Break Open This Container

The commodification of Indigenous culture is a global phenomenon. Souvenir shops throughout southeast Alaska sell imitations of Northwest Coast Native masks made in Indonesia. Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Unangax̂), based near Juneau, offers such kitsch a path to salvation through the blade of his adze....Read more

Moving Targets

Collaboration and community have been central to L.A. painter Laura Owens’s practice since the 1990s, though she now stands in the center of debates about the role of artists in gentrifying cities.…Read more

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

Socially Awkward

July’s work highlighted the acute tension between competing economic ideologies—extreme self-indulgence versus social enterprise—in stark proximity. …Read more

From the Archives: Woodman’s Decorative Impulse

Betty Woodman's conceptually rigorous, formally audacious ceramic sculptures and installations of the past two decades make any lingering art-world condescension toward pottery seem absurd. …Read more

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The Magazine ANTIQUES, our sister publication, invites you to join renowned interior decorator Thomas Jayne and Roc Nation recording artist Young Paris in conversation at the Winter Antiques Show on January 26th as they explore the theme “Tradition is Now: How the Art and Objects of the Past Shape the World Today.” These two distinctive creative talents will discuss the sometimes surprising ways that antiques and cultural artifacts have influenced their lives and careers. Join us on January 26th at the Winter Antiques Show to explore the many ways that Tradition is Now.



Defined by civil rights struggles that came to a head with Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination and the ensuing riots across the United States, 1968 was a pivotal if violent turning point for race relations in the country. That year, five African American artists in Chicago formed a collective that aimed to celebrate black culture and define its aesthetics and that came to be known as AfriCOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists). As found

ing member Gerald Williams said in a 2011 interview for the oral history project Never the Same, the group, which is still active today, set out to investigate whether there was or should be such a thing as a culturally specific black art.Kavi Gupta’s recent mini survey of Williams’s work comprised a dozen acrylic paintings dating from 1969 to 2017. It was the first solo show in more than twenty years for the artist, who, in 2015, after living in various places around the world (largely while serving as an arts administrator for the Air Force), returned to West Woodlawn, the South Side neighborhood where he grew up....

New York artist Marcia Marcus (b. 1928) emerged mid-century as a promising painter of portraits and figurative tableaux, depicting herself, friends, and acquaintances in scenes that often have a mythological or theatrical feel. In the early 1950s, she studied painting at Cooper Union, where her peers included Alex Katz and Lois Dodd, and shortly thereafter attended the Art Students League, where she absorbed the lessons of Edwin Dickinson. She colla

borated on Happenings with Allan Kaprow and, in 1960, showed a series of self-portraits at the Delancey Street Museum, an alternative space run by Red Grooms. Despite an impressive exhibition record and a peer group of downtown luminaries, Marcus eventually fell into obscurity. The recent show at Eric Firestone included twenty-four paintings she made between 1958 and 1973, amounting to a small-scale retrospective for this audacious and fascinating artist....

In the impressive show “Contra-Internet,” which debuted at Gasworks and opens late this month at Art in General in New York, the London-based artist and writer Zach Blas explores forms of resistance to the increasing hegemony of the internet. The title riffs on the feminist/transgender theorist Paul B. Preciado’s 2002 Manifiesto Contrasexual. Blas, whose work often focuses on the overlap between queer culture and digital technology, takes Prec

iado’s premise that sexuality is a political construct of power relations and extends the idea to the internet, the dominant global network.The exhibition’s centerpiece is Blas’s futuristic short video Jubilee 2033 (2017), which envisions a heady post-gender time when the internet in its current form has collapsed, liberating the world from its sinister subjugation. The video pays homage to British filmmaker Derek Jarman’s 1978 queer punk classic Jubilee, in which Queen Elizabeth I is transported to a dystopian 1970s Britain where anarchy rules and girl gangs rampage....

Like many San Francisco residents, I first encountered Veronica De Jesus’s epic series of memorial drawings while walking past Dog Eared Books in the Mission District in the late aughts. De Jesus worked at the store, and the drawings appeared in the windows and behind the register. Since 2004, she has made hundreds of them. While she exhibited a selection at San Francisco’s 2nd Floor Projects in 2013, the Berkeley Art Museum show is the first co

mprehensive presentation.The works, rendered in pencil or ink and occasionally incorporating collage elements, share certain characteristics. All were made shortly after their respective subjects died and include their names, years of birth and death, and portraits. Many incorporate quotes from the departed, De Jesus’s own commentary on their lives, and brief descriptions of their work. During the years De Jesus exhibited the drawings in the bookstore windows, the consistent style helped make the drawings a familiar sight. You’d sort of steel yourself for potentially bad news as you neared the store, then flinch with sudden mourning on seeing a familiar face and De Jesus’s epitaph. ...


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