Art In America

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The Necessity of Touch: Laura Aguilar at the Vincent Price Art Museum

In one of her films, the artist reflects on the lack of tenderness in her life that compelled her to cultivate it through images of herself and others.Read more

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Farewell Our Globalism

Sampling China's post-Tiananmen avant-garde, the Guggenheim Museum evokes both fading one-world hopes and rising ethical divisiveness. …Read more

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Learning from LA/LA: Critical Pedagogy at Pacific Standard Time

Three remarkable exhibitions showcase heterogeneous tactics for aesthetic and political organizing through dialogical exchange, pedagogical intervention, and embodied acts of resistance.  Read more

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Normal Design

"Items: Is Fashion Modern?," now at MoMA, offers a new, broader sense of good design, from couture to the discount rack. …Read more

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Possible Views of the Art World

Stella and Nick's desire to see themselves as exceptions to the rules  is paired with a sense that they are powerless to change thoseStella and Nick's desire to see themselves as exceptions to the rules is paired with a sense that they are powerless to ch…Read more

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Fluid Frames: The Hybrid Art of Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Using his signature Haida manga style, a fusion of Indigenous visual traditions from the Pacific Northwest and the graphic format of Japanese comics, Yahgulanaas translates oral history into a fluid, nonlinear reading experience. Read more

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Staying Put

St. Louis now offers a model for the critical reinvention of the art world as a whole.   …Read more

Reviews

The first and largest piece in Storme Webber's "Casino: A Palimpsest" was a photograph that covered an entire wall. The Venice of America (1891), taken by Frank La Roche and captioned "Indian dugout canoes in the harbor," shows a formation of passenger-carrying canoes at the foot of Washington Street in Seattle. Above them, a shadowed crowd peers down from the docks. The scene seems tense—the aftermath of conflict, or a presage of trouble to come.

If history is a palimpsest, Webber's act of displaying this photograph seemed meant to expose a lower layer. Native Americans flourished for over fifty thousand years in the Pacific Northwest before white settlements spread rapidly in the 1850s. The ensuing barrage of treaties, exclusion acts, bans, and settler laws destroyed the tribes' trade systems, soci...Read more

The Spanglish title "How to Read El Pato Pascual" encapsulates the dynamic cross-border cultural exchanges highlighted in this two-venue exhibition. Part of the Getty Center's Pacific Standard Time LA/LA initiative, the show explores links between Los Angeles and Latin America by focusing on how Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck have been reinvented in various Latin American contexts. Disney's playful anthropomorphic animals functioned as imperialist icons, as Chilean scholars Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart detail in their seminal 1971 semiotic analysis How to Read Donald Duck. Yet far from being passive recipients of imperial culture, the forty-eight Latinx and Latin American artists in this show deploy Disney trademarks in films, videos, paintings, and sculptures that illustrate the hemisphere's syncretic culture.

The "Pato...Read more

Desperate times call for desperate measures. That seems to be the animating principle behind Stephanie Syjuco's recent work, as presented in her exhibition at Ryan Lee, "Citizens." In the past year, many artists have offered responses to the dystopian rightward lurch of the United States (one thinks, perhaps, of Rachel Harrison's bitterly satirical Trump piñatas). For most of them, explicit protest art is a side project. They continue their work as before, albeit with trouble in mind.

For Syjuco, by contrast, the situation seems to have engendered a thoroughly new direction. She has long been a politically engaged artist, perhaps best known for organizing events in which teams of volunteers manufacture knockoffs of luxury products and artworks. These performances dissect fashion and art alike as elitist commodity systems in which the realities of production ...Read more

Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) is best known for his monochromatic paintings featuring linear slashes, which opened the medium into three dimensions; yet these canvases were only one aspect of the Italian artist's spatial investigations. His "Ambienti spaziali" (Spatial Environments) laid the foundations for the cut paintings and prefigured movements such as Group Zero in Europe and Light and Space in Southern California. In 1948, Fontana stated in a manifesto for the Spatialist movement he founded, "We want paintings to come out of their frames, and sculptures from under their glass case."

The groundbreaking show "Ambienti/Environments" at Pirelli HangarBicocca positions Fontana as a pioneer of installations and immersive environments, demonstrating how he expanded the boundaries of art through his use of light and space. With painstaking precision, art histor...Read more

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