For her first show at Murray Guy in New York, Zoe Leonard turned half the gallery into a camera obscura in order to consider photography anew. The fourth installation in an ongoing series, Leonard's lens, 453 West 17th Street (2012), cast an inverted panorama of the street outside, complete with a lustrous high-rise, across the gallery's dimmed interior. As their eyes adjusted to the low lighting, viewers found themselves immersed in an uncanny image. Glass-and-steel geometries spread across the floor and walls, while pedestrians, taxis, and trucks traversed the ceiling's beams. Never resolving into a coherent scene, the street's shifting forms demanded decelerated, sustained viewing.
In an adjacent room, five selections from Leonard's series of sun photographs (2011–12) imaged the solar surface in a spectrum of aquarelle grays. Nailed directly to the wall without protective glass, each print betrayed traces of process—grain, scratches, and other subtle imperfections—framed by the negative's black border. The pairing of these series produced two divergent visions of what photography can be: the first, durational and unfixed; the second, bound to paper and resolutely analog.
Massimiliano Gioni toys with the art world. In 2002, together with artist Maurizio Cattelan and fellow curator Ali Subotnick, Gioni founded the Wrong Gallery: a space in New York's Chelsea district only three square feet, where, in his words, "nothing was for sale." Gioni's burlesque of the white cube garnered the art world's praise and led to prominent curatorial positions, including the directorship (along with Cattelan and Subotnick) of the critically lauded 2006 Berlin Biennale. Currently associate director and head of exhibitions at the New Museum, Gioni has mounted some of the venue's most conceptually rigorous shows, such as last year's survey of art from the Eastern bloc, "Ostalgia." In 2013, at age 40, he will serve as the youngest director in the Venice Biennial's over century-long history.
New York-based artist Tauba Auerbach works in series, pushing one subject to the point of conceptual exhaustion before delving into the next. Her early works, currently on view in "Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language," MoMA's survey of text in art, probes the material and semiotic properties of letters and phonemes. Executed in ink, pencil or gouache on paper, pieces such as The Whole Alphabet (lowercase), All the Punctuation and Morse Code Alphabet, no spaces, yellow (all 2005) are driven by the compulsion to deconstruct: to take apart familiar systems of signification—the alphabet, punctuation, Morse code—and reassemble their elements so as to de-familiarize them.
Mixed Media, 212 x 66 inches, Courtesy the artist.
Artist Kirstine Roepstorff was born and trained in Denmark, but lives and works in Berli