Category: feature essays

Long-form Research Essays

Ruining the Spectacle: Nikita Gale’s END OF SUBJECT

by Darcy Olmstead Nikita Gale’s 2022 installation, entitled END OF SUBJECT, at David Zwirner’s 52 Walker gallery is a wreck. It features a set of enormous bleachers, some bent and smashed, strewn haphazardly across the gallery (fig. 1). Visitors are invited to sit wherever they can, but any position on the cold metal is uncomfortable, […]

La Maison hantée: Redon’s Identity as an Artist-cum-Spiritist Medium in Occult Circles

by Xiaoli Pan A haunted house, an ancient crime, a rationalist skeptic—British politician and writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s (1803–1873) short story La Maison hantée (The Haunted and the Haunters; Or, The House and the Brain, 1859) is the perfect textual source for Odilon Redon’s lithographic accompaniment printed during a period when the artist was working with […]

Color Studies: Bridging the Works of J.M.W. Turner and Wallace Stevens

by Amy DeLaBruere Distant in time and place but connected through the concept of color studies, nineteenth-century British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851) and twentieth-century American poet Wallace Stevens (1879–1955) both placed the application, modification, and interpretation of color at the center of their artistic methodologies. This bridge between Turner’s painting and Stevens’s poetry establishes shared […]

Envisioning Dependency: What it Means to Care

by Madison Whitaker From Sunday, July 28 to Sunday, August 11, 2013, the exterior of Essex Street, an art gallery in New York City, was closed to visitors (fig. 1). A sun-faded red awning hung above the entrance, signaling not to the space behind the graffitied metal shutters, but instead to the text above: “HUAN […]

Mass of Saint Gregory: Artistic Disobedience in Early Modern Mesoamerica

by Emily Beaulieu As the earliest surviving Christian featherwork of postcolonial New Spain, Mass of Saint Gregory offers an unparalleled site through which to examine an early moment of cultural exchange between the Aztec Empire and Spanish colonialists (fig. 1). Mass of Saint Gregory was made in 1539 for Pope Paul III under the direction […]

BOXED IN: The Connection Between Wari Mortuary Complexes and Inka Textiles

by Katie Elizabeth Ligmond Before the Inka were a glimmer in the cosmos, the Wari Empire dominated the Central Andes, spreading out from their capital in the Ayacucho Valley, north through the majority of the modern-day country of Peru, and south toward the contemporary Bolivian border. While today the Inka’s fame eclipses that of the […]

Edward Krasiński: Studio as Site of the Universal

by Nadia Gribkova In the 1970s, a thin line of blue Scotch tape began its horizontal motion across the interior of Edward Krasiński’s (1925–2004) studio apartment in Warsaw, Poland (fig. 1). It crept across the walls and windows, covered furniture, photographs, paintings, and partition curtains. At times, the line would break—only to reemerge unchanged, faithful […]