Lecture takes place at 356 S. Mission Rd., co-presented with Ben Maltz Gallery in conjunction with the exhibition Polly Apfelbaum: Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.
New York-based critic and independent curator Bob Nickas presents his musings on one hundred paintings, choosing one from each year from 1915-2015.
Beginning with Malevich's Red Square and ending with John Armleder, Nickas suggests that painting is, and perhaps has always been, an assisted readymade. With some perverse choices and more than a few glaring omissions, Nickas has selected works in a personal, free-associative way, spontaneously and intuitively, accumulating work after work, engaging with the idea of art history as a game of cadavre exquis—exquisite corpse, to be played by one person who is always in a sense of two minds.
Bob Nickas has organized more than ninety exhibitions since 1984, and earned a reputation for an individual style that transgresses the accepted. Nickas was Curatorial Advisor at P.S.1/MoMA in New York between 2004-07, where his exhibitions include Lee Lozano: Drawn From Life; William Gedney—Christopher Wool: Into the Night; Stephen Shore: American Surfaces; and Wolfgang Tillmans: Freedom From The Known. He served on the team for the 2003 Biennale de Lyon, contributed a section to Aperto at the 1993 Venice Biennale, and collaborated with Cady Noland on her installation for Documenta IX in 1992.
His books include Painting Abstraction: New Elements In Abstract Painting, Theft Is Vision, Live Free or Die: Collected Writings 1985-1999, and The Dept. of Corrections. He is one of the authors of Defining Contemporary Art: 25 Years In 200 Pivotal Artworks, and of No Problem: Cologne/New York 1984-1989. A new collection of his writing, Komp-Laint Dept., is forthcoming this winter from Karma.
30/130, a survey of his books, catalogs and 'zines—130 produced over the past 30 years—as well as records, editions and ephemera, was presented at White Columns in 2015.