• John Russell, Those were insects that were their eyes II, 2017, backlit ink-jet print on vinyl, 10' 10 3/4“ x 55' 9 1/4”. Photo: Annik Wetter.

    John Russell

    Kunsthalle Zurich

    It might take unnerving times such as these for John Russell’s apocalyptic imageboard expressionism not only to shine in all its acute garishness but also to finally stick and enter the canon. That would explain the criticalreception of the artist’s institutional debut outside Great Britain—which was organized by Daniel Baumann—as being somehow “spectacular” if not patently awesome. “Strength through joy(zzzz)!” one might add to this, joy being not exactly connoted neofascistically in this instance, but simply echoing the jovial everyday salutation “Joyz” used by the mutated but mostly

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  • Shirana Shahbazi, Raum-Streifen-01 (Room-Stripes-01), 2017, C-print, 23 7/8 x 19 7/8".

    Shirana Shahbazi

    Galerie Peter Kilchmann

    At first sight, this latest exhibition of Shirana Shahbazi’s photography seemed to present merely a highly polished version of the eclectic screen aesthetic that characterizes a lot of contemporary photography. Her work might appear to allude to 1960s Op art, psychedelia, found photography, and documentary, all laid out in a manner so clean as to seem forensic. But a second, slower take showed that there is no system of reference at the center of her work. Not only is the subject matter of her photography somehow incidental, but so are any apparent historical citations. For Shahbazi, photography

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