Entries Tagged as 'Artists'

Maryam Jafri at Alexandra Saheb

May 28th, 2008 · No Comments · Artists, Germany

Maryam Jafri, Staged Archive (video still), 2008 [image courtesy of Galerie Alexandra Saheb, Berlin]

Maryam Jafri, Staged Archive (video still), 2008 [image courtesy of Galerie Alexandra Saheb, Berlin]

Maryam Jafri’s exhibition at Galerie Alexandra Saheb in Berlin (April 26 – June 13, 2008) took me by surprise. Jafri, a solid storyteller and a kind of shaman, works in the traditions of theater and sculpture: with heavily built sets, props and lighting.

Staged Archive seems to float between nonfiction and the surreal, finding a location solidly supported by personal narrative and experiences I would expect everyone shares, regardless of age, race or gender, although each of these categories is wrestled with in the work.

Adrian Sauer at Klemm’s

May 25th, 2008 · No Comments · Artists, Germany

Adrian Sauer, Atelier (video still), 2008, 23:45 min., ed. 5+1 a.p. [image courtesy of KLEMM’S, Berlin]

Adrian Sauer, Atelier (video still), 2008, 23:45 min., ed. 5+1 a.p. [image courtesy of KLEMM’S, Berlin]

Adrian Sauer, Atelier (video still), 2008, 23:45 min., ed. 5+1 a.p. [image courtesy of KLEMM’S, Berlin]

Under the category of “this-is-not-what-it-seems-at-first-glance,” Adrian Sauer’s video installation, Atelier at Klemm’s in Berlin, begs the audience to underestimate and then be surprised. As the video slowly circles the artist’s studio, closer examination reveals that everything in the video is not real. All surfaces are computer processed and lack depth. The effect is beyond mere posterization and suggests the landscape is either computer modeled or Flash-vector traced from video: either way, a generous reward. The exhibition also includes several photographs of similarly created environments. Atelier closes June 21, 2008.

Driving Across America: Washington DC

May 12th, 2008 · 3 Comments · Artists

At the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden:

Nam June Paik, Video Flag, 1985-1996

Mindy Shapero, The Infinite Truths of Flatterland (inside the black thing there remains everything, perpetually without motion), 2006

Juan Munoz, Last Conversation Piece, 1994-1995

Dan Steinhilber, Untitled, 2002, (paper-clad wire hangers)

At the National Air and Space Museum:



At the National Museum of Natural History:




Darren Foote and Ali Smith at RHYS Gallery

April 23rd, 2008 · 1 Comment · Artists, Boston

Ali Smith, Interplanetary Chart, 2007, Oil, acrylic on canvas, 64”x68”

Darren Foote, Flashlight #2, 2008, Poplar, 100”x7”x7”

Boston-based artist Darren Foote and LA-based Ali Smith‘s current exhibition at RHYS Gallery is full of playful spacial observations. Smith’s vibrant explosions of oil and acrylic toy with dimensionality, while Foote’s poplar sculptures defining the reach of artificial light sources make the intangible tangible.

RHYS gallery will be relocating to Los Angeles soon, so be sure to stop into the Harrison Ave location while it is still on this coast.

RHYS Gallery
Darren Foote + Ali Smith
April 03 – May 02, 2008

Laura McPhee and Toni Pepe at Bernard Toale Gallery

April 16th, 2008 · No Comments · Artists, Boston

Toni Pepe, Untitled from the series Angle of Repose (Tablecloth with Dust), 2007, Archival Inkjet print [courtesy of the gallery]

Laura McPhee, Beaver Ponds on Fisher Creek After Wild Fire, White Cloud Mountains, Idaho, 2007, C-print [courtesy of the gallery]

Bernard Toale Gallery’s current exhibition pairs the work of two artists, Toni Pepe and Laura McPhee, with strikingly different approaches to photography.

McPhee’s dramatic mountains and forests are hauntingly still landscapes captured with the precise eye of a photographer’s photographer. Pepe’s Angle of Repose series is an idea-based collection of staged photos of women in various household environments, creating a dark and moody narrative along the lines of Cindy Sherman’s art historical pieces.

You’ll want to bring a McPhee home with you, but you’ll still be thinking about Pepe the next day.

Laura McPhee, Two Years Later
Toni Pepe, Angle of Repose
Bernard Toale Gallery
450 Harrison Ave, Boston 02118
April 2 through May 10

Julius Popp Presented by Dogenhaus Galerie at Volta

April 15th, 2008 · No Comments · Artists, New York City

Julius Popp, Bit.Flow MK2, 2005-2008

One strike against technology-based artwork is that it’s notoriously difficult to get to work correctly, as was the case with Julius Popp’s Bit.Flow MK2 at the Dogenhaus booth at Volta. Since we’ve been fans of Popp’s previous work, we stopped to talk to the dealer and find out what exactly we weren’t seeing in its fully functioning form.

Popp’s work sits right at the intersection of programming and engineering. He writes programs to scroll the internet for key words that contribute data to his mechanical systems that use materials to illustrate those patterns through ephemeral messages displayed or transmitted via custom-built machines. Amid the tangle of clear tubes on the floor, in theory, a pattern emerges if you’re standing in a certain position in relation to the tubes.

The conceptual beauty of Popp’s work is undeniable — from releasing buoys into the ocean that transmit positioning data back to their owners, to droplets of water forming into words as they fall, to tubes that traffic messages from the ether. Yet art is ultimately a visual endeavor, and must present its case to the eyes in order to persuade the mind. If the viewer is left to imagine how something works with the guidance of a weighty statement, she might, in her imagination, greatly improve upon the concept.

Julius Popp is represented by Dogenhaus Galerie in Leipzig, Germany.

For Space Geeks

April 5th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Artists


Click Here

The 08 Whitney Biennial Top 8

March 31st, 2008 · No Comments · Artists, New York City

The Whitney Biennial is perhaps the most well-known weather forecast of contemporary American art. Many people I’ve talked with about the show were blasé about the 08 version curated by Henriette Huldisch and Shamim M. Momin. I agree that much of the show is unmemmorable, however, there were several notable works. Here’s my top eight:


1) Omer Fast, Production still from The Casting, 2007 (source)


2) Phoebe Washburn, It Makes for My Billionaire Status, 2005 (installation view, Kantor/Feuer Gallery, Los Angeles, 2005) (source)


3) Mika Rottenberg, Still from Cheese, 2007 (source)


4) Lisa Sigal, The Day before Yesterday and the Day after Tomorrow, 2007 (source)


5) Leslie Hewitt, Make It Plain (2 of 5), 2006 (source)


6)Stephen Prina, Sonic Dan, 1996 (source)


7) John Baldessari, Arms & Legs (Specif. Elbows & Knees), Etc.: Elbow (Blue) with Desk, 2007 (source)


8) Melanie Schiff, Water Birth, 2007 (source)

Alison Owen Installation in Our House

March 27th, 2008 · No Comments · Artists, Providence

Alison Owen, Untitled, 2008, installation, adhesive, dust, lint, animal hair

Installation artist Alison Owen, a former New Yorker now living in Providence, uses the existing elements of an environment to make sharp and witty tromp l’oeil works with conceptual heft. In previous bodies of work, Owen has painted shadows behind architectural oddities, extended lines, and otherwise ever-so-slightly modified the palette of a room.

In her current work, she has branched into creating “decorative” motifs out of the invisible contents of an environment. Her most recent installation is a faux floral wallpaper pattern constructed out of the dust, animal hair and detritus she harvested from the corners of the room.


From a safe distance, the material seems velvet-like and tactile, and the color shifts from flower to flower in each iteration. Yet as soon as you’re close enough to see what it’s made of, the experience changes from aesthetic pleasure to mild disgust coupled with the voyeuristic interest piqued by seeing somebody else’s “dirt.”

Up indefinitely and viewable upon request.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

March 25th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Artists, Boston

Courtyard of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum [source]

Why, oh why, did it take us six months of living here before we finally got ourselves over to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum? Perhaps it’s because we were biased by so many American museums with pre-1945 collections that feel as sleepy and dusty as a great-aunt’s parlor (The Huntington and Norton-Simon spring to mind). Surely a museum bearing such a flowery gilded-age lady’s moniker, featuring her personal collection peppered with Singer Sargents, would be as fussy and yawn-inducing as museum’s come.

Please pass some humble pie — I deserve a full serving.

It’s rare that Murray and I truly linger in art museums, and even rarer that we meander back to see a gallery in a museum on the same trip, just to soak it up further. Yet we spent most of the afternoon wandering around the magical ISGM, pulling back the quaint velvet curtains covering the rickety wood and glass vitrines to see handwritten letters by Dante; opening cabinet doors covered in drawings, fascinated by the terse typed sign saying “STOLEN” where one of Degas’ drawings used to hang; comparing Giotto’s Christ child with Botticelli’s with Martini’s with da Rimini’s in the Long Gallery and Gothic rooms on the third floor.

And we lingered further, listening to the xylophonist of a contemporary sextet warming up before a concert in the Tapestry room, leaning over the balcony overlooking the courtyard, taking mental notes about the wall hangings curving around corners, the Italian bed-frames used as railings, the layering of patterns, textures, styles, periods.

How perfect that the ISGM has a vibrant artist-in-residence program that has featured over fifty contemporary artists, including Laura Owens, and Henrik Håkansson: this is a museum for artists.

Virtually unchanged since its origination under the careful and inventive hand of Mrs. Gardner, this museum reads more like a large-scale assemblage of art and objects than a clinical exhibition out of an art history text book. The museum invites the viewer into an intimate and homey place for contemplation, for wonder, for close observation, for shared transcendent experience. That’s about as cutting edge as museums get.