27 February 2016

What's up

I have enjoyed PS1's Greater New York in the past, full of inspired, original artists I have no recollection of seeing later in a gallery, but this one (til March 7) has rooms of fashion design to go with the other galleries discerning what is fashionable, my first visit there since the Dutch-curated Mike Kelley show.  Local history enthusiasts can play the 'Which Whitney Biennial does this most resemble' game.  Yesterday it helped me reiterate how the flyover assemblage of intersections of ethnic kitsch (Kiosk) and repetitive* commentary on it (Liene Bosquê) contrasts with the therapeutic bricolage of the Ecuadoran botánicas in Little Guayaquil when you get off at 103rd where..

..Zhang Hongtu is up one more day and a few hours at Queens Museum.  Propitiously he has beckoned to the wall space of Asian-themed dining rooms in Long Island with pastiches of post-impressionists painting Chinese landscapes to go with his riffs on Picasso, Lichtenstein, Baselitz, Baldessari etc painting Mao, against whom his all-encompassing anger cannot be appreciated by Americans even as it is welcomed by some collectors and not others.  Graham Greene's critique of the aesthetics of revenge doesn't appeal to this former Party member. His "Kim Chi Chanel," (right) evokes my memory of accidently organizing the car trunk so someone's wardrobe smelled of it, but the period that interests me is when he first came to the US, took classes where he was encouraged to pick any brush stroke and color palette he wanted and express his inner feelings, leading to a room here of ambitiously brutal psychological self-portraits by a master painter.

Regina Silveira describes her symbol of imaginary frogs (below) being absorbed by a real metal grate, a floor above her latest poetry collaboration, as awakening its descendants to "
improbable and extraordinary happenings, as well as openings for the territory which can give rise to invasions and irruptions of every sort," til March 28.

 * In the highly Piri' Miri Muli' recommended Broodthaers show, his first use of ethnic kitsch (below) was (1) in 1964, after CoBrA had gone first; (2) an unflinching critique of Belgian colonialism, after the anti-nationalist Québécois Borduas had painted his final works in black and white. MoMA's contemporary selections til April 10 go in the direction of the international and political, mostly with what I regard as misses to go with the showstoppers: a decade-old Nalini Malani screen projection contemplating Western symbolism in the nuclear age, and Alfredo Jaar relating in 2002 the visual impairment of Mandela after his prison tenure to media coverage of the Afghan war.

'Le problème noir en Belgique'

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