Artist Rodney Graham returns to 303 Gallery this month, bringing with him a new series of works that blend together his ongoing investigations of the iconography of various social spheres with a body of works that simultaneously seem to blend his constructed worlds with the space of the viewer. The show, which opened this past week, includes both lightbox works and paintings, each informing a shared space that Graham allows to float in a certain degree of indeterminacy.
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On view at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York, artist Charles Long has rendered an impressive and intricately immersive installation on the lower floor of its two-floor space, part of a body of work that the artist has created over the last year. Continuing a studio output that charts interrelations between the vernacular interests and modernist leanings of the twentieth century with more recent adventures into spatial arrangements, psychological personae and historical deconstruction, his exhibition poses a poetic socio-political examination of our present moment, to nuanced and playful ends.
Delving into the varied psychological and ephemeral aspects of Josef Albers’s practice, and his strong affinity for music, David Zwirner’s current exhibition at its 20th Street location, Sonic Albers, is a flowing, fluid affair. Taking a far-reaching look at often overlooked prominence of music in both the artist’s sites of personal inspiration, and on the material aspects of his practice, Sonic Albers features a selection of paintings, glassworks, drawings, and ephemera from throughout Albers’s career, including a number of the album covers he designed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. (more…)
Over the course of the last decade, photographer James Welling has branched out into a series of more experimental modes of image production, often welcoming degrees of abstraction and indeterminacy into the creation of his photographic images. Using unorthodox photographic procedures in conjunction with varied processes that see his works moving between abstraction and representation, his recent series of work are emblematic of the breadth of his ongoing experimentation with the conventions and materials of photography. (more…)
Drawing together a body of new photographs, ceramics and sculpture from the past year of artist Richard Deacon’s ever-evolving studio practice, the current solo show at Marian Goodman Gallery, House & Garden, explores relationships between materials and processes, representing innovations in Deacon’s thinking about sculpture, and the relationships of image to surface, object making to the pictorial, and sculpture to the plinth, all notions that have been present in his work and are at the nexus of his steadfast interest in a multiplicity of modes of production. (more…)
London – Robert Rauscheberg: “Spreads 1975-83” at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Through January was 26th, 2019Monday, January 7th, 2019
Over the course of his career, Robert Rauschenberg occupied an almost innumerable series of critical and theoretical positions in the practice and production of art objects, often bounding from material to material and technique to technique in bounds that often moved beyond the scope of any single artists entire oeuvre. His relentless interest in particular with the picture plane itself, and its capacity for interruption or disruption through the inclusion of ready-made objects, collaged pieces and even the scraps of other paintings, Rauschenberg produced what could best be considered as a career in a constant state of flux caused by its own movements.
Robert Rauschenberg, Rodeo Palace (Spread) (1976), via Rauschenberg Foundation
This winter, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in London is presenting the artist’s iconic Spreads series, reflecting on the artist’s work pioneering new ways of painterly construction while remaining focused on his own painterly language. The large-scale Spreads encapsulate many of Robert Rauschenberg’s best-known motifs and materials, and the twelve works from the series―the largest of which stretches to over six metres wide are presented alongside a series of paper collages from the same era. In the Spreads the artist’s familiar motifs from his object-laden Combines is reprised, incorporating car tires, doors, bedding and other materials in conjunction with fabric materials and canvas, all conspiring to create a dense, multilayered series of materials that challenges and reframes the canvas as a collecting pool for both materials and ideas, reference systems and the objects that contain them, all negotiating within the canvas as one potential conclusion of the project of the 20th Century avant-garde.
Robert Rauschenberg, Rumor (Spread) (1980), via Ropac
Rauschenberg himself was well aware of these conversations of object and image, referring to the “Spreads” as both a negotiation of history and “something you put on toast.” The language of his materials laid across the canvas negotiate with their mode of presentation, ultimately creating even more dense linguistic networks alongside the concepts explored within the works themselves. Rather than a purely retrospective exercise, the development of his Spreads is also suggestive of a more complex relationship between past and present, integrating not only elements from his earlier work but also reflecting changes in his life, his practice and in contemporary art at the time. Rauschenberg’s use of fabric color blocks in his Spreads not only represented a shift in his color palette from the urban experience of New York to the bright oranges, pinks and yellows of life in Florida, but also engaged with recent artistic developments such as Color Field painting and Minimalism, incorporating references to a new generation of artists.
This series of works, a vast trove of historical touchstones and concepts united by Rauschenberg’s hand, makes for a striking investigation of the artists’s work, and his vantage point from the vanguard of 20th Century art.
The show closes Janaury 26th.
— D. Creahan
Thaddaeus Ropac [Exhibition Site]
Comprising work made between 1960 and the present, Bridget Riley: Painting Now at Sprüth Magers LA surveys the development of the British artist’s career-long exploration of looking and seeing in relation to the capacities of painting and picture making. Her work, consisting of tightly-interlocked bands of color and explorations of the potential for relief and tension in the presentation of visual stimuli, is presented here in its development of optically-elusive, challenging pieces, ones that make the viewer acutely aware of the act of looking. (more…)
In 1998, artist Julia Scher installed her work Wonderland in New York. Immersing the galley in a theatrical pink and purple light, Scher’s Wonderland is a multimedia environment where visitors are welcomed by the sound of the artist’s authoritative yet soothing voice: ‘Attention. There are live cameras here in Wonderland, recording you… Warning. Your size may change, here in Wonderland. Thank you for coming!’ This hint at the concepts of surveillance, of the reproduction of reality, and of the deconstruction of space and time feel particularly resonant in a new century, and underscore the cutting-edge nature of Scher’s work.
Scher’s work comes on the heels of a recent revival in interest around her work, and a performance of one of her ongoing works, ‘Security by Julia’ at Frieze this year. The Security By Julia series, which began in 1988, uses public space to question the invasion of personal freedom within the public realm, using the tools of the electronic age to critically engage it, specifically a recurring use of security cameras. Here, her reprised work follows a similar logic, provoking questions on the state, its presence in everyday life, and ways of living beside, or outside of it.
At the center of the space are two semi-circular child-sized desks arrayed with complex technical equipment and cabling, vintage computer monitors with live surveillance footage, various ephemera—such as bags of White Rabbit Creamy Candy—and Scher’s signature pink guard caps. Alluding to prior works and dense multi-media narratives, the artist’s selections of objects form a central nervous system of sorts, a series of narrative elements conspiring in their reproduction and reframing of the reality of the gallery space. Referencing both psychedelics and classic literature, as well as her own work, Scher’s pieces here invite a meditation on youth and media. On the walls, complementing the central assemblage of technological apparatuses, large-scale prints depict children, among them American actress and director Lena Dunham aged 10, dressed in the same pink uniforms and caps that are neatly folded on the desks.
Posed here, the artist’s work mirrors the subversions of role-play and power, yet the inclusion of these same images are notable in turn for their place in the gallery today. It’s worth considering that the millennial models used for this piece have now grown into a place of power in the world. Dunham in particular is now a vastly successful writer and filmmaker in her own right. Scher’s work, presented in its new state, is perhaps an even more potent reflection at this point, not only suggesting the distended sense of reality caused by the exercise of state power, but perhaps more notably, the surreal nature of a new generation taking up these weapons, and eventually growing into their own place of power in the world.
The show closes February 9th.
— D. Creahan
Julia Scher: Wonderland [Exhibition Site]
In the past several months, artist Seth Price has taken to making and posting mixtapes on his personal SoundCloud page. Described in a recent Art News post as “soundtracks for painters,” his mixes (and the article itself), underscore Price as an inveterate consumer of media and information, embracing a constant stream of data that he often delves into or twists up into the language and production of his works. This compilation of information sits at the core of Hell Has Everything, the artist’s first show of work at Petzel Gallery in New York in six years.
Japanese-born, Berlin-based artist Chiharu Shiota brings her signature techniques in environmental installation to bear at Blain|Southern this fall for her first exhibition at the gallery’s London space. Compiling a selection of new works that include a new site-specific installation, along with sculpture and works on canvas, the artist’s show, Me Somewhere Else, underscores her practice in attempting to connect and reframe the operations of her own memory in exchange with the world around her. (more…)
New York – Ellsworth Kelly: “Color Panels for a Large Wall” at Matthew Marks Through January 19th, 2019Thursday, December 27th, 2018
In 1978, Ellsworth Kelly was commissioned to create a painting for the lobby of a new building in Cincinnati. His piece, Color Panels for a Large Wall, was the resulting work, a 30-by-125-foot painting that clocked in as his largest ever made. Yet the artist’s work in this vein would live well beyond this specific installation, reprised in several iterations of shows and installs in Amsterdam, New York, and Munich. In 2003, Kelly reconfigured the painting’s eighteen panels — from two rows of nine to three rows of six — when it was installed in its permanent home at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. (more…)
The long-awaited career retrospective of artist Bruce Nauman is now open in New York City, filling both MoMA PS1 and the sixth floor of MoMA’s main exhibition building in Midtown with the artist’s challenging, often outrageous body of work in sculpture, video, light works, and other formats. The show, which is on view through February, is an intriguing and in-depth look at the work an artist always looking to push the boundaries of his craft, and often the viewer’s comfort level. (more…)
Bringing together works from the early 1960s through to 1987, Alison Jacques Gallery in London is currently presenting an exhibition spanning three decades of the American painter, sculptor, photographer, video and performance artist Hannah Wilke’s work, in partnership with The Hannah Wilke Collection and Archive, Los Angeles. This is the first time since Wilke’s death in 1993 that her paintings on canvas from the 60s have been exhibited.
Color inspires and informs the work of Stanley Whitney, whose paintings explore the many possibilities for juxtaposition and movement across the canvas, each drawing on irregular rectangles in varying shades of strength and subtlety. His work creates fluctuating series of intensities and reliefs, draw on the composition of adjacent nodes, a structure that seems to welcome exchanges between freedom and constraint, open space and riding control, all bound together by the evolving exchanges in color. He returns to New York this fall for his fourth exhibition with Lisson Gallery, marking the first solo show of the artist to occupy both of New York gallery spaces. Investigating his profound and nuanced relationship to color and its spatial effects throughout his career, the show includes paintings and drawings dating back to the 1990s in one gallery, and a suite of brand new works in the other. (more…)
One of his most iconic bodies of work, German artist Blinky Palermo’s To the People of New York City comes home this fall, placed on view at Dia: Chelsea. Part of Palermo’s Metal Pictures series (or Metallbilder), the pieces reflect the artist at the peak of his abilities, and underscore his enduring contributions to the the landscape of the 20th Century avant-garde. (more…)
Having traveled from coast to coast for exhibition in New York City, Pace Gallery’s current show examined the shared aesthetic space of painter Agnes Martin and the meticulously crafted blankets of the Navajo (Diné) people of the American Southwest touches down for a striking last show of 2018. The exhibition, which explores the shared use of parallel lines and tight grid-work in both the painter’s canvas and the blanket-maker’s loom, makes for a fascinating investigation of two aesthetically distinct visions that found their most compelling articulation amongst the landscape of the American desert. (more…)
One of the most eagerly-anticipated shows of 2018, artist Sarah Lucas has touched down at the New Museum, bringing with her an expansive body of works that runs the full expanse of her craft. Curated by the New Museum’s artistic director, Massimiliano Gioni associate, Margot Norton, the show, Lucas’s first in an American institution, spans three floors and any number of aesthetic modes, moving from sculpture to photography, wallpaper to video in ways that both explore each object and twist the original historical contexts of their works (gallery shows, museums and her renowned Venice Biennale show from 2015 all get their due here) into new configurations. (more…)
Exploring two distinct voices in the evolution of art practice over the past 20 years, Eva Presenhuber has brought a strikingly confrontational, challenging exhibition to New York City, showing a body of works by Adam Pendleton and Liam Gillick that works between each artist’s strengths, and mines an ever-shifting understanding of the world around them to motivate and elaborate their respective iconographies.
Currently on view at Gagosian Gallery’s Beverly Hills location in Southern California. Dan Colen has pulled together a body of paintings that feel decidedly at home in a location so close to Hollywood. His show of new works, High Noon, is a striking interrogation of corporate image production, shared memories, and the cognitive effects of modern commercial communication, all pulled together by their use of a distinct style of background painting utilized heavily in the classic Wile E. Coyote cartoons of the Warner Brothers’ cartoon universe. (more…)
Currently on at Matthew Marks Gallery’s New York exhibition space, a body of small-scale works by American sculptor Ken Price dot the room, each drawing the visitor’s eye with a meticulously arranged series of loping curves, compellingly evocative forms and lumpy, surrealist modes of expression. This range of pieces, underscoring Price’s intuitive knowledge of bronze and its potential sculptural capacities, makes for a colorful, striking break from the chilling cold and overcast days of December in the city. (more…)
AO On-Site – Miami Beach: Art Basel Miami Beach 2018 at Miami Beach Convention Center, December 5th – 9th, 2018Sunday, December 9th, 2018
With the proceedings of Art Week Miami winding on, the halls at the Miami Beach Convention Center continue to draw massive crowds of both buyers and visitors, its luxe appointments and impressive stock of established blue chip works commanding big headlines and even bigger price tags. But across Biscayne Bay, the New Art Dealers Alliance had kicked off its annual take on the Miami Fair Week. NADA Miami, set up inside the Ice Palace Film Studios, puts itself forward as showcasing new art and to celebrating the rising talents from around the globe, exploring new or underexposed art that is not typical of the “art establishment,” by their words. NADA Miami is also the one of the only major American art fairs to be produced by a non-profit organization, and is recognized as a much needed alternative assembly of the world’s youngest and strongest art galleries dealing with emerging contemporary art.