Andrew Perchuk

  • Robert Blanchon

    Rosalind Krauss once noted that the sea is a special medium for Modernism because of its isolation, self-sufficiency, and detachment from the social; it promises a limitless visual plenitude, yet is characterized by an insistent sameness. Robert Blanchon has recently photographed the sea as one of three interrelated series that were on view at the Marc Foxx gallery: “Wave (0-9),” “Tree (0-9),” and “Rock (0-9)” (all 1996). Consisting of ten identically presented photographs of individual waves, trees, and rocks, each series seeks to create a tension between a transcendent vision of Modernism and

  • Ragna Berlin and Michelle Segre

    It’s rare to find a two-person gallery show that seems more like a collaboration than a pair of solo exhibitions. This show of works by Swedish artist Ragna Berlin and New Yorker Michelle Segre was such an exception. Not only did the pieces fit together visually, almost becoming a single large installation, but seeing them in this context supplied a narrative dimension to their work that might have been lacking otherwise. Berlin’s installation was in two parts— Spot, 1996, an enormous brown dot painted on much of the gallery floor and two walls, and Mlob, 1996, an accompanying audio piece that

  • Charles Long

    Playing on the famous ’70s feminist book Our Bodies, Our Selves, Charles Long’s recent exhibition “Our Bodies, Our Shelves” takes as a starting point his own body and significant childhood experiences. The intentionally bad pun of the title announces Long’s investigation of the connection between corporeality and identity, between body and self. The show was divided into two groups of work: anthropomorphically rounded blobs (bodies) in a variety of high-tech plastics and tactile rubber and flock shelves (selves) that bent and curved so as to belie their functional roots. The origin of the blobs

  • Udomsak Krisanamis

    Udomsak Krisanamis’ most recent series of collage paintings represent, on one level, a continuation of an earlier series of drawings that began with his arrival in this country from Thailand several years ago. Those drawings literalized the way he learned English: by reading the daily newspaper. Udomsak would take a pencil and cross out each word he understood, so that what began as vast fields of print with only an occasional graphite mark, progressed, along with the artist’s increasing knowledge of English, into allover fields of thickly layered graphite out of which an unknown word occasionally

  • Keith Broadwee

    In Keith Boadwee’s most recent series, the body is the locus for an investigation into the history of abstract painting. This work continues a project that stems from the beginning of his career when he used himself as a canvas for quasi-Expressionist paintings, taking Yves Klein’s technique for painting the female nude one step further—and closer. Increasingly, his paintings have isolated individual body parts, particularly the penis and the anus. While in Boadwee’s work the penis has always remained flaccid and uneroticized, the asshole is elaborately decorated, a site of pleasure. Two earlier

  • Gary Simmons

    Taking his 1993 series “Erasure” as a point of departure, Gary Simmons created a monumental yet lyrical suite of site-specific wall drawings. The earlier series—30 works that resembled old-fashioned blackboards with partially erased chalk drawings derived from cartoons ranging from the well-known Dumbo to the little known “Bosko” serials—was a means of marking the “violence done to Black people both in the creation of these images and [in] life.” To achieve this effect, Simmons isolated selected cartoon characters and reduced the images until they became indices of visual stereotypes: a frog is

  • Toba Khedoori

    Toba Khedoori’s work is located in the gap between opposing strains of Modernism, between the optical and the constructed, the sublimated and the desublimated, the horizontal and the vertical, the floor and the wall. In her first solo exhibition, the artist presented three immense paintings on paper, each constructed of three panels stapled together and to the wall, which they nearly covered. These works are created in and marked by two distinct stages of production. Khedoori begins on the floor, melting wax onto the paper and then sponging it across in thin translucent layers; she then raises

  • Joel Otterson

    The embodiment of suburban rebellion, Joel Otterson’s work seems particularly apt in Los Angeles, the most suburban of major American cities. Here the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle gives no indication of ever having died; witness the nightly parade of bleached-blond, slickly made-up glam kids and dirtier, track-marked Guns ’n’ Roses wanna-bes across Hollywood Boulevard. Otterson seems intent on domesticating this rebellion by creating heavy-metal home furnishings that stress opulence and comfort. This makes perfect sense; after all no one ever fantasized about smashing up the interior of a Motel 6.

    In

  • Robert Gober

    Robert Gober outlined his iconography early in his career with Slides of a Changing Painting, 1982–83. To create this work, he mounted a small painting on a board and photographed it as he changed the image. The 80 slides in this project—ranging from a male torso becoming female, to doors and windows, to trees and running water, to wounds and lesions—have provided the raw material for much of the artist’s work over the last ten years.

    Gober has said, “I always thought of myself as a painter but I could never make paintings,” and as his career has progressed his sculptures, installations, and

  • John Loengard

    In On Photography, 1978, Susan Sontag stated that “to collect photographs is to collect the world. Movies and television programs light up walls, flicker, and go out; but with still photographs the image is also an object. . . .” Since then the fetishization of the photographic print as the “handmade” object has been critiqued by many artists, but John Loengard takes it a step further. His seven-year project of traversing the globe to photograph the negatives of famous photographs poses another essential question, What is the photographic object?

    Loengard is a photojournalist whose most famous

  • Hannah Wilke

    “Nowadays us pretty white girls have to watch what we say,” Hannah Wilke remarked when I first met her several years ago. The triumph of her final exhibition, and of her entire career, is that she never heeded this advice. “Intra-Venus,” 1991–93, is a microcosm of the forms and concerns of Wilke’s oeuvre, as well as a document of the last few years of her life during which she underwent treatment for lymphoma.

    The images that quite literally dominate the exhibition are the 13 larger-than-lifesize self-portraits, done in collaboration with her husband, Donald Goddard, which depict Wilke at various

  • Robert Longo

    In Robert Longo’s recent exhibition, the penis reasserted itself with a vengeance. We were introduced to his recent work by a granite tombstone inscribed with the title “Bodyhammers: Cult of the Gun.” On the left side of the gallery, hung four, larger-than-life-size, identically framed drawings of handguns, their business ends pointing straight out at the viewer. These drawings—made in the artist’s familiar method of projecting photographs onto paper, tracing the outlines and filling them in—were at once highly realistic and decidedly abstract. With their clean lines, elegant curves, and

  • Annette Messager

    In The Uses of Enchantment, 1975, Bruno Bettelheim asserts that, for a child, the psychological function of fantasy and especially fairy tales is to gain “understanding . . . not through rational comprehension of the nature and content of his unconscious, but by becoming familiar with it through spinning out daydreams—ruminating, rearranging, and fantasizing about suitable story elements in response to unconscious pressures.” Annette Messager’s recent exhibition, “Les Piques” (The pikes) fulfills this function by combining references to daily events and realities with submerged fantasies,

  • Kerri Scharlin

    In her recent exhibition, Kerri Scharlin encircled the gallery with life-size drawings and small, clay figure-studies of herself—portraits produced as part of an elaborate conceptual project. For a period of two months the artist put up flyers in all the New York art schools offering her services as a life model in exchange for the works of art that would result from the sittings.

    In inverting the traditional relationship between artist and “muse,” Scharlin sought to examine its social and economic nexus. Scharlin’s work asks one to imagine the differences that would exist in the system of capital

  • John Lekay

    John LeKay’s recent two-part exhibition “The Separation of Church and State” tried to make the viewer confront issues that are either taboo or “socially embarrassing”: religion, homelessness, race, disability, bodily functions, and domestic violence. His sculptural amalgamations are self-contained tableaux composed of objects that are either useless, broken, or just plain garbage.

    The two sculptures, shown in the first part of the exhibition, appropriate Christian iconography. The Separation of Church and State, 1991–93, takes the shape of a cruciform over a stained piece of carpeting. At the

  • Marlene McCarty

    Marlene McCarty’s 30 large text-paintings employ four distinct fonts that subtly transform familiar typographies: the flame lettering of heavy metal and tattoos, the fat cartoonish characters of stock and funny cars, the geometrics of ads and bumper stickers, and the cut outs of agit prop and punk. Her stylized letters form vaguely obscene and often aggressive messages that reflect a multiplicity of voices, and are made by heat transfer onto raw canvas. “I iron them on, you know, woman’s work,” McCarty says. And on one level, these works, with their references to Barnett Newman’s zips and other

  • Graham Durward

    In his recent work, Graham Durward takes on the archetype of the male artist-hero who derives his power from a manifest masculinity. Durward’s earlier work reflected a fluid notion of male identity; his large drawing of a hermaphrodite, Untitled, 1991, transformed the body to emphasize the mutability of heterosexual and homosexual practices. Combined with his intentionally schizophrenic writings, which detail a polymorphously perverse sexuality, this work was located at the edge of identity—where identity begins to fragment. His more recent works question the tenability of culturally defined

  • Gotscho

    Even before encountering the works in Gotscho’s exhibition “Skins,” the visitor was confronted by his presence. In all the material accompanying this exhibition, the artist presented a single image of himself naked, shorn of all body hair, muscles bulging, triumphantly lifting a barbell over his head in moody semidarkness. This French body-builder, modiste, and artist is often—in hyperbolic Parisian fashion—flatteringly compared to historical giants and mythic figures, but to Americans his most distinguishing feature is a striking resemblance to Mr. Clean.

    This emphasis on surface presentation

  • Jessica Diamond

    At first glance, Jessica Diamond’s installation seemed unusually straightforward, especially for an artist whose work has often been seen as being intentionally indecipherable. In a series of works on paper, Diamond has referenced the work of the Japanese conceptual and performance artist Yayoi Kusama, presenting images and text lifted from Kusama alongside her own large wall drawings. Though this inscription of a female and Asian artist can be seen as a commentary on the male-dominated history of conceptual art, the more one learns of Kusama’s life and work, the more Diamond’s invocation of

  • Felix Stephan Huber

    Felix Stephan Huber’s installation documented a Germany that either missed the economic miracle or turned away from it—a land of inexpensive hotels and bare unadorned rooms. Using the contemporary tools of the tourist-chronicler—film and a cheap Instamatic with a time/date stamp—Huber re-presented the 11 rooms in which he spent the night over a six-month period. Blown up to oversized proportions, these photos took on the graininess of film; the insistent digital readout on the bottom was evocative of a documentary or surveillance video. The frozen moments in these photo-bedrooms