Throughout his career, Keiichi Tahara (1951–2017) showed a remarkable ability to exploit the drama and shaping effects of light and shadow, producing not only the moody black-and-white photographs for which he is best known (with subjects ranging from ancient sculptures to artists in their elder years to European fin-de-siècle architecture) but also light sculptures and installations.
Named in 1967 by the critic Germano Celant, Arte Povera constituted less a strict movement than a loose fraternity of artists working in Italy with “poor,” everyday materials—over and against the sleek industrial components of Minimalism (abroad) and the consumerist blandishments of the “economic miracle” (at home).
While Performa 17’s haphazardness at times seemed wrongheaded—the curatorial gatekeeping was simply not strict enough—there was an argument hidden in the overabundance. The mess and the potluck spread and the repurposed storefronts and the badly organized lines of people formed their own logic. As Vahtra showed us in her walking tour, New York can be so empty. Performa fills it back up.
The nine abstract paintings in Los Angeles artist Alex Hubbard’s exhibition “Chemical Compulsion” (all works 2017) have formal precedents in the field of experimental film, while the sole video on view demonstrates his strong painterly sensibility.