Sarah Cowan

Post image for At a Queer Film Festival, a Collective Offers to Digitize Your Videos for Free

It’s the opening night of MIX NYC’s 28th New York Queer Experimental Film Festival, and at the entrance to the festival’s art installations, XFR Collective (pronounced “transfer collective”) has set up their decks and monitors, ready for work.

Continue Reading →
Post image for Art-Minded Feminists Become Wikipedians for a Weekend

When Shulamith Firestone wrote in 1970, “Feminism, when it truly achieves its goals, will crack through the most basic structures of our society,” she couldn’t have predicted she was referring to Wikipedia.

Continue Reading →
Post image for For the Harvard Art Museums, a Top-to-Bottom Renovation and Rethinking

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — On a warm day in June six years ago, the front doors of the Fogg Museum closed quietly. There was no banner reading “Closing Day” on Quincy Street at the edge of Harvard Yard, no ceremony, no press, no speech. At five o’clock, museum visitors shuffled out the exit in droves, toting travel books and the last discounted souvenirs.

Continue Reading →
Post image for Alternative Media: Software and Video in 1970s Counterculture

In the midst of laments that the shared culture of television is dwindling – that charming picture of a nuclear family gathered around the TV set outshone by the glow of individual screens — “Send Blank Tape,” an installation at Pioneer Works, is providing an alternative communal viewing experience.

Continue Reading →

Galleries

Saul Steinberg Decodes the Symbols of Society

by Sarah Cowan on October 14, 2014

Post image for Saul Steinberg Decodes the Symbols of Society

Plastered on the title wall of Saul Steinberg’s 100th Anniversary Exhibition at Pace Gallery is an impenetrable photographic self-portrait.

Continue Reading →

Galleries

Polly Apfelbaum Plays with Pattern

by Sarah Cowan on August 1, 2014

'Polly Apfelbaum: A Handweaver's Pattern Book' at Clifton Benevento

Among the sleek catalogues at the entrance to the Clifton Benevento Gallery sits a tattered hardcover, its paper jacket ripped to reveal the plain binding. This is artist Polly Apfelbaum’s copy of A Handweaver’s Pattern Book.

Continue Reading →
Post image for The Yams Collective’s Collage of Black Experience

There was no mention of the Whitney Museum or the Biennial, of Joe Scanlan, Donelle Woolford, or Michelle Grabner on the microphone at alternative arts space Freecandy last Thursday night.

Continue Reading →

Galleries

Searching for Jay DeFeo (Again)

by Sarah Cowan on May 29, 2014

Post image for Searching for Jay DeFeo (Again)

A show like the one currently up at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, which homes in on Jay DeFeo’s post-“Rose” output until her death in 1989, is still direly important.

Continue Reading →

Galleries

Collaging Art History in the Kitchen

by Sarah Cowan on March 24, 2014

Post image for Collaging Art History in the Kitchen

Suffering from inner ear problems possibly related to the chemicals in the black-and-white photographic process, and urged further by the extinction of Kodak film, Jed Devine has turned to (gasp!) digital, and what’s more, to color. He might as well be working in a different medium altogether.

Continue Reading →

Galleries

Seeing Calder Through His Shadows

by Sarah Cowan on December 17, 2013

Post image for Seeing Calder Through His Shadows

When I was little I went to the Whitney Museum over and over to see “Cirque Calder,” Alexander Calder’s three-dimensional cartoon of performers preening, frozen in mise-en-scène. Walking into Calder Shadows, on view at Venus Over Manhattan, I felt the same childish camaraderie with the artist, only this time it held fear of the bogeyman.

Continue Reading →