Thomas Micchelli

Philip Guston,

It’s a display of mostly gallery artists, perfunctorily titled Fall 2014 Group Show and hung without an apparent organizing principle. There isn’t even an official closing date.

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Post image for Strangely Familiar: The Art of the Chinese Album

The Art of the Chinese Album, the outrageously beautiful exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, chronicles nearly 800 years of variations on a hybrid theme: painting and the book, fused into cinematically sequenced images, a meditative synthesis that speaks to our cultural disarray with startling immediacy.

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Jenny Holzer,

Is an exhibition ever too beautiful for its own good? Jenny Holzer’s new show at Cheim & Read, Dust Paintings, is ravishing. But the sensuality of these text-based abstractions, done in oil on linen in mostly muted colors, runs counter to their content, which is derived from declassified government reports of brutalization and death during the Afghan War.

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Hermann Nitsch,

Its Wikipedia entry calls it “a short and violent movement,” and even compared with the aesthetic extremes of the 1960s, the unrelenting art of Vienna Actionism stands apart. After the passage of fifty years, the questions it raised about the limits and origins of art remain no less troubling or closer to resolution.

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Unidentified Artist.

Skimming through various museum sites for their fall schedules, the first thing that caught my eye was a notice for The Art of the Chinese Album at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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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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