MAGAZINES

Firsthand at Arm’s Length

Sable Elyse Smith resists the more typical narratives of US prisons in favor of a conceptual approach that prioritizes quotidian (albeit personal and traumatic) encounters with the system.…Read more
MAGAZINES

Pictures with Sermons

Lois Weber had a burning religious imagination. When she depicted lurid behavior, it was often with the excess and fascination of a preacher describing the flames of hell.…Read more
MAGAZINES

Black Sights

The Bush years feel like ancient history, and it is easy to forget these extrajudicial sites and the darkness they represent. Welcome to Camp America and Negative Publicity serve as an archaeology of those bleak spaces.…Read more
MAGAZINES

First Look: Domingo Castillo

Domingo Castillo examines how 3D renderings are used in both media fictions and real estate marketing materials to visualize the city’s future.…Read more

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Reviews

Jacolby Satterwhite’s exhibition at Gavin Brown’s enterprise transformed the gallery into a kind of nightclub—that ultimate escapist’s paradise. Visitors entered a hallway where they could pick up glow stick necklaces from glass jars on the ground, after which they emerged in the darkened exhibition space. Playing on both sides of a screen suspended in the middle of the room was a trippy animated film, Blessed Avenue (2018). A purple neon si

gn reading pat’s, meanwhile, beckoned visitors toward a back area and gave the room a soft glow.Satterwhite is known for futuristic, dance-infused animated works, and Blessed Avenue is no departure. Accompanied by a dreamy, electronic soundtrack, the twenty-minute video features dystopian factorylike settings populated with too many characters to keep track of. Various avatars of the artist himself appear on-screen, often at the same time. We see Satterwhite voguing, receiving a lashing (with oversize braids instead of a whip) from Juliana Huxtable’s avatar, and engaging in various sadomasochistic acts. Leather-clad characters occupy hoverboards, revolving wheels, and various platforms. Tentaclelike ropes descending from ambiguous sources loosely tether the figures together, becoming devices of both connection and restraint. There is no clear narrative in the video, just repetitive m...

Photography has a long history in the Indian subcontinent. The first rudimentary cameras arrived as early as 1839, within a year of Daguerre’s announcement in Paris, and the technology spread widely across the region by 1860. But until the end of the Raj in 1947, picture-taking was practiced mainly by colonial officials and, to a lesser extent, members of collaborating elites. The British brought a late-Empire prerogative to the business of image-

making, largely generating anthropological shots of Indigenous tribes, archaeological surveys of precolonial ruins, stunning landscapes, portraits of the powerful, and genre scenes of the anonymous poor. Alas, little changed after independence. Unlike, say, Mexico or Brazil or Mali, India did not develop a lively postcolonial tradition. There are various reasons for this. Heavy import duties made cameras a luxury item in the new quasi-socialist nation; only the wealthy could conceive of practicing photography as an “art” (there were, of course, numerous workaday studios). The medium, moreover, was not seriously taught at universities or shown at museums until the ’90s. Finally, the few elite Indians who made it as art photographers, even those in contact with Western avant-gardes, could not shake their neocolonial mentality. Indeed, they depicted India very much as the British did:...

When I stumbled onto Matthew Wong’s Facebook page, in 2013, his timeline was like a virtual salon, with artists, dealers, curators, and critics carrying out spirited painting-centric discussions on his posts. Wong (b. 1984) is self-taught in his medium, and social media gave him access to valuable dialogue and a sense of artistic camaraderie while he was living in Hong Kong. In the years since, Wong has moved to Edmonton and deleted his Facebook p

rofile. But although he might have chosen to shutter the account, his recent work suggests that the conversations that took place there were productive and helped catapult him into the most fruitful period of his career to date. Displayed in Karma’s main room for Wong’s first solo exhibition in New York were seven medium-size to large-scale paintings depicting forests, glens, and groves, mostly in vibrant Fauvist colors. The Beginning (2017) is a patchwork landscape built from robust, lozenge-shaped marks in shades of red, yellow, and green. A small figure in a canoe appears on a pink-and-orange body of water, anchoring the viewer in the vertiginous spatial arrangement. Inventive vegetal forms are rendered throughout the work, including a cluster of blue shapes evoking van Gogh’s cypress trees and a massive dark green plant with serpentine leaves. While compositions of dense mark-m...

During World War II, Hedy Lamarr, the famous Vienna-born Hollywood actress and inventor, collaborated with composer George Antheil, best known for his avant-garde Ballet Mécanique (1923–25), to develop a unique system that would make jamming the radio-guided operations of torpedoes more difficult. Intended to bolster the Allies’ war effort, this system involved rapidly moving the signals among frequencies in a process known as “frequency hopp

ing.” The United States Navy eventually experimented with the method, in the 1960s, and Lamarr and Antheil’s ideas partially inspired the development of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies. This unlikely narrative, in which histories of art and technology intersect, served as a departure point for “Salto de Frecuencia” (Frequency Hopping), a striking and disarmingly low-tech exhibition of sculptures, paintings, and light installations by G.T. Pellizzi. Born Giandomenico Tonatiuh Pellizzi in 1978, in the rural town of Tlayacapan, Mexico, Pellizzi studied architecture at Cooper Union in New York, and cofounded the Bruce High Quality Foundation, a collective known for historically astute, if prankish, art world antics. Exhibiting as a solo artist since 2011, the peripatetic Pellizzi, who divides his time primarily between Peru, Mexico, and the United States, created the works for the ...

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