David Levi Strauss

  • Alexander Apóstol

    In his first solo show in the U.S., Alexander Apóstol presented a group of photo assemblages comprised of distressed negatives and prints—ranging in tone from gold to selenium—culled from various sources and then pasted or stitched together with coarse string. With their Starn-like facture, these works both mystify and delight, forming a kind of road map through the psychic landscape of this 26-year-old Venezuelan artist.

    Many of the assemblages include conventional formal portraits that in this context take on an almost archetypal character. The top row of Sastre (Tailor, 1993) is comprised of

  • Caroline Dlugos

    At first glance, Caroline Dlugos’ large color landscapes appear to be neo-objectivist expressions in which the pure pleasure of looking at any huge, well-made color photograph is almost enough. And Dlugos’ pictures are certainly beautiful. They are all taken from an elevated vantage point—with fields of grass or flowers or plowed ground swelling up to fill the lower two-thirds of the frame—and all end in a high, straight line that forms the horizon, above which loom luxurious skies. These expansive views are initially restful, so it is with some consternation that you begin to notice incommensurable

  • Gillian Jagger

    Sculptor Gillian Jagger has worked in large-scale plaster, stone, cast cement, and sheet lead. In all of these media, she has tracked and analyzed the passage of natural forces over the surface of matter in order to investigate the way meaning lodges in physical form, and to uncover the connections between the external shape of things and internal processes. In her most recent tree sculptures, Jagger brought to light the relations between the effects of wind, rain, ice, sun, predation, and age on the texture and shape of a tree and the internal functions served or transformed by these natural

  • Aharon Gluska

    Aharon Gluska’s early abstract paintings achieved a contradictory beauty by balancing conceptual coolness and gestural expansiveness. These paintings often featured dark grounds from which abstract and geometric shapes seemed to emerge. Over the past five years, Gluska has replaced these shapes with identity photographs of Auschwitz detainees taken by the Nazis, drawn from the archives of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

    His recent installation of “photographic paintings” presented these photographs through varying layers of mediation. In some cases, Gluska glued the photographs

  • Abelardo Morell

    This show of Abelardo Morell’s large black and white photographs drew from three different series: pictures of photographic apparatuses and simple optical phenomena, rooms transformed into camera obscuras, and manipulated closeups of pictures in art books. In all three groups of work, photographic realism is turned inside out, lifting the veil on the mystery of appearances.

    Morell’s informally formal pictures of photographic apparatuses portray the ghost in the machine as a charming eccentric. In My Camera and Me, 1991, the artist wryly contemplates his hanged-man image in the ground glass.

  • Gwenn Thomas

    When seen from a distance, Gwenn Thomas’ black and white grids on stretched linen might be mistaken for geometric abstract paintings, but upon closer examination it becomes clear that these grids have been pointedly mediated along photographic lines. Squares of material (paper, packing tape, and cardboard) in black, white, and gray have been laid out in rectangular grids on an off-white ground, photographed, probably enlarged, and then printed on linen treated with photoemulsion. Thomas stretched the linen over bars and hung the pieces without framing them. The resulting pictures are ethereal

  • Gilles Peress

    Farewell to Bosnia is an installation of over 80 images made last year in Bosnia and Croatia that documents the lives of Bosnian refugees in flight and under siege. (First shown at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C., the show’s last venue will be the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach early in 1995.)

    Gilles Peress’ 30-by-40-inch black and white photographs were printed full frame, mounted on canvas with metal grommets in the corners, and screwed to the walls in broken rectangular grids. Arranged on facing walls set at an angle, the two largest grids form a funnel

  • Todd Watts

    Todd Watts’ photographs draw on the scientific aura of the medium only to set his viewers up for a fall. Like pictures used in astronomical, meteorological, and medical applications, his elaborately constructed images have the look of the strictly evidential, and come complete with the requisite grid of crosses or dots. But rather than limiting factors and elements in order to decrease ambiguity and heighten objectivity, Watts uses the scientific frame to expose and highlight the arbitrariness and fallibility of human vision.

    Some of Watts’ most effective works are his “Dimensional Abstractions,”

  • Barbara Ess

    Barbara Ess’ dreamlike photographic images—made with the most primitive of cameras (a pinhole camera), then enlarged and printed in delicate monochromes—are immediately compelling. We see a white dove’s rosy wing, its feathers opened like a hand, diaphanous folds of cloth, and a patch of floral carpet illumined in green, soft as an exhalation. These images possess a clairvoyant, peripheral-visionary intelligence; some are as indelible as those from one’s own dreams.

    The word “duvetyn” (the name of a soft fabric with a twill weave used in downquilts) seems to serve as a tutelary daimon for the

  • “Without”

    “Without,” curated by David Cannon Dashiell and Peter Edlund (originally for The LAB in San Francisco in conjunction with A Day Without Art) managed to integrate several different approaches to privation, absence, and loss into one remarkably coherent meditation. What is more remarkable is that “Without” also managed to avoid being ponderous or maudlin. In fact, the works collected here might usefully be categorized using the medieval terms for representations of death: memento mori, danse macabre, vanitas vanitatum, ars morendi, and magines mortis.

    Comprised of 15 pieces, in all media, by 15

  • Franta Skala

    Franta Skala, a young artist from Prague, fashioned the objects in his “Headlands Seahead” show almost entirely out of flotsam and jetsam that had washed up on the beach while he was in residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts outside of San Francisco, but the guiding sensibility—in its mixture of gnomic whimsy and golemic dread—was unmistakably Eastern European. In fact, some of these same objects have been chosen to represent the Czech Republic at the Venice Biennale later this year.

    Skala was a member of the secret organization known by the initials B.K.S. (the anagram translates to “

  • Margaret Crane/Jon Winet

    Margaret Crane/Jon Winet’s installation The First Day of the Rest of Our Lives, 1992—a coolly damning, nonpartisan inquiry into the nature of political subjectivity—presented a sobering caveat to election-night euphoria. Upon entering the gallery, one first encountered a black chair before a white wall on which was printed this message: “Hope shimmers and fades; it washes the present in a flattering light and shapes the future into something that won’t give you the heebie-jeebies.” On the chair lay a black sleeping-mask and a tape player with headphones. This piece, Voting Booth sfx loop, 1992,