Keith Seward

  • Sheila Metzner

    In Sheila Metzner’s photographs beauty is truly skin-deep. An early black and white picture, Evyan, Kinderhook Creek, 1977, captures her husband’s young daughter skinny-dipping. The real subject of the work, however, is not leisure, play, or family, but wet hair, hard nipples, and goose-bumps. Metzner has described art as “a call to the recognition of surface and beauty as a transforming power,” and it is precisely this fascination with surfaces that has made her work so popular with fashion moguls like Oscar de la Renta and Elizabeth Arden.

    The exhibition begins with works from the late ’70s

  • McDermott & McGough

    Q: Why did the man throw his watch out the window?

    A: He wanted to see time fly.

    The joke depends on the assumption that it is absurd to defenestrate a timepiece. But perhaps it only appears absurd to us because we are unused to questioning time or challenging the conventions it informs. Walter Benjamin pointed out that during the July revolution of 1830 the insurgents began, spontaneously and independently of one another, to shoot at the clocks in Paris’ towers. Although most of us synchronize our watches, time has its dissidents as well: McDermott and McGough have never subscribed to any regnant

  • “The Hybrid State”

    A fun-house rite de passage serves as introduction to “The Hybrid State.” The door to the gallery opens onto a small black-lit vestibule. Written in white on a door to a second chamber is the word “COLONIAL.” Banging your head on the “colonial,” which turns out to be a trick door (the upper half doesn’t open), you become wary. A door to the left is locked. A door to the right won’t open. In front of you the word “POST-COLONIAL” is written on Door Number Three—another booby trap—but by this time you are savvy enough not to hit your head. On a final door is the name of the exhibition. No tricks