All Reviews

102 Reviews

11 to 20 of 102 Go to Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ...
  • 4.0 star rating
    First to Review
    Listed in My Firsts!

    Very interesting gallery. Over the summer it featured a program called Films & Windows, where every few weeks it showed an artist's video(s) inside the gallery and another artist's sculptures or installation in the big vitrine that faces the sidewalk. I have been here a few times to check out what Mathew was showing as part of this program. The first time I went I really liked the window pieces, by Kerstin Braetsch (sp?), but I absolutely hated the video inside. It was an interview with an American woman, an artist apparently, who was talking about Berlin and how it had changed over the last decade. She was rehashing every possible cliche about gentrification, talking about how things were better when she was younger with zero self-awareness of her own role in the gentrification process. And she spoke with that dippy Californian intonation pattern that I can't stand listening to. So after about three minutes I went outside to look at the sculptures some more.

    When I returned the situation was reversed, in that I wasn't crazy about the window installation (by Taslima Ahmed, there were lots of pictures of cows, like in the tunnels of the trains you take to get around the Zurich airport) but I enjoyed the videos. They were made by the artist Ken Okiishi around the year 2000, when he was a student at Cooper Union in New York. They weren't amazing or anything but very good for undergraduate work, and gave an unpolished look not only at the New York cityscape of ten years ago but also the media environment (internet and movies) of the time. As I understood it, the theme of the Films & Windows series was gentrification, and it was approached in subtle ways. Showing this older work was one of them.  Using the storefront as a gallery space was another.  

    I should note that on my second trip to Mathew I talked to some people about the video I had seen on my previous visit and I learned that the Californian woman had in fact been an actress, reading a script that was deliberately written to sound extremely irritating. It fooled me!! I guess that makes it more interesting as an artwork but I still hate it.

  • 1.0 star rating

    There are people out there who have very little intellectual curiosity but still like to feel smart and Unix is a gallery that caters to them. I went there during the Miami Art Walk and there was a wax sculpture of Damien Hirst shooting himself in the head (displayed in a glass case, to make it look extra precious and valuable) and I thought, This is exactly the kind of thing that would appeal to a rich jerk who fancies himself edgy and savvy about art but actually doesn't know a thing about it. There was also a series of obnoxiously arty, large-format pornographic photos. Picture early Cindy Sherman, but with big naked tits and shaved vaginas. Garbage!

  • Isa
    348 Wythe Ave
    Brooklyn, NY 11211
    4.0 star rating

    I can't say anything about the food because I didn't eat here. I went for the performance art! The second floor has recently become an experimental theater/performance/cabaret space, which I'm guessing is the initiative of the "new management" mentioned in other reviews. The night I went the offering was "Two Towel Margarita: A Performance by Travis Boyer." It happened three times during the night, at 9, 10, and 11. (Between and during the performance it was just a party, with people standing around, drinking, and dancing. The music was really fun.) I thought from the title that it was going to involve serving some weird margaritas but it turned out to be body shots. What Travis Boyer did was he took his shirt off and lay back on a table, and an assistant held a plastic bag over his head, and people stood in line to take turns drinking tequila off his chest. Like I said, this was not what I was expecting and it did not sound appealing, but I came for the experience so I had to do it! When it got closer to being my turn I could get a better view of what was happening. Travis Boyer has a weird-looking torso. Not fat and not skinny but with fleshy lumps around the midsection and bony up at the shoulders, as well as an unusually deep chest cavity. As people walked up to slurp tequila out of the gully in his chest, his weird torso was jerking and writhing this way and that, as if he couldn't breathe (because of the plastic over his head) and he hated being there. It made me feel uncomfortable and a little nauseous. But it was too late to turn back. My turn. His cavity got refilled and I bent down to drink. Wow!! It was so disgusting! I don't even like tequila to begin with, and this was cheap stuff, mixed with the artist's rank sweat. When I was drinking my lips and tongue touched his clammy flesh a little bit. I was trying to avoid this but with him writhing around like he was my attempts were futile! Damn it was gross. But performance art is supposed to move you out of your comfort zone so in that sense it was definitely a success. I drank two beers after that but I couldn't wash away the flavor of sweaty tequila. And even though I brushed my teeth super-thoroughly that night I was still thinking about it in the morning. ISA left me with a horrible taste in my mouth AND a satisfyingly memorable experience. That's not something you can say about every restaurant!

  • 5.0 star rating
    First to Review

    A new space for Zwirner right next to the old one with a semi-domestic vibe--the entryway is narrow and carpeted, the door closes so tightly it makes a little sucking noise and you feel hermetically sealed inside, and there are warmly earthy wood and stone materials/colorings. There's a second floor and when I went up the stairs I felt like I might stumble across the master bedroom but no, just the office. I imagine that the buildings Zwirner's clients build for showing off their collections look a lot like this one. The shows i've seen here are all classic stuff--Judd, Flavin, Serra, Blinky Palermo--and it looks good here. Hard to complain!

  • 5.0 star rating
    3 check-ins

    Very cool gallery! There's a great slogan painted on the facade: "the whole world + the work = the whole world." I know this sounds corny, but every time I see it I feel inspired.

    Last time I went the inside also had words on the walls--not painted on but put there by a projector for an installation by Frances Stark. The work was based on her internet chats with Italian men. As far as I could tell the text was a transcription of video chats where Italians were showing her their dicks and vice versa. But the words made it into the art, and I was glad that Gavin Brown's Enterprise put big couches in the middle of the gallery so I could get cozy for 30+ minutes of reading.

    Frances Stark made this work for an important exhibition in Venice last summer and the guys she chats with--as I mentioned before--are Italian, like the people in Venice. The projections are timed to the rhythm of music from a Mozart opera, which has lyrics in Italian, even though Mozart spoke German. But the lyrics are gone, just like the images of these Italian guys who were typing to Frances Stark in English. All these removals and reminders of geographical distance really made me think about the distance between an artist and her audience, because in most cases the artist "isn't in the picture," so to speak, when the audience encounters the work. But, at the same time, the audience wants the artist to expose a private side of herself so they can have a vicarious experience of the genuine emotional connection that's missing from their everyday lives. That expectation for art is basically the same impulse that sends people to sites that promise spontaneous and exciting random encounters, like Chatroulette, even though (or maybe because?) all these sites have to offer is a bunch of dicks. There's something like a "lost in translation" problem there when you can't match your desires up with the desires of the guy who wants you to look at his dick. Same thing with the artist's anxiety over whether what she wants to show is what people want to see. Or when you tell an Italian guy that stab is a verb and he thinks it's a dick. I'm pretty sure that's what Frances Stark was thinking about when she made this work, given the way she mixes together "I'm gonna chat with guys in Italy" with "I'm gonna show my art in Italy."

    I got a little carried away there but I thought this was super interesting and also somewhat relevant to my point, which is: Gavin Brown's Enterprise is a good place to have an intimate experience with some good art.

  • Hermanstr. 16
    12049 Berlin
    4.0 star rating
    First to Review
    Listed in My Firsts!

    Times is a bar that is technically a kunstverein. It always has one work of art hanging over the bar. I have been to Times quite a few times. I really liked a work they showed by Harm van den Dorpel, a print that looked like a modernist abstract collage from a hundred years ago but was composed of some blank digital files, semi-randomly arranged. Another piece I saw was by Simon Denny. He took the first bill that the bar earned (five euros or something) that had been pinned over the working area and moved it to the art-display place. Or did he put up a different bill, to double the original? I can't remember. Either way, it seemed like a cop-out. But in the end it doesn't really matter, because hanging artworks at the bar is less about making exhibitions than it is about fostering a community of regulars, a way of keeping artists and their friends coming back to Times. And it's too dark to get a very good look anyway.

    The events that Times hosts are probably more interesting as artworks than the objects that hang over the bar. This summer there was a pole-dancing contest where performance artists competed, and a show of artworks that were painted on a model's nails. She was just chilling at the bar until you asked to see the show and then she'd put her fingers under the light. These days there are a lot of museums that are connecting performance art to parties. This keeps up with trends in "time-based" art, and it's also a way of getting people to visit the museum repeatedly and spend their money there. I don't necessarily have a problem with this, but a lot of times when I'm at a museum I'm not really in the mood to be drinking and dancing. It just feels weird! So I'm glad there is a place like Times where this connection can be made without feeling forced. I would give Times five stars but it gets really smoky inside. Sorry to be the prudish American but I just don't like super smoky bars.

  • 3.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    On my last visit to this location of Gagosian Gallery in October the best thing was the cables. They were draped across the floor in long, slender coils that got smaller and accumulated in little piles near the display equipment. Very nice. The videos they were powering, not so much. They were by Douglas Gordon and were shot in the Scottish highlands: views of a lone grand piano in the hills, set on fire and burning. A wannabe-lyrical platitudinous parable about nature and culture.

  • 3.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    Richard Phillips had a show here with paintings of Lindsay Lohan and Sasha Grey. They were very realistically done and sexy, no pretenses to the quality. Gagosian Gallery caters to guys with tons of money and I'm sure many of them would like to own huge paintings of starlets in bikinis. Why not? But I'm just a browser myself and my tastes lie elsewhere. There were also videos of the actresses that were too long to be music videos and not enough narrative to be short films. Just the girls moving around on beaches or mountains or nice houses. At the end of the video the titles said "Lindsay Lohan [or Sasha Grey, in the Sasha Grey video]," then "Gagosian Gallery," then "Richard Phillips." Maybe I got the order wrong but it was those three, fading from one to the next. So it was like a commercial but you couldn't tell what the commercial was for. That's what made it art, if not very good art.

  • 5.0 star rating
    4 check-ins First to Review

    I walked into this gallery and "Wonderwall" by Oasis was playing from two big speakers, followed by "Time to Pretend" by MGMT--two of my favorite dude jams! The gallery director told me that it was a Smashing Pumpkins station on Pandora, and it was all part of the exhibition by Tyler Dobson. Each of the speakers faced a tapestry stretched on a rectangular frame, each of which depicted loose piles of printed photos. The photo piles had been photographed and then sent to a weave-on-demand tapestry service, which made the images look pixelated in thread, scraps of a pre-digital '90s past preserved in a cheap textile. ("Put it on a mug, it will last longer" would be a good slogan for those various Zazzle services that turn your jpegs into things.) Tucked in the corner was a photo of a teen boy, shirtless, smoking a joint. Apparently there are sites where guys upload their shirtless weed selfies, just thousands of photos in the same pose. This is a recent phenomenon but because the photo is printed out and has a slightly yellowish tinge (maybe a filter?), and the kid has longish stoner hair, the image looks like it could be twenty, thirty years old (except for the iPhone he's holding). The Smashing Pumpkins Pandora station, with its kind-of-edgy-but-not-really songs from all over the 1990s and 2000s, is another reminder that all these soft forms of rebellion are suspended in time, part of the repeating cycle of teens. There were dead leaves strewn all over the floor, a gesture about the passage of time and youth that was so obvious I almost rolled my eyes, but the brown-gray color looked so good with the autumnal shades of the tapestries I gave the artist a pass.

    47 Canal is a fairly young gallery, having opened in the spring of 2011. They had a really exciting first season. But this past fall the quality seemed to lag a little as they tried to bring in artists who they hadn't worked with before, and it made me a little worried. Tyler Dobson is an artist I hadn't seen showing there before, and I really liked his worked, so I left the gallery feeling optimistic. Can't wait to see what they do next!

  • 5.0 star rating
    2 check-ins First to Review

    (note: this gallery is commonly known as Reena Spaulings..

    There's always something interesting happening at Reena Spaulings! This time it's... dishes. The latest exhibition is by Georgie Netell, whose paintings--let's be honest--aren't all that special. They are vigorous abstractions in off-white and gray-blue on brown, burlap-looking linen, whose rawness contrasts with the smooth matte surface of the paint. Quirky little paintings like these are everywhere these days. But it seemed like the ordinariness of them was the point, because they were interspersed with bins full of dirty dishes. Art (or eating) is an everyday thing, the paintings (dirty dishes) are what's leftover from it. Art comes off as a kind of routine, which makes the show sound boring but I actually found it quite exciting to look at the dishes and the food remnants caked to them. The dish trays are installed in weird places, like the windowsill, and on a big black couch in the middle of the gallery--another bit of domesticity that you don't always find in a gallery--which I sat on for a spell while contemplating the work. Also for Georgie Netell's show the gallery's front desk was moved from near the door to within the exhibition space, as if the receptionist's work was on display, too, like the dishwasher's. nice touch. Reena Spaulings is always doing stuff like this to keep you on your toes and capture the imagination. I would highly recommend a visit to anyone with adventurous tastes in art.

11 to 20 of 102 Go to Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ...

"it's funny because it's true"

Review votes:
345 Useful, 242 Funny, and 223 Cool



Yelping Since

February 2012

Things I Love


Flag this profile