April 5, 2013 - art-agenda - Reviews: Ed Atkins, Gianni Colombo, Art Dubai, Nora Schultz, and more
April 5, 2013

Reviews: Ed Atkins, Gianni Colombo, Art Dubai, Nora Schultz, and more

Blueprint of Armory Show Floorplan, circa 1913. Walt Kuhn, Kuhn family papers, and Armory Show records,
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, www.aaa.si.edu.

art-agenda March Round up

In March art-agenda winged its way across the globe, from New York to Berlin to Los Angeles to Sharjah and Dubai. In addition to a bevy of reviews on key exhibitions, reports on art fairs ranged from coverage of two relative newcomers—Independent in New York and Art Dubai—to a long look back at what some have argued was a kind of beginning.

In “Letter to the Editor of art-agenda. The Armory Show of 2013,” art historian Media Farzin undertook a broad consideration of a hundred years of fairs on the occasion of the Centennial Armory Show. Channeling (quite literally) the critical spirit of Charles Baudelaire and his letters on the Paris Salons of the mid-1850s, Farzin wrote about the genre of art presentation that everyone loves to hate: “Certainly I should have been more embarrassed if I had found myself lost in a forest of originality, if the contemporary art fair, suddenly modified, purified, and rejuvenated, had provoked floods of praise—a garrulous admiration—or necessitated whole new categories in the language of criticism. But there is nothing of all that, fortunately (for me).”

The fair, Farzin went on to say, is arguably a “postwar phenomenon,” and today we witness another round of reinvention and expansion taking place. Some attempts are more successful than others. Ginny Kolak reported that the Independent fair managed to bring together galleries, initiatives, and cultural institutions in a mode that productively problematized the already-blurred boundaries between commercial and not-for-profit actors. Further afield, Astrid Mania visited the seventh edition of Art Dubai and left convinced that the moment when gallerists might have been able to ignore this emerging market is long gone. “The adage that culture follows trade is something like globalization’s subtitle,” she wrote. “When it comes to art fairs, however, trade follows culture.”

The next two months usher in a new season and another wave of action, including the curated section at Zona Maco in Mexico City by upcoming Berlin Biennale curator Juan A. Gaitán, Gallery Weekend Berlin, the second edition of Frieze New York, and the inaugural Art Basel Hong Kong. History in the making? We’ll be watching.

Recently on art-agenda:

Jeff Keen at Kate MacGarry, London
March 9–April 20, 2013
Filipa Ramos surveys the 16mm films, sculptures, paintings, and creative detritus of cult experimental filmmaker Jeff Keen (1923–2012) and deems him a “pioneer of the postmodernist imaginary,” well ahead of his time.

Ed Atkins’s “Warm, Warm, Warm Spring Mouths” at Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Berlin
March 2–April 9, 2013
In Ed Atkins’s latest film, an insular digitized universe is described by a slick talking head as a “site of total deprivation.” Kirsty Bell considers whether the strategic deployment of poetry and the spoken word is the mode through which the artist manages to “overcome the revulsion his imagery elicits.”

“Made in Space” at Night Gallery, Los Angeles
March 16–April 15, 2013
Jonathan Griffin checks out this 30-artist-strong group show, curated by L.A.-based artists Peter Harawik and Laura Owens, and reflects on whether it succeeds in shaking up or reinforcing staid stereotypes about the particularities of art production under the Southern California sun.

Gianni Colombo at Greene Naftali, New York
February 28–March 30, 2013
The first US solo exhibition of Italian artist Gianni Colombo (1937–1993), which features work spanning three decades, “follows participatory and interactive art back to a largely unacknowledged precursor” writes Alan Gilbert.

Aslı Çavuşoğlu’s “Murder in Three Acts” at NON, Istanbul
March 1–April 13, 2013
Aslı Çavuşoğlu’s knowing mash up of the stylized violence and forensic procedures of TV’s “CSI” aesthetic and the display of precious objects as mysterious clues to an unknown crime reveal, according to Merve Unsal, “the gallery as another site of investigation, a site for speculation.”

Art Dubai, Dubai
March 20–23, 2013
While Dubai has established itself as “a promising marketplace where trade (money) and a growing interest in international contemporary art (culture) coincide,” Astrid Mania reads between the lines to find the social and political constraints that implicitly influenced what participating galleries did—and didn’t—show at the fair’s seventh edition.

Nora Schultz’s “Rug Import” at Campoli Presti, London
February 27–March 28, 2013
Anna Gritz finds that the motley yet elegant assemblage of sculptural elements in Nora Schultz’s latest show, simultaneously on display and still in the process of producing themselves, “occupy an interesting middle ground between artwork, material, and medium—apparatus and outcome.”

Sharjah Biennial 11, Sharjah
March 13–May 13, 2013
In “Re:emerge, Towards a New Cultural Cartography,” curated by Yuko Hasegawa, Antonia Alampi discovers that sound, “seemingly chosen as the preferred instrument through which linguistic, cultural, and social barriers are to be overcome,” is the driving force in some of the biennial’s strongest works, including those by Tarek Atoui, Wael Shawky, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul & Chai Siri.

Letter to the Editor of art-agenda, The Armory Show of 2013, New York
March 7–10, 2013
In epistolary mode, Media Farzin channels the snarky charms of Charles Baudelaire’s letters on the nineteenth-century Paris Salons to look back on the centenary Armory Show and a hundred years of fairs.

Ragnar Kjartansson’s “The Visitors” at Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York
February 1–March 23, 2013
Ragnar Kjartansson’s much-discussed hour-long homage to collective creative production and the bonds between collaborators is admittedly mesmerizing, yet Nickolas Calabrese isn’t convinced that there’s sufficient depth behind this “somber nine-screen music video.”

Independent, New York
March 7–10, 2013
Packed with fresh debuts and rediscoveries, Ginny Kolak reports that the “many instances of productively blurred boundaries” at the fair included the choice to highlight local non-profit institutions hardest hit by last year’s Hurricane Sandy, and the introduction of a new curatorial prize.

Luisa Lambri’s “New Works” at Studio Guenzani, Milan
February 16–March 30, 2013
Barbara Casavecchia explains how Luisa Lambri’s new series, for which she photographed key works by artists such as Donald Judd and Lucio Fontana, shifts the artist’s gaze from modernist architecture “into the pictoral and sculptural space of post-war Abstraction and Minimalism”

Coming soon, reviews of Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige at CRG Gallery, New York; Haegue Yang at Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Ryan Gander at Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam; Brendan Earley at Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing; Gert Jan Kocken at Motive Gallery, Brussels; a report on Gallery Weekend Berlin; and many more.

Art-agenda’s exhibition announcement service distributes press information on select international exhibitions of contemporary art.

Subscribe to art-agenda.

Share - Reviews: Ed Atkins, Gianni Colombo, Art Dubai, Nora Schultz, and more
  • Share