Alan Moore

  • 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.

    Masking

  • 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

  • Louisa Chase

    Louisa Chase arranges painted sticks and plaster balls on round pieces of colored felt on the floor. Gallery administrator and critic Irving Sandler remarked to a crowd of visitors that Cars and Triangles looked like a model railroad. Perhaps he had Stuart Davis in the back of his mind, because Cars and Triangles, like much of that Cubist’s work, is an active and ingenious abstract composition bounded by a metaphor. These works look like games, but it’s not any game you can play. It’s more like toys left out on the floor. Chase neither infers systemic preconditions for the existence of her pieces

  • Alice Adams

    Alice Adams’s works look like bare sections of a plaster wall’s internal structure, made as they are from strips of lath and supporting beams. The idea is to make sculpture by representing, recreating excerpts from preexisting (but by now somewhat outmoded) tectonic systems. To my mind, art that usurps the technics of architecture also references its circumstances; the art can relay something about the way buildings are conceived, built, used, and destroyed. Adams’s work doesn’t, or, at least she takes the clear high road. Her pieces are clean and insular, woodwork in the nude, the product of

  • Kenneth Snelson

    Kenneth Snelson’s energetic tensegrity structure sculptures on the Waterside Plaza rock slightly with the wind off the East River. Although the pipe and cable assemblies are dwarfed by the hatchetlike apartment buildings (by Davis, Brody and Associates) that tower above them, it’s clear that it might have been the other way around. I mean that, as Buckminster Fuller has demonstrated, Snelson’s structural method can generate architecture, and, given the site, that is what I think about in their presence. Snelson’s work is rationalized down to the last bone, with an inevitability like botanical

  • Forrest Myers

    Forrest Myers’s was the inaugural exhibition at Sculpture Now, the Max Hutchinson Gallery’s spacious new two-story showroom. The fat steel and brass tendrils of Myers’s sculpture, like Snel-son’s pipes and cables, act to bind up an area on the floor and a volume in the room. But Myers shuns geometry; although they are connected, his tendrils delineate no clear figures. He imputes a gestural softness to his metal so that it undulates like an old swami’s trick rope. Some ends run out from the main configuration and arch off the ground inquiringly, as if they meant to go somewhere, or attach

  • Charles Simonds

    Charles Simonds occupies the sweet and ethical position of giving his art away. For years now he has built tiny clay brick dwellings in the predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood of New York’s Lower East Side to accommodate a migratory race of little people. Simonds’s mythopoesis is immediately accessible. Introverted kids frequently involve themselves in a world of wee folk, and the idea has generated a lot of children’s literature: William Donahey’s Teenie Weenies, for example, and Mary Norton’s Borrowers. (In The Borrowers Aloft, Norton’s heroes find a home in a miniature city built by a

  • Michael Heizer

    Michael Heizer doesn’t face this problem. He tractors along with a simple vocabulary of form derived from structural painting of the ’60s, particularly Held’s and Mangold’s. His paintings demonstrate the commutability of this formal rhetoric. I like some of them, and it was brash of Heizer to show them. He has risked trivializing his oeuvre through the implication that he merely traveled these pictorial forms west as die stamps for his Earthworks. The canvases, thinly painted with a round figure rendered in the hues of stone, are muscular, almost Romanesque despite the flimsiness of pictures on

  • Eunice Golden

    Eunice Golden paints the figure, both on canvas and literally. She juggles her depiction of the “male landscape” through three media: scumbled paintings of schematized penises like emblems on a dot-and-dash grid, photoworks of nude men and women sprawled on a beach like so much driftwood, and films about the adornment of genitalia. In the 1973 films, Blue Bananas and Other Meats and Face of Landscape, Golden most particularizes her content. Blue Bananas is a role reversal on the nude woman as entreé at Surrealist banquets. It records the decoration of a penis and crotch first with vegetables,

  • Anne Frye

    Anne Frye’s exhibition of black-and-white photoworks is as discontinuous as a comic’s monologue. It’s as if she’s still thrashing around for a style. In three series, she does a Baldessarian label-covering act with a ball of twine. Covering implies revealing, and since Frye doesn’t caption her work, this deliberate denial of a graphic motif throws her back entirely on her images. But more, it’s coy pandering: she’s denying us information we already know. Three other series exploit the darkroom accident of the bleached print. The progression of the image toward white reveals the lines and masses

  • Jean Dupuy

    Jean Dupuy’s two installations deal with what in a more resolutely Christian era would have been called the two aspects of marriage—the sacred and profane. Dupuy installed I & J at The Kitchen shortly before he produced Soup and Tart, an evening of artists’ performances there. “I” & “J” (referring to Jean and Irene, his former wife) is spelled out in grommets on a canvas screen. Through them a large screen with a video monitor inserted in it at lower right is visible. Graphic grainy stills of a couple making love and masturbating are projected on the screen, stills taken from the videotape on

  • Terry Allen

    California artist Terry Allen’s latest collages form the third and final chapter of his narrative series, Juarez Device. These 13 works treat the journey of two couples, Jabo and Chic Blonde, Alice and the Sailor, through the southwestern United States and Mexican border towns. It’s never clear where they go or just what happens, but Allen throws out clues to infer a tale of sex, murder, and interstate flight. This work is cluttered and complex compared to the photographic story artists. But his aims are different. He’s after the Surrealist chimera of an amalgamated literary and pictorial art,

  • Bill Beckley

    Narrative artist Bill Beckley has bravely stuck himself with a stingier aspect of Pop style, namely emblem-making and punchline icons. The cheesiest of the multipaneled photographic works he showed in the main room of the Gibson Gallery short the circuit of popular source and art use. I mean they are uncomfortably close to what is apparently their models—lush, slick color advertisements, and the sophisticated gag photos in Esquire and The National Lampoon.

    Beckley makes jokes about other artists: Acconci (a photo with bites taken out of it), Dibbets (a golf course panorama which includes a photo

  • Dotty Attie

    Dotty Attie also makes narrative series of images, both with and without text. But instead of photographs, her images are meticulously executed drawings based mainly on details chosen from paintings by Ingres, the Mannerists, and other masters. But she selects like a photographer. I mean she treats several centuries of paintings as a field of available images from which she is free to abstract tiny passages.

    Most of the paintings she has ransacked depict moments of history or myth from which the painter sought to extract a moral for the edification of his contemporaries. They were deliberately

  • Stefan Eins

    Austrian emigré Stefan Eins rented a storefront in SoHo, a few blocks below the main gallery scene, and sits in it to demonstrate his artworks. There are four of them: a pulley attached to the ceiling; a crowbar leaning against the wall; a wooden block with a pin in it with which Eins plays records on an old phonograph; and a bottle of water and a pump he uses to force air into the jar until enough pressure builds up to condense the humid air into a kind of fog.

    Eins offers the two tools and two toys at prices that must be close to the cost of materials. Oldenburg’s 1961 Store, sponsored by a

  • Arthur Koepcke

    As a formal determinant in object-making, this participatory function is partly rooted in what Dali called “Objects of Symbolic Function,” Surrealist works like Giacometti’s Suspended Ball of 1930–31 which incorporate particular elements designed to be moved. The cheerful presumption thateveryone is an artist underlies the populist expansion of the mail art movement, and this idea is implicit in the proto-Conceptual work of George Brecht and Arthur Koepcke, Danish artist and Fluxus promoter of the ’60s.

    Continue . . . is a box multiple ($75 from the gallery) containing 129 ideas—strategies,

  • Newton Harrison

    In the handouts accompanying his show, Newton Harrison proclaims that he is after “an art, social in operation, based on tangible harvests, that works efficiently both as system and as metaphor.” The harvest he speaks of is seafood, cultured at his as yet unconstructed estuarial marine plantation in Southern California. I admire farmer Harrison’s politics. He is committed to collectivity, and he has what look like sound proposals to ameliorate the world’s food crisis. Nevertheless I am constrained to deal with the works in his show, and they reveal a commitment to a pictorial format that is not