Travis Jeppesen

  • picks July 31, 2009

    Bob Tooke

    “Please Don’t Give the Birds Money!” is the emphatic title framing the latest Berlin exhibition of the Louisianan artist and musician Bob Tooke. Like the paintings featured therein, the title revels in a dumb blatancy––a joke that serves as its own punch line, rooted in a slightly off-kilter phraseology that could equally please a young child and a loony drunk.

    Tooke funnels this earnest delight into works typically rendered in crude, thick blobs of acrylic on found pieces of wood rather than canvas. The paintings dish up a callous brand of trailer-trash satire: In one series of advertisements

  • picks July 16, 2009

    E. M. C. Collard

    E. M. C. Collard is an emerging London-based German artist whose combined interest in fragmentation and the messiness of the world is reflected in her chaotic paintings, currently on view in her first German solo exhibition. The title of the show, “20:1,” refers to the shifting of scale that occurs in many of the works, wherein depictions of paper dots made by a hole punch are enlarged and then represented as if they'd been sprinkled at random onto layers of images that include tacky vacation postcards, self-portraits, and simple graph paper. The title of one series, “Zahnderzeitpasta,” 2006–2009,

  • picks July 03, 2009

    Gilbert & George

    By sheer endurance alone, jovial gentleman anarchists Gilbert & George are inarguably most deserving of the rock-star status that the art world tends to arbitrarily confer on its denizens, and the “Jack Freak Pictures,” their largest series to date, may well be the duo’s Divina Commedia. Twenty of the 153 pictures, forming a dizzying kaleidoscopic meditation on the Union Jack and, unsurprisingly, freakdom, are on display.

    When one thinks of “nation,” inevitably the notion of the masses comes to mind. With great (mock) seriousness, Gilbert & George, often in heavily distorted guise, stand in for