Tina Rivers Ryan

  • picks January 04, 2014

    Katherine Bauer

    Though their scale and amorphous, explosive forms resemble those of Abstract Expressionist paintings, Katherine Bauer’s “Eye-O-Grams,” (all works 2013)—like Man Ray’s Rayograms—are black-and-white photos produced by shadows and materials acting upon photosensitive paper. Part of a larger project called “Seduction of the Eye,” these works are photograms of an actionist–cum–expanded cinema performance that occurred in the same gallery. Opening with blackness and cacophony, the event featured four women simultaneously citing passages from the dissident Surrealist Georges Bataille’s 1928 erotic

  • picks November 29, 2013

    “Fearful Symmetry”

    Borrowing its title from William Blake’s poem “The Tyger” (“What immortal hand or eye / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?”), this exhibition, deftly curated by Zoe Stillpass, argues that symmetry—a metonym for beauty in Western culture since classical antiquity—is less interesting than the unpredictable, asymmetrical forms released by its dissolution. The key to this thesis is Gabriel Orozco’s small photo From Roof to Roof, 1993, which watches over the show’s main room. The photo offers an oblique aerial view of a pool of water that has collected on the rooftop of a low, flat building; the water

  • picks November 18, 2013

    “Windows”

    This show contributes to the heated debate over the relationship between contemporary art and digital technology by cleverly focusing on the idea of “windows.” In this context, windows is a double entendre, referring both to the long-standing metaphor for the picture plane in Western art and to the more recent use of overlapping frames to organize information on computer screens, challenging the window’s association with a single-point perspective. The artists in this show are fluent in both senses of the term as they were all born more or less around 1983, when Microsoft introduced its

  • picks September 24, 2013

    Aldo Tambellini

    As this important retrospective makes clear, the subject of Aldo Tambellini’s work from the 1960s onwards has been blackness. For the artist, blackness is multivalent, opening onto both the aesthetic and the sociopolitical problems of the postwar era. At once a negation of pictorial representation, a strategy for perceptual disorientation, the dialectical antithesis of white light and (atomic) energy, an icon of outer space, and a reminder of the African-American struggle for civil rights, blackness in these works is metaphysical and allusive—a far cry from Frank Stella’s literalist desire “to

  • picks May 09, 2013

    Zak Kitnick

    Like John Baldessari's What Is Painting, 1968, Zak Kitnick’s recent wall-mounted sculptures are playfully self-reflexive. Available in thirty-two permutations, each sculpture comprises a monochrome steel shelving unit holding multiples of the same unit stacked one on top of the other, constituting an absurd display of displays, as in Family, Health, Community, Cultivate Social Life, Strengthen Family Ties, Improve Health, Wood, Green, 2013. (One wonders if they obliquely parody the recent ubiquity of artworks that, by telegraphing their value as a financial investment, seem to sell themselves.)

  • picks March 19, 2013

    “Howard Wise Gallery: Exploring the New”

    A retired midwestern executive who began dealing AbEx paintings but wound up a proselytizer for the techno-utopian avant-garde, Howard Wise was one of the most unlikely characters of the New York art world of the 1960s. His eponymous gallery was primarily devoted to works made with a wide range of technological materials—from phosphorescent paint to phototransistors and phone lines—though the space is mostly remembered for its pioneering efforts in the nascent field of video art. In Wise’s view, the works he showed “humanized” the technologies they utilized, while taking them out of circulation