Soshiro Matsubara - Haus der Matsubara - Brennan & Griffin - **.5
A pleasantly competent and not kitschy collection of found art: hobbyist cubism, a faux Leonora Carrington, dog's heads over pears, some modest sketches from life, even two very Body-Without-Organs-style paintings of collaged nude women's body parts and faces. The artist himself contributes four lamps draped with bubble wrap. Nice enough, but underscores the contemporary artist's need to appropriate authenticity from elsewhere because they can't provide it themselves.
Acquired On Ebay - Mitchell Algus Gallery - ***.5
It's funny this is on the same block as Brennan & Griffin because it's essentially the same thing, but the artists here are obscure (or not-so-obscure) rather than outsider, so they're credited, there's historical context, and there isn't an artist trying to pass off the curation as their own artwork.
Sam Lewitt - DREAMBOAT DIRTBLOCK - Miguel Abreu Gallery - ***
The caveat with "Abreu-core" theory art that is you can conceptualize all you want but it has to lead to art worth looking at. I didn't like the Lewitt show I saw a few years ago at Wattis Institute for that reason; the show was visually limp and underwhelming which made the accompanying theory feel overwrought. Most of this show looks a lot better, especially the lights on milled plexiglass thing. I'm not enough of a rationalist to find a pile of bricks interesting though.
"01102020" / Curated by Y2K Group - Fisher Parrish Gallery - *.5
The art itself is fine, but the press release and curation is terrible. Anti-curation is good when it's an active decision, not when you just don't have any ideas. And it gets really bad when they double down on "the concept of this show is that viewing art is subjective" AND some half-baked four years late stuff about living in a simulation (complete with a plot summary of The Matrix) which, naturally, has nothing to do with the art.
Danica Barboza, Jason Hirata, Yuki Kimura, Duane Linklater - Artists Space - ****
Post-conceptual lazy appropriation art is funny, Lomex "tweaker with glue" art isn't. .5 bonus for anti-curation.
But nobody showed up - Kai Matsumiya - **
From the press release I thought this might be interesting, but it was just horny, in the boring way.
David Lynch - Squeaky Flies in the Mud - Sperone Westwater - ***
Phill Niblock - Working Photos - Fridman Gallery - ***.5
Trisha Donnelly - Matthew Marks Gallery - ***
Lacks some of her usual je ne sais quoi.
Patricia L. Boyd - Me, not, not-me - Front Desk Apparatus - ***
Most of the show is stuff the artist's mother sent from her garden, plus a video of a to-do list. An art show about not having enough time to make art?