The Joys of Watching Paint Dry

new.shiver, “The Light Under” (2016–23), oil over acrylic on canvas, 8 x 10 inches

The Elders, the debut exhibition at Tibor de Nagy (April 20–May 26, 2023) of the anonymous artist new.shiver, follows on the artist’s first, largely unheralded, similarly titled exhibition, New.shiver: The Elders, at Satchel Projects (April 21–May 22, 2022). After seeing this person’s posts on Instagram, exchanging a handful of brief messages, and seeing the actual paintings at Satchel Projects and, now, Tibor de Nagy, I am taken by the artist’s patience, which is not emphasized in the work. No overt signs of labor and struggle can be discerned in the exhibition’s 20 intimately scaled works — all between 4 x 5 and 11 x 14 inches, composed of different densities of paint — which have a tangential relationship to gestural abstraction.

When I began thinking about the history of oil painting and the different ways the labor of mark making has been considered historically — from the artist’s touch to the level of their craftsmanship to the time it takes to complete a piece — I realized how these works challenge long-held viewpoints about these considerations.

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The National Gallery of Victoria Has Announced Its 2023 Triennial Lineup, Featuring Three Robot Dogs Programmed to Paint

One of Agnieszka Pilat’s paintings alongside Boston Dynamics’ SPOT robot. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Among the more than 100 artists and designers that will be on display when the third NGV Triennial opens in December is Agnieszka Pilat, a Polish-American technology-centric artist who is training a trio of robotic dogs to paint autonomously for the Australian art event.

Is Pilat worried about machines threatening human creativity? No. She’s a tech optimist, one who finds Bonnie, Archie, and Basia, the dogs’ names, cute.

Throughout the four-month show, visitors will be able to watch as artistically finessed versions of the Boston Dynamics robots paint inside a large white cube. The robot dogs will be armed with sticks of oil paint that they will cast onto an acrylic canvas affixed to the wall. Their decision-making will be based on a series of commands programmed by Pilat, such as the movements of their painting arm, the pressure they exert on the canvas, and whether to paint dots or lines.

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Special Edition: 🖌️Artists’ Signatures

In 2011, I was visiting a retrospective of art by Julien Hudson (1811–1844) at the Worcester Art Museum. There, I learned that his paintings were often hard to identify because, after the calcifying of anti-Black laws in 19th-century Louisiana, he and other Creole artists were increasingly marginalized. That also meant that Hudson’s signature was erased from certain works and often replaced with the signatures of White artists. I remember that specific case because I’d encountered the stories of other minoritized artists who had suffered similar fates during times of persecution. It brought up a larger question that I continue to ponder, namely, “What’s the value of artists’ signatures and why do they matter?”

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An Artist’s Hopeful Vision of the Ocean

Mulyana, “Satu” (2018), mixed media; dimensions variable

LOS ANGELES — The Fisher Museum of Art at the University of Southern California has been swallowed by the sea.

The Indonesian fiber artist Mulyana has taken over the museum with colorful, hand-knitted and crocheted aquatic life. Mulyana: Modular Utopia features two room-sized installations, three-dimensional fiber wall sculptures, colorful costumes, and soft, inviting pillows.

Mulyana crafts a tactile, mystical world in which fish, whales, and coral reefs coexist with sea monsters. A multi-hued green figure made from yarn, “Adikara” (2020), emerges from a bright bed of seaweed and coral. Mulyana, pulling from Indonesian tradition, often creates masks and costumes to explore other dimensions of his personality, usually a heroic, nonhuman creature. A ruffled, yellow costume, “Si Koneng” (2022), sprouts from patches of dull gray coral, contrasting the subdued sea life with its sunny energy.

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An interview with Viennese gallerist Sophie Tappeiner

Anna Schachinger, “Aneinander”, exhibition view, SOPHIE TAPPEINER, 2022. Image: Peter Mochi

Not counting the large art world cities of Berlin and Paris, Vienna has seen the greatest surge of new art galleries in Europe of the last few years. The 2022 edition of Liste and Paris Internationale, two of the most important emerging art fairs, featured more galleries from the Austrian capital than any other comparable city in the continent. If not alone responsible for shaping Vienna’s reputation as a gallerist hatchery, Sophie Tappeiner [Here is the gallery’s website. Ed. ] is a prominent contributor to say the least. Her program of exhibitions and list of artists well highlight the issues of her generation, although there is nothing dangerously literal or academic in what she shows. She also embodies a certain Viennese new art dealer who is preoccupied with both the local and not.

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When Does Artistic Research Become Fake News? Forensic Architecture Keeps Dodging The Question

View of Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s exhibition “Earshot,” 2016, at Portikus, Frankfurt.

When the Haifa-born architect Eyal Weizman was writing his dissertation about Israeli architecture on the West Bank, one of the world’s most contested and most photographed regions, he noticed that satellite imagery showed a strange settlement shaped like a banana. If a student had suggested such a plan, he told an interviewer in 2002, he would have assumed it was a joke: the layout is laughably inefficient, both maximizing traffic and minimizing pedestrian access. Eventually Weizman, working with fellow architect Rafi Segal, realized that the plan has an implicitly political effect: it both bisects a Palestinian road and partially surrounds a Palestinian settlement.

The two men presented this and other findings in the exhibition “A Civilian Occupation: The Politics of Israeli Architecture,” Israel’s official entry to the 2002 World Congress of Architecture in Berlin. Unsurprisingly, the show was swiftly canceled by the Israel Association of United Architects, which oversees the country’s contribution. But for Weizman—who later published the book Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation (2007), on this and other designs he sees as instruments of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF)—the findings were formative. He has since devoted himself to using architectural analysis to investigate human rights violations committed by states worldwide.

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Stunning Earth Murals Showcase the Beauty of Nature While Respecting Its Fragility

Finland-based artist David Popa takes an unusual approach to his street art. While he was raised in New York City with a father who was a graffiti writer, Popa doesn’t use spray paint to create his murals. In fact, he doesn’t even use walls, trains, or other typical surfaces. Instead, he is drawn to nature and blends his evocative art into the landscape by creating earth murals.

At the outset, deciding how to create artwork that wouldn’t harm the environment took some careful planning. And to get inspired, Popa had to turn to the past. “I asked myself at the inception of creating work in nature what did the cave painters use? Cave painters would go to great lengths to find earth pigments as well as use chalks and charcoal to make their work,” the artist tells My Modern Met. “My materials are the same, by using earth pigments—also known as ocres or iron oxide—as well as charcoal and chalk.”


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We Asked ChatGPT About Art Theory. It Led Us Down a Rabbit Hole So Perplexing We Had to Ask Hal Foster for a Reality Check

Image by DALL-E.

Another title for this article could have been “The Case Against ‘The Case Against Art History.’”

Recently, the news has been awash with stories about the very weird, surreal, sometimes sinister things that A.I. text generators are squirting out. Even so, Microsoft’s Bing search engine is incorporating the most famous of these, ChatGPT, thereby advancing at lightning speed to make “A.I. assistants” the standard for how people find knowledge on the internet.

Is this the future? I don’t know! But here’s a little art-history experiment gone wrong that illustrates some of the pitfalls.

Last week, my colleague Naomi Rea chatted me, asking if I had ever heard of an essay called “The Case Against Art History” by the theorist Hal Foster, from the Summer 1992 issue of October.

I looked it up and could find no such article.

It turned out that Naomi had been using ChatGPT exactly as Microsoft intends it to be used: as a research aid. In this case, she had been investigating whether there was any good writing on the concept of “category collapse” as it applied to contemporary art.

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A Body of Work Inspired by One Hip Replacement

Detail view of Christine Cassano, “Gravity of Correspondence” (2018), hand-formed porcelain and mirror, 80 inches x 24 inches x 18 inches (all images courtesy the artist)

Interdisciplinary artist Christine Cassano stacked over 500 translucent porcelain forms resembling human vertebrae atop a horizontal mirror in 2022, collaborating with intermedia artist Shomit Barua to create Degrees of Granularity at form & concept in Santa Fe, New Mexico. As viewers neared the installation, they heard motion-reactive audio created by the subtle impacts of their movements on these forms meant to disintegrate over time, much like the human body ultimately returns to the earth.

Cassano has been creating the forms by hand, imprinting each one with her own fingerprints, since 2012, when shaping the material became a way to process a hip replacement surgery. “It was my way of working through what had happened inside my body,” Cassano told Hyperallergic. “When I make them I feel connected to consciousness; my hands don’t have to be told what to do, they just know.”

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