Tag Archives: nature

Wednesday 10/11 2017
The Porcelain Menagerie: On Cassie Marie Edwards’ “Figurines”

“Porcelain menageries carry in them the uncanny idealized nature, the oddity of imposing the characteristics we most desire on a totemic form to keep resting beside us, or locked safely away behind class. Consider the bull, or the horse, unicorn, or bear, common tchotchke subjects whose cuteness seems to have an inverse relationship to their ferocity (that a house cat will tear an ecosystem asunder and is, in this way, much more of a terrorist than a bear, speaks to the inherent human perspective from which these caricatures are drawn), or the aforementioned stock-still prey items, for whom sitting is death. Skittish horses, coquettish cats, majestic, cuirass-chested working dogs who cannot maintain their sense of regality while huffing through crushed faces and flapping jowls, all are made into exactly what we wish for them to be: perfect, one note—our favorite note—and within our possession. Figurines are our literal molding of nature, their fragility the proper trade for our wonts.”

Read the rest of my review of Edwards’ show in New American Paintings

Tuesday 05/23 2017
Painting the Unchecked Pleasures and Unformed Horrors of Childhood

“The figures populating Bruce’s past are abstractions; ciphers for himself, the viewer, whomever. They exist as jaundiced faces—like summer camp soap carvings left in the sun—and flat, creamy planes or, most often, as simple, vibrant lines, exsanguinated silhouettes, emanating in jejune tones from the forest or the side of the frame, squiggling like tube worms from between shoulder blades, practically detached as a soft gray tracing, visage-cum-skyline.”

Read the rest of my review of Kristian Bruce’s solo show at Stuart & Co. in Newcity

Monday 06/6 2016
Gaia’s Left Hand

” … there is the sky, brilliant orange, too orange, unnaturally orange, not the color of monarch butterflies or poison dart frogs or innumerable other toxic lifeforms, not the color of citrus or lantanas or marigolds—dreadfully close to poppies, however—but safety orange, menacing safety orange, the kind commercial fishermen wear to be plucked from the black maw of the sea or hunter’s place like a cuirass to protect against the accidental rending of human flesh, orange like the apocalypse, like literal and burning heat death, like the first and last glow of an existential risk, Nacarat Extinction, and it is apparent that East of Eden lies a place alien, fearful, sublime, hot and vibrating like catgut … “

Read the rest of my review of East of Eden, Whitney Bedford’s solo exhibition at Carrie Secrist Gallery, at New American Paintings

Saturday 03/26 2016
Telescopic Views

“Park attempts to channel nature in all of its ungainly, uncanny beauty, and while all of the pieces are abstractions, they inspire telescopic views of our physical and metaphysical world; an intricate collage of woven paper, plied with paint and singed with graphite, resembles waves of water and skeletal muscle both, as well as the vast array of waveforms which subsume us—light, radiation, sound, thought—yet remain hidden.”

Read the rest of my review of Kwag Jean Park’s solo show at Andrew Bae Gallery in Newcity

Tuesday 11/24 2015
The Lazarus Fleet

“McGinnis’ shipwrecks are not content with silent memory; they crash above the waves, their draft impossibly high, a spectral lack of weight, and they come down upon the observer and their resting places like axe heads. The portraits come mainly in two types, those depicting the ship in profile and round paintings showcasing the haughty bow. It is the round portraits which feel most sepulchral; made to recall submarine portals and the fine china plates which so often defined an opulent cruising vessel—and who have caused the death of more than one diver wishing to gather just one more for the mantle and the inches of his dick—they also call to mind Victorian post-mortem photography, the elaborate staging of the recently deceased as to appear living.”

Read the rest of my review of Renee McGinnis’ exhibition The Girls at New American Paintings

Thursday 07/30 2015
The Trees Speak for Themselves

“A sculptural departure from her usual two dimensions, these trees are equal parts memorial and physical polemics. Fosberg’s trees talk as well, mercifully avoiding the tie-dyed tautologies which can plague eco-centric works and hitting, instead, with an acerbic, borderline gallows humor befitting of things which live to be cut down. The missives come radiating from the wounds, pithy and cruel. “Ouch,” simply reads one; another blithely recounts its death, “Fast trip, long drop,” while the observer is reassured that “Youre [sic] my favorite kind of lie,” cold comfort from the talking dead. “What you hate, deserves it,” one of the hollowed remains assures us, the most prominent edge of Fosberg’s happy knife.”

Read the rest of my review of Lora Fosberg’s Linda Warren Projects exhibition More Trees Please in Newcity

Tuesday 04/7 2015
Pulchritude from Pollution

“Beauty from destruction! That is John Sabraw’s practice, if we want to reduce such a thing to three words and an exclamation point; Sabraw tramps up into those hills and down into those hollers and out into those gnarled and scared and exsanguinated portions of what was once mighty southeastern Ohio, and he pulls forth—just as your reviewer’s great grandfather and his brothers and uncles did, my veins running black as theirs—something of real value from the earth. Sure, it is not the chthonian conquest of my ancestors, and no one is writing folk songs about it, not yet, anyway—namely because he doesn’t animate an entire region of the country, doesn’t send ripples of modernity and life and light up into the blackest places of Appalachia (well, he does, but it is a more … metaphorical light, light being particles and waves and hope, with Sabraw’s being the last of these), doesn’t cause irreparable harm—indeed, the opposite—and doesn’t need to come in and dig out his dead brother on his day off, because company time is for company business, that six-eyed ballistic scholonged union rep be damned—but John Sabraw is taking the folly of man and giving birth to real pristine beauty, the kind those death streams dangle as a siren’s call.”

Read the rest of my review of John Sabraw’s exhibition Resonance at New American Paintings

Sunday 11/30 2014
Plastic & Pulchritude

“The resin sculptures seem, at first blush, almost coquettish, climbing the walls, sitting upon pedestals, protruding in amaranth and aqua and palatinate, their familiar organic forms exaggerated, coated and made fantastically approachable. They dominate Linda Warren Projects; on every surface sans the ceiling, Fox approaches the installation as an integral aspect of the art itself—see “Orange Coral,” shades of heat, from tangerine to rosso corsa, which spreads across the back wall like an anatomist’s plastinated arterial system, impossibly similar to the real thing (if viewed from no deeper than a few fathoms, of course) down to their dimpled surface.”

Read the rest at Newcity