Featured Artist

The “Featured Artist” page archives the artworks that grace the homepage of the LARB website every week. Each gallery compiles four images of works, followed by a short text. This section reflects LARB’s longstanding commitment to honor not only verbal but also visual culture, and to increase the reach of artists not only from the United States but from all across the world. The art on the homepage and the gallery archive is an ongoing nonverbal contribution to the larger conversation between here and there, between the past, present, and future, that LARB seeks to foster.

Martin Wong: Malicious Mischief

Martin Wong: Malicious Mischief, edited by Krist Gruijthuijsen, Agustín Pérez Rubio, is a substantial monograph on painter Martin Wong following the exhibition of the same name at KW Institute for Contemporary Art.

The monograph offers an expansive look at Wong’s practice coupled with a detailed timeline, biographical and critical essays. A seminal figure in Lower East Side New York, Wong was known for his use of Chinese iconography, urban poetry, graffiti and sign language in his paintings.

Martin Wong (1946-1999) was raised in San Francisco, California and moved to New York in 1978. He exhibited at various downtown galleries EXIT ART, Semaphore, and P·P·O·W, among others, before his passing in San Francisco from an AIDS related illness. His work is represented in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, among others. Human Instamatic, a comprehensive retrospective, opened at the Bronx Museum of The Arts in November 2015, before traveling to the Wexner Center for the Arts in 2016 and the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in 2017. Martin Wong: Malicious Mischief, the first extensive, touring exhibition of Wong’s work in Europe is now on view at KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin. Curated by Krist Gruijthuijsen and Agustín Pérez-Rubio, this exhibition originated at the Museo Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo in Madrid, and will travel to Camden Art Centre, London; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

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Mai-Thu Perret

Perret creates sculptures, paintings, drawings, site-specific installations, performances, texts, and other works that, when taken together, constitute an artistic world woven by material relationships, cultural allusions, and embodied abstractions. While she has availed herself of a wide range of mediums, Perret’s use of ceramics has served as a clearinghouse for sculptural experimentation in which a wide range of techniques and approaches to color and texture have resulted in objects of varied scales, types, and conceptual orientations. This exhibition will include a wall-mounted ceramic work, among Perret’s largest and most ambitious to date; a figurative ceramic sculpture based on a digital scan of an ancient sculpture of the goddess Minerva; and smaller ceramic works dedicated to animal and other forms.

Mai-Thu Perret (b. 1976, Geneva) was the subject of a 2022 solo exhibition at Istituto Svizzero, Rome, and the subject of a 2019 survey exhibition at MAMCO Genève (Musée d’art moderne et contemporain). She has also been the subject of solo exhibitions at Le Portique – centre régional d’art contemporain du Havre, France (2020); Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany (2019); Spike Island, Bristol, England (2019); Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2016); Le Magasin, Grenoble, France (2012); Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2011); University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor (2010); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2008); and Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (2006). Her work is in the permanent collections of institutions including the Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris; Collection Aargauer Kunsthaus, Arau, Switzerland; Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Perret lives and works in Geneva.

The show runs until April 22, 2023.

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Darrel Ellis

Showing at Hannah Hoffman Gallery is a presentation of Darrel Ellis’s work. Ellis was born in 1958, in the Bronx, New York. Ellis’s life was cut short by AIDS in 1992 at age 33. Shortly after Ellis’s death, a series of his photographs was featured in New Photography 8 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and in 1996, Allen Frame organized a large-scale retrospective at Art in General, New York that traveled to numerous institutions nationally. Ellis’s work is in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore; Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Harvard Art Museum, Boston; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York amongst others.

Ellis’s career was brief, cut short by his death at 33 years old from AIDS-related complications. Over the course of the 1980s, he worked to make sense of burdens both personal and societal, while also finding new possibilities for time-tested media: washes, ink, and graphite on paper, gelatin silver prints that he adopted and remade physically and conceptually. He began to draw as a child but started making art in earnest after receiving a box of negatives that had belonged to his deceased father, a photographer who was killed by a pair of plainclothes policemen a month before Ellis was born.

Ellis described his father’s photography as an optimistic portrait of Harlem and the South Bronx in the post-WWII era. The tone of these images changed, however, as they were reconfigured and made anew over the course of the 1980s. At first, Ellis’s remaking process involved translating photographic records into inky paint.

In the last years of his life, Ellis found new ways to disrupt the analogue of reality captured by his father’s camera and in photographs Ellis made himself. A breakthrough came in the late 1970s, when he began to use an enlarger to project photographic negatives onto sculpted, three-dimensional surfaces. Curious about the visual distortions and shadows that emerged from this process, Ellis rephotographed the project-ed negatives and created new prints, revealing disruptions to the original image that opened new relation-ships and upended the past meaning assigned to so much documentary photography.

The show runs until March 18.

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Danser l’image

Danser l’image is published by JBE Books and the Ballet national de Marseille with the support of the Isabel Marant Foundation. The book archives 50 years of the Ballet national de Marseille, a company created by Roland Petit in 1972, including more than 130 costumes. Since September 2019, the BNM has been directed by the collective (LA)HORDE, which brings together three artists, Marine Brutti, Jonathan Debrouwer and Arthur Harel who develop choreographic creations, films, performances and installations. The archive is a stunning collection gathering conceptual research on the performances, costumes, and ideation behind the Ballet national de Marseille’s works.

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