Zoë Lescaze

  • Carmen Winant

    Touch is our first teacher. Long before language takes hold, we absorb lessons in pleasure, pain, comfort, love, and fear through our skin. Despite its primacy in our early lives, however, touch remains one of our least appreciated senses—a function, perhaps, of its Western reputation as a “primitive” or “feminine” means of perception, a second-class citizen to the supposedly more rational faculties of sight and hearing. The vital but marginalized nature of touch provided a rich subject for Carmen Winant, an artist whose work often concerns bodies, particularly those of women, and their portrayal.

  • Lois Dodd and Shara Hughes

    As anyone who has ever been to a cocktail party knows, sharing an interest with someone does not necessarily mean you’re in for a great conversation. Lois Dodd, who is ninety-three, and Shara Hughes, who is thirty-nine, both paint landscapes. They take markedly different approaches to the genre, however, and, as this two-person show revealed, have little to say to one another about their common ground. The exhibition materials noted that both women create “portals” and that their pictures share “a sense of query about transition and a kind of pause that is alluded to when one space is delineated

  • “The Circus Has Been Cancelled”

    The circus has been cancelled, but no one seems to have told the jaunty group of weirdos posing at the center of the Genieve Figgis painting from which this exhibition takes its name. The giddy performers—a natty bug-eyed Kabuki demon wearing a top hat and toting a fuchsia parasol, a tiny woman in a ball gown, a lion, a yeti, and a topless green-skinned go-go dancer among them—look ready to put on a show. Aside from this small cohort, the cavernous big-top tent they occupy is empty, and the windows appear to have bars. Figgis has a knack for making the ghoulish, soupy goblins and half-melted

  • Ernst Yohji Jaeger

    The recent oil paintings of Ernst Yohji Jaeger—dreamlike, sensual, and restrained—convey a powerful sense of solitude. Even in the rare works depicting multiple figures, his characters seem cocooned within their own internal worlds. In Untitled 5, 2019, a head swathed in velvet shadows watches an apricot sailboat drift across a surreal expanse of jade. In Untitled 6, 2019, a young man with feline features looks down at his hand, stretching what might be a dew-strung spiderweb, or pearlescent strands of semen, between his thumb and forefinger. Darkness suffuses the hazy landscape behind him:

  • Jana Euler

    Slugs are conspicuously absent from the Western canon. Although their flashier cousins, snails, make occasional art-historical appearances—creeping around the margins of medieval manuscripts and below the tulips in Dutch still lifes—slugs rarely get to play even these supporting roles. It’s surprising, in a way, given how utterly bizarre and inadvertently beautiful their behavior can be. Certain species of slug, for instance, mate in midair, dangling from strands of mucus like slimy Cirque du Soleil acrobats. Twirling gently, entwined in an armless embrace, these hermaphroditic paramours extrude

  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

    The women traipsing through the painted worlds of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner are as kaleidoscopic as his colors. Some are birds of paradise—chartreuse-skinned acrobats, strumpets in black stockings, begonia-pink ballerinas—who seem to exist for our delectation alone. Others are portrayed as individuals as stormy and complex as the artist himself. Take the subject of Woman in a Green Jacket, 1913: She appears wary, even resentful, with tight-set lips and narrow, apprehensive eyes. The angle from which we view her suggests that we are straddling her thighs as she lies back, squinting up at us as though

  • Andra Ursuta

    Victims of pleasure, vehicles for pain: Human bodies tend to be at the mercy of violent desires—their own and those of others—in the work of Andra Ursuta. The artist has created X-ray-esque images of bound figures being sodomized by carrots, and once exhibited a blackened cast of her naked self, gaunt and collapsed like a peat-bog mummy, and splattered with suggestive white silicone. Sometimes her targets are implied: Stoner, 2013, involves a batting-cage pitching machine hurling rocks at a tiled wall with long hair emerging from the cracks. But if Ursuta has been dredging dark streams of

  • Jason Rhoades

    Monet had his lilies, Degas his dancers. If one leitmotif defines the madcap oeuvre of Jason Rhoades, it’s pussy. By the time he died, in 2006 at the age of forty-one, Rhoades had collected more than seven thousand euphemisms for female genitalia in several languages. He was on a quest, he said, for “the ultimate pussy word.” This dubious grail—a satirical ode to testosterone-addled idolatry and locker-room patois—gave rise to brashly festive sculptures and performances, as well as delirious, room-size installations. His series “Pussy Trilogy,” 2003–2006, for instance, addressed the crossroads

  • Perla Krauze

    Human beings move mountains, or pieces of them, every day. The impulse to carry stones, large and small, over great distances is one of the more curious ones that bind us to each other across time and space. The Egyptian pharaohs ordered thousands of tons of granite to be ferried hundreds of miles up the Nile to Giza. The builders of Stonehenge sneezed at local sources and quarried their megaliths in modern-day Wales. Today, architects order Italian travertine for corporate plazas in New York, and even children pocket souvenir pebbles on the beach.

    In her exhibition at the Chimney, Perla Krauze

  • Hayv Kahraman

    “She reminds me of that Mexican artist Frida Kahlo,” said a middle-aged man as he scanned new works by Hayv Kahraman depicting her constant subject: a black-haired woman with fair skin, poppy-red lips, and large, heavy-lidded eyes. It may have been this figure’s unapologetic unibrow that inspired the comment. But Kahraman, who is from Iraq, also shares the tendency of “that Mexican artist” to weaponize reductive views of her ethnicity and sexuality in paintings as subversive as they are beautiful. She has described her recurring character as an extension of herself: an avatar of her desperation

  • Todd Gray

    In pristine, almost clinically precise photographic sculptures, Todd Gray confronts savage, tangled histories. The works comprising “Cartesian Gris Gris,” his debut exhibition at David Lewis, addressed the colonization of Africa, the economic and cultural hangovers of foreign rule, and Western concepts of the exotic. These are daunting themes, enough to sink less adroit artists—but Gray’s efforts felt neither leaden nor didactic. If anything, one could overlook the conceptual heft of these polished, unapologetically attractive pieces, which take a sidelong approach to their thorny subject matter.

  • Verne Dawson

    Every deck of cards contains a secret calendar. We may pass the hours (or kill them) playing endless games of solitaire, but those kings and queens we’re shuffling symbolize time itself: fifty-two cards for fifty-two weeks in a year, parceled into four seasons. Jokers are leap days, and the thirteen cards comprising each suit represent the new moons. This is the kind of gorgeous arcana that informs the work of Verne Dawson, an Alabama-born painter fascinated by the allegories we have devised to make sense of the world and our place within it. The artist’s interviews and exhibition texts reflect