Reviews

BooksWeekend

Language as Maternal

by Barry Schwabsky on January 18, 2015

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George Oppen published his first book, Discrete Series, in 1934; his second, The Materials, emerged 28 years later, in 1962. But even Oppen and Bunting were raring to go in comparison to Wong May, whose third collection of poems, Superstitions, came out in 1978.

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Post image for Capturing the Quotidian in a Fine Mesh of Crosshatching: Paintings and Drawings by Karl Stevens

Karl Stevens’ whisper-soft graphite drawings and smooth-as-ice oil paintings evoke comparison to Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres yet portray neither odalisques nor aristocrats. Best known as a graphic novelist (Guilty; Whatever), Stevens’ canvases and sketches, like his comic strips and watercolors, render the quotidian details of the world of a freshly unemployed artist whose girlfriend just broke up with him.

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Post image for Topless but Far From Helpless: Charlotte Moorman’s Avant-Garde Life

So-called revisionist art history has made room for numerous, formerly overlooked or ignored artists in Western Civ’s recognized canon, but what is that establishment narrative to make of a big-boned Southern gal who played avant-garde cello in the nude while submerged in a Plexiglas tank filled with river water?

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Post image for In Rock Opera, Courtney Love Attains Nirvana

Courtney Love’s rock opera duet with Todd Almond packed a small black box at the Here Art Center.

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Books

The Writings of a Passionate Painter

by John Goodrich on January 16, 2015

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Pick up a survey of modern art, start scanning the 1930s, and you may come across a paragraph or two on the French painter Jean Hélion (1904–1987).

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Post image for A Miniature City Built on Unstable Coffee Grounds

Gabriela Salazar has built a small metropolis in a basement in Bushwick.

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Museums

The Designs of Dissent

by Cassie Packard on January 15, 2015

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LONDON — Two inflatable cobblestones, outsized and dully metallic, hang from the ceiling. It’s implicit: these are material agents of anarchy, the airborne heralds of revolution.

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Post image for From Glitch Parties to Participatory Skipping, a Delirious Dance

“Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!” chants the beaming cast of Faye Driscoll’s Thank You for Coming: Attendance as if greeting party guests.

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Post image for An Out-of-Focus Look at Post-Photography

Tacking “post” onto a word is one of those art world tricks that’s routinely wielded to great rhetorical effect, but has little denotative meaning. In much the same way, Robert Shore’s book featuring the term, Post-Photography: The Artist with a Camera, jumps off the shelves with its punchy title but fails to provide much substance.

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Galleries

Gillian Wearing’s Masked Confessions

by Alicia Eler on January 14, 2015

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LOS ANGELES — In Gillian Wearing’s work, the artist serves as a conduit for other peoples’ confessions while concealing her own subjectivity. In this exhibition, everyone becomes a stranger — both the visitors to the gallery and the people involved in making the work.

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