Howard Singerman

  • “German Expressionist Sculpture”

    With over 120 sculptures by 33 artists, “German Expressionist Sculpture” is something of a blockbuster. Curator Stephanie Barron has resurrected works that many never knew existed or had thought destroyed: sculptures by artists who defined Expressionism in painting, like Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Egon Schiele, and Max Beckmann; by the few recognized sculptors of the period, Ernst Barlach and Wilhelm Lehmbruck; and by many relatively unknown ones such as Paul Rudolf Henning, Bernhard Hoetger, and Christoph Voll. Together the works suggest that sculpture, with its resistant physicality and the

  • Jo Harvey Allen, “Hally Lou”

    The reviews of Jo Harvey Allen’s one-act play about a would-be evangelist, Hally Lou, like those of last year’s Counter Angel, are sprinkled with the words “real,” “genuine,” and “authentic.” Hally Lou brings to the art world a kind of person, particularly a kind of woman, who seldom appears in that locale. And, the reviewers note, the artist shares her origins and her accent: like Hally Lou and Ruby Kay, the truck-stop waitress of Counter Angel, Allen hails from where Charles Kuralt goes “on the road” and where NBC finds “real people”—that is, from where authenticity and genuineness are a

  • Jill Giegerich

    The centerpiece and in many ways the summation of this exhibition is a relief of a heroic male figure that looms over the viewer, above an awkward landscape that reprises Jill Giegerich’s repeated images. This broad, muscled smith at his forge is twisted with the dynamism and tension of High Renaissance sculpture; in preliminary drawings, in fact, he appears as Michelangelo’s Dawn, in the Medici Chapel, and as his Dying Slave. But Giegerich’s fabricator is fashioned in ironically self-referential building materials—plywood, sandpaper, and cork. The volumes of sculpture have been reduced to and

  • Sherrie Levine

    While a great deal has been written about Sherrie Levine, her exhibitions are not often reviewed. Instead her work is made an example. It is embedded in articles on “allegorical procedure, appropriation, and montage” (Benjamin Buchloh’s subject in an article in Artforum, September 1982). Or, and unfortunately more often, it is used as evidence in articles decrying the “small-scale skepticism” of recent art. Here Levine is presented as a symbol of her generation, resentful of the immediate past and downtrodden by art history, accused by turn of careerist cynicism and self-victimizing melancholy.

  • Allen Ruppersberg

    The title of Allen Ruppersberg’s exhibition here, “Art Rolls/Head Rolls,” is a matrix of double meanings and deadpan puns. In this it is like much of Ruppersberg’s work since the early ’70s, and like the installation itself. Still, the second half of the equation is concrete: a hundred cast-cement heads are scattered––rolled—across the gallery floor. Starting rather unnaturally around the Adam’s apple, they are neither masks nor busts; they are severed heads, as in “heads will roll.”

    Three paintings, one a diptych, frame the field of severed heads. Each bears a newspaper clipping—or rather an

  • Jay Phillips

    There is more paint and more painting on Jay Phillips’ new enamel-on-aluminum paintings than on his earlier work. Phillips’ paint is now deeper and weightier; the pieces here have a palpable surface, an enamel skin which carries a record of the layered depth trapped between the surface and the impenetrable metal. Like their predecessors, they are a collection of horizontally abutted patterns—stripes, checks, polka dots—set against or on top of fields of loose, excited paint, and the occasional solid color, all fashioned in gloss enamel and bright colors on an aluminum support which is cut and

  • Roger Herman

    Ocean, 1979, makes clear Roger Herman’s problem as a painter and summarizes something of the condition of current painting. This large, brooding diptych is fashioned of horizontal green, gray, and black sweeps capped with ridges of stark white. Ocean is ostensibly painting in the wild, an attempt to match the power of its subject with the immediacy of paint; but the painting is inscribed in the upper right with the names of Albert Pinkham Ryder and Marsden Hartley, and Herman’s ocean view is a genre painting, a seascape. Herman’s expressionistic style, too, with its roots in German Expressionism

  • Bruce and Norman Yonemoto

    Bruce and Norman Yonemoto’s videotape Green Card: An American Romance is intended as an exposé of the way in which the media mediates our reality, and an indictment of the myths of love and marriage, and of national and sexual identity, wholesaled by television and the movies. While it shares its target, and its cast, with Based on Romance and An Impotent Metaphor, the first two installments in the Yonemotos’ “Soap Opera Series,” Green Card differs from its predecessors; the most “Hollywood” of the series and not coincidentally the least polemical, it is a straight narrative, a story—or rather

  • Tom Wudl

    Tom Wudl gained his earliest recognition and is still best known for his delicate perforated rice-paper paintings of the early ’70s. The fragile, unstretched supports of these works carry an array of textbook archetypes—mazes, spirals, triangles, and crosses—in clear colors and gold leaf. The paintings share the cultural primitivism of post-minimalism; their worked-over fragility implies age and archeological rescue, and their loaded yet indecipherable ideograms, the ineffable. Since 1975, however, Wudl has been involved with the creation of his own ideogram: an elongated, tentacled biomorph

  • “Art In Los Angeles”

    Like most of the city’s cultural institutions, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art celebrated Los Angeles’ bicentennial for most of last year. For its finale, the museum mounted two concurrent blockbusters: “The Museum as Site” displaced the European and American moderns and also spread over the museum’s grounds, hanging in trees and from the sides of the building; and “Seventeen Artists in the Sixties” was shoehorned into the special exhibitions area, the usual site for big shows. Together, these shows were given one blanket title: “Art in Los Angeles.”

    “The Museum as Site” was intended to be

  • Michael Kelley

    Like most of his previous performances, Michael Kelley’s Reflections on a Can of Vernors draws its images from history and geography, and has at its core a central image that forms its title and is echoed in its props. It is a good deal longer than the works that preceded it, and there is a lot more talking; it is, to quote Kelley from the performance, “afflicted with the sin of oratory.” That the piece is long and long-winded is not surprising. His most ambitious work to date, Reflections . . . is Kelley’s history of America.

    In spite of the performance’s expanded text, its ostensibly familiar

  • Jeffrey Vallance

    Jeffrey Vallance’s first solo exhibition is above all entertaining. It buzzes and revolves and lights up. There are dials and switches, bugs and snails and paintings of and letters from famous people. The exhibition is also, depending on how you look at it, either pretentious or precocious. The artist is just 26, but half of the show is devoted to “early works;” the earliest dates from 1971, but one more recent work recycles an even older school art project.

    Beyond its chronological division, the exhibition is divided by its title, “Machines and Articles,” into two further categories. Though the