Alan Moore

  • Peter Plagens

    A lot of the articles Peter Plagens has written for this magazine wind up with affirmations of painting, huzzahs thrown in the face of other art-making modes. After a spell in the New York “pressure cooker,” for example, he’s back home in California slogging pigment. “Confronted with that—the painting on the wall—how can you possibly care about anything else?” Indeed. Well, there’s all that picaresque art criticism, powered by his angst as a painter, which he surely must care to write. And his book, Sunshine Muse, that launches itself well enough as an anecdotal history, but settles sadly into

  • Llyn Foulkes

    It seems that California painter Llyn Folks planned his show here to coincide with the Max Ernst retrospective. Not only are the Surrealist’s decalcomania paintings and figure in a landscape collages Foulkes’s main models, but the antique photographs and wooden frames he uses in his paintings evoke the ’20s when Ernst made his works. Foulkes has quite successfully flattened his oeuvre through this insistent nostalgia. If his paintings wish they’d been there and then, it’s hard for them to be here and now. I guess the show’s a kind of hommage à but this isn’t Paris.

    In his portraits, Foulkes paints

  • Andrew Ginzel

    Andrew Ginzel (selected for Artists Space by Red Grooms) also alludes to the broad tradition of Dada collage. He uses images of men in bowler hats, gravu red machine parts, and schematic heads like phrenologist's diagrams in his constructions. These elements are held in suspension by bits of string, and mounted so that they stick up from chunks of wooden logs. These little heraldic arrangements look like models for pageant decor.

    I don't like the idea that you should be careful to make historical allusions if you're not going to title your sculpture. Ginzel's vocabulary of images is wider when

  • Rockne Krebs

    The piece that impressed me most (aside from a sedate light bulb projection from Ted Victoria’s often exhibited series) was Washington D.C. artist Rockne Krebs’s installation with argon laser and mirrors. The twinkling blue green beam high overhead near the ceiling spans two rooms in the gallery. Directed from a hidden projector, the beam jumps a corner in the back room, first hitting and diffusing around a rectangular mirror, the shape of which is then reflected onto an adjacent triangular mirror. This triangle is finally cast onto an apple painted on the wall near the source of the beam. Why

  • Scott Billingsley

    Scott Billingsly’s piece Induction also needs to be plugged in. After a long walk to the Whitney downtown workroom and gallery in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, I was standing in front of this plasterboard box the size of a shower stall. I waited for a wire coming out of it to be hooked up to a corroded old transformer in a corner of the room. This clicked on. Noiseless; no hum. A coil inside, I was told, had been magnetized. I climbed up the ladder on one side of the box. This was thin, like the ladders running up water storage tanks are thin in proportion to the tank. Descending inside

  • Jeffrey Lew

    Jeffrey Lew’s piece Drawerings is a wooden chest of specimen drawers containing slabs of glass. Most any sculpture can look like some kind of furniture. It’s an easy gibe. But for many artists the analogy is a way back into form/function problems, articulated as a conundrum in which the artwork is put forward as a pun or witty closure. Drawerings is set far back from the gallery door between the row of columns that divide the space, and it’s lit from above by a spotlight. You have to pull the drawers out to see the scratched and colored slabs of glass. The piece is a set for the execution—construed

  • Bruce Nauman

    Bruce Nauman’s Cones/Cojones, an installation of masking tape laid on the floor in concentric circles, is similarly involved with performance implications. In Lew’s piece the performance collapses to reinforce reflection on the sculptural object, whereas Nauman’s is an experientially underscored metaphor for expansion. The work itself is etherealized, the spectator/performer is consolidated, rather like a statue in a courtyard. Since it doesn’t aggrandize itself as an object, Cones/Cojones may be a more generous work than Lew’s—but if that is to be so, it requires a more openhearted use.


  • Don Sunseri, Don Celender and Jerry Kearns

    Don Sunseri’s sculpture made from twigs, sticks and rocks bespeaks a neopastoral hippie esthetic that refuses to die. It’s the appeal of art-making from a populist position, canny but modest, modernism in a folksy vernacular. Here the upshot is a confusion about the origin of these things. Are they by one hand or are they incidentally sculptural craftwork and carpentry culled from a rural village? Riser looks like two bridgeboards (not risers) from a staircase, and Pole predicts a road sign. In some works, Sunseri uses forms and materials to refer to childhood. His seven Arrows might have been

  • Eleanor Antin

    Two poster-sized photos set up and encapsulate Eleanor Antin’s show. In one, Antin dressed as a king watches a videotape of Antin posing as a ballerina; in the other, the ballerina watches a tape of the king. The rest of the exhibition of photos, tapes, texts and drawings is involved with constructing and revealing these two fictive personae. Recollections of My Life with Diaghilev, 1909–1929 is hung on one side of the gallery and includes texts of reminiscences and vaguely Chagallian line drawings with captions like, “All of Paris rose to salute our modernism,” and “The English all took Russian

  • Willoughby Sharp

    Like Jeffrey Lew who administrates the public-funded 112 Greene Street Gallery, erstwhile Avalanche magazine publisher (and now “artist-in-residence”) Willoughby Sharp is in a privileged position to make art. He’s seen and digested far more art of the stripe he’s now making than me and most folk. Privileged, yeah, but a dangerous position too. His videotapes of static primal scenes and psychodramas and his living in a box project looked like nothing so much as a belated expressionist compendium of current vogues in performance art.

    For Double Take (A Public Entertainment), Sharp locked the doors

  • Jud Fine

    To get a fix on Jud Fine’s work I had to haul out my Duchamp catalogue again. This gets tiresome. After both Johns and Arakawa have so thoroughly acknowledged it, Duchamp’s Tu m’ of 1918 has spawned another descendant, Fine’s “ ”. The work is complete with grommets, colored shapes in a fine-lined geometrical web, and drawn shadows of bamboo poles (Fine’s signature item) with a photo of the poles leaning against the blank canvas. But if “ ” is spawn, it’s cruel issue, informed by a particular strain of hyperbolic nastiness. This is indicated in the title. Fine rounds up and

  • Elizabeth Murray

    Robert Pincus-Witten once called Cy Twombly’s figuration “hand-hating,” and there is something of that in Elizabeth Murray’s painting also.

    It’s a gaucherie evident in the taut, awkward and aborted lines of paintings like Will and Flamingo that puts across an idea of labor, of the obsessive and nearly agonistic effort that painting entails for Murray. The tiny geometrical figures within larger areas of color are surrounded by many tiny scrapings. On one level, this is about leaving literal traces of gesture on a fictive surface. But it’s also as if the pigment had been shaped by rats who have