COLUMNS

  • Terry Allen

    Although Terry Allen attended the Chouinard Art Institute during the heyday of left-coast Conceptualism, his fame arose from the 1975 song cycle Juarez, a landmark album of outlaw country. Allen’s latest record, Just Like Moby Dick, is due for release early next year, and a cassette tape of rarities, Cowboy and the Stranger, has been released on the occasion of his retrospective at L.A. Louver, on view through September 28. The show skirts classification, combining fifty years of drawings, paintings, audio works, and sculptures, all with interlocking themes. In the three-channel MemWars, 2016,

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  • Juliana Cerqueira Leite

    To make her sculptures, Juliana Cerqueira Leite often crawls inside large mounds of clay, casting the imprints of her body. By prioritizing touch and spatial orientation, her research has led her across different disciplines to explore gestures both physical and psychic. In her latest show, “Orogenesis,” Leite links space travel to the archaeological remains of Pompeii though anatomical postures of vulnerability in the face of vast environmental extremes. Installed in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples through September 23, the exhibition speaks to the endless possibilities for embodiment

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  • Matthew Angelo Harrison

    Matthew Angelo Harrison creates technically precise sculptures rich with art-historical allusion, mixing and interrogating touchstones as diverse as 1970s American Minimalism, Benin bronzes, and Adolf Loos. His work is currently on view as part of the Whitney Biennial at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art through September 22 and “Colored People Time: Mundane Futures” at Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art through August 11. Below, Harrison discusses his sculpture Dark Povera: Manufactured Primitives, 2019, which is included in the Cranbrook Art Museum’s “Landlord Colors: On Art,

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  • Fiona Tan

    Fiona Tan often reinterprets archives in her work, which incorporates video, photography, and installation to present an intellectual aesthetic history with an acute awareness of its own methodological limitations. “I am constantly reminded that all my attempts at systematical order must be arbitrary, idiosyncratic, and—quite simply—doomed to fail,” she has said. When the Ludwig Museum in Cologne invited Tan to devise an exhibition premised on the museum’s holdings of some seventy thousand photographs, she decided to focus on the advertising images of Agfa, the German photo and camera company.

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  • Marwa Abdul-Rahman

    The six sculptures that comprise Marwa Abdul-Rahman’s “Eternal Return,” on view at Wilding Cran Gallery in Los Angeles through July 27, are at once grotesque and helpless. Bursting with resin, zippers, and buttons, they look like alien monsters suspended by rebar and twine. While she was trained as a painter, Abdul-Rahman’s work has become increasingly sculptural during the last half decade. Constructing these sculptures, she began to question the nature of boundaries, freedom, and form as they are known politically, existentially, and aesthetically. Her objects are allegories with inner lives.

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  • Mike Parr

    For five decades, Australian artist Mike Parr has wrestled with and displayed his own subjectivity through printmaking, sculpture, drawing, and, most notably, performance. Over the last four years, he has built a primed audience for his work at Dark Mofo in Hobart, Tasmania, a festival that grew out of David Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art and celebrates reconceptualizing darkness, death, and other themes that surround the winter solstice. For his June 2018 performance Underneath the Bitumen, Parr buried himself without food in a converted shipping container beneath the well-trafficked street

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  • Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt

    I first met Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt in the mid-2000s, while I was working at SAGE (“Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders.” SAGE originally stood for “Senior Action in a Gay Environment,” which I preferred. Who doesn’t love the naughty ambiguity hanging around that word, Action?)

    At SAGE I worked with Gay Liberation Front cofounder Jerry Hoose on two panel discussions about the activism inspired by the Stonewall Riots. The apocrypha generated by people who claimed to be there drove Jerry crazy, and he told me that there was no realer deal than Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt. Jerry was so proud of Tommy’s

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  • Lonnie Holley

    Lonnie Holley emerged as part of the American art world of the 1980s as a sculptor of evocative sandstone carvings and elaborate found object assemblage. More recently, Holley has expanded into sound with his albums Just Before Music (2012), Keeping a Record of It (2013), and Mith (2018). Below, on the occasion of a performance at the Dallas Museum of Art, as part of Soluna 2019, Holley explains the process of research and meditation that informs all of his creative work. Holley’s art is currently on view as part of “America Will Be at the DMA through September 15, 2019, and he continues to

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  • Sheila Hicks

    For over seven decades, Sheila Hicks has devised a diversity of forms in fiber from the perspective of painting and photography, including weavings, sculptures, architectural commissions, and monumental installations. Her abstractions triumph and transcend hierarchies of medium, gender, and geography. Pioneering contemporary art’s global turn, Hicks embraced opportunities in novel exhibition, manufacturing, and design contexts in Latin America, Africa, India, Japan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, well before such engagement became the norm. Below, she reflects on her upbringing in the American Midwest

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  • Mary Miss

    Rosalind Krauss’s 1979 essay “Sculpture in the Expanded Field” pinpointed Mary Miss’s work as an example of how sculpture, landscape architecture, and architecture itself had become problematically entangled over the course of the postmodern 1970s. Forty years later, beyond the gallery, the discipline of sculpture has been transformed to include new genres, while recent generations of artists have joined Miss in the evolving expanded field. Here, Miss talks about the trajectory of her output and her nonprofit, the City as a Living Laboratory (CALL).

    I'M INTERESTED IN working at the scale of the

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  • Shu Lea Cheang

    The Taiwan pavilion at the fifty-eighth edition of the Venice Biennale is located at the Palazzo delle Prigioni, or the Prisons’ Palace, which was the city’s primary prison from the seventeenth century to 1922. Artist Shu Lea Cheang, who is representing Taiwan this year, takes up this historical context in her exhibition “3x3x6.” The title of the show refers to the standard architectural model of contemporary prisons worldwide, and her work on view examines subjects who have been incarcerated because of their gender or sexual nonconformity, beginning with the story of writer and Venetian adventurer

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  • Forensic Architecture

    The Triple-Chaser—a tear gas grenade banned in international warfare but routinely deployed by defense forces against civilians both stateside and abroad—is one of the many weapons manufactured by the Safariland Group, whose CEO, Warren B. Kanders, is the vice chair of the board of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Kanders’s ties to the New York institution have fueled heated protests in the run-up to this year’s Whitney Biennial, which opens May 17, 2019 (more than half of the exhibition’s artists have called for his removal from the board). Among the dissenters is Forensic Architecture, a

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