“Jennifer’s Butt” by Frances Negrón-Muntaner

Jennifer Lopez, Photo: Getty Images Frances Negrón-Muntaner talks about the way both Selena’s and Jennifer Lopez’s rear ends are viewed by fellow audiences under circumstances that feared the racialized body before popular culture decided that a massive gluteus was cinematically desirable.[1] Latin-American teenagers perceived the uncanny doubling of Selena and Jennifer Lopez as tethered to… Continue reading “Jennifer’s Butt” by Frances Negrón-Muntaner

David Medalla (1938-2020)

David Medalla with a Cloud Canyons work at Cornwall Gardens, London, 1964. Image copyright Clay Parry, England & Co, London. Peripatetic Filipino artist David Medalla, a pioneer of kinetic sculpture and participatory art performance, died in Manila on Monday, December 28. He was 82. He developed an early reputation as a poet and wünderkind during… Continue reading David Medalla (1938-2020)

The Outsider Speaking for the Other

            A serial reading of Andre Breton, Sigmund Freud, Frantz Fanon, Rosalind Krauss and Hal Foster, might give the impression of a direct intellectual lineage. That’s not what I’m going to do here. I’d like to think of this as a commentary from the sidelines; of what would have been possible had these thinkers sat… Continue reading The Outsider Speaking for the Other

The Tormented Square

Kazimir Malevich, Black Square, 1913. Kazimir Malevich was clear in his intentions to discover the “zero point” of painting; that is, painting that does not represent life outside its surface. He wanted to completely abandon depicting reality and instead invent a new world of shapes and forms. In his 1927 book The Non-Objective World, he… Continue reading The Tormented Square

The Metamorphosis of Narcissus as a Great Artist

on Karl Ove Knausgaard's profile of Anselm Kiefer Anselm Kiefer in front of his work ‘Ages of the World’ (2014) I first saw Anselm Kiefer’s artwork as an art student in Berlin nine years ago. It was the same fighter plane made from sheets of lead described by Karl Ove Knaussgard in his New York… Continue reading The Metamorphosis of Narcissus as a Great Artist

Hooded Trauma

On the offensive figures of Philip Guston The decision by four major museums to delay the retrospective of painter Philip Guston has generated renewed interest in his controversial life. Perhaps because he is still often ranked with American abstract expressionist painters that many were flustered when museum directors deemed his images unfit for public consumption,… Continue reading Hooded Trauma

Pushing against the roof of the world: ruangrupa’s prospects for documenta fifteen

President Sukarno, the first leader of Indonesia after it became a republic in 1945, inspects his troops. (Photo by Hulton-Deutsch/Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis via Getty Images) My latest article about ruangrupa on Third Text:http://thirdtext.org/cristobal-ruangrupa "A concern in many texts of Indonesian mythology is the need to raise the sky. This appears in myths from elsewhere, too, but… Continue reading Pushing against the roof of the world: ruangrupa’s prospects for documenta fifteen

Heaven in a wildflower

EILEEN QUINLANLookout Mountain, 2020gelatin silver print22 x 18 inches (55.9 x 45.7 cm)framed dimensions: 24 x 20 inches (61 x 50.8 cm)edition of 2 + 2 APs Miguel Abreu Gallery’s first post-COVID quarantine exhibition pits painting versus photography. Brooklyn-based photographer Eileen Quinlan captures the nightmare of being marooned in isolation while Cheyney Thompson’s stenciled paintings… Continue reading Heaven in a wildflower

Meaning over spectacle: Gerhard Richter retrospective online

The abrupt closing of Gerhard Richter’s retrospective at the Met Breuer, among other art world events in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has refocused the energies of its curators to use online platforms. While it serves its purpose well of extending the reach and lifespan of art exhibitions, the Met Museum’s website is not… Continue reading Meaning over spectacle: Gerhard Richter retrospective online

Admiring hell from a distance

William Blake's drawings for Dante's "Divina Commedia" as a dialogue with the written word In 1824, The comeback wave of the Dante craze had just reached the shores of England and the artist John Linnell asked the perpetually penniless William Blake to make a series of illustrations based on the Divine Comedy. William Blake had… Continue reading Admiring hell from a distance

Villem Flusser on Artistic Freedom

With his statements in Towards a Philosophy of Photography, Vilém Flusser opened a new understanding of photography, and gave the term a new meaning. While he describes the photograph as a “flyer-like image distributed by the apparatus,” the Photographer for Flusser was a critic; a gadfly: “a person who attempts to place within the image,… Continue reading Villem Flusser on Artistic Freedom

Poems in the shape of paintings

With a history of cultural iconoclasm, the Arab region has become a fertile ground for abstract art. Yet Arab artists remain marginal in the global conversation of modern abstraction. An ambitious project initiated by the Barjeel Art Foundation seeks to issue a long overdue corrective. Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s, slated to… Continue reading Poems in the shape of paintings

122 Rue du temple, 1968

122 Rue du temple, 1968 Jacques Villeglé torn-and-pasted printed paper on canvas 62 5/8 x 82 3/4" (159.2 x 210.3 cm) Museum of Modern Art  The words of French crime novelist Leo Malet comes to mind every time I encounter a work by Jacques Villegle: “The collage of the future will be done without scissors,… Continue reading 122 Rue du temple, 1968

Throw Away Day

A new documentary on the life and work of abstract expressionism's invisible man, Clyfford Still and the quest to reclaim one of his paintings in an auction at the Sotheby's Contemporary Evening Sale A few minutes after four and the day slipped into darkness, signalling stagehands at the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale to finalize… Continue reading Throw Away Day

A Tale of Two Modernisms

Mira Schendel (Brazilian, born Switzerland. 1919–1988) Untitled. 1964. Oil and tempera on composition board and wood, 57 7/8 × 44 7/8 × 13/16″ (147 × 114 × 2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund in honor of Andrea and José Olympio… Continue reading A Tale of Two Modernisms

Documents of Dissent

 „Freiheit ist immer die Freiheit des Andersdenkenden""Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for dissenters.” ― Rosa Luxemburg Minerva Cuevas at Videobrasil Photo: Contemporary Art Daily The artistic practice of Minerva Cuevas invests on the motif of dissent against the powers that be. She has collected material on public resistance in Mexico City for over a… Continue reading Documents of Dissent

Defacement painting as memorial

The Guggenheim exhibition has achieved for Basquiat's Defacement (1983) a level of relevance achieved by few paintings: a memorial to violence with potency to comment on our current social crisis. Jean-Michel Basquiat – Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart), 1983. Photograph: Allison Chipak/Collection of Nina Clemente, New York Picasso’s Guernica and Goya’s Third of May… Continue reading Defacement painting as memorial

The show everyone loves to hate

Short review of the Whitney Biennale The Whitney Biennale is a show everyone loves to hate. A general discontent directed towards important exhibitions hangs over any appreciation of individual works. As in, what else can art do to change the world? In a show where most visitors spend less than a minute on average to… Continue reading The show everyone loves to hate

Lucas Arruda at David Zwirner

Lucas Arruda. Sem título (Untitled), 2017. Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 cm (9 1/2 x 11 7/8 in). © Lucas Arruda. Courtesy Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo/Brussels and David Zwirner, London. Photograph: Everton Ballardin. Lucas Arruda grapples with what its means to paint through tradition in his first solo exhibition in New York, 'Deserto-Modelo'… Continue reading Lucas Arruda at David Zwirner

North Atlantic White

A color walk piece inspired by William Burroughs. Originally written for Emmanuel Iduma's class on narrative criticism. One similarity that struck me with Burroughs and a Filipino painter named Juan Luna is that they both killed their wives. In Luna it was the heat of passion and jealousy but for Burroughs it was the blur… Continue reading North Atlantic White

Short descriptions of two New York exhibitions

1. Marta Minujín, The Neon Tunnel, from La Menesunda Reloaded, 1965. New Museum 2019. 95 words. The vista to the tunnel is covered by tinted Plexiglas with the lower part cut out to the shape of a human figure. Only one person at a time can enter the tunnel measuring two spans. Decked with a fragile tangle… Continue reading Short descriptions of two New York exhibitions

Romero Barragan: Beyond Representation

Traces of the everyday On the surface of the series Destinations, a red line on the black-and-white copy of a city map runs through several streets on the bottom right. Which city is it? Is this the documentation of a mental walk or was the path actually taken? If yes, in a rush or during a leisurely… Continue reading Romero Barragan: Beyond Representation

Laura Owens at the Whitney Museum

There are manifold levels in the work of the American artist Laura Owens. For more than twenty years, the 47-year-old has been experimenting with the genre of painting, always with a claim to explore what is visually and creatively possible, to transcend the boundaries of the known, both in form and in content. Laura Owens… Continue reading Laura Owens at the Whitney Museum

Krzysztof Wodiczko “Guests”

The Polish pavilion - actually a windowless cube - is surprisingly transparent this year. Floor-to-ceiling windows with rounded arches open the view to the outside. Through the slightly milky panes, the visitor standing in the dark of the exhibition space can observe people doing different activities. Some are chatting, others are busy cleaning the windows,… Continue reading Krzysztof Wodiczko “Guests”