• Tino Sehgal

    Marian Goodman Gallery | New York

    Given Tino Sehgal’s recent successes—mounting three exhibitions in as many years at the ICA in London; representing Germany at the 2005 Venice Biennale; and, last September, inaugurating what is billed as a “permanent evolving retrospective” at San Francisco’s CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts—it was difficult to approach This situation, 2007, unburdened by advance information. What one knew was likely to concern more than Sehgal’s self-described “constructed situations,” which are based on semiscripted actions by hired players. Anticipating his New York gallery debut, audiences had

    Read more
  • Wade Guyton

    Petzel Gallery | West 18th Street

    Smart and smart-looking, Wade Guyton’s new prints/paintings, all from 2007, evoke a lot of history while appearing bracingly current—in fact they could only have been made today, with today’s technology. A virtuoso of the ink-jet the way Pollock was a virtuoso of the pour, Guyton made these works on canvas with an Epson printer. A number of contemporary artists have experimented with using computers to make traditional-painting-like objects; essentially giving up the images and image traces that informed earlier work made by the same method, Guyton’s present solution is elementally simple and

    Read more
  • Julian Schnabel

    Sperone Westwater

    Now for some whopping exaggerations and reckless paradoxes: The abstractionist of Minimalist persuasion always paints the same picture; the abstractionist of Expressionist bent always paints a different one. The former works in a received world of agreed-on perfections; the latter swims in the wilder waters of intuition and guesswork. Expressionists lack a proscriptive list of desirables that might guarantee the credibility of their work. Is this why Julian Schnabel has embellished maritime maps in his new series “Navigation Drawings,” 2007? They chart, give direction, proscribe. Then again,

    Read more
  • Diana Thater

    David Zwirner | 525 & 533 West 19th Street

    On wall-mounted flat-screen monitors, well-groomed hands move without hesitation over chessboards turned at an angle to the screen, hitting clocks and grabbing pieces in confident advances. Thus did Diana Thater’s most recent show at David Zwirner offer what her work so often does: a technologically mediated abstraction dependent on yet oddly divorced from the representations through which we perceive it. Yet in these deft moves, chess initiates will no doubt recognize a narrative after all, since Thater, in the jejune spirit of battle reenactment, has staged—with the help of various members

    Read more
  • Lucian Freud

    Museum of Modern Art/Marlborough Graphics

    Among Lucian Freud’s earliest works, from the 1940s, are etchings that, while intimate, feel charged with a rough emotional urgency. The atmosphere recurs in etchings from the 1980s and later, as well as in his oils from the ’60s onward. As an emerging painter, Freud was heavily influenced by Francis Bacon’s disruptive (and as some theorists would have it, scatological) smear and, just as crucially, by Bacon’s sense of the innate perversity of being human. Like Bacon, Freud succeeds in turning his models’ bodies into a kind of painterly residue, recognizably human but still grossly material.


    Read more
  • Alberto Burri

    Mitchell-Innes & Nash | Chelsea

    On his release from the Texas internment camp where he was held as a prisoner of war from 1944 to 1946 (having served with the Italian army in North Africa), Alberto Burri embarked on a practice of post-painterly abstraction rooted in a commitment to scabrous materiality. From 1949 onward he employed wood, plastic, and burlap—often burning or suturing them—as well as mud and dirt to generate surfaces that mark an intersection of formalism, or rather formlessness, and a confrontation with history. Seeming on the one hand closed to interpretation by the utter opacity of filthy matter, these works

    Read more
  • Alan Saret

    The Drawing Center

    The art world loves lost-and-found stories, tales of marginalized mavericks whose good work is later rehabilitated by enterprising curators on the prowl for underappreciated achievements. The recent exhibition of Alan Saret’s “Gang Drawings,” 1967–2003—the first solo show by the pioneering SoHo “anti-form” artist in over seventeen years, featuring works on paper made between 1967 and 2003 with “ganged” handfuls of colored pencils—only dipped into a single precinct of a much broader career, but nevertheless did a service by reintroducing one intriguing insider-turned-outsider.

    In the late 1960s,

    Read more
  • Katy Grannan

    Greenberg Van Doren/Salon 94 Freemans

    The striking images comprising Katy Grannan’s latest body of photographs—which find her exploring the foggy shores and nondescript interiors of the Bay Area, where she has lived since 2004—constitute her most fully realized work to date. In the past, Grannan has preferred to cast her net wide and survey multiple individuals, but for her current series, she has trained her lens on three specific subjects. The resultant images were divided into series, with two transgendered friends in fusty dresses, Gail and Dale, represented in the show “Lady into Fox” at Salon 94 Freemans, and shots of a

    Read more
  • Eric Wesley

    Bortolami Gallery

    That Eric Wesley has distanced himself from institutional critique (characterizing it as “way too serious and noncommittal at the same time”) should come as no surprise. Born in 1973, the LA-based artist belongs to a generation that tends toward extremes when it comes to narrativizing their relationships to artistic legacies, whether by way of fetishization or refusal. Many of these accounts amount to little more than cliché; Wesley has elaborated on his “way too serious” comment by dismissing institutional critique as capable of “no humor, no comedy,” a characterization that hardly matches up

    Read more
  • Ross Knight

    Team Gallery | Wooster Street

    Ross Knight’s fifth solo exhibition at Team Gallery was a judiciously sparse arrangement of five new constructions characterized in the press release as “pratfall sculptures.” It’s an apt term for these playfully precarious works; there’s something of the concealed rake, balanced water bucket, or discarded banana skin about all of them. Like Andreas Slominski’s elaborate improvised animal traps, Knight’s knowingly awkward setups seem to lie in wait, appearing physically and conceptually suspended, caught between quantifiable—albeit absurdist—formal resolution and the secondary, ironic suggestion

    Read more
  • Sarah Pickering

    Daniel Cooney Fine Art

    Preparedness seems to be a watchword of the era of “global terrorism” and global warming. The expectation of calamity keeps us stockpiling food, water, and moist towelettes, even as the distance between preparing for an unknown catastrophe and actually experiencing it encompasses a vast speculative terrain. In her third series on disaster preparedness, British artist Sarah Pickering again investigates that divide, plotting her most incisive course yet into the weird realms of simulated reality in which first responders practice their trades.

    Pickering’s earlier series “Public Order,” 2002–2005,

    Read more
  • The Peppers

    Ronald Feldman Gallery

    In 1991, Ludmila Skripkina and Oleg Petrenko, who as a duo are known as the Peppers, installed Potato Room at Ronald Feldman Gallery. The Peppers were part of a loose-knit group of artists, dubbed “Moscow conceptualists” in the early 1980s, whose best-known member was Ilya Kabakov. The ’91 show was their first—and until now their only—solo gallery exhibition in the US. The Potato Room included, among other things, six large paintings, six wall hangings made of peas and book fragments, and numerous potato sculptures, hung on and stacked atop cerulean blue walls and pedestals. Seven gnarled potato

    Read more
  • Lisa Sigal

    Frederieke Taylor Gallery

    During Lisa Sigal’s fourth solo exhibition at Frederieke Taylor Gallery, two walls of the main space appeared to have gaping holes, outlined in blue painter’s tape, that exposed stacks of wooden beams. In the back gallery, Sheetrock boards, painted light blue, framed what looked like an opening onto the building’s brick infrastructure. Initially suggesting an ill-timed gallery renovation, these details were in fact part of works on view (That Wood Piece [all works 2007] and Two Shades, respectively). The wooden beams were not underneath but screwed onto the wall, the brick merely a trompe l’oeil

    Read more
  • Kori Newkirk

    The Studio Museum in Harlem

    “No one can make a better Kori Newkirk about Kori Newkirk than Kori Newkirk.” So the artist says in an interview with Thelma Golden published in the catalogue of the Studio Museum Harlem’s current survey of the artist’s work since 1997. Following his participation in the 2001 Studio Museum exhibition “Freestyle,” Newkirk was hailed as a key “post-black” artist. The term, while vaguely defined, was coined by Golden in reference to a stylistically diffuse grouping of artists who shared a desire to avoid alignment with stereotypical presumptions about black subjectivity.

    In Newkirk’s case, this

    Read more
  • Scott Sherk

    Kim Foster Gallery

    For his third exhibition at Kim Foster Gallery, Scott Sherk used the act of walking as source and subject. The work on view, like that by various predecessors for whom perambulation was a theme, brings the outside inside via documentation, and the material consequence of Sherk’s wanderings is a teched-up, twenty-first-century extension of Richard Long’s geometric arrangements of rocks and mud, Hamish Fulton’s photo-text chronicles, and Stanley Brouwn’s obsessive measurements of distance. It’s an old project buttressed by new(ish) machinery, Conceptual art with the assistance of a satellite

    Read more
  • Molly Springfield

    Mireille Mosler, Ltd.

    For her first solo show in New York, Molly Springfield took a page from the history of Conceptual art . . . literally. The ten graphite drawings presented meticulously depict photocopies from three major books on the language- and idea-based art of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The drawings were delicately pinned to the wall of one gallery, and from a distance they do indeed resemble poor-quality, toner-heavy Xeroxes. Springfield’s work is not primarily an attempt at trompe l’oeil, however, but rather aims to mine issues of representation and appropriation. Her life-size reproductions highlight

    Read more