reviews

  • Jason Rhoades, Tijuanatanjier­chandelier, 2006, mixed media. Installation view.

    Jason Rhoades, Tijuanatanjier­chandelier, 2006, mixed media. Installation view.

    Jason Rhoades

    David Zwirner | 519 West 19th Street

    Monet had his lilies, Degas his dancers. If one leitmotif defines the madcap oeuvre of Jason Rhoades, it’s pussy. By the time he died, in 2006 at the age of forty-one, Rhoades had collected more than seven thousand euphemisms for female genitalia in several languages. He was on a quest, he said, for “the ultimate pussy word.” This dubious grail—a satirical ode to testosterone-addled idolatry and locker-room patois—gave rise to brashly festive sculptures and performances, as well as delirious, room-size installations. His series “Pussy Trilogy,” 2003–2006, for instance, addressed the crossroads

    Read more
  • Jacolby Satterwhite, Blessed Avenue, 2018, disco balls, lights, potted plants, HD video (color, sound, 19 minutes 19 seconds). Installation view.

    Jacolby Satterwhite, Blessed Avenue, 2018, disco balls, lights, potted plants, HD video (color, sound, 19 minutes 19 seconds). Installation view.

    Jacolby Satterwhite

    Pioneer Works

    Jacolby Satterwhite’s kaleidoscopically immoderate show at Pioneer Works was built from a million little things that ultimately boiled down to a couple of big things. The exhibition was a trippy two-way cathexis, its parallel rituals of memorialization and individuation routed through an exuberant array of artistic strategies. Though “You’re at home,” as the extravaganza was called, was physically set within the vast expanse of this Brooklyn space, it felt everywhere and nowhere, at once brimmingly available and elusively decentered. Much of this effect was due to the nature of the project,

    Read more
  • Öyvind Fahlström, Sitting . . . Blocks, 1965–66, ten cubes, tempera, vinyl, wood, each 15 × 15 × 15", overall dimensions variable.

    Öyvind Fahlström, Sitting . . . Blocks, 1965–66, ten cubes, tempera, vinyl, wood, each 15 × 15 × 15", overall dimensions variable.

    Öyvind Fahlström

    Venus Over Manhattan

    Öyvind Fahlström (1928–1976) figures prominently in the unwritten histories of Pop and Conceptual art. Relegated to the margins of these major movements, he remains a footnote, which is curious given how deftly he juggled institutional critique with game theory, comics with front-page news. An exhibition of key works at Venus Over Manhattan begged the question: How does a significant and prolific artist get shunted to the sidelines? In Fahlström’s case that dismissal had everything to do with how truly radical he was. He belonged everywhere and nowhere at once: Brought up in both Brazil and

    Read more
  • Hannah Wilke, So Help Me Hannah Series: Portrait of the Artist with Her Mother, Selma Butter, 1978–81, two Cibachrome prints, each 42 × 31 3⁄4".

    Hannah Wilke, So Help Me Hannah Series: Portrait of the Artist with Her Mother, Selma Butter, 1978–81, two Cibachrome prints, each 42 × 31 3⁄4".

    Hannah Wilke

    Ronald Feldman Gallery

    Hannah Wilke (1940–1993) had her first exhibition with Ronald Feldman Gallery in 1972. Feldman—who retired from running his eponymous space last October—represented her for almost fifty years. The depth and familiarity he and his colleagues bring to her work is palpable, as the thirteenth solo exhibition of her art here, “Force of Nature,” demonstrated. With its revealing mix of greatest hits and deep cuts, the show was a tribute not only to Wilke’s singular blend of female pleasure and feminist critique, but also to her defenders, who, particularly since her death, have resisted pigeonholing

    Read more
  • Howardena Pindell, Autobiography: Fire (Suttee), 1986–87, mixed media on canvas, 90 × 56".

    Howardena Pindell, Autobiography: Fire (Suttee), 1986–87, mixed media on canvas, 90 × 56".

    Howardena Pindell

    Garth Greenan Gallery

    In the catalogue for “Autobiography,” her first solo exhibition since her 2018 retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Howardena Pindell tells the story of how, in 1979, a car accident on Long Island left her with a long-term concussion that impaired her memory. She turned to painting as a means of recovery, incorporating more of her personal experiences into her professional practice in order to close the gaps in her recollection. (Though not included in the present show, Pindell’s video Free, White and 21, 1980, sprang from the same impulse.) To inaugurate what came to be

    Read more
  • E’wao Kagoshima, Until Sleep, 1996, oil and acrylic on canvasboard, 20 × 32". From the series “Etymological Paintings,” 1991–97.

    E’wao Kagoshima, Until Sleep, 1996, oil and acrylic on canvasboard, 20 × 32". From the series “Etymological Paintings,” 1991–97.

    E’wao Kagoshima

    Brennan & Griffin

    Born in Niigata, Japan, in 1945, E’wao Kagoshima has been a New Yorker since 1976. Working in a manner that combined aspects of Symbolism and Pop into an unstable cocktail of seductive decadence and a (possibly naive?) cosmic consciousness, he made a discreet reputation for himself in the East Village of the ’80s when the artist, writer, and all-around impresario Nicolas Moufarrege drafted him into his self-proclaimed Mutant International, a group of artists who, when hymned in Moufarrege’s inimitably vatic and enthusiastic style, sound less like members of an art movement than like a bunch of

    Read more
  • View of “Laurent Grasso,” 2019.

    View of “Laurent Grasso,” 2019.

    Laurent Grasso

    Sean Kelly Gallery

    A sonic slab of rumbling bass can imbue almost anything with an aura of mystical portent. Artists know this as well as anyone, and the French Conceptualist Laurent Grasso pulled out all the stops for his 2018 video OttO to lend an awe-inspiring quality to his portrayal of sacred sites. Commissioned for the Twenty-First Biennale of Sydney—and produced in consultation with the Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation and the community of Yuendumu in Australia’s Northern Territory—OttO arrived with all the right stamps of approval. Yet it felt, if not actively exploitative, then deeply superficial.

    Read more
  • Hyman Bloom, Torso and Limbs, 1952, oil on canvas, 34 1⁄4 × 52".

    Hyman Bloom, Torso and Limbs, 1952, oil on canvas, 34 1⁄4 × 52".

    Hyman Bloom

    Alexandre Gallery

    Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning thought that Hyman Bloom (1913–2009) was “the first Abstract Expressionist artist in America.” In 1950, Bloom was chosen to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale, alongside those two artists and Arshile Gorky. In Artnews that same year, Elaine de Kooning noted that Bloom’s paintings were almost totally abstract and declared that “the whole impact [of his art] is carried in the boiling action of the pigment.” Such freneticism, an immersion in nature at its most elemental and intense—or, perhaps more accurately, an impassioned identification with

    Read more
  • Amy Myers, A Dream Perimeter; Dimensional Inter-Repetition, 2019, oil on canvas, 72 × 72".

    Amy Myers, A Dream Perimeter; Dimensional Inter-Repetition, 2019, oil on canvas, 72 × 72".

    Amy Myers

    Malin Gallery

    “Daughter Universes,” the title of Amy Myers’s first solo show with Malin Gallery (formerly Burning in Water), aptly connotes a kind of cosmic femininity. Google-dig a little deeper and one learns that the term also refers to a hypothetical offshoot of quantum mechanics, which postulates that all material and energetic encounters spawn separate spheres of possibility. At this point, it might help to know that Myers’s father was an aviator and physicist who apparently suffused his daughter’s universe (sorry) with a lofty perspective and an enduring fascination for invisible, elemental forces and

    Read more
  • Ronnie Landfield, Coming Home, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 46 × 51".

    Ronnie Landfield, Coming Home, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 46 × 51".

    Ronnie Landfield

    David Findlay Jr. Gallery

    His may not yet be a household name, but Ronnie Landfield is one of the best abstract painters in America. Since the late 1960s, Landfield’s paintings have been defined by billowing stains of color, poured and loosely brushed onto canvases of monumental size. Although nearly all of his images invoke the metaphysical, his approach nonetheless extends the vital dialogue between landscape and abstraction explored by midcentury pioneers such as Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler, and Joan Mitchell. Filtered through Landfield’s optical unconscious, translucent swaths of color layered upon or

    Read more
  • Tamara de Lempicka, La belle Rafaela en vert (The Beautiful Rafaela in Green), ca. 1927, oil on canvas, 15 × 24".

    Tamara de Lempicka, La belle Rafaela en vert (The Beautiful Rafaela in Green), ca. 1927, oil on canvas, 15 × 24".

    Tamara de Lempicka

    Kosciuszko Projects

    “Lempicka was a liar, a snob and a fraud from the off,” began the British art critic Waldemar Januszczak in his poison-pen Sunday Times review of her exhibition at London’s Royal Academy of Arts in 2004. Rarely has an artist inspired such moral condemnation and righteous disdain as Tamara de Lempicka, the rappel à l’ordre society painter who objectified, perhaps more than any other artist, the cold, metallic libido of Art Deco. Despite, or perhaps because of, her enduring popularity (she is the subject of several biographies, a stage play, and a forthcoming Broadway musical), major museum

    Read more
  • Marnie Weber, Gathering Daisies on a Misty Day, 2019, mixed media, 12 1⁄2 × 91⁄2".

    Marnie Weber, Gathering Daisies on a Misty Day, 2019, mixed media, 12 1⁄2 × 91⁄2".

    Marnie Weber and Justin John Greene

    Simon Lee | New York

    The pairing of Marnie Weber’s haunted collages with Justin John Greene’s macabre paintings plunged this viewer into a dark corner of the American psyche. For their two-person exhibition at Simon Lee, the Los Angeles–based artists presented an assortment of tableaux from the collective memory—reflecting on such themes as the Midwestern pastoral, girlhood innocence, boyhood violence, and urban anomie—and transported us to the scarier side of nostalgia.

    For the past few years, Weber has developed a body of work—via music, films, performances and installations—with her Spirit Girls: a cast of characters

    Read more
  • View of “Caitlin Berrigan,” 2019. Background: Imaginary Explosions, Episode 2, 2019. Foreground: Big Dumb Rocks, 2019.

    View of “Caitlin Berrigan,” 2019. Background: Imaginary Explosions, Episode 2, 2019. Foreground: Big Dumb Rocks, 2019.

    Caitlin Berrigan

    Art in General

    What does a rock want? In “Imaginary Explosions,” Caitlin Berrigan’s first solo exhibition in New York, the artist alluded to “mineral desires,” which made me wonder if stones are sentient things, always yearning beneath our feet. Her show offered up a chilly tale about a band of environmental saviors trying to commune with a geological consciousness in order to “become mineral”—to borrow a Deleuzian turn of phrase—a narrative that was strangely beautiful and poignant.

    Two videos formed the crux of Berrigan’s presentation. Both were filled with esoteric scientific and theoretical terms that zoom

    Read more