Wendy Vogel

  • View of “Beverly Buchanan—Ruins and Rituals,” 2016–17.
    picks November 11, 2016

    Beverly Buchanan

    “I think that artists in the South must at some point confront the work of folk artists,” the late artist Beverly Buchanan said. But Buchanan, who is known for her colorful shack sculptures emulating Southern vernacular architecture, was anything but an outsider artist. In the early 1970s, she studied with Norman Lewis and Romare Bearden while working as a New Jersey health educator. She also gained the support of such curators as Lucy Lippard and Lowery Stokes Sims. Yet as a black woman artist who spent the height of her artistic career in Georgia, her work has not been given its historical

  • View of “WOUND: Mending Time and Attention,” 2016.
    picks October 21, 2016

    “WOUND: Mending Time and Attention”

    The word wound is one of the English language’s most powerful and contradictory homographs. As a noun it means bodily damage, a rending of the flesh or psyche; and as the past participle of wind, to have twisted something up. Artist Caroline Woolard defines her social-practice project WOUND, started in 2013, as the latter—like what one does to a clock. And yet “Mending Time and Attention,” an exhibition and a series of workshops organized by WOUND, seeks to heal the pain inflicted by late capitalism’s compartmentalization and commodification of time.

    Conceived as a study center, WOUND is best

  • Sara VanDerBeek, Quilt Collage I, 2016, acrylic on fiberglass-reinforced plaster and water-based reactive dye printed on cotton voile, 48 x 12 x 12”.
    picks October 07, 2016

    Sara VanDerBeek

    Sara VanDerBeek’s work mirrors the changing techniques and cultural status of photography. A decade ago, her practice was broadly curatorial, especially as a partner in the artist-run gallery Guild & Greyshkul. We saw this in her museological photographs, too, which brought together cultural artifacts from pre-modern eras to today. Now, she has turned inward and observational, tracing the perceptual effects of light and time on simple sculptural forms. In “Pieced Quilts, Wrapped Forms,” VanDerBeek zeroes in on the geometric vocabulary of textiles. She returns to her palette of daybreak pinks,

  • Ida Applebroog, Mercy Hospital, 1970, ink and watercolor on paper, 24 x 19".
    picks August 17, 2016

    Ida Applebroog

    “Mercy Hospital,” an intimate exhibition of Ida Applebroog’s work, creates a narrative both poignant and bitterly ironic about illness and institutions. The series “Mercy Hospital,” 1969–70, comprises her private diary created over a six-week stay in a San Diego psychiatric ward. As an alternative to conventional therapeutic methods, Applebroog rendered abstracted images of limbs or alien-like womb forms in pencil, ink, and glowing washes of watercolor. To these she added phrases such as “Not made in America” and “Upside-down Appelbaum”—the latter incorporating her maiden name. (She legally

  • Liz Craft, Spider Woman Purple Dress (detail), 2015, papier-mâché, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    picks June 10, 2016

    “Mirror Cells”

    “Emo is on the verge of a comeback,” I told a friend not long ago. And wouldn’t you know it, the next day I heard the unmistakable wah-wah melody of Modest Mouse’s “Dramamine” thudding through my floorboards, courtesy of my neighbors. Though it is not exactly twee, we are living in a moment of confessional culture, bolstered by important discussions about the social consequences of identity. “Mirror Cells,” the first group show of contemporary sculpture in the Whitney’s newish building, acknowledges this personal turn. The exhibition brings together five artists who realize inner worlds through

  • Eva Kot’átková, Animals I'm Scared of: . . . (Collection of Anxieties), 2016, wood, paint, metal, string, plastic funnel, stone, chalk, paper, glass, dimensions variable.
    picks May 27, 2016

    Eva Kot’átková

    At the beginning of her career, Eva Kot’átková’s practice seemed inextricable from the past, both personal and artistic, that fed it. Born in 1982 in Prague, the artist spent her early childhood behind the Iron Curtain. Her striking installations and collages, featuring the body under institutional constraint, evoke the aesthetics of Eastern European Dada and Surrealism. Today, Kot’átková’s work, which has focused on the inmates of prisons and asylums, is more suited to the critical lens of disability studies via psychoanalysis than to art-historical connect-the-dots. (Not coincidentally, the

  • Left: Artist Suna Kafadar, Produce director and curator Zeynep Öz, and Fol Cinema Society's Burak Çevik. Right: Ricardo Cástro (left) and Daisy Lambert (right). (All photos: Wendy Vogel)
    diary May 23, 2016

    Fresh Produce

    EQUIPPED WITH NEW BALANCES (sneakers-as-fashion were made for Istanbul) and an iPhone with international data, I landed at the opening of Produce, the third SPOT Production Fund biennial, late last month, just a few hours after touching down at Atatürk airport. Even though I had visited the city before, I remained in need of cultural decoding, and not just the headset I donned for simultaneous translation during the mostly Turkish-language program.

    Directed by SPOT cofounder Zeynep Öz, a former assistant curator of Ashkal Alwan’s Home Works festival in Beirut, Produce replicates the Home Works

  • View of “Willa Nasatir,” 2016.
    picks April 08, 2016

    Willa Nasatir

    Over the past two decades, photography, like film, has suffered an identity crisis in the face of proliferating digital technologies. The situation has led to a rise in self-reflexive practices—photography about darkroom processing, for instance. This impulse, however, is waning, and photography seems ripe for experiments with narrative that fly in the face of objectivity and indexicality. Willa Nasatir is a young artist who steers away from the strictness of medium-specificity and embraces psychological subject matter in her work.

    Nasatir’s four glossy C-prints feel as though they’ve come out

  • Zarouhie Abdalian, Interregnum, 2016, printed mesh fabric, 93 x 44''.
    picks April 01, 2016

    Zarouhie Abdalian

    Displacement, dismantlement, and mirroring are at the heart of Oakland-based Zarouhie Abdalian’s first solo show in New York, “A Betrayal.” Despite a spare, poetic visual vocabulary, Abdalian’s site-responsive work reverberates with frustration and anger toward a failing political system and the violence of gentrification.

    Close of Winter (all works 2016), a window gate taken apart into four sections that stand as spindly floor-bound sculptures, testifies to the broken nature of “broken windows” policing. The works, with their delicate, organic motifs—a contemporary response to Giacometti’s

  • View of “Mika Tajima,” 2016.
    picks February 26, 2016

    Mika Tajima

    Mika Tajima’s work probes the tension between the rationalism of modernist aesthetics and the fragmentary—if not destructive—quality of modern life. Since the early 2000s, she has been creating noise music with her band New Humans and installations based on architecture that molds the activity of its inhabitants. Cinema sets, factory assembly lines, and Herman Miller’s Action Office of modular furniture are among her references.

    Recently, Tajima has explored the symbiotic relationship between design and human affect, aided by data-scraping technology. “Embody” (all works 2015–16), her exhibition

  • Douglas Coupland, Imagine a Car Crash . . ., 2011, acrylic and latex on canvas, 72 x 72”.
    picks April 01, 2013

    DECENTER

    The first Armory Show in 1913 effectively introduced American audiences to modern art; the vast, widely publicized art fair served as the United States debut for European avant-garde movements like Cubism and Fauvism, and provided major exposure for stateside modernists like Charles Sheeler and Marsden Hartley. “DECENTER: An Exhibition on the Centenary of the 1913 Armory Show” at the Abrons Arts Center—the initial announcement of the venue’s construction was made in 1963 on the occasion of the Armory’s fiftieth anniversary—pays homage to the show’s particular influence on contemporary art by

  • View of “The Empathics,” 2012.
    picks December 26, 2012

    Saya Woolfalk

    Saya Woolfalk’s first solo museum exhibition—an ethnographic display of artifacts from a fictional all-female tribe of plant-human hybrids called the Empathics—demands a suspension of disbelief. Created by Woolfalk as an idealized metaphor for cultural hybridity, the Empathics blend racial, ethnic, and species characteristics, gaining supernatural powers of compassion through their mix of qualities. The immersive installation of colorful life-size mannequins, textiles, paintings, video, and photography, all credited as loans from the fictive Institute of Empathy headed by the Empathics themselves,