Julie Caniglia

  • Lily Van Der Stokker

    It had to happen: As boomers rack up the birthdays, old age becomes a hot topic. A few months back, the New York Times announced: MODELS, DEFIANTLY GRAY, GIVE AGING A SEXY NEW LOOK. At around the same time, Lily van der Stokker (born at the boom’s peak, 1954, in the Netherlands) offered an artistic counterpart to defiantly gray models: an untitled exhibit that included such works as Old Women and Experimental Art; Spectacular Experimental Art by Older People; and Extremely Experimental Art by Older People (all 1999). She considered calling the show “Old-Fashioned.” Get it?

    Nearly all of this

  • Phil Frost

    Phil Frost is part of a clique (“school” seems too formal) of street artists/skateboarders who’ve filtered into galleries in recent years—the most prominent being Barry McGee, with whom Frost has had a long association. What’s most immediately striking about the artist’s work is how his graffiti-inspired street sensibility is simultaneously amplified and simplified, creating a frenetic yet almost sheerly decorative effect. Frost’s trademark, like McGee’s liquor bottles, is a white frosting (forgive the pun) of elaborate signs and symbols—dots, arrows, spades, hearts, birdlike figures, and the

  • Merry Alpern

    In 1995, with the unexpected help of an NEA rejection, Merry Alpern became notorious for her photo series “Dirty Windows.” Even if they couldn’t resist looking, viewers were made uneasy by these voyeuristic images, secretly taken through the bathroom window of a low-rent sex club near Wall Street. For the series, Alpern hid out in a building across an air shaft, capturing blow jobs, strip teases, coke-snorting, and a host of other activities with a telephoto lens. Now she’s come out in the open, sort of, to document another form of commerce: women rifling through clothing racks, trying on bathing

  • “Frieze”

    If painting in general is back in vogue, as has been so jubilantly proclaimed, then wall painting’s revival cuts both ways: A more grandly scaled, “couture” version of painting, it also, paradoxically, boasts something of an anticommodity status. “Frieze” brought together five artists to present the state of large-scale murals (all works 1999)—which, in this show at least, exhibited strong ties to Pop, Op, psychedelia, and ’60s and ’70s graphic design.

    John Armleder, who made his first wall paintings in 1967, was the relative old master here. For “Frieze,” he took on a selection of icons, knocking

  • OPENINGS: MICHAEL BEVILACQUA

    A STRANGELY PERSONALIZED PANOPLY of graphic riffs on the latest and greatest in fashion, advertising, movies, other artists, and most important, music, Michael Bevilacqua’s painting amounts to a virtual psychedelic assault of consumer culture. His references run the gamut from band and designer logos to patterns on the plastic wrapping of Scott paper towels and Chinese characters cribbed from a chopstick envelope. At first, the whole affair seems merely superficial, a hipster’s unabashed endorsement of all things cool. You almost involuntarily measure your own cultural inventory against

  • Walter Niedermayr

    Walter Niedermayr’s photographs of the Dolomite Mountains in Italy have been widely shown throughout Europe, but it wasn’t until this year that the Italian artist had his first solo exhibition in the US. It consisted of images recently shot at ski resorts in the French and Italian Alps—a region subjected to a chain of deadly avalanches just a couple of weeks after the show opened. The disasters were called a freak of nature, but having seen this show, it was tempting to view them more as a cosmic warning.

    Niedermayr’s work registers the costs of modern tourism, reining in irony and absurdity in

  • Gelatin

    Gelatin, a cheeky quartet of expert bricoleurs with the mien of Euro pop stars, wowed New Yorkers last summer with their installation “Percutaneous Delights” at P.S. 1. In their most recent Manhattan show, “Suck & Blow,” the Vienna-based artists fashioned an inner membrane of black plastic garbage bags—kind of an inverse Christo job. More environment than installation, the effect was something like walking into the belly of a beast through its ass-end.

    After signing a waiver, viewers stooped a bit to enter a twenty-five-foot-long tunnel—lined with garbage bags whose edges had been melted

  • Barry McGee

    A longtime graffiti artist who’s supplemented his street smarts with a BFA, San Franciscan Barry McGee is one of the latest in a long line to percolate from the underground into the sanctioned halls of high art. Transforming the despised into the desirable, bringing the romance of the urban outlaw indoors, he was given free rein in the Walker Art Center’s Gallery 7 for his first solo museum exhibition.

    The untitled installation (1998) comprised numerous parts, one of which, directly adjacent to the gallery entry, emphasized the illicit aspect of McGee’s art. Dozens of spent spray cans were

  • Paul Henry Ramirez

    Paul Henry Ramirez’s sexed-up, candy-colored confections are like a fantasy dreamed up by Willy Wonka and Joan Miró, carbonated with ’60s Pop. All loopy frivolity balanced with precision-tuned sensuality, the works in his most recent show, entitled “Real Pretty Simple Innocent Paintings,” are dominated by geometric blocks and bands of color, serving variously as stabilizers or launching pads for a giddy array of smaller elements. In each piece (all untitled, 1998), blobs, dots, and dots-within-dots in hot hues (magenta, orange, acid green, lemon yellow) and cool pastels (pale pink, baby blue)

  • Toland Grinnell

    Nothing if not an ambitious craftsman, Toland Grinnell debuted here in 1995 with an installation and performance piece, Booty, in which he transformed the gallery into a desert isle rendered entirely in vinyl. “Solid,” his recent show, took off on a flight of fancy inspired by the artist’s interest in the Baroque. The old-fashioned museum environment he painstakingly created, though, seems delirious from a case of Surrealism and abounds in hidden scenes, secret levers and compartments, and odd, anthropomorphic details.

    Running along the gallery’s back wall was a huge, empty case lined with mirrored

  • Ann Messner

    Ever hear about the guy who rode an elevator with his back to the doors, causing others getting on to do the same thing? Ann Messner’s performances in the subways—like one in which she exercised on a rowing machine placed in a pedestrian tunnel during rush hour—might seem to belong to the same type of attention-getting spectacle as that psychology experiment–cum–urban legend. Yet Messner’s antics weren't really intended to provoke a reaction. Instead, she used the crowd, the constant flow of people, as an artistic medium—a somewhat malleable mass to be acted upon, within, or against. Her

  • Martha Benzing

    Over the last few years, Martha Benzing has made a medium of M&Ms. She has endowed the coated candies with the splendor of precious jewels, or lovingly leached them of their pigment, leaving them striped or polka-dotted or simply bare naked. A group of small canvases shown last year had been “painted” with M&Ms and partially melted cough drops, then scaled in shiny resin. Benzing has now brought a new measure of refinement and control to her technique, resulting in her largest works yet: the “M&M and Kool-Aid Series” (all works 1997). After being emptied of their chocolate insides, M&Ms were