Zack Hatfield

  • Ryan Sullivan, untitled, 2022, cast urethane resin, fiberglass, epoxy, 88 1/2 × 79 1/4".

    Ryan Sullivan

    On one hand, this show of six big untitled paintings could be described as something of a comeback for Ryan Sullivan, an inventive abstractionist occasionally if unduly associated with the vacuous pastiche of zombie formalism. It was good timing: The six years since Sullivan’s last solo outing in New York had witnessed not only the overwhelming renascence of figurative painting, but also its own, much larger strain of market-driven zombification. The moment feels ripe for a new consideration of what beginnings can be made from abstraction’s presumed dead end.

    On the other hand, these paintings

  • View of “Victor Burgin: Photopath,” 2023. Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein.
    picks February 08, 2023

    Victor Burgin

    In 1967, Victor Burgin typed some instructions on a pair of index cards: “A path along the floor, of proportions 1x21 units, photographed. Photographs printed to actual size of objects and prints attached to floor so that images are perfectly congruent with their objects.” He called it Photopath, first realizing the piece on the coarse hardwood of a friend’s home in Nottingham, England. A one-to-one map in the style of Borges, the work served as a kind of Conceptual catwalk, testing new strategies of site specificity, self-reflexivity, and dematerialization. Despite quick entry to the canon—abetted

  • Kustiyah, Torso, 1960, oil on canvas, 33 7⁄8 × 26 3⁄4".

    58th Carnegie International

    HISTORY IS WHAT HURTS, Fredric Jameson quipped forever ago. There is a lot of history in the Fifty-Eighth Carnegie International, which reminds us that art should hurt, too. Unlike the previous International, which exulted in “museum joy”—as curator Ingrid Schaffner’s termed the epiphanic wonder that arises through experiencing artwork with other people—the latest edition of North America’s longest-running survey of international contemporary art slices through our relentless positivity culture, delivering instead a manifesto on art as survival, as open wound, as an accumulation of absences. In

  • interviews November 15, 2022

    Vince Aletti

    One of what seems like only a handful of working photography critics today, Vince Aletti is also a prolific collector of print ephemera, much of it archived within a single massive filing cabinet in his longtime East Village apartment. Below, Aletti talks about his new photobook, The Drawer, which shuffles this matter into alluring, Warburgian juxtapositions of high and low, iconic and unknown. Mapped out over the course of a single afternoon, the book is a meditation on how images shape desire, a remedy to the cold calculations of the algorithm, and the wordless memoir of a great and grateful

  • Sturtevant, Warhol Flowers, 1990, synthetic polymer silk screen and acrylic on canvas, 115 3⁄4 × 115 3⁄4".


    I have nothing new to say about Sturtevant. This feels almost fitting, given the artist’s own vexed relationship to newness. Her perfectly imperfected “repetitions” of other artists’ art, ignored for decades, have in recent years inspired an avalanche of interpretation, much of it superb and none of it able to pierce the rattling mystery of her work’s origin and abiding prescience. As if cautioning potential reviewers, the press release for an exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery—her second solo show in New York since her Museum of Modern Art retrospective in 2014, the year she died, aged

  • Evelyn Statsinger, Cross Currents, 1985, oil on linen, 30 × 40".

    Evelyn Statsinger

    Sinuous chronicles of hallucinatory concentration, the paintings of Evelyn Statsinger (1927–2016) float the possibility of an ecological subconscious, their patterns evoking the life that teems beneath the microscope’s lens. In this way, they recall Leo Steinberg’s famous “flatbed picture plane,” a term necessitated by a “tilt” that had, according to the art historian, occurred circa 1950. In this manner, the traditional vertical orientation of easel painting had given way to a horizontal substrate that served not as a continuation of space but as a receptor for information—think desktops, maps,

  • Andrew Wyeth, Snow Hill, 1989, tempera on panel, 48 × 72". © Andrew Wyeth/Artists Rights Society (ARS); Collection of the Wyeth Foundation for American Art.


    A golden rule: to leave an incomplete image of oneself . . .

    —E. M. Cioran

    WHEN DO YOU STOP MOURNING a casualty of art? Some never do. Recall Dostoevsky, driven to the verge of an epileptic attack by Holbein’s supine, open-eyed Christ, or the men who, so moved by the excavated Laocoön and His Sons, began to writhe in imitation of the marble serpents and their prey. Here we have Oscar Wilde on a suicide in Balzac: “One of the greatest tragedies of my life is the death of Lucien de Rubempré. It is a grief from which I have never been able completely to rid myself. It haunts me in my moments of

  • View of “Joaquín Torres-García: Toys,” 2022. Photo: Timothy Doyon.

    Joaquín Torres-García

    Joaquín Torres-García (1874–1949) was a roving messiah simultaneously ahead of and behind the curve—a didactic, derivative pioneer who sought nothing less than to beget a common language that could transcend time and culture. He was also great with kids. Combining these qualities, the Uruguayan-born artist established a toy-making business during the interwar years, a pursuit explored earlier this year in an outstanding survey at Ortuzar Projects. Spurs to children’s imaginations on both sides of the Atlantic, his fanciful playthings were, the show argued, key to Torres-García’s quixotic program

  • View of “Arthur Simms,” 2021–22. Photo: Charles Benton.

    Arthur Simms

    Fresh Kills, a mountain of noxious garbage off the western coast of Staten Island and once the largest dump in the country, was finally shut down in March 2001; about ten years ago, the area was slowly being resurrected into a scenic wetlands park. I found my thoughts drifting to the infamous landfill when looking at Arthur Simms’s art: A resident of the borough, the sculptor transforms cast-off material, much of it trash, into unstable sites of memory and improbable splendor. He scours the junkyard of art history, too, devising from its rusted vanguards—Surrealist automatism, the ready-made,

  • Céline Sciamma, Petite maman, 2021, 4K video, color, sound, 72 minutes. Nelly (Joséphine Sanz) and Marion (Gabrielle Sanz).


    THERE ARE NO MOTHERS in fairy tales, a genre of orphans whose winding paths, however enchanted, lead to domestic conventionality. Not so in Céline Sciamma’s elliptical and enigmatic Petite maman, about a girl who encounters a stranger she has known since birth and how their incredible attachment twists the asymmetries of motherhood into a new, beguiling shape. Running to a crisp seventy-two minutes, the film begins with eight-year-old Nelly (Joséphine Sanz) bidding au revoir to the elderly residents of a nursing home one by one before arriving at the room of her maternal grandmother, who recently

  • View of “Michael Dean,” 2021. From left: Unfucking Titled Poor [Verso], 2021; Unfucking Titled Free, 2021; Unfucking Titled Free, 2021.

    Michael Dean

    Turner-nominated artist Michael Dean, a soft-spoken and sweary Geordie sculptor in his mid-forties, considers himself, above all else, a writer. Typically angular, vaguely anthropomorphized forms made from everyday construction materials such as concrete, corrugated metal, and plywood, his installations develop from his impulse to transform the solitary experience of putting words on a page into something that you can walk around and touch. On the main floor of Dean’s first exhibition at Andrew Kreps, nine freestanding concrete-and-steel sculptures were arranged across the length of the gallery

  • View of “Louise Lawler,” 2021. Background: Hair (adjusted to fit), 2005/2019/2021. Foreground: Pollock and Tureen (traced and painted), Red, Yellow, Blue, 1984/2013/2014/2020.

    Louise Lawler

    Everything must go. At Metro Pictures, which is ending its historic run this year after four decades, Louise Lawler held a two-for-one blowout sale: an exhibition titled “One Show on Top of the Other.” Such a tagline—a fairly literal description of what was on display—reminds us of the artist’s career-long embrace of the gimmick, a category newly theorized by Sianne Ngai as a phenomenon that, through its simultaneous under- and overperformance (its effort-saving tricks and inherent bid for attention), indexes our anxieties about the relation of labor, time, and value under capitalism. Recall