Monthly Archives: March 2014


Jonah Susslind and Greg Ito’s exhibition, Something Other Than, opening at The Hills Esthetic Center this Friday, April 4th.

Strauss Bourque-LaFrance and Sean Raspet at the Rachel Uffner Gallery

Encountered with Rachel Uffner Gallery while walking around lower east side in NY city during spring break. The new exhibition installed in the gallery’s new upstairs space impressed us.




The relationship between material and abstraction has been a longstanding concern in the work of Sean Raspet, particularly as it relates to what he calls “revisable materiality” – i.e. a paradigm of thought prevalent today wherein material substances are increasingly imagined as malleable with qualities that are fully adjustable and severable. These are the surfactants, emulsifiers, binders of otherwise incompatible ingredients, and flow modifiers that absorb, disperse or work at the interface between active ingredients and different phases of matter. In Phantom Ringtone (2013) propylene glycol, one such ingredient, is used as a medium for a fragrance formulation that is intended to capture the common experience (known as “phantom ringing”) of feeling that one’s cell phone is ringing or vibrating when it is not. The abstract capacity of the cell phone as a communicative medium is distilled into a hallucinatory anticipation that then becomes the basis for a further abstraction into a fragrance formulation that “captures” the essence of this experience. The resulting smell is fleeting and non-specific; vaguely familiar and abstract; almost not there and constantly reoccurring.







In his installations, Strauss Bourque-LaFrance fuses everyday materials into beguiling formal compositions and precarious arrangements that playfully subvert mundane interiors and position domesticity as a mise-en-scene for role-play and disjointed narrative. With these new “vacation paintings,” Bourque-LaFrance addresses his all consuming detachment from traditional painting and its relationship to digital screens and tablets. He manipulates readymade mesh screens and spray paints the foreground and background to create immediate, textured works that hover on the edge between abstraction and representation. Hanging loosely in beguilingly slick, multi-colored Plexiglas boxes they reference both the tenderness of textiles and domestic towel racks with the authoritative formality of historical vitrines


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I wanna rock a dub wit you…

Tameka Norris at Lombard Freid Gallery

Tameka Norris who is a recent MFA graduate from Yale has her first solo show at the Lombard Freid Gallery in Chelsea. The exhibition is called Too Good For you (Introducing Meka Jean). In the exhibition Norris has several paintings and two video pieces. Her works explores her relationship to the post-Katrina landscape of New Orleans which is her home town.

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Jim Lutes at Wright Gallery

im Lutes, who teaches in Painting and Drawing Department has a solo show in New York at Wright Gallery until the 29th of March. The exhibition is titled Ponies&Psychos.

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Karla Black at David Zwirner Gallery

Glasgow based sculptor Karla Black has an installation in David Zwirner Gallery in New York until the 12th of April. Exhibition includes a large scale installation that Black created inside the gallery and a cellophone sculpture that serves as a window for the gallery. Installation is titled Takes Its Place.

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Just back in from LA, felt fortunate to see this show, heres the blurb from the Hammer website…. 

“Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology is the first large-scale exhibition to focus on the intersection of two vitally important genres of contemporary art: appropriation (taking and recasting existing images, forms, and styles from mass-media and fine art sources) and institutional critique (scrutinizing and confronting the structures and practices of our social, cultural, and political institutions). The exhibition brings together works by thirty-six American artists who came to prominence between the late 1970s and the early 1990s. 

The majority of the works on view are from the 1980s and 1990s, a groundbreaking period that was shaped by the feminist and civil rights movements of the previous decades. Conscious of the profound impact on society of mass media such as television, newspapers, and film, artists examined critical questions of identity and representation via politically and socially engaged practices. This era witnessed a number of significant events that reverberated in the art world: the AIDS crisis; Ronald Reagan’s “trickle-down” economics and the subsequent recession; the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War; among others.

Expanding on the work of earlier conceptual artists, who were committed to exploring the very definition of art, the artists featured in Take It or Leave It believe that art cannot be fully understood or experienced without acknowledging the contexts in which it is produced, viewed, and distributed. They point to the links between art institutions and the other organizations that make up our society, asserting that to separate art from aspects of our daily experience—whether education or medicine, marriage or war, parenting or advertising—is to reinscribe arbitrary and false divisions between art and society, between our aesthetic lives and our everyday lives.

Although Take It or Leave It is a historical show focusing on a period in the recent past, it also includes recent work, arguing for the continued relevance of these artists’ practices and also revealing their sustained commitment to both historically recognizable and emerging strategies of appropriation and institutional critique. The exhibition highlights dynamic practices in notably diverse mediums, including painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, text, and performance. The works are by turns subtle and aggressive, poetic and didactic, emotional and intellectual. They are as challenging as they are rewarding, as radical as they are rational. Take It or Leave It seeks to revive and participate in the meaningful debates that the artists have fostered over time and to instill a desire for critique, in its many forms, to remain a cornerstone of American art.”

Lectures Lectures Lectures!

Art Historians at SAIC!

Today 3/25 Jason Foumberg is visiting SAIC as a Internlink Visiting Artist to discuss his experiences as a Chicago-based art critic and how SAIC prepared him for this path.
12:10-12:50, MacLean Center, room 111

Also Today 3/25 Jennifer Doyle is visiting SAIC through the Visiting Artist Program.
6:00 pm, Columbus Auditorium

Jennifer Doyle is a Professor of English and Co-Chair of the LGBIT Studies Minor at University of California, Riverside, where she directs Queer Lab. Her newest book, Hold it Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art (2013), explores some of contemporary art’s most contentious works. Doyle shows how controversy in art is used to question our assumptions about identity, intimacy, and expression; and, she considers emotion as an artist’s medium in the works of such artists as Ron Athey, Carrie Mae Weems, and David Wojnarowicz. Co-sponsored by SAIC’s Visiting Artists Program and Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism


Wednesday 3/26 Cecile Whiting, the Chancellors Professor of Art History at UC Irvine and prominent art critic, will be giving the Terra lecture on the Americanist Sixties in the MacClean Ballroom.
6:00- 7:00pm
Terra 2014


Mike Nelson, Quiver of Arrows, courtesy of the Power Plant, Toronto and 303 Gallery, New York

Mike Nelson, Quiver of Arrows, courtesy of the Power Plant, Toronto and 303 Gallery, New York

Mike Nelson’s first solo exhibition in Toronto at the Power Plant, featuring two new projects commissioned and produced by the gallery.

John Yau, Graham Foundation on APRIL 3



If you haven’t had a chance to see the Judy Ledgerwood installation at the Graham Foundation, now’s the time. Ledgerwood will be in conversation with poet and critic, John Yau at 6pm on April 3.

From GF website:
Writing about Judy Ledgerwood’s paintings in 2011, Yau states:

When I was looking at the painting “Spiritualized” (2011), which is brown- violet, magenta, and gold, I was initially reminded of a lavish, oversized box of Godiva chocolates and of church vestments, before other associations began to surface,mostly having to do with the erotic. Such links are as abundant as these paintings areoptically and viscerally sumptuous. A carefully considered synthesis of opulence and structure, excess and restraint, is at the heart of Ledgerwood’s work as well as astarting point for speculation.

On April 5, Yau will continue his speculation into Ledgerwood’s work, asking how Ledgerwood’s recent installation for the Graham Foundation asks new questions of the limitations and possibilities of painting as it intersects with and aspires to the conditions of architecture.