reviews

  • Jacolby Satterwhite, Blessed Avenue, 2018, 3-D video, color, sound, 19 minutes 20 seconds. Installation view. Photo: Lance Brewer.

    Jacolby Satterwhite

    Gavin Brown's Enterprise | Downtown

    Leather queens, club kids, and bare-breasted femmes writhe and vogue in crystalline enclosures overlooking churning purple galaxies. Bound to one another and to sinister machines by a network of multicolored intestinal tubing, pliable virtual bodies pleasure and punish each other in acrobatic scenarios, their mechanical gyrations powered by a sovereign libidinal clockwork. The factory and the dance floor, Fordism and fetishism, play and werk, collapse into undifferentiated opalescence. Across a torpid twenty minutes, titillation yields to monotony, anhedonia, alienation. In a rapacious feedback

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  • Moyra Davey, 1943 (detail), 2018, 108 C-prints, tape, postage, ink, each print 18 x 12".

    Moyra Davey

    Galerie Buchholz | New York

    The only coin ever made in the United States that can be picked up with a magnet is the 1943 steel cent. It was produced in a time of austerity at the height of World War II, when copper was being rerouted to munitions manufacturing. Steel pennies coated in zinc may have conserved necessary metal, but they caused all kinds of problems, too. They were unusually light. They were often mistaken for dimes. They got stuck in vending machines. They rusted quickly. A few years ago, someone gave the artist Moyra Davey a whole cache of them as a gift. They had aged weirdly and unevenly, having become by

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  • Kay Rosen, White House v. America, 2018, acrylic on wall, dimensions variable. © Kay Rosen/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    Kay Rosen

    Alexander Gray Associates

    That politics should have been on Kay Rosen’s mind in preparing this show, “Stirring Wirds,” is in tune with the tenor of her work for some decades past—politics are a habit of mind for her. But the times of Donald Trump have given her special urgency. Of course, I thought the same thing a dozen years ago about the times of George W. Bush, when Rosen produced acute responses to the fate of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. When something bad happens, we sometimes console ourselves by saying, “Could be worse.” Given recent trajectories, though, this may not be such a reassuring idea.

    Rosen

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  • Kishio Suga, Nature of Elapsing Sites, 2017, wood, paint, stones, 71 7/8 x 54 3/8 x 3 1/2".

    Kishio Suga

    Blum & Poe | New York

    “I constantly think about how to confuse or distort the typical order of things,” artist Kishio Suga wrote for a 2005 essay anthologized in Kishio Suga’s Work from a Zen Perspective (2008). “Viewers would be rendered speechless before an artwork of this kind. In a matter of seconds or minutes, their thoughts would shift from established orders to new ones.” One might expect such an endeavor to require the use of jarring force or violence—anything other than the sanguine grace that permeated Suga’s latest show at Blum & Poe. But like an expert tour guide, Suga led the way down various side

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  • Barkley L. Hendricks, Sidecar #1 (For Miles), 1979, graphite, glow stick juice, ink, blue-foil seal, and collage on paper, 22 1/4 X 29 3/4". © Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks.

    Barkley L. Hendricks

    Jack Shainman Gallery | West 20th Street

    The great Barkley L. Hendricks, who passed away last year, is best known for his majestic painted portraits of confident, self-assured black men and women, their dignified presence amplified through attitude and sartorial panache. Hendricks also worked in many other media—notably photography—and the full-breadth of his creative practice is only now beginning to emerge. “Them Changes” at Jack Shainman presented forty works on paper, including mixed-media collages and watercolors, that Hendricks produced between 1974 and 1984. Though touted as “newly discovered bodies of work” by the

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  • Alex Da Corte, Hot Pie, 2018, neon, vinyl siding, laminate, plywood, epoxy clay, house paint, hardware, 72 x 79 x 5 3/4".

    Alex Da Corte

    Karma | New York

    Over the past dozen years, Alex Da Corte has developed a highly distinctive practice, one focused primarily on fashioning (and/or refashioning) overripe bits of commodity culture and then putting conceptual pressure on them until whatever uncanniness they contain starts leaking out. Da Corte is both a maker of boldly strange objects and a designer of the psychically disorienting immersive settings in which he presents them. He’s also crazily prolific: In the past half decade, he’s mounted some twenty solo shows featuring sculpture, video, and installations for which he created the lighting and

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  • Erik Parker, Oh Yeah!, 2018, acrylic and collage on canvas, 68 x 68".

    Erik Parker

    Mary Boone Gallery | Chelsea

    Calibrated for maximum hallucinogenic effect, Erik Parker’s ultra-vivid, hyper-pictorial paintings go all out to grab and hold one’s attention. For this show, his first with Mary Boone, the artist’s hyperbolic solicitations came in three distinct forms—portraits, pyramids, and planks. The portrait paintings, of which there were five (three of solitary visages, one bearing two heads, and one comprising a group of four severely discombobulated busts), were either medium or large in scale, and constituted the most labor-intensive, complex, and accomplished works in the show. Each portrait was

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  • Liu Shiyuan, Almost like Rebar No. 3, 2018, C-print in artist’s frame, 50 x 62 3/4".

    Liu Shiyuan

    Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

    Replete with footage of cloud formations, bird’s-eye views of forest streams, and koi fish, all set to a kalimba-driven soundtrack, the initial shots of Liu Shiyuan’s twenty-two-minute video Isolated Above, Connected Down (all works 2018) reminded one of the gentle scene-setting of a David Attenborough documentary. But the tone of Liu’s video, which served as the cornerstone of the artist’s debut solo show in New York, quickly departs from that of the beloved British naturalist, devolving into a dark comedy of manners that showcases the inanity of human social interaction. The two protagonists

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  • Sean Raspet, OR: 52D1 (1G1), 2018, scent molecule formation, diffuser, dimensions variable.

    Sean Raspet

    Bridget Donahue

    While researching Soviet Constructivism for her book The Artist as Producer (2005), Maria Gough uncovered one of history’s great ironies: After the Russian Revolution, the avant-garde agreed on the common goal of integrating art with mass production. The artist who came closest to succeeding, Karl Ioganson, is now the least well known of his peers. Ioganson so dedicated himself to improving factory-floor efficiency that his records were not housed alongside those of Aleksandr Rodchenko or Lyubov Popova but were instead located in the Soviet Union’s archives of industry and labor.

    I sometimes

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  • Oliver Laric, Hundemensch, 2018, polyurethane, pigment, 20 7/8 x 20 1/2 × 22 3/4".

    Oliver Laric

    Metro Pictures

    Oliver Laric’s iterative video treatise “Versions,” 2009–12, defined a certain moment of “post-internet” discourse during which the status of the image seemed bleak. It was as though the digital world and its posse of copies, avatars, and remixes were hunting down the conventions of originals and authors. Sutured together from uncredited fragments of texts by Gilles Deleuze, Heraclitus, and RZA—and read by an actress who seems to be imitating Siri—the voice-over narration for 2010’s Versions begins: “Degradation followed display; reified and emptied, the image was treated like the

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  • Mimi Lauter, Untitled, 2018, soft pastel and oil pastel on paper, 20 1/2 x 12".

    Mimi Lauter

    Derek Eller Gallery

    Seeing Mimi Lauter’s work for the first time brought home to me how rare it is to see contemporary painting whose substance is rich and full-bodied but possibly inchoate, rather than style, topicality, or an arm’s-length commentary on art history. Lauter’s work is clearly imbued with historical self-consciousness—the press release rightly cites “Redon, Vuillard, Bonnard, as well as other members of the Nabis and Post-Impressionists” among the Los Angeles–based artist’s precursors, to which list I would add Blaue Reiter–period Kandinsky and maybe a few more recent explorers of the cusp

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  • Michael Goldberg, Knossos, 2007, oil stick and oil on canvas, 81 1/2 x 74".

    Michael Goldberg

    Michael Rosenfeld Gallery

    This exhibition brought together paintings that Michael Goldberg made in the 1950s, at the beginning his career (he was born in 1924) and in the 2000s, near the end of his life (he died in 2007). The juxtaposition of his earliest and latest works indicate that the artist never really veered off course; he remained consistently concerned with the “physicality” of paint, which he liked to “push . . . around hard.” The “apparently haphazard composition, the hostile, indifferent surfaces” of his paintings, give the “impression . . . of being fragments of a vast, continuing process beyond [his]

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  • View of “Pam Lins,” 2018. Photo: Stan Narten.

    Pam Lins

    Rachel Uffner Gallery

    Three years ago, Pam Lins exhibited a series of sculptures made after photos of sculptures, including a group of ceramics based on late-1920s images of spatial models by students at the Vkhutemas (Higher State Artistic and Technical Studios) in Moscow. It was a conceptual conceit well suited to her rigorous explorations of the ways in which reproduction tends to dominate our experience of objects. More specifically, those works addressed how we often perceive sculptures as flat and frontal, even when we know full well they are dimensional, and how we prioritize their contours at the expense of

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  • View of “Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983,” 2018.

    “Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983”

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art

    AND “Club 57: Lost Flyers 1979–83,” Alden Projects™, New York

    NEW YORK’S rising rents and the proliferation of sterilized boxes (stores, condos, restaurants) promising this or that lifestyle impels a nostalgia for the grittier, anything-goes city of the late 1970s and early ’80s. Evidence of this sentimental retrospection can be found everywhere—in popular blogs like Vanishing New York, restaurants boasting bullet-hole ridden walls, television dramas like The Deuce and Vinyl, and think-pieces that longingly recount the era’s notorious squalor.

    The Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition “Club 57: Film,

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