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

Inner Workings

In the way that Conceptual art is often about art and art-making, Moriah Evans’s dances are about dance.…Read more

In the Studio: Mark Van Yetter

Paying attention only to the contemporary seems naive to me. …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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In November 1996, a fatal car crash in the Turkish town of Susurluk led to one of the biggest corruption scandals in the country’s history, after caches of money, drugs, firearms, and passports were found in the vehicle’s trunk. Soon, evidence emerged that the supposed accident was actually an assassination, and as links between government ministers, armed forces, and organized crime were uncovered, the notion of a “deep state”—a political

ly powerful cabal pursuing hidden interests—began to develop.Noor Afshan Mirza and Brad Butler’s film installation The Scar (2018) offers a complex, highly fictionalized take on the events leading up to the crash, and on a sordid political situation in a country whose state-level corruption has hardly abated in the decades since. The London- and Istanbul-based duo conceived the work in three parts or “chapters,” each of which had its own, curtained-off projection area in the gallery. In the first chapter, “The State of the State,” we follow the doomed, nighttime drive of four characters based loosely on the crash’s real-life victims. We see a police chief at the wheel, a nationalist politician next to him, and a mafia boss–cum–government hitman in the back, with his girlfriend alongside. Speaking in Turkish, the quartet converses, argues, swaps stories. “The state tak...

Transgender punk icon Jayne County, aka Wayne County, gained considerable notoriety in the 1970s and early ’80s for her raucous performances at New York nightclubs including Max’s Kansas City and CBGB. She wore bouffant blonde wigs to channel Dolly Parton and Dusty Springfield, though she eschewed those mainstream stars’ vocal techniques by belting out underground anthems like “Man Enough to Be a Woman” with tongue-in-cheek panache. County

’s brash style was a cross between those of the Dave Clark Five and the Ramones, and her lyrics expressed unabashed rancor toward the “straight world,” American Puritanism, and all those who would make day-to-day living miserable for the LGBTQ community. A major influence on contemporary gender-fluid performers such as Justin Vivian Bond and Lady Bunny, County, now seventy-one and living in her home state of Georgia, is gaining recognition as a fearless trailblazer, with her vintage performance videos on YouTube attracting new audiences....

Botswana-born, New York–based painter Meleko Mokgosi portrays scenes of daily life in southern Africa, often combining his images to create dramatic multi-panel filmstrip-like sequences. He generally bases the paintings on photographs, whether those he takes during annual visits home or those shot by assistants living in his native city of Francistown. Installed around the perimeter of a gallery at UCLA’s Fowler Museum, his latest cycle of twent

y canvases continues his series “Democratic Intuition” (2014–), in which he investigates the complexities, contradictions, and precarities of systems of power in southern Africa that at times run counter to the interests of citizens. The new group, “Bread, Butter, and Power” (2018), centers loosely on gender and class dynamics. In these paintings, Mokgosi subtly but decisively champions the undervalued work of women in southern African society, while conveying hopes for reclaiming a sense of self-determination for the formerly colonized region. ...

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...


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