Frances Richard

  • Starving Letters, 2000.

    Rivane Neuenschwander

    The progeny of Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica continue to emerge from the Brazilian scene, pursuing the further decoction of aesthetic statement from a ferment of language games, social commentary, sensory stimuli, and materials-conscious abstraction. The newest comer is Rivane Neuenschwander, whose first solo US museum show has been organized by the Walker’s Olukemi Ilesanmi. (Meanwhile, a survey of the artist’s work, organized by Adriano Pedrosa, opened at the Museo de Arte da Pampulha in her hometown of Belo Horizonte in May.) With an emphasis on ephemera like Scotch

  • Plamen Dejanov, Swetlana Heger, Quite Normal Luxury II, 2001.

    Uncommon Denominator: New Art from Vienna

    From the tortured gorgeousness of Klimt and Schiele to the gorgeous torture of the Actionists, Vienna is a city that seems to elicit intensity from its artists. All the same, the idea of exploring the identity of a locale via one grand exhibition can promote a certain anodyne blandness. Perhaps to offset this factor, “Uncommon Denominator” stresses its multimedia unclassifiability, delivering some seventy works by sixteen participants; painting, video, wall drawings, and more are on view, with most work dating from the last three years. The roster, selected by Mass MoCA’s

  • Jennifer Dalton

    In her latest exhibition, “A Task No One Assigned,” Jennifer Dalton responded to a comment by New Yorker critic Peter Schjeldahl characterizing art production as unmandated or self-commissioned effort. “What makes these exercises art?” Schjeldahl wrote of “Paradise Now,” a group show at Exit Art in New York in 2000. “Well, what else might they reasonably be? They involve real work that is really gratuitous . . . [and] that’s distinction enough.” Dalton, quoting him in the press release, has accepted his dictates as both permission granted and gauntlet thrown down. The three interlinked works

  • Gordon Matta-Clark

    Gordon Matta-Clark died young, but the life span of his large-scale architectural interventions was even shorter. Of the major site-specific “non-uments” realized in the period between his architectural studies at Cornell in the late '60s and his death from cancer in 1978, not one has escaped the wrecking crew. Since the work was fundamentally concerned with the physical experience of built space—a kinesthetic mix of void and mass, light and shadow, suburban saltbox or pier warehouse and phenomenological event—this poses problems for curators. Of course, Matta-Clark knew that the

  • Louise Bourgeois

    What can one say about Louise Bourgeois but that she is master of her form and mistress of her passions? Now ninety, Bourgeois has been making art for nearly three-quarters of a century, executing drawings in her parents' tapestry-restoration atelier in Paris in the '20s and studying with Léger in the '30s. This was her first New York solo show in almost a decade, though last summer's exhibition with Yayoi Kusama at Peter Blum was one of the year's highlights. The new work is large, comedic, disturbing, beautiful. The intimately psychoanalytic content of her sculpture has often been remarked—yet

  • Rochelle Steiner at the Serpentine Gallery, 2001.

    Rochelle Steiner

    Set like a jewel in London’s Kensington Gardens, the Serpentine Gallery is “probably the greatest art space in the world for its size,” according to Ralph Rugoff, director of the CCAC Wattis Institute for Contemporary arts (his show “The Greenhouse Effect” was presented there in 2000). Emphasizing commissions (Doug Aitken, Zaha Hadid) and collaborative ventures with other institutions (Dia Center for the Arts, MAK Vienna), the Serpentine is a small but central portal through which the stream of international art activity flows. With recent exhibitions running the gamut from Felix Gonzalez-Torres

  • HOME IN THE WORLD: THE ART OF DO-HO SUH

    A voluminous canopy in translucent celadon silk is suspended from the gallery ceiling like a dream or a ghost of a house. Responsive to light and air currents and open at the bottom as if it could drift down to enclose a viewer standing below, the tentlike structure is nevertheless exactingly detailed, a diaphanous confection whose specific architectural character asserts itself gradually. If you crane your neck, adjusting your sight line on this fragile room-within-a-room, it takes a moment to orient your ground-bound body to the implied space above. Articulated with stitched seams, the fabric

  • This Is Me, This Is You (detail), 2000

    Roni Horn

    After a significant show at the Whitney in 2000, Roni Horn might be excused from mounting another in New York so soon, and a two-parter at that; it’s a tribute to her intense focus that she not only offers more but makes us thirsty for it.

    After a significant show at the Whitney in 2000, Roni Horn might be excused from mounting another in New York so soon, and a two-parter at that; it’s a tribute to her intense focus that she not only offers more but makes us thirsty for it. The exhibition presents a meditation on the mutability—and fixity—of signs both visual and verbal. Joining a pair of works held over from Part I are Clowd and Cloun (Blue), 2001, and Becoming a Landscape, 2001, a brand-new photo-based piece. Given Horn’s extensive output of artist’s books, her decision to release a CD of vocal performance rather than a

  • Curve (Ghoster), 1996.

    Gary Simmons

    Gary Simmons is on the young side of midcareer, an artist whose concerns dovetail nicely with what curator Thelma Golden terms postblack art, probing the contours of racialized knowledge in order to turn that knowledge inside out.

    Gary Simmons is on the young side of midcareer, an artist whose concerns dovetail nicely with what curator Thelma Golden terms postblack art, probing the contours of racialized knowledge in order to turn that knowledge inside out. This thirty-five-work retrospective highlights the Los Angeles–based artist’s insistence on “slow” or non-technological media and includes examples of his signature “erasure drawings”: chalkboard-style wall works in which pop imagery appears as liminal smudges. In Golden’s hands, the show offers ample opportunity to reexamine politicized selfhood

  • Distraction, 1992.

    Jana Sterback

    Jana Sterbak cites among her influences the grim/droll Magic Realism of her Czech compatriots Franz Kafka and Milan Kundera. In her metal crinolines and dresses made of meat, in the circular intensity of her performances—which often explore a mute protagonist’s interaction with a mechanistic yet intimate sculptural appendage—Sterbak makes visible the coded psychologies of fairy tale. This full-scale retrospective, the artist’s first major European undertaking since 1996, brings together thirty videos, sculptures, and installations from 1979 to the present. Curated by Bera

  • Roni Horn

    When an artist settles into the niche of her obsessions, the line can become very fine between the rote re-presentation of a signature discovery and the passionate revision of a central but enigmatic urge. Twenty-some years into her career, Roni Horn's field of interest is well-defined, notwithstanding the fact that her subjects—indeterminacy, doubleness, and motion—are inherently difficult to pin down. Her current show, the first of a two-part installation spanning eight months, is based entirely on strategies she has deployed before; in a way, there was nothing new to see. So why

  • “A Private Reading: The Book as Image and Object”

    This crowded and pleasantly fusty show presented not artists’ books but artworks premised on the idea of the book as a cultural form, a prism refracting conceptual, formal, psychological, and historical meaning. Fifty-five pieces by thirty-five artists were on view; not surprisingly, emphasis fell on assemblage, photography, and works on paper, with modest dimensions and subdued palettes predominating. “The book as image and object” is a loose designation, and certain items seemed to have been chosen more for their maker’s name than for intrinsic wit or wisdom regarding visuality, textuality,