Thomas Micchelli

Fia Backström,

An intriguing concept: how to create an art exhibition about the inability to communicate? That is what curator Rachel Valinsky has set out to do in Itself Not So, the current group show at Lisa Cooley on the Lower East Side, and for the most part, the selection she has made neatly vaults past the inherent paradox of the proposition.

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Joyce Robins,

The current group show at Canada, Anthropocene, casts a very wide net. The term, which means “new human,” is the name for the current geological period, which began with the transition from hunting-gathering to agriculture, leading to the foundation of formal societies.

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Mary Heilmann,

For his solo show at Pace Gallery in 2010, Thomas Nozkowski made the decision to hang his work in pairs, with an oil painting on canvas board or panel alongside a related work on paper, setting up a contrast between density and light, slow and fast, rumination and riff. This comparison came to mind repeatedly while wandering through Paintings on Paper, the effervescent summer exhibition at David Zwirner.

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It seems a little unfair to encumber an exhibition with a title like OK Great REALLY this is ALSO RIDICULOUS. With its overtones of exasperation and disparagement, the phrase sends confusing signals about what’s in store and how seriously to take it. But the show hooks you in an instant and holds you for a good, long time.

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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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