Somehow, the images always seem to be the same, and yet never really are. The scene might be set in Paris, or perhaps in a bucolic and now forgotten port town. People are often absent, but when present, are stylized and rendered as beautiful impossibilities. The rosy glow of Impressionism tinges everything, but what is pictured extends far beyond the rote beauty of the sun’s shifting rays. Georges-Pierre Seurat painted pointillist fantasies in which the sun is always setting, the remaining light of the day filtered not though dust but through stippled, composited specks of unmixed color. Continue reading…
by Collin Sundt
by Sara Christoph
Brooklyn-based sculptor Michelle Lopez leaves no surface untouched: she abuses them all. Her materials, which have ranged from tree trunks to wrecked car seats to robotic limbs, are prolifically scarred, usually wilting, buckling or drooping under the stress. For her second show at Simon Preston, Lopez has taken to an airbrushed aesthetic, even if only to let it crumple before our eyes.
by Lee Ann Norman
Thelma Golden, Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem, famously added a new word to the art-historical lexicon by declaring, in her essay for “Freestyle,” the landmark 2001 exhibition of emerging Black artists, that “post-black” was the new black. A number of artists from “Freestyle” have gone on to enjoy solid artistic careers, including Rico Gaston and Sanford Biggers, both of whom were recently the subject of survey shows in New York.
by Aldrin Valdez
Lisa Ross has been photographing the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of Northwest China for a decade. Earlier works focused on the burial mounds of certain Muslim Uyghurs who are considered as saints. The graves are marked by long, thin branches and cribs to which brightly colored flags are tied. The images in “After Night,” Ross’s current exhibition at Asya Geisberg, are equally solemn as the artist moves from the grave to the bed in eleven large photographs (all 2011).
by Margaret Graham
For Jacob Ouillette (b. 1974) color is not so much a preoccupation as it is a meditation, a liberating temporal event meant to unfold within modified formal structures and processes of intuitive experimentation. His large, squirming color-grid paintings are comprised of distinct but uniform rectangular brushstrokes that, though they might curve slightly or thin out to one side, never touch. Set against a neutral ground of grey or off-white, each stroke boasts a lush, lively color ranging from the neon to the jewel-toned to the subdued. Each palette is diverse but limited; according to the artist, they are not pre-planned, but arise spontaneously, creating a sort of visceral unity that at once celebrates and interrogates the materiality of the paint, the relative nature of each hue.
SPECTACLES OF DISINTEGRATION
KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY NOTED WRITER AND SCHOLAR McKENZIE WARK
Conference Panels: 10:00am – 3:30pm
132 West 21 Street, 7th floor, New York City
Keynote Address: 4:00 – 5:30pm, followed by reception
SVA Theatre, 333 West 23 Street, New York City
All events are free and open to the public
Facebook Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=147095515391871
School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents Critical Information: Mapping the Intersection of Art and Technology, an interdisciplinary graduate student conference examining the contemporary dialogue between art, media and technology. Sponsored by the MFA Art Criticism and Writing Department at SVA, the Critical Information graduate conference provides a critical forum for current scholarship exploring the juncture of media, theory, criticism, and the visual arts. McKenzie Wark, Associate Professor of Culture and Media at Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts, will deliver the keynote address entitled Spectacles of Disintegration.
Wark has written extensively on media theory, critical theory and new media. His books include Virtual Geography: Living With Global Media Events (Indiana University Press, 1994), The Hacker Manifesto (Harvard University Press, 2004), Gamer Theory (Harvard University Press, 2007), and The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International (Verso, 2011).
The conference’s international roster of participants represents a wide cross-section of disciplines, ranging from visual and cultural studies to interactive media arts; criticism to curatorial practice; and performance art to art history. More information on the panels and papers, as well as the full schedule of events can be found at www.criticalinformationsva.com/schedule-2.
The MFA Art Criticism and Writing Department at SVA offers a two-year course of study leading to an MFA degree. For students who want to improve their writing and advance their knowledge of contemporary art, theory, literature, and history, this concentrated program offers seminars by practicing critics, editors, philosophers, poets, and artists. The focus in writing is on the essay as form, as well as on shorter forms of review, through intensive writing practicums.
School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City is an established leader and innovator in the education of artists. From its inception in 1947, the faculty has been comprised of professionals working in the arts and art-related fields. SVA provides an environment that nurtures creativity, inventiveness and experimentation, enabling students to develop a strong sense of identity and a clear direction of purpose.http://artcriticism.sva.edu
by Kareem Estefan
Riding an elevator is distinct from other ways of getting around: passengers are not only enclosed in a box without windows, but their bodies are actually positioned in the very line of movement the machine takes, preventing their eyes from following its trajectory. This fact, obvious as it may be, is seldom felt. By stripping the elevator of its function and subtly deforming its qualities, Leandro Erlich’s sculptures for “Two Different Tomorrows” invite visitors to consider the effects of a mode of transportation in which perception is distracted, muted, and reflected back onto the immobilized body of the passenger.
by Noah Dillon
Greg Drasler’s oil paintings from the nineties and early-oughts—solitary housewares suspended by cords in oddly decorated domestic corners—are affecting. They skirt lines between representation and abstraction, play and sobriety. His new show, “On the Lam” at Betty Cunningham, rarely indulges in such feeling. Rather, most of the new paintings throng with signs and what registers as emotional emptiness.
by Juliet Helmke
“You don’t see it, do you?” asks white, serif typeface on a large black expanse of wall at Haim Steinbach’s “Creature” at Tanya Bonakdar. What are we meant to see? A face on the flanking wall emerging from wallpaper of patchy black squiggles? Something in the bare, unpainted drywall, hanging on it a lone particleboard square from 1976? It’s raw and unfinished and you wonder if maybe you’ve stumbled upon the gallery mid-install. Or are you meant to see the relevance of all this to the webbed, mutant turtle figure standing on a horizontal column, one large, perfectly finished oblong that cuts of the rest of the room from access? Or is “it” the significance of the dog treat toy in almost every collection of objects on the first floor, arrangements that are titled Roots, The Bather, and Robot Poetry (all from 2011)?
Michael Taussig dropped in to the Bases of Criticism I foundation seminar taught by David Levi Strauss on September 28, 2011, to discuss his essay “Walter Benjamin’s Grave.”