Wendy Vogel

  • Dana Hoey, Imogene Simmons, 2019, ink-jet print, 32 1⁄4 × 24 3⁄4".

    Dana Hoey

    From catfights to survivors of the great outdoors, Dana Hoey’s photographs represent tensions within and among her female subjects. Since the late 1990s, much of the discourse surrounding her work has centered on its fictional and nonfictional aspects—that is, the distinction between her staged and candid pictures. Her latest solo exhibition at Petzel, “Dana Hoey Presents,” is premised on the “parafictional.” Hoey’s use of the term, however, does not refer to the slippage of imaginary characters into reality but draws on what the art historian Carrie Lambert-Beatty describes as practices “built

  • View of “Lily van der Stokker: Exhibition of the Medicines,” 2019.
    picks September 20, 2019

    Lily van der Stokker

    Lily van der Stokker’s candy-colored work has always tempered its sense of twee with a critical bite. In “Exhibition of the Medicines,” a chiffon-yellow palette serves as the Dutch artist’s backdrop for a diaristic divulgence of the drugs and doctors that treat her and her friends’ maladies. Now in her mid-sixties, she considers the everyday subject matter of aging—that most universal concern. Her new drawings take on a heavier meaning here in the United States, where essential oils are hawked as preventive care, but single-payer health insurance remains a pipe dream.

    The artist’s mural Age 65.75

  • Heidi Bucher, Der Schlüpfakt der Parkettlibelle (The Hatching of the Parquet Dragonfly), 1983, textile garment, latex, mother-of-pearl pigment, 51 1⁄8 × 41 3⁄8".

    Heidi Bucher

    “We, all women, have quite a primeval relationship to textiles,” said the Swiss artist Heidi Bucher (1926–1993) in an interview from 1975. She draws a connection between fabric as women’s labor (“We’ve made it all ourselves”) and as capital (“the [bridal] trousseau and all that”), a frank reference to women as chattel passed from father to husband. At the time of the interview, Bucher was navigating a radical shift in her creative practice and personal life. Following her divorce in the early 1970s from the artist Carl Bucher, who collaborated with her on various fashion and art projects, she

  • Heather Dewey-Hagborg, T3511, 2018, multichannel video, color, sound, 9 minutes 4 seconds.
    picks July 24, 2019

    Heather Dewey-Hagborg

    “To break the cell is to trespass the most intimate of spaces,” intones Heather Dewey-Hagborg in T3511, 2018, a multichannel video that centers on her obsession over an anonymous saliva sample she purchased online in 2016. We learn through a (potentially fictional) series of narrated letters that the saliva came from a mysterious entity called Donor T2305. The artist then sent off a portion of the material to get genetically tested. Upon receiving the results, she profiles the donor—a male, dark-haired fortysomething from the Saint Louis area—and finds a match named “Michael Daniels” on social

  • Chiara Fumai, The S.C.U.M. Elite, 2014/2019. Performance view, The International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York, February 12, 2019. Simone Couto. Photo: Manuel Molina Martagon.

    Chiara Fumai

    “A ‘male artist’ is a contradiction in terms,” wrote the radical feminist Valerie Solanas in the infamous SCUM Manifesto (1967). The quote appeared in black lettering on a white wall in a 2013 series of photographs by the late artist Chiara Fumai (1978–2017). In her self-portraits posing as various historical figures, Fumai impersonated the Venetian noblewoman Elisabetta Querini; Annie Jones, a bearded lady in P. T. Barnum’s freak show; the stunt magician Harry Houdini; and others. Fumai possessed the intensity and shape shifting abilities of the most charismatic performers. Her feminist art

  • View of “Lex Brown,” 2019. From left: Sync, 2019; Animal Static (detail), 2019; New Codes, 2019.

    Lex Brown

    Lex Brown’s exhibition “Animal Static” was a dizzying, attention-span-fraying fun house of irony and gloom—just like the internet. The projectors and spotlights in the exhibition were activated by spectators via motion-sensor technology (when you stepped back from a work, for instance, its sources of illumination immediately dimmed). And in the case of the comedic three-channel video that gave the show its title (all works 2019), the content progressively degenerated into stretches of visual and linguistic glitching.

    Animal Static lays out sundry narratives that take on content producers, tragic

  • American Artist, I'm Blue, 1, 2019, school desk, hardware, ballistic shield, navy blue fabric, books, 66 x 24 x 35".
    picks March 22, 2019

    American Artist

    Millennial viewers will recognize the title of American Artist’s solo exhibition “I’m Blue (If I Was █████ I Would Die)” as a permutation of a nonsense line from Eiffel 65’s 1998 Europop earworm, “Blue (Da Ba Dee).” The word green (which some people seem to mishear in the lyric) is covered up by a censor bar—the bar itself is a symbol for blackness. American Artist underscores the incompatibility of black and brown lives with law enforcement, or, rather, “blue lives.”

    The exhibition revolves around Blue Life Seminar (all works 2019), an animated video monologue presenting a figure based on two

  • View of “Ellen Rothenberg: ISO 6346: ineluctable immigrant,” 2019.
    picks March 14, 2019

    Ellen Rothenberg

    The construction of inhumane “tent cities” for migrant children along the US–Mexico border made international news last fall. One might think that Germany, which took in more than one million refugees in 2015 at the peak of the migrant crisis, would have devised a more benevolent solution. Alas, according to Ellen Rothenberg’s installation ISO 6346: ineluctable immigrant_,_ 2018, that wasn’t the case. The artist conceived this work to mimic the shipping-container settlements for refugees—the so-called Tempohomes built by a state agency—at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport, which was never finished by

  • Jane Kaplowitz, Announcement Card, An Artist’s Studio, 1993, acrylic on canvas, 48 × 48".

    Jane Kaplowitz

    Embedded in the nebulous and frequently exasperating terrain of emotional labor is the work of keeping up appearances. For the romantic partners of powerful people—often the wives of men—these efforts usually germinate into an alter ego that plays the dual role of host and companion. Jane Kaplowitz’s exhibition “RSVP: Jane Rosenblum (1977–2018)” paid tribute to this performance of self. Kaplowitz was married to the renowned art historian Robert Rosenblum, some twenty years her senior, who died in 2006. Over the course of their relationship, the artist found herself at the center of the art world

  • Pooneh Maghazehe
, Just for the Taste of It, 2018, MDF, beach towel, PlastiDip, trash bag, angle iron, hot glue, 
5 x 3 x 7".
    picks January 24, 2019

    Pooneh Maghazehe

    Following her exhibition last fall at New York’s 17ESSEX, which touched upon mythological appearances of twins, Pooneh Maghazehe’s “2for1” here finds its roots in a more pedestrian story. In the press release, the artist writes about spotting a pair of identical twin girls in Miami—prepubescent and blonde, sharing equal sips of a Diet Coke. Maghazehe, likening the calorie-free soda to a “phantom umbilical cord,” tethers the twins’ emerging sense of “look at us!” to the consumerist logic of “buy one, get one free.”

    Her subtly allegorical sculptures bring together paired and bizarrely branded

  • Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Guarded Secrets, 2015, sheep rawhide, nylon thread, porcupine quills, archival adhesive, dimensions variable. From “The Un-Heroic Act: Representations of Rape in Contemporary Women’s Art in the U.S.”

    “The Un-Heroic Act: Representations of Rape in Contemporary Women’s Art in the U.S.”

    During Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearing, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified to how he sexually assaulted her as a high school student. In support of Ford, Artemisia Gentileschi’s vengeful painting Judith Slaying Holofernes, ca. 1620, based on a Biblical story in which a strong-armed Judith and her maidservant behead the titular Assyrian general, was circulated on social media as a meme. Captioned with women’s empowerment hashtags, such as #SlaySisters, the artwork distilled contemporary feminist rage. 

    “The Un-Heroic Act: Representations of Rape in Contemporary

  • Kathy Butterly, Baked Sale, 2018, clay, glaze, 4 5⁄8 ×  5 3⁄8 × 5 3⁄8".

    Kathy Butterly

    At Ken Price’s 2013 retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, my companions and I (all full-grown adults) dared each other to reach a finger inside the black openings of his colorful glazed vessels. The voids, so impossibly matte and inky, beckoned a touch to determine if they were real or just an illusion. The ceramics of Kathy Butterly, who counts Price as an influence, are equally seductive to the eyes and hands. But where Price played with depth as a trick, Butterly uses it to expand the amount of painstaking detail in her sensuous pieces.

    For “Thought Presence,” Butterly