Thomas Micchelli

Chiaki Kamikawa, “10 Possible Locations for Secret Talks” (2014), number 6 of 10 drawings, pencil on paper, approximately 8 3/10 x 9 1/10 inches

Simultaneously confounding and illuminating, The Intuitionists at the Drawing Center is a puzzle within a puzzle, a conceptual stunt that raises sticky questions about curatorial responsibility and the structuring of aesthetic experience.

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Post image for A Slice of Pie, a Painting of the Sea

First there was a solo show by a painter’s painter, and then a slice of sour cherry pie from a food-based conceptual artist. That they were encountered on the same day was by accident and not by design, which is the way art happens much of the time.

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Post image for Have a Nice Day: Jeff Koons and the End of Art

Gleaming in the ghost-light of fluorescent tubes, the vitrine-encased vacuum cleaners that open the Whitney Museum’s Jeff Koons retrospective are nothing short of spectacular. The rest of the work, however, with few exceptions, reveals itself to be as thin, puerile and derivative as the artist’s harshest critics would expect.

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Post image for “Against the Art World and the World in General”: Painting as Radical Critique

“Support” and “surface” mean the same thing in French as they do in English, an accident of language that mirrors the immediacy of Supports/Surfaces, a self-titled exhibition of paintings, sculptures and category-skipping hybrids from a little-known art movement based in the south of France.

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Post image for Tougher than the Rest: Joan Mitchell’s Tree Paintings and Black Drawings

There are currently two exhibitions of Joan Mitchell’s paintings and drawings on the same Chelsea street. Taken together, they offer an extended examination of a painter’s process as her sensibilities shift from a dominant mode expression to something altogether different.

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Post image for Nothing as It Seems: John Avelluto’s Unrelenting Emptiness

John Avelluto’s artworks — we’ll call them paintings for the sake of convenience — take trompe l’oeil places it was never meant to go. By turns exercises in mind-boggling craft and mind-twisting formalism, they repeatedly abrade the boundary between the hyperreal and the micro-minimal with their tough, exultant, inscrutable beauty.

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Post image for Homage to Absurdity: The Restless Legacy of Dennis Oppenheim

Everything moves in It Ain’t What You Make It’s What Makes You Do It, a quirky funhouse of a show currently spinning, tapping, and pounding away at Valentine. And almost everything makes noise — a lot of noise. If you want to finish up the 2013–14 art season with a bang, this is the place to go.

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Post image for Ars Sacra: Mozart, Proust, and a Polka-Dot Dress

Rachel, Monique, Sophie Calle’s memorial to her mother, is installed in a side chapel of the starkly beautiful neo-Gothic Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest on Fifth Avenue and 90th Street. On a marble plaque beside the chapel entrance, the artist has overlaid a brief text noting that her mother was not a Christian, but she would never pass up an invitation to the Upper East Side.

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Post image for A Viral Longing: Anna Maria Maiolino’s Art of Dislocation

“The intestine is a hole that we can never fill,” Anna Maria Maiolino tells the curator Helena Tatay in a wide-ranging interview published on the Documenta 13 website, “just as we can never fulfill desire.”

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Post image for Burning into the Night: Maria Lassnig’s 70 Years of Painting

Maria Lassnig’s retrospective at MoMA PS1 is the largest survey of her work ever mounted in the United States. It reveals an idiosyncratic artist whose quirks and caprices, especially in her later work, can feel willful, even perverse — up to a point.

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