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Posted inArt

Urs Fischer: The Raw and the (Over)Cooked

LOS ANGELES — What do you get when you invite 1,500 people to make clay sculptures of whatever they want? An incredibly weird, crumbling, monotone wonderland. As part of his current retrospective, New York-based artist Urs Fischer organized this freewheeling project at the Geffen Contemporary MoCA in downtown Los Angeles, and titled, appropriately, “YES” (2013).

Posted inArt

Letter from Los Angeles: Cults, Cacti, and Crystals

Narcotic-riffing duo Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe have been at it again, creating an immersive drug den abandoned to time and decay. After staging their faux meth labs in Marfa, Miami, and New York, they’ve moved onto a fictional narcotic, Marasa, and an invented cult figure, Dr. Arthur Cook. Like previous projects, this new installation, Bright White Underground, is a serious gesamtkunstwerk, man.

Posted inUncategorized

Worst. Press. Release. Ever. Hanoi 9-1-1

Ah, the e-flux email list, ever full of surprises. One day it might elicit a cri de couer of indignation (“really?”), and the next day just a dramatic eye-roll. Sure it’s a very useful tool, but it’s also chock-full of self-important curatorial jargon, exaggerated claims, and overblown PR-ese…Which brings us to Hyperallergic’s new semi-regular feature: Worst. Press. Release. Ever.

Posted inArt

Frankly American at the Met

Much has been written about the traveling exhibition The Americans, but here’s a recap: Swiss photographer Robert Frank won a Guggenheim fellowship and drove around the United States in 1955-56 taking pictures. His book The Americans, with a forward by Jack Kerouac, was published in 1959, and met with acclaim and controversy. Some people didn’t like the America that Frank saw. On the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication, the entire series has been shown at several U.S. venues, and is now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

From images of a funeral in South Carolina to a wedding chapel in Reno, Frank revealed a nation that looked burdened, anxious, and lost.

Posted inArt

As Seen on TV, Alex Bag at Elizabeth Dee

For Alex Bag’s current solo show, Reality Tunnel Vision, the front room of Elizabeth Dee gallery is wrapped with forest-patterned wallpaper on one side (curling off the wall at the far end), dead plants hanging from the wall, some dead bamboo sticking out of dirt on the gallery floor, an old barbeque, and a few drawings. The drawings, sketched in a cartoony crudeness, depict some of the despicable characters currently swarming our cable channel reality TV shows, such as puffy-lipped Barbie-women with impossibly huge breasts, or the muscled, faux-hawked, tattooed men who compete on national television for a chance at “true love,” money, or their own spin-off show.