Jeanne Silverthorne

  • Rodney Ripps

    Rodney Ripps could be the victim of a busk. What’s a busk? It’s an ancient ceremony of renewal wherein the household equipment, old clothes, uneaten food, and other odds and ends of a town are burned to ashes in a communal bonfire. American democracy itself was founded on this notion—both Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine articulated the common agreement that laws should be changed with every generation. Jefferson was willing to give each accession 19 years; the artworld gives it a season.

    Certainly two years ago, if not one, Ripps’ new work would have ridden the shoulders of the crowd; it’s

  • Tom Butter

    There’s a little bit of everybody in Tom Butter’s new sculpture. First and foremost of all, there’s Eva Hesse—not only because of the use of fiberglass, but also because these seamed cylinders bear a resemblance to her Repetition Nineteen III of 1968—also fiberglass cylinders and, like Butter’s, slightly deformed and dented. Hesse’s were not obviously seamed, but, in fact, two of her other pieces deal almost exclusively with that motif: Seam and Area, both 1968. What’s Butter’s own? The color (both Hesse’s and Butter’s volumes look like the kind of translucent plastic water glasses used in

  • Richard Stankiewicz

    Even though sculpture moves at a somewhat slower pace than painting, anyone working with welded steel at this point has got to be doing something mighty unusual with it to get the viewer’s adrenalin flowing. When you walk into a roomful of Richard Stankiewicz’s metal works, you could easily get a sinking feeling. If you’re conscientious, you try to pump the saliva back into your mouth and at least admire the obsession.

    For Stankiewicz is continuing here his demonstration of the basic strategy of post–David Smith modernism, which Rosalind Krauss once defined as “treat[ing] the sculpture as an

  • Robert Moskowitz

    To say that Robert Moskowitz has shifted from a Platonic idealism to a phenomenological concreteness is no doubt tantamount to walking around with an unusually big and tempting chip on one’s shoulder; yet that does seem the most accurate way of describing Moskowitz’s recent output.

    The rear end of a car and an X (Cadillac/Chopsticks); a building and a cross (Wrigley Building); a cane and a hat (Retirement Painting)—the works from 1975–78 feature objects such as these floating in canvas space. This unanchored quality suggests the image seen in the mind’s eye, since only there can form be apprehended

  • “Tableaux”

    This year’s concept for the annual outdoor sculpture show on the Wave Hill estate was “Tableaux,” a galvanizing choice because of what it excludes. One: kinetic, ecological, and participatory art—because a tableau seems to require stasis and, as participants Robert Longo and Scott Burton both mentioned in their statements, frontality and framing, thereby discouraging physical interaction between environment, viewer, and piece. Two: abstract art—because of the premodern associations of the term.

    Although these offerings neither actively engage the environment nor efface themselves in front of it,

  • Sculpture Garden

    First of all, it’s hard to compete with the freshness of Wave Hill. Secondly, when the genii loci are outcasts, as are the psychiatric patients on Ward’s Island (however pleasant it would be to pretend that visitors to and inmates in these hospital grounds comprise one big family), and when the bucolic aspects of the place itself are overshadowed by the steel girders of the Triborough Bridge and by industrial structures of vague import, you fight a sense of purlieu panic just in visiting the other annual outdoor sculpture show. But, thirdly, when the art does little to capitalize on this edginess

  • “Alternatives in Retrospect”

    “The narratives of the world are numberless,” says Roland Barthes. They subsume “a prodigious variety of genres . . . as though any material were fit to receive man’s stories.” Take the New Museum’s Alternatives in Retrospect, a survey of seven alternative spaces in New York during 1969 and the early ’70s: Gain Ground, Apple, 98 Greene Street, 112 Greene Street Workshop, 10 Bleecker Street, Idea Warehouse, and 3 Mercer. Whether video, process, site-specific, or documentary, most of the works here talk a lot, with even the most perceptual pieces, such as Nancy Holt’s and Cecile Abish’s, radiating

  • “The Anti-WW3 Internationalist Art Show”

    The alternative art of the early ’70s may have been profoundly alienated, but, as the title of Acconci’s Leeway suggests, the freedom to be detached, eccentric (“out of the center”), was never questioned. The “Anti-WW3 Internationalist Art Show,” a display of 2000 works (mainly posters, some poems) from 45 countries, argues not only that the option to be marginal is now less available, but also that it is dangerous, for two reasons: idiosyncrasy will not be tolerated by those in power, and is not useful to those out of power. This show opines that when war is imminent, the proper mood is

  • Miriam Schapiro

    Although this Vassar retrospective spans almost 30 years of Miriam Schaoiro’s work, it is the work of the past ten years that must be seen as historically significant. To view her career retrospectively is to witness Schapiro’s personal struggle with history. In the oft-noted tension between the formal and the florid in her “femmages,” Schapiro ceases to be at the mercy of stylistic fashions by forging her own: her Abstract Expressionist canvases of the ’50s, ravishingly painted but corning too late to be her own invention, mate with her hard-edge canvases of the ’60s (also expert, but again

  • Pat Lasch

    A review is no place for True Confessions, but I’ve always been a big fan of PAT LASCH’s cakes. Her earlier undersized gateaux, bearing given names and messages of “felicitations,” made one think that there is a happy community of Dickensian friends and relatives safely nestled somewhere in the artbiz. If this celebratory network remained out of reach (who were these people anyway?), at least it generated as happy a deprivation as staring through a bakery window. Her two tiered and rosetta’d wedding cakes, one white, one black, were first shown in the windows of the Holly Solomon Gallery. Despite

  • George Segal

    Speaking of self-parody, of whom would you least expect it? Maybe GEORGE SEGAL doesn’t immediately come to mind, but he’s been carrying around a lot of angst all these years—heir apparent to Hopper’s alienation and despair, purveyor of the elegiac and the tragic in the Judeo-Christian tradition. No wonder he needed a break.

    It’s not really Segal’s fault that he’s wedded to the white elephant of art bathos. And it’s not really the fault of critics like Robert Pincus-Witten, who, echoed by many others, quite rightly noted the Hopper connection and the religious affiliations. In a way, Segal

  • “Ross '80”

    “Rosc is an Irish word which means the poetry of vision.“ That’s a quote from the brochure for Rosc ’80— ”150 works created since 1976 by 50 international artists"—but things get better.

    Rosc is a good thing. Ireland sorely needs these showdowns with decent contemporary art to shake it out of the sentimentality that makes phrases like “the poetry of vision” possible, and for engaged Irish artists working unsupported except by each other it’s a chance to see the work of their peers without paying airfare. It also gave Carl Andre the impetus to do the best piece he’s done in years. This was an