Michal Rovner is an artist whose video art engages film, sculpture, installation, printmaking, and associates with politics, science and archeology. The main works in "Topography," Michal Rovner's current show at Pace Gallery in New York, are projected on slabs of black limestone, whose gaps, in some pieces, are bridged seamlessly by the void of slightly swaying cypresses. The landscapes behind the trees are mostly hash, desolate stony hill where groups of tiny human figures move around. At first glance, from a distance, you might think these video works are paintings or etchings. They continue Rovner's attempts to take apart reality and build her own.
Francesco Clemente is well known for his endlessly mutating images that draw upon diverse sources and his nomadic lifestyle. In his current exhibition, "Nostalgia/Utopia," at Mary Boone in Chelsea, Clemente suspends time and space with 10 paintings and 18 drawings that reference Indian sculpture, Buddhist mandalas, Renaissance painting and modernist pictograms.
The paintings are imagined scenes in which represented figures co-exist with real sculptural objects affixed to the canvas. In one of four untitled paintings from 2012, an African mask is attached at the center of a radiant sunflower shedding a string of pearl tears to the floor. On another one, actual barbed wire in rainbow hues stretched across the upper band of the canvas. Below, painted eyes were tied to the fingers on hands surrounding a blindfolded head. In a third work, colorful transistor radios were placed in a row atop of an image that includes patterned quilts, Piranesi prints and crescent moons on a blue sky.
Powerful repetition permeates Taryn Simon's latest work, which comprises 18 "chapters," combinations of image and text framed in varying sizes. Each chapter of "A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters" includes three segments: on the left, one to three portraits, a central text panel where the artist provides narrative details and, on the right, footnotes that include fragmentary stories and documentary evidence. Tonight, nine of those chapters get their American debut at MoMA in New York.
The works were produced in 2008–11, as the artist traveled around the world researching 18 bloodlines and recording their related stories. The subjects Simon documents include the "living dead" in India, victims of genocide in Bosnia, test rabbits infected with a lethal disease in Australia, the first woman to hijack an aircraft and participants in an active blood feud in Brazil. The collection is at once cohesive and arbitrary, mapping the relationships among chance, blood, and other components of fate.
Currently on view in the group show "Redux" at New York's Cristin Tierney Gallery (through Feb. 4) are two works by Joe Fig, both related to his 200