Wendy Vogel

  • Carlos Motta and Tiamat Legion Medusa, When I Leave This World, 2022, 4K video, color, sound, 10 minutes.

    Carlos Motta and Tiamat Legion Medusa

    Fixing a set of emerald-green and darkly mesmerizing eyes on the camera for a 2022 video in this exhibition, Tiamat Legion Medusa, the titular subject of the piece, asserts, “I don’t want to die looking like a human.” During the past two decades, the Bruni, Texas–based performer has achieved legendary status in the body-modification community for undertaking a simultaneous transition in gender (male to female) and species (human to reptile). Medusa—who prefers it/its pronouns—positions its reptilian metamorphosis as a protest gesture, refusing identification with the onerous breed of mammal that

  • Jill Freedman, Family disputes are dangerous for cops, ca. 1978–81, gelatin silver print, 11 × 14".

    Jill Freedman

    All cops are bastards! This antiauthoritarian rallying cry originated in England about a century ago and pervaded certain pockets of New Left activism during the 1960s and ’70s, a period when Jill Freedman (1939–2019) found her footing as a self-taught documentary photographer. She picked up a camera for the first time in 1966; two years later, following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., she participated in the Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, DC, and documented the Resurrection City protest camp around the National Mall. Having witnessed mass arrests and police brutality, Freedman

  • Marina Leybishkis, Ode to the Sea (detail), 2021, concrete, life jackets, cell phones. Installation view. Photo: Emily Sieler.

    Marina Leybishkis

    After receiving a Fulbright Fellowship, Marina Leybishkis visited various refugee camps in Lesbos, Greece, between 2018 and 2019, including Moria Reception and Kara Tepe. At the time, these sites were the largest settlements for displaced people fleeing war-torn countries, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. In September 2020, asylum seekers set fire to Moria, perhaps as a reaction to Covid-19 quarantine restrictions, resulting in even more desperate circumstances for the island’s exiles. In her exhibition here, “Archeology of Loss,” Leybishkis—a 2020 artist-in-residence under Baxter Street

  • Ping Zheng, Luminous Night, 2020, oil stick on paper, 25 3⁄4 × 19 3⁄4".

    Ping Zheng

    For “Reflection,” Ping Zheng’s intimate exhibition of fourteen oil-stick-on-paper paintings at Kristen Lorello, the artist created dreamlike, supersaturated pictures of nature. Zheng, who was raised in China and is now based in Brooklyn, made all the works in 2020, our pandemic year. The pieces in this show were based on observation and memory, combining the different stages of day and night the artist tracked from the rooftop of her studio building in New York with images of waterfalls, lakes, and expanses of night sky she recalled from childhood. An extraterrestrial incandescence suffused many

  • Ann Shelton, The Witch, Penny Royal (Mentha sp.), 2020, pigment print, 44 x 33".
    picks March 03, 2021

    Ann Shelton


    If you google “herbal abortion,” sisterzeus.com might be one of your top online search results. The throwback GeoCities-era website, which describes itself as “a women’s guide to synergistic fertility management,” offers information—after clicking through several disclaimers—about plants that could induce menstruation (emmenagogues) and abortion (abortifacients). In 2015, the New Zealand–based photographer Ann Shelton began researching and taking pictures of herbs that have historically been used to control female fertility. In her ongoing series “jane says,” started that year, Shelton shapes

  • Jessica Wilson, Not Normally at Rest (Part 3, the Musical), 2020, video, color, sound, 3 minutes 48 seconds. From the four-part suite Not Normally at Rest.

    Jessica Wilson

    An entire genre of quarantine art reflecting on the experience of isolation emerged this past summer. Jessica Wilson’s Not Normally at Rest, 2020—a suite of animated videos starring an anthropomorphized duplex wall outlet in a nondescript apartment—tapped into a shared sense of anxiety among those of us still trapped at home. The title alone could be imagined as a defensive response to the question How are you?—a charged greeting we’ve heard over and over again in the last several months via text messages and Zoom calls, mandatory check-ins, online classes, work meetings, pessimistic political

  •  Jesse Chun, SULLAE 술래, 2020, three-channel video, color, sound, 6 minutes 25 seconds.
    interviews September 08, 2020

    Jesse Chun

    A New York­­–based artist who has previously lived in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Canada, Jesse Chun studies the way language—especially English—shapes cultural experience. From the tedium of bureaucratic boilerplate to the social attitudes embedded in the ESL curriculum, Chun manipulates the tools of English-language pedagogy and officialdom to expose the linguistic imperialism of this so-called common tongue. In the past, she has used children’s alphabet toys as molds for silicone and graphite sculptures, creating abstract, illegible forms. Other bodies of work build a visual lexicon from the

  • Hiba Schahbaz, Roots (After Frida), 2020, watercolor, gouache, tea, and gold leaf on wasli, 14 × 11".

    Hiba Schahbaz

    Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Hiba Schahbaz studied Indo-Persian miniature painting in Lahore before moving to New York about a decade ago. Her work melds the formal traditions of this genre with contemporary interests of self-representation, as the perspectives of female artists are virtually absent from the history of this type of imagemaking. Schahbaz’s art features stylized nude figures based on her own likeness and range in scale from small paintings to life-size installations composed of paper cutouts. “In Solitude,” her online-only exhibition at De Buck Gallery, featured seven intimately

  • View of “Zsófia Keresztes,” 2020. From left: Easy targets, heavy bites I, 2020; The Failure, 2020.

    Zsófia Keresztes

    Five years ago, the artist Audrey Wollen shook the internet with her “Sad Girl Theory,” proposing the notion of female sadness as a mode of politicized resistance that runs counter to the “lean-in” rhetoric of empowerment feminism. In her photo series “Repetition,” 2014–15, Wollen re-created artworks made by men, in which she posed as moody, modern versions of art history’s female muses. (One image shows Wollen from behind, lounging nude in bed like Ingres’s odalisque. She gazes at her laptop webcam, while the front of her body is displayed on the screen.) The reception to this project was

  • Annabel Daou, WHEN IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS (detail), 2019–20, ink and correction fluid on paper, dimensions variable.

    Annabel Daou

    Although political discourse contains language that is seemingly direct, it is subject to endless interpretation and reinterpretation. Take the Declaration of Independence’s “All men are created equal,” which has been quoted with rhetorical flourish by American civil rights icons including Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In a 2009 interview, Donald Trump—a willfully obtuse man who is barely literate—called the statement “very confusing.” This ugly moment foreshadowed his presidency, one that is bolstered by supporters—such as White Lives Matter, among other

  • Viva Ruiz, Thank God for Abortion, Pride, 2019, vinyl installation. 79 1/2 x 53''.
    slant March 13, 2020

    Weapon of Choice

    A DECADE AGO, while living in Houston, Texas, I volunteered as a patient escort at the city’s Planned Parenthood downtown office. Then located on a busy street, the reproductive-care clinic’s public location attracted a diverse cross-section of the anti-choice movement. The scenes outside the office ranged from the bizarre to the ghoulish. In a modern interpretation of the Battle of Jericho, one man circled the building seven times every afternoon and blew on a shofar, in hopes that the clinic would crumble to the ground. Busloads of students from religious high schools in Houston’s conservative

  • Whitney Hubbs, Animal, Hole, Selfie, (detail) 2020, color contact prints on mirror, 36 x 60".
    picks February 03, 2020

    Whitney Hubbs

    It wouldn’t be a stretch to call Whitney Hubbs a photographer’s photographer, invested as she is in the medium’s history and technique. But her images possess a psychosexual tension—not to mention a preoccupation with staging—that aligns them with performance art. In the exhibition “Animal, Hole, Selfie,” these subjects are captured in a trio of sumptuous black-and-white images: a picture of a horse shot from above, standing curiously still amid piles of its own manure; the evocatively dark opening of a cavern; and a nude self-portrait the artist snaps in a mirror, a snake tattoo coiling around