Cinematic Borderlands

Besides the relation of objects to people, another theme in Nashashibi’s work is the way humans organize themselves into communities and institutions, whether a patriarchal extended family or a police force, and how they navigate within these structures. She homes in on social groupings that are often single-sex and isolated by function or circumstance. ...Read more

Landscapes in Chaos: Nabil Mousa at the Arab American National Museum

Atlanta-based painter Nabil Mousa’s “American Landscape” series (2008­–12) trades in readily identifiable symbols: the American flag, the gendered iconography of restroom signs, and the Human Rights […]…Read more

When the Headset Comes Off: VR at Museums in 2017

The promise is that we’ll be subsumed into a Matrix-like dreamland, but in the context of an exhibition, at least, these virtual worlds can’t escape their awkward juxtaposition with the real one. …Read more

Striking Nerves: Art and Protest in 2017

The most powerful protests are not always the voices shouting the loudest. Often they are the most nuanced and multivalent, holding open the space we need to endure and push back on homogenizing forces that would limit the horizon of what it means to be human.…Read more

Sketches of Place and Loss: Graphic Novels in 2017

A variety of graphic work was published this year: narratives both long and short, imaginative fiction and political reportage, books with enough text to be considered long essays and others that were entirely visual. …Read more

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Douglas Huebler (1924–1997) is best known for his Conceptual, often photo-based work, such as Variable Piece #70 (In Process) Global—his impossible project, begun in 1971, to document all living people. Paula Cooper’s recent exhibition of his early sculptures conveyed the three-dimensional origins of his Conceptual practice, as well as that practice’s relationship to Minimalist concerns. In the sculpt...

Viewed from the side, the floor-bound Truro Series 1 (1966) appears to be a lavender-colored, S-shaped piece. As one walks around it, the work opens up, as it were, revealing itself to be a doubled form in which the two halves enclose a pale yellow interior. Finally, as one crosses to the other side, the sculpture shifts back to appearing as the recognizable letter, having returned from asignification to sign...

Chicago is a city that tells its architectural history obsessively. The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s acclaimed boat tours are arguably as important to the tourist trade as visits to Wrigley Field. The advent of the skyscraper (Louis Sullivan), the development of the Prairie Style (Frank Lloyd Wright), and the spread of the International Style across America (Mies van der Rohe) is such a well-known incantation...

“Make New History,” which encompasses models, plans, and other materials by some 140 firms, is curated by Los Angeles–based architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee of Johnston Marklee, who say in a statement that they are motivated by a desire “to examine the paradoxical resource and restriction that the horizon of historical materials presents us with.” They produce elegant and sophisticated work, and are...

When the legendary Ferus Gallery set up shop in Los Angeles in 1957, it didn’t have much to its name but the collective ambition and dedication of its founders, artist Ed Kienholz and curator Walter Hopps. Initially located behind an antiques shop in West Hollywood, the scrappy operation soon became the preeminent gallery in a city whose art scene was frequently described as provinci...

Ferus’s earliest printed matter, often black-and-white, featured asymmetrical layouts and an array of fonts. Designed primarily by poet and assemblage artist Robert Alexander, who worked on a printing press in a rented storefront nearby, these sensitive, individualized compositions reflect the subcultural intimacy of early Ferus. A 1959 poster for Bay Area abstract painter Hassel Smith, for example, took its cue f...

As long as I’ve been going to Performa, I’ve been grumbling about Performa. The framing is usually impossibly broad, the quantity of work overwhelming, and the caliber so varied that the bad stuff can sometimes argue against the excitement of live performance. Yet the biennial is a major, influential event, and—in our Instagram-ready, market-oriented art environment—its shambolic quality can al...

RoseLee Goldberg, the great advocate for and historian of performance art, founded Performa in 2004. With its first edition, which took place the following year, she accelerated the changes she had already effected in the art world. In her pioneering 1979 book Performance Art, Goldberg expressed worry that live performance was being ignored by the art establishment and that efforts to archive it were inadequa...


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