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Posted inArt

Does Cao Fei’s “Rabid Dogs” (2002) Age Well?

Everything that matters happens in an office these days. To survive in today’s world, one can’t help but burn with curiosity about why some rise to the top while others gets stuck at the bottom box of the organizational chart. The Office, Mad Men or The Devil Wears Prada all hit this nerve with verve. But what’s been missing for me is that spunkier imagery and wilder narrative that video art can get away with. Cao Fei fills this void in spades with her 2002 video “Rabid Dogs” on view till Sunday at the Asia Society.

Posted inArt

Pterodactyls Take Flight: David Altmejd & Stephen Holding

Daniel Larkin goes looking for pterodactyls in some recent art exhibitions. He writes: “Some artists have discovered that this flying reptile have some real cross-over potential. At first, this sounds like an awfully kitschy idea, but when this airborne creature is refracted, distilled, and boiled down into a raw winged shape, it really sings rather than squawks.”

Posted inArt

Beyond Monotony: Nietzsche’s Eternal Return at Nurture Art

Repetition in art can be so juicy … when it’s done right. But second-rate minimalism has so deeply traumatized all us with its dull monotony and draining sense of sameness. Indeed, the fear that your favorite professor heard or saw you yawning after the 18th Judd slide in that dark lecture room binds us all together. But there is another facet of repetition that minimalism’s fierce rejection of ornament and narrative has left un-explored. The show closing tomorrow at Nurture Art, titled Eternal Return, reveals a more vivacious take on recurring forms.

Posted inArt

Flawed Diamonds: Recent Painting at Exit Art

Jesse Chapman’s painting of the struggle to stick a contact into an eye, “The Lens” (2009), strikes me as an apt allegory for recent painting. It is one of the gems from Exit Art’s shinning survey of contemporary painting, NEW MIRRORS: Painting in a Transparent World, that is set to close this weekend.

Much like this uncomfortable morning ritual, painting is caught in an awkward moment. Like the nearsighted allegory looking in the mirror, it is keenly self-aware of its need for a new way of seeing and a new lens through which to gaze. With scowling lips, it begrudgingly prepares for the many vain attempts it takes on a rough morning (or try a rough decade) to get that lens in properly.