Alan Moore

  • Frank Gillette

    In his early work, Frank Gillette set out pyramidal banks of monitors playing didactic videotapes that were intended to bespeak natural orders and systems. Since I’ve always suspected that massed monitors reiterate the hierarchies of Minimal sculpture at the expense of the images presented, I could see Gillette’s early work only as pseudoscientific bombast that wished it was sculpture.

    Gillette hasn’t junked the sculptural format in his new installation, but he no longer insists on it. He has set out four front-facing monitors, three lined up in front and one some ten feet behind. Although the

  • Carl Toth

    I was immediately attracted to Carl Toth’s tiny collages made from 2 1/4” by 2 1/4” contact prints because the sprawling polygonal shapes of his works resemble Gordon Matta-Clark’s photo-documentation of Splitting (1974). Toth references this evidentiary mode of reconstructing a site in several scenes made from what look like shots taken inside holes in the ground. But he incorporates this mode into the broader genre of landscape photography and 19th-century panorama—landscape, cityscape, and group photos.

    Both uses the discontinuities that arise in piecing photos together, discontinuities

  • Italo Scanga

    On two facing walls of the gallery, Italo Scanga hangs handsomely framed reproductions of kitschy religious paintings spattered with red paint. Before these, he places glass urns containing spices or grains, and occasionally leans farming implements, a rake or a hoe, against the wall. At the rear of the gallery, he hangs large bunches of dried herbs. Scanga constructs a kind of ritual space which resembles a series of ambulatory chapels in a cathedral, each with its own devotional image. One has to kneel to examine the paintings closely, since they are hung so low to the ground, and from there

  • Richard Nonas

    There is some way in which the effort to reduce and control the elements in an artwork becomes an effort to control the spectator’s reaction to it. This effort, particularly in sculpture, can in turn become an attempt to seize and marshal the spectator’s sensibilities. Cowboy Minimalist Richard Nonas rented the O.K. Harris space before that gallery moved in, and installed his piece Boundary Man. He laid 11 strips of rectangular steel end to end in two lines that span two rooms diagonally. Walking around a work, apprehending its position in space and realizing yourself in relation to it, is a

  • Peter Hutchinson

    In his Alphabet Series (also published as a book by his gallery), Peter Hutchinson tries to be funny and by and large he succeeds. Handwritten jokes and stories caption lush color photographs, and both hang beneath large letters upholstered in different materials. Like many comic writers before him, Hutchinson uses the alphabet as a containing device, a format for his storytelling.

    Alphabet Series is a kind of ambient autobiography. It includes anecdotes about art-making and the art world, about the artist’s travels, and many funny stories about plants and animals (perhaps in ironic reference to

  • Robin Van Arsdale

    suppose it comes down to my preference for art that happens to be funny while doing something else. Like Synthetic Cubism. Sometimes the joke isn’t much of one, or it’s abstruse, but it’s effortless. Robin Van Arsdale’s series of waggish snipes at the formal conventions that govern art on the wall are witty in almost that way. He twists a few of the obvious issues of modern painting into quips by reiterating them in degenerate idioms.

    He alludes to Kenneth Noland’s colored stripes and thin grids by hanging a small aluminum frame with glass and paper on the wall and drawing a grid through it with

  • Rachel Bas-Cohain

    Rachel Bas-Cohain also moves from jokes about modernist composition into a hard tackle on the same problems. Bas-Cohain builds two models of the Cubist grid. One is small and made from refrigeration pipes, and the other is large, spanning the width of the gallery ceiling, and made from thin cold water pipes. Thepun (as Bas-Cohain unfortunately points out in an accompanying text) is about the grid as the compositional basis—the plumbing—of much modernist painting. The first grid she builds is covered with ice crystals, and the other with droplets of water that fall on people as they enter the

  • New Voices

    ART-WORLD CENTRISM IS UNDENIABLY breaking down. Even as New York has emerged in the last couple of decades as an international art-making center, so museums, galleries, and now art periodicals in outlying communities have become increasingly conscious of their own potential to contribute to the enrichment of contemporary art. All of the publications included in this survey of art magazines outside New York have arisen since 1970.

    This growing publishing action is, after all, only natural. It is clearly impractical for the national art magazines to speak directly to art outside their geographical

  • Gordon Matta-Clark

    Gordon Matta-Clark went out and cut up two balloon frame tract houses in the New Jersey suburbs, split one right in half (322 Humphrey Street), and cut hunks of wall off the other one (637 Eire Avenue). Fine. But to prove that what he was doing was really art, he mounted this show of photographs and chunks of the buildings. The corners he carved off the Humphrey Street house become sculpture in the gallery—serial Minimal objects (although they face each other as they had in situ to recreate the space of the roof). The three wall sections cut from the Eire Avenue house he lined up like the panels

  • “Slide Show,” Judy Pfaff

    Although I arrived late, I saw most of the special slide show of galleryless New York artists put on by Artists Space. The audience of about 150 artists, dealers, critics, and curators all sat slack jawed as the slides flicked by. We saw 440 slides in an hour, two per artist in the time it took to say each’s name. No one in the crowd that I saw took notes, and no one asked that the presentation be held up for a closer examination of particular slides.

    Lots of interesting stuff flashed by, and a lot of academic hackwork. But then the slides were presented in such a depressing rapid-fire there was

  • Joseph Beuys, George Brecht, Geoffrey Hendricks and Ray Johnson

    René Block Gallery, newly opened here from Germany, mounted “What’s the Time?”—an exhibition of multiples and original work by 17 American and European Fluxus artists—as “a preview of the coming season.” Fluxus is a moniker advanced by George Maciunas in 1962 from the Latin root of fluid and flux. The movement’s activities here and abroad were intended to be transient, and the artists who participated in them during the ’60s are today quite resistant to those who would corral and context them. Sixty years after, Dada has succeeded in evading historians determined to chronicle and interpret that

  • Jean Dupuy

    IN 1968, THE FRENCH ARTIST Jean Dupuy—then forty-two—built Heart Beats Dust, a tall red-lit plastic box. Inside, a membrane stretched over a speaker throws up dust in time to the monitored and amplified beat of spectators’ hearts. The piece was a hit, perhaps for all the wrong reasons, and Dupuy became the star of participatory tech-art exhibitions around the country and in France.

    Heart was a kind of summa, a piece which coalesced out of a number of separate concerns. Atmospheric dust clinging to the plastic surfaces of his early work constantly annoyed him. At length it came to fascinate him,

  • Mel Ramos

    Pop veteran Mel Ramos has expanded the series he began with his pinup Ingres, mounting a show of paintings recasting well-known compositions of nudes by Boucher, David, Gérard, Ingres, Manet, and Modigliani in contemporary terms, like a Las Vegas nightmare of the Louvre. Ramos’ style is a crisp version of commercial illustration. He paints people and things in the same flat photographic light. His debt to Playboy illustrator Vargas is obvious, and this exhibition shows that Ramos has kept pace with the venerable purveyor. His nudes, with their modish pubic hair, reflect the latest soft-core

  • Nancy Kitchel

    Nancy Kitchel exhibits her diaristic documents in a dramatic literary installation. The viewer sits in turn at each of four lighted desks in a darkened gallery, examining groups of artifacts in a pool of light. Reading the art is a carefully arranged invasion of privacy, like a late night session with incriminating documents. The subjects Kitchel treats—the decomposition of her love affairs, the gestures and social strategies of her aging relatives, and her own failing memory are the stuff of letters and private journals.

    Such material is usually advanced into the domain of art as literature,

  • Peter Campus, Andy Mann, Ira Schneider, and Tom Marioni

    As a conference, “Video and the Art Museum” at the Everson Museum was unexceptional. The same antagonisms continue to divide the early experimenters (the video underground) from the latecomers who found museum and media recognition; the distribution of creative work remains problematic; and the panel of critics met with a hostility born of fundamental mistrust and a perception of critics and curators as units in a political and economic system that represses the video artist. Perhaps I was overly optimistic to expect this conference to quiet my misgivings about video art. Conferences are to get

  • Peter Saari

    Peter Saari’s oils on shaped and stretched canvas simulate Etruscan and Roman tomb paintings. Saari represents the visible canvas—both surface and edge—as masonry, rendering peeled layers of paint, rough wall surfaces and broken edges, even the chalky blush of ancient pigments on plaster. Like the Poiriers, Saari transposes antiquity, literally transmitting the experience of ancient walls with a curatorial reverence for the physical facts of the artifacts he represents. He groups canvases as if they were chunks of wall (some are even numbered on the edge) reconstructed in a museum. The show

  • Richard Mock

    Some super-Realist galleries have been showing Concept artists and documentors in their back rooms and basements much as a department store moves slow-selling low profit items to the bargain basement. Richard Mock fills the basement at Meisel with large constructions of plastic sheets, and papers the walls with Xeroxed documents from two sculptural programs, World Piece (1973 and continuing) and On Board Q-E 2 (1974).

    For World Piece, Mock entrusts his plastic assemblages to travelers who place and photograph them in various spots around the world—on a crowded street, draped over a nude woman’s

  • Barbara Roan And The Blue Mountain Paper Parade

    Barbara Roan and 20 dancers performed Landmark at dusk on the snowy slope of a deserted ski run. A kind of land painting was systematically evolved within the eight squares of a grid 60 feet wide and 120 feet long, marked out by flags and colored discs. Performers unrolled sheets of bright plastic, wrote the name of the piece in the snow with colored water, moved in groups carrying black cardboard arrows, laid out diagonal lines of snowsuits (they each wore several) in the shape of bodies, and finally lit sparklers as night fell.

    Roan has organized several parade pieces in the past, and Landmark

  • Al Hansen

     The gallery walls on the night of Al Hansen’s performance were hung with drawings, photographs, letters, newspaper clippings—the vagrant stuff of studio walls—and two series by other artists, Andy Warhol’s soup-can serigraphs and Eleanor Antin’s postcard series 100 Boots. The lights dimmed periodically, making it difficult to examine the work on the walls. 

    A jagged line of tape on the floor divided the gallery, acting to confine the crowd in the area of the “show.” Beyond that line the gallery was dark. The crowd was slow to grow aware of the three assemblages there: a canvas on an easel near

  • Dennis Oppenheim

    In Dennis Oppenheim’s sculpture Recall, an image of the artist’s mouth appears on an aluminum-bound video monitor at the end of a long oil-filled pan. Oppenheim speaks slowly and disjointedly of his school days in California, and the emergence of his self-definition as an artist. The tape has a confessional aspect modeled on Vito Acconci’s monologues. Esthetic “crimes” are recounted: heromaking, eclecticism, retrogression. Loud static and deletions of names of figures he criticizes dilute the confession to mere autoreflection, with no clues offered to relate past and present. 

    Since Recall was