"Politics are something I'm interested in as an artist, because artists are the first people to get shut down when things get out of control," said artist Robert Longo, who spoke to A.i.A. recently at his studio in New York's Little Italy. Politics—and their attending monoliths—are endemic to a recent series of drawings by Longo, "God Machines." The newest addition to the series, which also includes depictions of places of worship, is Capitol (2013), an enormous seven-panel charcoal drawing of the U.S. Capitol Building. Read More
Entering the ground floor gallery of New York's Jewish Museum, one hears the rhythmic ticking of a metronome, knocking out a precise 120 beats per minute. This sonic shoulder tap leads one into a darkened room, where five large 35mm projections depict nearly life-size dancers performing five dances, titled Duet, Fugue, Landler, Walking
and War Dance
. Each involves a stark sequence of slow, heavy-footed movements to the sound of the metronome—no music. "Eshkol never considered herself a choreographer," explained artist Sharon Lockhart of Noa Eshkol, an Israeli artist who died in 2007 and whose work—which is focused on dance and textile design—has not been shown in America since the ‘60s. "She called herself a dance composer." Thus, the movement of the dancers is stirred not by music, but by the system and language of movement itself. Read More
"There's no real beginning or end, because the beginning is actually two ends. Does that make sense?" French-born, New York-based artist Alexandre Singh asked A.i.A.
on the opening day of "The Pledge," his immersive new installation of wall pieces at the Drawing Center. This Cheshire Cat riddle establishes the tenor of the show from the start—whether entering from beginning or end, one is met with a vast, interconnected flowchart of small surrealist collages that fill the expanse of the gallery. Each collage is connected to the next with a hand-drawn dotted line. "I wanted people to think, ‘which way should I go?' And to be able to choose either right or left." This will not alter the nature of the work's narrative, Singh insists. "If people are just looking at the images, they may get lost. But if they are looking for answers, there are answers. They can find them, but they still have to use their minds." Read More
With "Presentation," New York-based Austrian artist Martin Beck's first show at 47 Canal [through Nov. 18], the artist re-imagines the mid-century commune. "All these archival commune images are of barely clothed younger people in nature—I mean, what's not to like?" laughed Beck. "But for this project, I wanted to leave the images out of it, and construct an image that doesn't use that archival material." The artist uses the Drop City commune, which formed in Colorado in 1965 and dissolved in the early ‘70s, to consider the structural arrangements of planned communities.
A retrospective of Swiss artist John Armleder's sculptural interpretations of domesticity, "Selected Furniture Sculptures 1979-2012," is on view until Oct. 28 at New York's Swiss Institute. The show catalogues the artist's well-known series of sculptures, which combine painting and found furniture. His formally inventive pairings conjure the interiors of both the household and mind; the specificity of the objects might lead to conjecture, or at least curiosity, about the artist himself. "The least interesting thing about art is the artist," Armleder told A.i.A.
, reflecting the profound yet offhand modesty of his sculptures. Read More