• Michael Heizer

    PaceWildenstein 22

    The eight concrete sculptures included in Michael Heizer’s recent exhibition at PaceWildenstein spotlight a moment in his practice during which an interest in excavation was expanded to encompass the objects thereby unearthed. While the massive mesa gashes of Double Negative, 1969–70, for example, or the pits and mounds of his City project (1970–) often resemble the work of an archaeologist, here the allusion is even more direct: These sculptures, all of which were made in 1988 or 1989, are colossal replicas of an assortment of Paleolithic and Neolithic tools. (Biography is not an interpretive

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  • Annette Messager

    Marian Goodman Gallery | New York

    I imagine that winning a Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale would be a pretty hard act to follow. This was the predicament Annette Messager must have found herself in, contemplating her first solo show in Marian Goodman’s New York space not too long after the success of her Pinocchio-themed “Casino” pavilion in 2005. In response to potentially stultifying validation, she seems to have decided that a certain caution might be warranted. While “Mettre aux Mondes” (“To Bring into the Worlds”) is still marked by Messager’s flights of surreal, often violent, fancy, it is also downright circumspect.

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  • Jessica Stockholder

    Mitchell-Innes & Nash | Chelsea

    A few years ago, Jessica Stockholder described herself in an interview as feeling like “a dinosaur” around her students, whom she characterized as generally more interested in ideas than in the visual per se. While this statement might seem to mark a too-strident divide between then and now when it comes to modes of production over the past twenty years, Stockholder’s self-assessment is certainly correct on this count: Her own work really has started to show its age. As the artist’s recent group exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash revealed, she continues apace with a practice that stubbornly

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  • Michel Gondry

    Deitch Projects

    Michel Gondry, trailing a well-deserved reputation as one of contemporary filmmaking’s most innovative visual stylists, has made what must have seemed an entirely natural move from cinema to gallery. His whole professional trajectory, after all, has been built on a series of successful crossovers. First, the French-born former drummer and former art student parlayed a string of quirky animated videos for his own 1980s Parisian pop band into a career as an auteur of celebrated clips for the likes of the White Stripes, the Chemical Brothers, and Björk. Then, after directing commercials for a

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  • Dario Robleto

    D'Amelio Terras

    Dario Robleto’s sculptures are reliquaries, totems whose power derives from the authenticity of the stuff of which they are made. He has, for example, cast a male rib from female-rib dust, and presented a pair of interlocking pelvises formed from melted-down rock-’n’-roll albums that belonged to his father and mother. His recent show “Fear and Tenderness in Men” was the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York. Coming as a coda to an ongoing project begun in 2003, it dealt with soldiers’ relics and survivors’ mourning rituals. Installed against walls the color of dried blood, the seventeen

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  • Catherine Opie

    Gladstone Gallery | West 21st St

    Catherine Opie’s interest in community underpins an increasingly diverse body of work that ranges from life at home with partner, child, and pets to portraits of her neighborhood to the subcultures of Los Angeles (notably, its queer scene and its surfers). She also has a penchant for road trips, and it’s evident from the photographs produced on her journeys across America that she’s attracted to the down-home aesthetics of out-of-the-way places and to folk cultures that haven’t quite caught up to postmillennial modernity. Opie appreciates life lived on one’s own terms and to the fullest, and

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  • Adam McEwen

    Nicole Klagsbrun

    In a small booklet published to accompany his recent exhibition at Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, Adam McEwen writes: “War. It’s always been all the rage. Bomber Harris, Commando Comics, Sven Hassel and every kid who grew up in Britain of parents who survived the war knew it.” McEwen’s booklet also reproduces a newspaper ad memorializing real estate developer Samuel J. Lefrak (“The Vision to See / The Faith to Believe / The Courage to Do”), images of sidewalks dotted with discarded chewing gum, a view of a landscape pocked with bomb craters, and a news brief about a boy sticking a piece of gum onto

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  • Rita McBride

    Alexander and Bonin

    For almost twenty years, Rita McBride has exploited the tropes of modernist architecture and design, lately deriving maximum effect from increasingly simple interventions. Her last New York solo outings, a pair of exhibitions at Alexander and Bonin and SculptureCenter in 2003 and 2004, respectively, gave viewers the chance to acquaint themselves with McBride’s treatment of interstitial spaces and building infrastructure, which she manages to imbue with psychological resonance. By altering scale, streamlining design, or isolating objects from their contexts, McBride made the air ducts, parking

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  • “Invisible Geographies: New Sound Art from Germany”

    The Kitchen

    Apart from the obvious, contemporary German sound art has—at least on the evidence of curator Christoph Cox’s recent roundup at The Kitchen—a lot in common with contemporary pop music. Almost without exception, the works in “Invisible Geographies” exhibited an awestruck fetishization of science and technology and a nebulous conception of “the future” that will be all too familiar to devotees of electronica from Kraftwerk on. The preoccupation is not inherently negative, and in this show it made for a satisfyingly clean installation—or, as my companion had it, “the best-looking sound art show

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  • Dash Snow

    Rivington Arms

    Dash Snow’s reputation precedes him: He’s one of those artists whose name is invariably prefixed by the words “bad-boy” and who does little to live down the epithet—in fact, he courts it by making constant reference in his art to a prodigiously debauched lifestyle (his installation in this year’s Whitney Biennial, for example, featured a mirrored record edged with a line of cocaine). The twenty-five-year-old Snow’s recent exhibition at Rivington Arms provided the first chance since his solo debut at the gallery to—just maybe—examine his output in depth without the intrusion of undue hyperbole.

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  • Esko Männikkö

    Yancey Richardson Gallery

    For his recent exhibition “Cocktails,” Finnish photographer Esko Männikkö installed a selection of works from the past fifteen years, intermingling images of animals living and dead, aging Finnish bachelors, ramshackle interiors, and border life in southern Texas. But the show, the artist’s first in the US since 1997, was less eclectic than this list of subjects might imply—the images were drawn together by Männikkö’s social-documentary interest in rural dilapidation as well as by his project’s formal coherence, particularly its emphasis on deep, saturated color.

    The photographs, presented

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  • Isca Greenfield-Sanders

    Goff + Rosenthal

    What is striking about Isca Greenfield-Sanders’s “Pinelawn Pools” series (all works 2006) is the sharp juxtaposition, in several of the paintings, of luminous blue swimming pool and dark surrounding shadow. Both are expansive, however self-contained the pool and uncontainable the shade. In Swimming Pool Landscape, the latter threatens to engulf the former, and with it the people around the pool. They’re veritably “living on the edge,” trapped between two pits, as it were, one neatly geometrical, the other abysmal and spreading like a cancer. The picture needs only a pendulum to turn it into

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  • Daniel Lefcourt

    Taxter & Spengemann

    A lot can happen in the gap between an artist’s initial inspiration and a project’s eventual outcome, and the objects in Daniel Lefcourt’s recent show dwell precisely, if opaquely, in that space. In his recent exhibition at Taxter & Spengemann, Lefcourt presented an array of Minimal-ish constructions, most of them assemblages of narrow strips of wood mounted on the wall. Many of these strips are covered in solid black acrylic, but narrow unpainted bands divide the surfaces of some into squares, while slanted lines crisscross others.

    The differences between the works lie, for the most part, in

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  • Basim Magdy

    Newman Popiashvili

    In an obtuse tribute saturated with irony, Russian novelist Victor Pelevin dedicated his 1992 novella Omon Ra to the “Heroes of the Soviet Cosmos.” It was, after all, the Soviet Union that launched Yuri Gagarin into space in April 1961, trumping America’s Alan Shepard by nearly a month. But despite the USSR’s pioneering legacy, America grandly upstaged it by landing men on the moon in 1969, making eternal heroes of the Armstrong-Aldrin duo and a trivia question of Gagarin. In Pelevin’s sci-fi satire of the Soviets’ insufficient technology and unrelenting ambition during the Space Race, cosmonaut-hero

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