Deborah Turbeville, In Memoriam

Dear readers,

We have never shared an article that appeared in our print edition, but today is a specially dark day. The photographer Deborah Turbeville has passed away after succumbing to lung cancer. I initially approached Turbeville for a profile for our second volume two years ago.  After, she became a dear friend. It is sad to see anyone go before their time, but especially her. Rest in peace, Deborah, wherever you may be.


Christopher Wool

As Richard Armstrong, Director of the Guggenheim, noted in his introductory remarks to the press, Christopher Wool stands as one of the “last of the non-ironic artists.”  In that regard, what you see in Wool’s work is what you see or, in certain instances, read or, to crib from one of the paintings that closes out the Guggenheim’s survey of his work, The Harder You Look the Harder You Look.


Counter Forms

“Counter Forms,” a beautifully thought out and lovingly installed show curated by Elena Filipovic, Senior Curator at WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels, is currently on view in New York at Andrea Rosen Gallery.

The exhibit brings together historically important work, primarily small sculptures, dating to the 1960s and 70s from four artists, Tetsumi Kudo (1935-1990), Alina Szapocznikow (1926-1973), Paul Thek (1933-1988) and Hannah Wilke (1940-1993).

The tag, “historically important,” typically indicates that to get interpretive mileage out of the show you will need a hefty dose of background — biographical and art historical. What makes this show remarkable is that each artwork on display while indeed historically important is still able to command attention and speak for itself, background knowledge or not. That said, to spend some time and learn about each of the exhibited artists only serves to make the work all the more hard-hitting (Szapocznikow survived Nazi ghettos and concentration camps, being one example).


Fabulousity: a night you’ll never forget… or remember!

Steve Terry, the one-man show behind England’s Wild Life Press, has an uncanny knack for sniffing out and shaping into hard-hitting photobooks material that is not only marginal in its subject matter (portraits of ‘90s NYC tranny street walkers, “the club kids” of the same era) but also marginal in its original production. His books gather up what were labors of love pursued primarily for personal reasons outside any formal art-making avenue. These are photographs that sat in boxes in apartments for decades unknown to but a few.

I first met Terry in person a few weeks ago in New York. Before that we had recently worked together long-distance on a profile of the photographer Katsu Naito (the full profile will appear in volume five of our print magazine) focusing on his and Wild Life Press’ first photobook, West Side Rendezvous (2011), an intimate collection of forty-five black and white portraits of tranny sex workers taken on the streets of New York’s Meatpacking District in the early 90s. Steve was in town ahead of the NYArt Book fair to showcase his second and most recent photobook, a catalogue technically, published to coincide with the London exhibition, “Fabulousity: a night you’ll never forget… or remember!”


John McCracken: Works from 1963-2011

My knowledge of the west coast minimalist sculptor John McCracken prior to entering the museum-grade retrospective at David Zwirner’s 20th street outpost was limited to a handful of reproductions in art history books and the apocryphal story that his work had inspired the monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. I entered the show wanting to like it, figured I wouldn’t, and left with a renewed sense of what color, form, light and mass could be in the right hands.

Park Ave. Armory

Massive Attack V Adam Curtis

I’m at that age where concerts don’t impress me much, having seen everyone I have wanted to see a few times over. But when by chance I saw a Facebook post about Massive Attack, whom I have never seen play, I bought a ticket right away. I did not realize that it’s not a straightforward concert. What I witnessed was something infinitely better. Massive Attack has teamed up with the documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis to create a performance that will undoubtedly be etched in the minds of those who witnessed it for years to come. It was a combination of film and music, not exactly a documentary and not exactly a concert, but flawlessly executed fusion of image and sound.


Holy Bible

“…and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.” Genesis {7:4}

History of human conflict is a history of religious conflict. Pick up any history textbook and you will be benumbed by death and atrocities that humans have inflicted (and continue to inflict) on each other in the name of religion.

Holy Bible, by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin (MACK, $80) literally fuses the histories of violence and religion together. The tome itself is a direct copy of the King James bible. Its text, however, is carefully overlayed with images from The Archive of Modern Conflict, an entity that collects photos whose subject is self-explanatory and that purposefully shrouds itself in mystery.



The Bleeker Street Arts Club is a relatively new gallery tucked on the upper floors of a landmarked art deco West Village building.  The space is well-appointed and well-lit and showing, for a few days longer, a group show titled Sub Rosa that includes collaborative and solo photographs by Los Angeles based Nicholas Alan Cope and Dustin Edward Arnold. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Cope/Arnold on their long running collaborative projects and a chance to catch up with Cope at the opening for this show.  The full profile will appear in volume five of our print magazine.


Mario Sorrenti: Draw Blood For Proof

The minutia of life can be a waste of time or the most fascinating thing about it. The writer Saul Bellow once said that he finds a good footnote more interesting than the text itself. And if you know whom to follow on Instagram you can spare yourself from selfies and food pictures and behold some captivating ephemera instead. One cannot always be grandiose – it’s tiring.

The new Steidldangin book on the photographer Mario Sorrenti is just the kind of thing if you are in the minutia camp. He’s done enough grandiosity – Calvin Klein campaigns, photos in every imaginable fashion magazine, and so on. But this volume is dedicated to something entirely different – a series of scraps of Sorrenti’s life rendered in visual form.


Aoi Kotsuhiroi at Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris

Aoi Kotsuhiroi, the enigmatic Japanese-born object designer we profiled in the second volume of our print magazine is presenting hew latest creations in an installation called “I Vomited the Wearing Out of Nameless Things” at the new exhibit on contemporary French jewelry at Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. This should be all the more interesting because her dark and quiet visual poetry will be juxtaposed against the pomp-and-circumstance of the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibit opens tomorrow.