Allison Katz’s “Artery”
              Oliver Basciano
              Why did the chicken cross the road? I don’t know—but Allison Katz has some suggestions. There are chickens aplenty in “Artery,” a show of 30 works, the majority new, by the Canadian painter. The other side (2021) is a painting of a cockerel in motion that recalls Eadweard Muybridge, the work hung across two freestanding walls so the bird seems to be surmounting the gap between them. Grains of rice—a kind of chicken feed, presumably—are scattered across the canvas surface, stuck on and around the golden animal. Despite the bird’s strut, it’s unclear—given the yellow plumage and blue-feathered head—whether what we are looking at is the result of Katz painting a chicken (or a photo of a chicken), or of her painting a chicken-shaped ornament; whether this painting is a representation, in other words, or a representation of a representation. This quandary seems answered in The Cockfather (2021), a painting titled like a hipster fried chicken joint, but which in fact shows a kitschy egg holder in the shape of a cock in which are placed three eggs, the neck of the apparently misgendered bird (it is hens who normally warm eggs) forming a handle. This plumed porcelain soul …
              Beatrice Gibson’s “Crone Music”
              Jeremy Millar
              In her 1988 essay “The Fisherman’s Daughter,” Ursula K. Le Guin reflects on how women writers have long supported one another: “there is a heroic aspect to the practice of art; it is lonely, risky, merciless work, and every artist needs some kind of moral support or sense of solidarity and validation.” In content and form—a loosely assembled collage in which the author is placed in a position of kinship with her readers and those writers who came before—the essay shares much with “Crone Music,” an exhibition by Beatrice Gibson of two new films which are complemented by a program of screenings, rehearsals, readings, and performances by many writers, artists, and musicians who Gibson collaborated with for her films. While Gibson’s work has long been made in relation to the work of others, these have usually been major male figures—William Gaddis, for example, or Cornelius Cardew—in these new films, the references are to more marginalized figures, notably women, queer communities, and poets. The exhibition’s title is borrowed from the 1990 album by Pauline Oliveros. Deux Soeurs Qui Ne Sont Pas Soeurs [Two Sisters Who Are Not Sisters] (2019) takes its title from a film script written in 1929 by Gertrude Stein, …

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