Ksenia M. Soboleva is a New York based writer and art historian specializing in queer art and culture. She holds a PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU.
Radcliffe Bailey with Ksenia M. Soboleva
Ksenia M. Soboleva sits down with Radcliffe Bailey to discuss the wide scope of multifaceted references in his artistic practice from ancestral deities to family travels. They dive into the important role that music plays in Baileys life and work, the potential for memories to function as medicine, and his intimate relationship to Atlanta, where the artist has lived almost his entire life.
Elle Pérez with Ksenia M. Soboleva
Elle Pérez locates intimacy that moves beyond bodily matter. Ranging from portraiture to landscape, their photographs capture the lived experience of bodies and nature, the transformations that occur across time and space. The distinct configurations in which Pérez presents their work in exhibition spaces offer a glimpse into the artists thought process, allowing the viewer into their creative constellation. I had the pleasure of being in conversation with Pérez on the occasion of their exhibition Devotions at the Baltimore Museum of Art, as well as their inclusion in this years Venice Biennale The Milk of Dreams. We spoke about their introduction to photography, its malleable qualities, and the ways in which thinking about gender has taken a backseat. Pérez generously described the process around Devotions, as well as the photographs in the Biennale, taking me on a journey to Puerto Rico and their first visit back after Hurricane Maria.
The Moon Seemed LostBy Ksenia Soboleva
The dysfunctional moon described by Calvinos story and the exhibition title could not appear more timely than today, as we face the instability of our own planet and society, our movement is drastically restricted, and we are forced to turn inward.
Nicole Eisenman: Untitled (Show)By Ksenia Soboleva
Last month, Eisenman opened Untitled (Show) featuring a total of twelve paintings and seven sculptures spread across two floors. The expansive room on the fifth floor presents a series of ten (mostly) large canvases depicting a range of subject matter.
Hekate’s Grove: Elizabeth Insogna, Karen Heagle, Kay TurnerBy Ksenia Soboleva
On view at FiveMyles gallery in Brooklyn is a compelling three-person exhibition titled Hekates Grove. Featuring works by sculptor Elizabeth Insogna, painter Karen (Karsen) Heagle, and performance artist and folklorist Kay Turner, this show pays homage to the ancient Greek goddess Hekate, a rather obscure patron deity of witchcraft who is commonly associated with crossroads and entryways, and capable of both good and evil.
Josephine Halvorson: UnforgottenBy Ksenia Soboleva
While the French term nature morte literally means dead nature, the artist makes an argument for the contrary. Still life becomes still alive, referring not only to the subject of the painting, but also its maker.
Louise Fishman: Ballin’ the JackBy Ksenia Soboleva
What a brilliant cacophony of abstract gesture, I think to myself while taking in Ballin the Jack, Louise Fishmans first solo exhibition at Karma Gallery in the East Village. The oil paintings on view in the main gallery revel in their messiness: thick strokes of paint crash into each other, clashing colors fighting for dominance, while the white gesso underneath reveals itself as a seductive promise of transcendence.
Looking Back / The 12th White Columns AnnualBy Ksenia Soboleva
This year, the annual is organized by Mary Manning, an artist whose own practice revolves around mindful observation and the poetics of sequencing. Venturing out to see art during the pandemic became a welcome escape for Manning, while at the same time offering a space to contemplate everyday reality.
Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov: Snake Changing SkinBy Ksenia Soboleva
Ilya Fedotov-Fedorovs current solo exhibition in New York, now on view at Fragment Gallerys newly relocated space, speaks to the artists continued fascination with ambiguous forms of life, while also marking a move away from the conceptual strategies he is best known for.
Gerald JacksonBy Ksenia Soboleva
Gerald Jacksons elusive personahe is known by many yet notoriously difficult to track downis reflected in his multidisciplinary art practice, which evades easy categorization. Jackson steps back to center stage with the exhibition currently on view at Gordon Robichaux, the first full-scale presentation of his work mounted since the gallery began to represent him not long ago.
Marcia Resnick: As It Is or Could BeBy Ksenia Soboleva
Resnick’s portraits of iconic figures such as Sontag, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kathy Acker, and Gary Indiana, among others, have become well-known documents of a much-romanticized period in the history of New York. Yet few are familiar with the photographer’s multifaceted and wide-ranging practice beyond these portraits, something the curators of this retrospective, Resnick’s first ever, hope to change.
Flânerie in the Time of CoronaBy Ksenia Soboleva
Born on Long Island in the 1960s, Fitzpatrick has somehow retained an unconditional enthusiasm for the simple textures of the world, a tendency that usually disappears with the onset of adulthood.
Painting in New York: 1971-83By Ksenia Soboleva
What became clear to me upon seeing the show is the unfortunate degree to which art historians have left painting out of feminist history, when in fact the paintings gathered together here share a lot of the sensibilities conventionally acknowledged as central to the feminist canon.
Barbara Hammer: Tell me there is a lesbian forever…By Ksenia Soboleva
Centered in the gallery rests a motorcycle, a relic of someone whose absence has been palpable since she left the realm of the living in 2019. Barbara Hammer is the subject of a museum-quality show, albeit in a gallery, curated by Tiona Nekkia McClodden.
Eve Fowler: New WorkBy Ksenia Soboleva
The exhibition of Fowlers work currently on view at Gordon Robichaux shows us that her feminist pursuits are far from abandoned. Fittingly titled Eve Fowler: New Work, the solo show consists of a film, a series of collages, and a nine-channel video installation.
Kate Millett: Terminal PieceBy Ksenia Soboleva
A palpable feeling of suspense suffuses the space of Kate Milletts Terminal Piece (1972). 46 wooden chairs are installed in two long rows behind a parallel series of vertical wooden bars that span the length of the gallery. The lighting is dramatic, with seven light bulbs suspended from the ceiling illuminating the space within the cage-like structure, while the territory of the viewer remains dimmed.
Ebony G. Patterson: to kiss a flower goodbyeBy Ksenia Soboleva
In her second solo exhibition at Hales Gallery, to kiss a flower goodbye , Ebony G. Patterson continues to explore the garden as a multilayered metaphor for the colonial histories embedded in the Caribbean landscape.
Ron Athey: Queer CommunionBy Ksenia Soboleva
The fact that the world has had to wait until 2021 to see a Ron Athey retrospective is a tragedy. A queer icon who indisputably helped shape the role of the body in performance art, Athey has only recently started to receive long-overdue art historical recognition.
Samantha Nye: My Heart’s in a WhirlBy Ksenia Soboleva
Marking a pivotal time in her career, Nyes first solo exhibition My Hearts in a Whirl is currently on view at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
Jonathan Berger: An Introduction to Nameless LoveBy Ksenia Soboleva
Not long before COVID-19 rendered in-person art viewing a faint memory, I walked into a dimly lit gallery where clusters of illuminated words appeared to float in space, like the digital rain of the Matrix. Yet unlike computer code, I could read these clusters of textthey were conversations, poems, confessions. What can I ask you that nobody seems to ever ask you? one began. After months of being in that funk, I got accustomed to it, another one continued.
Leidy Churchman: New YouBy Ksenia Soboleva
Leidy Churchman is a queer gift to the tradition of American landscape painting.
Silky Shoemaker: Billboard ProjectBy Ksenia Soboleva
If art is to play a role in political change, the first step is to get it out of the galleries and into the streets. Silky Shoemakers Billboard Project, a series of four graphically striking anti-Trump billboards installed in rural Pennsylvania, is one example.
Michela Griffo: The Price We PayBy Ksenia Soboleva
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 Griffos career as an artist.
Souls Grown DiasporaBy Ksenia Soboleva
Its my first time at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, a cozy basement cabaret space thats been around since 1983 and has retained much of its original charm. A dazzling woman wearing a shiny grey two-piece is scat singing to jazz music, performing the most creative cover of What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life? that I have ever heard.