reviews

  • Anicka Yi, §M§†RñJR§, 2022, acrylic, UV print, aluminum artist’s frame, 67 1⁄4 × 55 1⁄4 × 1 1⁄2".

    Anicka Yi, §M§†RñJR§, 2022, acrylic, UV print, aluminum artist’s frame, 67 1⁄4 × 55 1⁄4 × 1 1⁄2".

    Anicka Yi

    Gladstone Gallery | West 24th St

    Has the dialogue between art and science undergone a paradigm shift? Compare Olafur Eliasson’s The Weather Project, 2003, and Anicka Yi’s In Love with the World, 2021–22, two commissions for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, London, undertaken by artists known for treating their studios as research laboratories. The orchestration of mist, mirrors, and artificial light in The Weather Project entranced audiences—so much so that a generation of critics steeped in Guy Debord and Fredric Jameson immediately regarded it as the culmination of spectacle in the late-capitalist museum. Underneath all the whizbang

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  • Silke Otto-Knapp, Untitled (Versammlung III), 2022, triptych, watercolor on canvas, overall 6' 6 3 ⁄4" × 12' 9 1⁄2". © Silke Otto-Knapp.

    Silke Otto-Knapp, Untitled (Versammlung III), 2022, triptych, watercolor on canvas, overall 6' 6 3 ⁄4" × 12' 9 1⁄2". © Silke Otto-Knapp.

    Silke Otto-Knapp

    Galerie Buchholz | New York

    When German artist Silke Otto-Knapp (1970–2022) passed away from ovarian cancer last October, she left behind a quietly impactful oeuvre. Her serene grayscale paintings created over the past decade or so—of silhouetted figures, subdued landscapes—often put me in mind of Romantic composers, such as Frédéric Chopin. Like his music, her art feels timeless, even when it culls from the past to say something prescient about today and tomorrow. Often the message has something to do with evanescence, a quality that echoes throughout works that achieve a potent ambiguity between flatness and depth,

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  • Morris Hirshfield, Girl with Pigeons, 1942, oil on canvas, 30 × 40 1⁄8".

    Morris Hirshfield, Girl with Pigeons, 1942, oil on canvas, 30 × 40 1⁄8".

    Morris Hirshfield

    American Folk Art Museum

    At age eighteen, Morris Hirshfield (1872–1946) left Poland for New York and joined a wave of Eastern European Jewish émigrés in the city’s garment industry: first as a pattern cutter maximizing the number of designs that could be extracted from a single piece of cloth, then as a tailor and partner in a women’s suiting shop, and finally as a manufacturer of orthopedic devices and embellished boudoir slippers, for which he garnered twenty-four patents. After retiring in 1937, he took up painting, electing to work directly on top of two pieces of art that he already owned. Angora Cat and Beach Girl

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  • View of “Henrike Naumann,” 2022–23. Background: Rustic Traditions, 2022. Foreground: Horseshoe Theory (detail), 2022.

    View of “Henrike Naumann,” 2022–23. Background: Rustic Traditions, 2022. Foreground: Horseshoe Theory (detail), 2022.

    Henrike Naumann

    SculptureCenter

    Berlin-based artist Henrike Naumann builds national interiors. The furniture she assembles for her scenographic sculptures and installations is invariably sourced from the regions she exhibits them in, and her selections—more affective than referential—do not adhere so much to their status as design objects as to their demographic popularity. Naumann’s work opens thresholds between private and public scenes of assimilation, placing viewers into tableaux where political culture is articulated as a myth of the past, present, and future: a thing that furnishes all of our lives. “Re-Education” is

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  • Jules Olitski, Code of Shem, 1990, acrylic on canvas, 68 1⁄4 × 69 1⁄4". © Jules Olitski ArtFoundation/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    Jules Olitski, Code of Shem, 1990, acrylic on canvas, 68 1⁄4 × 69 1⁄4". © Jules Olitski Art
    Foundation/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    Jules Olitski

    Yares Art | New York

    In celebration of what would have been the year that Jules Olitski (1922–2007) turned one hundred, Yares Art presents just as many of the painter’s works in this marvelous retrospective, which covers every aspect of his long career. Beautifully installed, the exhibition is a tour de force of a twentieth-century master—that is, an artist who was capable of providing us with an ever-changing “sensation of the new,” to refer to Charles Baudelaire’s famous remark, amplified by the French poet’s assertion that modernism is “the transitory, fugitive element, whose metamorphoses are so rapid.” Was

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  • View of “Painting in New York: 1971–83,” 2022. From left: Faith Ringgold, Windows of the Wedding #16: Lovers, 1974; Faith Ringgold, Juanita, Eddie and Caron, 1973; Elizabeth Murray, Table Turning, 1982–83.

    View of “Painting in New York: 1971–83,” 2022. From left: Faith Ringgold, Windows of the Wedding #16: Lovers, 1974; Faith Ringgold, Juanita, Eddie and Caron, 1973; Elizabeth Murray, Table Turning, 1982–83.

    “Painting in New York: 1971–83”

    Karma | 172 East 2nd Street

    From the perspective of many luminaries in the art-critical establishment of yore, the pluralistic 1970s was the decade that went wrong. The messy dismantling of modernism then taking place was tantamount to patricide and shattered the idea of cohesive movements in art. Many lamented the seeming lack of direction, noting the death of painting as another grim marker of decline. Calvin Tomkins went so far as to declare that no major artists emerged in America during those so-called deplorable years. Robert Motherwell proclaimed his fellow Abstract Expressionists the last artists to make substantial

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  • View of “Painting in New York: 1971–83,” 2022. From left: Faith Ringgold, Windows of the Wedding #16: Lovers, 1974; Faith Ringgold, Juanita, Eddie and Caron, 1973; Elizabeth Murray, Table Turning, 1982–83.

    View of “Painting in New York: 1971–83,” 2022. From left: Faith Ringgold, Windows of the Wedding #16: Lovers, 1974; Faith Ringgold, Juanita, Eddie and Caron, 1973; Elizabeth Murray, Table Turning, 1982–83.

    “Painting in New York: 1971–83”

    Karma | 188 East 2nd Street

    From the perspective of many luminaries in the art-critical establishment of yore, the pluralistic 1970s was the decade that went wrong. The messy dismantling of modernism then taking place was tantamount to patricide and shattered the idea of cohesive movements in art. Many lamented the seeming lack of direction, noting the death of painting as another grim marker of decline. Calvin Tomkins went so far as to declare that no major artists emerged in America during those so-called deplorable years. Robert Motherwell proclaimed his fellow Abstract Expressionists the last artists to make substantial

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  • Constance DeJong, Flame, 2019, spoken text and sound material on sensor-activated digital frame, 2 minutes 28 seconds, 9 3⁄4 × 11 7⁄8 × 6".

    Constance DeJong, Flame, 2019, spoken text and sound material on sensor-activated digital frame, 2 minutes 28 seconds, 9 3⁄4 × 11 7⁄8 × 6".

    Constance DeJong

    Bureau

    Where do words situate us? The ongoing clusterfuck of self-perpetuating post-truth doublespeak—intensified by dispatches from the nether regions of influencer live streams, conspiracy-theorist podcasts, how-to videos, hot-take pieces, and more—forces us to gird ourselves against the endless waves of stupid, suffocating chatter. How does one not feel marooned, adrift?

    Thankfully we have Constance DeJong, who for more than four decades has expanded the material parameters of narrative by hybridizing performance art, radio theater, sonic composition, writing, drawing, and sculpture to highlight the

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  • Cora Cohen, Replace the Beloved, 1985–87, oil and Flashe paint on linen, 78 × 78".

    Cora Cohen, Replace the Beloved, 1985–87, oil and Flashe paint on linen, 78 × 78".

    Cora Cohen

    Morgan Presents

    About a decade ago, it seemed to become increasingly notable that a number of women painters had been pursuing aspects of Abstract Expressionism in idiosyncratic and innovative ways. In these pages, Mark Godfrey pointed to Jacqueline Humphries, Laura Owens, Amy Sillman, and Charline von Heyl—all participants in the 2014 Whitney Biennial—as protagonists of this effort to reexamine a once “forbidden” style, stripped of its former rhetoric so that, as Godfrey put it, “meaning is thrown back onto the viewer as the artists’ own subjective investments in their decisions around paint handling become

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  • Rafal Bujnowski, White Dress (American Night), 2021, oil on canvas, 26 × 26".

    Rafal Bujnowski, White Dress (American Night), 2021, oil on canvas, 26 × 26".

    Rafal Bujnowski

    Foxy Production

    Named after, and starring, an ancient pigment made from the soot produced when oil is burned for illumination, Rafal Bujnowski’s exhibition “Lamp Black Love Story” was a meditation on darkness, light, and how the interplay between the two can suggest new operations of the painted surface. Bujnowski first came to prominence during his art-school days in the second half of the 1990s, when he was a member of the Ładnie collective—named for a Polish word that roughly translates as “pretty” or “nice,” chosen to sardonically memorialize the befuddled faint praise he and his contemporaries (including

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  • Mary DeVincentis, When the Stars Are Calling You, 2021, oil on panel, 16 × 12".

    Mary DeVincentis, When the Stars Are Calling You, 2021, oil on panel, 16 × 12".

    Mary DeVincentis

    Tappeto Volante

    Mary DeVincentis paints eerie netherworlds, celestial panoramas, and earthly pastorals that often feature a lone woman and a cast of anthropomorphized animals and flora. Her cartoonish female subjects—self-portraits, essentially—walk lonely roads or float through the air, at times communing with nature in sunny meadows and crepuscular forests. The atmospherics are of ethereal somnambulism and introspection: Think Aesop’s Fables meets Edward Gorey with a hint of roofied-out foreboding à la the 2019 folk-horror film Midsommar. The artist’s exhibition here, “Walking with Ghosts,” extended this

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