Monday, June 06, 2005
Curated by Simon Watson. Painting in the “I refuse to paint” way, but still good looking, with quite a few highlights. Spiritual Heroes of the Show: Sigmar Polke, Martin Kippenberger, Peter Doig & Daniel Richter. But those are everyone’s current heroes; Mary Heilman as well.
TAL R has one good painting, it’s the one in all the magazines and Saatchi owns it (for the time being.) Unfortunately it looks like none of his other ones. One of the other ones is here, which looks like a Miró in the Art Institute, which looks like fake vomit.
Matthew Connors has the best work, with a sloppy garish abstraction. His is an abstraction draws you in again and again to look carefully at its hypnotic simplicity. Mike Paré’s work is the worst. It is stupid pencil drawings of hippy rock crowds (large format) and stupid neon references to Jr. High ghosts and goblins metal music in the form of appropriated fuzzy black light posters.
Sarah Nesbit: Small panel paintings are the voice of skill and craft for the show. Very Doig and Kai Althoff, but also Edvard Munch. So: “nice,” “pretty” and “muddy” are words to use. I guess you’re not supposed to use the first two, though. So just say “exquisite” instead.
Huma Bhabha: Photos of a creepy dead monster spilling out of a garbage bag/praying like Muslim. So there are lots of implications and coded messages there. For once, good results from a sculpture taken out photographed in different settings.
PRINTS AND SCULPTURES
The generic title is apt for this show of minor editions by mismatched modernist heavy hitters.
Best part: Victor Pasmore’s signature.
Best Name: Betty Merken
Panda Bear Insemination Team Picnic and other Thought Formations
Bodybuilder and Sportsman
Drawings and paintings tell weird stories and stream of consciousness musings in the form of comic style word bubbles and thought balloons. The installation is most effective when the paintings and drawings of various sizes, some with graphic abstraction, are all crammed around each other. The writing is good, but visually, the pieces are not enough for the large gallery space. There is a little too much of sameness going on, but the work is, on the whole, good. I would have liked some punctuations of color. Or reversals of value, too much black on white. This paired with white walls and things get troublesome. Maybe it reminds me too much of me.
The works seems much better off in the tiny project room, or seen along side work by other artists. Can there be such a thing as someone’s art better off with company than on its own?
As result, the work seems to stop short and fall into repetition. The trouble with poetic abstract writing in your pictures: Raymond Pettibon.
Answering the question, “what if I blew up museum membership brochures and printed them on canvas?” Answer: about 2 people give a fuck.
Also: Unnecessary surgery: a plastic tube threaded through the skin of a surgeon. What an exquisite quasi, semi, not quite Orlan gesture.