See: Ohad Meromi at Nathalie Karg, and The Bigger Picture at Tanya Bonakdar

A highly recommended solo show, and some interesting individual works.

Ohad Meromi, Worker! Smoker! Actor!, July 10th - August 15th, 2014 Opening Reception: Thursday, July 10th 6-8 PM, Nathalie Karg Gallery, 41 Great Jones Street, NYC, Tues-Sat 11-6, 212-563-7821,

Through August 15
Ohad Meromi: Worker! Smoker! Actor!
Nathalie Karg Gallery
41 Great Jones Street, NYC

Familiarity doesn’t diminish my enthusiasm for Ohad’s work—I’ve been a huge fan of it since 2010 and assisted him last summer—and I was super impressed with his 23-minute video on view at Karg. The beautifully-photographed video includes footage of ridiculously labor-intensive, moving machinery made of plywood, movement/dance/actor/performers, and hand-painted signs in Futura bearing texts on Socialism. Its blend of child-friendly aesthetics and adult detachment is affecting. It’s in a really cool, raw space, the kind you’re afraid NYC might have lost. Go see it.

Through August 1
The Bigger Picture: Work from the 1990s
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
521 West 21st Street, NYC

There two works in this show that made my day:

The Bigger Picture (installation view). Left: Olafur Eliasson. Right: Mark Manders. // Source:

The Bigger Picture (installation view). Left: Olafur Eliasson. Right: Mark Manders. // Source:

In Olafur Eliasson’s Convex/concave, a simple Mylar tondo looks basically like a mirror. However, an air tube connects it with a vitrine-encased pump, which is audibly emitting “breathing” noises. By sucking or pumping the air from the tondo, the Mylar becomes concave or convex in quick bursts. When you encounter the mirror and see your reflection, it’s hard to notice what’s going on. But if you shift your gaze to the reflection of the background, you’ll see the effect is like a dolly zoom shot—it looks like your environment is closing in on you. Like Eliasson’s best work, it’s simple, subtle and super cool.


The Bigger Picture (installation view). Left: Haim Steinbach. Center: Martin Boyce. Right: Mark Dion. // Source:

The Bigger Picture (installation view). Left: Haim Steinbach. Center: Martin Boyce. Right: Mark Dion. // Source:

Haim Steinbach’s work—multiples of mass manufactured goods arranged on storage shelves—can be puzzling. But if you give it a few minutes, Backyard Story, on view upstairs, is a great little poem that unfolds in a satisfying way.


Jim Hodges @ Gladstone, Andrea Bowers @ Kreps

I can’t bring myself to see the Carsten Höller show at the New Museum. It sounds like something I would love—
1. It’s called Experience.
2. There’s lots of mirrors.
3. There’s lots of playing with perception.

But, after Jerry Saltz’ rant, I’m afraid the New Museum will be overrun by crowds, and that it will be pervaded by playfulness and novelty that edges out reflexivity. In other words, my experience will be of a spectacle, and not of a phenomenological unravelling, of mystery unfolding into discovery, of the gradual maturity of an idea or sensibility.

While I work up my patience, I made it to see Jim Hodge’s excellent exhibitions at Gladstone Gallery (through December 23) today. At the 24th Street venue, there were three massive works, all masterfully accomplished. The first is a huge black glass mosaic tondo. During my visit it was a full circle; the website depicts the piece shown in segments. Indeed, during my visit I noticed unpainted patches on the wall, which I realize now were artifacts of this evolving display. It depicts flashes of light and sparkles, achieved only with the tile pattern. It’s spectacularly reflective and shimmering.

Adjacent to the tondo is an installation of a single, huge, slowly spinning, mirrored disco ball. Four programmed spotlights are pointed at it, so that the starry specs of light cast about the room move in multiple directions. If you’re moving at New York City speed, you’ll fail to notice that the disco ball is lowering very slowly. Indeed, if you stick around long enough, you will see it descend, unbelievably, into a circular hole jackhammered into the concrete floor, and filled with inky water. Indeed, the mirrored ball touches the surface, then becomes engulfed, achieving a slowly disappearing reflection of itself in the water, submerging completely until the room is still and dark. To transition from such a mesmerizing visual rhythm to stillness was markedly calming. Visiting galleries in Chelsea can seems like a Sisyphean task; this installation left me feeling grateful and centered.

At Hodges’ 20th Street show, I was utterly stumped by the technique behind the massive electroplated(?) boulders.

Andrea Bowers is a total beast with her graphite realism. She continues to be one of most unabashedly activist artists working today. Her show at Andrew Kreps (closing on Saturday) revisits second-wave feminist publications and posters, and combines them with devastatingly good pro-choice drawings and portraits of LGBTQ and worker’s rights demonstrators.

Ohad Meromi‘s inexplicably warm material manipulations—geometric, fundamental, recognizable, and yet fully conjectural—continue though Saturday at Harris Lieberman. A ballet bar lines the walls. Collages and their handmade plywood frames converge to become sculptural objects. A participatory “anti-performance workshop” is scheduled for Saturday 6pm.

Matthew Brannon at Casey Kaplan. Irresistible as usual letterpress/screenprints, plus 3-D translations in sculpture. The show is a crime thriller, staged in touches of fey powder pink, windowed office doors, and glossy hand-painted signs. It’s sort of literary and nostalgic and domestic. Between the pink, the letterpress, and the personally-scaled texts, I wonder if the work would be read or regarded differently if the artist was female. It shouldn’t matter, but it does. As Randy Cohen pointed out last night (at a great panel discussion at the intersection of ethics, psychology, and perception organized by No Longer Empty), a person might see clearly, but never objectively.

Community, Sights

Three reasons to be excited about art

Please excuse my previous griping post and have a look at this:

1. Brendan Fernandes and Ohad Meromi at Art in General

I helped to install these two artists’ shows, and I’m very excited about the quality and experimentation in both of them. I feel very fortunate to work with wonderful staff and interns at Art in General in the production of shows by really kind, thoughtful artists.

Brendan Fernandes’ exhibition, From Hiz Hands, opens in the ground-floor Project Space tomorrow, Friday, December 10 at 6pm. In addition to a massive wall text and audio piece, there are three super neon signs you can see from the street.

Ohad Meromi contribues Rehearsal Sculpture, a likably obscure set of sculptures, props and setting for participatory action. Ohad’s prior work (see Harris Lieberman Gallery, of the sweetly ligature’d logo, for pics) are really fun combinations of formal and vernacular design with social overtones, so I’m really interested in this more explicitly performative and experiential work.

2. Mark Bradford, artist, MacArthur Genius, and artist-philanthropist-role model.

Bradford, who exuded articulateness, integrity and rigor in his talk at SFAI, is a role model. His most recent feat of fearlessness is committing to donate $100k to support other artists in the pursuit of their own projects that might not be otherwise funded. How awesome is that?

3. Via HWT, this image by Frances Twombly, found on ArtNet:

Frances Twombly, Balloons, 2004

Frances Twombly, Balloons, 2004