as a brick facade in Ceremony, 2007, while the monochrome turns

  • Louise Nevelson

    The Jewish Museum is now staging Louise Nevelson’s first US survey since 1967, an exhibition both long overdue and somehow of the moment, given the swarm of young artists quoting her distinct formal vocabulary. Guest curator Kamin Rapaport positions sixty-six sculptures and installations—antihierarchical juxtapositions of appropriated materials, such as ornamental molding, fabric, and discarded timber—and works on paper, all made between 1928 and 1988 (the year of the artist’s death), against an archival backdrop in which Nevelson’s struggles as a Russian Jew

  • Tommy White

    Beginning in 1951, Robert Rauschenberg produced a number of so-called black paintings, which, with their thick, cracked surfaces, later prompted Helen Molesworth to suggest their resonance with “fecal matter: the smeared quality of the paint, the varying degrees of viscosity, and the color—shit brown and black.” Her reading takes seriously the twin poles of pleasure and disgust that Rauschenberg so expediently summons. And yet, in his characteristic acts of wiping, pressing, and staining, he errs on the side of tactility—however exquisite—which is to say of desublimation. “Rauschenberg,” as

  • Nina Katchadourian

    Full disclosure: I first encountered Nina Katchadourian’s Public Art Fund project, Office Semaphore, 2006, via its press release, which began by asking, “Ever spot someone in a distant office window and wonder what is going on in his or her life? Part message decoding, part small-scale reality show, artist Nina Katchadourian’s Office Semaphore is a signaling system in which one person, who works on an upper story of an office building, communicates messages to people outside on street level.” Maybe this mode of introduction was appropriate—in that it intimated that our experience of such work

  • Adam Bartos

    Adam Bartos’s recent first exhibition at Yossi Milo Gallery—comprised of a dozen large-format photographs of Los Angeles—was a long time in the making. The New York–born Bartos moved to Ocean Park in 1978 and began taking pictures as a way of habituating himself to his new environs. Inspired by William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, Bartos shot in color (although his blanched, elemental palette was significantly muted relative to Eggleston’s garish saturation). In any case, Bartos only returned to his California images two years ago, publishing them alongside contemporary scenes from Paris in his