reviews

  • Abraham Palatnik, Objeto cinético (Kinetic Object), 1968/2006, wood, Formica, magnets, metal, motor, industrial paint, 79 7⁄8 × 45 1⁄4 × 16 1⁄8". From the series “Objetos cinéticos,” 1966–2006.

    Abraham Palatnik, Objeto cinético (Kinetic Object), 1968/2006, wood, Formica, magnets, metal, motor, industrial paint, 79 7⁄8 × 45 1⁄4 × 16 1⁄8". From the series “Objetos cinéticos,” 1966–2006.

    Abraham Palatnik

    Nara Roesler New York

    Abraham Palatnik (1928–2020) seems to have always been ahead of the curve. His studies as an engineer in Tel Aviv during the mid-1940s would have put him in touch with nascent cybernetics and systems theories that later figured into the design and production of his kinetic sculptures. On another front, his art-school training as a painter would have introduced him to the cultural avant-garde and factored into his later receptivity to Constructivism and Concrete art—hot topics among the artists of midcentury Brazil, where he was born and eventually returned, in 1947, from Israel. Rio de Janeiro

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  • View of “Kate Millett,” 2022. Photo: Dan Bradica.

    View of “Kate Millett,” 2022. Photo: Dan Bradica.

    Kate Millett

    Salon 94 Design

    Before she wrote her influential feminist book Sexual Politics (1970), before Alice Neel painted her portrait for the cover of the August 31, 1970, issue of Time magazine, and before she founded a women’s art colony outside of Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1978, Kate Millett was an artist. A thriving and active member of Manhattan’s downtown art scene during the late 1950s, Millett (1934–2017) established a studio on the Bowery and frequented the Cedar Tavern—who knows what the macho AbEx crowd there made of this burgeoning queer feminist activist sculptor? After a two-year stint teaching English

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  • Chitra Ganesh, Guardian, 2021, ink, paint, fabric, pastel, paper, rope, and tea on linen, 60 × 48".

    Chitra Ganesh, Guardian, 2021, ink, paint, fabric, pastel, paper, rope, and tea on linen, 60 × 48".

    Chitra Ganesh

    Hales Gallery | New York

    Through a practice anchored in (though not limited to) drawing, Chitra Ganesh has developed a sophisticated iconography and lively illustrative style that synthesizes myriad references to South Asian mythology and religion, comic books, pulp and science fiction, Bollywood posters, and feminist and queer history and theory. Ganesh’s exhibition here, “Nightswimmers,” processed and responded to the profound shifts experienced during the widespread lockdowns that characterized the pandemic’s early months, when life suddenly came to a terrifying and isolating standstill. In contrast to the unruliness

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  • Brenda Goodman, Self-Portrait 1, 1974, oil and mixed media on canvas, 60 × 48".

    Brenda Goodman, Self-Portrait 1, 1974, oil and mixed media on canvas, 60 × 48".

    Brenda Goodman

    Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

    In Brenda Goodman’s painting Self-Portrait 4A, 1994, a cream-colored tank of a figure with spindly arms stares out blankly at the viewer as it stuffs mysterious colorful objects into its monstrous mouth. A little scary and immensely captivating, the image set the stage for this compact eight-work retrospective that offered us a glimpse into Goodman’s prolific five-decade career. The artist’s nude, semi-Surrealistic self-portraits reveal the longtime engagement she’s had with her own body, one provoked by the psychological impact of her battles with fluctuating weight and self-perception. Loosely

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  • Shannon Ebner, Fret, 2022, ink-jet print, 9' 8" × 19' 9".

    Shannon Ebner, Fret, 2022, ink-jet print, 9' 8" × 19' 9".

    Shannon Ebner

    kaufmann repetto | New York

    One way to discern how something works is to take it apart, and Shannon Ebner does this dismantling well. For decades the artist has been exploring the materiality of language, but within very specific formal parameters across disciplines including photography and sculpture. Her variation on Conceptualism is both studied and subtle—her utilization of phrases, stanzas, or stand-alone letters situates us in the vicinity of content and asks us to take stock of its context and our own positioning. The torque is in the vagaries of meaning, and her show at Kaufman Repetto was a furthering of uncertainty.

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  • Dirk Braeckman, U.C.-T.C.I.-21, 2021, five ink-jet prints, each 70 7⁄8 × 47 1⁄4".

    Dirk Braeckman, U.C.-T.C.I.-21, 2021, five ink-jet prints, each 70 7⁄8 × 47 1⁄4".

    Dirk Braeckman

    GRIMM | New York

    Among the many rewarding provocations in the oeuvre of the late, lamented English cultural theorist Mark Fisher was his retooling of Jacques Derrida’s punningly allusive notion of “hauntology”—a historical spectrality that hovers around ideas and institutions, unsettling them with a sense of the lost futures they unavoidably represent—as a way to think about his first and arguably greatest love, music. “The [musical] artists that came to be labelled hauntological,” Fisher wrote in an essay published in 2014, “were suffused with an overwhelming melancholy; and they were preoccupied with the way

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  • Julia Rommel, Life Boat, 2021, oil on linen on wood, 69 3⁄4 × 83".

    Julia Rommel, Life Boat, 2021, oil on linen on wood, 69 3⁄4 × 83".

    Julia Rommel

    Bureau

    It wasn’t hard to surmise what was going on in the ten gorgeously luminous abstract paintings that made up Julia Rommel’s exhibition “Uncle.” The surfaces told the tale. It was all about process: laying down mostly broad swaths of rich color, or removing the canvas from its support and restretching it over another differently formatted rectangle before applying another hue altogether (or, sometimes, a brushy monochromatic pattern), and so on. The results of all this covering and revealing, folding and unfolding—leaving creases, rows of staple holes, varying thicknesses of paint—are geometrically

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  • View of “Gala Porras-Kim,” 2021–22. Photo: Shark Senesac.

    View of “Gala Porras-Kim,” 2021–22. Photo: Shark Senesac.

    Gala Porras-Kim

    Amant

    At the historic site of Teotihuacán, twenty-five miles northeast of Mexico City, two greenstone monoliths were dislodged from the caliginous interior of the Pyramid of the Sun as if they were bad teeth. Unearthed during an excavation that occurred between 2008 and 2011, the smooth colossi ended up being featured in a presentation of new archaeological findings from the ancient Mesoamerican city. When artist Gala Porras-Kim encountered the show in its 2018 iteration at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Bogotá-born Angeleno questioned the decision to displace the hidden megaliths, whose

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  • Jean-François Millet, Le départ pour les champs (The Departure for the Fields), 1863, conté crayon on paper, 17 1⁄4 × 11 3⁄4".

    Jean-François Millet, Le départ pour les champs (The Departure for the Fields), 1863, conté crayon on paper, 17 1⁄4 × 11 3⁄4".

    Jean-François Millet

    Jill Newhouse

    It is hard to believe French painter Jean-François Millet (1814–1875) was ever considered a “dangerous” artist—as Paul Delaroche, who was his teacher at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, once said—because he broke with the academy’s dictates, eschewing the history-painting tradition in favor of less grandiose subjects, such as peasant farmers and the rural landscape.

    Indeed, it was dangerous to be a realist and a humanist, to deal with the “human side of art,” as Millet himself once put it. He was radical not only for what he chose to depict, but also for his unique handling of paint. He celebrated

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  • Agosto Machado, Shrine (White), 2022, mixed media, 91 1⁄2 × 36 × 10".

    Agosto Machado, Shrine (White), 2022, mixed media, 91 1⁄2 × 36 × 10".

    Agosto Machado

    Gordon Robichaux

    Any artist who is devoted to experimental performance becomes an expert in letting go. When a show closes, the actor is left with totems that are difficult to capitalize on: a pair of show shoes, for instance; a playbill signed by the cast; or, if you’re lucky, a treasure chest of stories that will sustain you through the inevitable precarity of operating on a theater’s margins. In the case of performer and archivist Augusto Machado—whose collection of colorful ephemera and artworks accumulated over a lifetime were on display in “The Forbidden City” at Gordon Robichaux—viewers could glean more

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  • Namio Harukawa, Work No. 278, date unknown, graphite and colored pencil on paper, 10 7⁄8 × 7 7⁄8".

    Namio Harukawa, Work No. 278, date unknown, graphite and colored pencil on paper, 10 7⁄8 × 7 7⁄8".

    Namio Harukawa

    ATM Gallery

    There she is: a radiant, platinum-blonde giantess sitting at the bar in a leopard-print bustier with matching evening gloves and long kinky boots. Though we see her from behind, her face is turned toward us, with lips shellacked a poisonous candy-apple red and eyebrows shaped into villainous ice-queen perfection. This curvaceous femme fatale takes up extra space without a whiff of apology; each one of her massive legs rests upon its own plush stool like a plump aristocratic pet. Her enormous bare ass—a luminous thing rendered with aching precision in graphite and colored pencil—is a character

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