Andrew Perchuk

  • 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