Gray Matters, featuring 37 artists working almost exclusively in shades of gray, is a dazzling exhibition.
In Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa’s performance “A Brief History of Architecture in Guatemala” at the Guggenheim, the artist invited us to consider why we revere iconic architecture in the first place.
City Hall Park’s newest exhibit has artists realizing public monuments as acts of memorial and common experience, as well as shared moments of public art whimsy.
Post-colonial studies, the legacy of 19th and 20th century colonialism and imperialism, a hit on the academic circuit, underlies the raisone d’etre of the New Museum’s Triennale, The Ungovernables, the second Triennial devoted to global contemporary art. Artists are presented as “actors in the world around them rather than commentators,” and portrayed as “negatively ungovernable.” The show’s emphasis on a series of global “urgencies” casts a wide net focusing more on the message than the medium, which is both the show’s strength and its undoing.
The voluminousness of the Venice Biennale can be overwhelming, much like the city of Venice itself. Talking with Venetian friends, I heard the city described as a “creature,” a labyrinthine monster that will suffocate you if you don’t know how to find the campos, or other open-air spaces where you can stretch out and breathe. Inhabited by more tourists than actual residents, the city is shaped by the pre-conceived notions of its visitors; in short, Venice is a place that does not fully exist. The same feeling follows you into the exhibitions of the Biennale.