Magazine article Artforum International

Tauba Auerbach

Magazine article Artforum International

Tauba Auerbach

Article excerpt

Tauba Auerbach is a San Francisco-based artist whose work is currently included in the group exhibition "No Information Available" at Gladstone Gallery, Brussels. She will present new work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art this February, as part of a show for this year's Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art Award winners.

1 THE HAIRSTYLES OF OMAR LITTLE FROM THE WIRE (I'M ONLY ON SEASON TWO, HOWEVER) Nearly every time he appears on The Wire, Omar (played by Michael Kenneth Williams) has a new and more amazing configuration of braids. His hair is a work of art: complicated, mathematical, and beautiful. Whoever decided to make such a priority out of this detail--thank you.

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2 THE GLASSER LIVE SHOW WITH BODYCITY Cameron Mesirow, aka Glasser, has one of those voices that you want to keep hearing. Her innovative singing is the nucleus of this band (though band is too limited a word). The creative entities brought into its orbit are testament to her music's quality and power: Accompanying prerecorded iPod tracks is live guitar by Matt Popieluch, backup vocals by Rebecca Spielman and Madeline Gorman, choreography by Los Angeles-based "dance democracy" bodycity, and custom stage outfits for Mesirow by Ida Falck CEien. Glasser is one person's project that has inspired the collaborative efforts of many.

3 STERLING RUBY, "SUPERMAX 2008," MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, LOS ANGELES After having attempted to make good paintings with spray paint for months, I saw Sterling Ruby's show this past summer and thought, This is exactly what I was trying to do, only better. And to a different end. The show was sinister yet candylike, with the densely packed gallery filled with cages, drippy monuments-cum-prison shanks, bloody plasma-colored resin monoliths frozen in time, implacable fluorescent and black paintings, and stuffed, bleach-stained fabric droplets. Tall and narrow with windows only at the top, the room felt like an inverted panopticon.

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4 EQUILIBRES (WALTHER KONIG, 2006) Published last year, this book of photographs by Fischli & Weiss is simple yet great. Each image shows everyday objects unbelievably balanced, one on top of the other, or else jammed into door frames, making bridges high off the ground. The still life has been turned acrobatic. Somehow, these tableaux do not feel precarious, which is the truly magical part. The act of mastering gravity in this way reads as a jolly sort of defiance--a positive rebellion.

5. "WHO'S AFRAID OF JASPER JOHNS?" TONY SHAFRAZI GALLERY, NEW YORK There is really too much to talk about here. Walking through this show on a sickening white carpet--contributed by artist Rudolf Stingel--one occupied both the past and the present states of the gallery. Shafrazi's preceding exhibition, featuring work by Donald Baechler, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Kenny Scharf, had been photographed, printed on a 1:1 scale, and pasted onto the gallery's walls--on top of which a new collection of art by the likes of Francis Bacon and Lawrence Weiner was hung. The show was bookended by Rob Pruitt's Eternal Bic, 1999 (an endlessly burning Bic lighter affixed to a table), and his Viagra-dosed waterfall running down the front stairs. Conceived by Urs Fischer and Gavin Brown for Shafrazi, the whole thing solipsistically folded in on itself, doubling back in a kind of Mobius strip of logic. …

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