reviews

  • Frank Auerbach, Head of J.Y.M. II, 1984–85, oil on canvas, 26 × 24".

    Frank Auerbach

    Tate Britain

    Frank Auerbach’s unambiguously palpable paintings keep getting more mysterious the more I look at them. T. J. Clark, in a characteristically rich, knotty, and self-dramatizing essay for the catalogue of this oddly shaped retrospective, writes of seeing one for the first time and thinking it “a crazy inconsequential daub.” That was not my initial impression, but it’s where further acquaintance with the work seems to be leading me. Curiously, the phrase Clark used to sum up his erstwhile disdain for the paintings started to sound like apt praise.

    After reading curator Catherine Lampert’s 2015 book

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  • Susan Hiller, Towards an Autobiography of Night, 1983, gold ink on twelve C-prints, each 20 × 30".

    Susan Hiller

    Lisson Gallery | 27 Bell Street | London

    In 2011, Susan Hiller staged a major retrospective at Tate Britain in London. At the time, Hiller—whose background is in anthropology—expressed relief that her art had received enough attention to keep her going, but not enough to create the kind of market demand that would encourage overproduction. Go to most retrospectives, she noted, “and you’ll see that all the interesting work is at the beginning.” Her debut exhibition at London’s Lisson Gallery, curated by Andreas Leventis, makes clear Hiller’s resistance to such a fate.

    Take On the Edge, 2015: “a collection of 482 views from 219

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  • Ian Cheng, Emissary Forks at Perfection (detail), 2015, ongoing live digital simulation, color, sound.

    Ian Cheng

    Pilar Corrias

    Ian Cheng has described his craft as the sculpting of behavior: The figures that populate his virtual worlds are digital objects endowed—programmed—with tendencies and protocols that vary their interactions while also allowing for certain developments to recur. Cheng calls these works “live simulations”; they are essentially models of systems that are simulated in real time and visualized as digital animations to approximate human perception of space-time. As such, they incorporate features of cinema and video games but play themselves, unraveling without human input or influence,

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  • View of “Christine Sun Kim,” 2015–16. Foreground: Viewers interacting with Game of Skill 1.0, 2015. Photo: Robin Reeve.

    Christine Sun Kim

    Carroll / Fletcher

    In a recent TED Talk, Christine Sun Kim commented that, “As a deaf person living in a world of sound, it’s as if I was living in a foreign country, blindly following its rules, customs, behaviors, and norms without ever questioning them.” She went on to explain that she used to make paintings, but when she noticed that nearly every exhibition she visited displayed a work incorporating an element of sound, she began to wonder if she was now going to be excluded from contemporary art. She therefore decided to reclaim her “ownership of sound” via her work—something that, as a deaf child, she

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