Gregory Williams

  • picks May 21, 2001

    Jonathan Meese

    “La Chambre de Balthus, III” by Jonathan Meese

    Viewers familiar with German artist Jonathan Meese’s sprawling installations, which typically resemble clubhouses for exceedingly angst-ridden teens, may be surprised by his current show at Leo Koenig. Entitled “La Chambre de Balthus III,” it features a series of expressionistic, figurative, thickly painted scenes on canvas that make vague reference to the eccentric French painter Balthus and other historical figures. In keeping with his penchant for environments with a certain Gothic flair, Meese has reduced his palette primarily to black, brown, and gray. The resulting earth tones work in

  • picks May 18, 2001

    Gregory Whitehead

    Gregory Whitehead at Location One

    Gregory Whitehead is widely known for audio projects that inject heavy doses of fiction into the documentary tradition. For his current video installation Delivery System No. 1, however, he presents a group of people communicating without the use of spoken language. Instead, nine actors evoke a range of emotions and attitudes by silently putting on various facial expressions. Inspired by the long-running game show Hollywood Squares, Whitehead arranged the mute faces into three “acts” (“Good Morning,” “Catastrophe,” and “Courage”) that utilize the familiar ticktacktoe grid of the TV show. The

  • picks May 08, 2001

    Peter Fend

    Peter Fend's Environmental Systems

    Peter Fend has spent over twenty years arguing that the realms of art and science should operate in tandem. As the president of the Ocean Earth Development Corporation, he has been involved in projects that move well beyond the art world to enter terrain normally occupied by environmentalists, ecologists, and engineers. Fend's current show, “Big Deal,” is at turns inspiring and confounding in its display of drawings, plans and maps that detail his proposals for producing alternative forms of renewable energy (including the sale of shares in his Giant Algae System Corporation). One might be

  • Phyllis Baldino

    Video’s ability to highlight the elasticity of time has fascinated artists for over thirty years (consider Bruce Nauman’s Video Corridor of 1968–70 or Nam June Paik’s 1974 TV Buddha). Phyllis Baldino’s two recent video installations (both 2000) further this tradition by exploring the negative consequences of the compression of time. Lie the structuralist filmmakers of the ’60s and ’70s, Baldino imposes strict temporal and conceptual limits on her investigations yet extends her project well beyond a medium-specific critique.

    16 minutes lost is based on science writer James Gleick’s theory, put

  • picks April 24, 2001

    Cadence Giersbach

    Cadence Giersbach's “Tropicalia”

    For “Tropicalia,” Cadence Giersbach has covered almost every square inch of wall space at Roebling Hall in a multilayered feast for the eyes. Using photographs she took of an empty theme park in India, Giersbach refashions her records of this leisure zone into an optically charged gallery installation. Paintings on padded vinyl derive from her snapshots of the park’s polychromatic statuary. They are hung against a green backdrop (painted directly on the wall) that evokes the lush environment surrounding the tourist site. The images are partially distorted, either blurred, doubled, or stretched

  • picks April 12, 2001

    Marjetica Potrc

    Hugo Boss Prize winner Potrc at the Guggenheim

    After winning the 2000 Hugo Boss Prize, Slovenian artist Marjetica Potrc might be finding it ironic to install her re-creations of contemporary shantytown dwellings in the slick spaces of the Guggenheim. Her work certainly stands in stark contrast to the ethos of the real-estate-hungry host institution. In a structure made of materials commonly found on construction sites and a model of a “skeleton house” typical of South African subsidized-housing initiatives, she reproduces the ramshackle shelters that proliferate at the edges of any number international urban centers. Potrc, who studied both

  • picks April 11, 2001

    “G3NY13”

    Douglas Gordon and thirteen friends

    For “G3NY13,” Casey Kaplan asked Douglas Gordon and thirteen of his colleagues who have worked in the same postal-code district in central Glasgow to provide a glimpse into their local art scene. The result: a show that doesn’t attempt to codify a movement or map a cohesive set of approaches, but that does offer a certain cheeky, even at times morbid, sense of humor. The sole English artist, Jonathan Monk, contributes graffiti (“ENGLISH GO HOME”); Christine Borland wraps skulls in leather; Claire Barclay makes a fetish object out of issues of the design magazine Wallpaper; Graham Fagan displays

  • Jude Tallichet

    If Buckminster Fuller had got his way, midtown Manhattan today would find itself under a giant geodesic dome. The utopist engineer’s 1962 proposal for such a structure (meant to protect urban dwellers against smog and, given the cold war, perhaps even nuclear fallout) represents the kind of vision—partly idealistic, partly pragmatic—to which Jude Tallichet pays homage in her recent show “Left.” Architecture is presented here as being equally capable of accommodating forward-looking theories and pure utilitarian necessity. A wide swath of its history—from the low-lying Mongolian yurt to Ted

  • Documenta 11

    THESE DAYS IT'S TRULY CHALLENGING to make a resonant curatorial statement amid the chaotic conversation that surrounds proliferating megaexhibitions and regional biennials. Okwui Enwezor, artistic director of Documenta 11, and his cocurators (Carlos Basualdo, Ute Meta Bauer, Susanne Ghez, Sarat Maharaj, Mark Nash, and Octavio Zaya) have found a new way to make their voices heard, turning Documenta into a series of events that will crisscross the globe for over a year before settling in Kassel, Germany, the show's traditional host city, in June 2002. Enwezor says of the uprooting: “Kassel, of

  • Sharon Ya'ari

    LIVING IN ISRAEL, a country with a painfully acute sense of the mutual dependency of geography and national identity, Sharon Ya'ari is particularly aware of the socially constructed character of the landscape. His new series of photographs, “Last Year,” 2000, portrays the environment beyond the city limits, where the Israeli terrain is open and only sparsely populated. Those few individuals who do appear in the images manage to destabilize what would otherwise be a fairly classical depiction of verdant pastures and rolling hills.

    Ya'ari sets up his shots with a plein-air painter's sensibility

  • Renée Green, Marion von Osten, and Peter Spillmann

    This show presupposed that mythical beast, the gallery-goer willing to part with a bit of time—a highly valued commodity in New York. Outgoing Swiss Institute director Annette Schindler assembled these three separate installations around the idea of cultural labor. Projects by Renée Green, well known to the New York audience, and Marion von Osten and Peter Spillmann, Swiss artists who have often collaborated, encouraged a hands-on approach and devoted relatively little attention to questions of aesthetics. This relaxed attitude toward the conditions of display only lent more weight to the theme