Ann-Sargent Wooster

  • Alan Sonfist

    Although most of the work in Alan Sonfist’s recent exhibition has been shown before, certain aspects of it have not been previously brought into as clear a focus, and the show warrants their discussion. All parts of the show, including that beautifully monstrous artifact Autobiography of an Abandoned Animal Hole (a 20-foot plaster cast of an abandoned muskrat hole), may be seen either as a suite or a single work, in a manner similar to William Burroughs’ practice of poetic composition. Burroughs begins with a core text; passages are selected from it and grouped into separate poems, parts of

  • “Homage to the Bag”

    Bag—A receptacle of flexible material open only at the top (where it can be closed); a pouch, a small sack.

    If one took a simplistic view of the boundaries of art, it would be easy to dismiss a show of bags at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts as being merely about craft. One could see it as sheer haberdashery, like the recent men’s clothing show at the Brooklyn Museum. But what is a bag? The exhibition reveals that bags are important carriers—the pun is intended—of content in society. On its most basic level a bag is something we put things in when we can’t or don’t want to carry them in our

  • Jan Dibbets

    In his recent show of photographic grids of sections of forest and field, Jan Dibbets is working within a more painterly tradition than is generally evidenced in his work. Although they are not the only possible antecedents, a comparison with two earlier field painters, Monet and Pollock, is germane to discussion of Dibbets’ current work.

    There are many one-to-one parallels between Dibbets’ photographs and Monet’s late water-lily paintings. In each, the artist begins with a fixed view of a horizontal surface seen from the roughly 45° angle of vision of a standing person. The horizontal plane is

  • Frantisek Kupka

    In the retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum and the concurrent exhibition of drawings at Denise Rene, graphic work emerges as an important element in Czech-born French émigré pioneer abstractionist Frantisek Kupka’s oeuvre. Throughout most of his career he partially supported himself through realistic black and white book illustration in the Viennese Secessionist style. These illustrations, plus studies for his early figurative paintings, are seen only at the Guggenheim.

    In the early years of the 20th century he made an extensive series of drawings for his first abstract paintings—The Fugues

  • Anne Healy and Pat Lasch

    A.I.R. is a gallery that specializes in painting and sculpture by women. Many of the artists exhibiting there, including Anne Healy and Pat Lasch, worked with traditionally womanly materials such as thread and cloth. At one time it was thought that their primary aim in using them was to radicalize (as in radical feminist) art through their assertion that women’s activities were the proper subject/object of art. Partially because of a political/economic belief that it is wiser to move into the mainstream, some of the artists have tended to disperse into the art world at large. Unfortunately, they

  • Hannah Wilke

    Causing more commotion than was warranted or necessary, Hannah Wilke unfortunately felt she had to get on the bandwagon of artists’ “nudie” pin-ups with a vulgarly accessorized (i.e. unzipped blue jeans, hair curlers, etc.) rendering of her semi-nude flesh in 28 photographs from the S.O.S. Mastication Box, a 1975 performance at the Galerie Gerald Piltzer, Paris. Wilke’s act of physical display resembles Robert Morris’s and Lynda Benglis’s erotic publicity, but it is also a record, à la Acconci, Oppenheim, etc. of the ways she “crudded up” her “perfect flesh” with her personal portable leprosy,

  • Harry Bouras

    Harry Bouras’s recent show of carved and colored hydrocal and cement wall reliefs seem like rediscovered artifacts from an ancient civilization. They invite the spectator to pursue a pseudo-archeology wherein the cunei-formlike carvings covering the surfaces must be deciphered. Although they are more abstract and less readable than the body of Bouras’s work, they continue his concerns with language and diagrams of societal relationships.

    In 1971 Bouras exhibited a series of drawings and pages from his notebooks about the ways in which he saw people confined in the basic social matrix, the grid.