• Nikita Gale, DESCENT, 2018, HD video, color, sound, 8 minutes 21 seconds.

    Nikita Gale

    Commonwealth and Council

    fuck transparency. Nikita Gale’s exhibition “DESCENT” was paced by a rhythmic guitar distortion and a stoic voice-over emanating from its namesake video. The title’s multiple reads—hereditary descent, angled descent, dissent—were part of Gale’s efforts throughout the show to scramble legibility, both visually and conceptually.

    A long corridor lit green led to the gallery; the color, complementary to the occasional red glow of Gale’s video, left a blinding afterimage of the silhouetted shapes that obstructed the hallway’s other doorways. Gale had divided the main space with a series of

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  • Raúl de Nieves, Psychopomp, 2018, vintage millinery trim, rhinestones, plastic beads, thread, glue, cardboard, mannequin, zipper, 44 × 15 × 25".

    Raúl de Nieves

    Freedman Fitzpatrick

    The work of Mexican-born, New York–based artist Raúl de Nieves owes much of its sensibility to early-1970s glam: its artifice, excess, and glittering attitude toward gender. But there was nothing nostalgic, ironic, or retro about the seven figurative sculptures, four mosaiclike wall works, and three drawings that comprised this show. Rather, the works’ dazzling, obsessive surfaces seemed earnestly drawn from some collision of nature, Pop, and fantasy in the service of pure theater. The actors here were six three-foot-tall bodies, each a construction of fiberglass, glue, and multicolored plastic

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  • Guadalupe Rosales, Latinas Mapping the City, ca. 1994–1998, 2018, ink-jet print on self-adhesive vinyl, 96 × 72".

    Guadalupe Rosales

    Vincent Price Art Museum

    On first encountering Guadalupe Rosales’s Untitled (all works 2018), a wall-based sculpture of a pager dangling from a string of pastel plastic raver beads, I felt the strange urge to look up the artist’s birth year. Here’s what I found: Rosales was born in 1980, two years before I was. While an artist’s age is often of trivial concern, it’s important here: As rough contemporaries, we have both seen telecommunications technologies shape and reshape our lived worlds, especially the experience of being a teenager in the 1990s. When we were in elementary school—she in Los Angeles, I in

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