Edit de Ak

  • Steve Gianakos

    Steve Gianakos has been for some time a master of the cosy, unruly materials which comprise his encyclopedic mischiefs of Americana—shabby, homespun curio items of cardboard and foil. Recently, the fabricated objects, which are in a sense cartoons of their own clumsy object-hood, have given way to straightforward two-dimensional cartoons.

    Cartoons are a good medium for artists titillated by the more vernacular mechanisms of communication. The cartoons of Neil Jenny, William Wegman, and Gianakos underscore one of the peculiarities of ’70s art: the decadence of represented imagery and the simultaneous

  • Luigi Ontani

    There is a cliché about contemporary Italian art being hopelessly overwhelmed by the living presence of the nation’s artistic past. Like most clichés, this catches the sense if not the facts; at any rate it is a question that particularly concerns Italians, and a number of artists are addressing their heritage directly. Luigi Ontani, a young Roman artist who had his first one-man show in New York recently, seems to be working in just that area.

    Preceding him to this country was a little book, representative of his performances and tableaux, in which the artist re-creates Renaissance mythological

  • James Lee Byars

    With the dreamy but aggressive flamboyance of the have-nots James Lee Byars lingers amidst the ephemera of religious thinking and the trappings of the elite, using the most perishable of art mediums. Were he to relax the contrived difficulty of his manifestations he would fade out entirely, but behind this dubious presence he must be there, somewhere. Nonetheless I think his art would disappear if we pressed it through a sieve of mechanistic criticism. His world is that of a salon Buddha.

    He dresses the part, appearing at the performance opening his exhibition in black silk attire looking altogether

  • Brad Davis And Ned Smyth

    Brad Davis and Ned Smyth recently collaborated on an installation entitled The Garden. It might seem strange that The Garden was exhibited or that it took place, or especially that it was indoors, encompassed by a showcasing business structure—a gallery. It wasn’t the best context. In fact, much of the art shown at this particular gallery suffers from being shown in a gallery. I find that negative comments about the art shown there often disappear when the work is encountered in a less formal setting.

    In spite of, or rather because of, the difficulty the notion of “gallery” imposes on the work,