C. L. Morrison

  • Robert Graham

    In the 1960s, Robert Graham arranged five-inch wax models in plexiglass perspex boxes, reminiscent of Muybridge’s and Eakins’s studies of a nude woman from many angles. Obviously, the painted specifics of nipples, pubic hair, and pretty faces were of more interest to the artist than the definition of light and space or the relationships between the forms in the box. By 1971, Graham removed this narrative element from his work, concentrating on form. The small-scale models now were bronze cast, and the body parts showed not sensuality, but a potential for limitless, complex positions. This movement

  • Alice Shaddle

    Was a time when ladies thought it derogatory to mention their own wispy qualities. But one type of current women’s art seems to acknowledge the female myth, in effect, saying, “Yes, femininity exists and my art proves it.” And then there is the other kind of work that bolluxes the myth, appropriating phallic imagery or elevating Plain Janes where Marilyns might have stood. Expressing this dichotomy, Alice Shaddle is a paradigm standing opposite the imagery of Judith Bernstein. Shaddle acknowledges the sense of flowers, the fluent fantasies, the shifting forms which Bernstein summarily “plows”

  • David Roth

    One summer, I worked with an anthropologist who collected hundreds of contemporary Mexican hand-painted pots. She analyzed the structure, frequency, distribution, and interrelation of their design elements—birds, flowers, leaves, moons, even cowboys—to deduce which Mexican potmakers sat in groups and which of them sat alone. It turned out that the “group” people borrowed design elements from each other; the “loners” traded designs with no one. Because this revelation(?) proved the charts and literature which generated it, the anthropologist’s pots were as “scientifically” verified as any Fanny

  • Jim Nutt

    I never was a little boy who got particular delight out of dangling wormy creatures above mommy’s head, so the mischief of doing “bad” images and displaying them in stodgy places where only “proper” things should be shown—i.e. art galleries—fails to give me vicarious fascination. Nor am I real amazed at stuff that wants to jolt me from my middle-class values, make me blush in front of my friends, or generally show me that everything in a world I thought was virtuous either stinks or is subject to human ridicule.

    Jim Nutt’s fiendish images drawn on paper don’t really look so fiendish, and, no,

  • Joan Brown

    Joan Brown’s large-scale, cartoonish painting has moved from her prior hokey camp and jokey funk to a kind of no-nonsense social imagery, painful but bearable. Her format is controlled, her figures frontal, and her paint asensual. In a new group of six self-portraits, primarily concerned with de-idealizing women, I marvel at the areas in which life and art can come together. For example: Woman Waiting in Restaurant—the black and white tile floor, a device immortalized by Vermeer to situate a contented woman in a warm window light, now leads along a roguish red carpet to billboardish rows of

  • Bruce Conner

    Bruce Conner’s drawings, like his assemblages and films, deal with the concept of transmutation of form, both optical and metaphysical. But, whereas the assemblages and films have specific origins in the world, the drawings have no scale reference, and, in many cases, a cool, nonhierarchic pattern diminishes the importance even of specific detail. Thus, the rhythmic, densely organic, scribbles, dots, and hatches might refer to molecules or galaxies, interiors or exteriors, dissolving geometry. They include rows of mandalas, cocoonish fetuses, illustrations for Dante’s Inferno, landscaped