reviews

  • A visitor listens to Katrina Palmer’s The Loss Adjusters, 2015, Easton, Isle of Portland, April 24, 2015. Photo: Brendan Buesnal.

    Katrina Palmer

    Artangel

    The stories told in Katrina Palmer’s audio walk The Loss Adjusters, 2015, are complicated narratives, 150 million years in the making. Sculptor/writer Palmer scripted three eerie ten-minute fictions, which visitors could hear narrated through headphones as they were guided on a walk across this four-mile formation of solid rock off England’s south coast. Basically a giant beached boulder, the Isle of Portland was created in the Jurassic period when trillions of tons’ worth of organic matter compacted here over countless millennia, gradually solidifying into vast deposits of luminous Portland

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  • John Wood and Paul Harrison, Semi-Automatic Painting Machine, 2014, HD video, color, sound, 19 minutes.

    John Wood and Paul Harrison

    Carroll / Fletcher

    A 2006 essay by artist Ian White gently chided what he saw as the default critical approach to John Wood and Paul Harrison’s short, epigrammatic films and sculptures: a rush to immediate, endless comparison with historical examples of Minimalism, Conceptualism, process art, philosophy, absurdism, slapstick, and more. However, White (having his cake and eating it) also listed a few dozen of the usual comparators, including Donald Judd, Bruce Nauman, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, Yvonne Rainer, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Samuel Beckett. He thought this contextual “stickiness” was mere reading-in,

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  • Patricia Treib, Batignolles, 2015, oil on canvas, 72 × 54".

    Patricia Treib

    Kate MacGarry

    At first glance, the ease with which the eye travels through one of Patricia Treib’s paintings belies the complexity she brings to the canvas. The seven large paintings and three smaller works in this New York–based artist’s exhibition “Mobile Sleeve” mostly feature forms created from large painterly marks that appear to have been made in a single gesture with very thin oil paint. With their flat, slightly bubbly surfaces, they resemble marks made in watercolor or ink. And yet those fluid gestures—in bright, soft color—often suggest solid volumes: architectural sections or biomorphic

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  • Jo Baer, Dusk (Bands and End-Points), 2012, oil on canvas, 86 1/2 × 118".

    Jo Baer

    Camden Arts Centre

    In 1983, Jo Baer announced she was no longer an abstract painter. Instead, she said, she was committed to working in a mode she dubbed “radical figuration.” However, as “In the Land of the Giants,” the series of paintings she has been making since 2009, demonstrates, you can’t ever really think abstraction without figuration or vice versa. Even as she dedicated the 1960s to patiently exploring and exploiting the parameters of the abstract canvas, her vision from the outset expanded beyond its limits.

    By 1962, Baer had stripped back painting to its bare bones. She painted neatly executed ribbons

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