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Stephanie Buhmann

In Conversation

Nancy Spero

Born in Cleveland in 1926, Nancy Spero is regarded as one of the most influential women artists of her generation. She studied at The School of the Art Institute in Chicago and the École des Beaux Arts in Paris before moving to Europe in the late 1950s.

Whitney Biennial 2006: Day for Night

The 2006 Whitney Biennial had the potential to harness a subversive undercurrent with only a slight (if radical) reinterpretation of its curatorial premise, Day for Night.

Virgil Grotfeldt, 1948-2009: A Tribute

On Monday, February 23, 2009, Virgil Grotfeldt died after a long battle with cancer at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. He was sixty years old.

Roth Time: A Dieter Roth Retrospective

It was during a detailed introduction to the Dieter Roth Foundation in Hamburg, Germany that I was first awed by this artist’s eclectic genius.

Lalla Essaydi: Les Femmes du Maroc

In Les Femmes du Maroc, Lalla Essaydi revisits her past. She was born in Morocco and lived in Saudi Arabia for many years before moving to Boston, where she received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2003.

Brian Jungen

When walking into Harlem’s Triple Candie on Super Bowl Sunday afternoon, hours before the mania and media fanfare descended upon the nation, it seemed appropriate to find myself confronted with an installation that addresses Western sport culture through space and materials.

Jean Lowe

Based in San Diego, installation artist Jean Lowe draws much of her inspiration from Southern California’s generic suburban landscape, where candy colored stucco strip malls and endless concrete parking lots crisscross through various European architectural modes, disguising themselves as Disneyesque Roman remakes.

Norbert Bisky: The Proud, the Few

Having caused a stir in his home country ever since his first solo exhibition in 2001, German painter Norbert Bisky has finally made his way to the States via Leo Koenig Gallery.

Fang Lijun

Considered one of the leading figures in China’s contemporary art scene, Beijing-based Fang Lijun returns to New York with a vigorous group of large-scale woodcut prints.

John Currin

Considering the amount of discussion and hype caused by John Currin’s mid-career retrospective at the Whitney, it seems that the all too often recited "painting is dead" phrase is not only reduced to an expression of 1990s angst-history, but even replaced with a jovial "Realism is back!" Not unlike the previous two centuries, our post-turn-of-the-century society generally expresses a craving for romanticism and nostalgia.

Wim Wenders: Pictures From the Surface of the Earth

Making his New York gallery debut with an exhibition of selected photographs from the Pictures From the Surface of the Earth series, famed filmmaker Wim Wenders reconfirms the fact that he is first and foremost a visual storyteller.

Steven Charles

"My life is perfect and I’m always happy" claims Brooklyn-based Steven Charles in the title of his third solo exhibition at Pierogi. Looking at the excessively intricate, labor-intense, pop-colored canvases, one starts questioning if the phrase might indeed be meant literally rather than ironically. Whatever the answer, one thing is clear: Charles, who states that "the impetus for this work is my optimism," draws his audience into visual riddles that leave us cheering and confused.

Ele D’Artagnan

When being interviewed by Toni Maraini in 1994, Federico Fellini defined his understanding of art as the "experience of pleasure when I find myself in front of something that is the absolute truth, not because it resembles life, but because it’s true as an image for itself, as a gesture." Looking at the incredibly innovative works by former Fellini actor, writer and artist Ele D’Artagnan (1911–1987), the essence of this statement seems to materialize, revealing a kindred spirit.

James Siena Gorney, Bravin + Lee

James Siena’s third solo exhibition at Gorney Bravin + Lee features 78 works on paper that emanate with life and expressive individuality. Among these innovative abstractions in graphite, ink, and colored pencil are thirty notational drawings assembled in the gallery’s small back room.

No, Trespassing

Fifty-four years ago, George Orwell wrote his groundbreaking novel 1984. The book’s frightening conception, of an omnipresent, all-powerful government that is able to control people’s actions and even thoughts, has since been summarized by the well-known phrase "Big Brother is Watching You."

John Zinsser Recent Work

John Zinsser has always found maximum expression in reductive abstract painting, simplifying his visual language to convey clarity of thought and sensory excitement. Despite their straightforwardness, Zinsser’s elegant compositions are never predictable and offer a strong sense of the transcendental.

EVA HESSE and SOL LEWITT

The meeting of Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt in 1960 sparked a decade-long friendship that led to a fervent dialogue. Taking their unique relationship as its source of inspiration, the exquisite exhibition, Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt investigates the reciprocal intensity of their rapport.

The Work of Stephen Mueller (1947 – 2011)

It is not quite a year ago that I wrote about the abstract paintings and watercolors of Stephen Mueller. That particular text discussed his recent solo exhibition at Lennon, Weinberg Gallery, a stunning show that presented the artist at the height of his talent and made clear that many of his late works can be counted among his most accomplished.

Carolee Schneemann

Since her staged body performances of the early 1960s, Carolee Schneemann has been known to challenge emotional boundaries and unmask, if not attack, taboos wherever society might have safely stored them. Over four decades, her multimedia work has remained a mirror of worldly disasters, in particular of wars led or caused in reaction to Western politics.

Brian Jungen

Following his 2004 installation at Triple Candie of a life size basketball court made of 224 sweatshop tables, Brian Jungen revisits New York with an extensive survey of works from 1993 to 2005. A leading member of a new generation of Vancouver artists, Jungen covers the entire ground floor at the New Museum’s transitional location in Chelsea.

Gert & Uwe Tobias: der osten im norden des westens

A few months after their much-discussed exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, Gert and Uwe Tobias now make their New York commercial gallery solo debut. As odd as it might seem that these collaborating twins found their entry into the local art scene via one of its most prominent institutions, it fits with the overall mystique of their work.

Rob Nadeau

Rob Nadeau works without traditional narratives. Nevertheless, as his first solo exhibition of abstract paintings and drawings with Mixed Greens makes clear, he is a storyteller at heart.

Louise Bourgeois

As one of the most important living American artists, Louise Bourgeois certainly isn’t lacking in exposure. Her works are frequently, if not permanently, on display in international galleries and museums.

Fred Wilson: Objects and Installations: 1979–2000

Diving into Fred Wilson’s excursions around the complex relationships between art collections and their institutional display, one cannot help but question the role and ambition of museums.

German Drawings and Prints from the Weimar Republic (1919–33)

Though overshadowed by the superb collection and exhibition program housed in the nearby Neue Galerie, an institution that solely specializes in the art and design of the German and Austrian Expressionist movements, two small shows at The Metropolitan Museum of Art offer a glimpse of the conflicting visions of German culture in the interwar period.

Marc Van Cauwenbergh: Loose Formations

For over two decades, Marc Van Cauwenbergh has explored the language of color field abstraction. He creates compositions that contrast monochromatic fields with isolated, predominantly vertical shapes by brushing layers of translucent oil paint directly onto raw linen.

Eva Lundsager

As Wherever, the title of her first New York solo exhibition in nine years suggests, Eva Lundsager paints abstracted iconic landscapes whose imagery lingers somewhere between familiar and otherworldly.

Killing Me Softly

Primarily featuring works on paper and two animation projects by thirty-one artists who live and work in Mexico City and Monterrey, Killing Me Softly is one of this summer’s best surveys.

Letter from GERMANY

Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840) is the best-known painter of German Romanticism, which spans the late 1700s through the 1850s. Other significant artists, such as Johann Christian Dahl, Georg Friedrich Kersting, or Philipp Otto Runge, do not even come close.

Kirchner and the Berlin Street

When Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880–1938) moved to Berlin in 1911, he was already in his early thirties. He had long completed his architecture studies at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden and recently gained prominence as one of the co-founders of Die Brücke, which, along with Der Blaue Reiter, became one of the two most important German Expressionist artists collectives.

LUISA RABBIA Coming and Going

Though Luisa Rabbia works in various media, the core of her practice resides in drawing. It remains a significant component even when she is working in sculpture or film.

Greater Brooklyn

Nine weeks after the opening of the much-discussed Greater New York show at P.S. 1, Chelsea’s CRG Gallery opens its summer program with a tongue-in-cheek counterpart entitled Greater Brooklyn. Inspired by the fact that most of New York’s younger generation of artists are based in Brooklyn, this exhibition features thirty artists who have only two things in common: they live in or close to this borough and they continue to pursue their art-making without steady gallery representation.

Los Carpinteros

Los Carpinteros’s recent New York exhibition, paradoxically entitled Downtown while inhabiting a prominent midtown location, succeeds in further feeding the buzz around this popular artist group.

Leon Polk Smith

In 1936, a few years before the arrival of waves of World War II immigrants—and among them, many advocates of European modernism—Leon Polk Smith moved to New York City. During the following decade, like most of the other American artists of his generation, he embraced the avant-garde European movements wholeheartedly while searching for his own unique interpretations.

ON BECOMING AN ARTIST: ISAMU NOGUCHI and His Contemporaries, 1922–1960

He was born in Los Angeles to the Japanese poet Yone Noguchi and the American writer Léonie Gilmour. He spent his childhood in Japan, his youth in the U.S., and some formative time in Paris. Before the age of 30, he had visited Beijing (where he studied brush painting with Qi Baishi), Kobe, Tokyo, and Kyoto (where he studied pottery with Uno Jinmatsu).

ANDY COOLQUITT Chair w/Paintings

Marking the first solo exhibition at Lisa Cooley’s new space on Norfolk Street, Andy Coolquitt: chair w/paintings resembles a secret chamber filled with stashed-away treasures.

Alberto Magnelli

An autodidact, Alberto Magnelli (1888-1971) is often considered the first Italian abstract painter. Born in Florence and deeply inspired by Tuscany’s abundant Renaissance treasures, he began painting in his mid-teens.

Julie Monaco

Julie Monaco’s dramatic landscapes, ranging from black-and-white to a deeply saturated blood-red monotone, are as theatrical as they are polished, Presented under Plexiglas, these slick compositions unfold with

Egon Schiele

To this writer there is hardly anything more moving in art; there are few artists whose work is more passionate and embracing of life’s dramatic emotions than that of Egon Schiele (1890 – 1918). He is one of the most impressive and highly influential geniuses, the kind who inspires us to live up to our own fullest creative potential.

Aneta Grzeszykowska and Jan Smaga

For those who live in urban apartment buildings, one of the most disturbing nightmares is to be unknowingly spied upon by a neighbor, be it through a small crack in the closet (think of Roman Polanski’s The Tenant) or a hole in the ceiling. What would they see, and what would we feel if we knew that there was no corner left at home that could provide refuge from a scrutinizing and judgmental eye?

Marilyn Bridges In the Footsteps of Alexander

An aerial photographer equipped with a pilot’s license, Marilyn Bridges has long focused on ancient sites.

John Beech

Born in 1964, in Winchester, England and currently living in Brooklyn, John Beech is known for his innovative transformations of seemingly mundane industrial objects into extraordinary epitomes of mysterious beauty.

Hans Bellmer

“Hans Bellmer: Petites Anatomies, Petites Images“ proves that shocking scenarios can be captured on a very intimate scale. A close inspection of each of the nearly seventy miniature vintage photographs reveals exquisitely disturbing images of Bellmer’s famous “dolls,” models, and surreal still lifes. The majority of these works were created between 1934 and 1938, in part informing the original German edition of Die Puppe (The Doll, 1934), a portfolio of ten black-and-white photographs, which the artist published privately at his own expense.

Deborah Roan

In vibrantly saturated photographs of panoramic largesse, Deborah Roan portrays contemporary urban textures with a sensibility that is as musical as it is poetic. On the surface, rhythmic interplays of color and form characterize each composition, while the loose narrative established by the imagery of various neighborhoods offers depth.

Paloma Varga Weisz

In a stunning New York debut, featuring several wooden sculptures and a series of watercolors, German artist Paloma Varga Weisz shines, raising the suspicion that she might be one of the most promising young talents around.

Marci MacGuffie

Brooklyn-based Marci MacGuffie works with abstract patterns, not only in a decorative sense, but also as part of a larger observational process. She analyzes physical reactions and mannerisms, which can either refer to actual interactions between her audience and work, or more symbolically, they can refer to renditions of the effects outside forces can have on nature.

Maki Tamura

Maki Tamura’s preferred medium is paper. In the past, the Japanese-born Tamura created large-scale scrolls that, with a nod toward her Asian roots, unrolled down the wall and onto the floor.

Laura Newman, Claire Seidl, Cordy Ryman Project Space: Judith Page

Though not conceived as a thematic show, Laura Newman, Claire Seidl and Cordy Ryman have plenty in common. Most importantly, they share a concern for architectural space; while realized in different media and under the spell of different aesthetics, these individual accounts are told in the same language.

Joe Fyfe

n a current exhibition of works from 2004, all of which were conceived and completed during a visit to Vietnam, Joe Fyfe reiterates his self-appointed task to clear out the busyness in painting in order to examine the basics: the image of the work and its physical presence, as well as the inherent relationships between image and light, pigment and surface. In order to decipher these, Fyfe keeps his materials as undisguised as possible, treating them with almost equal importance as the artistic process and even the finished work itself.

Cora Cohen

Cora Cohen’s recent paintings explore a theme that never ceases to challenge: the multiple paths within abstraction.

Todd Hido
Roaming: New Landscapes

In an exhibition of new color works, Todd Hido sets out to explore a fairly traditional genre: landscape photography.

Ann Hamilton, Corpus MassMoCA July 2004

Garnering international acclaim for complex multimedia installations that have transformed such prestigious sites as The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Dia Art Foundation, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, and the American Pavilion in the 1999 Venice Biennale, Ann Hamilton has demonstrated more than once that she is at ease with large-scale projects.

ANSELM KIEFER Next Year in Jerusalem

Among the group of German artists responsible for rebuilding their country’s culture during the postwar era, Anselm Kiefer is the most quintessential. Kiefer, who has lived in France for decades to (as he puts it) “possibly have a better look at Germany,” is the only one to vehemently tackle and obsess over what Germans cannot escape: their history.

Letter from GERMANY

The late art career of Arnold Odermatt did not unfold until the early 1990s when the artist was already in his sixties. Though a long time coming, it led quickly from a few gallery exhibitions to an installation at the 49th Venice Biennale (2001) and even a solo show at the Art Institute of Chicago (2003).

MAGNUS PLESSEN

Despite occasional references, Plessen has worked hard to define his own voice. He has found it in the intermingled forms of abstract gesture, geometric structure, and figurative subject matter.

Victoria Neel

Victoria Neel is one of several emerging talents, including Marcel Dzama, Amy Cutler, Anthony Goicolea, and the lesser-known, Philadelphia-based Michelle Oosterbaan, who have rediscovered a playful form of figurative lyricism rooted in the history and traditions of illustration.

Calder/Miró

After comparing selections from the oeuvres of Alexander Calder and Joan Miró in an exhibition co-organized by the Fondation Beyeler, Basel, and the Phillips Collection, it might be impossible to ever study either artist’s work again without thinking of the other.

From Berlin to Broadway: The Ebb Bequest of Modern German and Austrian Drawings

From Berlin to Broadway is the Kurt Weill-inspired title of an installation of 43 early-twentieth-century German and Austrian works on paper that the Morgan Library & Museum received in 2005 as a bequest from Broadway lyricist Fred Ebb (1928–2004).

Katy Grannan

Another Woman Who Died in Her Sleep, San Francisco area-based photographer Katy Grannan depicts the same person, Nicole, in various Northwestern landscapes and interiors. Grannan worked with Nicole for almost three years and established a comfortable intimacy with her subject.

Jessica Stockholder

In this exhibition of works from 2006, Stockholder continues to transform commonplace objects into sculptural microcosms of saturated color and vivid form.

Erik Schmidt: As above is so below

Though Erik Schmidt has been critically acclaimed in Europe for years—to the extent that in 2006 Hatje Cantz published a comprehensive monograph—his work has so far remained little known in the United States.

KIM UCHIYAMA Archaeo

For Archaeo, New York-based artist Kim Uchiyama has set up a few distinct rules. Her medium is oil, the size of her paintings all measure 20 by 16 inches, and her abstract vocabulary is restricted to multiple banners of horizontal stripes.

Lee Bontecou: Vacuum-formed Sculptures and Related Drawings

Brilliantly dark with an inherent sense of foreboding, Lee Bontecou’s work reveals itself through the unraveling of layered thoughts and textures without losing its unpredictability. The experience is akin to travel—a pastiche of impressions, some recognizably of the here and now, and others hinting at an imaginary future.

JULIE MEHRETU Grey Area

In 2007, while completing a residency at the American Academy in Berlin, Julie Mehretu received the 15th commission of the Deutsche Bank and Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. This annual enterprise, which is designed to underwrite and promote works by leading contemporary artists, has previously included Hiroshi Sugimoto, Jeff Koons, Bill Viola, and Gerhard Richter, among others.

In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art, 1960–1976

While the Belgian painter James Ensor continues to enthrall a large audience on the top floor of the Museum of Modern Art, a much humbler display can be found further below. Visually, the exhibitions could not be more different, and yet In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art, 1960–1976 possesses a satirical wit similar in spirit to that of the Belgian master.

Alfred Kubin: Drawings, 1897 – 1909

Alfred Kubin’s oeuvre is based on the artist’s lifelong fascination with the dark sides of the human subconscious. Through spectral fantasies and bizarre dreamscapes rendered in ink, pen, and occasionally tempera on paper, he told of the demons of human existence as embodied in insatiable greed, sadistic lust, fear, torture, and most consistently, death.

Lee Bontecou

Lee Bontecou has long achieved what most artists aspire to: she has created a world that is entirely her own. Brilliantly dark with an inherent sense of foreboding, it opens itself to us without losing its unpredictability and hence, we stay on our toes.

A Collection of Personal Accounts

This month’s release of American Letters 1927 - 1947: Jackson Pollock & Family, a compilation of the personal correspondence between five brothers (Sanford, Charles, Frank, Marvin, and Jackson), their parents, and wives, marks a significant contribution to the literature on Jackson Pollock.

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The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2020

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