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Best Of 2016: The Artists' Artists, Mira Dancy, Artforum

December 2016

Best Of 2016: The Artists' Artists, Mira Dancy, Artforum

Karen Kilimnik, thank you, I’m rested now. I’ll have the lobster today, thank you, 2016, collage on paper, 10 3/4 × 8".


Karen Kilimnik (303 Gallery, New York) Even though I was nine months pregnant and out of my mind, I made certain not to miss Karen Kilimnik’s show last winter. I’m intrigued by Kilimnik’s collapsed fictional narratives and by the ways in which her theatrical conceits extend to her treatment of the white cube. In this show, 303’s main gallery presented sixteen small, gold-framed collages alongside eight slightly larger paintings. The collages featured a cast of cat stickers (plus birds, bats, and stars) on photocopies of classical interior furnishings and textiles. In her voice-over-esque titles, the cats slinking through the gallery take on airs of old Fancy Feast commercials and recent internet memes. (One reads, thank you, this is very nice, I like it, it goes with my coloring, 2016.) Near the space’s back wall, a gold-tasseled velvet curtain beckoned viewers to a small, dimly lit room in which four glitter-strewn, tapestry-themed canvases were hung. In Kilimnik’s realm, time, history, and images themselves are all fictions ready to be disrupted and replayed—and a sense of liberty is on display for the taking.