Tag Archives: New American Paintings

Monday 03/13 2017
Cinema Fatalite: Ben Murray at Moique Meloche

“In Life Review, Ben Murray’s solo show at Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, continues the artist’s reconnaissance of the maddeningly amorphous landscape of memory, here pinned to the walls in its most dramatic form. The “life review” is the classic, quasi-paranormal event wherein one’s life flashes before one’s eyes—in totality, crystal-clear—during a near death experience. A fictional trope and indelible fact to those who have experienced them, the life review is memory armed with the exigency of death, its celerity contrary to every little thing we imagine about ourselves—that we are some grand elegy in our total, that we are incapable of reduction to a series of scenes—when in fact we are, of course, nothing but scenes, none ever seen from the same perspective twice, singular in both our mind and the minds of others.”

Read the rest of my review in New American Paintings

Wednesday 12/28 2016
On Blood and Abstraction: Rebecca Morris at Corbett vs Dempsey

” … perfect save a pox, the red of dried blood—it’s the brightest color in the whole room, really, this dried-deoxygenated-but-still-too-fresh blood, each splock with its own idiosyncratic hair style, pili radiating as if from the weakest sun, clumping into constellations, gentle parabolic forms like arched eyebrows, carrying in them a sense of ad-hoc exigency, the kinetic beautiful violence requisite for their application demonstrated in their forms, an abstract take on a passage from a Bret Easton Ellis novel—The bathroom reeks of bleach and disinfectant and the floor is wet and gleaming even though the maid hasn’t started cleaning in here yet; Glamorama, pg. 256—a form of silent violence, an echo of a moment captured in all of its chaos atop a bone white grid, gleaming with gold, surrounded by marble, a porthole into God’s own bathroom…”

Read the rest of my review of Morris’ eponymous solo show in New American Paintings

Tuesday 07/19 2016
The Appalachian Seahorse

” … the skeletal hands of the trees backlight by fires both raging anew and long extinguished, and out of this new, brutal internecine conflict—reminiscence versus reality—comes the self portraits of the wounded … a washed out face, fished from the Monongahela, a visage cruelly lacking the topographic relief of its home, flat cream and bone and rust and clay, hair softly tinted with bile, an apparition from Appalachia, from the hills and trees and hollers and factories and steel plants and Cathedral of Learning and French forts and promising white collar future and vestigial blue collar past—washed out!—and Joseph Noderer becomes a haint, haunting the space in between what he knew and knows.”

Read the rest of my review of Joseph Noderer’s Horse Hill Waugh and Other Views at New American Paintings

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

Tuesday 04/26 2016
Just Like Drowning

Well now… and just what in the fuck are you doing here, hmm?, suspended or rising or, fuck, sinking, but underwater all the same, completely ensconced in this cool, sterile little personal void, a pet abyss in somebody’s back yard, all over your head at the bottom of a David Hockney painting, the anti-body fluid which releases your limbs and evokes a feeling of weightlessness, even as you sink, cool, calm, muted, in color and temperature and tone and vibe and feel and yet you are burning, immolating?, burning in the eyes—those chemicals, the chemicals of preventive healing … ”

Read the rest of my review of Suzanne Gold’s At your own risk at New American Paintings

Monday 03/7 2016
Beyond the Crimson Veil (With Apologies to Doctor Strange)

“Holmquist’s tale is one of super-heroics, for the most part, the delightfully abstracted figures of his  paintings—long, electric, possessing in the them the quality of dancers, shimmering like Wonder Woman’s gauntlets or Superman’s curl with sprayed enamel and Holmquist’s proprietary quick-drying paint mixture, which allowed for the celerity of their creation, which in turn allows for these heavy and gorgeous paintings-as-sculptures to seem, despite the obvious weight of their application and density, impossibly fast, alive—moving throughout the exhibition and gallery and even dimensions, their powers seeming most like Doctor Strange’s, the man who walks through worlds … there they are in a painting! Again in a sculpture! Again in costume! Again in film!”

Read the rest of my review of Andrew Holmquist’s Carrie Secrist Gallery exhibition Stage Left at New American Paintings

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 10/29 2015
Environmental Impact

“It takes a moment for the eyes to adjust—atavistic mimesis! faux-fear, sympathetic nervous system goosing, the ultimate success of the palette of the night!—and for the wild bereavement of the eyes being divorced from the mind to subside, basic outlines, the context, the color, the safety, to materialize like haints in the gloaming, signposts and sirens demarcating and drawing through the darkness, through midnight and navy blues, still-warm oxblood, unfathomable purples, shadows thick enough to smother, to obfuscate, to kill, great ragged heaping breaths—ribcage expanding gulps—in the brief flashes —royal! the sky? a flower?—which open like false editorial spread irises to provide for the killing of Kurtz and the comforting recognition of shapes, shapes engorged, swollen sweet and suspended, striated like carapaces or the long, primed, puckered muscles of the thigh, like ladders from Pluto, the fat wet tongues of leaves lapping against and pulling the eyes, as if by slow jungle steamer, into and through Nina Rizzo’s Conradian jungle.”

Read the rest of my review of Nina Rizzo’s Linda Warren Projects show You Are Here at New American Paintings

Wednesday 07/15 2015
Blood Space

“The blood is voltaic, salt and copper and life and death, flowing fast and high around the fever dream haemalducts of Edie Fake’s The Blood Bank, imbued with a passionate glow which seems to radiate in juxtaposition with the cold, flat surfaces—marble? tile? stone?—which constitute its flowing surface, a room of stately and imposingly beautiful columns and arches, its facade shot through with sharp geometry, like a thousand black shark’s teeth on pallid sand, the columns topped with ornate weeping bull’s eyes; a dazzling array of colors—rococo patterns formed from tiles the color of salmon and toothpaste, bands of claret and powder blue, jade and bubblegum, lace of electric orange-red—is lost to the eye by the great flowing blood’s final destination, a pool fit for a Bathory, its deep center a rich bordeaux, fed by the blood flowing through the veins around the room’s ceiling, flowing hot—like lava around the edge of a caldera—hot in color and consequence, biologically and ethically, burning in memory with fear, anger, paranoia, colored the red of passion and hazard both … “

Read more of my review of Edie Fake’s Western Exhibitions show at New American Paintings

Friday 06/19 2015
Kill the Rabbit

“Paul is of a certain class of artist, among them the Vignellis, Saul Bass, and Jerry Dior, whose works find themselves entrenched on either side of the hotly contested DMZ which separates commercial art, over there, from fine art, over here; Hard Heads is exceedingly—almost self-consciously?—in the camp of the later, so far in fine art, at least in spirit and distance from that universal lagomorph, that it is in the hidden nods—or at least perceived hidden nods—to his commercial heritage that some of the greatest pleasures of the exhibition are found. The aforementioned colored pencil clinic demonstrates, in no small way, the bespoke suite of talents a man who has worked in magazines must acquire; so, too, do his skeleton-less ink drawings, which seem to contain no pencil guides and in their lacking take on a kind of innervating recklessness, the furious and free works of a man who has no desire for the structures and strictures he so wonderfully worked betwixt, and see how he can run across the void? Even the very papers themselves are completely debrided of all uniformity, their spines ripped out; some are plucked like feathers from his sketchbooks, others on pieces of paper of irregular size—one hopes he just plucked them from the trash or the scraps on his desk!—with the frames fitting them like daddy’s dress shoes.”

Read the rest of my review of famed Playboy art director Art Paul’s UIMA exhibition at New American Paintings