Documenta 14 is at the center of more political conflict this week, after a far-right German politician attacked a pro-refugee sculpture by Nigerian-born, US-based artist Olu Oguibe. Kassel city council member Thomas Materner, a member of Germany’s far-right AfD party, called the work “ideologically polarizing, disfigured art,” over its message. Curator Adam Szymczyk was reportedly “appalled” by the comments.
Read More »
On view through September 1st, the Gagosian Gallery in New York presents REASON, an exhibition of recent work by Carsten Höller. In this show, the artist’s first in New York since 2011, Höller unites scientific exactitude, play, and art through work that transforms the gallery into a laboratory for exploring and disproving the conceptual act and understanding of reason. Revolving doors, rotating mirrors, giant mushrooms, and huge dice create a world of discovery and whimsy, in which viewers are invited to explore the fascinating and beautiful logic behind the natural world.
Divisions Square (Senegal-yellow Surface), 2017
Trained in the natural sciences, Höller’s work has revolved around interrogating the methods through which humans seek to understand the world. Towards this end, he imposes standardized systems of logic on the behaviors and appearances of humans, fungi, insects, and animals, then lets go and observes what happens. As the artist states, “I start with a formula to get a process going, then the formula takes over and continues into infinity on its own. It is not about creative decisions anymore; there is no choice, only reason.” The effect of this process is the sense that Höller’s work seeks to invite viewers into the satisfying and inspiring process of discovery and experimentation. By eliminating subjectivity, the subjects are treated as independent, organic material acting and reacting independently. This places both the viewer and the artist in the position of an objective observer, passively admiring the results of some predetermined formula. Both formally and conceptually captivating, Höller’s topics work to involve the viewer and inspire reflection and wonder. In this exhibition, the overall scheme for the two galleries is that of binary, diametric opposition and division. Following a pattern of diminishing halves, this takes place through color gradations, light intensity, and the positioning of the work itself.
In Revolving Doors, constructed according to the concept of triadic division, the viewer is engulfed in a sea of changing, shifting, turning reflections. The Divisions series of paintings, as well as two murals that cover the gallery walls, instead follow a binary logic. A biological equivalent to this geometric pattern is explored in Divisions (Rose-grain Aphid and Surface), which shows the parthenogenesis of a female rose aphid against a red background. The Giant Triple Mushroom sculptures are composed of enlarged cross-sections of three different fungal species, while Muscimol 3. Versuch, sees the artist exploring the hallucinogenic effects produced by the fly agaric mushroom when ingested. Another mushroom work, Flying Mushrooms is a giant stabile with moving parts, involving the rotation of seven fly agaric mushroom replicas slowly through the air like a propeller.
As in his other investigations, Höller seeks to eliminate subjectivity in order to apply and allow divisional formulae to determine the composition of each work. Setting objects free in a loose network of objects and interpretations, his pieces push the viewer into an extended space of indeterminacy and playful construction of meaning. The standardized systems of logic applied here produce a captivating and hyperreal resulting piece. The artist’s fascination with the formulaic rationality that rules the natural world comes through in REASON, and invites the viewer into an experience of wonder and play, predicated on the foundation of objective precision. In turn, the exhibition takes on the role of homage to the exquisite symmetry of the natural world.
— A. Corrigan
Exhibition Page [Gagosian Gallery]
Process is product for Thomas Ruff. The German photographer has explored a wide ranging body of work over the course of his thirty-plus years of his practice, frequently using the act of creating a photographic image as the generative locus for his work. Embarking on a new body of work in past years, the artist’s press++ series makes its debut this month at Sprüth Magers in Berlin, a fascinating investigation of the act of image production and consumption. Read More »
Lomex Gallery, housed in Eva Hesse’s former studio, continues a hot streak of quality programming with their current exhibition of new works by artist Julien Ceccaldi. The show, bluntly titled Gay, is a gathering of Ceccaldi’s paintings on various materials, combining a range of unique, well-orchestrated surfaces. Read More »
Taking its cues from the pioneering work of Marcel Broodthaers, Marian Goodman’s summer group show serves as a fascinating inquiry into the line between reality and fiction, between concrete objects and the narratives that ultimately spring forth from their often incomplete contexts. Curated by Magali Arriola, former curator at the Fundacion Jumex in Mexico City, Sunset Décor takes aim at the possibilities conjured by Broodthaers’s late work, and the state of uncertainty that objects, and often images, are able to sustain in the modern cultural landscape. Read More »
New York – Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo: “Border Cantos,” Presented by Pace Gallery and Pace/MacGill Gallery Through August 18th, 2017August 13th, 2017
Pace Gallery and Pace/MacGill Gallery present Border Cantos, a collaborative multimedia exhibition by artists Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo. Misrach, an American photographer, and Galindo, a Mexican-American experimental composer, have been working together since 2011, blending musical scores and photography, instrumentation and sculpture, to discuss and represent the increasingly militarized 1,969-mile border wall between the United States and Mexico. The work in Border Cantos spans photography, sculpture, and sound, integrated seamlessly to create an impression of the presence of tragedy and tenuousness. Read More »
Three cars parked side by side make up Robert Grosvenor’s Untitled (2014-17), a single work presented as the artist’s second solo exhibition at Karma’s downtown exhibition space. We can’t be certain that the term “parked” accurately describes these objects, however, as it implies movement that was halted, and a close assessment of the vehicles does not yield a consensus on their past or present mobility. Our fascination with Grosvenor’s sculptures runs parallel to our suspension in this perpetual state of uncertainty, in which the work of art becomes the site of an investigation into the identity of an object.
Marking its embrace of the hot summer months in New York, MoMA PS1‘s popular Warm-Up summer concert series has returned to New York City, bringing with it the annual Young Architects Program design for an outdoor canopy structure to shade and entertain visitors and concert-goers in the museum’s open courtyard. This year, the museum has tapped Jenny Sabin Studio, a Cornell-based design group known for its tech-first design concepts and use of woven, photo-reactive materials, spreading a photo-luminescent tent structure, and robotically-woven chairs across the space. Read More »
New York – Tom Burr and Andrea Zittel: “Concrete Realities” at Bortolami Gallery Through August 11th, 2017August 7th, 2017
Over the course of their respective careers, Andrea Zittel and Tom Burr have both negotiated an enigmatic and thorough interest in the built environment, addressing questions of site-specificity, subjectivity, and the body through spaces and environments that pull lived space and imagined realities into a shared domain. This month at Bortolami, the pair’s respective visions will also share a common site, grappling with similar visual languages and interests in text, assemblage and architecture to challenge readings of space, and the strategies we employ to exist within our given environments. Read More »
New York — Ai Weiwei, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron: “Hansel & Gretel” at The Park Armory Through August 6th, 2017August 6th, 2017
Exploration of surveillance and its corresponding limits has long remained a prominent thread in Ai Weiwei’s aggressively political multimedia practice, particularly following his detainment and imprisonment by Chinese authorities in 2011 due to his vocal dissent of the country’s governmental policies on human rights. Hansel & Gretel, Weiwei’s Park Armory tour-de-force in collaboration with architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, furthers his past surveillance-themed projects such as 2012’s WeiweiCam, for which the artist had installed fifteen cameras around his Beijing residence to stream a 24-hour live footage of his home. Coinciding with the one year anniversary of his detention by the Chinese government, the comparison the artist built between actual imprisonment and systematic violation of privacy echoes with his current occupation of Park Armory’s Guild Hall, transforming the column-free exhibition space into a pitch black zone of uncertainty and peril. Read More »
New York – Leo Xu Projects and Metro Pictures Host “A New Ballardian Vision” for Condo: New York, Through August 4th, 2017August 4th, 2017
Few writers have walked such a fine line between coy observations of modernity and the possible dystopian future that lay just under the surface of daily life in the way that writer J.G. Ballard had over the course of his more than fifty years of writing. Mixing a playful sense of imagination with dark and disturbing meditations on the state of the world, the writer’s work continues to serve as a major inspiration for artists and philosophers in the 21st century, just as some of the futuristic conditions he so often described have begun to manifest themselves in the real world. Read More »