Kate Linker

  • Erika Rothenberg

    Erika Rothenberg maintains a political focus of which her paintings’ format and formal devices are a direct emanation. In Rothenberg’s recent exhibition of works from 1986 and ’87, “New! Ideas for a Better World,” the 11 paintings and an installation were all based on the marketing strategies and story-board structure of television commercials. They develop the notion of advertising infused with moral prescriptions—an idea that she first outlined in her 1983 book, Morally Superior Products—and they demonstrate, more successfully than her previous works, how advertising is inextricably linked

  • Ilona Granet; Danita Geltner

    This two-person show offered a perspective on engaged or, more precisely, activist art. The installation of each artist’s production in separate spaces within the gallery allowed free play to the works’ different qualities, but it also permitted a purview over the political use of devices of disjunction.

    Ilona Granet was represented by two recent series of works and four earlier pieces. In one of the series, consisting of five pieces patterned on traffic signs, she has adopted an urban semiotic, using the reduced style, basic coloring and lettering, and even the materials (enamel on metal) of

  • Barbara Kruger

    The gallery show is usually an occasion to display the year’s latest products, the newest, hottest items off the assembly line of an individual artist’s practice. However, in this exhibition Barbara Kruger eschewed the convention of showing only recent work, preferring to arrange a selection of works from 1981 to the present. The central characteristic of her work–the photograph cropped, enlarged, and juxtaposed with strident verbal statements or phrases–was evident in several forms, ranging from her now “classic” red-framed black-and-white works to variations using lenticular screens, color

  • “FAKE”

    Some ideas defy representation in exhibited form. “Large” questions –the kind that comprise what we might term a cultural condition–are too diffuse, too densely reticulated, too “fundamental” to resolve themselves easily into images; the museum or gallery effort generally seems puny (at best) or illustrative (at worst). These problems beset “FAKE,” curated by William Olander, an exhibition designed to evoke the waning of the real in contemporary art practice.

    Olander’s topic, bluntly stated, is the erosion of originality. His intention was to conjure up, through the work of 17 individual artists

  • Ann Preston

    This first New York one-person exhibition by California-based Ann Preston revealed the artist to be a master of the quizzical object. The impulse behind her roundelay of sculpture, paintings, and drawings seems to be the transformation of a limited number of formal motifs, which are first reduced to linear elements and then varied according to the different materials and techniques employed. In this case, two motifs predominated: the eye and the profile. The eye, of course, is sexless, while here the profile is sexed in the feminine; indeed, Preston reduces and refines this basic form until it

  • Roy Lichtenstein

    “The Drawings of Roy Lichtenstein,” a traveling show of some 275 works organized by Museum of Modem Art curator Bernice Rose, is a herculean effort, an attempt at a retrospective of the artist’s drawing practice and, through the drawings, his total production. “Given the very large size of many of Lichtenstein’s paintings,” writes Rose in her catalogue preface, “only at the scale of drawing is it possible to have a detailed view of his career within a single exhibition.” Her aim is to trace the “logical unfolding of Lichtenstein’s work,” to describe, in a coherent manner, the diversity of a

  • Vikky Alexander

    Vikky Alexander’s recent wall-hung constructions are made of rectilinear arrangements of laminated strips in maple, birch, or pine wood-grain finish. Alexander creates each composition by joining together several L-shaped segments (or concentric rectangles) in an alternating pattern of contrasting finishes. The illusionistic effects resulting from her manipulations of proportion bring to mind Frank Stella’s “Black Paintings,” 1958–60, whose relations of compositional elements to center and framing edge they mimic; and the materials she uses echo Richard Artschwager’s statement from 1965 about

  • Aimee Rankin

    For the works in this exhibition, “Ecstasy,” Aimee Rankin used a format similar to that of her last year’s show. Suspended from the wall at regular intervals were 13 boxes, the interiors of which are arranged with complex assemblages of miniature images and objects, and the exteriors covered with Formica in colors cued to their themes. Each box represents one “elemental” emotional state within the theme of passion, a division encompassing (to follow Rankin’s narrative sequence) Attraction, Bliss, Perversity, Suffocation, Fury, Sex, Possession, Jealousy, Sadness, Cruelty, Fear, Loss, and Memory.

  • Olivier Mosset

    The Swiss-born artist Olivier Mosset gained attention in the last two years when his paintings were included in “neo-geo” and “new abstraction” shows, but the roots of his practice go back further. It was in 1967 that Mosset exhibited in Paris with Daniel Buren, Michel Parmentier, and Niele Toroni under the group name BMPT in the Musée de l’Art Moderne’s annual “Salon de la Jeune Peinture.” Their aim was to demystify painting, to rid it of metaphysical overtones, and to reveal paintings material, or historical, foundation as a signifying practice. Although the format of Mosset’s work has varied

  • Mark Stahl

    I first saw one of Mark Stahl’s assembled wall pieces incorporating “found” bathroom accessories and fake rocks in the exhibition “When Attitudes Become Form” at Bess Cutler last fall. The show’s title perfectly traced the artist’s trajectory from conceptualism to a commodity-based practice, just as the word “form” hinted at the closet formalism characterizing much current commodity art. In Stahl’s case, the visual values involve sophisticated plays on Minimalist esthetics. The works in his recent one-person exhibition, all from 1986, consisted of the same kind of “found” accessories and fake

  • Sherrie Levine / Haim Steinbach

    This two-person exhibition, although not a collaborative effort, demonstrated parallels in the thought of the participating artists. The works shown were about the use and character of the mass-produced object and, along the way, the artists touched on many issues concerning the expansion of consumer culture.

    Sherrie Levine was represented by spin-offs on her recent “generic” stripe paintings, with the stripes here applied to four prefabricated wooden chair seats. The ones used are the most basic, with a slightly recessed area that curves to fit the buttocks (curves that cast attractive shadows

  • Justen Ladda

    Justen Ladda treats art at its lowest, where it merges seamlessly with kitsch. His is a raunchy, rollicking temperament that delights in mining the depths of popular consciousness, and in art, fashion and religion, 1986, he explored the impact of consumerism.

    Ladda’s installation was designed according to two different spatial arrangements, with a mazelike rectilinear corridor giving onto a circular stage. Both walls of the corridor were painted with a Greek fret design, punctuated at regular intervals with clusters of grapes, and the perambulating viewer quickly noted that several grapes at a