Category Archives: ART

JORDAN CASTEEL — WITHIN REACH

JORDAN CASTEEL—WITHIN REACH—the exhibition catalog of the artist’s suspended solo show at the New Museum—is edited by Massimiliano Gioni, with a foreword by Lisa Phillips.

The volume includes texts by Dawoud Bey, Lauren Haynes, and Amanda Hunt, and features interviews by Thelma Golden and Gioni.

Jordan Casteel, from top: Shirley (Spa Boutique2Go), 2018, oil on canvas, Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College; Medinilla, Wanda and Annelise, 2019, oil on canvas; Benyam, 2018, oil on canvas, Komal Shah and Gaurav Garg collection;; Serwaa and Amoakohene, 2019, oil on canvas; exhibition catalog cover image courtesy and © the artist and the New Museum; Cansuela, 2019, oil on canvas; Miles and Jojo, 2015, oil on canvas, Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection; Lourdes and Karina, 2019, oil on canvas; Joe and Mozel (Pompette Wines), 2017, oil on canvas, private collection; Jenna, 2019, oil on canvas. Images courtesy and © the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York.

CALARTS POSTER SHOW

Materials from the postponed Redcat exhibition Inside Out & Upside Down—Posters from CalArts: 1970–2019 are available online.

CalArts Archive, from top: Conny Cavazos, Lei Lei, 2019; Onyou Kim and Vivian Naranjo, Martha Friedman, 2017; Florencio Zavala and Victor Hu, Miranda July & Phil Elverum, 2007; Jae-Hyouk Sung, Matmos, 2003; Cassandra Cisneros, Juyoung Kim, and SoYun Cho, Redcat: Cauleen Smith: “Black Utopia LP,” 2013; Jens Gehlhaar, Anthony Hernandez: Landscape for the Homeless, 1997; Bijan Berahimi and Sarah Faith Gottesdiener, No Age & Brian Roettinger, 2013; Angela Bac and Jessie Zo, 2014 CalArts Halloween, 2014; Scott Barry, Rachel Harrison (3/3), 2010; Louise Sandhaus, Ed Fella Farewell Lecture: Educated, Philosofated, Detroitated, Esplicated, 2013; Allison Hsiao, Redcat: Adentro, 2018. Images courtesy and © the artists and CalArts.

TRISHA LOW — SOCIALIST REALISM

Should I go home?

“There is no home here,” wrote the novelist and transplant Christopher Isherwood of his adopted Golden State.* Its horizon split open by the sun, its ground lurching with rolling yellow dunes. California is a strange harmony of desolation and hope, a paradox of signifying garbage and pristine landscape. The streets of Berkeley are lined with hippy-spiritual hookah stores, and across the bay, in San Francisco, are swarms of tech-boom man buns and telecommuting laptops. The soil upon which all this is built: quietly soaked in indigenous genocide, a bloodstained project that continues into the present, gently mutating into gentrification and the forced displacement of black and brown people from their homes.

And yet, because we’re in California, everything remains edged with bursting flora by the wayside and its eternal succulence. From the student protests of the sixties and seventies to antifascism today, the Golden State spans decades of generational hope, even if you can’t tell which way it’s marked. Fading community murals, graffiti deriding cis-hetero-patriarchal capitalism, everything spun into oblivion by the yearlong sunshine—it’s a jumble of radical promise, both emerging and obsolete. “California Dreamin’.”

It’s May Day. We’re hungry. We’re marching because we want just-not-this, or literally-anything-else. José Esteban Muñoz was my teacher, and he liked those extremes. He taught me that it was ok to be a punk and still believe in believing. He taught me that it was ok for my nihilism to be utopic, for my politics to also be a sensibility. “Queerness is not yet here,” he cautioned us at the beginning of Cruising Utopia. “The here and now is a prison house. We must strive, in the face of the here and now’s totalizing rendering of reality, to think and feel a then and there. Some will say that all we have are the pleasures of this moment, but we must never settle for that minimal transport; we must dream and enact new and better pleasures, other ways of being in the world, and ultimately new worlds.” —Trisha Low, Socialist Realism

Winner of The Believer’s 2019 Book Award for non-fiction, Low’s SOCIALIST REALISM is available from Coffee House Press.

*Christopher Isherwood, from Exhumations, 1966:

An afternoon drive from Los Angeles will take you up into the high mountains, where eagles circle above the forests and the cold blue lakes, or out over the Mojave Desert, with its weird vegetation and immense vistas. Not very far away are Death Valley, and Yosemite, and Sequoia Forest with its giant trees which were growing long before the Parthenon was built; they are the oldest living things in the world. One should visit such places often, and be conscious, in the midst of the city, of their surrounding presence. For this is the real nature of California and the secret of its fascination; this untamed, undomesticated, aloof, prehistoric landscape which relentlessly reminds the traveller of his human condition and the circumstances of his tenure upon the earth. “You are perfectly welcome,” it tells him, “during your short visit. Everything is at your disposal. Only, I must warn you, if things go wrong, don’t blame me. I accept no responsibility. I am not part of your neurosis. Don’t cry to me for safety. There is no home here. There is no security in your mansions or your fortresses, your family vaults or your banks or your double beds. Understand this fact, and you will be free. Accept it, and you will be happy. 

Trisha Low, Socialist Realism (2019), photograph and book cover image courtesy and © the author and Coffee House Press.

José Esteban Muñoz, Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity, 10th anniversary edition, image courtesy and © the author’s estate and New York University Press.

HOW CAN WE THINK OF ART AT A TIME LIKE THIS?

HOW CAN WE THINK OF ART AT A TIME LIKE THIS?—curated by Barbara Pollack and Anne Verhallen—is an online exhibition featuring the work of (from top), Dread Scott and Jenny Polak, Zhao Zhao, Judith Bernstein, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Aziz + Cucher, Amir H. Fallah, Janet Biggs and Kathe Burkhart.

Images courtesy and © the artists and curators.

ARLENE SHECHET

SKIRTS—an exhibition of new work by Arlene Shechet—is open in Pace Gallery’s Online Viewing Room.

ARLENE SHECHET—SKIRTS

Pace Gallery Online Viewing Room

Arlene Shechet, Skirts, Pace Gallery, New York, opened February 28, 2020, from top: Deep Dive, 2020, glazed ceramic, painted hardwood, steel; Ripple and Ruffle, 2020, glazed ceramic, hardwood, sand cast brass, steel; Grammar, 2020, glazed ceramic, steel, painted hardwood; Magic Matters, 2020, steel, painted hardwood, silver leaf; Day In, Day Out, glazed ceramic, painted hardwood, painted plywood, powder coated steel, steel; The Crown Jewel, 2020, glazed ceramic, painted hardwood, cast bronze; Touching Summer, 2020, glazed ceramic, painted hardwood. Images courtesy and © the artist and Pace Gallery.