Will Fenstermaker

  • picks November 27, 2019

    Michael Wolf

    Michael Wolf’s solo exhibition here—the first since his death this past April—is a sampling from this prolific photographer’s oeuvre. Wolf, who was born in Germany but spent much of his life in China, inflected his pictures with the grandness of nineteenth-century European landscape painting while maintaining a hyperrealistic clarity synonymous with contemporary German photography. What initially come across as austere depictions of bleak modernist architecture and urban existence often break down into frank and, at various times, jarring moments of intimacy.

    Two photo series by Wolf, “Transparent

  • picks October 31, 2019

    Vik Muniz

    Vik Muniz’s pair of exhibitions here, titled “Surfaces” and “Museum of Ashes,” present two facets of the artist’s ongoing interest in what critic Jonathan Crary calls vision as a “mode of work.” Muniz is known for his whimsical reinterpretations of famous artworks, such as Caravaggio’s painting Medusa, 1597–99, which he remade out of garbage then photographed. In “Surfaces,” Muniz turns to modernist abstraction—images that, like his, take effort to see. For instance, Iberia, after Carmen Herrera, Surfaces and Provincetown I, after Marsden Hartley, Surfaces (both 2019) are pictures of the iconic

  • picks May 20, 2019

    Yuji Agematsu

    One way to understand a culture is through its trash. Yuji Agematsu’s sculptures in this show—composed of chewing gum and cigarettes, pigeon feathers and shattered glass, dirty Band-Aids and condoms, among other things—are made from New York’s detritus, which coats the streets like dandruff. Each tiny work—and there are hundreds—has its own discrete character.

    Every day since 1985, Agematsu has taken daily walks throughout the boroughs (he moved to Huntington, New York for school in 1980, and ended up studying with the jazz musician Milford Graves only one year later). Each jaunt has been diligently

  • picks April 30, 2019

    Walid Raad

    Here is evidence of history’s refusal to be inscribed as mere images. Walid Raad’s exhibition is the latest episode of Sweet Talk, n.d., a long-running body of work premised as the output of a fictional collective “commissioned” to document Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War. The group’s first assignment was to photograph storefronts for a local militia. Arranged here as a typology grid, these pictures are affectless and formal, like Eugène Atget’s photos of window displays in Paris or Walker Evans’s images of shops across the United States. Yet, a wall text claims that the owners of the

  • picks March 13, 2019

    Derrick Adams

    Derrick Adams’s exhibition here, “Interior Life,” evokes a comfortable bourgeois dwelling. With the exception of Adams’s portraits from his ongoing series “Deconstruction Worker,” 2011–, all of this brownstone’s congenial appointments—sleek modernist furniture, elegant vases, stainless-steel appliances—are mere wallpaper, graphic representations of the good life, which are delineated into specific areas of a home. In the family parlor (that is, the first gallery), three portraits of anonymous sitters hang above a mantelpiece and a sculpture of a Black Power salute. Elsewhere, soul food recipes