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Reviews in Brief: 3 Gallery Shows in Berlin

Gabriel Acevedo Velarde
Arratia Beer // September 11–October 18

At first glance, there seems to be little dialogue between Velarde’s geometric paintings and music videos, but upon closer examination, they playfully expose the failures of two modernist aesthetic strategies: abstraction and montage. “Sketches for an Airport’s Hallway,” a series of canvases, whose title implies banal corporate design, toys with the former. In his videos, Velarde employs the latter to criticize Peru’s consumerist modernity; yet the mesmerizing images set to catchy electronic beats provocatively drown out the message.

“Pictures, Before and After”
Galerie Buchholz // August 28–October 31

This fascinating tribute to art historian, cultural theorist, and activist Douglas Crimp brings together an array of objects and figures from Agnes Martin to Gran Fury, divulging the many aesthetic, social, and political issues that have occupied him during his long career. Unfortunately, the University of Rochester professor’s published texts lie in vitrines, restricting the viewer from accessing the works that make Crimp so deserving of the exhibition.

Fernando Bryce
Galerie Barbara Thumm // September 20–November 8

Newspaper articles, film stills, portraits, book covers, and advertisements dating from both World Wars fill the gallery, but only by way of Bryce’s mimetic analysis: his signature practice of copying archival material by hand. In reproducing these artifacts with such an imperfect process and installing them in politically divergent constellations, Bryce strips these images of their historical and mechanical authority, showing them to be just as subjective and suspicious as any scribbled note.


Week in Review: From Malkovich to Bowie, Our Top Visual Arts Stories

— John Malkovich posed as various celebrities — including Alfred Hitchcock and Marilyn Monroe — in Sandro Miller’s homage to iconic photographs.

— Anneliese Cooper checked out the documentary “David Bowie Is,” released concurrently with the exhibition’s debut at the MCA Chicago (on the city’s newly designated David Bowie Day, of course).

— Scott Indrisek reported on highlights from this year’s EXPO Chicago.

— Frieze announced the 20 artists who will exhibit in its 2014 sculpture park.

— Anna Kats visited the newly reopened Met Plaza and enumerated its many impressive renovations — made, of course, with a controversial donation from David H. Koch.

— Scott Indrisek noted this week’s five must-see gallery shows, from Daria Irincheeva to Jim Shaw.

— Anneliese Cooper raised an eyebrow at the New York Times’ declaration that fashion photography is now en vogue

— Glenn Kaino debuted his delicately balanced sculptures in a solo exhibition at Chicago’s Kavi Gupta Gallery.

— Eddie Martinez discussed the newfound sculptural inspiration for his paintings.

— The 2014 Blouin Creative Leadership Summit brought together experts from a cross-section of industries to discuss a wide range of pertinent global topics, including panels on creativity and the art market, as well as a keynote address by MIT’s Nicholas Negroponte.


See more of “Marlborough Chelsea Puts the Boogie in Broadway


5 Must-See Gallery Shows: Daria Irincheeva, Jim Shaw, and More

“Two Two One” at Regina Rex, through October 26 (221 Madison Street)

The gallery, recently transplanted from Brooklyn, opened with a bang this weekend: A jam-packed four-person that began at the entrance (with altered storefront signage by David Stein) and continued into a back courtyard, where Corey Escoto spelled out a cryptic text using 3M reflective letters.. READ ON

Jim Shaw at Metro Pictures, through October 25 (519 West 24th Street)

This painting exhibition from Shaw, who was formerly a cohort in Destroy All Monsters with the late Mike Kelley, is a brain-battering series of surrealistic giggles and eerie tableaux, all expertly rendered in a variety of styles  READ ON…

Daria Irincheeva at Postmasters, through October 11 (54 Franklin Street)

Rocking an increasingly popular Home Depot aesthetic — wood slats, tile and paint-chip samples, bubble wrap — for collage-in-space assemblages and sculptures, Ireencheeva turns the gallery into a sort of laboratory. Faux-wood contact paper is put to good use: in “Morning Composition 072” it coats the floor, giving the illusion of illumination, and “Remembered Something at 5pm” is basically a long length of the material (the kind of stuff you buy at the 99-cent store to cover your cabinet interiors) tumbling down the wall.


The Human in the Machine: Bjork’s “Biophilia Live”

It’s tempting to say that Bjork is entering one of the most fascinating periods of her career. The same can be said for any period of her career really, and many people have their favorite periods of Bjork’s output — the richly emotional early material, the crunchy electro-experimentalism of the last decade or so — but recently, over the last four to five years, there has been something of a renewed focus. 


John Malkovich Stars in Iconic Historical Photos

If you remember one scene from 1999’s “Being John Malkovich,” there’s a good chance it’s the one in which the actor is confronted with a restaurant full of people who all bear his face, a sea of bald pates casually dining, including a gown-clad jazz singer crooning “Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich.” Now, 15 years later, that thrice-repeated surname is the title of a new photoseries by Sandro Miller, which embarks upon a similar project: to recreate 35 iconic images from photographic history, in which the subjects are replaced by none other than John Malkovich.




The sculptural works of New york artist Ryan Jennings Clark, Timeframe 4: Monumental Time Frame

A miniature, seemingly opaque, black monolith sits within a bed of gloss black acrylic. Behind it is a bright rectangle of diffused white LED light. As the viewer walks around Monumental Time Frame, the bed of light aligns with the monolith to reveal its translucence and an endless video of the passing white hashmarks of a highway.


A Houdon in a Hoodie

The Brooklyn Museum has acquired this Kehinde Wiley bronze bust, Houdon Paul-Louis (2011), in advance of its 2015 Wiley show. The title and composition refer to Jean-Antoine Houdon’s 1777 marble portrait at the Huntington, Madame Paul-Louis Girardot de Vermenoux (right). Like Robert Rauschenberg, L.A.-born Wiley credited the Huntington’s old masters with sparking his interest in art.


Glenn Kaino’s Balancing Act in Chicago

Kaino “believes that art can change the world, that it has political agency,” he said — but “with a constant struggle for its own relevancy, particularly within the museum and gallery space.” The artist’s Chicago solo exhibition raises interesting questions in this regard: Is a MakerBot-printed rock as efficacious as a real one, hurled at the cops? What is gained (or lost) when politics is mined for aesthetics, and how can the works’ origin story be imparted without coming across as preachy? READ ON


Ryan Jennings Clark

The sculptural works of New york artist Ryan Jennings Clark, like Timeframe 1 (Compact), combine LCD screens, mirrors, light, and video, in this case, footage of the artist continuously painting a line—a meditation on depicting the infinite.

This is a repurposed compact with an LCD video player re-fitted into the top half of the hinged case. The case is propped open like a clamshell and the viewer watches the video as it is reflected into the mirror. The video shows the continuous painting of a horizontal line with vertical hashmarks. The mirror has the symbol of a line with endpoints and hashmarks etched into the surface. The mirror is framed by white plastic that is illuminated with filament bulbs. The sculpture rests on a piece of gloss black acrylic.


VIDEO: Matthew Ritchie’s 10 Possible Links

Matthew Ritchie’s Ten Possible Links” at Andrea Rosen Gallery in Chelsea features paintings, a wall drawing, a sculpture, and a film. Ritchie works with diagrams inspired by the work of philosopher Graham Harman, who he worked with for the past year and a half. 


“David Bowie Is” Documentary Scratches the Surface of Rock’s Cracked Actor

“You can see, here, how closely he controls every visual aspect of what he’s producing,” Broackes explains, pointing to Bowie’s hand-drawn concept art for the back of “Space Oddity” and noting how much it resembles the final product.


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