Ara H. Merjian

  • picks November 27, 2007

    “Diebenkorn in New Mexico: 1950–52”

    The word ALBUQUERQUE––appended to otherwise untitled and serially produced canvases—raises some inevitable questions regarding Richard Diebenkorn’s early abstraction. Already a young professor at the California School of Fine Arts, Diebenkorn left the Bay Area in 1950 to pursue a master’s degree at the University of New Mexico, where he stayed for more than two years on the GI Bill. How do the desert and its particular topographies resonate in his body of work (one so seemingly wedded to the West’s coastal light and atmosphere)? This cogent exhibition of more than fifty paintings and works on

  • picks November 02, 2007

    “TV Honey”

    Desiree Holman’s fifteen-minute video, The Magic Window, 2006–2007, revisits—and restages—two of the 1980s’ most influential sitcoms: The Cosby Show and Roseanne. On two screens, the Huxtables and Connors are played (or, rather, pastiched) by actors whose loose-fitting masks call attention to the staged nature of their pantomime. This awkwardness, in turn, highlights the contrivances of the original shows themselves. Holman captures the particular “situation” of each comedy: the Huxtables’ spirited and wholesome relationships, the Connors’ loafing and lumbering. But in distilling each series to