Inside Doug Wheeler’s Synthetic Desert, the traffic of New York City, the din of the museum, the chaotic noise of everyday life — it all evaporates.
Sarah Zabrodski is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn by way of Canada. She holds an M.A. in Art History from New York University.
Revisiting a Canadian Icon’s Nationalist Landscapes, in the US
LOS ANGELES — Unless you’re Canadian or an art historian, chances are you’ve never heard of the Group of Seven.
Tracing Lost Lives in Doris Salcedo’s Domestic Objects
A Colombian artist who creates impossible sculptures out of furniture, hair, grass, and the fabric of everyday life, Salcedo carves out spaces for mourning tragedy.
The Infinite Forms of Marta Chilindron’s Manipulable Sculptures
A historic building on Millionaire’s Row seems an unlikely location to come upon contemporary sculpture, yet the old and the new are currently loosening each other up in a former party mansion on the Upper East Side. EXPAND//FOLD//COLLAPSE// Sculptures by Marta Chilindron features brightly colored, manipulable works placed within the Beaux-Arts setting of the James B. Duke House.
Sculpting the Thingness of Light
LOS ANGELES — For Helen Pashgian, art exists at the intersection of the material and immaterial. Her use of industrial materials, such as acrylic, epoxy, resin, and metal, combined with complex fabrication processes serve to make the presence of light a substance unto itself.
John Baldessari as Muse
LOS ANGELES — How many literary readings involve a faux-gorilla dancing with a palm leaf and bunch of balloons? Or a megaphone? Or someone tossing handmade zines into the audience with abandon? Artists Read Baldessari was this type of event.
The Unadulterated Sincerity of Forrest Bess
LOS ANGELES — Along with many people, my first introduction to Forrest Bess (1911–1977) occurred at the 2012 Whitney Biennial. Artist Robert Gober curated a one room show of Bess’s small-scale paintings alongside photographs and documents detailing his theories of pseudo-hermaphroditic transcendence and corresponding self-surgery.
The Public Spectacle of a Personal Opera in LA’s Union Station
LOS ANGELES — A train station is an apt location to tell stories of journeys to lands unknown, particularly when the storytelling method is as unconventional and frontier-pushing as the one deployed in Invisible Cities.
Cowboy Art Without the Irony
CALGARY — For ten days every July, a particular brand of cowboy hat-wearing, two-stepping, and beer-swilling mayhem descends upon the city of Calgary, Alberta. The Calgary Stampede, officially lauded as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” is ostensibly a rodeo, but its hallmarks include a thriving midway, free pancake breakfasts, and temporary tent bars with names like “Wildhorse” and “Nashville North” set up in parking lots.
The Sensory Worlds of Memory
TORONTO — Lost in the Memory Palace sticks with you long after you leave the museum. It crawls under your skin and creeps into your head. Don’t be surprised if it even starts popping up in your dreams.
In Search of Richard Serra’s Embattled “Shift”
TORONTO — Forget “Spiral Jetty” and “Double Negative.” The most inaccessible work of Land Art is sitting in Toronto’s own backyard. Having traveled to the distant salt lake shore of Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty” (1970) in Utah and spent several fruitless hours searching for Heizer’s “Double Negative” (1969) atop the arid Mormon Mesa in Nevada, I can attest to the long distances, sturdy vehicles, and functional GPS systems required to reach these sites. Unlike Richard Serra’s landmark sculpture, “Shift” (1972), however, none of them involve illegal trespassing.
Reclaiming Tonto and Appropriating Jay-Z
TORONTO — Appropriation and amalgamation take center stage at “Beat Nation,” organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and currently on view at The Power Plant in Toronto, a show focusing on the influence of hip hop culture in Aboriginal contemporary art.