Art In America

The Agenda: This Week in New York

A.i.A. editors suggest a few of the myriad events taking place this week in New York: a launch of a new book by Sara Cwynar at Independent Curators International; a screening of a film by Vera Chytilová that criticizes Communism from the inside; an informal critique by artists and curators of the current show at the Drawing Center; and a screening of Gustav Deutsch's cinematic tableaux vivants re-creating canvases by Edward Hopper....Read more


MACBA To Expand

The museum expansion trend continues, this time with Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), which will subsume the neighboring Convent dels Angels compound for the museum's programming.…Read more


Magnus Renfrew to Bonhams as Asia Deputy Chairman

International auction house Bonhams has hired Magnus Renfrew as deputy chairman and director of fine arts, Asia. He will work out of the company's Hong Kong headquarters and will take up his new post in September. Renfrew is currently Asia director at …Read more


Missed Connections: Jan Frank and John Chamberlain

A show currently on view at New York gallery Nahmad Contemporary (through July 26) demonstrates that John Chamberlain's painted-metal sculptures can connect with the medium of drawing, via juxtaposition with works by Jan Frank.…Read more


Norko Realism

In North Korea, art systematically "corrects" reality—much as the leadership guides the thinking of artists through selection, education, employment, collaborative production and retirement care.     …Read more

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The Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona will expand:


“But Kultur’s Nar-Poo in the Trenches”

In the satirical newspaper the Wipers Times, British soldiers on the Belgian front confronted the horrors of the First World War with sardonic wit.…Read more


The Global Office

Rem Koolhaas, the chief curator of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale (Jun. 7-Nov. 23) and one of the most influential architects working today, argues that contemporary architecture "is not in particularly good health."…Read more


Polke’s Plentitude

The Sigmar Polke retrospective currently at New York's MoMA offers an invigorating assessment of a complicated and elusive career.    …Read more

“Bloodflames Revisited” at Paul Kasmin
  • “Here and Elsewhere” at New Museum

  • “The Crystal Palace” at Rachel Uffner

  • “The Fifth Season” at James Cohan Gallery

The Lookout

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

This week Bloodflames Revisted at Paul Kasmin, Here and Elsewhere at the New Museum, The Crystal Palace at Rachel Uffner, The Fifth Season at James Cohan.…Read more


Lida Abdul describes herself as an artistic nomad. Born in Kabul in 1973, she and her family fled Afghanistan soon after the Soviets invaded in December of 1979. They lived as refugees in India and Germany before immigrating to the United States in the late 1980s. Residing in Los Angeles, Abdul returns regularly to Afghanistan, where devastation and the resiliency of its population fuel her creativity. The installation, five films and one video (all made between 2005 and '13) comprising Abdul's first solo exhibition in France presented poignantly staged allegories of the human spirit, both provocative and poetic. The artist set the tone in an introductory wall text, proclaiming that her ravaged homeland "is a prime example of humanity at its worst and possibly its best precisely because the disaster, by definition, ruptures the mechanical workings of morality bringing us face to f...Read more

A British series of educational books published in the 1960s and colloquially known as Peter and Jane (its proper title was Key Words Reading Scheme) was parodied to brilliant effect in artist/comedian Miriam Elia's recent book We Go to the Gallery. Taking the eponymous siblings on a tour of a gallery, Elia lampoons such art-world oddities as blank canvases and balloon-dog sculptures. The original books' dated illustration style and family-values traditionalism provide an easy foil for that which aims to be avant-garde and convention-busting. Painter Tala Madani also showed this to be the case in two canvases, The Lesson and The Swing (both 2014), included in her recent exhibition at Pilar Corrias. Each of these paintings features an expressionistic interloper amid a Peter-and-Jane-style scene. In The Lesson, a loosely depicted ...Read more

Ever since the late 1960s, Michelle Stuart has been radically expanding the idea of drawing. "Michelle Stuart: Drawn from Nature," a traveling survey of about 60 works organized by Anna Lovatt for the Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham, UK, uses works on paper to touch on the artist's interests in ecological history, mapping, nautical exploration and what she calls the "archeology of nature." Unlike Land art peers such as Michael Heizer and Dennis Oppenheim, Stuart doesn't alter the sites she works with. Typically temporary, her interactions with the landscape result in photographic documentation, rubbings and relic samples of earth, rock and minerals. She is perhaps best known for graphite scrolls on muslin-backed paper that incorporate bits of earth and the impressions of terrain, getting us close to the rich textures and colors of stones and dirt. Serving as a kind of source lib...Read more

A voice from another world resounded through the Casa de los Arcos, a rambling structure perched above the Tomebamba River in Cuenca, Ecuador. The elegantly dilapidated cultural center, built in the early 20th century, was one of six venues hosting the 12th Bienal de Cuenca. The works on view there were so formally understated and so well installed that they could have been mistaken for permanent fixtures and not temporary manifestations of the global contemporary art system's arrival in the small city in the southern Andes. Each of the five pieces at the Casa de los Arcos employed rationalist systems to explore supernatural forces, an appropriate theme for a setting where creaky floors and peeling paint signaled the possibility of an actual haunting. A palletized stack of leather-bound books stood alone in the center of one gallery. Daniel Gustav Kramer, a German artist known fo...Read more

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