William Ganis

  • picks April 22, 2013

    Kelly Richardson

    “Legion” is attitudinally split between room-size, seemingly earnest video installations and smaller, witty videos. This division might lead one to believe that Kelly Richardson loses her appreciation for humor and comic absurdity when working in large, multichannel formats: The relatively small and simple Ferman Drive, 2003–2005, by contrast shows a long tracking shot of suburban banality interrupted by a punch line—a house (the artist’s childhood home) spins like a top. Her descriptively titled A car stopped at a stop sign in the middle of nowhere, in front of a landscape, 2001, shows similar

  • picks November 14, 2012

    Kristine Moran

    Kristine Moran departs from her more representational work of recent years in her latest solo exhibition, which comprises nine polymorphic oil works painted in 2012. Bits of illusionistic architecture and landscape nevertheless remain present to set up ambiguous dimensionalities. Despite a preponderance of nonobjectivity, these works’ hard edges, thick paint, and high-key hues create, as in the lens of a microscope, shallow depths of field with sharp foregrounded elements. Washes, blends, and muted tones diffuse into unfocused atmospheric backgrounds. Through contrasts, such as those observed

  • picks March 01, 2012

    Carl Ostendarp

    In subversive institutional interventions, Carl Ostendarp transforms two of the Johnson Museum’s galleries with offbeat art selections, intensely pigmented murals, and pulsing music. Following curatorial incursions like Andy Warhol’s “Raid the Icebox,” 1970, and Fred Wilson’s Mining the Museum, 1992, Ostendarp’s installations incorporate—and thereby recontextualize—works from the museum’s collections. The resulting Fat Cakes and Myopic Void (all works 2012) occupy galleries on different floors of the I. M. Pei–designed building, and challenge the site’s material austerity and white walls.

  • picks February 08, 2012

    “Preternatural”

    In “Preternatural,” curator Celina Jeffery addresses ways that contemporary art constructs epistemologies beyond the scientific; in so doing, she offers compelling counterexamples to the disconnect between spirituality and contemporary art that art historian James Elkins has observed. Fittingly for a show about unconventional perceptions, this exhibition is framed within three idiosyncratic spaces: a deconsecrated Catholic church, a gallery in a strip mall, and a natural history museum.

    A performance installation at St. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts brings to mind spirit photography— Adrian Göllner

  • picks December 19, 2011

    Victoria Sambunaris

    A name like “Kodachrome Basin” for a Utah park speaks to epistemological troubles for the American landscape, many of which have been captured through iconic, lens-based imagery. But what of “actual” spaces not set aside to satisfy aesthetic yearnings—pipeline-traversed valleys or superhighway mountain passes? Victoria Sambunaris’s task, as seen in her current solo show, is to work around powerful photographic and cinematic precessions, and she does so partially by anchoring each landscape with built interventions—pipelines and train tracks give scale, social significance, and presentness to