Reviews

Last February, I met artist and musician Lonnie Holley at Atlanta Contemporary during the run of his solo exhibition “I Snuck Off the Slave Ship.” During a walkthrough of the show with the artist and visiting critic Ben Davis of artnet News, Holley asked me what I did, wondering if I was an artist or a…

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Currently on view at Little Rock’s Historic Arkansas Museum, “That Survival Apparatus,” an exhibition by emerging artist Justin Tyler Bryant featuring enigmatic portraits of African American luminaries, spans the media of lithography, book arts, and painting. Through the artist’s delicate grayscale renderings of his subjects’ mouths, cheeks, and jawlines—and the complete erasure or absence of…

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Photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard called himself a “dedicated amateur,” despite a bevy of evidence that suggested he was anything but. He was the longtime de facto leader of the Lexington Camera Club, a rigorous and generative hobbyist group active from 1936 through the mid-70s that included members such as Van Deren Coke, Guy Mendes, Thomas…

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The second set of exhibitions at the recently opened Tif Sigfrids and Howard’s—two distinct galleries operating out of a shared, three-room space—brings the work of artists Charles Harlan, Eleanor Ray, and Ree Morton to Athens, GA. While the Harlan and Ray exhibitions are presented by gallerists Tif Sigfrids and Ridley Howard, respectively, Morton’s work on…

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Junco Sato Pollack’s exhibition “Meditation in Space and Time” at Swan Coach House Gallery is a retrospective of the Japanese-born fabric artist’s work in the sense that the pieces included by curator Marianne Lambert were created between 1995 and now. What most unites the work on view, however, is not the artist’s personal history but her practice of…

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During my visit to Memphis on a hot August morning when the thermometer was already approaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the cool temperature of Tops Gallery’s subterranean space offered welcome respite. Located in the basement of an old industrial building on Front Street, the gallery feels both hip and romantically forgotten. The gallery’s current exhibition, “Screen…

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Go to any souvenir shop in Greece and you’ll see them: statuettes of demonically grinning little satyrs with giant phalluses. Scotty Bowers in Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood is the human embodiment of that giggling, pleasure-seeking ready-for-anything sybarite. At age 94, he has the curly blond hair of a Hollywood-style Roman emperor, with…

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It is difficult to digest the numerous facets of “Breaking the Mold: Investigating Gender at the Speed Art Museum.” Though the overall installation is visually pleasing, it is quickly evident that the shared aim of the works is challenging representations of beauty, idealization, race, and gender. Walking through “Breaking the Mold,” visitors encounter representations of the…

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If anyone deserves to be angry, Spike Lee does. And circa 2018, Lee should be his angriest yet, in the wake of Trump, and Charlottesville, Charleston, Philando Castile and any number of recent indignities and endless signs that America is backsliding into the Mississippi mire. And yet Lee is in a conciliatory and healing mood…

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Over the past two decades, the need for authenticity has become a visual battleground for New Orleans. The city’s tourism industry, while not inherently evil, reliably churns out pigeonhole iconographies that incidentally contribute to a plague of Airbnb pockets that eat away at local residential districts – the sites of genuine cultural generation. You can…

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The tagline of Gus Van Sant’s new film Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot promises a film about “the healing power of art.” But rather than an exegesis on transformative creativity, Don’t Worry is a gooey, sentimental and highly conventional therapeutic road to wellness. Based on the autobiography of countercultural Portland cartoonist John…

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The vigorous, highly saturated paintings in “Pinkney Herbert: Tower of Noise,” on view at Sandler Hudson Gallery through July 28, fall somewhere in the lineage of Abstract Expressionism, but they do not accept the authority of the mark or gesture as absolute. Layers of uncertainty and seemingly incidental spaces playfully undermine any modernist posturing in…

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“Miecznikowski” is Kirstin Mitchell’s original family name, and the name of her Working Artist Project exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia through September 8. It was the Polish family name of her father, whose approaching death shaped the trajectory of this show without determining its content. This body of work (emphasis on…

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There was something about the little trip-step that occasionally broke the performers’ unison walking pattern executed with laser intensity and fluid intention as one of the opening salvos of Tere O’Connor‘s new work, Long Run, at Duke’s Reynolds Industries Theater on July 10-11. The interrupting hiccup in the pattern signaled the redemptive potential of complexity….

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Art Vandenberg’s combined fascination with mathematics and the art practice of indigenous cultures come together in the very short-run exhibition “#Day25,000” at Poem 88, which closes this Saturday, July 14. The seeming chaos of brightly colored boards, nails and knotted cords hung in parallel lines are in reality a completely logical shorthand for the days…

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