Art In America


A Beckoning Angst

Living a luxurious life while depicting physical and spiritual destitution, France's Bernard Buffet was both wildly popular and, in some quarters, critically reviled. A recent exhibition in Paris presented him as a painter of surprising complexity. …Read more


The Trauma of Political Engagement: Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Tania Libre

What happens when a performance artist struggling against state censorship goes to therapy? In her new film Tania Libre, Lynn Hershman Leeson lets us eavesdrop on Tania Bruguera's session with Dr. Frank Ochberg, a leading psychiatrist and PTSD expert.…Read more


In the Flesh: Mark Bradford in the US Pavilion

Visitors to Mark Bradford's exhibition as the official United States representative to the 2017 Venice Biennale must enter the neoclassical US pavilion using a single side entrance, where they immediately encounter a massive, hulking obstacle suspended fr…Read more


Choose Your China: Three Pavilions in Venice

Since 1972, the United States has maintained the “One China” pretense that Taiwan and Hong Kong are not culturally or politically distinct from Mainland China. But no such fiction prevails at the Venice Biennale.…Read more

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The Artist’s Sake: Christine Macel’s Venice Biennale

Christine Macel's primary intention for the fifty-seventh edition of the Venice Biennale, which she has titled "Viva Arte Viva," becomes apparent as soon as you enter the Central Pavilion in the Giardini.  …Read more


Performance: Time Out

The enduring legacy of Tehching Hsieh, who will represent Taiwan at the Venice Biennale this year, rests on five grueling yearlong performances that he completed in New York between 1978 and 1986.…Read more


From the Archives: Florine Stettheimer—Rococo Subversive

On the occasion of the traveling retrospective, "Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry," currently on view at New York's Jewish Museum through September 24, we looked back in our archives for this 1980 essay by historian Linda Nochlin. Stettheimer (1871–19…Read more

Florine Stettheimer at the Jewish Museum
  • Daniel Buren at Bortolami

  • Kevin Beasley at Casey Kaplan

  • Jim Drain at Nathalie Karg

The Lookout

A Weekly Guide to Shows You Won't Want to Miss

This week we've got our eyes on Florine Stettheimer at the Jewish Museum; Daniel Buren at Bortolami; Kevin Beasley at Casey Kaplan; and Jim Drain at Nathalie Karg.…Read more



For a California resident living under the constant threat of drought, the Harrisons' recent exhibition at Various Small Fires did not make for reassuring viewing. Proponents of environmental art, this husband-and-wife team comprising Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison has spent the past five decades exposing the ecological destruction wrought by humans and devising various schemes for its amelioration. Made between 1970 and 2017, the pieces on view spanned text-based work, photography, drawing, installation, and video, and were united by a quasi-scientific, pedagogical impulse. 

This impulse was felt perhaps most strongly in the nine drawings packed with diagrams and instructions detailing the Harrisons' "Survival Pieces"––self-contained ecosystems the artists installed in various museums in the early 1970s. Th...Read more


Los Angeles-based artist Bella Foster creates dreamy, alluring paintings of real and imagined domestic interiors and still life arrangements. A sense of intimacy with the subjects she portrays and an affection for personal relics pervades the twenty new watercolors in her exhibition at Canada (all 2017), even as the images delve into abstraction and the surreal.

Many of the works have a strange aquatic quality. Foster renders her objects and spaces with rippled edges that make them appear to gently undulate, the technique often complementing incongruous, sealike components of the compositions. In Deck towards end of first night watch, waves crest beneath a newspaper on which a cup sits. In Banana moon, objects seem to float on a blue surface, which darkens toward the back, like a body of water receding toward the horizon. Water might evoke t...Read more

Kishio Suga's exhibition offered a careful choreography of sticks leaning against wood panels, ropes wrapped around rocks, fabric strips twisted around curved metal plates, and concrete blocks sandwiching blades of grass. The interdependency of organic and industrial objects was characteristic of Mono-ha, a movement (whose name means "school of things") that counts Lee Ufan among its most well-known artists and is often compared to Arte Povera for its use of unconventional materials.

Mono-ha artists, emerging amid the civil unrest of postwar Japan and disillusioned with available modes of art-making, turned to placing banal objects, typically quite large in scale, next to, atop, or propped against each other, creating a refreshing new art language endowed with a philosophic aura. These works were often meant to be site-specific and temporary, and many were destroye...Read more

A subtle smell––barely sweet, nearly fungal, vaguely familiar––hung in the air at SculptureCenter. The odor emanated from nine sculptures of folkloric or fantastical human figures made from chocolate by the Cercle d'Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (Congolese Plantation Workers Art League, or CATPC), a Lusanga-based collective of workers who cultivate cacao for the global market. Yet authorship here is a complex proposition, for CATPC's existence, and the production and international circulation of the group's art, is the outcome of an ongoing initiative by the Dutch artist Renzo Martens and his Institute for Human Activities (IHA), which he brought to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2012. Martens has long engaged with the country and is perhaps best known for his controversial 2009 documentary film, Episode III, Enjoy Poverty, ...Read more

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