July 25, 2013 - art-agenda - Reviews: Jane and Louise Wilson, Amalia Pica, "ambient," "Double Bound Economies," and more
July 25, 2013

Reviews: Jane and Louise Wilson, Amalia Pica, "ambient," "Double Bound Economies," and more

Amalia Pica, The wireless way in low visibility
(recreation of the first system for non cable
transmission, as seen on TV)
, 2013.*

June–July Round up

It’s no surprise that when summer hits—and especially when temperatures rise in July and August—many galleries traditionally roll out a group show. Whether meant to give the viewing public a break from the usual solo offerings, or to fill a slot in the schedule, or even to do something challenging that would not otherwise fit into the program, the array of summer group shows is as much of a mixed bag as one might imagine. Is it a forum for true curatorial experimentation, or a nicely-packaged clearance sale tidying up storage rooms to make way for “new fall merchandise”? Or something in between? In their reviews of some particularly notable specimens of this seasonal product, art-agenda contributors Kimberly Bradley, Stefan Heidenreich, Tara McDowell, Chris Sharp, and Stephen Squibb give us a range of takes on what can be done in a gallery during the languid summer slump. 

Art-agenda reviews will be back in September, a month filled with no less than two triennials and three biennials taking place everywhere from Bergen to Istanbul, in addition to the usual flurry of hard-hitting autumn openers at the galleries. The first fairs of the season will also make their appearance—notably the anticipated outing of a revamped abc – art berlin contemporary, under new directorship. Get some rest, everyone. September is already packed. 

Recently on art-agenda

“A trip to the moon” at Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City
July 17–August 17, 2013
Chris Sharp writes that this elegant group show “explores the chicken-or-egg quandary of fact or fiction” by positioning the concept between two historical moments that further problematized this age-old dilemma—the 1969 moon landing and Georges Méliès’s 1902 film Le voyage dans la lune. 

“Double Bound Economies” at Galerie Thomas Fischer, Berlin
June 22–August 2, 2013
This group show orbits around the universe of 20,000 photographs from the archive of Reinhard Mende, a photographer whose career documenting trade fairs and other snippets of East German life created a chronicle of a lost world. Stefan Heidenreich reads the exhibition through “the logic of archival procedures” in which it “represents an intriguing intersection of two very different archival approaches, each coming with its own logic, and its own (occasionally overthrown) rules.”

Jane and Louise Wilson at 303 Gallery, New York
June 25–August 2, 2013
Over the past two decades, artists and sisters Jane and Louise Wilson have produced “eerily beautiful photographs, films, and installations” of “decaying skeletons of modernist utopias.” With two new projects on view, this exhibition offers “a slow and reflective examination of the texture of modernist decay,” writes Media Farzin.

“Transmissions” at Altman Siegel, San Francisco
June 6–August 31, 2013
This summer group show “attests to the strength of the gallery” and “its vitality for the San Francisco art scene,” writes Tara McDowell. Yet while the artists in the show all have “compelling practices,” a sudden re-hang of the exhibition mid-run betrays “the old necessity of masking the simple fact that a gallery is a salesroom.”

“is my territory.” at Christine König Galerie, Vienna
June 28–August 3, 2013
Kimberly Bradley writes that Berlin-based artist Monica Bonvicini “often uses spatial constructions and language to address gender and power relationships with great aplomb.” Yet when it comes to this group show—curated by Bonvicini—Bradley is not convinced by the selection of pieces by (mostly female) artists Bonvicini has worked with or taught during her ten-year tenure as professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

Jack Lavender’s “Dreams Chunky” at The approach, London
June 6–July 28, 2013
Combining the “annexing complex” of twenty-first century sculptural practices with the “obsessive use of a structural device—the grid,” the work of Jack Lavender “suggests a quick and responsive gaze.” Lorena Muñoz-Alonso visits the London-based artist’s first solo exhibition.

Amalia Pica’s “Low Visibility” at Johann König, Berlin
June 29–July 27, 2013
The work of Argentinian artist Amalia Pica often “revisits several outmoded information technologies.” In Pica’s first Berlin solo exhibition, Ana Teixeira Pinto finds an attentive treatment of the way communication “breeds congruity and compliance.”

“ambient” at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
June 20–July 26, 2013
In his reading of this summer group show, Stephen Squibb wonders: “where does ambience settle as an interpretive framework?” Collected here are works that operate as “a way of eliding the strictly demarcated play of presence and absence in Minimalism, while not yet approaching the aggressive transparency of Pop.”

“it’s just a way to stay alive / Zukunftswahn” at Deborah Schamoni Galerie, Munich
June 22–July 20, 2013
“Munich is a place for long shots,” writes Kerstin Stakemeier in her review of this second exhibition at one of the city’s newest galleries. It features two young local artists—Stephan Janitzky and Max Schmidtlein—who “collaboratively and intriguingly [complicate] their relation to painting, to Munich, and to their own situation as artists in this town of high cultural esteem.”

Wu Tsang at Michael Benevento, Los Angeles
May 4–July 7, 2013
Wu Tsang’s Wildness (2012) imaginatively documented the artist’s complex involvement with the Silver Platter, a Los Angeles bar at the “center of Latin and LGBT communities since the early 1960s.” Robin Newman writes that the artist’s new works, on view here, “take their cues from broader social engagement” while “retaining [Tsang's] interest in the specific problematics of the lives of transsexuals.”

Thomson & Craighead’s “Never Odd or Even” at Carrol / Fletcher, London
May 24–July 13, 2013
In the twenty-year trajectory of Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead’s collaborative practice, the artists have “reframed the Internet and its ‘knowledge production’ in an effort to make visible otherwise esoteric and virtual processes.” Daniella Rose King finds “humor and élan” in their “explorations of the World Wide Web and the (mis-)information it creates and disseminates.”

Sarkis’s “İkiz/Twin” at Galeri Manâ, Istanbul
May 23–July 6, 2013
In this show, Sarkis offers a “a moment of silence (contrasted to the immediate surroundings)” amid the protests stirring the Turkish capital. Merve Unsal observes that Sarkis constructs “duality and twinness between the viewer and the objects on view,” and it is in this way that his work “feels most responsive to the city.”

Özlem Altin’s “Cathartic ballet” at CIRCUS, Berlin
April 27–June 29, 2013
Federica Bueti reads this exhibition by Berlin-based artist Özlem Altin as “fragments of an unspoken conversation, finding that the “uncanny figures that populate Altin’s photos, collage paintings, and installations mimic, inhabit, and embody language.”

Wolfgang Tillmans’s “from Neue Welt” at Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York
May 4–June 15, 2013
Kevin McGarry visits this selection of images drawn from the Neue Welt series, a collection that attests to the photographer’s “authoritative brand”: “that alchemical combination of subjectivity, nuance, and virtuosity to make you sigh happily and see their haphazard forms as more or less perfect.”

Coming soon, a special feature on The Magic of the State (London/Cairo) by Laura McLean-Ferris; reviews of the ICP Triennial, New York; 13th Istanbul Biennial; 5th Moscow Biennale; abc – art berlin contemporary; and many more

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*Amalia Pica, The wireless way in low visibility (recreation of the first system for non cable transmission, as seen on TV), 2013. Balloon, helium, string, copper wire, wood spool, caption on paper, glass, 290 x 91.5 x 91.5 cm. Courtesy of Johann König, Berlin.

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