Howard Risatti

  • Susan Rothenberg

    Organized by Michael Auping of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, this exhibition of Susan Rothenberg’s paintings and drawings from 1974 to 1992 could have provided the opportunity to reexamine her work in relation to the political and social art produced during those years. However, Auping chose to adhere to the standard retrospective format, concentrating on stylistic and chronological developments, thereby enshrining and isolating the work. What the show did offer, though perhaps unwittingly, was a juxtaposition of Rothenberg the draughtsman and Rothenberg the professional artist highly

  • John Harne

    Each of John Harne’s 25 small oil paintings in this show features his signature “Angry Little Man” figure. This gruff, cartoonlike character with stubble, arched eyebrows, clenched teeth, and a saw-tooth flattop hairdo looks like a cross between Bart Simpson and a Jim Nutt figure.

    Harne introduced his protagonist almost a decade ago as a stand-in, one suspects, for himself—a contemporary man defiantly at odds with the world around him. Nearly overwhelmed in the face of society in Harne’s earlier works, this “Angry Little Man” recalled Peter Finch in the movie Network, railing, “I’m mad as hell,

  • Keith Morrison

    Considering the current interest in art focusing on ideological, political, and multicultural issues, Keith Morrison’s paintings were both timely and instructive—timely because of their socially relevant themes, and instructive because of Morrison’s reluctance to sacrifice esthetic or philosophical substance in the service of overt polemics.

    In the watercolor Hat Ladies, 1989, Morrison, who is from Jamaica, employs a touch of humor in combining African and Christian themes, by placing three brightly decorated hats on an open Bible. These hats—the kind worn by black women on their way to

  • David Frye

    David Frye’s first solo exhibition consisted of 35 (frequently very small) paintings, a rather large folding screen, and three artist’s books. The books consist of preexisting volumes that Frye has used both as source material and as armatures to paint on. Many of their pages have been fused together with thick coats of paint or woven with wire. Some have been entirely obscured with paint, others painted out and then illuminated with gestural figures or still lifes, and still others incorporate the original typography in abstract geometric patterns, usually checkerboard designs in gold, black,

  • Patrice Kehoe

    The notion of the Washington Color School, as articulated by Clement Greenberg in the ’50s, benefited many Washington-area artists by distinguishing their work from that made in other locales, particularly New York. Establishing this artistic identity helped foster a self-confidence that allowed a number of artists to mature and gain exposure on the national scene. Recently, several local artists and writers have consciously attempted to revive the notion of a Washington school by focusing on the idea of an art of transcendence, yet, if in fact there is a discernible trend in Washington art at

  • Rimma and Valeriy Gerlovin

    Before emigrating to the United States in 1980, Russian artists Rimma and Valeriy Gerlovin were involved in linguistic experiments centered on language’s role in the construction of social reality. Like the work of other young and unsanctioned artists in Moscow during the ’70s, their work took the form of artists’ books, performance, and installations; it had political overtones not only by virtue of its content but because of its underground status. In such an environment, the very act of viewing unsanctioned exhibitions made one a participant in unofficial cultural/political activities.


  • Christian Marclay

    Christian Marclay’s work has an immediacy that results from his focus on music and popular music culture. Records, record jackets, audio speakers, and similar found objects form the bulk of the more than 40 pieces from the last decade exhibited here. “Recycled Records” 1980–86, is a series of works realized by reassembling pieces cut from records of various colors. Some of these pieces incorporate photographs, and the results range from collaged images of pop singers such as Elvis to white crossbones on a black ground. Though ’60s nostalgia colors Marclay’s entire oeuvre, his work addresses a

  • Tom Nakashima

    This exhibition of drawings, prints, and constructions by Tom Nakashima, guest curated by Lynn Schmidt, amounted to a retrospective of the artist’s mature work that began around 1983 or ’84, the time of his “Ground Zero” series. As this title suggests, Nakashima is concerned with social and political themes, including that of nuclear war; themes that have personal resonance for him. Growing up in World War II America, with a Japanese-American father and a European-Canadian mother who was a strict Roman Catholic, Nakashima struggled to sort out his cultural heritage and identity. These conflicts

  • John Cage

    This exhibition of 30 watercolors by avant-garde composer John Cage, originally organized by Julia Boyd at the Virginia Museum, presents his first experiments in painting since student days. Cage has been making prints since 1978, and this experience inspired a series of drawings in 1983 referring to the Zen-inspired Ryoanji Garden in Japan. Titled “Where R = Ryoanji,” these works were made by drawing around stones with pencils of various weights, selected, as were the stones and their positions on the paper, by chance operations. In 1988, using rocks he selected from a site along Virginia’s

  • Suzanne Anker

    For several years now, New York artist Suzanne Anker has been casting exquisite sculptures in bronze, aluminium, and iron. In order to explore the relationship between nature and culture, she combines found objects such as automobile parts (horns, springs, funnels) and natural elements (branches, leaves, vines). Though it is Anker’s intention to create juxtapositions that resist visual metamorphosis into quasi-Surrealist or fantasy objects and thereby to expose the deep ideological opposition between nature and culture, as her latest works attest, she does not always achieve these ends. In her

  • Carlos Alfonzo

    Though sculpture is new to Cuban artist Carlos Alfonzo, the constructed steel pieces he exhibited along with his more familiar paintings not only employ the same cubist vocabulary he has been exploring for the better part of a decade; they exhibit a similar emotional intensity.

    Clement Greenberg identified Cubism with “the empiricists’ faith in the supreme reality of concrete experience.” Though Alfonzo does not reject the importance of “concrete experience,” titles such as Fear, Hope, and Cry (all works 1989), suggest that emotional states including love, anxiety, and terror, are an integral

  • John Gossage

    John Gossage’s photo-collages have a decidedly political overtone that comes from their combination of printed matter and photographs. “The Code,” a series of small photographs of Washington, D.C. from 1989 shown at the Tartt Gallery, are collaged next to pages from the Internal Revenue Code. Both are placed on oversized mattes. When Gossage invests photographic “truth” and factual data with symbolic and metaphorical meaning, powerful images result. In one piece, pages from the “Enforcement—Possessions” section of the code are aligned next to a photograph of a dark doorway. Set onto green paper