Tim Griffin

  • OPENINGS: ALEKSANDRA MIR

    To get a sense of New York–based artist Aleksandra Mir’s ongoing project HELLO, recall the final scene of Fellini’s 8 1⁄2. The film’s narrative unhinges in front of the camera, as all the characters walk onto an abandoned set and join hands in a long celebratory chain, every one of them connected: friends, enemies, passing acquaintances—figures large and small, having inhabited scene after scene or having appeared only for an instant—a moving frieze of players who made each other possible.

    Exhibited in numerous incarnations since 2000, HELLO is so many of these chains. Mir collects thousands of

  • “Drawing Now”

    Drawing has a genealogy, suggests MoMA guest curator Laura Hoptman: Variously appreciated and dismissed in different periods, the medium has played a changing role for artists and audiences to go along with the changing contexts of art production. For example, she asserts that Florentine connoisseurs prized the Renaissance masters’ primi pensieri, while “presentation drawings” were highly valued in the eighteenth century. Fast-forwarding a couple centuries, she tells us we’ve witnessed another significant shift in just the past few decades. When Conceptualism and Minimalism came to the fore,

  • Robert Whitman, Window, 1963, mixed
media, 8 x 10 x 4'.

    Robert Whitman

    Robert Whitman is freshest in museumgoers’ minds for his film of a woman projected into a running shower in the Whitney’s traveling “Into the Light” exhibition. His first major retrospective gives a fuller view of the artist, who helped found Experiments in Art and Technology with Robert Rauschenberg during the ’60s. Works with lasers, film, and performance appear alongside more traditional pieces, including Whitman’s suite of “Dante Drawings.” Accompanying publications are similarly multifaceted: A catalogue includes essays by David Joselit and curator Lynne Cooke on Whitman’s multimedia and

  • Chantal Akerman, From the Other Side (still from DVD), 2002.

    Micropolitics: Art and the Quotidian, 2001–1968

    While globalism is often a key word for curators describing changes in today’s social landscape, “Micropolitics” takes a more personal approach, looking at the everyday formation of subjectivity. Curators Juan Vicente Aliaga, María Corral, and José Miguel G. Cortés have organized the exhibition in three parts linked to historical moments; the first covers the years 1989 through 2001. (Subsequent portions backtrack to span 1980–89 and 1968–80.) Among fourteen artists dealing with all things intimate are Chantal Akerman, Ann-Sofi Sidén, and Ilya Kabakov—whose bathroom installation alludes to the

  • Elisabetta Benassi, Timecode, 2000.

    I Moderni/The Moderns

    Was postmodernism merely a parenthetical blip within the continuing arc of modernism? That’s the big question raised by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev in her ambitious curatorial debut at Castello di Rivoli. She has selected twenty-five contemporary artists who, she says, revisit utopian ideological tenets of modernism or who are concerned with themes of perception and formal composition resembling those considered during the technology boom at the beginning of the twentieth century. If the artists are mostly familiar—included here are Tacita Dean, Liam Gillick, Julie Mehretu, Sarah Sze, and Piotr

  • Tim Griffin

    WADE GUYTON HAS REFERRED TO HIS SCULPTURES AS drawings in space. No doubt this assertion has something to do with his three-dimensional works’ frequent status as studies. (Indeed, in the past couple of years Guyton has made a number of pieces individually titled Fragment of Sculpture the Size of a House, each corresponding to a structural component of the suburban home the artist intends to construct and paint completely black, sometime in the future.) Yet his statement has as much to do with the physical character of the objects, which can seem crudely superimposed on space, at once underscoring

  • Eddo Stern

    Among the more provocative essays published after September 11 was Slavoj Žižek’s “Welcome to the Desert of the Real,” which suggested that Americans would have to renegotiate their relationship with spectacular culture after Al Qaeda attacks forced the rupture of our seamless, unbearably light, endlessly entrancing mediascape. Whatever has happened along these lines in mass culture, it’s worth asking whether any such shift has taken place in New York art production, particularly in pieces most obviously inflected by today’s agitated political climate. For example, Thomas Hirschhorn’s stunning

  • Doug Aitken

    Much has been made, in recent criticism, of the significance of placing photographic images on sculptural objects. But what sort of potential exists for artists making images as sculptural objects? Doug Aitken’s installation on, 2002, seems to do something along those lines, establishing a situation in which projections border on assuming physical presence in three dimensions. Four circular screens are mounted along a central axis in a darkened mirrored room: Two are placed on opposite ends of the gallery while two others sandwich a column in the middle of the space. The same moving image appears

  • “Ironic/Iconic”

    Likening an artist’s work to Chagall’s is hardly most people’s idea of a compliment. Yet it’s hard to ignore a positive connection when looking at Easter Realness, 2002, a painting by Kehinde Wiley, one of three artists in residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem featured in the exhibition “Ironic/Iconic.” The majestic canvas is turned forty-five degrees so that its corners touch the floor and ceiling. Two men, one wearing a pink and the other a yellow suit, seemingly drift across a decorative green-and-red ground strewn with roses. Both men float upside down while looking directly at the viewer,