Dena Shottenkirk

  • Cary Smith

    Cary Smith’s seemingly minimalist paintings differ subtly from the mainstream model in both undercurrent and appearance; to look at Smith’s work is to be inaugurated into the world of the symbol: abstract, diffuse, and potent. Though Smith’s paintings are based on the rich yet austerely symmetrical designs of early Americana, in his hands they become separated from the folk culture of which they were originally a part. Smith lifts his patterns from the world of the usable, culturally embedded object and inserts them into the abstruse world of art, yet his work is not conceptual in the Duchampian

  • Allan McCollum

    Allan McCollum presented more than 2,000 framed drawings, created from some 200 infinitesimally varied and variously combined plastic templates, in a dense salon-style arrangement. Though the repealed images sat mutely one next to the other, together they had the force of an invasion. With blind fecundity, McCollum’s drawings seem to replicate without teleological intent or vanity of purpose. As in all of his work, the frightening spector of repetitive psychosis looms large. By presenting numerically limitless objects, all derived from the same host, McCollum presents a kind of user’s manual

  • Claudia Hart

    Claudia Hart takes Jean-Jacques Rousseau, historian, playwright, social critic, and Romantic par excellence, as the subject matter for her show. Three separate titles: “Brief Lives, Part 1” “Chance and Circumstance/1” and “The Contingency of Selfhood,” explicitly open the cultural Pandora’s box of Romanticism. Intended as the first in a series of exhibits dealing with the topic, this show opens up the dialogue surrounding the theoretical foundations on which both contemporary and historical art are based. Romanticism, as a response to the post-Cartesian disjunction of a free moral mind, and a

  • Mary Kelly

    Remarkable both in its ambition and in its radicalness, Mary Kelly’s gallery-size installation Interim is divided into four parts: Corpus, Pecunia, Historia and Potestas. The first section, Corpus (Body, 1984-85), consists of a series of coupled panels. One half of each pair features white handwritten text on a black background with occasional red highlighting. Phrases like “a presence much like hers” or “Look at my body” highlight an individual woman’s physical transformation over the years. The other half of each diptych consists of a silk-screened photograph of articles of clothing arranged

  • Dara Birnbaum

    Dara Birnbaum couches her recent video installation, Break in Transmission, 1990, in the fervent language of private recall and public censure. Intercutting clips from news reports about demonstrations in Tiananmen Square with images of Chinese singers in a recording studio, Birnbaum offers a subtle yet overpowering rendering of the massacre of student protesters in China. She shows how the fragile lives of individuals, filled with intricate moments of moral yearning, were not merely ripped apart, but simply negated: quietly and completely nullified.

    Birnbaum, known for her videos duplicating

  • Dan Graham and Jeff Wall

    Individually, Dan Graham and Jeff Wall have consistently investigated architecture for its parallels to human psychology. For them, the act of opening a door reiterates the experience of psychological interiorization; looking up into the broadening expanse of a portal suggests the physical manifestation of the unutterable infinite. Every physical detail of an abode becomes a recreation of a state of mind, and an ironic description of human emotional needs. This history informs their collaboration on The Children’s Pavilion, 1989.

    The architectural sources for this half-sized model are diverse.

  • Daniel Levine

    Daniel Levine reiterates images. Taking an arbitrary source such as a painting or print, he reproduces part of that image in black and white acrylic paint. But recognition of the original source is obviously not the desired goal, since each of his images is equally abstract; they resemble each other more than they resemble their sources. What is retained from the original is only a hinted movement, a darkened area, or a surface texture. The fact that the original sources are referred to neither in the works themselves nor in their titles underscores Levine’s interest in pursuing an arbitrariness

  • Matt Mullican

    The absence of a universal lexicon of symbols is something utopians and mystics bitterly regret. To give birth to an internal system of signs with such simplicity and directness that their truth is evident to all: such has been the goal of cosmologists from Pythagoras to Monty Python. Matt Mullican is known for his own complex system of emblematic signs. But his recent installation here steps through another dimension. Through the use of a device called "Connection Machine–2,” Mullican has created an imaginary world city, presented as though ready for a future real estate agent’s sales pitch.