reviews

  • Liisa Lounila

    Wilkinson Gallery

    At those moments when you’re washed up at a party, at a bar, at some social scene where you know absolutely no one and everyone else seems too at home to notice this stray figure, yourself, against a wall, your choices are to be miserable, leave, or enjoy surveying the scene with a quasi-anthropological objectivity. In Play>>, 2003, a brief, dreamlike color film shown on DVD, Finnish artist Liisa Lounila makes the decision for you: Luxuriate in looking. You’re invisible, so stare to your heart’s content.

    Well, but isn’t that the opportunity cinema always provides—the pleasure of looking tied to

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  • Mark Wallinger

    Anthony Reynolds Gallery

    Writing in Artforum on the 49th Venice Biennale, Benjamin H.D. Buchloh dismissed Mark Wallinger’s work as a clear-cut instance of spectacle culture usurping art’s previously oppositional spaces: Regurgitating “retardataire humanist, if not outright mythical or religious . . . messages,” work such as Wallinger’s, declared Buchloh, imposes viewing conditions that prevent both “individual contemplation” and “simultaneous collective reception.” Adding insult to injury, Buchloh branded Wallinger in this regard merely a “close second” to Bill Viola—the art world’s “Billy Graham,” in Wallinger’s own,

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  • Josephine Pryde

    CUBITT Gallery | Studios | Education

    It is so easy to be carried along by the preferences of the moment, to take decisions on the basis of common knowledge, cliché, and trite assumption. If Josephine Pryde’s photographs appear reticent, even gnomic, it is due in large part to her dislike for such uncritical behavior. Where they might seem to flirt with blankness, they do so as much to recall and tap into photography’s other history as a medium for scientific experiment, observation, and record as to shine a light on some consumerist aesthetic of dumbness. The eye of the consumer is there, naturally, but that’s not all there is.

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  • Franz Gertsch, Patti Smith IV, 1979, acrylic on canvas, 9' 4 1/2“ x 13' 9 3/4”.

    Franz Gertsch

    Gagosian Gallery

    In 1977, after the albums Horses and Radio Ethiopia but before Easter and Wave, Patti Smith came to Cologne to perform at the adventurous Galerie Veith Turske. Franz Gertsch was a forty-seven-year-old Photorealist painter then. Like many fans before and since, from avant-gardists to punk-rock teenagers, he had fallen in love with the magnetic butch-sylph portrait of Smith by Robert Mapplethorpe on the cover of Horses, and he came to the show to shoot his own pictures. He used a flash that annoyed the diva, and she crumpled a piece of paper and threw it at him—a storied moment captured in the

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