• Stephen Prina, The Second Sentence of Everything I Read Is You: Mourning Sex, 2005–2007, mixed media. Installation view. From “Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology.”

    “Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology”

    Hammer Museum

    The work of Andrea Fraser held a privileged position within Anne Ellegood and Johanna Burton’s ambitious survey of appropriation and institutional-critique practices from the 1970s to the present. The first gallery featured Fraser’s performance video Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk, 1989, in which the artist, posing as a docent, offers a tour of the Philadelphia Museum of Art that draws attention to the imbrications of aesthetic forms and class relations manifest in the institution’s architecture and displays via a script composed of appropriated texts. Hectoring the show throughout was an

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  • Math Bass, Newz!, 2014, gouache on canvas, 34 x 32". From the series “Newz!,” 2014–.

    Math Bass

    Overduin & Co.

    For Math Bass’s first solo presentation in the city where she lives and works, the artist transformed Overduin & Co. into a kind of playground, its rooms crisscrossed by chutes and ladders. Twinned versions of a waxed-steel sculpture—a narrow vertical plane with a deep U-shape extracted from the top and a smaller, mirroring shape removed from the bottom—were propped side by side against a wall, while three similarly composed iterations of floor-bound metal sheets (each work titled And Its Shadow, 2014) arced as though performing spry gymnastic backbends. The press release for this

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  • Tariq Alvi, Deep, East (No. 44), 2014, digital C-print, 38 x 30". From the series “Deep, East,” 2014–.

    Tariq Alvi

    Michael Benevento

    London-based artist Tariq Alvi has long used collage to imbricate politically charged photos with the crude consumer imagery of tabloids and circulars, arranging his productions into decorative patterns that exude elegiac panache. The effect reminds me of the work of Derek Jarman, who could produce both the ecstatic rush of Jubilee (1978), and the venomous, seething The Last of England (1988). While Alvi’s work nods to the often disturbing ways in which images are subsumed and exploited by the market, it doesn’t deliver clear commentary, offering instead a series of affective and confounding

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