Posts Tagged ‘art writing’


Looking Back: Paul McCarthy’s Central Symmetrical Rotation Movement

July 25, 2012

Here is something I wrote a couple days ago looking back at Central Symmetrical Rotation Movement:

Paul McCarthy may be an odd choice as an example for what’s ideal, as his work is often centered around the not ideal, and in many instances explores the shockingly corporeal. But last year I was lucky to catch the tail end of Central Symmetrical Rotation Movement at the Whitney, and saw how his work captivated and utterly transformed the dynamics of a gallery space. The exhibition was built around three installations (two of which were made specifically for the show, but based on unrealized proposals McCarthy made in the 1970s), and perhaps because these plans came from earlier in his career, we see the artist’s ideas less entrenched in the shtick of being Paul McCarthy (in his defense, the work still centers around spectacle and neurosis, with architecture here being a stand in for the human body, so it’s still classic McCarthy). Aggressive and disorienting, McCarthy’s is a violent and disruptive architecture, one that displaces us as viewers, and one that shows how art can transfix and demand presence.

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Giving Up the Ghost: Carey Young

September 14, 2009

Here is my recent article that can be read in its entirety at The Rumpus:

It’s not often that you look at a line forming in history while it’s happening. Usually it’s from some vantage in the future—here’s how life used to be and now things are different. But over the past year I’ve had this feeling that things are changing and we all actively sense the stakes on some different level, drawing lines in sand every morning as we wake up, only to revise them again before tucking ourselves into bed. Art helps gauge our shared place in the world, but the environment of art changes, everyone proclaims that a bad economy is great for art, that it thins the herd and reinvigorates the impulse. But there’s panic in these affirmations—what happens to the art that we are moving away from—the art that comes from the time just before?

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Bad Habits

July 24, 2009

“Bad Habits,” on display at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery through Oct. 4, is a far-reaching show and the first since the gallery’s recent re-commitment to highlighting works in its permanent collection.

While I’m not convinced that each piece in the exhibition is naughty enough to fit the theme, it does include a hodgepodge of works from some of the most important artists of the past few decades, showcasing the gallery’s Noah’s Ark approach to art collecting. Loosely organized around the premise of bad habits — taking its name from a series of prints by Lisa Yuskavage — the galleries house such art world heavyweights as Janine Antoni, Matthew Barney, Louise Bourgeois, Cecily Brown, Gilbert & George, Glenn Ligon, Tony Oursler and Jeff Wall.

Read the rest at Buffalo News:


Louise Bourgeois and Scheherazade

April 17, 2009

Louise Bourgeois is the rare artist whose orbit intersects with many big thinkers and personalities of the last century, while always remaining relevant and enduring. Not bad for ninety-seven. I love the way she hones her images and takes them into new psychological spaces, and even the way her voice sounds when she speaks. On June 25th, 1984 she wrote:

“Scheherazade talked to ward off castration (assassination). She talks as a last defense. It is a pretty miserable motive, useless and dangerous, silence is wonderful.”

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Remix Inner Space and Op Art Revisited

October 28, 2008

A little over a week ago the Buffalo News ran my review of two shows at Albright-Knox. If you’d like to read it in its entirety, check it out at: Buffalo News.

Pair of shows out of spotlight at Albright-Knox

As the Albright-Knox Art Gallery prepares for the February opening of “Action/ Abstraction, ” perhaps its most important show in years, two other exhibitions on view through January sit quietly under the radar, each worth a look in its own understated way. (Read More at: Buffalo News)


Mueck at the Warhol

April 8, 2008

One of life’s revenges is that when someone becomes truly famous and successful, their memorials are usually put in their hometowns. Arguably it’s a desire to escape from the limiting environment of formative years that drives many successful people to differentiate themselves from their past, and strive towards reinventing who they are. That’s why I always feel a little bad for Warhol. He spent his entire career trying to distance himself from his Polish brethren in Pittsburgh, desiring to become synonymous with New York, the jet set, and celebrity… Then after he dies, they banish his museum to the homeland of Pittsburgh not New York, but Pittsburgh has great museums (thanks to both Carnegie and probably Warhol).

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