Alan Moore

  • Michael Howard

    Four big paintings in Michael Howard's show are modeled on illustrations for hunting tales in magazines. These scenes of confrontation between armed hunters with dogs and wild bears gave Howard the format for painterly demonstrations. The colors on these large two-panel canvases—mainly brown, black, blue, green and red—form a palette as simple as a woodsman's plaid. Howard doesn't reproduce his magazine models. He brushes his pigment on freely, brusquely indicating the figures of man and beast and making the areas between them into partly independent spiky shapes. Maybe Howard doesn't care what

  • Loren Madsen

    First I'll carp about the letter from Loren Madsen to The Museum of Modern Art management tacked on the wall for the Californian's “Projects” series show. This document might make us privy to the sculptor's thinking about the major piece here, a big leaning wall of bricks restrained from collapse by hundreds of tiny steel wires. Instead, the detailed exposition of how the thing should be installed ends up insisting on its nature as a feat of engineering. The museum translated Madsen's written cautions about people touching the wires into ropes and stanchions, so that the piece is cloistered in

  • Alan Sonfist

    “I became a tiger waiting” Alan Sonfist writes in the text hung up with two series of color photos in a gallery antechamber labeled “The Animal Room.” Naked in the grass, Sonfist snads at the approaching photographer. Unlike the usual photographer/subject relationship, the art here resides with the subject, the man playing tiger, just as heroism might be said to reside not with the hunter but with the animal who gets killed. A couple of philosopher’s anecdotes I first heard paraphrased around art-world dinner tables might enlarge aspects of these photos. One is Wittgenstein’s: if the lion could

  • 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

  • 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

  • Michele Amateau

    Michele Amateau’s paintings of water stylized as wavy lines, stalks of vegetation and vacant sky reminded me at once of Aubrey Beardsley’s smaller layered designs for Le Morte d’Arthur (1893–4). Amateau undercuts her linear designs though by painting with oil and sand. The surfaces have weight and an insistent texture that grounds a subdued color like that in Rothko’s more aqueous works. Depending on the color, Amateau’s tall somber paintings can connote cold marshy wastes or impenetrable tropical densities built up, maybe, with cuttings from Henri Rousseau’s archetypal jungles, or iris stalks

  • 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