Eileen Neff

  • William Larson

    William Larson began his distinguished career as a photographer in the late ’60s, when he first identified his interests in the technology of the medium and its conventions of representation. His largely conceptual work is characterized by a sense of experiment as well as an exquisite formalist approach, both due, perhaps, to a certain freedom and aesthetic derived from his training as a painter. It’s not difficult to see in retrospect how his ongoing commitment to the language of still imagery anticipated an exploration of the moving image: From his earliest sequential photographic series to

  • Virgil Marti

    Even in this nineteenth-century museum/school, architecturally idiosyncratic by any standard, the first arch-framed glimpse of Virgil Marti’s installation caused a visceral jolt that only intensified as one approached. Marti had transformed the exhibition space with fluorescent wallpaper of his own design, which glowed in the gallery under black light. The fill, as the main panels are called, repeated a large composite image of a range of landscape icons, from palm trees to Rocky Mountain waterfalls; the scene announced the kind of botanical anomalies Marti finds in the recollected landscapes

  • Buy Shaver

    THE EXPANSIVE ABSTRACT PAINTINGS in Buy Shaver's recent show display varied theoretical strategies: Some are absorbed in purely perceptual investigations, while others give a quick nod to formalism before heading off into the territory of ambiguity and metaphor. Among the conventionally strict examples is B.T.M.A.O. (White Square), 1998, a small canvas consisting of enameled rectangles of color in a lateral, bannerlike rhythm interrupted by a single insistent white square. A more animated perceptual jolt is caused by Red Flag, 2000, in which four distinct sections of gridded black and red meet

  • Tristin Lowe/Richard Harrod

    After a year of presenting some of the more engaging shows in Philadelphia, artists Richard Harrod and Tristin Lowe’s Blohard Gallery recently closed. What distinguished Blohard from the start was the simple but remarkable idea of only showing artists from other cities, particularly New York. For local artists, who both benefit and suffer from their proximity to New York, this arrangement extended their possibilities of seeing and being seen. Such was the vision of Harrod and Lowe, and something of the shared sensibility that allowed them to sustain Blohard for a year is apparent in their parting

  • Thomas Chimes

    In a long horizontal line extending through the gallery, the faces of the late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century artistic and intellectual avant-garde—Arthur Rimbaud, Antonin Artaud, Oscar Wilde, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Marcel Duchamp, Alfred Jarry—stared out at the contemporary visitor. With this remarkable set of small portraits, Thomas Chimes aligned himself with the great champions of the imagination, the writers, artists, and philosophers whose life and work embraced the unconscious and illuminated a kind of freedom from the cultural values of their historical moment. Shown here in the

  • Amy Hauft

    In her installation Period Room, 1998, Amy Hauft challenged expectations about site-specific works and their architectural moorings. Laid out in a formal grid, a waist-high horizontal plane of caned plywood frames filled the entire space except for a narrow winding walkway branching off in three short paths. Each led to a caned chair, handcrafted by the artist. By contrast to the museum period rooms referenced in the work’s title, the viewer became a participant whose passage was regulated through the piece. It somehow felt natural to raise your arms while negotiating the paths to the chairs,

  • Susan Hiller

    Born in this country but a resident of England since 1967, Susan Hiller is better known abroad, and “Wild Talents,” comprising a group of installations, was her first solo museum exhibition here. Much of Hiller’s work invokes a Conceptual strategy of the ’70s in which collections (of objects or images) and their display are critical components used to create a certain cool look and to emphasize the art’s conditional, mediated status. Though Hiller plays down her early training as an anthropologist, the collecting methodology that informs her work both overlaps this Conceptual stance and demonstrates

  • Roman Signer

    Forgoing his signature explosions, Roman Signer opened his recent exhibition (part of the Moore International Discovery Series, which features artists whose reputations were established largely outside the United States) with a brief “action.” With the help of his pilot Armin Caspari, he used the downwind from a small (five-foot-long) battery-operated helicopter to force a large empty mental drum from one gallery space into another. The event was characteristic of many of Signer’s actions, in which natural forces provoke and alter ordinary objects or materials in simple yet dynamic ways, creating,

  • Sarah McEneaney

    Sarah McEneaney’s paintings are enlivened by the contradietory effects produced when romantic sensibility meets realist painting. At once obsessively observant and psychologically loaded, her autobiographical works celebrate both the power of the imagination and the particulars of McEneaney’s own life. The paintings’ apparent subjects include landscapes viewed on recent trips, but her richest investigations mine the familiar spaces of her home and studio. She pictures herself alone, often lying down, asleep or reading, or just staring at the ceiling. Though her dog or cat sometimes appear, these

  • Jeanne Silverthorne

    Jeanne Silverthorne’s installation was a meditation on the artist’s studio, providing a point of entry to a body of work that resonates in surprising ways. Her strategy of blowing up the small plaster fragments that are the material residue of the casting process and transforming them into large black rubber sculptures evokes the nature of the contemporary artist’s role: the need to search for new visual forms when so many have already been exhausted. Her investigation of the sculptural process through its leftovers lends an ironic cast to the persistence of artistic practice and the still

  • Rebecca Johnson

    Echoing natural forms and materials, Rebecca Johnson’s most recent sculptures range widely in scale and their degree of complexity. To produce these works, Johnson carves many varieties of wood and stone, which she occasionally combines with cement reinforced with fiberglass, and sometimes paints or charrs. The pieces in which the natural materials underwent the fewest transformations were the most rewarding.

    The water or moss used in two of the smallest works lends them a kind of organicism. Dream Pool, 1995, a marble sculpture shaped like a pillow, in which a hollow resembling the imprint left

  • Tom Judd

    Though they look back to the tradition of 19th-century American landscape painting, Tom Judd’s recent paintings also reaffirm what is fundamental to their own iconography. In his earlier works, the landscape is an open field in which a lone figure might sit on a sofa or appear statuelike on a pedestal, and is as likely to be found surrounded by potted house plants as by trees. In this interiorized exterior, it was the “modern idiom” (the title of a 1981 painting) that Judd was exploring, and his primary sources were the magazine advertisements of the ’50s—the decade of his early childhood. His