Wendy Vogel

  • 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

  • Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Untitled (detail), 2018, ink-jet-printed vinyl, grommets, 10 x 35'.
    picks October 02, 2018

    Sara Greenberger Rafferty

    Dramatically unfurling down the entryway of this gallery, a thirty-five-foot-long, untitled ink-jet-on-vinyl piece (all works 2018) hangs from grommets, on which Sara Greenberger Rafferty seems to have dumped the contents of her Google Drive. Dotted with rectangular icons ordered roughly by color, the work reveals Rafferty’s preoccupations with various kinds of staging. In it are a number of selfies the artist took in a Dior shirt that pays homage to art historian Linda Nochlin—emblazoned across it is “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists,” the title of Nochlin’s famous 1971 essay—alongside

  • Ruby Sky Stiler, Seated Woman (Facing Right), 2018, acid-free foamcore, aqua-resin, paint, graphite, and thermal adhesive on panel, 50 x 60".
    picks September 21, 2018

    Ruby Sky Stiler

    Feminists have made a project of decoupling womanhood from motherhood, even going so far as to denaturalize it. This impulse informs groundbreaking bodies of work, such as Mary Kelly’s Post-Partum Document, 1973–79, a conceptual piece that records the parent-child relationship through various means, such as diary entries and stained diapers. But there are fewer examples of how paternity might be reimagined—even celebrated—through this lens.

    In “Fathers,” Ruby Sky Stiler applies her syncretic method to depicting the intimacies of fatherhood. Her reliefs, grids of painted foamcore panels, make

  • Justine Kurland, Bathroom, 1997, C-print, 11 × 14".

    Justine Kurland

    A few years after Justine Kurland started shooting her “Girl Pictures,” 1997–2002, she was dubbed a “girl photographer.” Although the label feels limiting, if not downright misogynistic, Kurland artistically came of age in the 1990s, a decade that celebrated the more renegade aspects of female adolescence. The “Riot Grrrl Manifesto,” published in a zine put out by feminist punk band Bikini Kill in 1991, plainly stated the case for reclaiming the word: “BECAUSE we are angry at a society that tells us Girl = Dumb, Girl = Bad, Girl = Weak.”

    At Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Kurland’s series, exhibited for


    The famous guitar smashers of history have traditionally been men: Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend, Kurt Cobain. Naama Tsabar first appropriated this macho gesture in a 2014 performance, during which she wielded her instrument like an ax to destroy the stage. Tsabar’s recent sonic sculptures merge the visual language of Minimalism with raw acoustic power. Activated by female-identified performers and audiences, these works question the auratic untouchability of the art object and the gendered conventions of popular music. For “Melody of a Certain Damage” at CCA Tel Aviv—which

  • Wide Rainbows curatorial director Lola Kramer, Bevin Butler, artist Elizabeth Jaeger, Wide Rainbows founder Ashley Gail Harris, curator Eliza Ryan, Morgan Connellee, and Wide Rainbows director Maia Ruth Lee. (Photo: Dan McMahon)
    diary May 18, 2018

    She Brakes for Rainbows

    IT’S HARD FOR ME to feel at home at most “gala season” events. For starters, I can’t hold my alcohol. I also start to feel a serious disconnect between my roots—as the Jersey-born offspring of a family of public school teachers—and the way certain sectors of the art world court the one percent. Not to mention the fact that soigné events almost never take place in my neighborhood.

    But Wide Rainbow’s first annual gala on May 14 was the exception to the rule. The nonprofit organization, founded three years ago by Ashley Gail Harris, is a DIY female-empowerment engine providing free after-school arts

  • Isaac Pool, Starter Pack, 2017, ceramic and wire base, plastic cucumber, rubber band, lightbulb, eyeliner, mascara, and Heatherette for MAC lipgloss, 16 x 6 x 4".
    picks February 09, 2018

    Isaac Pool

    “Good sister, bad sister / better burn that dress, sister / scar tissue blood blister / suck upon the dregs, sister.” The lyrics to this Hole song, from their unrelentingly rage-filled 1991 album Pretty on the Inside, are chanted like a spell by the actors in Isaac Pool’s object-play 40 Volume, 2016. The work stars four sculptures on pedestals (moved from the gallery into an adjacent black-box space for the performance’s two-night run). The characters, voiced live by actors, include a robust head of fennel—the diva—and three vases composed of tube socks suggestively encrusted with hair gel. The