COLUMNS

  • 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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  • Anna K.E.

    That harmony, like beauty, often comes from invention within repertoire and constriction is reflected in the Tbilisi-born artist Anna K.E.’s work, which is marked by the gestures of a ballerina and the design of a choreographer. For the Fifty-Eighth Venice Biennale, K.E. will bring together performance, video, sculpture, and hieroglyphs from Asomtavruli, the original Georgian alphabet, in a single architectural environment for the Georgian pavilion, curated by Margot Norton. Below, she discusses REARMIRRORVIEW, Simulation is Simulation, is Simulation, is Simulation, 2019, which will be on view

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  • Akosua Adoma Owusu

    The Ghanaian American filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu blends whatever she needs to make her point—including found footage, narratives, and pop culture—into films that are by turns surreal and confrontationally explicit in their meditations. Below, Owusu looks back on the first decade of her career, a milestone marked by two upcoming projects: “Between Three Worlds,” a screening of her work at REDCAT in Los Angeles on May 6, 2019, and “Welcome to the Jungle,” an exhibition at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, which will be on view from May 9 through July 27, 2019. The

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  • 1000 WORDS: TIONA NEKKIA McCLODDEN

    FOR THIS YEAR’S WHITNEY BIENNIAL, on view from May 17 to September 22, the Philadelphia-based artist Tiona Nekkia McClodden embarked on an ambitious journey to reconcile her artistic work with the spiritual work she undertook following her initiation into Santería/Lucumí, an Afro-Cuban religious practice developed by descendants of the Yoruba. McClodden’s project both mends and shatters, spiraling across the founding breaches of modern Western culture: the Euro-American colonization and enslavement of African peoples and the alienation of art from religion. It is a reminder that sometimes activism

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  • Ser Serpas

    The materials for Ser Serpas’s latest body of work were sourced locally from the streets of New York’s Lower East Side, where they will return at the end of her first US institutional solo exhibition. For Serpas, the show serves as both a homecoming and a farewell to the city she is leaving, after living there for six years, for Switzerland. “Against Attachment” opened April 25 and is on view through June 2, 2019 at Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies, Ludlow 38, in New York.

    FINDING OBJECTS AND RECOMPOSING THEM comprises a lot of my art, just going on walks and asking, “Is this anybody’s

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