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Arcmanoro Niles: You Know I used to Love You but Now I Don’t Think I Can: There Ain’t No Right Way to Say Goodbye Again

Arcmanoro Niles begins each work of art with a problem he wants to solve. His skill as a painter is technical, his intention deeply personal. In his exhibition, You Know I Used to Love You but Now I Don’t Think I Can: There Ain’t No Right Way to Say Goodbye Again, he presents his ongoing investigation into what might seem like a forgone question: how can one articulate feeling in place of meaning?

Leiko Ikemura: Anima Alma - Works 1981–2022

Born in Japan, Leiko Ikemura left for Spain to study language and art before moving to Switzerland and eventually to Germany, where she currently works. An artist of subtle feminist assertion, Ikemura has chosen in most paintings to represent women and in some instances children. Ikemura is well known in Europe and has shown extensively there, but this is her first exhibition in America. Her painting style tends to be diffuse and sensuous, in a manner not so distant from the art of someone like Marlene Dumas. Her training directed her toward a compelling mixture of figuration bordering on abstraction, even when she is rendering people.

Cubism and the Trompe l’Oeil Tradition

Cubism and the Trompe l'Oeil Tradition reveals important, far reaching parallels between trompe l’oeil paintings and Cubist collages. The subjects of these two kinds of pictures include a great variety of handicrafts, all of them small enough to be hand-held: sheets of wallpaper, notated music, chair caning, newspapers, mirrors, musical instruments, bits of picture frames, letters, small pictures within pictures, calling cards, drawing instruments, counterfeited money, advertising materials, and real or fake postage stamps.

Gaby Collins-Fernández: To A Portrait

Gaby Collins-Fernández’s solo exhibition To A Portrait unraveled my defenses. Borders give me a sense of calm and control, but the six wall-height paintings on view at Anonymous escape these boundaries, giving a broader dimension to one’s psychic, emotional, and bodily life. Words and images entwine and stretch past their limits, shattering into fragments of human desire. The work sneers at my guarded caution in its excess, passing up my small world for one with much more fascinating, beautiful complication.

Himali Singh Soin: The Third Pole

Himali Singh Soin’s solo exhibition The Third Pole at The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid spans five years of the artist’s work, ripping through the fabric of our reality to reveal a more-than-human world, one brimming with characters that defy characterization. From queer alien figures and animals down to posthuman entities and even sediment, the artist tells stories across time, species, and geography that swing, in a kind of dialectical poetry, between human and nonhuman narratives.

Jacolby Satterwhite: A Feeling of Healing

There is a chill in the air of a disused nightclub in Roskilde, about thirty kilometers outside of Copenhagen. The floors are sticky, as if the dance floor has only just been vacated. For the American artist Jacolby Satterwhite, the club is “a strange cave, where intellectuals come together when they are the most unintellectual, but [also] the most beautiful and kindred.”

Catherine Chalmers: We Rule

Catherine Chalmers’s compelling multimedia exhibition We Rule has been culled from a ten-year commitment to interacting with over a dozen leafcutter ant colonies located in the Osa peninsula of Costa Rica. It includes high-resolution videos, drawings related to Costa Rican rainforest flora, and an intricate wall installation depicting a to-scale leafcutter colony wending its purposeful way through the basement floor galleries of the Drawing Center.

Sig Olson: This Has Happened

Sig Olson’s first solo exhibition This Has Happened, curated by art historian Ksenia M. Soboleva, leads with an ambitious thesis. Per Soboleva’s introduction to the exhibition’s zine, Olson’s current work is a trauma response. These artworks, on view in the second room at the Tappeto Volante gallery in Gowanus, might be described in general terms as abstraction—color-field paintings on paper.

Michiko Itatani: Celestial Stage

Theatrical and resplendent, contemporary artist Michiko Itatani’s exhibition Celestial Stage occupies the top two-floors at the Wrightwood 659 Gallery in Chicago. Organized by Ashley Janke, this forty-year retrospective is composed predominantly of large-scale tableau paintings, sculpture, and site-specific objects.

Beverly Semmes: Marigold

Beverly Semmes came out swinging at the patriarchy in the early 1990s, propelled by feminist indignation and a canny sense of humor. At Locks Gallery in Philadelphia, her recent show of work from the last two decades was ample evidence that her well-aimed licks continue to connect.

Called to the Camera: Black American Studio Photographers

A glowing newlywed couple, a graduate in her cap and gown, two portraits of one young boy smiling wide—a small dog sits on his lap in the first, he wears a cowboy costume in the other: records of major life events, taken also for pleasure. Called to the Camera: Black American Studio Photographers brings together nearly 250 unique photographs, pulled from archives and personal collections alike, to trace the histories of images taken by and for Black sitters from the nineteenth century to present.

Michael Berryhill: El Paso

In the late nineteenth century, Édouard Vuillard retreated from the dominant themes of contemporary French painting—Parisian nightlife, portraiture, bathers, and the landscape—and focused instead on domestic scenes as a site of interiority. His paintings were populated by friends, lovers, patterned curtains, flowers and dining tables; all manners of personal life redrawn into shimmering, patterned space to hallucinatory effect. The paintings were not a window into the world, but rather a world unto themselves.

Charles Gaines: Moving Chains

“The question is simply this: Can a negro, whose ancestors were imported into this country, and sold as slaves, become a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all the rights, and privileges, and immunities, guarantied by that instrument to the citizen?” This question lies at the heart of the majority opinion written by the US Chief Justice Taney in the Supreme Court’s 1857 ruling on the Dred Scott v. Sandford Case. And on the shores of Governor’s Island Charles Gaines asks this question again.

Maureen St. Vincent: Ripple Hiss

Maureen St. Vincent’s six pastel drawings (all 2022) now on view at Hesse Flatow are surreal, grotesque, and seductive. Amoebas squirm and snails slide. In Biancabella and the Snake, a slender onyx serpent winds through a landscape of puffy pink or yellow biomorphs, its body cleaved improbably by an undulating vulva hovering at compositional center. In Price’s Daughters, a braided umbilical cord penetrates a six-fingered shell while its twin’s upper lobe bears a butterfly-shaped hole. Through this puncture an orange-trimmed background spills forth its blue insides, confounding the laws of space. Here, base organisms are pristine: nowhere do we find a slime trail’s glimmer.

Richard Hearns: Nomad

Intentional and accidental marks of the artist’s hand, purposeful and irresolute expressions of gesture, vigorous and reticent swaths of paint: these are the oppositions that govern the gestural idiom of Richard Hearns, a prolific painter of abstracted landscapes.

In the Balance: Between Painting and Sculpture, 1965-1985

The two decades covered by this show—1965 to 1985—were filled with experimentation and change in art. Important movements such as Minimalism and Conceptual art achieved maturity, along with performance art and installation work. Moreover, the influence of Pop art hovered over the different visual undertakings, pushing art in the direction of a demotic accessibility that had not been visible before.

Pat Steir: Blue River and Rainbow Waterfalls

With Blue River and Rainbow Waterfalls, Pat Steir has transformed Hauser & Wirth’s immense ground floor gallery in Chelsea into an arena for transcendence. We are lifted away by the gravitational pull of her monumental canvases, each awash with mesmerizing color and the movement of paint. Steir has been developing her mature work since the early 1990s, and her paintings today continue to command respect—and even awe—from their viewers. In her current exhibition, there are three bodies of work in which we are confronted with the sublime, each drawing us into its expansive space.

David Lynch: Big Bongo Night

You are invited to enter David Lynch's exhibition through its title, Big Bongo Night. Its effect is something like an incantation—sibylline, alliterative, and more potent when repeated aloud. Lynch uses language as deftly as his other tools; he wields it playfully to attract and disarm you.

Robert Motherwell Drawing: As Fast as the Mind Itself

Robert Motherwell Drawing: As Fast as the Mind Itself, a comprehensive survey of Motherwell’s drawings, is quite literally an eye-opening exhibition.

June Leaf

The work, in other words, is not an intermediary between one subjectivity and another, but is mysterious and productive in itself.

Modigliani Up Close

The School of Paris was a breathtaking collection of artists who were young together, going in and out of one another’s studios, meeting in the nearby cafés of Montmartre and Montparnasse: Constantin Brâncuși, Georges Braque, Marc Chagall, Juan Gris, Marie Laurencin, Jacques Lipchitz, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Chaïm Soutine, Suzanne Valadon were all there, not to mention poets, playwrights, and composers such as Guillaume Apollinaire and Gertrude Stein, Alfred Jarry, Erik Satie, and more. Can you be nostalgic about a place you only went in imagination?

Lucio Fontana: Sculpture

Far from the image of the conceptual artist (who, after WWII, called his works Concetto Spaziale), swiftly slashing the canvas while keeping his hands clean, the exhibition of Lucio Fontana’s sculpture at Hauser & Wirth shows how the Italo-Argentinian artist handled space throughout his forty-year career, from the late 1920s to his death in 1968.

Mel Kendrick: Seeing Things in Things

Mel Kendrick: Seeing Things in Things presents a riveting survey of works, from 1983 to 2022, by an artist who absorbed minimalism’s quirky mystique as he unabashedly broke most of its codifying rules.

Philip Guston Now

Whether mapping universal evil or the messy terrain of his own mind, he understood that an examination of society is always, even in small part, an examination of self.

Lily Stockman: The Tilting Chair

Stockman’s project reads as epistemological rather than ontological in orientation. She queries not what painting is, but how it is what it is and, especially, how we come to know this.

Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition

More than 180 of Meret Oppenheim’s works—paintings, sculptures, object constructions, drawings, collages, and prints—are jam-packed into Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition, an ebullient if at times overwhelming retrospective.

Citing Black Geographies

Curated by Dr. Romi Crawford of the Art Institute Chicago, this show of fifteen artists’ work defies medium-specificity and presents the contours of “Black geographies,” topographies that lack smoothness and reiterate the variable space of Black experience.

Joan Didion: What She Means

How does one paint a picture of an author’s life in visual form? Hilton Als’s latest curatorial project, Joan Didion: What She Means, currently on view at the Hammer Museum, posits an example of what an exhibition as a portrait can be.

Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces

As the trend in institutions turns towards greater support of BIPOC artists, Changing Spaces is just one historical exhibition offering substantial attention to their work.

Kerry James Marshall: Exquisite Corpse: This is Not the Game

Representation can trap, but, Marshall suggests, there is also always a lot more going on underneath the surface. Excavating these corpses reveals portions of the (exquisite) breadth of permutations (past, present, and futural) for Black life and Black ways of living.

The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England

The Tudors may have taken what they needed from others, but the admixture looks all their own. You might come to see how the Tudors used images politically, but you stay to piece together the subtleties of elite Tudor aesthetics in their broader dimensions.

Anselm Kiefer: Exodus

These are the works of a mature artist, perhaps in the most ominous sense: memories (an aid and a plague), emblems of despair (destroyed buildings), but despair mitigated by a will we find in Samuel Beckett’s “I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”

William Corwin: Lethe-Wards

In 2021 on the occasion of his exhibition Green Ladder, I had written that artist William Corwin’s works are “discursive, and recursive, while his subject-matter and contents are heterogeneous, interdisciplinary, and multi-cultural. Often Corwin is a time-traveler filling his sculptures with esoteric, mystical, and mundane knowledge from the past. 

Georg Baselitz: Six Decades of Drawing

If entelechy is the process by which something becomes what nature intended it to be—the fertilized egg becomes the human being, the acorn the oak tree—then Georg Baselitz leapfrogged it, springing, like Athena, fully grown from his own forehead.

Lezley Saar: Diorama Drama

An eerie, somber reverence permeates Lezley Saar’s exhibition Diorama Drama, staged as a mysterious confluence of tableaux formed from elaborate arrangements of mixed-media sculptures, paintings, tapestries, assemblages, collages, and altered books

Michael Wang: Lake Tai

The concept of youyuan, that is, strolling in a garden, has always been inspirational for traditional Chinese intelligentsia. Thousands of creative works—paintings, literature, music, and poetry—are fueled by a love of natural beauty. Michael Wang, a New York-based artist, takes on this spirit of the intelligentsia in Lake Tai, his debut solo show in China at Prada Rong Zhai, Shanghai. Wang’s sculptural installation engages with the traditional Chinese appreciation of scholar’s rocks (unusually but naturally-shaped stones) and scholarly flower arrangement that were once prevalent in Chinese art and celebrated the human relationship with the natural world.

Pamphlet Architecture: Visions and Experiments in Architecture

How does architecture bring us closer to utopia? Most architects don’t address this question. They’re too busy being professional. Yet the question nags some architects, or so I gathered from Pamphlet Architecture: Visions and Experiments in Architecture, an exhibition on view last October at ‘T’ Space, a building in the wooded hills near Rhinebeck, New York.

Tom Uttech: Headwinds on Windigoostigwan

Uttech’s paintings allow for these varied experiences and glimpses to exist at once, decades in the wilderness compressed into kaleidoscopic views.

Bill Miller

It is exciting to see an artist use material so masterfully, and even more so when that mastery is the evident gain of a persistent and dogged pursuit.

Richard Pousette-Dart: 1950s: Spirit and Substance

The works on view in this exhibition show us Pousette-Dart’s sustained attempt to think of and represent the self relationally, as part of a cosmological totality that encompasses vaguely defined architectures, alien bodies, symbolic constellations, and energy fields.

Ann Hamilton: Sense

The artist’s ability to develop an intuitive alternative to typical photography, one that naturally corresponds to themes she has previously explored in performance and object arrangement, is the great triumph of Hamilton’s present career.

Xavier Daniels: Cry Like A Man

Xavier Daniels’s solo exhibition Cry Like a Man underscores the catharsis of vulnerability. On view at the Richard Beavers Gallery through December 30th, the eleven-work show is a catalyst for change.

Monet-Mitchell: Dialogue and Retrospective

Ultimately, Monet-Mitchell: Dialogue feels conceptually forced, but it is rigorously disciplined in terms of color and scale, projecting a loose delicacy and grace that animates the Fondation Louis Vuitton with a lyrical intensity that speaks to me of joy.

Guillermo Kuitca: Graphite Paintings from The Tablada Suite (1992) and Poema Pedagógico (1996)

The Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes once quipped, “We Mexicans, you know, descend from the Aztecs. The Argentines, well, they descend from boats.” A facetious thought with serious consequences for the eight “graphite paintings” from the “Tablada Suite” and “Poema Pedagógico,” series by Guillermo Kuitca, currently on view at Sperone Westwater. Mexicans can feel autochthonous, linked to their land by blood, but Argentines, a nation of immigrants like the United States, rarely have the same experience. Where Americans generally feel bonded by their Constitution, a document that holds their nation together, that commonality, if it exists in Argentina, is attenuated by political and economic catastrophe.

Jules Olitski: Late Works

Olitski’s was a particularly robust late style. His paintings from the 2000s are both the apotheosis of a lifetime in art and a voyage into new pictorial territory.

Aziz + Cucher: You’re Welcome and I’m Sorry

Time plays a funny role in Aziz + Cucher’s latest exhibition, You’re Welcome and I’m Sorry, at Gazelli Art House. The show features new works on canvas and a sampling of multimedia pieces that span their thirty30-year collaboration. It isn’t so much of a retrospective as it is a kinetic force that distills a shared ethos within layers of satire. Installed across two floors, the works seem to suggest that there is a glitch in the fabric of society, where someone keeps alternating between pressing the fast-forward and rewind button.

Jacqueline Humphries

Conceptual-modernist painter Jacqueline Humphries is actively securing her place in contemporary art history, and she is doing so in a particularly literal way, making unabashed reference to those who came before her and to those working more or less alongside her.

Heidi Hahn: Flex, Rot, and Sp(l)it

These canvases might be deciphered over hours of observation, tracking the drifting daylight across brushstrokes to determine exactly which pigment, applied in which order, formed these pictures. I’m envious of that exercise. But I’m also content with my situation, where there is room left for magic.

Nicky Nodjoumi: 1981

The artist Nicky Nodjoumi left Iran in 1980 and, en route to eventually settling in New York, spent the spring of 1981 painting in Miami. What sprang from the artist’s mind was a stream of consciousness, a collection of memories and associations brought on by witnessing the upheaval in his home country.

K.R.M. Mooney: extence

In K.R.M. Mooney’s extence at Miguel Abreu, every surface is a threshold, every border a site of exchange. I mean that literally: exposed to oxygen and moisture, the metal surfaces of Mooney’s tiny, exquisite sculptures begin to oxidize.

Michela Griffo: The Price We Pay

Falling between the cracks of history is a common side effect of queer identity. Few of the queer elders that fought for LGBTQA+ rights in the 1960s have received their due recognition, and as time goes on, less and less of them are still around to receive it. Seasoned activist Michela Griffo was at the forefront of the gay liberation movement, deeply involved in groups including Redstockings, Radicalesbians, Lavender Menace, and the Gay Liberation Front. And happily, Griffo has seen an increased interest in her activist career emerge over the last decade. What has remained largely unknown, however, is Griffo’s career as an artist.

Tony Cragg: Incidents

Tony Cragg, who has been working since the 1970s, makes sculpture characterized by an effective diversity. In his show Incidents, currently on view at Marian Goodman Gallery, Cragg’s sculptures occupy a middle space between the abstract and the figurative; the extreme plasticity of his work results in forms that move back and forth between suggestions of a recognizable figure and sensuous abstraction.

Lynne Drexler: The First Decade

In Lynne Drexler: The First Decade, simultaneously at both Berry Campbell and Mnuchin Galleries, we come across a voracious and novel form of late Abstract Expressionism. It’s a path that runs parallel to color-field painting, and in playing with discreet nodes of color owes as much to Klimt, van Gogh, and Seurat, as it does to Drexler’s mentor and teacher, Hans Hofmann. The paintings in these two exhibitions test out how best to manipulate the viewer’s response to associations of almost-pixelated color units, singular forms which attain a mosaic-like quality: working together but retaining their independence. This causes almost as much visual agita as it creates harmonic compositions.

Mel Bochner: Seldom or Never Seen 2004-2022

While watching a Netflix series in which the Nordic Gods are high school students who play out their animosities within a context of teenage jealousy and angst, I made the mistake of changing the translation from subtitles to dubbing. Reading the subtitles maintained a level of distance between what I was watching and comprehending, but the dubbing broke that connection and the action on screen descended into absurdity. Mel Bochner delights in this fragile disjunction.

David Opdyke: Someday, all this

David Opdyke’s wry, panoramic visions of an America perceptibly in the grips of climate crisis were born of an artistic crisis—of “needing to come up an idea by digging somewhere other than my own brain.” Having drawn on his imagination to conjure up the trenchant, ecologically-inflected critiques of American imperialism and late-stage capitalism that have defined his work for twenty years, he wondered what more he might, artistically speaking, say.

Günther Uecker: Shields

Shields brings together just a handful of new and historic paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by Günther Uecker, creating a petite, elegant homage to the German artist’s 70 years of work. Throughout his career, Uecker’s main materials have included nails, graphite, and paint. He embraces the nuanced associations of nails in particular, considering the industrial use of the material to build and protect. For his newest body of work made in pandemic isolation, Uecker reflects on the layered function of a shield as an object to defend oneself from harm and a marker of self-identification in family crests and personal symbols.

Alex Katz: Gathering

It might be best to think of it as a tightly-knit show of selected works, which unravels about half-way through as Katz’s imagery becomes increasingly abstract.

Brianne Garcia: Screaming in a Whisper

Every aspect of Brianne Garcia’s art making comes with words attached. After discussions with the artist, I found myself being more conscious of the type of language I activated to speak to strangers, friends, and lovers. They made me wonder where the actual words I was sounding out, the ones I knew how to speak, or at least thought I could utilize effectively, came from in the first place.

Theaster Gates: Young Lords and Their Traces

The many facets of his multi-disciplinary practice glitter like shards of glass from a broken vessel, but it is not always clear how they can be pieced together.

Philip Taaffe

In Philip Taaffe’s exhibition currently on view at Luhring Augustine, the artist explores the transcendent possibilities of symmetry and visual density. Through a series of prismatic mandalas, Taaffe’s mixed media works on panel set up painting as a form of New Materialist meditation, a relational way of seeing the world that challenges anthropocentrism and probes the ethics of our engagement with non-human kin.


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 22–JAN 23

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