Dan Cameron

  • International With Monument

    By the fall of 1986, a good litmus test of where you fell on the art-political spectrum was how you felt about International With Monument. Feared by some, hailed as the neighborhood’s salvation by others, the ponderously monikered gallery on East Seventh Street between 1st and A was known foremost as the outpost for Neo-Geo, the notorious non-movement whose lack of prior historical status did not exempt it from accusations of killing off the bohemian camaraderie that typified the first wave of East Village galleries. Begun in 1984 by three artist friends (Kent Klamen, Meyer Vaisman, and Elizabeth

  • Carroll Dunham

    For followers of Carroll Dunham’s work, the notion that his art requires a long-term commitment from the viewer is part of the shared faith that comes with the territory. Since he first began to appear in group shows twenty years ago, Dunham’s singular use of process in the deployment of color and drawing has made him the odd man out in discussions of recent American painting. Too analytical, introspective, even principled to be lumped in with any school, he is nevertheless claimed by a range of artists who see him as a rare standard-bearer in a morass of contemporary styles that seem increasingly

  • the Endless Biennial

    HERE’S A SPOT QUIZ. What do the cities São Paulo, Havana, Kassel, Münster, Venice, Santa Fe, Lyons, Kwangju, Istanbul, and Johannesburg mean to you? Either the preceding list reads as a disconnected set of far-flung travel destinations, or else you’re double-checking to make sure you packed the melatonin. If it’s the latter, you’re probably among those who recognize the extent to which those in the art world racked up Frequent Flyer miles over the last twelve months.

    If anything, 1997 seemed to be the year of the never-ending Biennial, with older, more established international shows joining

  • the 47th Venice Biennale

    As historians like to remind us, Venice is sinking. And if the Biennale is any indication, it’s disappearing faster than anyone suspected. Sure, the city and its treasures probably have a few good centuries left in them, but its greatest accomplishment in this one is increasingly held hostage to local politics and curatorial grandstanding. If in past years crowds have been shrinking, state money has been drying up, and the press has been screaming for blood, this June even art-world revelers fled, lured by the promise of greener pastures in Kassel.

    The night before my first peek at the 47th Venice

  • Jennifer Bolande

    Jennifer Bolande has built a career from slippery, almost ephemeral visual statements. Though she has always enjoyed spinning out image-puns alongside the vast majority of her more attention-grabbing contemporaries, it’s never been in the service of an easily paraphrasable message about identity or politics, or both. In fact, it isn’t until you “get” her pieces that the peculiarities of her investigation begin to sink in. Bolande probes the sorts of slippages that take place in everyday life: the moment when one thing momentarily overlaps with another and the distinctions between objects, between

  • Dan Cameron

    OUT PROUD

    Deciding that inclusiveness was the best way to handle the often-elusive subject matter of “IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT,” cocurators Nayland Blake and Lawrence Rinder turned a skewered look at the gay and lesbian impact on visual culture into a semiotic free-for-all, filling the University Art Museum in Berkeley, California, with more than 200 objects. Nothing was sacred, which meant that little was excluded: paintings, sculpture, and photography hung cheek by jowl with record covers, small-press publications, and gay propaganda, as well as bits of paraphernalia whose relationship to the

  • Alan Belcher

    Although Alan Belcher’s work has been visible for more than a decade, it has never attracted a broad audience. Part of this has to do with the critical discourse that surrounded photography during the ’80s, with its limiting, even formalist emphasis on the rather banal notion that the photograph was a mediated image not a window on reality. But some of the blame must also be laid at Belcher’s feet: he has tended to overstate the degree to which a single piece or series can effectively engage both sculptural and photographic issues. Not only have his efforts in this direction often resulted in

  • Ann Messner

    Though Ann Messner’s previous work—everyday, no-longer-functional objects and appliances, embedded in wax or wrapped in lead—may have communicated the pathos of the commodity become relic, it seemed cut off from the complexities of subjective expression. The artist’s recent exhibition at this small SoHo venue, marked an abrupt shift in her approach both to materials and to the mechanics of display. No longer playfully extending the tradition of the readymade, Messner, in her most recent show, employed a wide range of media to create a mysterious, moving tableau.

    The central and most arresting

  • Biennials Gone By

    LIKE SPRING CLEANING, romance, and hay fever, the time comes every (other) year when many of us can be found indulging in compulsive rounds of Whitney Biennial Trivial Pursuit. You’re all seasoned players so I’ll skip the easy questions, like when the Whitney started holding its surveys (1932), or when they changed from annual to biennial (1973). Admittedly, I probably take America’s premier contemporary-art survey a little more seriously than I should. For me, a recent opportunity to browse the museum’s archives was a chance to fulfill my periodic urge to dive deep as a baseball fan into the

  • EXHIBITIONS

    DAVE HICKEY

    Make It New

    Bruce Nauman retrospective, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles: Bad news from the studio, but real news nevertheless. Twenty-five years of pieces, each of which seems to have arisen out of a condition of sudden panic—out of the terror of not knowing, of having forgotten, willfully, day after day, what art is and what an artist might do—of having forgotten, even, what an artist is. A fountain? A source of mystic truths? A cruel instructor? A tortured clown? We get one brutal, last-ditch guess after another, and the whole practice of “artmaking” is reinvented, again

  • Gabriel Orozco

    Gabriel Orozco’s New York gallery debut seemed to have been painstakingly calibrated to confound the viewer’s expectations. The immediate impression upon entering the gallery was one of serene emptiness disrupted only by a small, thin blue ring at eye level in the center of each of the four walls. Upon closer examination, these rings turned out to be nearly identical plastic lids from yogurt containers that are transparent in the middle. Particularly noteworthy was the fact that absolutely nothing had been done to the lids: the price tags and expiration dates (one from May, three from September)

  • ABSENCE MAKES THE ART: DORIS SALCEDO

    DORIS SALCEDO IS ONE OF the several younger artists today who are redirecting sculpture, moving away from more formally oriented approaches toward social and emotional gestures and meanings. Salcedo points up the conceptual and perceptual differences in our notions of public and private space—for example, the way private, domestic space can become infused with feelings of loss, while public space, including the spaces of art viewing, are considered more “objective.” Like Christian Boltanski and Robert Gober, pioneers in the evocation of loss, Salcedo’s work paradoxically makes absence the register