Nick Hughes: Naive descriptions and intricate models

In Nick Hughes’s densely worked aquatint intaglio prints, puppet or toy-like figures float in formal relation to intricately modeled furniture, tentatively moored in deep black and silver-grey surfaces. Each work on paper arranges impressions, or as Hughes puts it, “naive descriptions,” of materials that surround him in both his studio and memory: a wooden souvenir […]

Active Voice: Art and books

Ulises is a collectively run art bookstore and exhibition space&emdash;modeled after venues such as Printed Matter and Dexter Sinister in New York&emdash;whose quarterly, essayistic presentations constellate works of art, publications, and public programs around a curatorial theme. “Active Voice,” this season’s apt focus, places the politicized, pop-inflected narrations of Hannah Black’s recent videos and Steffani […]

Jane Irish’s painterly protest

The title of Jane Irish’s most recent solo exhibition, “A Rapid Whirling on the Heel,” adapted a phrase from Edgar Allan Poe’s epic 1848 prose-poem “Eureka.” Poe’s text unfurls a cosmology that anticipated the “big crunch” theory of an infinitely collapsing and expanding universe. Mobile conceptions of time and location, the likes of which undergird […]

Ellen Harvey’s ornamental leaves and abandoned ruins

View the spread (PDF) In a 2015 interview with Adam Budak, Ellen Harvey observed: “For me, the museum exists as an aspirational space, continually collapsing under the weight of its hopes and dreams, much like my own projects.” Since the late 1990s, Harvey has consistently submitted her artistic identity to the same careful scrutiny she […]

500 Words: Louise Fishman

The artist Louise Fishman, primarily known for her large-scale abstract paintings, is the subject of two forthcoming exhibitions: “Louise Fishman: A Retrospective,” a fifty-year survey show at the Neuberger Museum of Art at SUNY Purchase, opening on April 3, 2016, and running through July 31, 2016; and “Paper Louise Tiny Fishman Rock,” an idiosyncratic presentation […]

Repeater: Painting like music like handwriting

In the essay accompanying this exhibition, curator Kelsey Halliday Johnson quotes Ian MacKaye, founder of the DIY label Dischord Records: “Playing music is like handwriting; if you play a song over and over, it starts to evolve.” “Repeater,” named after a 1990 album by Fugazi, includes drawing, sculpture, and video by three artists who translate […]

Jennifer Levonian’s animation provokes self-reflection

Jennifer Levonian’s short, surreal cut-paper animation Xylophone, 2015, muses on the everyday clichés and complexities of gender, gentrification, and creative living in transitional urban spaces. Wryly referencing Philadelphia’s rapidly changing neighborhoods and rendered in swift, fluid watercolor marks, Levonian’s leafy farmers’ markets, tastefully rehabbed row homes, and yoga-studio lofts adorned with “Breathe in love, breathe […]