Jude Schwendenwien

  • Grace Graupe-Pillard

    This show represents a breakthrough for Grace Graupe-Pillard. It features repeated images that act together to form political statements. In earlier works, Graupe-Pillard used pastels to make large-scale, realist images based on everyday photographs of people. She blew these images up to make overlooked people seem heroic, almost mythic. In these images, she exposes the negative flipside of such mythifying.

    Graupe-Pillard still uses pastels in rich, saturated colors, including lots of flesh tones and shades of purple. In two new pieces she employs freestanding shaped canvases mounted on wood. 10

  • Victor Mira

    The paintings of the Spanish artist Victor Mira manifest a nightmarish sensibility. He paints in thick, textured oil; his simplified, stylized images—primarily animal figures, distorted humans, and skeleton heads—are trapped in bold, tight compositions. When Mira allows himself enough space, he can create panoramic scenes that mix spiritual refinement with a kind of primitive violence. The artist outlines his figures with thick, black contour lines. The grounds into which they are set are generally a dark reddish-brown. As a result, there is a pervasive murkiness to all his paintings, along with

  • David Lynch

    This eye-opening exhibition of paintings by David Lynch enriches our understanding of this man as a multifaceted artist, previously known mainly for his darkly disturbing films, such as Eraserhead, 1978, and Blue Velvet, 1986. These works reveal Lynch’s graphic ability to hone in on his own subconscious and to purge childhood fears and impressions of the world. In both film and painting, Lynch offers a compelling vision of psychological distress and of the often frustrated urge to communicate.

    The paintings project a bizarre balance of melancholy, methodical process, and ironic childlike exuberance.

  • Rande Barke

    The colorful, organic abstractions of Rande Barke resemble combinations of cloud formations, cancerous spots, and spines. Barke sets rigid boundaries to compress and contain his deep atmospheric forms. The works demonstrate a recurring conflict between intuitive gutsiness and self-conscious finesse. They evoke deep, cloudy atmospheres in which light fights to emerge from haziness. The paintings are usually restrained in tone and highly decorative.

    Barke sometimes lets the prettiness of his colors detract from a work’s overall impact. He is most convincing when he works on a large scale; then his

  • Herbert List

    This extensive exhibition spans the career of West German photographer Herbert List. It includes work from the ’20s through the mid ’70s, and ably represents the photographer’s diverse output. List’s photographic world is charged with a multitude of psychological meanings. While his portraits of well-known figures such as Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau are his most widely recognized works, this show presents us with glimpses into his rarely seen homoerotic photography.

    List is a master of efficient composition. Even his most abstracted images maintain a strict sense of order. Muted gray tones

  • Ricardo Estanislao Zulueta

    The black and white photographs of Ricardo Estanislao Zulueta are bizarre staged rituals of human survival. His series called “Basement Therapy,” 1988, consists of identical-sized images, each one featuring two figures in a claustrophobic, nightmarish space. The figures are anonymous (though sometimes labeled with numbers or signs) and are often dressed as twins, so that they seem to share their identities. Drawing on a variety of sources including Surrealism, science fiction, and Dada, Zulueta produces stark, striking images that oscillate between morbidity and absurdity, and that forcefully

  • Jaume Plensa

    Jaume Plensa’s ominous sculptures and works on paper have the compelling power of primordial objects and images. A ritualistic quality surrounds each piece. Plensa creates large sculptural forms from a lexicon of biomorphic and primitive shapes. Some of his creations are better defined than others, but there is no denying the essential intensity of his vision.

    Galileo (all works 1988) is a monumental cast-iron work that projects the timeless durability of a monolithic structure. The primary structure is a mound-like wall that curves in a semicircle; this arc surrounds three large conical shapes.

  • William Stone

    The absurdist sculptures of William Stone confront us with an utter lack of functionality. Working with wood, brass, copper, and various domestic and industrial objects, Stone creates quirky, self-contained inventions. His perfectionist sensibility gives the work an air of importance that exceeds its actual usefulness. Stone revels in a clean, forthright style. Many of the pieces seem to embody contradictions; the newness of the wood often conflicts with the outdated machine elements. Most of the works’ references exist outside specific art-world contexts.

    Stone’s meticulous objects seem to take

  • Nabil Nahas

    In this series of untitled acrylic paintings from 1988, Nabil Nahas moves away from the opulent, congested surfaces he has favored in the past. Nahas took tactility and materiality to an extreme in his thickly encrusted gold canvases. Now the decadent decorativeness of those pieces has given way to a more controlled, discreet, but no less dramatic approach to painting. These large canvases are primarily atmospheric. Moments of expressivity are reduced to bursts of red paint that Nahas places strategically over brooding dark backgrounds. While the older pieces were dazzling in their abundance of

  • Doree Albritton

    “Out of the Woods,” an installation of recent works by Doree Albritton, focuses on the interaction between wall pieces and freestanding sculptures. All the forms clearly refer to nature; no two shapes are exactly alike. The title of the installation might allude to going deep into a mysterious world in order to bring back discoveries. Despite the emphasis on nature here, the entire room actually functioned like a theatrical setting, one in which all the elements seemed ready to spring to life. Albritton creates strange hybrid objects made of rich, sensuous materials; they populated the room,

  • Creighton Michael

    The elegant, minimal sculptures of Creighton Michael are isolated entities surrounded by an imposed silence. These primarily abstract works, made from such materials as wood, muslin, dry pigments, and metal screens, are mute and self-contained. Their enigmatic configurations create a certain distance for the viewer, as if they were willfully retaining their secrets and references. The work was inspired by the artist’s discovery of torn umbrellas on the streets of New York City. This led him to stretch thin sheets of metal over wooden armatures, adding to them long, extended, limblike wood pieces

  • Ellen Wiener

    Ellen Wiener’s collages are marked by an acute sense of compression. The artist seems to choose shapes, patterns, and configurations that connote chaos only to assert her control over them. The mats she uses serve an integral function as cropping devices, making many of Wiener’s complex images look like eclipsed views of infinite space. Wiener maintains a finely tuned balance between frontality and illusion. Certain elements are utterly flat and resemble ornate textile designs; others provoke a sense of deep space.

    All of these untitled pieces from 1988 are fresh, precise, and well mannered; they

  • Noel Vietor, Mike Berg

    Noel Vietor's projections on textured canvases recall planetarium projections—one is overwhelmed by the sheer magnificence of nature's scope, and so relies on the translation of planetary images to a more accessible scale in order to make nature a kind of theater. But Vietor's suite of moderately scaled projection pieces are not as entrancing as planetarium projections; they tease the viewer with an unrealized promise of spectacular effects. The darkened gallery setup connotes a theater or fun house, wherein darkness acts as a framework for isolated dramatic moments. But the relatively small

  • Don Worth

    Don Worth’s photographs unveil secrets of the natural world while ordering visual information in a highly cultivated manner. This show features a wide range of the artist’s color and black-and-white work from the past three decades. Worth seems to go for broke in his color photographs, overwhelming the viewer with intense colors and myriad details. By contrast, his black-and-white works are testimonies to the spiritual serenity evoked by open expanses of nature. Worth manages to achieve two radically different but equally intense pictorial effects.

    The composition of the photographs—in particular,

  • Dorothea Tanning

    Dorothea Tanning’s paintings present visual impressions, sensations, and visions that defy strict categorization. Her evocative, mysterious images hearken back to a primordial consciousness that is sometimes translated into recognizable pictorial idioms. This show features some of Tanning’s best work from the years 1961 to 1987, work that is consistently daring and haunting. Her latest pieces are as fresh and lucid as ever, executed with fluid linework and intuitive coloration.

    One essential reason for Tanning’s constancy is her belief in the supremacy of imagination over logic. By exploring her

  • Ericka Beckman

    Through a series of color photographs and corresponding light- and sound-cues, Ericka Beckman transformed a room in this gallery into an uncommon environment that demonstrated the connection between technological processes and human learning. Each of the five large C-prints features one of the “Nanotech” players, hybrid creations of light and motion (captured by prolonged camera exposures), which resemble proposed robot designs from the ’50s. Beckman, a filmmaker, is acutely aware of photographic possibilities, and she explores them with imagination and wit. Beckman stresses the significance of

  • Kevin Larmon

    Kevin Larmon’s recent paintings demonstrate a more pronounced luminosity than did his earlier works. Larmon has removed the dark blanket of black tones that once served as a backdrop for his hovering, iconic fruit bowls. He has held on to the fruit bowls themselves, and uses them as strange signifiers of typical still lifes, complete with connotations of painting’s history. The highly stylized arrangement of a saucer dish balancing what looks like a pear and an apple has become a signature element of Larmon’s art. This fruit bowl floats almost arbitrarily on densely layered grounds covered with

  • Andy Warhol

    The current glut of media attention for Andy Warhol and his work would probably turn off most viewers if it were directed toward any other artist. But Warhol’s art can be viewed in small doses or in large quantities and still prove inexhaustibly interesting. The simultaneity of these shows—drawings at the Robert Miller Gallery, work in various media at the Vrej Baghoomian Gallery, paintings at Gagosian Gallery, as well as film screenings at the Whitney Museum—forms a wide-ranging survey demonstrating Warhol’s versatility.

    The most illuminating exhibition is the collection of paintings, drawings,

  • Susan Hiller

    If Susan Hiller’s recent exhibition here is any indication, there is currently a strong potential for a nostalgic revival of late ’60s and ’70s Conceptual art. The show included a portion of “Dedicated to the Unknown Artists,” an ongoing series that she began in 1972 consisting of framed arrangements of old postcards and statistics that she has compiled and cross-referenced (the section on view here was from 1972–76). This work maintains its potent communicative powers and makes the current spate of derivative abstraction seem wan in comparison. Hiller’s anthropological approach to gathering

  • Steve Keister

    A stalemate of contradictory forms is the primary achievement of Steve Keister’s uncommon new sculptures. Within the context of the gallery space these pieces resemble the last of an endangered species, preserved in a formal presentation. Indeed, animal forms are the rough precursors of Keister’s more modified, regimented visions. Keister always combines two specific sculptural elements: spandex armatures stiffened with resin, Bondo, and fiberglass, and the metal frameworks of Bertoia, Eames, or butterfly chairs. Each individual piece represents an isolated moment of structural conflict that