• Surround Audience’s Politics of Prediction

    Reviewing Surround Audience, the New Museum’s third Triennial (on view February 24 through May 24, 2015), is no easy task. The survey packs nearly 150 complex works by fifty-one artists into the downtown kunsthalle, requiring exceptional stamina or, for the rest of us, multiple visits. The exhibition’s focus on early-career artists (there is no longer an official age limit, but…

  • Three Shades of Chris Ofili

    Like the three fantastic realms of the afterlife in Dante’s Divine Comedy, the New Museum’s current exhibition, Chris Ofili: Night and Day (on view until January 25, 2015), is divided into three distinctly different gallery spaces that challenge viewers to interact with each work in intensely visual, meditative, and thought-provoking ways. The retrospective traces Ofili’s trajectory as a painter over…

  • Situation Aesthetics: the Chance Encounter of Two Sound and Light Eliminators on the Art Historian’s Table

    To my eye, the one often reproduced photograph of Robert Smithson’s The Eliminator (1964) makes it a rather awkward and curious object, its title unnecessarily macabre. If only Smithson had been a contemporary of André Breton’s, I could have easily imagined the piece in one of the impromptu Surrealist shows. Much of that mystique is gone, now that I’ve finally…