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Marjolijn Dijkman’s ‘Earthing Discharge’ at the Contemporary Arts Center

A few weeks ago I made my first visit to the Contemporary Arts Center since the pandemic’s beginning. After holding up my phone so the visitor staff could scan the QR code of my timed entry ticket, I stepped over to the lobby in order to behold the Brussels-based Marjolijn Dijkman’s newly commissioned wallpaper. Earthing […]


A State of Voluptuousness — “Francis Bacon: Late Paintings” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Francis Bacon’s last painting is mostly raw canvas. It depicts a single form: a ghostly bull bridging the blackness of an open doorway. A bit like one of those optical illusions where a shape simultaneously pushes forward and recedes, the bull alternates between presence and absence; charge and rest. Study for a Bull (1991) derives […]

Read | Comments Off on A State of Voluptuousness — “Francis Bacon: Late Paintings” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston | Tags: * · Summer 2020

Kahlil Robert Irving “Ground Water From Screen Falls [(Collaged Media + Midwest STREET)]” at the Contemporary Arts Center

Engaging with Kahlil Robert Irvings’s installation requires action. Its scale requires moving one’s body, viewing it first from afar and then up close. From a distance, such as viewed from outside standing on 6th street, it’s a frenetic tableau of screenshots. There are memes and browser tabs, overlapping digital prints filling the lobby’s central wall. […]

Read | Comments Off on Kahlil Robert Irving “Ground Water From Screen Falls [(Collaged Media + Midwest STREET)]” at the Contemporary Arts Center | Tags: * · June 2020

Summoning the Ghost in R. A. Blakelock’s “Moonlit Lake”

“These capricious vagabonds fly somewhat in the manner of bats,” Camille Flammarion wrote in 1872[1], “which seem to dive at the turrets, and suddenly turn back, describing a parabola, to vanish in an unexpected direction.” Although the French astronomer was describing the movement of comets through the cosmos, he may as well have been describing […]

Read | Comments Off on Summoning the Ghost in R. A. Blakelock’s “Moonlit Lake” | Tags: * · April 2020

Jessie Dunahoo at The Carnegie

It was a drizzly Tuesday afternoon. With long sleeves balled around his hands, Matt Distel opened the front door of The Carnegie. The previous Friday would have been a big night for the Exhibitions Director, but along with art and cultural events across the country, the opening reception for four new shows was cancelled due […]

Read | Comments Off on Jessie Dunahoo at The Carnegie | Tags: * · March 2020

Michael Casselli: ‘a tacit agreement’ at the Blue House Gallery

A Dayton, Ohio living room has been converted into a simulation death chamber. Walk through the door and it hits you in the stomach: the smell of disinfectant and an uneasy superposition of the state and domicile. There is a gurney primed for lethal injection. You can see it through plexiglass picture windows in a […]

Read | Comments Off on Michael Casselli: ‘a tacit agreement’ at the Blue House Gallery | Tags: March 2020

MIDWESTHETICS: “Sentiments of Here” at Wave Pool and “Leap Year Cake Farm” at Thunder-Sky

As a longtime resident of the Midwest I’ve come to know the region less as a single place but rather as a transient crossroads of many contradictory things. Maybe that’s why I’ve always been skeptical of attempts to reduce it to an essence, which in my experience resides more in the nebulous than the nameable. […]

Read | Comments Off on MIDWESTHETICS: “Sentiments of Here” at Wave Pool and “Leap Year Cake Farm” at Thunder-Sky | Tags: January/February 2020

Within The Walls, The Beach! – Alexander Squier’s “Earthly Bodies: The Houston Brick Archive”

“Sous les pavés, la plage!” (“Under the paving stones, the beach!”) went the rallying cry of French students in the protests of May ‘68. Referring to the sand found beneath Paris cobblestones lifted to hurl at police and build barricades, this phrase, soon championed by the Situationists[1], came to symbolize a reclamation of freedom through […]

Read | Comments Off on Within The Walls, The Beach! – Alexander Squier’s “Earthly Bodies: The Houston Brick Archive” | Tags: January/February 2020

Semiotic Overloads and Proxy Dimensions: Joomi Chung and John Humphries at the Weston Art Gallery

Changes of shape, new forms, are the theme which my spirit impels me now to recite. Inspire me, O gods, and spin me a thread from the world’s beginning… —Ovid, Prologue to Metamorphoses[1] In Joomi Chung’s Image Space/Memory Space, there are mountains and motorbikes, traffic cones and tree branches, satellites and skyscrapers, flocks of birds […]

Read | Comments Off on Semiotic Overloads and Proxy Dimensions: Joomi Chung and John Humphries at the Weston Art Gallery | Tags: * · December 2019

Paul Mpagi Sepuya at the Blaffer Art Museum

“Yes, I understand these,” I might have said to myself on my first encounter with Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s photographs at Houston’s Blaffer Art Museum. In the Los Angeles photographer’s first major museum survey, arriving from the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, fragments of figures bend and tangle against cool walls and in dark rooms. […]

Read | Comments Off on Paul Mpagi Sepuya at the Blaffer Art Museum | Tags: * · November 2019

Erotics of the Anthropocene: Margaret Smithers-Crump’s “Breaking Point”

A taut crimson thread inscribes a tension between two forms, not so much seen as felt. It wraps around a smooth basalt stone on the gallery’s floor, extending some feet up to a suspended form, a spectral lattice, like a 3D-printed tumbleweed, defined less by its appearance than its lightness and upward gesture — like […]

Read | Comments Off on Erotics of the Anthropocene: Margaret Smithers-Crump’s “Breaking Point” | Tags: October 2019