George Baker

  • LIES, DAMN LIES, AND STATISTICS: THE ART OF CHRISTIAN PHILIPP MÜLLER

    The bourgeois wants his art luxurious, his life ascetic. It would make more sense if it were the other way around. . . . What works of art really demand from us is knowledge or, better, a cognitive faculty of judging justly: they want us to become aware of what is true and what is false in them.

    —Theodor Adorno, Aesthetic Theory

    SCATTERED, ALMOST TEN YEARS of context-specific projects that can be reconstituted only with difficulty; scattering, a body of work that tracks the paths and passages of the art system itself, which today will not hold still long enough to be judged: the fundamental

  • Renée Green

    Renée Green’s most recent installation, Partially Buried, 1996, worked both sides of Walter Benjamin’s well-worn dictum: “Allegories are, in the realm of thoughts, what ruins are in the realm of things.” Both sides, for Green’s installation functioned at once as an allegory of the current status and effectiveness of “site-specific” practices as well as a complex documentation of an actual art-historical ruin, Robert Smithson’s Partially Buried Woodshed, 1970. Constructed as an illustration of the process of entropy, Smithson dumped earth on a woodshed standing on the Kent State University campus

  • THIS IS NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT: MARCEL BROODTHAERS’ SECTION PUBLICITÉ

    Maggots. They subdivide. And never stop.

    Marcel Broodthaers, Pense-Bête (1964)

    If Joseph Kosuth was the André Breton of Conceptual art, then Marcel Broodthaers was the movement’s Georges Bataille. This is not a perfect analogy, of course, but it is telling: on the one hand, we have a figure obsessed with definition and control, with the construction of artistic genealogies, with the celebration of art as idea, and on the other, a figure dedicated to dispersion and subversion, to the laughter that baffles power, to the elaboration of a new concept of materialism. Surrealism’s self-proclaimed

  • Fritz Faiss

    The Upstairs Gallery of the museum has assembled an impressive retrospective by this German-born artist. Although there are numerous chrono­logical gaps because of Nazi confisca­tion and war-time bombing, it is imme­diately apparent that Faiss has worked deeply into, and searchingly explored, the life, dreams, and beliefs of man. The results, remarkably varied, range from Biblical illustration, to rhythmic abstractions, to German Expressionist-­like landscapes. During the years of Nazi Germany, Faiss defied the authori­ties to produce the series “The Life of Christ.” The surviving works, here

  • Joseph Young

    The Desert Museum shows the artist’s first retrospective exhibition. Included are examples of Young’s efforts in drawings, monotypes, sculpture-constructions, oils, mosaics, mural sketches and photo-enlargements of already executed architectural commissions. After reviewing these achievements in many fields it is rather surprising to find such an uneven collection of evidence in the museum. The photo-enlargements of architectural mosaics are undoubtedly the artist’s main concern. They are carefully conceived and are meticulously executed with considerable understanding of the medium. However,

  • Fritz Schwaderer

    Fritz Schwaderer, a southern California artist, shows a large group of paintings, the most impressive of which belong to the German Expressionist movement. Now an American citizen, Schwaderer’s relationship to German Expressionism dates from studies at the Academy in Berlin (1920–24) under Karl Hofer. In the best of the paintings the most characteristic elements of Expressionism are employed with considerable conviction. “Lavender Workers” portrays in somewhat mystical and entirely arbitrary color the anxiety and suffering of symbolic rather than specific man. With natural form and color negated