• View of “René Daniëls: Fragments from an Unfinished Novel,” 2018. From left: Painting on the Bullfight, 1985; De slag om de twintigste eeuw (Battle for the Twentieth Century), 1984; Painting on Unknown Languages, 1985. Photo: Hugard & Vanoverschelde Photography.

    René Daniëls

    WIELS Contemporary Art Centre

    WHAT I REMEMBER from the couple of shows René Daniëls (then not using the diaeresis in his name) did in New York in the mid-1980s is mainly feeling puzzled. The paintings were representational, and—if I recall correctly—mostly without figures. They more than flirted with abstraction, and they were shown at a gallery, Metro Pictures, that seemed to maintain a distinctly antipainting stance. At the time, these camps—the neo-expressionists, the abstractionists, and the Pictures crowd—seemed utterly at odds, and yet this artist shared something with all of them and none. Whose

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  • TR Ericsson, 45’s, 2018, graphite, resin, and funerary ash on muslin, 59 × 82 5⁄8".

    TR Ericsson

    Harlan Levey Projects

    TR Ericsson’s “Industrial Poems—Poémes Industriels” was a very private yet despairing portrait of the relationship between a mother and son. The artist captures this relationship in two phases: the period during which he had to deal with his mother’s mental instability; and his life after her suicide. Ericsson’s art reflects his experiences with a great deal of intimacy, and at first this felt uncomfortable, as if one were intruding on personal affairs. Yet its resonance was more than just personal; rather, it was an eerie reminder of the socioeconomic wasteland of the postindustrial American

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