Art In America

From the Archives: The Artist as Jeweler

We went through our archives and found this portfolio of artist-made jewelry from November/December 1967. Renée S. Neu, then the assistant curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, organized the exhibition "Jewelry by Contemporary Painters and Sculptors" that year....Read more


Mechanical Glamour

As the Met’s Costume Institute opens an exhibition about the interplay between handmade and mass-produced fashion, Leonardo da Vinci’s sketch for a sequin-making machine evokes a longer historical view of the topic.…Read more


Everyday Cinderella: “Manus x Machina” with K8 Hardy

“How many slaves did it take to make that?” It was a Wednesday afternoon in early May, and K8 Hardy and I had just entered “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (on view through Aug. 14).…Read more


From the Archives: Sequined Simulacra

In our July 1988 issue, Amy Fine Collins dissected spring and summer collections by Yves Saint Laurent and Bill Blass, whose embroidered creations reproduced paintings by van Gogh and Matisse. In light of "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology,…Read more


Coming Up Roses: Alex Da Corte at MASS MoCA

Alex Da Corte adapts his work to the environments where he exhibits it, developing total installations that respond to the spirit and space of the venue. For “Free Roses,” his first museum survey, the Philadelphia-based artist has absorbed the atmosphere …Read more

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Up Close: The Bittersweet Dreams of David Cunningham

In the midst of San Francisco’s DIY art scene, architect David Cunningham’s project space (2007-10) fostered unfettered experimentation and a joyous sense of community.…Read more


Local Largesse: Collected in San Francisco

Over the weekend, Bay Area residents got a first look inside a $305-million addition to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). The new ten-story building, clad with a rippling, glacier-like facade and designed by the Norwegian firm Snøhetta, occ…Read more


Limited Access: Art and Gentrification in the Mission

Artists’ Television Access (ATA) is an artist-run non-profit in San Francisco’s Mission District. Its ragged punk sign hangs over a few square feet of sidewalk on Valencia Street. A decade or so ago, Valencia Street was the psychogeographic border between…Read more

“The Folk Art Collection of Elie and Viola Nadelman” at the New-York Historical Society
  • Kirk Mangus at James Cohan

  • Stephen Westfall at Lennon, Weinberg, Inc.

  • Stephen Lichty at Foxy Production

The Lookout

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

This week We've got our eyes on "The Folk Art Collection of Elie and Viola Nadelman" at the New-York Historical Society; Kirk Mangus at James Cohan; Stephen Westfall at Lennon, Weinberg, Inc.; and Stephen Lichty at Foxy Production.…Read more


A saccharine, minty scent greeted visitors to Larry Bamburg’s solo exhibition. It emanated from three large, weighty, pastel-colored forms standing on the floor, two centrally placed so that viewers could walk around them, and one positioned to the left against the wall. These sculptures, from Bamburg’s “TalctoTile” series (all works 2016), were composed by stacking four-inch-thick layers of bathroom tiles (some oriented frontally, as on a wall, and some side-on) and handmade soap. Each work is topped with a piece of raw talc, the shape of which dictated the contours of the layers beneath it. 

TalctoTile PL’d to MDO, shown in Pink might remind one of topographic models of hills, while TalctoTileTower, from a unstable foundation has the look of a strange, leaning, six-foot-tall pin...Read more

The historical relationship between the Western avant-garde and the art of Africa is one of objects stolen, fetishized, and aesthetically cannibalized by European modernists like Picasso and Modigliani. Paradigmatic histories of Western art attempt to keep these tensions at a low simmer; in the nine works comprising Harlem-based artist Sanford Biggers’s exhibition “the pasts they brought with them” (all 2015 or 2016), they rise to a boil. 

For three of the paintings on view, Biggers employed antique quilts in lieu of canvases. Pieced together from scraps of worn clothes and designed to provide cover for generations, quilts retain in their fibers the traces of those they once kept warm. The quilts in Biggers’s works speak not only to personal histories an...Read more

A soldier inserts his gun into the vagina of a pregnant woman and pulls the trigger. Pieces of the dead fetus fall out of her womb. The head of a man who has just been decapitated is then shoved up her vagina. Another woman’s breasts are cut off with a knife; she is hung by her neck, bleeding out, like an animal in a slaughterhouse. A mother watches as her twelve-year-old daughter, crying out for help, is brutally gang raped by a group of soldiers on her bed. 

These are some of the brutalities that Guatemalan performance artist Regina José Galindo recites in her seventy-minute performance La verdad (The Truth, 2013), her words periodically interrupted by a dentist who injects novocaine into her gums, until, eventually, she is unable to speak. Video footage of the performance <...Read more

In the late 1970s, Lynn Umlauf was making low-relief paintings—on paper adhered to unstretched canvas—in which biomorphic shapes curled slightly off the wall. In the 1980s and ’90s she ran with this sculptural implication, making 3-D paintings such as acrylic-encrusted loops of galvanized wire mesh that lie or hang curled over themselves. This mini-survey of work from 1992 to 2016 demonstrated Umlauf’s scavenger aesthetic, connecting her to the DIY collage approach of younger generations. Acrylic, oil, and enamel paint, industrial light fixtures, and heterogeneous bits of rubber, wire, metal, and plastic appear to cohere in only the most loose-limbed way.

Umlauf (born 1942) comes from a family of distinguished artists. Her father, Charles Umlauf, was a figurative sculptor and, in the 1940s, an early member of...Read more

Oct. 2014

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