Wendy Vogel

  • Lisa Oppenheim, Miroir entouré d’oiseaux, 1943/2022, ten-part suite of collaged gelatin silver prints, each 35 × 24 7⁄8".

    Lisa Oppenheim

    Lisa Oppenheim’s show “Spolia” extended her investigations into the reproduction and occlusions of cultural memory, this time by diving into the documentation of art that was looted by the Nazis from Jewish citizens in occupied territories during World War II—and that then went missing. Though the exhibition’s title—Latin for “spoils of war”—conjures thoughts of carnage and cultural plunder, many of the show’s works were based on anodyne photographs of stolen still-life paintings. As in her past works, Oppenheim complicated her appropriations, altering her source materials by way of fragmentation,

  • Portia Munson, Today Will Be AWESOME, 2022, found objects, synthetic fabric and cloths, mannequin, salvaged bar table, deconstructed secretary cabinet, 72 × 60 × 70".

    Portia Munson

    In the 1990s, Portia Munson’s scatter-art installations hit a collective nerve. Her manic assemblages of secondhand objects—often organized around a single color, such as pink—critiqued both the politics of consumerism and the reproduction of gender norms through mass-produced items. Over the years, the balance between feminist and ecological concerns has fluctuated in the work. Yet this triumphant show set her preoccupations with gender and commodification on equal footing.

    The exhibition’s largest installation and namesake, Bound Angel, 2021, is a cutting take on patriarchal order and feminine

  • Doreen Lynette Garner, Here Hangs the Skins of a Surgical Sadist! To be physically assaulted by those who identify as Black women, those who formerly identified as Black women, and those who were identified as Black women at birth, 2022, silicone, resin clay, steel, steel pins, rope, raffia, punching bag, cowrie shells, 7' 6“ x 10' 2 1/2” x 7'. 
    picks September 08, 2022

    Doreen Lynette Garner

    As artists returned to figuration in the 2010s, Doreen Lynette Garner burst onto the scene with sculptures that unflinchingly catalogued histories of medical racism. Her solo show here, “REVOLTED,” finds Garner examining the ongoing effects of the slave trade and exemplifies what theorist Christina Sharpe defines as “wake work”—the notion that contemporary Black life must continually affirm itself against the negation of chattel slavery.

    The sculptural installation Feast of the Hogs (all works 2022) connects the dangers of life in the Middle Passage with today’s pandemics. Here, Garner has

  • Kiyan Williams, How Do You Properly Fry an American Flag, 2022, nylon flag, flour, paprika, acrylic fixative, 4 × 6".

    Kiyan Williams

    Smoke literally and metaphorically suffused Kiyan Williams’s solo exhibition “Un/earthing” at Lyles & King. Also lingering in the air were the smell of soil, vegetable oil, and flour, along with assorted seasonings used for summer cookout dishes. Channeling rage and a desire for representation at this turbulent moment in history, the show opened only weeks before the commencement of the January 6 select committee hearings into the Trump-instigated insurrection. Just inside the gallery’s entrance, Williams had installed a dozen four-by-six-inch nylon souvenir American flags that had previously

  • Valerie Solanas in the Village Voice newsroom, 1967. Photo: Fred W. McDarrah/MUUS Collection via Getty Images.
    books August 22, 2022

    Scum As You Are

    UP YOUR ASS. BY VALERIE SOLANAS. Sternberg/Montana, 2022. 104 pages.

    “MY ONLY CONSOLATION’S that I’m me—vivacious, dynamic, single, and a queer,” quips Bongi Perez, the intrepid antiheroine of Valerie Solanas’s Up Your Ass. Written between 1962 and 1965, the play features a wisecracking masc lesbian panhandler and sex worker who sounds a lot like the writer herself. Notorious for shooting Andy Warhol and his associate Mario Amaya in 1968, Solanas’s best-known text is her SCUM Manifesto (1967), outlining a program of male elimination. But it was Up Your Ass, a lesser-known dramatic work, that lay

  • 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