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Nick Stillman

Lee Lozano: Drawn From Life: 1961-1971

If P.S. 1’s show of Lee Lozano’s work from 1961-1971 would have seemed crass, elitist, and in bad taste three years ago, the recent revival of Philip Guston’s late paintings spare Lozano from such a reading now. And, if Drawn From Life’s radicalism and ballsy fuck-off attitude don’t inspire similar rah rahs from the critical establishment, it has got to be at least insinuated that it is either because she did not legitimize herself enough by previously working in a "high" method associated with emphasis on technique (AbEx namely), or merely because she’s a woman.

Frequency: Studio Museum in Harlem

In all of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Frequency-related printed matter the exhibition’s wall text, press release, and brochure curators Thelma Golden and Christine Kim distance the museum’s second supershow of emerging American black artists from its first, the whoppingly successful 2001 exhibition Freestyle.

Please Do Not Remove this Label

Several recent shows by New York City-based artists have taken as their subject the symbiotic relationship between images and commerce. Whether this work—which often comes across as static in the pants of capitalism—allegorizes the ludicrously inflated market for young contemporary artists like themselves is debatable.

Artists as Writers

Books reviewed in this essay: Decoys and Disruptions: Selected Writings 1975-2001by Martha Rosler MIT Press, 2004 Leave Any Information at the Signal: Writings, Interviews, Bits, Pagesby Ed RuschaMIT Press, 2002 Foul Perfection: Essays and Criticismby Mike Kelley MIT Press 2003 Minor Histories: Statements, Conversations, Proposalsby Mike KelleyMIT Press, 2004

ARTBEAT: The Brooklyn Public Library Looks to the South

Just like with an apartment house project of Norten’s in Mexico City, the new building will occupy an uncommon triangular plot at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue, Lafayette Avenue, Hanson Place, and Ashland Place.

John Waters

On perhaps the coldest morning of January, I met with filmmaker and visual artist John Waters in his Manhattan apartment to discuss irony, Abstract Expressionism, Paul McCarthy, and John Waters: Change of Life, his upcoming retrospective at the New Museum of Contemporary Art.

2004 Whitney Biennial

In the wake of backlash against huge group shows like Documenta 11 (“too political—where’s the art?”) and the Venice Biennale (“too difficult”), this year’s Whitney Biennial, if nothing else, will be remembered as a Biennial for the people.

William Pope.L

The ghosts of Adrian Piper and Paul McCarthy are conjured at what amounts to a tripartite William Pope.L retrospective at Artists Space, The Project, and Mason Gross Galleries at Rutgers University. On an arguably unparalleled level among contemporary American performance artists, seeing is believing with Pope.L, since describing his work in words can’t convey

Looking Both Ways

Within this contemporary climate of ubiquitous international biennials, Artforum roundtables on the concept of artworld "globalism," and even a new required reading critical theory text addressing the slippery topic of 21st century global socio-political thought— Hardt and Negri’s Empire— the Museum for African Art’s "Looking Both Ways: Art of the Contemporary African Diaspora" couldn’t be more timely.

Black Belt

Funny when culture-world heavy-hitters coincide like this. American fetishization of East Asian kung fu film and martial arts imagery from the 1970s has suddenly emerged as something to confront, evidenced by the concurrent openings of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s group show Black Belt and Quentin Tarantino’s newest bloodbath Kill Bill: Volume 1. Black Belt is an attempt to examine the social implications of widespread fascination among African-Americans in the 1970s with Bruce Lee and martial arts films through the work of contemporary Asian and African-American artists. Kill Bill is an ode to the dish of revenge, served cold.

Kelly Heaton

If nothing else, Kelly Heaton succeeds at being distinct— and convincingly weird. Live Pelt is a sprawling, obsessive exhibition of her Tickle Me Elmo-inspired art, including several works made from Tickle Me Elmo dolls as well as any and all ephemera relating to Heaton’s acquisition of them. While there are obviously several theoretical stabs at work here, most of them jab meekly in the dark.

Please Pay Attention Please

Please Pay Attention Please, the collected writings and interviews of Bruce Nauman, feels like such a crucial text because Nauman’s early work feels seminal, his later work still excellent, and his whole output so consistently ahead of its time in so many ways. Yet he remains an enigma. No catalogue raisonné of his works is available yet, and much of the work is difficult to document or describe. In a lot of cases, you had to be there.

Kehinde Wiley: Faux Real

By now it’s well-documented that many of the recent generation of visual artists who have attained prominence quickly have been able to do so because of the advantages of holding an MFA. Not only does it adorn a résumé with an aura of prestige, it also provides a ready backlog of art historical references and critical methods.

William Pope.L

The socio-economic implications of Broadway are enormous, and examining what Broadway “represents” is the first key to making some sense of William Pope.L’s complex, ongoing street performance The Great White Way.


I heard about the Brooklyn Museum’s Basquiat retrospective a couple of months ago on CNN’s ticker. Sandwiched between the news that Rod Stewart had proposed to his girlfriend atop the Eiffel Tower and relationship gossip about Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston was the blurb that Basquiat would open at the Brooklyn Museum in April.

Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China

In the catalogue essay for Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, Wu Hung begins with the claim that over the past twenty-five years "Chinese artists have reinvented photography as an art form."

Peter Caine
You’re a Sensation

Let’s see, what’s been memorable over the last few months? Reagan died, and then television news and tabloid papers worshipped him relentlessly for a couple days.

Karel Funk

Karel Funk’s show of eleven untitled acrylic paintings at 303 Gallery is very much realistic portrait painting in the old school sense.

Terrorvision: Exit Art

Returning home to New York City one February night after a party in Westchester County, I was mesmerized by grave ads inside the Metro North trains publicizing the NYPD’s Terrorism Hotline.

David Altmejd

Walk into David Altmejd’s exhibition at Andrea Rosen and there it is, in the center of the gallery floor: the ur-piece, his biggest sculpture yet, an inevitable explosion of his mysterious personal system of iconography.

Rico Gatson

Taking the form of an abstract African-American studies course, Rico Gatson’s History Lessons/Clandestine attempts to trace and rehash segments of twentieth-century American history that were particularly crucial to African Americans in a four-part video and several paintings, drawings, and an architectural structure.

Klara Liden

Two rectangles of spidery broken glass act as a forbidding anti-decoration on a street-facing windowsill. A couple glass chunks, obviously freed from these larger bodies, are scattered hazardously about the rust-stained floor, which is made of ugly linoleum.

Lara Schnitger

In the hands of Harlem, Holland-born artist Lara Schnitger, the Harlem gallery Triple Candie resembles a crime scene, all wrapped up in that familiarly forbidding yellow tape. But instead of the warning “POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS,” Schnitger’s wraps contain text fragments familiar to surreptitious late-night websurfers: “POPPIN’ FOAMING FANNIES,” for instance.

On the Subject of War

Curator and Smack Mellon director Kathleen Gilrain clearly wants the viewer to understand one thing about On the Subject of War: This is an homage to the recently deceased Susan Sontag. Thus the title, a loose combination of the titles of Sontag’s two well-known books on photography, On Photography and Regarding the Pain of Others.

The Sun City Girls’ Schizophrenic Universe

Dada and Duchamp comparisons are almost too easy; the Sun City Girls’ project seems more Warholian. Warhol incorporated newspaper clippings, brand-name logos, and any other ready-made material he could find for his own work. He took familiar things and altered them, thus altering and blurring the viewer’s perception.

Harmonic Convergence

Sometime between 2 p.m. and midnight on a Thursday or Saturday, push buzzer #3 at 275 Church Street in Tribeca and wait. You’ll be admitted, and the door will swing shut behind you. You are entering the Dream House, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela’s sound and light environment at the MELA Foundation.


Christian Marclay, known primarily as a musician, also makes sculptures, conceptual pieces, and videos. His recent installation Video Quartet at Paula Cooper Gallery on 21st Street, was not only a jaw-dropping piece of experimental music, it was also a tutorial in what has become possible to achieve in a bedroom with a laptop.

Waters's Formative Years: 1964-68

John Waters admitted in an interview in these pages last month that it’s something of a hook for the New Museum to show his three early short films dating from 1964-68 at the John Waters: Change of Life retrospective of his visual art at the New Museum of Contemporary Art.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2023

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