Wendy Vogel

  • Jessica Vaughn, South Beach Blue No. 389, 2017, fabric scraps on Plexiglas, 57 x 39 x 1/2".
    picks November 17, 2017

    Jessica Vaughn

    Earlier this fall, Omer Fast drew the ire of Chinatown antigentrification activists for his installation at James Cohan’s downtown space, which mimicked a stereotypical neighborhood discount storefront. Jessica Vaughn’s current exhibition, “Receipt of a Form,” confronts similar issues of urban movement and displacement, but she wields her materials with a lighter hand. Vaughn’s modus operandi is simple: She relocates the everyday elements of city life, such as worn-out public-transportation seats and their upholstery scraps, into the gallery. Yet her sculptural works mostly function as frames

  • Victoria Fu, Double Curtain 1, 2017, dye sublimation print on silk, 17' 1“ x 8' 4”.
    picks September 22, 2017

    Victoria Fu

    The California-based artist Victoria Fu appropriates the tactics of illusion used within theater, film, and digital media. Double Curtain 1 (all works 2017), a dramatic piece near the entrance to her exhibition, is coldly spotlit on one side by a digital projector. Printed images on the work’s two diaphanous curtains—hanging back-to-back from a rod suspended from the ceiling—appear to match. But the front-facing curtain, its imagery originally filmed on 16-mm and then digitized, depicts a still from an abstract screen saver full of colorful paint daubs floating against a heavily pixelated

  • Sanford Biggers, BAM (Seated Warrior), 2017, polished bronze, fabric, 78 x 24 x 24". From the series “BAM,” 2015–17.
    picks September 15, 2017

    Sanford Biggers

    Two years after the debut of Sanford Biggers’s controversial sculpture Laocöon, 2015—an inflatable ten-foot-long rendition of the 1970s cartoon character Fat Albert, laid out like a corpse (a eulogy to African Americans murdered by police and to the “character assassination” of Bill Cosby, according to the artist)—he has retooled his kill-your-idols theme. For “Selah,” Biggers moves away from depicting literal scenes of black death toward a more symbolically complicated process where icons of black culture are both cannibalized and consecrated. The exhibition features several sculptures from

  • Sofiyah McCormack, Chin up, 2017, watercolor and collage on paper, 15 x 11".
    picks September 01, 2017

    “Pearls”

    “I don’t enjoy it here / squatting on this island / looking picturesque and mythical,” says the narrator of Margaret Atwood’s 1974 poem “Siren Song,” a second-wave-feminist retort to Homer’s amphibious temptresses in the Odyssey. Today, it appears that sirens have been culturally domesticated, seen less as femmes fatales than as ethereal beauty inspirations for #mermaidhair and #seawitch looks. “Pearls,” curated by Natalie Yang, brings together works by seven female artists in their early twenties who reclaim the siren as a symbol of desire, ecosorcery, and vulnerability.

    A recent New York

  • Artist Jessica Jackson Hutchins in her installation Reason to Be. Photo: Laura Fried.
    diary August 22, 2017

    W.I.T.C.H. Way

    WHEN I TOUCHED DOWN IN WASHINGTON on a recent Thursday for the third edition of the Seattle Art Fair, the city was uncharacteristically hot and hazy, enveloped in smoke from forest fires raging nearby in Canada.

    But even the miasma couldn’t dampen my excitement about visiting the metropolis that loomed so large in my 1990s teen imagination. Seeking some classic Seattle vibes, I quickly made my way to Pike Place Market for a strong coffee and zine browsing at the radical Left Bank Books. The atmospheric conditions rivaled LA at its worst, obscuring the Puget Sound and Jeff Bezos’s Amazon biodomes

  • Brendan Fernandes, Hit Back, 2017. Performance view, Recess, New York, August 10, 2017. John Alix, Khadija Griffith, Oisín Monaghan. Photo: Wendy Ploger.
    interviews August 15, 2017

    Brendan Fernandes

    Brendan Fernandes’s practice straddles the intersection of art and dance, addressing questions of labor, queerness, colonialism, and the formation of identity. For the New York nonprofit Recess, Fernandes has produced Steady Pulse, a project which comprises Minimalist-inspired sculptural elements and a series of events that call to mind the Pulse massacre in Orlando and the vitality of the body in times of political precarity. Every Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 6 PM, through August 26, 2017, dancers will hold open rehearsals of the collaborative dance piece Hit Back. On August 19, 2017, from

  • View of “Naama Tsabar: Transboundary,” 2017.
    picks August 04, 2017

    Naama Tsabar

    For all the comparisons between musical instruments and human bodies—especially the guitar as a stand-in for a wasp-waisted woman—relatively few sound artists confront the gendered history of musical performance. Naama Tsabar is an exception. In “Transboundary,” her first solo exhibition here, she shows four monochrome sculptures in felt, strung with piano wire and attached to amps. Like Robert Morris’s felt sculptures from the late 1960s, their scale evokes the body. But unlike Morris’s felts, which were arrayed in folds that often resembled the female form, Tsabar’s sculptures are pinned to

  • Joan Snyder, Dear Irene, 1970, oil, acrylic, pencil, and spray paint on canvas, 15 x 15".
    picks July 21, 2017

    “Elaine, Let’s Get the Hell Out of Here”

    The snappy title of this summer group exhibition—“Elaine, Let’s Get the Hell Out of Here”—comes from an anecdote relayed by Elaine de Kooning in response to Linda Nochlin’s feminist essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” (both Nochlin’s essay and de Kooning’s tale were published in the January 1971 issue of Artnews). The painter recalled an incident when a boorish man at a party began to ask her and Joan Mitchell, “What do you women artists think . . . ?” Not waiting around for him to finish his query, Mitchell—as famous for her uncompromising attitude as for her take on Abstract

  • Kameelah Janan Rasheed, A Supple Perimeter (detail), 2017, archival ink-jet prints, monoprints, Xerox copies, wheat paste, text fragments, self-authored poems, video, overhead projector, black Plexiglas, dimensions variable.
    picks June 23, 2017

    Kameelah Janan Rasheed

    “This is a stout truth. Are you trying to die on that question?” This is printed on a piece of letter-size white paper, one of hundreds of black-and-white sheets covering a freestanding wall, like ads on a city street. The wall serves as an introduction to A Supple Perimeter, 2017, Kameelah Janan Rasheed’s installation here. But the “stout truth” cuts like a knife—especially following the recent acquittal of the police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile, a young black man, during a traffic stop last year.

    Investigating race through text and images, Rasheed’s works take the form of writing

  • View of “Body Language,” 2017.
    picks May 05, 2017

    “Body Language”

    The body, in its irrationality and potential for extinction, overwhelms language. This group show, with its melancholic and liberatory overtones, gestures toward that idea. Forcing a strict divide between language and movement, niv Acosta’s digital film Clapback, 2016, brings together sequences from a performance that debuted at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. Part of the video presents questions accompanied by house music. The queries alternate between the stuff of social-media surveys (“Kissed any of your Facebook friends?” “Slept in until 5PM?”) to items directed toward

  • Trish Tillman, Afterschool Locker (detail), 2017, hand-printed vinyl, wood, metal, horsehair, resin, tacks, 66 x 37 x 6".
    picks April 14, 2017

    Trish Tillman

    Imagine a ménage à trois between a suburban thrift store, a midcentury modern furniture salon, and a sex shop—the love children born of such a hot-’n’-heavy session might be Trish Tillman’s sculptures. The artist’s current exhibition includes eleven deliciously queered, carefully composed objects. Longhorns, horsehair, metal studs, tassels—Tillman’s decorative references are eclectic but with a Texan flair, and ready for all manner of action with their helpful orifices and prongs.

    Her wall-mounted modular pieces seem like headboards from the world’s kinkiest hotel. Afterschool Locker (all works

  • Harold Mendez, let X stand, if it can for the one’s unfound (After Proceso Pentágono) II, 2016, ink and toner on paper mounted on Sintra, 29 1/2 x 19 1/2".
    picks March 31, 2017

    “ONE.”

    Inaugurating a Bedford-Stuyvesant art space named after the neighborhood’s cash-for-gold shops, the exhibition “ONE.” traffics in sobering monochromes rather than glittery baubles. The three exhibiting artists are united in their desire to explore how political abstractions become tools of oppression. Yet that doesn’t mean their works rely on representational tactics that are easily digestible. Torkwase Dyson reveals how environmental degradation, architecture, and racial injustice are intertwined. The artist gives us two new reliefs, subjective interpretations of black architecture, such as