Jack Bankowsky

  • Jack Bankowsky

    1 RICHARD PRINCE Healthy contrariness all but dictates that the self-respecting critic pass over Prince this year—save for a higher call to rescue a bumper crop of cross-pollinating projects from a distracting (if overdue) spike in the artist’s market. Consider the sublime sellout at Gagosian Beverly Hills (scratch the surface of these Rothkoesque ciphers and discover the customized—and cashed!—checks below the oil and angst). Consider, too, the self-anthologizing miniretrospective at Barbara Gladstone in New York concurrent with the artist’s reprise of his near-mythical 1983


    ART FAIRS MAY NOT BE NEW but these days they are certainly more: more frequent, more crowded, more lucrative. With Miami and London joining Basel and New York as obligatory circuit stops, with artists decrying the constant pressure from dealers for fresh work, and with dealers bemoaning the drain on quality stock (never mind the toll of constant caravanning on the flagship operations back home), bristling under the big top has become an art-world way of life. Last season, indefatigable Chelsea cheerleader Jerry Saltz professed to sitting out the Miami and Frieze fairs “because these events make

  • “East Village USA”

    As I dipped into the foreword of the catalogue for “East Village USA,” the New Museum of Contemporary Art’s survey of the rollicking scene that sprang to life on the mean streets of New York’s Alphabet City circa 1981 and vanished as quickly some half-dozen years later, I experienced a start of recognition. Like the show’s mastermind, New Museum senior curator Dan Cameron, I lived in the East Village as the scene bustled into being and cut my teeth there as a critic. But it was not these biographical details that served as my proverbial madeleine, so much as Cameron’s surprising confession that,

  • Left to right: Anthony Burdin, Desert Mixes: Through Darkness Tunnel, 2002, still from a color video, 5 minutes 23 seconds. Anthony Burdin, Voodoo Vocals Agents of Fortune Cassette Tour 1999 Don’t Fear the Reaper New York 11/22/02, 2002, still from a color video, 4 minutes 52 seconds.


    My first experience of “recording artist” Anthony Burdin began with a morning-after phone call. On day four of the 2004 Frieze Art Fair, a trusted colleague rang me up to report that an unscheduled, late-night event had been, well, an event. The off-site concert, it turns out, had found its way onto the fair’s special-events calendar as a consolation prize of sorts after fair organizers pulled the plug on New York dealer Michele Maccarone’s high-decibel Burdin booth, which was deemed incompatible with the merchandizing of Hirschhorns and von Plessens nearby. One wonders, of course, how a youngish

  • Jack Bankowsky


    1 Anthony Burdin “Recording artist” Burdin is no stranger to the multicity tour, but the twist is, he never gets out of his car. Forget about three nights at the Beacon Theater: Burdin pops in a favorite CD, sings over the tracks (or over himself, singing over the tracks), and records the results—all the while filming his roadie’s progress out the window with a handheld camera. I duly kicked myself for missing his unscheduled late-night performance at the Frieze Art Fair, but an audience with the artist in Michele Maccarone’s darkened and dead-bolted booth (nothing like a

  • Richard Prince, Prince Billboard, 1990. Installation view, Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, 1990.

    A Roundtable

    “JEFF KOONS MAKES ME SICK.” The words are Peter Schjeldahl’s, and the occasion was a review in the SoHo weekly 7 Days, back in the ’80s, before Koons was quite the museum-certified star he is today. In the course of the write-up, Schjeldahl would turn his conceit around, explaining how undeniable, unstoppable, finally essential the experience of the artist’s work was for him. What makes Koons’s art simultaneously so toxic and so compelling? And why is it both institutionally embraced and yet seen by many as an art of diminishing returns, a symptom of all that is wrong with culture today? Koons


    IF THE DIALECTIC OF ARTIFICE AND FACT HAS INFORMED JEFF WALL’S WORK FROM THE start, then his latest pictures tip the balance: away from the excruciating feats of stagecraft evidenced in an image like After Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, the Preface, 1999–2001 (which took Wall nearly three years to complete), and toward the documentary, or “near-documentary,” impulse that remains the other strong attractor in the photographer’s working dynamic. (Two of the four images in this portfolio are, for all practical purposes, “documentary”: observed, and then shot in a session or two at most.) Of


    If you remember Francis Minturn Sedgwick (aka “Duke” and “Fuzzy”) at all, you'll remember him as a great beached wreck of a man, the disabling patriarch at the heart of Jean Stein and George Plimpton's 1982 account of the flare up and burn out of his daughter and Factory phenomenon Edie. In contrast to the old-line It Girl's by now remarkably durable fifteen minutes, Sedgwick senior's star signaled weakly against the backdrop of his times. Vessel of class privilege and vaguely fascist sentiment, Fuzzy was given to lording about his lands in skimpy trunks, hitting on the female houseguests, and

  • Pat Hearn

    WHEN I WANDERED into the Pat Hearn Gallery at the corner of Sixth Street and Avenue B for the first time in the fall of 1984, two things called me hack from the late-in-a-long-afternoon-of-gallery-rounds torpor I was just slipping into. The first was the decor, heretical by SoHo-white-cube standards—or for that matter, by East Village–storefront-shabby ones. In place of sealed hardwood, a grouted mosaic of tiny tiles glistened underfoot like a model-home bathroom; add a kidney-curved built-in planter and the scene seemed to promise a house-proud hostess proffering an artfully arranged platter


    WHEN THE PRESS RELEASE for the Whitney Museum’s autumn exhibition “The Warhol Look: Fashion Glamour Style” crossed my desk last summer, I let go a groan. Not a major one, more a been-there-done-that sigh of exasperation. The art/fashion turn—in these pages no less so than in general—has been from the start a kind of magnet for misapprehension. Journalistic overprocessing turned a modest blip on the art screen into a full-blown bugaboo. Somehow what one might have thought a less-than-earthshaking notion—that the specter of glamour and the attendant mechanisms of fascination had become (pace

  • The Whitney Biennial


    Doug Aitken

    Roman Anikushin and Bob Paris

    Michael Ashkin

    Robert Attanasio

    Burt Barr

    Zoe Beloff

    Douglas Blau

    Chris Burden

    Charles Burnett

    Louise Bourgeois

    Bureau of inverse Technology (BIT)

    Vija Celmins

    Abigail Child

    Francesco Clemente

    Bruce Conner

    Bryan Crockett

    Cultural Alchemy

    Philip-Lorca diCorcia

    Sam Easterson

    Wendy Ewald

    William Forsythe

    Leah Gilliam

    Michael Gitlin

    Felix Gonzalez-Torres

    Dan Graham

    David Hammons

    Ken Jacobs

    llya Kabakov

    Martin Kersels

    Annette Lawrence

    Iara Lee

    Zoe Leonard

    Sharon Lockhart

    Charles Long

    Kristin Lucas

    Kerry James Marshall

    Antonio Martorell

    Paul McCarthy

    Amanda Miller

    Paul D. Miller


  • “The Whitney Biennial”

    Mum’s the world when it comes to this year’s WHITNEY Biennial. Faced with the still—vivid memory of Klaus Kertess’ prehyped/postsniped ’95 version, it’s understandable that the current curators—longtime Whitney curator Lisa Phillips chose to share her appointment with Louise Neri, US senior editor of the Swiss journal Parkett—are playing their cards closer to the chest. Here’s what they will tell us: for abstract painting look elsewhere (narrative rules in this biennial); fashion—meets—art doesn’t rate; LA, a city whose artistic vitality