Zack Hatfield

  • Jennifer Steinkamp, Blind Eye, 1, 2018, Quicktime video, color, 2 minute 47 second loop, 12 x 43’.
    interviews August 27, 2018

    Jennifer Steinkamp

    The Los Angeles-based artist Jennifer Steinkamp’s Blind Eye, 1, 2018, a roughly three-minute-long animated loop, depicts a life-size grove of birch trees cycling through the seasons, their ocular scars delivering an uncanny, plural gaze. The video is included in a survey of the artist’s work at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, titled “Blind Eye,” which comprises the first video installations shown at the museum and is on view through October 8, 2018. Here, Steinkamp talks about inspirations for “Blind Eye,” the limitations of vision, and learning to decide.

    THERE’S A FEELING

  • Emmanuel Finkiel, Memoir of War, 2017, color, sound, 127 minutes.
    film August 15, 2018

    Lost and Found

    NOT LONG AFTER HER HUSBAND, the philosopher and Resistance leader Robert Antelme, was ambushed by the Gestapo in Paris in 1944 and deported to Buchenwald, Marguerite Duras logged the ensuing period of uncertainty in a diary that would spend the next four decades yellowing in a cupboard, supposedly forgotten. In 1985—one year after Duras enthralled the world with The Lover, a slim, fathomless autofiction of scarring desires too often misread as one of brave romance—the journal was finally published, alongside other memoir-like vignettes and two fictions, as La Douleur (Pain). The word is euphemistic.

  • Kay Rosen, DIVISIBILITY, 2018. Installation view at 750  Prospect Avenue.
    diary July 21, 2018

    Down in Front

    BEFORE THE CUYAHOGA RIVER CAUGHT FIRE, searing into the public’s imagination an unfair but dogged metaphor for a Cleveland in decline, Tennessee Williams is rumored to have delivered a sicker burn: “America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.” The claim isn’t entirely without truth. In 2018, Cleveland—with its deindustrialization, police violence, segregation, and purple politics—is a microcosm for “The American City,” which is in fact the subtitle of the inaugural edition of FRONT, a multimillion-dollar international triennial that

  • Amelie von Wulffen, Petting 1 +2, 2017, oil on board, 24 1/2 x 30".
    picks March 23, 2018

    Amelie von Wulffen

    Those in search of art’s foulest perversions and most ruthless cruelties must turn to the fairy tale. Amelie von Wulffen knows this. In the dozen paintings here, the German artist takes on many a grim matter—including childhood repression and national remorse—by casting foxes, goblins, damsels, and other creatures in folkloric vignettes of unexplained distress. Neglected children lie on the floor as monsters romp nearby; siblings neck before a rapturous bouquet; Bavarian exteriors are imbued with eerie stillness. One doesn’t know whether to pity or dread the misfits that haunt these paintings,

  • Terry Adkins, Shenandoah, 1998, concrete, steel, rope, and silicone, 18 1/2 x 22 x 30".
    picks January 26, 2018

    Terry Adkins

    The words “alternate history” evoke hypothetical extremes, such as unfought wars and imagined technologies infused with the possibility of global havoc. But the phrase might also describe subtler narratives forgotten, effaced, or thwarted by the vicious authors of history. Consider Terry Adkins a chronicler of alternate pasts. The late artist’s performances and sculptures, steeped in the power of music and the music of power, send echoes into the chasms of black history—and so, at first, it feels mildly disappointing that for its debut exhibition of Adkins’s work, this gallery has, in lieu of

  • Raha Raissnia, Fountain, 2017, charcoal on paper, 36 x 60".
    picks December 22, 2017

    Raha Raissnia

    “All a blur”: We describe monotony the same way we describe chaos. Raha Raissnia’s drawings, despite their quiet consistency, have their genesis in revolution. Amid the 1979 uprising in Iran against Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the artist, then a child, accompanied her father to the streets of downtown Tehran, where he would photograph demonstrations. She inherited his interest in the medium, and in “Alluvius”—her debut solo museum show—Raissnia reckons with tensions of identity and form by rephotographing and then drawing found archival imagery amassed over time. Rather than contest the notion that

  • Arthur Ou, Pt. Reyes, October 21, 2016, 8:34AM, Version 1, 2017, hand-tinted gelatin silver print, 60 x 50".
    picks November 17, 2017

    Arthur Ou

    Arthur Ou’s photographs here were taken during a single day, from sunup to sundown, at the Point Reyes, California, coast last year. After making a sequence of exposures from the same aerial vantage, the artist tinted each nearly identical analog print with waxed pigment, so that gradations bloom across what would otherwise be an unspectacular seascape. Despite such a deliberate technique, there is a narcotic uncertainty to the photographs, a feeling deepened by the press release’s epigraph from Ludwig Wittgenstein, who remarks that the future “moves not in a straight line, but in a curve, and

  • Keith Mayerson, Resurrection (The Trumps Meet The Pope), 2017, oil on linen, 29 x 22".
    picks October 20, 2017

    Keith Mayerson

    A famous photograph taken in 1970 depicts Elvis Presley—caped in black velvet, his mouth slightly agape—shaking Richard Nixon’s hand: an enduring spectacle of fading Americana clasped with disastrous politics. It’s no wonder Keith Mayerson chose to paint the encounter, Elvis Nixon (all works 2017), for “My American Dream: Mystery Train (in loving memory of Daniel Tinker Knapp),” a show whose nostalgia is menaced by the tensions of an increasingly fractured country. Here, American landscapes often threaten to implode into abstraction, as in the monumental Paso del Norte: the US/Mexico Border,

  • Cortney Andrews, Setup #2, 2017, C-print, 20 x 15".
    picks August 25, 2017

    Cortney Andrews

    Like the Joan Didion book it’s named after, Cortney Andrews’s exhibition “Play It as It Lays” is a feat of emptiness, alert to the threats posed by fragile things. If Didion’s characters skirted the moral void of Hollywood—an inner blankness represented by white space on the page—the absence in this show is even more overt, manifested in hundreds of unfilled glasses that cover the gallery floor, an installation titled Play It as It Lays, 2017. Chalices and tumblers, flutes and grails—the shadows don’t play on the wall, they just loom. The work is darkened so that viewers are brought to the main

  • Myoung Ho Lee, Tree...#2, 2011, archival inkjet print, 41 x 60".
    picks July 28, 2017

    Myoung Ho Lee

    In 2015, environmentalists rejoiced after a new study estimated that there are three trillion trees on Earth—an unexpectedly immense tally. Meanwhile, the few remaining photography critics learned of a less joyous abundance: By the end of 2017, we will have collectively shot more than one trillion digital photos in one year—a glum statistic to reckon with in the campaign against a bumbling, illiterate image culture where photographs are taken, not made.

    Myoung Ho Lee attends to both of these profusions with deceptive simplicity. For his “Tree Abroad” series, 2011–17, the artist enlisted industrial

  • Megan Marrin, The Legacy (STL), 2017, oil on canvas on Styrofoam, 72 x 96".
    picks July 21, 2017

    Megan Marrin

    If the art world had to be reduced to a single smell, the pungent fumes of freshly slathered white paint would make a strong candidate. Its redolence plays an unwitting foil to Megan Marrin’s latest show, “Corps,” a septet of Photorealist paintings that take as their muse the Amorphophallus titanum, or corpse flower. Thousands of people descend upon botanical gardens to bask in the flower’s languid bloom—which occurs every seven to ten years—that is celebrated for a rancid fragrance often likened to that of a spoiled carcass.

    This pageantry is transformed into sexual farce on Marrin’s large oil,

  • Wendy Red Star, Um-basax-bilua, “Where They Make the Noise” 1904–2016 (detail), 2017, archival pigment prints, graphite, pins, vinyl, dimensions variable.
    picks June 23, 2017

    Wendy Red Star

    In previous photographs, Wendy Red Star has posed amid inflatable elk, creased mountain backdrops, and AstroTurf to lampoon the manufactured authenticity of indigenous culture evident in, say, an Edward S. Curtis postcard. That ironic approach is traded for a more genuine one in Um-basax-bilua, “Where They Make the Noise” 1904–2016, 2017, a photographic timeline of Montana’s yearly Crow Fair—a parade originally installed by the US government in 1904 to assimilate the Apsáalooke into white culture—that spans two rooms and a century in its depiction of Crow customs. A cavalcade of tribe members