Jamey Gambrell

  • Alex Grey

    Recently it seems that antinuclear art has been proliferating at a rate surpassed only by the megatons of destruction that occasion it. This is as it should be. There can be no such thing as media overkill on this subject, the dangers of media sensationalism and trivialization notwithstanding. But those dangers do exist, and if such work is to avoid them it must cut through the dulling layers of packaged metaphors and images produced by the mass media.

    Though it was part of a show entitled “Space Invaders,” there was no futurist fantasy involved in the subject matter of Alex Grey’s installation

  • “This Side of Paradise”

    At a time when style is vexed by the specter of its own superfluity, artists’ impulses toward universality must find some other anchor, some other point of departure from which to speak. Religious mythology provides a foothold in tradition, arbitrating the artwork’s passage from personal to public speech. Though Western art in this century has spoken a primarily secular language, it longs to carry the cultural and psychological weight provided by the narratives and symbolism of the Old and New Testaments, as this recent show amply proved. The six artists exhibited approached their subject in a

  • KOMAR AND MELAMID FROM BEHIND THE IRONICAL CURTAIN

    In-the year of our Lord 1798, on the seventh day of November, were the sketches of the freed serf Apelles Ziablov displayed, and not merely displayed, but forthwith deliberated upon. . . . and it was ruled that the morals of their maker had been sorely impaired by old age and infected by undertakings that are contrary to God and to the Law, and which the noble Arts can in no way tolerate. In response to such ruling, the aforementioned Ziablov hastened to further his foul and obscene behavior by declaiming some dark verse with the insolent intention of foully distorting historical perspective

  • Cindy Sherman

    At a time when would-be expressionists, neo-, naive, and new whatchamacallits of every ilk inhabit the nooks and crannies of the art world, infecting New York with a slightly hysterical, hothouse atmosphere, Cindy Sherman’s work has the welcome bite of cold water in a tropical climate. She explores contemporary passions and the subterfuge of imagery (in both the mass media and painting) in a clear-headed, self-possessed manner that does not in any way lessen their impact.

    Sherman continues to be writer, director, set designer, and actor in her one-woman, one-frame stories. In her recent show of

  • Justen Ladda

    Comic-book characters are a staple of American childhood. Boldly drawn, garishly colored heroes and villains people the imaginations of American children, crossing all barriers of class and race. Monster comics represent the darker, subconscious side of the mythology; the monster is usually a hero, goodness personified at heart but frightful to look upon. Justen Ladda’s rendering of the Marvel comic-book character “The Thing,” presented in conjunction with Fashion Moda in the South Bronx, is a phantasmagoric site piece that encompasses these archetypal childhood mythologies as well as the

  • Rachel Weiss

    Artists, like explorers, are adventurers in a quest for new frontiers. In the 20th century the search has led them to the last-chance, bleak extremes of Minimalist landscapes, to the cool, indifferent space of the contemporary gallery, and to the merciless expanses of the polar zones. The metaphoric and geographical frontiers of the gallery and of Antarctica converged this summer in Salon for the South Pole, “an excursion into parlor games, polar appreciation, and polite behavior,” mapped out by the young Boston artist Rachel Weiss.

    The event was carefully balanced between salon and gallery

  • “Monumental Show”

    The Gowanus Monumental Show received mixed recognition as this spring’s artist-organized “event,” and was claimed by some as the heir apparent to the Times Square Show of last summer. The latter was full of urban pop art, whose esthetic, generally speaking, derived from the more secretive, ultimately private side of city life—the scrawled threats and obscene, absurd endearments of bathroom graffiti, or the individual’s isolated and isolating encounters with violence, fear, and poverty on city streets. In the far more ambitious Monumental Show the work was more public, less aggressive (size