Torey Thornton

Article: Consumer Reports: Torey Thornton


Torey Thornton is a Brooklyn-based artist whose mixed media painting-centric practice has recently spread to include installation and sculpture. The artist was included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial and has staged solo exhibitions at the Albright–Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York; Stuart Shave/Modern Art in London; Shane Campbell in Chicago; Moran Moran in Los Angeles; and Karma in New York. His most recent exhibition was “Sustenance Traversing Foundational Urgencies (STFU [some])(Re-Faux Outing),” earlier this year at Essex Street in New York.

Thornton’s mega-Consumer Reports week covers a full seven days and takes place during a studio move. U-Haul vans are rented, the Jennifer Lopez movie The Cell is watched, and rare Beanie Babies are researched. Speaking of research, there is an investigation into the confusing art of “Tinder Blanks” and plenty of Shazam-ing, often to no avail. All that and plenty more below. —John Chiaverina (continued)

Jordan Nassar: American-Palestinian Artist Jordan Nassar Examines The Crossovers of Culture, Identity and Tradition

Article: American-Palestinian Artist Jordan Nassar Examines The Crossovers of Culture, Identity and Tradition


Following his first exhibition in the Middle East at The Third Line, New York-born and based Palestinian artist Jordan Nassar talks to Katrina Kufer about orienting his practice around tatreez, giving back, and amending political views from an experiential standpoint

The crossovers of culture, identity and tradition resonate within artist Jordan Nassar. A second-generation American whose Palestinian family immigrated to New York in the early 1920s and quickly assimilated into their new home, Nassar admits internalising a pronounced struggle about political and cultural perspectives. “I felt conflicted because I grew up in a Jewish neighbourhood with specific understandings, but at home, my father, a psychiatrist, had been doing human rights work dealing with PTSD in the West Bank since the 1990s,” he says. “I was confused because I had two sets of information presented to me and it was hard to navigate.”


Jordan Nassar Taylor Art Collection Yaffa 4 2017

Sable Elyse Smith: An Artist’s Bond with Her Imprisoned Father

Article: An Artist’s Bond with Her Imprisoned Father

Sable Elyse Smith’s expressive powers are both subtle and direct. One is to imbue a shadowy side into an otherwise crisp, nonchalant aesthetic that combines photography, text, neon, and video installation. Another, found in her filmic montages, creates connective tissue between pop/internet culture and autobiographical experience. Here, she nods stylistically to a black cinematic genealogy that includes Arthur Jafa, the LA Rebellion generation, and media-artist peers interested in an emotional and empathic confrontation with the black experience as images of violence on black bodies proliferate. Among her most compelling strengths as an artist, as attested by Ordinary Violence, her solo exhibition at the Queens Museum, is the way she wrestles with the father-daughter bond.

And wrestle she must; the work in this show is marked by her father’s 19-year incarceration — the majority of her life — which has left an indelible absence. Though he goes unnamed, we are told in the introductory wall text of their relationship and the length of his time served to date. She writes in the show’s epigraph: “And violence can be quotidian, like the landscape of prison shaping itself around my body. The images are made so that I can see me. I am haunted by Trauma. We are woven into this kaleidoscopic memoir by our desires to consume pain, to blur fact and fiction, to escape.”

The possibility of escape certainly does not come for him, or entirely for her, though many visitors enjoy the privilege. The “we” who are “woven into this kaleidoscopic memoir” suggest the tenacity of father and daughter to endure separation and, more broadly, speak to the many black communities and communities of color, immigrants, and the poor, disproportionately riven by the prison system. Continued at:

Sable Elyse Smith Taylor Art Collection

From Cluj to the world: Plan B gallery’s Mihai Pop on Adrian Ghenie, Berlin, and the rise of Romanian art

Article: From Cluj to the world: Plan B gallery’s Mihai Pop on Adrian Ghenie, Berlin, and the rise of Romanian art

(Art Basel)

Plan B is at a turning point. Romania’s most prominent contemporary art gallery left its first space in Cluj’s old Paintbrush Factory and is now restoring a former mansion in the center of town. In many ways, the move is indicative of Plan B’s extraordinary journey. The gallery started in 2005 as a project space founded by a group of artists, including Mihai Pop and Adrian Ghenie. Ghenie soon became one of the most sought-after painters of his generation, and Plan B’s unique roster of conceptualists and neo-figurative painters quickly secured its place on the international circuit. The opening of a second space in Berlin was also decisive. ‘It was very important to be permanently located in a functional art scene,’ recalls Pop in this new installment of Meet the Gallerists.

The new Cluj space won’t open to the public for another couple of years, but its scale alone shows that Plan B has lost nothing of its ambition. The cavernous brick building will allow not only for the presentation of major exhibitions by gallery artists but also function as a research platform and archive for Romania’s recent cultural past. ‘It’s the opposite of a white cube,’ explains Pop. ‘You have to go deep into the belly of history and into the belly of the house. So it’s the perfect space for the turn we want to give to Plan B in Cluj.’

Plan B will exhibit in the Galleries sector at Art Basel Hong Kong 2019.

Ed Fornieles’s new project proposes a new way to help fund artists

Article: Ed Fornieles’s new project proposes a new way to help fund artists

(Daze Digital)

Ed Fornieles made a name for himself a few years back as the poster boy for post-internet art through a series of immersive performances in London, which included a gallery frat party at Guest Projects (“Animal House”, 2011) and an award ceremony honouring Zac Efron at Serpentine Gallery Pavilion (“The Dreamy Awards”, 2012). Since, the multimedia artist’s oeuvre has tackled themes of cultural positioning, social anxiety, and peer pressure, in an ongoing narrative that undulates along the boundary between the real world and its online counterpart. For his latest project, Fornieles unites his interest in abstract data with real-world structures, as he seeks to overhaul the traditional financial model for the production of art.

Having recognised the economic constraints of creating conceptual art, not only for artists but also galleries, Fornieles conceived an idea to decentralise the industry and alleviate some of the pressures of being a modern artist. The project, titled Crypto Certs, offers collectors and investors the chance to take more of an active role in the creation of art. (more at Daze Digital)

Ed Fornieles Taylor Art Collection

Jordan Nassar: For Your Eyes

Opening: Jordan Nassar, For Your Eyes

The Third Line, January 16 - February 27

Executed in collaboration with craftswomen living and working in Hebron, where embroidery skills have been passed down for generations, the patterned works juxtapose local traditions of making with Jordan’s western painterly aesthetic. Such incongruous stylistic coexistence metaphorically embodies the contrast between what Jordan refers to as his ‘Palestinian-ness’ and his out-of-place feeling while in Palestine.

From intricate geometric grids sewn by the Hebron women on areas of the canvas predetermined by Jordan, sprout up multicolored landscape patches embroidered by the artist. Unrestrained by color palette, the craftswomen lay the foundations of Jordan’s kaleidoscopic panoramas, in which randomness of color selection gives way to an evident complementarity and the impression that Jordan does, in fact, belong. Echoing efforts to map out reliefs of his identity and the difficulty such enterprise entails, are the titles of the show and works.

Named after Umm Kulthum songs, the English renditions refer to lost in translation moments when literal meaning takes over the idiomatic one, often leading to an incomplete, and sometimes even inaccurate, understanding of cultural artifacts. “In Arabic, the song For Your Eyes is ' من اجل عیونك — an expression meaning something along the lines of 'just for you' (because you asked, because I love you, because you're beautiful, because your eyes are beautiful I'll do what you ask). But it's translated as For Your Eyes, which doesn't capture the romance, love, and actual significance of this phrase,” explains Jordan about the lag in translation. While one cannot always translate sentiments, the collaborative works in 'For Your Eyes' sow the seeds to perhaps one day reap a complete own, rooted, persona.

Jordan Nassar Taylor Art Collection

Luis Gispert: 'Hamilton' meets South Florida hip-hop at NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale

Article: 'Hamilton' meets South Florida hip-hop at NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale

Who’s appearing at the NSU Art Museum event?

Three artists and one hip-hop dancer are on the bill. There’s Peruvian-born artist William Cordova, who grew up spraying graffiti across Miami buildings, his works making references to urban hip-hop culture with spare illustrations of boom boxes and LPs. Miami-Dade College graduate and sculptor Luis Gispert also uses hip-hop iconography, such as turntables and chrome tire rims, to celebrate urban culture. (His “Cheerleaders” series of photos, for example, depict “chongas,” Miami-spawned slang that refers to young working-class Latinas, usually from Hialeah.) Meanwhile, Kandy G. Lopez, a Florida Atlantic University graduate, creates oil portraits that salute the urban “swag” of individuals living in rough communities.

Cordova, Gispert and Lopez will join Clearwater in a 6-7 p.m. artist talk about the history of South Florida hip-hop. That will be preceded by a 4-6 p.m. dance workshop by hip-hop dancer Alonzo Williams, who uses dance as a tool for “self-expression, social justice and fighting subjugation,” he writes in an artist statement.

When and where is it?

The “History of Art and Hip-Hop in South Florida” will take place 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3, at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd. The event is part of the museum’s free Starry Night Thursdays programming, and seating is limited. RSVP by calling 954-262-0258 and visiting this website, or go to

Luis Gispert Taylor Art Collection

Ibrahim El-Salahi: Opening Tuesday September 18th

Opening Tuesday 18th September; 'By His Will We Teach Birds How to Fly; Ibrahim El-Salahi in Black and White.’  Vigo Gallery.

El-Salahi is a visionary modernist who created a unique visual vocabulary and æsthetic that have come to define the modernist experience in Africa and the Arab world. This show travels on in part from his exhibition at the Prince Claus Foundation last year and will be the most comprehensive exhibition of black and white works to date, spanning the last seventy years.  The exhibition is curated by Salah Hassan curator of Ibrahim’s shows at Tate Modern, Sharjah Art Foundation and the Prince Claus Fund and myself. 

Beginning with El-Salahi’s seminal series By His Will We Teach Birds How to Fly (1969), the exhibition evolves spatially and chronologically, covering a range of the artist’s works from early calligraphic book illustrations, to his more recent notebook drawings. Sourced from the artist’s private collection many of these will be shown for the first time whilst others were exhibited in his major retrospective show at Tate Modern, in 2013 and more recently in his 2018 solo exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum in his home town of Oxford. 

By His Will is an early, landmark series embodying a mode of work, ideas and an aesthetic that underlie his larger oeuvre. It is testimony to his spirituality and passion for freedom and human dignity. Inspiration for this series came from a habit his father, like Ibrahim a devout Sufi, had of praying with his index fingers pointing outwards from his entwined hands, forming a shape that resembled the beak of the bird prevalent in El-Salahi’s dreams. The bird is a classic motif that recurs in El-Salahi’s work from the early sixties to the present, representing freedom, justice and also the artist himself.

In the late sixties El-Salahi talked of having ‘cut myself loose from all ties to any style I had embraced in the past, or to any current school in the art of the period. At the same time, I was unembarrassed about staying open to the fleeting inspiration of vision and spirit.’

It is these fleeting moments, apparent in this series and throughout his career, where visual images intermingle with visions and dreams that have inspired El-Salahi’s visual dramas and given vent to his artistic passions and emotions. In this El-Salahi shares a surrealist’s tendency to explore the unconsciousness and tap into a world of dreams and fantasies. 

Earlier this year MoMA acquired El-Salahi’s Prison Notebook, one of the artist’s masterpieces and a pivotal work in the development of his creative process. The book, included in the show has just been published by MoMA and Sharjah Art Foundation. For six months and eight days during 1976-77, El-Salahi was unjustly jailed on political grounds and during this time of suffering and self-reflection we see the black and white works move towards an organic unfolding of dreamlike imagery, a flow of consciousness with him channeling a higher force.  By necessity he could only use scraps of paper from cement bags used to wrap food and a small four-inch pencil he would hide in the sand. Only when the guards were not looking would he put them together to make the whole. This was an evolution, albeit initially forced, in the artist’s practice that has stayed with him to this day.

Many of El-Salahi’s most important works have emerged from similarly organic processes; either from a method of spatial growth where pieces of paper are added as the composition expands, or completed in notebooks where one drawing flows into the next. His latest black and white works, the Pain Relief series, some of which were exhibited at the Ashmolean, are created on the backs of his used medicine packets, functioning as drawings in their own right, as well as templates for larger monoprint paintings on canvas. In this way they serve to realize an impact he still wishes to achieve but cannot through physical constraint. Working from his armchair, El-Salahi says he ceases to feel his pain when immersed in making these drawings and is, instead, free in the dreamlike realm of imagination and creation. 

For El-Salahi, the act of drawing in pencil, pen and ink as his preferred medium relates to his interest in calligraphy and communication but also more importantly to the immediate, meditative and spiritual rendering of his ideas. 

When asked recently what were his best works, El-Salahi just said the black and white and smiled.

It is that moment in prayer

In silence we feel

We were there

Where things begin in 

His name

To make real sense 

No more no less

Ibrahim El-Salahi, 2016

Thukral and Tagra: Opening September 19, 2018

Opening on September 19, 2018 
Solo exhibition at [dip] contemporary art, Lugano, Switzerland

[dip] contemporary art presents Indian artists Thukral & Tagra’s first solo show in Switzerland, SOMNIUM SEMINIBUS II. The exhibition brings the public into a particular atmosphere, illustrating a wide variety of plant species, while the artists explore the coexistence of elements of nature, raising questions and curiosities on their origins and the past.