In 1978 when Jeff Wall created The Destroyed Room, a radiant tableau that formally linked a ruined domestic space to Eugène Delacroix’s 1827 painting The Death of Sardanapalus, he established himself as one of the most prominent figures in conceptually oriented photography. A writer and practitioner, he created a body of work—often rife with allusions to art history itself—that changed the way photographic images can be created and displayed. Contributing editor Hunter Braithwaite spoke to Wall about his upcoming exhibitions at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (October 22 through January 17, 2016) and Marian Goodman Gallery in New York and London (opening October 20 and 29, respectively), which will feature six new pieces.
In the 55 years since his debut at Leo Castelli Gallery, Frank Stella has led the conversation about contemporary painting countless times. On October 30, the Whitney Museum of American Art charts his nonpareil career with a retrospective that will take over the museum’s entire fifth floor. A solo exhibition of work from several important series is also on view at Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York through October 10. Modern Painters contributing editor Hunter Braithwaite met with the artist at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, Colorado—where he was receiving the National Artist Award this summer—to discuss his long career in surprisingly no-nonsense terms.
Trevor Paglen shines a light on the shadowy confluence of technological innovation and state misconduct. Whether by photographing secret military installations from afar, or by parsing official documents to identify telling omissions, the aim is to see that which has been purposefully obscured in hopes that visualization leads to consideration. Having grown up on military bases (his father was an Air Force ophthalmologist) before coming of age in the Bay Area punk scene in the ’90s, Paglen is now based in Berlin. We met several times this May at the Istanbul International Arts and Culture Festival, where he had just spoken about a new body of work (on view at Metro Pictures from September 10 – October 24).
On a hot day in May, Monte Laster and I drove an hour and a half out of Dallas to Castle Rock Mountain, a ranch he had purchased just two weeks prior to serve as the American base for his community engagement platform—the French American Creative Exchange (FACE). I was in town for the first edition of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Soluna International Music and Arts Festival, which commissioned Laster to create a new project based on notions of place, identity, and dislocation. Although he was raised in Fort Worth, Laster has lived in France since 1989, primarily in the disenfranchised banlieue of La Courneuve, a fifteen-minute train ride north of Paris. “I’m 100% Texan and 80% French,” the artist said. Castle Rock was a bit of a homecoming.
I met David Salle in the crowded lobby of the Joule Hotel on Main Street in downtown Dallas. He was in town for the opening of Debris, a large show of his paintings and ceramics on view through August 23, 2015, at the Dallas Contemporary. David Salle: New Paintings, is on view at Skarstedt Chelsea from April 30 – June 27, 2015. This conversation took place upstairs in a quiet suite. There, for over an hour, he spoke with humor and fine acuity about a painter’s influences, the continuum of aging, and discovering Frank O’Hara on a rotating rack in Wichita, Kansas.
Read the interview at The Brooklyn Rail.