January 30, 2018

Instagram Reviews

Jean-Luc Mouléne "Hole, Bubble, Bump" at Miguel Abreu Gallery. Approaching but not as idiosyncratic as Tim Hawkinson, a capriciousness recalling Richter but making this painter look like pre-cable TV, driven within each mode by an internal logic as resolute as Tony Cragg, channel surfing a slew of sculptural categories (now Diderot's Encyclodédie comes to mind) from lost wax to process assemblage... it was only after seeing the works in the exhibition that I read the press release to realize that the artist too, divined the content post hoc (ergo propter hoc?), a program where the author merged with the audience and visa versa. With regret, I missed the event, a conversation with Badiou and Negarestani. I wonder what our Maoist would say and I'm keen to know more about Negarestani.

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Rannava Kunoy @nathaliekarggallery A first glance yields the appearance of classic Zombie Abstraction, but the work is too careful, too mindful to confirm the Walking Dead. Luscious colors, modulated with iridescent sheen, complicated with a scuffed surface of what appears to be rubbings. My forensic eye imagines her studio, a table full of lettered and shaped blocks instrumental for this purpose. Patterns recur and differ only in arrangement and it's when I had read the inventory list and the titles of the paintings that I returned to see if the recombinant orders might shed some light on the political provocation in each painting. "Gerrymander" "Dodd Frank". That I failed to arrive to conclusions is not bad news, I prefer to leave art, wondering.

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Robert Irwin's "Excursus: Homage to the Square" @diabeacon Note the telling detail, staples where staples are not functionally necessary. Are they decorative? Did Robert forget the name (thus the function) of the Thing One Sees? Maybe he is seeing a higher order, more sublime function? He needed the line, like Mies van der Rohe needed I-beams runing the height of his Seagrams. There is always and especially so, a lyricism in the heart of stripped down, reductive, spare minimalism. Theater, in other words. And then, let's pause at his fluorescent fixtures... the film wraps... almost a bit... Art-Deco... Amiright?

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Robert Ryman "Consort" @diabeacon 1) Simplicity. )2&3 Not-So-Simple. RR established that art material goes all the way to the "nail" on the wall.

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Mark Reynolds "Order Chaos Disorder" @pierogigallery The display-table-explainer was the show-stealer, a familiar device revealing the inspirational source of the several drawings framed on the surrounding walls. He makes explicit what was once implicit (yet not exactly secretive), front-staging compositional ordering systems and the geometric guidelines that once orchestrated the harmonies of classical art. What the table has that the walls do not are the traces of discovery in the form of marginalia notes and reference underlays of classical painting and architecture. Once the tether to that world is cut, does the geometry self assemble, self referentially? Yes but it should go Cray-Cray. The geometry should ejaculate. The frames should have some trouble containing them. That shit should be messy, if its real. But what if the tether was tied to something other that the classical? And since the world is binary, then Pop is all that's left over in our binary world, why not tie new geometric ordering systems on that overlay? And more: why stop at Euclid? Go Non-Euclidean. Curve that space. Even flat paper and pencil lead become dispensable. Even Old man Pablo had the balls to go there with a pen light and open shutter frames back in the 50's. Imagine what Reynolds could do with laser pointers.

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Jean Blackburn "Feed" @pierogigallery I see an intersection of two worlds: Cartesian and swap-meet. A snip from the press release: "...she patiently cuts, carves, or chips away at an existing form..." Boy, is that an understatement! I see that cuts are made considering the factor of the width of the blade involved. Measurements are precise, extremely so. Is she doing this, Japanese style, with intensely held hand tools, not a single motion left to waste? Does she have mad carpentry skills passed onto her from some sage or forgotten craftsperson? Or is this done with a Dremel universe of mini-tools, specialty clamps and precision guides? Material (& energy?) is conserved, what wood is excised is used in turn to extend the x-y-z coordinate world of Descartes as connective tissue between objects once freighted -and now fading- historical and familial memory. Circles and turned wood are exceptions to this rule, minor counterpoints. The recycled wood returns as mini-tables and I wonder if there was a recourse to classical mathematical proportional systems such as sampled in Mark Reynolds' adjacent exhibition that informs the relative sizes and placement of Blackburn's de-re-construction. Again, I wonder: what happened to the sawdust that resulted from her project? Could that have fed into the narrative too, the closed circuit 3-axis world of "Feed"?

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Thomas Nozkowski 16x20 @pacegallery Chelsea. Twenty five paintings from the last thirty years of the twentieth century. Painting at arms length. Stubbornly. A singular fist shaken at factory scale. Formal echoes of ideas in the air, NY generations wafting from canvas to canvas. Each painting, a resultant of other paintings met and abandoned in passing, fragmented mementos pentimento. Meticulous scumbles. Edge discipline. Layers and craquelure. Dirty glazes, better to see your impasto.

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Posted by Dennis at January 30, 2018 3:26 PM

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