COLUMNS

  • Xinyi Cheng

    Xinyi Cheng, winner of the 2019 Baloise Art Prize, painted much of what is currently on view at Berlin’s Hamburger Banhof last spring, during France’s first Covid-induced lockdown. Her intimate-yet-detached gaze, previously applied to male figures in ambiguous encounters, is here trained on moments of solitude among men, women, and animals. The Horse with Eye Blinders—an enigmatic double portrait of a chestnut mare clad in red cap, ear hoods, and blinders and a young man with his arms folded across his bare chest—gives this exhibition its title. Born in Wuhan and raised in Beijing, Cheng is now

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  • 1000 Words: Lorraine O’Grady

    NEW WORK BY LORRAINE O’GRADY is already good news, and the world needs some. But word of a new persona stirs the kind of anticipation usually reserved for a famous comet rounding the sun. It’s been more than forty years since O’Grady’s radiant alter ego Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, dressed in a gown and cape made from 180 pairs of white thrift-store gloves and wielding a cat-o’-nine tails plaited with chrysanthemums, stormed the opening of “Outlaw Aesthetics” at New York’s Just Above Midtown gallery. On that day, June 5, 1980, O’Grady kicked off a three-year sprint of some of the most profound

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  • 1000 Words: Arnold J. Kemp

    IN ANTICIPATION of his solo exhibition “False Hydras” at JOAN in Los Angeles, Arnold J. Kemp sat down with me in Chicago to continue our dialogue on the means and meanings of Black queer and feminist critical practice in the age of the internet. A teacher, writer, curator, and artist, Kemp occupies multiple cultural roles, which are paralleled by the range of materials and media—drawing, painting, performance, poetry, photography, installation, sculpture—that have both intellectually informed and physically shaped his practice over the past thirty years. Yet as our conversation made clear,

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  • Jackie Raynal

    Jackie Raynal, the French director, editor, and former programmer of New York’s Bleecker Street and Carnegie Hall cinemas, first became involved in film when, riding through Paris on a Vespa in 1958 at the age of eighteen, she was stopped and asked to be an extra in Otto Preminger’s Bonjour Tristesse. Six years later, she was the youngest head editor in France. She later became a key member of the storied Zanzibar Group, whose films anticipated and then mourned the events of May 1968. Deux Fois, Raynal’s stark, elegant 1968 directorial debut, is made under its sign. This work, and her later New

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  • Tim Portlock

    Tim Portlock’s immersive digital cityscapes—rendered using 3-D computer gaming and special effects software—attempt to make real the discrepancy between the ideology of American exceptionalism and our lived experience. Blending traditional aesthetic tropes derived from nineteenth-century landscape painting with PS5 verisimilitude, his uncanny composites of US cities such as Philadelphia, San Bernardino, and St. Louis—where he’s now based—glitch conventional narratives for built environments that have been palpably reshaped by deindustrialization, white flight, and the aftermath of the housing

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  • Martha Diamond

    Over the course of her fifty years as a painter in New York, Martha Diamond has applied her love of place and structure to canvases that capture the architecture of the five boroughs in striking hues and energetic, wet-on-wet brushstrokes. On the occasion of “1980–1989,” an exhibition of oil paintings and studies on Masonite made during the titular decade—on view at Magenta Plains in New York through February 17—Diamond looks back on her childhood in the city, her affiliation with the New York School, her informal education in painting, and her artistic community.

    I WAS BORN IN NEW YORK, and I

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  • Earthly Delights

    OVER NEARLY two decades of political organizing, archival research, writing, and art-making, Tourmaline has demonstrated that abolition, Black trans liberation, and abundant pleasure are interwoven, inseparable projects. In her first solo exhibition, “Pleasure Garden,” up through January 31 at Chapter NY’s Madison Street pop-up location, Tourmaline debuts a series of five photographic self-portraits alongside Salacia, a cinematic account of Mary Jones, a Black trans sex worker who lived in New York in the 1830s. The works weave together sites as varied as nineteenth-century Black-owned pleasure

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  • Donald Moffett

    Since cake decorating led him to take up painting in 1994, Donald Moffett’s materially suggestive surfaces of extruded pigment and poured resin have addressed environmental collapse and political turmoil. But the artist, AIDS activist, and former Gran Fury member’s current exhibition, “The Hollow,” at Marianne Boesky Gallery’s Aspen location, circles back to pandemic time, when, once again, a virus has made touch deadly. Though our current crisis has traded the overt stigmatization of AIDS and its communities for a more collective-minded “we are in this together” spirit, the US government’s

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  • Em Rooney

    For her first solo show in Los Angeles—on view at François Ghebaly from December 12 to January 9—Em Rooney unveils a new body of sculpture alongside her photographs. While Rooney is known for creating sculptural framing devices for her photos, this marks her first exhibition of stand-alone sculptures, almost all of which assume the form of flowers. An emphasis on tactility and process has always been evident in Rooney’s photographic “containers,” which deftly merge two differently valued modes of knowledge acquisition: sight and touch. Focusing on sculptural forms allows Rooney to continue

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  • Jennifer Packer

    Jennifer Packer has most often painted the people who surround her, rendering the figures of close friends and classmates from observation as they kick back into couches and armchairs, nestled inside New York apartments and grad-school studios. Transmuted by textured washes and brilliant hues, their bodies and clothing blend into their plush environs, becoming one with the scene and most truly at home. The New York–based artist also applies a soft touch to her recent paintings of flower bouquets, each a sprightly study of color and form that serves as a requiem to the fleeting and fragile beauty

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  • Beatriz González

    Organized by the Pérez Art Museum Miami and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, “Beatriz González: A Retrospective”—the most comprehensive US display of the Colombian artist’s output to date—makes its final stop at the Museo de Arte Miguel Urrutia (MAMU) in Bogotá, the city where the groundbreaking painter has long lived and worked. Spanning the early 1960s to the present, the exhibition’s more than one hundred paintings, drawings, and furniture pieces center on González’s trenchant, often playful commentary on life during Colombia’s five-decade war while tracing an aesthetic associated with Pop

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  • Marzia Migliora

    Titled after English economist and demographer Thomas Malthus (1766–1834)—whose contentious prediction that the world’s population would grow more rapidly than its means of subsistence pointed to the limits of anthropogenic activity on our planet while also influencing social Darwinism and eugenics—Marzia Migliora’s “The Spectre of Malthus,” curated by Matteo Lucchetti at the Museo Arte Gallarate and on through December 13, explores the risks posed by the production system of industrial agriculture. This minimal installation makes its visual richness a secret: Nothing is revealed until the viewer

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