Engineered Content

Mel Chin creates deeply researched multilayered works, tracing the links between history, science, mythology, literature, high art, and pop culture.…Read more

Subcultural Treasures

In the early 1990s, Blake spotted the ascent of identity art and began to seek out ways to work around it.…Read more

First Look: Wilmer Wilson IV

Wilmer Wilson IV collects and studies trash he finds in the street. …Read more

Metaphorical Morphologies

For Terry Winters, even more than for most painters, drawing is the soil out of which his thinking has grown.…Read more

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This exhibition comprised paintings—made in airbrushed acrylic and oil—from Judy Chicago’s 1982–87 series “PowerPlay,” in which the feminist artist allegorized tropes of masculinity and the issues and misconduct that can occur when men wield the power and privileges afforded them. While it was easy to see the work as prophetic of the era of Trumpian politics and #MeToo, the patriarchal structures that Chicago examined have of course long

existed—in fact, their entrenchment in Western society is a central theme of the series. The show began with a selection of nine-foot-tall canvases. At once beautifully rendered and discomforting, these works portray glowing, godlike male figures who emit an aura of self-satisfaction as they carry out brazen acts of domination. Pissing on Nature (1984) depicts a faceless man unleashing a torrent of Technicolor urine on the landscape over which he towers. He appears either unapologetic for his impropriety or too self-involved to recognize it. The painting speaks to the sort of attitude that today lies behind “make America great again”—a call to action for those who wish to return to a world in which, among other things, man can mark whatever territory he wishes as his own—and might even be read as a satirical version of Genesis, one in which man raises the earth from its primo...

Abraham Cruzvillegas’s sculptures and installations often hew to a principle he calls “autoconstrucción” (or “self-construction”), which—inspired by the manner of architecture he encountered while growing up in the Ajusco neighborhood of Mexico City—centers on making work collaboratively in an ad hoc fashion with materials at hand. The approach, which he began pursuing around a decade and a half ago, has spawned various offshoots, suc

h as autodestrucción and autoconfusión. His Kunsthaus Zürich exhibition seemed to signal a new development. Titled “Autorreconstrucción: Social Tissue,” the show was a constantly changing installation: not only were sculptures regularly produced on-site and incorporated into the overall mix, but workshops and other events carried out within the installation served to alter it with their frequent activity and influxes of people. Usually, the windows in this gallery at the Kunsthaus are covered, but for Cruzvillegas’s show they were not, allowing sunlight to stream into the space—openness was the order of the day. In a “studio” area set up near the windows, assistants made works using a motley assortment of materials, including cardboard, plastic and wooden crates, and discarded electronic equipment. They painted certain components pink and green (a palette Cruzvillegas has...

This exhibition of mixed-medium maquettes by the nouvelle vague film legend Jean-Luc Godard was titled, rather coyly, “Memories of Utopia.” “Whose memories?” one wondered at first. “Of which utopia?” Somewhat confusingly, the works were the byproduct of another Godard exhibition: a 2006 show at Paris’s Centre Pompidou, for which he created them as models for a series of nine separately themed galleries. The Pompidou project, according

to his plans, was to be called “Collage(s) de France: Archaeology of the Cinema According to JLG,” and each room was to be, in a sense, a sculptural incarnation of montage—that signature technique of Godard’s filmmaking. The final exhibition differed notably (and for him, disappointingly) from his conceived suite of galleries. But the models, which he made between 2004 and 2006, convey the nature of this unruly installation thematizing the mechanisms and magic of film....

Cyprien Gaillard makes spectacular films, sculptures, and installations that dramatize the unsavory, distinctly unglamorous side of societal progress while also making it beautiful. Some may argue that he creates “ruin porn,” but he does it like no one else, creating profound work that points to the ways in which history, commerce, and the built environment intersect at specific locations around the globe. His recent exhibition at Gladstone mark

ed the New York premiere of Nightlife (2015), a 3D video shot exclusively at night in Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Berlin over a two-year period and set to a clubby soundtrack. Divided into four chapters, Nightlife begins and ends in Cleveland, a city recently in the news for its systemic police brutality against African Americans. It was also the site of a 1970 Weather Underground bombing, which took place outside the Cleveland Museum of Art, partially destroying a copy of Rodin’s Thinker. Nightlife opens with Gaillard’s camera circling around a digital rendering of the sculpture, slowly revealing its full form. The next chapter is perhaps the most dazzling; shot in Los Angeles, it opens with birds-of-paradise flowers seen in close-up, amid almost strobelike flashes of color. Gaillard lingers lovingly on the flowers, which bob back and forth in unison, as if caught in a breeze. The f...


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