Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Yutaka Stone • Highway Junction 14-5 • 2002 • Marble • Edition 3/3 • David Zwirner Gallery

Meanwhile in the Contemporary Galleries are selections the Society for Contemporary Art is considering purchasing for the museum. Last year they picked a crappy, but sure to be popular for many years to come, installation of shiny glass bricks by Pae White, Late August Songs (2003), which is also on view. There are artworld insider photos by Louise Lawler, a marble diorama with some palm trees by Yutaka Stone, a display of earthenware by Andrew Lord (courtesy of Donald Young Gallery) and a video by David Hammons. The video, Phat Free (1995-9) is of a guy in New York (obvious from the loading dock platforms) kicking a bucket down the street. It sounds good, almost musical. Like something by a Minimalist composer from the 1970s. But it is also bland. It is very standard and straightforward and pointless. Is Hammons trying to get us to think about a social issue, or a tired metaphor? I don’t care because it is simple in a bad way. It is almost laughable. The video seems to be emblematic of the techy arts’ problem: the potential to be just as tired, dead and repetitive as the oldsters of painting and sculpture. The still image is deceptive, the video could be anything, and you look at it as an image, not a moving picture telling a story.

Also on view is a B&W painting by Albert Oehlen (untitled [1997]). This former co-conspirator of Martin Kippenberger has, of late, gone seriously into painting, and painting with a decidedly digital bent. Almost parodies of what the 90s Painter and Color-It! computer geeks thought would be the utopian revolution of art. Oehlen mixes heavily pixilated lines with spray paint, screenprinting and oil. How amazing it would be to see it alongside the Christopher Wool piece created with a similar frame of mind.