Jeanne Silverthorne

  • Edward Allington

    The title of one of Edward Allington’s new assemblages is Aphrodite Debased Again, 1986—de-based, that is; 139 detached. Ours is an age of fragmentation partly because we are a nomadic 140 culture that takes along on each of its moves whatever is not nailed down. We are tenants rather than owners of our time. Art made of recycled components serves the new international cultural exchange well; like furniture, it is le meuble, “movable,” that which can be detached from its context and rearranged. The portability and adaptability of scavenged objects and images satisfy the contradictory instincts

  • Robert Motherwell

    That Robert Motherwell is a master of the sure touch, of the precisely right configuration, has been confirmed once again by his new works. Motherwell continues to dare to use black more emphatically than any other painter, in fact as a kind of visual blackmail. Not mere islands but whole continents of shapes are abandoned to this freebooter, and the viewer is coerced into paying tribute. As the achromatic pigment we hate to love, black offers zero stimulus to the retina, achieving perceptibility only through contact with adjoining colors; in effect held for ransom, these colors appear tantalizingly

  • Alex Katz

    It used to be, back in the ’50s, that the body language of Alex Katz’s painted figures bespoke an expectation of loss. Very still, their stillness in fact exaggerated by their half-buried, faltering outlines, their arms would often hang limply at their sides, hands empty, redundant, as in Frank O’Hara, 1959–60, and Paul Taylor, 1959. The Double Portrait of Robert Rauschenberg, 1959, shows the artist seated, one hand thrust between his legs, in the classic “barrier signal” pose described by Desmond Morris as metaphorically protective of the genitals.

    By the early ’60s the loss has occurred. Hands

  • Bryan Hunt

    Most of us don’t resent the making of a buck if the atmosphere isn’t polluted or people are not killed, maimed, made hungry or destitute thereby So it isn’t that one objects to Bryan Hunt’s show of maquettes on that score. However, it is surely indicative of Hunt’s prematurity in inflating what are working sketches into salable objects that the limestone bases are so much larger and weightier than the diminutive bronze models they support. (About the unfortunate associations provoked by the oversized nuts inserted between model and base, a considerate silence is best.)

    Bryan Hunt seems to have

  • John Armleder

    In Samuel Beckett’s Murphy (1938),the eponymous hero ties himself to a teak rocking chair with seven scarves, which, unlike the seven veils of the dance, keep revelation private. He rocks himself into an alpha state, the achievement of which is signaled by his tumbling, chair and all, onto the floor. Like Murphy, John Armleder has seemed determined to get rid of the body through solipsistic contemplation; and he has used furniture as a means to this end. An Armleder drawing from 1979 offers a schematic chair in silhouette, with the circle on its seat containing another silhouetted chair; both

  • “Surrealism 1936”

    “The surrealist assumes that one can change the world” (C. W E. Bigsby). This show recreated the Surrealism of exactly fifty years ago, 1936, a year of triumph for the movement exemplified by three major shows in Paris, London, and New York, and a year after the group’s critical denouncement of Communism, the means, they had believed, by which the world could be changed. The concept of dialectical materialism rested in the Surrealist object, which dominated Surrealist practice in that year. Such objects comprised the most compelling part of this exhibit, which also included photographs, collages,

  • Bill Jensen

    In what sense is Bill Jensen’s work a “throwback”? Instead of praising Jensen’s paintings, advocates of the work of Albert Pinkham Ryder, Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, and Georgia O’Keeffe, of which Jensen’s work has been termed a revival, would conspire to bury it. True, Jensen has burrowed down under the site of their art, content never to break through to open, revitalizing air. Note Ancestors, 1984–85, wherein a disrupted mystical hexagram blooms under a mound covered with crosses, fully flowered and with no ambition to see the sun or stars. Thematically, too, Jensen’s vision of the earth,

  • Alison Wilding

    Whenever sculpture has an effect of completion without any intimation of death, it puts us in a false position: our role is to admire an object that is so well mannered (after all, it has done all the work for us) that we cannot take issue with it. Disagreements are outside the work’s code of behavior and only make us look bad. This is not exactly dictatorial; such a piece is very often only reticent in style. But it so refuses passion and ideas that dialogue is irrelevant, as it is with certain people, ever so nice, who simply know what's healthy and sane and what's not, and who prefer not to

  • Jackie Winsor

    As before, in Jackie Winsor’s 1982 exhibit at this gallery, this show inventoried five cubes and one sphere. Although the details of these shapes are quite different from those shown earlier, the preciseness of this repetition argues an intentional redundancy on Winsor’s part, an idea supported by her choice to incorporate mirrored glass. In association with the cubes, the mirrors inevitably recall Robert Morris and Donald Judd. They are more directly related to the latter’s work, yet Judd has never seemed anxious to break out of the Minimalist bind (perhaps because he never viewed it as

  • Martin Silverman

    In Woody Allen’s film Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), the misanthropic painter Frederick (Max von Sydow) exclaims, “Imagine the mentality that watches wrestling [on television],” implying that it is the height of degeneracy. Allen may or may not know that Pablo Picasso had such a “degenerate” mentality; he would turn off the sound and sketch the writhing bodies. So there’s something of a modem tradition for Martin Silverman to step into here with his collection of painted-bronze sumo wrestlers, not to mention the continuation of the physical-fitness theme—the divers and dancers—of his own previous

  • Jörg Immendorff

    In Jörg lmmendorff’s paintings everything is either reified or fetishized. The inanimate comes alive, and the animate turn s to stone, a false idol. So many of his paintings appear to be cartoon so sculpture, because it literally objectifies and is so intimately connected with institutionalized homage; and cartoons, because they involve both caricature and animation. Immendorff’s figures , which include self-caricatures, are manic automatons controlled by forces outside themselves, usually either the church or the state.

    In his Versuchung des Heiligen Antonius (Temptation of St. Anthony, 1985),

  • Jennifer Bartlett

    The “problem” to come to terms with in an overview of Jennifer Bartlett’s career is the shift in sensibility that followed the “In the Garden” series (l980–ca. 1983). Up to that point, what had been most impressive about Bartlett was her imperious intellectual will. Recently less in evidence, it seems that the artist’s struggle for control has become subliminal and/or sporadic. Her more recent, multimedia series—“The Creek,” 1984, and “Luxembourg Garden,” 1985—present a deeper immersion in unmanipulated natural scene.

    This is combined with a return to rudimentary sociocultural shapes that , unlike