Yuki Higashino

  • picks February 08, 2016

    Maria Lai

    The late Sardinian artist Maria Lai’s works demonstrate the freedom from dogma that artists at the periphery can enjoy. Though her most creative period—the early 1970s to the late 1980s—coincided with the advent of postmodernism, her practice was firmly anchored in a modernist language. However, while the ideal modern artist was figured as a heroic innovator, Lai was a synthesizer of methodologies, liberally taking elements from Arte Povera, Conceptual art, Minimalism, and fiber art, or works by painters such as Cy Twombly and Agnes Martin. These diverse vocabularies constitute Lai’s highly

  • picks January 27, 2016

    “To Expose, to Show, to Demonstrate, to Inform, to Offer”

    Prompted by ongoing social upheavals—including the fall of the Iron Curtain, the advance of globalization, and the AIDS crisis—the artistic paradigm around the 1990s didn’t so much shift as it broke into many overlapping positions that required a nuanced understanding of context. Diverse practices such as activism, politics, and exhibition design were adopted as artistic endeavors. Instead of being a neutral shell to be filled with artworks, an exhibition became a complex medium itself—produced by specific social, political, and economic conditions.

    Naturally, a historical exhibition on socially

  • picks December 18, 2015

    Tris Vonna-Michell

    In order to understand Tris Vonna-Michell’s practice, it is crucial to be aware of his affinity with the history of experimental poetry—an allegiance that is clearly demonstrated in this exhibition. The show consists almost entirely of one installation, Wasteful Illuminations: Distracted Listening, 2015, in which sound is the dominant feature. The audio is based on a field recording that Vonna-Michell made in 2008 in Japan—which has its conceptual origin in an earlier trip there as a teenager. This complex soundscape of Japan’s urban environment was then transcribed by the artist into a score

  • picks November 05, 2015

    Constanze Ruhm

    Austrian artist and filmmaker Constanze Ruhm has been contributing to the discourse on moving images through her exhibitions, films, curatorial projects, and writing since the mid-1990s. Though she is primarily known for her films that update feminist film theory and Brechtian dramaturgy, what is instantly striking in this midcareer survey is another less discussed aspect of her practice—namely, the exploration of possibilities for presenting moving images in exhibition contexts. The show’s circular design, which is based on the shape of a 16-mm reel, with a specially constructed cinema in the

  • picks October 01, 2015

    “The 31st Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts”

    At Moderna Galerija, one of two institutional venues, two architectural gestures by Luca Frei elegantly frame the exhibition. Frei has filled the grooves that run around every wall in the space with white pebbles commonly found in gardens. Moreover, he painted a bright-pink frieze around the top perimeter of the central exhibition room, conceptually lowering the ceiling to

  • picks July 09, 2015

    Larry Johnson

    Modulation of desire, in particular the desire Larry Johnson chronicles in and for Los Angeles, is the artist’s principal operation. Thus, it is pertinent that “On Location,”—Larry Johnson’s first major solo show in Europe, curated by Bruce Hainley along with Antony Hudek—starts with Untitled (Achievement: SW Corner, Glendale + Silverlake Blvds), 2009. The piece depicts an Emmy sitting on a windowsill from the point of view of the street, subtly emphasizing the tantalizing if actually impossible nature of the success the statuette embodies, placed at the nose of pedestrian experience.

  • picks May 29, 2015

    Josef Strau

    Elusive and opaque, Josef Strau’s art is guided by an internal logic felt throughout his exhibitions. In his first institutional solo show in his native Austria, Strau presents an expansive and intricately layered installation collectively titled “A Turtle Dreaming (. . . Echoes from an Encapsulated Space Exiled Sounds of Letters Requiring Symphonic Treatment),” and framed by a series of eighty posters featuring the artist’s signature arrangements of text—often interrupted by photographs of a snowy New York. Four pavilions are positioned throughout the space, made of modest materials such as

  • picks April 20, 2015

    Genpei Akasegawa

    Rigorously researched, this retrospective celebrating the late artist Genpei Akasegawa offers an unexpected breadth of material beyond his renowned works. A leading artist of the Japanese postwar avant-garde, Akasegawa was a founding member of both the Neo-Dadaism Organizers collective (in 1960) and the Fluxus-informed group Hi-Red Center (in 1963). His more than fifty-year career pursued a diverse array of artistic languages beyond the 1960s experimentation that brought him early success. As documented in the show, this includes his political cartoons in publications such as Sakura gaho (from